At The American Spectator, Lee Edwards, a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation, sets the record straight on socialism. Edwards rightly views the warm-thoughts of America’s young-adults towards socialism as a danger, and attempts to dispel some of the false ideas that have crept up around the world’s deadliest social and economic philosophy. He writes (abridged):
Is a specter of socialism haunting America, especially among our millennials?
There is disquieting evidence of many young Americans’ sympathy for socialism. Exhibit A: 2.052 million people under the age of 30 voted for democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries and caucuses.
Exhibit B: Polls find that, not only do a large majority of millennials have a favorable opinion of socialism, a near majority would prefer to live under socialism rather than capitalism.
Exhibit C: The no-longer sleeping Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) now boasts 30,000 members, most of them in their twenties and eager to follow the socialist banner. What is happening in America, once the apotheosis of capitalism?
The first part of that answer lies in two words, not “Karl Marx,” but “Bernie Sanders.” The senator from Vermont captured the hearts and the votes of many millennials with his call for single payer health care, free public college, campaign finance reform, and racial, economic, and climate justice.
According to one CNN analyst, millennials rallied in the many thousands behind Sanders because they are socially liberal — especially on LGBT rights — saddled with mountains of student debt.
- Socialism has never worked anywhere. Socialism in all its forms — Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet Union, Maoism in China, “state socialism” in India, “democratic socialism” in Sweden, National Socialism in Nazi Germany — has never come close to realizing the classless ideal of its founding father, Karl Marx.
- The founding father of socialism is the messianic Karl Marx. Marx was an atheist socialist who insisted that his was the only “scientific” socialism based not on wishful thinking but the inexorable laws of history. The whole of history, declared Marx and his close collaborator and friend Friedrich Engels, is the history of the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie
- Socialism forbids the age-old right of private property. In The Communist Manifesto Marx says, “The theory of the communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
- Socialism insists that human nature is malleable, not constant.
- Socialism depends upon dictatorship to attain and remain in power. Without exception, every socialist leader from Vladimir Lenin to Fidel Castro promised to initiate basic political freedoms such as free elections, a free press, and free assembly. None fulfilled those promises.
- Socialism is responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million victims. If you were asked how many Jews died in the Holocaust, you would probably respond, “Six million.” We learned the correct answer in our schools and universities, through the books and articles we have read, the movies and television programs we have watched, our conversations with families, friends, and colleagues.
This is the reality of socialism — a pseudo-religion grounded in pseudo-science and enforced by political tyranny. This is the case against socialism — a god that failed, a science that never was, a political system headed for the ash heap of history.
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