Despite the fresh faces of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Socialist-NY) and Ilhan Omar (Socialist-MN) and the old face of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT), there is nothing new about socialism. It has been around for centuries and it has failed everywhere it has been tried.
It is founded on the mistaken belief that everyone is equal where in fact everyone is only created equal and thereafter diverge based upon a combination of education, opportunity, hard work and willingness to assume risk. (Of course there is the “snowflake” exception where success is due to inheritance and not to ability.) That idea of “equality” denies the physicality of man – I cannot dunk a basketball with both hands like Michael Jordan, or drive a golf ball three hundred yards like Bubba Watson, or sing like Luciano Pavarotti, or play the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. It denies the intellect of man – Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Relatively (without a computer) while I struggle with my checkbook. It denies the artistry of man – Charles M. Russell created masterpieces of Western art while I can barely draw a straight line. It also denies the desire to achieve, to be recognized for achievement, and to be rewarded for achievement.
In summary, it demands equal results regardless of skill or effort and dismisses equal opportunity as a form of discrimination. It follows the path of post-Modernism where truth is an individual aberration and fleeting popularity is the substitute for truth. (Just to be clear I put socialism and communism in the same boat. The only material difference is that under communism the government owns everything, while under socialism the government merely controls everything.)
And along with socialism comes a rise in anti-Semitism. And there is a reason. Socialism always fails and, therefore, needs a reason for its failure – a scapegoat. Why the Jews? It is difficult to say but history has taught us that they are routinely the scapegoat for failure. Adolph Hitler blamed the Jews for the decline of Germany post-World War I and thereafter sought to eradicate them not just from Germany but from each succeeding country it conquered. He managed to kill over six million Jews. Communism under Josef Stalin failed to deliver a “workers’ paradise” after deposing the aristocracy of Russia and, thereafter, blamed the Jews (despite the fact that the Father of Communism Karl Marx was a Jew) and murdered over one-third of the Jews in the Soviet Union. In South America the strong influence of Germany’s Nazi party resulted in open and voluble anti-Semitism mostly in those states like Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Paraguay who dabbled in socialism under leaders like Juan Peron and Salvador Allende although it did not take on the breadth or intensity of the Nazi rampage in Europe.
And today, in Great Britain, France and Spain, anti-Semitism is on the rise. The head of Great Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, routinely returns to blaming the Jews for England’s troubles. The Yellow-Vest protestors in France (advocates of socialism) are increasingly showing anti-Semitism with shouts of “Juden” and desecration of buildings with Swastikas.
Even in America the old Jew hater, Louis Farrakhan, is now joined routinely by luminaries such as Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) in blaming the Jews. Even the Socialist’s new darling, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, blames the Jews of Israel for the unrest in the Middle East.
(Let’s not forget that America’s premier bigots – the Ku Klux Klan and the dental challenged remnants of the American Nazi movement are also anti-Semites. While it is convenient for the media and Democrats to cast these outlaws as “conservatives” they found their origins in the Democrat Party in the South and the socialist movement of the Nazis. In reality they know little about political or economic philosophy but are well steeped in the traditions of hate, jealousy and blame shifting for their own miserable lives.)
So how is it that despite decades of failure everywhere the dilettantes of liberal/progressive thought are once again embracing socialism? Well, a part of the blame lies with our public education system. Over the past four decades our public schools have been hijacked by the public employees unions – particularly the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The fact of the matter is that unionism is based on the collectivism of socialism – everyone is paid the same regardless of skills, performance or results. The only differentiation is based on longevity and continuing education (an education that includes further reinforcement of unionism). No one gets ahead and no one gets behind – they are all “equal.” It is virtually impossible to get teachers to discuss the shortcomings of socialism in the classroom when it is precisely what they practice in their professional lives. The result is that four decades of children have grown up unaware of the history and destructive results of socialism. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Couple that with the intoxicating message of socialism that the government will provide everything regardless of your skills, contributions or efforts – free medical care, free food, free housing, free education, free cell phones, free transportation, free everything. And the only thing that differentiates you from the next person is how many children you bring into the world. Don’t worry, be happy, vote for those who will give you the most for free. And oh by the way, the rich will pay for everything.
But there are ugly lies in those proposals that those who dabble in socialism don’t want to discuss. The first one being that there is simply not enough money in the system to pay for all of the “freebies.” For instance the Medicare-for-all that virtually every Democrat presidential aspirant supports would cost an additional $32.6 Trillion over ten years according to a report by CBS. That is an additional $3.26 Trillion on average annually from an annual budget that is already costing Americans $4 Trillion in 2018 and exceeds existing revenues by about $1 Trillion. Even the proposal to confiscate wealth at the rate of 70% for the rich barely puts a dent in that projected shortfall. When you have more people riding in the wagon than pulling the wagon it all breaks down.
Add to that there is little incentive to create wealth if it will simply be taken and transferred to someone else. New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois have the highest taxes per capita of any place in the United States. They are all hemorrhaging wealth migration as those with the means leave those states. So bad has it become that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) took to the airwaves to deride further taxing the rich schemes noting that New York is facing a $2.3 Billion tax revenue shortfall due to the outward migration of New York’s business creators. Illinois is facing a $2.8 Billion revenue shortfall for the same reasons but they haven’t got the memo because the newly elected governor J.B. Pitzker (D-IL) is proposing a “millionaire” tax that will only accelerate the outward migration of business creators. In the end, it’s pretty simple. Why would you work harder, take greater risks, and persevere longer if the end result is that you will only wind up with the same as the sluggards who sit and whine?
President Donald Trump has stated that America is not and never will be a socialist nation. Let’s hope he is right but the current trajectory is not promising.