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I know, the title of this post makes a really blatant comparison, but let me explain.
Probably most socialists are opportunists who only pursue personal goals at the expense of others. However, there may some who are attracted to socialist ideas because they are really altruistic people who don’t know better.
So, let’s think about what these “noble” people want: A society free of supression, where everyone can pursue his or her way of life. A society that strives for the highest possible standard of living. The government should be independent of powerful interests.
Guess what ideology and system has been proven to be most successful in achieving these goals? Right, libertarianism and free markets. The countries with the highest standard of living for everyone are also the ones who come nearest to the definition of free markets and capitalism. The most free countries in terms of political and individual rights are also countries with legal systems that (partly, at least) adhere to libertarian (individualistic) principles. Sadly, I can’t find a single government in the world that is free of powerful lobbying interests. But is it just coincidence that the most corrupt governments are in countries that are famous for heavy-handed government interventions into the economy and into the society?
Remember libertarianism explicitely forbids putting particular interests ahead of essential individual rights. This includes economic interests of powerful companies. So, what can socialism do better than libertarianism and free markets? I can’t think of anything.