What gives? Socialism fails. We know this. Why on earth would anyone be told to vote for it? Today we have right before our very eyes yet another example: imploding Venezuela, standing as yet more proof that socialism fails every single time it is “tried.”
Venezuela is a nation blessed with natural wealth from its massive oil reserves and resources. Today? Its socialism, an ideology tailor-made for corruption and power-mongering, has produced widespread despair. There is chaos in the streets, a climbing homicide rate, starvation, and a mass exodus of perhaps two million people leaving the country.
For those remaining we see a surging suicide rate and other startling problems. For example, there are now reports that human corpses are frequently exploding in morgues because massive power outages along with government ineptitude prevent the growing numbers of dead from being buried before the “emphysematous phase of putrefaction” in the body’s gaseous decomposition occurs. That’s not a pretty picture.
Aside from all that, consider the actual fact that socialism’s natural and consistent spawn, communism, killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century alone,
Despite all of this, what do we hear from a growing chorus of U.S. political candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Andrew Gillum, as well as actual office holders like Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris? That socialism is somehow good if you just put the word “democratic” in front of it. That socialism somehow works, and it’s the only way forward.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, people are supposed to seriously entertain such notions when voting during the midterms? God forbid. Why? Why are people still taken in by the scam called socialism?
Socialism Is Merely a Pretext for Power-Mongering
Okay, I have a theory. It’s actually more like a fact: socialism is akin to slavery. Actually, it is slavery, as so many who have survived such systems will attest. That’s because socialism’s promises—its wrapping paper—are meant to be thrown away once it’s unpacked.
There’s no getting around the fact that socialism is always, always, always about putting all of the power into the hands of a very few people. That’s its starting point. “Just trust me with all of the power, and I’ll take care of you!” socialists habitually promise. Their biggest impediment to helping you is . . . you—you and your pesky freedoms like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Then there is that annoying constitutionalist idea of checks and balances against their power. And the Bill of Rights. Such things get in the way, you see. As then-candidate Barack Obama once stated, the Bill of Rights “only” says what the government cannot do to you. It doesn’t say what the government must do for you—basically to increase your dependence (i.e., addiction) on government.
Due process and the rule of law are other irksome concepts for socialists. They know best. They’ll feed you, clothe you, and shelter you, and give you access to “free” medical care (and re-education) just as long as you make sure they continue in power and continue to consolidate and centralize all of the power.
Then scarcity has a way of setting in. Do you detect a bit of Mr. Ponzi in there, and his devious scheme? Does it sound a bit cult-like? Well, yes, of course. Because it’s all of those things and worse.
Slavery has a way of rearing its ugly head no matter how much a nation’s people think they’ve overcome it. If the bloody 20th century proved anything, it proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that socialism issues ever more incarnations of slavery. Always. Why is that? Because, sadly, power-mongering is the nature of the human beast. If we don’t keep it in check, we’re all done for. The American founders understood this well.
That’s why all utopian schemes such as socialism—and socialism’s natural offshoots, communism, fascism, “democratic” socialism, and so-called progressivism—depend to a great degree on coercion and the suppression of human freedom. Socialism begins as a form of serfdom, tying people to the government just as medieval landlords tied their serfs to the land. As government dependency grows ever deeper, it becomes harder to wrest ourselves away.
So it goes: Socialism, when left to its own devices, irresistibly moves towards authoritarianism and totalitarianism.
Socialism Is the Ultimate Bait and Switch Scam
As with all bait-and-switch scams, socialism promises you the world. That’s the only way it can get any traction before it delivers you to a virtual prison. It forces compliance and dependency in every aspect of life—housing, employment, medicine, mobility, education, even your creativity.
Oh, sure lots of clueless Che T-shirt-wearing kids will talk real savvy about it while they’re free. But once it’s got them for real, it will permeate their daily life both in body and mind. In this very respect, slavery is a very fitting description of socialism. All of socialism’s promises— equality, social justice, blah, blah, blah—amount to nothing but bait.
If you don’t believe me, ask yourself this: What could be more oppressive than living under a system run by a tiny clique of power-mongers who exert control over you through a morbidly obese machinery of bureaucrats? What could be more claustrophobic than having some apparatchik from that bloated bureaucracy telling you where you may live, what you are allowed to study, where you can travel, what you can express in art or writing, whether you may receive medicine for your illness, what you may eat, what you can say, and even to whom you may speak?
In such a state, elections become meaningless because the system is designed to perpetuate the power clique that feeds on it. It’s only natural that they’d intend to punish those they perceive to threaten their authority, whether such threats come in the form of deeds, words, or perceived thoughts.
In the end, socialism is built on lies. It’s just a bundle of ploys that help power-hungry elites acquire power. In many cases that’s by design, but likely in many cases also by wishful thinking paired with ignorance on the part of the citizenry.
In light of all this, it’s quite weird that people still debate socialism on its “merits” like it’s some sort of legitimate system of governance. But I suppose that’s why we’re seeing a “resurgence” of it. Those who promote socialism would have us all play the role of battered wives falling into their arms when they promise all will be well if we just trust them and obey. It’ll be different next time, see? Hey, baby, how ‘bout some more free stuff?
They’ll whisper in your ear the fantasy of “Socialist Scandanavia!” perhaps with lovely fiords and bike share programs, never to mention Stockholm’s surging rape problem and police no-go zones. Of course, the Nordic countries have generally homogenous populations a tiny fraction the size of the United States.
