Millennials, Socialism, and Equality

Zach Carter of the Huffington Post is telling Baby-Boomers that they are getting their knickers all in a twist and really should tone down their worries since, after all, "socialism is good now."

Carter, senior political economy reporter at the HuffPo, evinces dazzling ignorance and misdirection as he leads Millennials down a path that will prove disastrous to them.

Carter asserts that we are re-entering the "Golden Age of American Paranoia" and any genuine concerns about the spread of communism are delusional.  Has Carter ever perused The Black Book of Communism (1999), edited by Mark Kramer?  He would learn "the actual, practical accomplishments of Communism around the world: terror, torture, famine, mass deportations, and massacres."

Astonishing in the sheer detail it amasses, the book is the first comprehensive attempt to catalogue and analyze the crimes of communism over seventy years.

'Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit,' Ignazio Silone wrote, and this is the standard the authors apply to the Communist experience – in the China of 'the Great Helmsman,' Kim Il Sung's Korea, Vietnam under 'Uncle Ho' and Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah.  The authors, all distinguished scholars based in Europe, document Communist crimes against humanity, but also crimes against national and universal culture, from Stalin's destruction of hundreds of churches in Moscow to Ceausescu's leveling of the historic heart of Bucharest to the wide scale devastation visited on Chinese culture by Mao's Red Guards.

As the death toll mounts – as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia ... the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the ... ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression.

But, you retort, Carter never mentions the word "communism" in his article.  It is exquisitely important to remember that according to Vladimir Lenin, "the goal of socialism is communism."

In fact, Adrian Krieg writes that "the worst despotic governments of this century were: Nazis in Germany, Fascists in Italy, Communists in the USSR, [Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, (and) Vietnam[.]"  Each was supposed to be a "paragon of socialist endeavor."  The end result was that the leaders of "these countries murdered more of their own civilian citizens than they lost in military conflict."  It is why socialism always results in tyrannical rule.

The reason for this is inherent to socialism.  It promises things that it cannot possibly deliver.  When socialist politicians in power come to the realization that it is impossible to deliver on their promises and political unrest develops, they have two options if they plan to stay in power.  First, they must locate a scapegoat on whom they can blame their inability to deliver.  Any Jew can tell you who that was for the Germans and the Russians.  The second is to develop, and rapidly so, a state security apparatus to keep them in office – the SS, the KGB.

When the latest darling of the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, asserts that "[c]apitalism has not always existed in the world, and it will not always exist in the world," she proves she is a proponent of a system that always fails because it cannot sustain itself economically.  The government has only the funds it confiscates from its citizens.  This eventually leads to an uncontrolled spiral of inflation.  Consider that Venezuela inflation could reach one million percent by the end of 2018.

In 1995, Mark J. Perry wrote an article titled "Why Socialism Failed."  Calling socialism the Big Lie of the 20th century, Perry explains that "while socialism promises prosperity, equality, and security, it delivers poverty, misery, and tyranny."  Equality is achieved only in the sense that everyone is equally miserable.

What Ocasio and her ilk – e.g., Cynthia Nixon – do not comprehend is that "socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior.  It is a system that ignores incentives whereas in a capitalist economy, incentives are of utmost importance."

Socialism tempts people with promises as long as they give up a little of their freedom for alleged greater security.  It is a deal with the devil, and the devil always wins.

Yet Zach Carter maintains that the "Baby Boomers are the worst American generation since Reconstruction ...  [because] they were raised in a political culture dominated by madmen" who saw the term "socialism deployed not to denote a set of economic politics, but to conjure a vague, foreign horror."

In addition to attacking a specific group, Carter engages in stereotypical generalizations.  And what does Reconstruction have to do with socialism?  They are about 50 years apart from one another.

Carter, without realizing it, is railing against the governmental overreach that has occurred with more entitlement programs, ergo a socialist trend that America has been tilting toward for years.  Sadly, his sarcasm, ridicule, and innuendo will attract many readers who will not bother to question the essence of socialism and its catastrophic results.

In fact, socialism is very much a set of economic politics whose results are disastrous.  Rafael A. Acevedo and Luis B. Cirocco explain how socialism ruined their country of Venezuela.  

Ultimately, the lesson we learned is that socialism never, ever works, no matter what Paul Krugman, or Joseph Stiglitz, or guys in Spain like Pablo Iglesias say.

It was very common during the years we suffered under Hugo Chavez to hear these pundits and economists on TV saying that this time, socialism is being done right.

Socialism is the cause of the Venezuelan misery.  Venezuelans are starving, eating garbage, losing weight.  Children are malnourished.  Anyone in Venezuela would be happy to eat out of America's trashcans.  It would be considered gourmet.

This is not surprising.  As Venezuelans, our poor understanding of the importance of freedom and free markets has created our current disaster.  We Venezuelans never really understood freedom in its broader dimension because when we enjoyed high levels of economic freedom, we allowed the destruction of political and civil rights[.]

Carter engages in wordplay and incorrect inference whose intent is to obfuscate.  He should read the 1983 propaganda booklet titled "Socialism and Peace," where "the workers and peasants of all Russia" were exhorted "to have triple vigilance, caution and endurance, comrades!  Everyone must be at his post!  Everyone must give his life if necessary to defend Soviet power, to defend the interests of the working people, the exploited, the poor, to defend socialism."  Certainly, many gave their lives in the gulags – but never freely. 

David Satter in It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway describes how "Russia as a country has not been willing to face the full truth about Communism.  Some people insist that the scale of the crimes has been exaggerated or that they were a product of necessity in a unique historical situation."  Tell that to those survivors of communism whose stories can be heard and seen at the Victims of Communism site Witness Project.

One of my more astute students has written that "it is clear to see that socialism is just a façade for corruption.  The government takes advantage of the ownership they have and then doesn't take care of the people they claimed to help.  Most people get blinded by the promises that are made.  Which is why I believe most people will vote for it."  Yet, "as the expression goes, all that glitters is not gold." 

I pray that she is wrong and that Millennials – or, for that matter, any age group – will not be duped by the high-sounding terms, careless logical fallacies, and deliberate ignorance of the facts regarding socialism.

Eileen can be reached at

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