Socialism’s dirty secret: It’s not a share-the-wealth scheme, and it’s not enacted for your benefit. It’s a control-your-wealth and control-you scam.
On May 5, 2018, the highest official of the European Union, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered a glowing tribute to Karl Marx in Trier, Germany. It was the 200th anniversary of the birth of Marx, the author of the Communist Manifesto and the “founding father of communism.” He was being honored by the officials of his hometown with the unveiling of a massive statue of his likeness — a gift from Communist China, where Marx still holds a place of honor next to former dictator Mao Tse-tung, the greatest mass-murderer in history.
Not everyone in Trier, or in the EU, was happy about this exaltation of Marx, especially the many citizens of EU nations who had lived for decades under the iron-fisted rule of communist regimes. In answer to the growing outrage over the celebration, Juncker attempted to justify his participation in the affair. “Marx isn’t responsible for all the atrocity his alleged heirs have to answer for,” Juncker insisted. “Karl Marx was a philosopher, who thought into the future, had creative aspirations.”
Juncker was not alone in praising Marx. Not surprisingly, the Web pages and Twitter accounts of the Democratic Socialists of America — the home base of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — erupted in Happy Birthday cheers for the revolutionary theorist. The New York Times published an op-ed with the headline “Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!” by Professor Jason Barker, author of Marx Returns.
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and a host of leftist politicos, together with an army of Marxist professors and socialist advocates in the “mainstream” media, have been singing hosannas to Saint Marx from the same sheet music.
What are they and millions of others cheering about? They claim Marx popularized an economic and political structure that could ensure fairness and goodness in the world: socialism
We offer as Exhibit A the online magazine Teen Vogue, a sister publication of fashion and celebrity-oriented Vogue magazine. In an article entitled “What ‘Capitalism’ Is and How It Affects People,” Teen Vogue tells its youth audience: “Capitalism takes the position that ‘greed is good,’ which its supporters say is a positive thing.” The magazine’s adolescent readers are also told that “at its root, socialism is an economic system in which a whole community — not just bosses or private companies — control the means of production equally. It assumes that people are naturally cooperative, instead of competitive. The goal of socialism is an egalitarian society run by democratically elected representatives for the benefit of all.”
“In a capitalist country,” says the Teen Vogue article, “the focus is on profits over anything else; in a socialist country, the public is seen to be more important, and social welfare is a major priority.” Wow, sign me up for socialism!
Socialism’s Slippery Slope
First problem with that line: Socialist countries commonly are home to genocide, torture, slave labor camps, religious persecution, mass murder by famine, police-state repression, and Orwellian surveillance — and a long list of additional unspeakable crimes. Socialism has left a trail of blood, misery, death, and destruction unparalleled in human history. Over 100 million human lives were annihilated, and a couple billion more suffered having their lives, careers, families, and communities wrecked by socialism. (See the history article on page 39.)
As we speak, Venezuela, a nation with the world’s largest oil reserves and that was one of the most prosperous nations in South America, is roiling under the effects of socialism: Shelves are bare of food and other necessities, prisoners have resorted to cannibalizing other prisoners, hospitals have no supplies and are filthy, crime is everywhere, starvation is rampant, and people are fleeing the country.
But millions of defenders of socialism have been conditioned to simply dismiss any of these issues with a flippant, “Oh, that is a different socialism.” They simply “know” that the “Democratic Socialism” Bernie Sanders and friends promote is about caring — about the poor, about justice, about equality — and that it is simply intended to uproot capitalism’s flaws. After all, that is what they have been promised.
However, if political promises always rang true, Hitler might have died as a national hero and an international role model after fulfilling his promises to lower crime, unify Germans, create full employment, increase the wealth of Germans in general, instill national pride, and level society so that the rapacious and well-connected wealthy simply could no longer bleed other Germans dry — all in the process of creating a nationalist socialist (Nazi) wonderland that would last a thousand years. (I assume everyone knows how that turned out.) Similar promises were made by the mass murderers in Russia (Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin), in China (Mao Tse-tung), in Cambodia (Pol Pot), in Cuba (Fidel Castro), in Zimbabwe (Robert Mugabe), etc.
But socialism in the United States simply couldn’t go totalitarian, right?
Well, let’s consider a few facts:
• Programs that socialists in this country want include complete government control over healthcare (including the types of treatments available to you and, more importantly, not available to you), control over the energy sector (including even mandating the types of vehicles you may buy and a rebuilding of the entire energy grid), control over schools (including commanding what types of food are served and the content of lessons), control over one’s retirement (including how much wealth you should be able to save for retirement), an elimination of most guns that would be useful for self-defense, hate-crime laws that put an end to virtually all public expressions of Christianity, etc. In other words, the socialists expect to be given the power to tell you how to live, what to believe, what you may or may not say, and whether you may or may not be medically treated and kept alive. (Maybe just a few areas for concern, yes?)
• The Democratic Socialists, who now have substantial buy-in from the Democrat Party, want to open U.S. borders to all comers (kindness to the world’s refugees), and a 2018 Gallup World Poll found that 158 million people from around the world want to come to America — and likely bring their families. Such a surge would create in our new socialist wonderland — where the major aspects of life are controlled by the government — shortages, protests, and violence, and a government crackdown in all areas.
• The annual Socialism Conference in Chicago, which is cosponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), features leading socialists and “progressives” — such as Frances Fox Piven, Cornel West, Amy Goodman, and Naomi Klein. It also has some very disturbing traditions, including the singing of “The Internationale” by the assembled multitude. “The Internationale,” for those who may have forgotten the Cold War (or are too young to have known about it), is the anthem of communists worldwide. It was the official anthem (in Russian) of the Soviet Union. Yet you can watch on YouTube, year after year, attendees at the annual Socialism conference, en masse, enthusiastically belting out the communist lyrics, with communist clenched-fist salutes pumping. They are full-blown Bolsheviks coming out of the closet. This should tell you something. These are the communist/socialist cadres who are actually leading the Bernie-AOC-Warren-Omar-Tlaib-Pressley “progressives.”
