Skip to comments.Why Isn't Socialism Dead
Posted on 05/05/2006 5:59:43 AM PDT by RKV
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As such, it taps into the deepest recesses of humanity.
And if the Hildebeast institutes socialized health care, don't bother looking for her standing in line at the local proletariat health clinic in Chapaqua.
How about this answer to socialism. In America, private property is semi-sacred. To try to socialize America without doing it through a Constitutional Amendment is arguably treason.
Given that the socialist "nations" with gas and oil are both backward and rabidly hostile to America, I suggest that Americans seriously consider the Carthaginian solution.
"Islam delenda est" and "Socialism delenda est".
I can answer that question: Because IGNORANT people keep voting for those who support socialism.
Good article, thanks. Bookmarking.
You are so right. It's about envy and ignorance - socialism is. Stong, moral, sensible folks don't need the crutch.
There are really two questions here - (1) Why didn't the 20th century's agonies drive a stake in the heart of the failed fantasy that is socialism, and (2) Why does it persist in South America like a broccoli fart?
As to the first, I think that Goldberg had the significant point in that mythos is truly mythos, a shared body of stories more typified by comfort than by fact. Ulysses comes to mind here.
But as to point (2) I'd like to make a gentle suggestion. We're not really dealing with socialism as an economic system there, we're dealing with its finely-honed appeal to those who would overturn an existing system with an idea to personal gain. That is, after all, the ground motivation for socialism in general, often masked by the pretense that the thievery is on behalf of somebody else. There are three psychological pieces of this puzzle: envy, relief from feelings of inferiority, and romance.
As to the politics of envy we've had a bellyful and it never seems to end. Not for nothing was it called one of the Seven Deadly Sins - it is seductive, alluring, and eternal. It feeds point (2) - when one sees that one possesses fewer material goods than one's neighbor (what was that pesky 10th Commandment again?) it is of great comfort to be assured that such inequalities are the result of simple theft and not inferiority of virtue or performance. And better still, that theft justifies rectification by theft in return - this is the basis of the socialist kleptocracy, a rationalization that all economics is theft. It is false and, yes, alluring.
That brings us to point (3) - romance. There is something ineluctably romantic in the posture of an individual engaging a social system with intent to bring it down, after which a utopia will rise from the ashes. This pattern is as old as humanity - it is the basis for Frazer's sacrificial King. It is also a cheap rationalization for the fact that it is much easier to destroy a system than to create a better. The former is the aspiration of a youth that has never created anything but does know how to destroy. Its apotheosis is that infantile, murderous icon that is Che Guevara.
It seems a pity after all this deep stuff to admit that the whole thing turns out to be empty and superficial public relations posing as populism, but there it is. Look at Chavez and Morales, the men, not the mythos, and realize how shabby and ridiculous are the individuals behind the hot air. To compare them to Mussolini, even, is to flatter them. The snake-oil salesman in the traveling tent show is a much more accurate model. And for exactly the same behavior.
Good observations. Thanks.
There is another interesting aspect in play. Capitalism brings uncertainty of free markets, and forces people to work harder to stay on the top. Uncertainty and working hard is not something many people want. Socialism boasts equality and stability. It is no surprise that so many in the Former Soviet Union are nostalgic for the old times when one was poor but the vast majority of people were as poor, so no problem; and your life was set and you knew well that unless you do something very stupid, or barring any cataclysms, your future is quite predictable. On a higher material level the same can be said about the Europe as well.
On economical side, its natural for people to believe in the Zero Sum game. They are rich because I am poor. Propaganda reinforces this notion, and Latin American populism makes a good run with it.
There is a natural yearning for a good future, but what road takes there? Uncertainty and hard work, or grievances, stability and predictability? The ultimate dynamism versus statism.