We’re hearing a lot lately about how socialism is gaining in popularity and adherents in the U.S. today, especially among young people. To my mind, this is unconscionable, both morally and economically.
Think about all of the blood on the hands of the socialist and communist regimes of the past one hundred years or so and no one can prove to me the two “systems” aren’t the same. Wherever collectivism took or takes precedence over the individual the result has been famine, state-sponsored starvation, imprisonment, “re-education,” censorship and hardships that today’s college kids could never even imagine. Probably because they aren’t taught about them.
There is nothing noble about the State having power over the individual. And yet socialism is becoming more popular and young politicians in New York are making it as hip and fashionable as Che Guevera t-shirts.
That’s the evil moral side of socialism, be it National Socialism (Nazism), Italian Fascism (still state control) or Communist China and Soviet Union, all with their horrible histories of gulags, torture chambers and brainwashing.
There’s also the economic side of socialism and its shoddy record when compared to capitalism, the system of economics where individuals possess at least partial freedom to produce and create.
Have you ever just stopped and really looked, for instance, at the shelves in a grocery store or at a Wal-Mart?
It’s really quite awe-inspiring when you take time to consider the number of choices consumers have today. The mere fact we can even discuss small vs. big business or local vs. chain goes to show how wide and varied our market selection can be in the modern, capitalist economy most Western nations have a semblance of claiming.
More narrowly, consider the aforementioned grocery store: do you want coffee or toothpaste? Potato chips or vegetables? Then take a look at all of the choices you have on any given aisle. It’s mind-boggling to take in all the marketplace can deliver—at reasonable prices for the most part—to a diverse, choosy and cost-conscious public. This is certainly not the case in the drab, austere and limited government-controlled socialist marketplace where choices are only for the upper political echelon.
This is one of the reasons why I remain such a staunch defender of capitalism and the free market. Unlike the socialist, state-run economies, where one’s product selections are limited and determined by the whims of a bureaucrat, even a semi-capitalist economy like what America has today still offers us all choices that are readily abundant. I’m not even taking into consideration here the incredible plenitude the Internet provides.
With the exceptions of the love between individuals, perhaps there is no other more benevolent act on earth as the one involving the simple, uncoerced exchange of currency for a desired good which is what capitalism is all about. Peaceful, mutually beneficial and rewarding for countless others in the transaction chain, the free market should be properly viewed as one of mankind’s greatest achievements.
Let’s hope for our future this sudden and worrisome uptick in socialism’s popularity is just an ideological fad fueled by youthful ignorance, adult envy and faulty education that can still be corrected if the ample evidence of capitalism’s many values is allowed to be presented.