Today we have politicians that have dusted off the concept of socialism. They have renamed it Democratic Socialism. Karl Marx said “Democracy is the road to Socialism”, and the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others are presenting it as the ultimate answer to the apparent unfairness of capitalism. We are told that capitalism breeds greed, and greed is bad. Their contention is that humanity is inherently good, and any system that operates on individual greed needs to be answered with a better, kinder version that insures that no one is left behind. Their answer is to use government to redistribute wealth so that everyone will have a happier, fairer life, with guaranteed outcomes for all. With the government insuring all of our needs, the problems associated with capitalism will justly be squashed in favor of a kinder, gentler system.
They tell us that no one will be poor. No one will be in debt. Everyone is entitled to a good education, a good job, health care, and basic necessities of life, and all of this will be free. Big government will be our nanny, our parents, our protectors, and our ultimate providers. The rich will be no more, those robber barons that took all and never gave back. Government redistribution of wealth is the ultimate answer to all of our problems, and the solution is just an election away. Millennial’s are lined up to embrace the Utopian promise, and look starry-eyed to this future!
To quote Karl Marx again “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, and second as farce”. It seems that Karl was on to something. History does repeat itself, most often when history itself is ignored, or in fact re-written. Let’s examine the history of socialism. Henri St. Simon has been given credit for being the original founder of socialism. He designed the principals of what is socialism today. Since then, governments all over the world have tried to embrace the concept of socialism, including but not limited to the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Yugoslavia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, Bolivia, and Venezuela. In every case, Socialism failed to deliver, governments were toppled or the rules were re-written once the reality of what it takes to actually create wealth is realized. History has taught those of us that are observers that Socialism is a compelling dream. It is a dream that is constantly foiled by human nature on a variety of levels, making it unworkable in practice.
Human nature is dark. Unlike the assumption of Socialism, we are not by nature inherently good. The religions of the world address this issue. Certainly the Christian religion does so with much clarity. We face a battle between good and evil, and evil often wins. Without faith in God we cannot overcome. People with religion believe that Utopia is only achieved in the next life, not here on earth. Human nature is at odds with the premise that we all basically good people.
Our constitution was written by godly men who believed that freedom, embrace of individualism, defined human rights based on natural law, faith in God and hard work should be the basis for their new experiment in self-government. They created what has become the most successful government and economy in the world, and the basis for our success has been individuals that have been largely unfettered by government intrusion. Our founders gave us an economic system that was developed as the antithesis of Socialism, and that is Capitalism.
Unlike the failure of Socialism, Capitalism has proven to be an economic system that has the direct ability to motivate the ambitious to achieve greatness. The incredible progress made in the last century is largely the result of Capitalism. Capitalism insures that economies grow, and do not remain stagnant. Capitalism also addresses the needs of the marketplace much more efficiently than government controlled production. Capitalism creates wealth and improves lives. Socialism insures stagnation and mutual shared suffering. Capitalism is by no means perfect, but its track record is light years ahead of Socialism.
It seems that many young people in our country have not been taught history, or that they have been taught a false version of history in their schools. As parents and grandparents, it is up to us to spread the word to them about the lie that is Socialism. It is also up to us to take a more active role in how our children are being educated. If we don’t, we may just see ourselves repeating the failure of Socialism. History ignored is history repeated!
#socialism #utopia #socialism’s failures #capitalism