As Socialism Becomes More Popular, Its Problems Become More Obvious
Socialism promises a fairer society. Many people, regardless of their political labels, respond to this goal. Even some Christians see socialism and Christianity as converging belief systems. Both sides say we have a moral duty to care for the needy and hungry.
Any advocacy of socialism generates at least some degree of sympathetic agreement. Some suspect that socialism, compared to capitalism, occupies the moral high ground.
The problem that quickly arises is the matter of choice or free will. Will you accept socialism only because a powerful government threatens you? If you are compelled to do something, the spirituality goes out of it.
Even if you become a socialist because you believe it’s the enlightened choice, many dangers loom. Mainly, can you withdraw from a socialist agenda if it starts to be oppressive and indeed murderous? How do you back up? Ask the Venezuelans.
Some countries calling themselves Socialist Democrats have shown flexibility moving in and out of socialist arrangements. When leaders see society shifting in dangerous ways, they're able to say let's back up and restore this or that freedom to the people.
This is a hopeful sign. If you value freedom, the necessary option is reversibility. You may see reversibility in socialist, but everything depends on whether the leaders are reasonable and, indeed, benevolent.
Now we have arrived at the crux of the discussion. Socialism to some degree, and communism almost always, seems to be focused on acquiring ever more power. Lenin famously stated what is supposed to happen: "The goal of socialism is communism.” This dynamic appeals to leaders who are ambitious and opportunistic.
You may think you see a reasonable pathway to a fairer society. The cunning dictator-to-be sees a quicker road to conquest. Take over a society, kill the opposition, eliminate freedom, make everyone do what you say. Now the dictator is untouchable.
This sort of leader is likely to be exceptionally ruthless. Think of the careers of Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Together they killed 100 million people. Common practice for these leaders is putting people in prison, standing them by a ditch and shooting them, or working them to death.
As the Cambodian communists so charmingly explained, "to keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss."
The realities of American politics have become clearer. Apparently we always had a lot of socialists, but they were discreet. Now they reveal themselves. Listen closely to what they advocate, and imagine the repercussions. Beto O’Rourke casually said we will take your guns, probably causing a massive civil war. Elizabeth Warren demanded open borders. Very quickly we would have another 20 or 30 million foreigners in the country. The long-term effect would be to overwhelm traditional values and patterns. How do you pull back from this systemic shift? The 30 million could quickly become 50 million and then 100 million. How could you stop this flood? Each of these people would vote to welcome in all his relatives.
All of our quasi-communists support sanctuary cities, which is an extra-legal way to create foreign countries inside this country.
A lot of conservative saw Donald Trump as the last hope — not because he was so perfect, but because he was the only one who could keep us away from the abyss. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg are extreme socialists. We knew this for sure in the summer of 2020, when they casually allowed American cities to be looted and burned. These dangerous leaders used the evil technique perfected by Obama in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charlottesville: order cops to stand aside.
Are communists so crazy in love with their theories that they believe that the American public would say yes, burn our cities? These left-wing ideologues tend to become lost in dishonest theorizing. What policies, no matter how murderous, would these people not support?
Communists will tell you these machinations are good for you. But inevitably the theorizing ends up letting dictators do more evil. Apparently, it's fun to boss around millions of people. Didn't we all sense this during the pandemic when some states enforced unproven regulations that arguably did more damage than the disease itself?
Now our socialists want public schools, who rarely bother with history, to teach all the sins of the American past, as if this were somehow scholarly and balanced. Quite the opposite. Children need to know how much the world venerates the U.S. and why. Students should hear about all the countries we saved. In particular our schools must show what Communist dictators are capable of. Every student should read an article on Pol Pot’s murderous career. Let kids (and their teachers) see the neatly piled skulls.
Our public schools seem to be committed to the cause of dictatorship. They should be the opposite, making sure everyone is alert to the dangers all around us.
If you let psychopaths like Stalin or Pol Pot run your country, expect misery. If you elect politicians who might consider such an eventuality acceptable, you will never have peace or safety.
Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is Saving K-12: What happened to our public schools? How do we fix them?