Socialism Redux: Be Careful What You Wish For

May 11, 2019 by

With the crash of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the escape of its Eastern European satellites in the 1990s, and the transition of China from socialism to state capitalism beginning with the economic reforms of 1978 and carried out energetically ever since,[1] the decline of communist Cuba to an offshore holiday resort for Canadians and Europeans,[2] and the recent collapse, of socialist Venezuela,[3]it appeared that socialism definitively failed in practice and had lost its appeal as an ideology. In an influential essay entitled “The End of History?” Francis Fukuyama argued that, in the above-mentioned events, we were witness to “an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.”[4]

Of course, socialist parties have been present in many European countries throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and at some time and in some countries, have been dominant. But they have tended to be “pink” rather than “red,” and have generally favoured welfare state policies rather than the takeover of the means of production. For example, the British Labour Party abandoned state ownership of the means of production in a 1993 revision of Clause IV of its constitution.[5]

Yet socialism has recently become a strong orientation in the American political scene, and continues to be the foundational principle of the Canadian New Democratic Party. In the U.S., “Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year.” Furthermore, all “Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%).”[6]

The socialist leaning of young people should not be a surprise to anyone familiar with our educational system, from primary school through university, which has been captured by leftists and far leftists.[7] Education these days consists largely of anti-Western and anti-capitalist, as well as anti-white and anti-male political propaganda.[8]

This socialist orientation was reflected in the 2016 Democrat Party presidential primary, which likely would have gone to the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, if the race has not been fixed by the Democrat Party National Committee. And the pro-socialist orientation was seen in the 2018 election to the House of Representatives and subsequent pronouncements of declared socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

Democrat adherents claim that they are “democratic socialist,” but the USSR always claimed that it championed democracy vs. capitalism, and North Korea is officially “the Democratic Workers Republic of Korea [which] is a genuine workers’ state in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression.”[9] The record for socialism on the democracy front is not better than its record on freedom and prosperity; on all three counts it has been a massive failure.

Source: Socialism Redux: Be Careful What You Wish For | Frontier Centre For Public Policy

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