Friday, December 29, 2017

#800: Socialism and Freedom

Thanks for reading all this time.  Today's column is the 800th since its inception in September 2014, in what is a series that I thought would cap out at about four.
                                                            _ _ _

We are fond of saying to young communists in this country that they should "just go live in a communist country" and see what is going on if they tried to live there.  Perhaps, it goes, they would be  a lot less interested in communism if they had to experience the system for themselves in, say, Cuba or Venezuela.  Or the "People's Republic" of North Korea.

Of course, we used to say that about the Soviet Union when there was one of those.  And China, too.  To be honest, it wasn't that long ago that we thought of China that way; I remember thinking about the Olympics opening ceremony when the games were held in Beijing.  They had those marvelous assemblies of thousands of Chinese on the field in the main stadium, moving cards or something in exacting precision to make different designs.  And I thought, God help any of them that is even one half-second late with his move.  Death, probably, and not a pleasant one.

Today we have a country full of young Bernie Sanders types.  They rallied for their geriatric hero in 2016, cried when he was euchred out of the Democrat nomination by Hillary Clinton and the corruption in the DNC, and now are left spouting their same socialist ideology to each other on Facebook.

Of course, in that their brains aren't fully developed yet, they're not prepared to ask mature questions of each other.  You know, like when Bernie Sanders would point his finger to stage right and call for making college "tuition-free", none of them thought to ask where the money was supposed to come from to pay the schools and the professors if tuition was "free."

But those same undeveloped socialists are the ones who squeal like heck anytime their own freedoms are challenged.  Give them a "trigger" -- you know, like an actual conservative speaker on their campus, not that they would have gone to hear an actual idea -- and they howl and start throwing chairs through windows.  If you want to start a business, a glass company in Berkeley might be a thought, by the way.  Except for the taxes in California, I guess, and the minimum wage you have to pay.

The problem, of course, is that leftist economies can not be, and have not been, implemented in any truly free society, free enough to where the little snowflakes can go find their safe spaces if they have been improperly triggered.  Socialism cannot tolerate freedom, which is why, wherever it is implemented in full, it is accompanied by dictatorships and an an elite party class .

The young idealists, who think that socialism is the ideal society, are exactly like the young idealists in every generation who think socialism is the ideal society.  They are idealists because they are young, and incapable of understanding that while they're out there with their slogans and protests, a wise and more-mature portion of their age group is out starting businesses and succeeding.  And they're succeeding because this is America, a capitalist nation where we are free not only to protest and wave slogan signs around, but to create our own success.

Socialism cannot tolerate that kind of freedom.  It suppresses innovation, because there is no real personal gain to be earned by working harder than the next guy if the rewards are the same.  And to get people to go along with that, you have to have an iron-fisted government to enforce it.  Boom -- there goes your freedom.

Our little snowflakes, like those of their previous generations, would do well to walk around in North Korea or Cuba, and see what socialism needs in order to enforce it.  They scream if their freedoms are remotely threatened, but beg for the economic system that requires freedoms to be removed to implement it.

It will never change.  Every generation's youth have thought they had all the answers, and then they turn 30 and come to their senses as the last piece of drool gland in their head finally congeals into brain cells.

But it gives me a topic to send us out to the New Year's Day weekend on.

Copyright 2017 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

1 comment:

  1. It pays to recycle ideas because each generation has to learn it for themselves. We all end up learning things the hard way. We tend to ignore/forget history and its lessons. Press on Robert!