They have had mixed economies, yes, but primarily capitalistic, which is what allows countries like Norway to maintain their wealth and attractiveness, not their public programs. Many Swedes will tell you that the country’s experimentation with so-called democratic socialism set them way back and all of the mythologizing about socialism there is flatly wrong.
Socialism: A State-Run Slavery Racket
The abuse of human beings as chattel is at its most insidious when practiced by the totalitarian state. Traditional slavery focused on forced labor to support agrarian economies. Most know about the enslavement of African-Americans at cotton plantations in the South before the Civil War. Many may also know about their horrific enslavement in the Caribbean to work sugar cane plantations.
Far fewer people know how Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union used slave labor on a massive scale to promote its industrialization plans. Political prisoners made up a large percentage of the millions of people who were captive in Soviet forced labor camps, or gulags. They were often worked to death in the mines of the far north as well as in ruthlessly grueling projects like building the White Sea Canal.
When we allow the state to own the means of production—basically, to own people—that’s the trajectory it takes. The socialist state, after all, is run by a small clique of power elites armed with their ever-expanding bureaucracy.
According to Joel Kotkin, America is actually headed towards “oligarchal socialism”—a convergence of pragmatic Clintonism and the Bernie brand—in which providing free stuff is basically a means of keeping populist pitchforks away. Kotkin writes:
Oligarchal socialism allows for the current, ever-growing concentration of wealth and power in a few hands — notably tech and financial moguls . . . The tech moguls get to remain wealthy beyond the most extreme dreams of avarice, while their allies in progressive circles and the media, which they increasingly own, continue to hector everyone else about giving up their own aspirations. All the middle and upwardly mobile working class gets is the right to pay ever more taxes, while they watch many of their children devolve into serfs, dependent on alms and subsidies for their survival.
Sadly, that seems to sum things up. I’d only add two observations. First, all socialism is basically oligarchic in nature. Throughout history, whether Stalin’s Russia or Mao Zedong’s China or Fidel Castro’s Cuba, socialism has always been about a small power clique controlling the lives of all others. Frankly, it’s always been about re-packaging and selling slavery to the masses in a bait and switch.
The success of this scam with millennials is testament to this. As millennials trade free speech for more free stuff, they’ve no idea that their free stuff will inevitably evaporate right along with free speech. It has always worked that way and always will, no matter what the new oligarch configuration is. So when a clique of power elites gets together to control the citizens of an entire nation—in the name of “equality” or “social justice” or whatever—all become de facto slaves of the Mass State.
Second, always remember that these people, the Mass State, they know better. They already have the answer. They don’t need you to think for yourself. So it feels as though we’re seeing more slavery being imposed over the mind.
After all, K-12 schooling and college education seem totally saturated in political correctness. Political correctness induces self-censorship, which prevents normal conversation and blunts independent thought. The education establishment seems more focused on producing cookie-cutter minds, coercing students to each think exactly alike politically or suffer social rejection.
Conformity based on the fear of being socially isolated is the essence of socialism. No doubt that fear is the mind-control cyanide in the Kool-Aid that has so many millennials parroting socialist talking points today. They don’t have a clue.
Solution: Restoring Knowledge of the Constitution
To understand what’s at stake, all Americans need a new primer in the meaning of freedom. Too many are at sea without a compass because they don’t have a grasp of the meaning of the U.S. Constitution and how it protects us from tyranny.
The fact that most of our educational institutions don’t teach this anymore is beyond criminal. It’s almost an act of war, because people cannot protect what they don’t even know about. Knowledge about the foundations of our freedom has been cut off from the minds of most Americans for at least two generations now.
Such ignorance, especially the inability to think things through, only profits the growth of socialism as well as the power-mongering of socialism’s wannabe oligarchs. It certainly doesn’t help normal Americans who wish to live and let live. Such ignorance allows for the growth of dependency, deception, coercion, and debt. It also prevents self-reliance, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and self-defense.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew very well that they were establishing a system that would abolish the institution of slavery in all of its forms, slavery over the mind as well as chattel slavery. But maintaining that trajectory towards freedom—a basic goal of the Constitution—is only possible as long as Americans have the grit and will and knowledge to do so.
Our founders limited government in order to prevent all kinds of slavery, despite the fact that many of the signers were slave-holders. If radical education reformers along with today’s education establishment were not so averse to teaching civics, most Americans would know that. Instead they’ve undermined students’ capacity to think for themselves, which means they are being taught to be good slaves to the state.
We must all devise new ways to teach the meaning of freedom and the Constitution to Americans who have been deprived of that knowledge through the deceptions of the media and academia and celebrity culture. We need to fight through the social media moguls’ censorship of such ideas. That may mean old-fashioned flyers and tracts, a la firebrand Thomas Paine.
We need more actual one-on-one conversations in daily life, helping people understand what the Constitution actually stands for, and guiding them to discover the joys of real thought and conversation. Maybe have a fun and friendly trivia quiz. Virtually shout from the rooftops that we have three branches of government. Name them and tell what they are for. Help repair the ignorance of those nearly 40 percent (!) of Americans who cannot even name one of the freedoms of the First Amendment.
Those who are literate in real freedom need to teach it in any friendly way they can to their friends and neighbors. But expect push back from power elites for doing so. Wannabe slave owners have always been hostile to teaching would-be slaves to read.