• Our friendly neighborhood socialists are also for “world socialism,” which comes with heavy doses of the UN, which is itself plagued by scandals. The Democratic Socialists of America organization (the Bernie-AOC folks) has long been a member of the Socialist International, the oldest, largest global organization of socialist and communist parties. The Socialist International, which holds many of its governing meetings at the UN headquarters in New York, is on board with empowering the UN with vast global authority. The DSA supports most UN ventures, including the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which would impose radical, communist-style central planning on the entire planet.
Needless to say, the a la carte “moderate socialists” who think they can craft their own milder, friendlier socialism are in for a rude awakening. The slippery slope of “democratic socialism,” eventually and inevitably, slides into totalitarian socialism.
In fact, not only would socialism inevitably lead to repression and even to violence, but there is another troubling fact indicating that a future socialist reality in this country would not resemble the promises of socialists at present. That fact is this: Many of the world’s richest people — people whom most socialists would certainly consider vulture capitalists and wealth-gorging criminals who smother the world’s poor — are some of the greatest supporters of not only American national socialism, but global socialism. The many left-wing groups in this country — Change.org, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, MoveOn.org, ACLU, etc. — would barely exist except for the billions of dollars they have received from foundations with names like Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, and Gates, and individual billionaires with names like Rockefeller, Soros, Steyer, Bloomberg, and Sandler.
Following his visit to Communist China in 1973, David Rockefeller, then the most famous banker in the world, wrote, “One is impressed immediately by the sense of national harmony,” and “there is very real and pervasive dedication to Chairman Mao and Maoist principles.” He went on to make the astounding claim that “the social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.” Keep in mind, he made this visit and this statement during the height of China’s violent Cultural Revolution, when Mao’s Red Guards were murdering, torturing, and terrorizing the people of China.
Rockefeller, known as “Mr. Globalist,” was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission and a top leader of the uber-elite Bilderberg Group. He and his fellow globalists have consistently promoted the centralization and concentration of political and economic power at home and abroad, and have assisted many Marxist dictatorships in oppressing their peoples. The billionaire globalists of Wall Street behemoths such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citibank, and Big Tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google love Communist China and other socialist regimes around the world. For one thing, they love having market share given to them by government, rather than having to compete in a free market against other established corporations and upstart entrepreneurs. They believe their wealth and position will guarantee them a permanent, privileged rank among the ruling elite.
The globalists and the communists/socialists are all pursuing the same thing: power, wealth, and control. And they work together to centralize power and remove all checks and balances that hinder the exercise of that power. However, they know that an open appeal for power (“Give me power over every aspect of your life”) is a total non-starter — even “progressives” would balk at it. No, the socialist appeal for power must always be camouflaged under proposals for “helping,” “saving,” and “reforming.” As in “helping” the children, the elderly, the homeless, and the poor, or “saving” the environment, or “reforming” education, the criminal justice system, etc.
Do socialist political leaders even truly believe their own propaganda, or are they merely using humanitarian rhetoric to seize power? Was Hitler sincerely trying to help the German people when he imposed national socialism on the nation? How about mass-murderer Vladimir Lenin, when he seized power in Russia, or mass-murderer Mao Tse-tung, when he set up his “People’s Republic” in China in 1949? Or Fidel Castro when he took over Cuba in 1959? It wasn’t until years later that Castro came out and admitted that he had been a communist all along, but had concealed his true allegiance, marketing his dictatorship as a “humanist” and “socialist” revolution.
This leads to the second major problem with the empowering-and-enriching-the poor meme: Socialism is not a share-the-wealth program; it’s a control-the-wealth program. In order to “redistribute” the wealth, as socialists promise, they must first confiscate the wealth — even from those who are not well-off.
Writing in 1888, in the 40th anniversary edition of the Communist Manifesto, Marx’s coauthor Frederick Engels noted that originally the tract was going to be called the Socialist Manifesto. But Communist Manifesto was finally chosen for the title because, at the time, the thinking was that the manifesto would be more effective putting the name communism upfront.
The Communist Manifesto mentions socialism over 100 times. It also declares: “The theory of Communism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.” It follows, inescapably, that all property would then be controlled by the government — the state — and the ruling elites who run the government. Abolishing private property abolishes the means by which the individual and the individual family may independently provide for themselves. It guarantees that they will be dependent on the state for sustenance. It puts them firmly under the iron control of the state.
Socialism means empowering the state, in the name of “the people,” of course. It means giving vast new powers to government — politicians and bureaucrats — to take from some to give to others. A huge part of the baked-in enticement is the belief that the government takers will only be taking other people’s money and other people’s property, not mine. That’s always how it starts. However, the universal experience — from Russia, China, and Zimbabwe to Cuba, Venezuela, and dozens of other countries — is that it ends with the state taking everything from everybody, and transferring it to the new ruling elites of the Communist Party.
The elites always have special privileges and powers: top jobs and education slots, special stores, lavish lifestyles, exclusive housing and medical care, travel, and much more. Should we realistically expect anything else? As Lord Acton famously noted, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The immense concentration of power under socialism leads, inevitably, to immense corruption. This centralization and concentration of power — experience proves again and again — is used not to benefit the people, but to oppress them, rob them, enslave them, even exterminate them. We have seen over and over again that a government big enough to give the people everything they want is big enough to take from them everything they have — and not just their money, but also their liberty and their lives.