Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Dose of Reality About Socialism

We have been hearing A LOT about Socialism — and praise of Socialism — in the current political campaign. A lot has been from Hillary Clinton, and a lot more from Bernie Sanders, and their supporters. A significant amount of the discussion has been lecturing by our Moral Betters of the Younger Generation, who mostly support Sanders.

This has produced a response on Facebook from former chess champion and current freedom activist Garry Kasparov, which has been repeated by Thomas Lifson:

I'm enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.
Lifson goes on to note that
Socialism rewards laggards and penalizes strivers, so naturally you get more of the former and fewer of the latter. It isn’t terribly complicated.

Young people, full of energy, idealistic, and inexperienced in human nature, are seduced by the vision of an egalitarian paradise with less suffering. What they don’t see is the decline in wealth, and the focus on gaming the system and winning political approval (instead of actually producing wealth) that inevitably produce decline and corruption.

How has this happened to so many of our young people? I think, as Lifson suggests, that it's because

The virtually complete takeover of public and higher education by the left has resulted in a vast cohort of the American public completely ignorant of the failure of socialism everywhere it has been applied. Thus we have public opjnion polls indicating that younger voters are not averse to socialism and younger Democrats supporting Sanders.
To me, the most important truism in all of this is one short line:"Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism." That's a line from Kasparov's original Facebook post, speaking from experience.

Socialism kills, in all its forms from Democratic Socialism to Fascism and Communism. It's just that some forms of Socialism kill more quickly and efficiently than others.

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