Opponents of nationalisation have 2 moves: 1. convince people that the only thing that matters is profitability (made more convincing by governmental price policies on nationalised industries that make it impossible to turn a profit) 2. suggest that nationalisation represents no special progress for society

Socialists suffer from a lack of vision and thus have been ineffective in countering these moves.

advice to socialists: "don't roll in the mud with [capitalist] pigs; they'll drag you down to their level and trump you with experience" {:.tldr}

What is at stake is not economics but culture; not the standard of living but the quality of life. Economics and the standard of living can just as well be looked after by a capitalist system, moderated by a bit of planning and redistributive taxation. But culture and, generally, the quality of life, can now only be debased by such a system.

Socialists should insist on using the nationalised industries not simply to out-capitalise the capitalists—an attempt in which they may or may not succeed—but to evolve a more democratic and dignified system of industrial administration, a more humane employment of machinery, and a more intelligent utilisation of the fruits of human ingenuity and effort. If they can do that, they have the future in their hands. If they cannot, they have nothing to offer that is worthy of the sweat of free-born men.

small-is-beautifulp. 219–20


small-is-beautiful Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich. 2001. Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as If People Mattered. Random House. ↩︎ 1