Politics

Socialism Doesn’t Work Anywhere

It's a God that failed.

Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot

Noted conservative writer Lee Edwards gives you ammo for the next time you run into a socialist.

Edwards: Radical progressives are trying to convince Americans, especially young Americans, that socialism is the solution to America’s socio-economic problems. They are banking on millennial ignorance of the repeated failures of socialism and the proven ability of free enterprise to produce opportunity and prosperity for the greatest number.

To camouflage their intent, progressives speak of “democratic” socialism. They promise a tranquil land of collective ownership and equal distribution. But in every case, for more than a century, the socialist ”paradise” has turned out to be a centralized state administered by political elites.

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For a realistic understanding of socialism, educators must first dismantle the most egregious myths about this pernicious system.

Myth #1: Karl Marx, the founder of socialism, was one of the great thinkers of the 19th century. In truth, Marx was wrong about nearly everything. Nearly 200 years after ”The Communist Manifesto” was published, the nation state has not withered away and capitalism rules most of the global economy. Workers have preferred to turn into entrepreneurs rather than revolutionaries, to their great benefit. Private property is a cornerstone of every prosperous country (including the Nordic countries). As the respected economist Paul Samuelson has written: Marx’s “scientific socialism” is “colossally useless.”

Myth #2: Socialism places power in the hands of the people. In truth, socialism cedes power to the government and the political elites who run it. After more than 60 years, the Cuban people are still waiting for the free and open elections that Fidel Castro promised. According to a leading Latino economist, Venezuela’s economic catastrophe—brought on by its experiment in socialism–“dwarfs” any in U.S., European or Latin American history. Socialism has so devastated this once prosperous country that, today, 90% of Venezuelans live in poverty.

Myth #3: Socialism is working in Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries. In truth, Denmark has a free-market economy—and it is capitalism that enables the Danish government to finance a bountiful welfare state through top-to-bottom personal income and VAT taxes. A frustrated Danish prime minister told a shocked Washington audience, “I would like to make one thing clear …. Denmark is a market economy.” Denmark (along with the other Nordic countries) has relatively few business regulations and no minimum wage, leading one economist to say, “Denmark is probably more capitalist than the United States.”

Myth #4: Socialism has never failed because it has never been truly tried. In fact, socialism has failed everywhere it has been attempted for over a century, from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to present-day Chavez-Maduro socialism in Venezuela. Nowhere has democratic socialism been more faithfully practiced and then rejected by public demand than in Israel, India and the United Kingdom following the end of World War II.

Israel’s first settlers sought to create an economy in which market forces were controlled for the benefit of all. Socialism worked until Israel suffered its first major recession despite extensive government controls. The government reversed course and adopted a market economy. A high-tech revolution swept the country, transforming Israel into a major global player in technology…

This is the true story of socialism, a pseudo-religion posing as a pseudo-science and run by political elites. It could only be adopted in America if we repudiated every principle of the founding, did away with federalism, regulated the 33 million small businesses that produce nearly half the jobs in America, and heavily taxed everyone, not just the top 1%, to pay for the government needed to run the lives of 330 million Americans from the cradle to the grave.

Millennials do have a choice: the suffocating embrace of socialism, under which individual freedom and responsibility are surrendered, or the freedom of democratic capitalism, under which people of all colors and classes can work to be whatever they want to be.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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