Saturday, June 30, 2018

Quickies: Socialists’ Habitual Defense

     American socialists have been in the news recently, starting with the 2016 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Socialists have quite a lot in common, even apart from their political stances. For one thing, with only the rarest of exceptions they never, ever accept responsibility for anything. Indeed, the characteristic is so common among them that it constitutes a marker by which to detect them...and if you’re smart, to avoid them.

     Every socialist state known to history has become a police state with a failing economy. Most of them have erected stiff border controls – to keep their subjects in. And nearly all of them have had dictators who got filthy rich even as their victims starved. But when asked to explain their failure to deliver on their promises, the answer is always “our enemies.”

     This is socialism’s pet devil theory. It has to work, you see. It’s scientific. Marx proved it in Das Kapital. So if it’s not working, that must be because it’s being undermined by its enemies. Find them and shoot them, and all will be well!

     (Do you remember Hitler’s “stab in the back” rhetoric during his rise to power? How Germany would bestride the world if not for the perfidy of its “enemies?” Me too.)

     You can only hear that defense two or three times before you begin to wonder whether somebody’s trying to hide something. Maybe a desire for absolute power. The ability to command the population and resources of an entire nation, to reward one’s friends and punish one’s enemies, and to liquidate anyone who dares to notice.

     The closest the U.S. has come to a socialist regime was the Obama Interregnum. Obama couldn’t get too close; he never had the necessary degree of control over Congress. But the measures he emphasized bore the socialist hallmark. The ones he succeeded in enacting hogtied the American economy. He was remorseless about rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies, too; he spoke openly about it.

     The Obama years are behind us now, thank God. You’d think people would have drawn the moral, especially as President Trump’s diametrically opposed policies almost immediate restored our economic vitality. But no: a substantial number of Americans of supposedly sound mind maintain that Obama was right – that the only reason his policies seemed to fail was the concentrated efforts of his enemies, who were determined to make them fail.

     It should have been an incontestable lesson about the natural limits to the power of the State. (Then again, so should North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.) But folks in Queens have just promoted an openly averred socialist as their candidate for their Congressional representative. Queens! The borough that produced Donald Trump! Were the voters who pulled the lever for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the products of “public” education? Or did they come out of the sort of “red diaper” upbringing of which Peter Collier and David Horowitz wrote?

     It makes you wonder, not only about the limits to the power of the State, but about the power of socialism’s strange, well cloaked and seemingly invincible “enemies.” At least, it should.


Kye said...

"Were the voters who pulled the lever for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the products of “public” education? Or did they come out of the sort of “red diaper” upbringing of which Peter Collier and David Horowitz wrote?". Neither. They are the result of the democrat lefts immigrant policy. The more people we bring in from socialist countries the more socialist we will become. That's why as a man married to an immigrant/naturalized citizen I am 100% against any immigration at this time.

Stewart said...

I suspect that the Socialist wasn't elected for idealogical reasons, but rather for tribal reasons. That district approaches 50% hispanic. The Socialist aspect may have played a part, but in the post-American era, tribalism is increasingly the only thing that will matter.