[Rushtalk] Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

John Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Sat May 26 23:54:12 MDT 2018

               It's been tried almost everywhere on the planet and still 
has failed miserably. Yet, people want it here in the United States. 



The American TFP <http://www.tfp.org> > Fighting the Culture War 
<http://www.tfp.org/fighting-the-culture-war/> > Why Is Socialism Still 

  Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

May 23, 2018 | Edwin Benson

Why Is Socialism Still Popular? 

Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

If ever there was a set of ideas that has been tried and found lacking, 
it is socialism. It has been tried on every continent. It has been tried 
in weak nations and strong. It has been tried in primitive countries and 
those which are highly developed.

The most striking thing about socialism is that it has never worked.

We in the United States have been tinkering with socialism ever since 
the Great Depression. Its most successful manifestation, Social 
Security, operates on a basis that would see any other investment 
manager in jail for running a Ponzi scheme. The Veterans Administration, 
organized to provide government assistance to those injured in the 
service of the United States, is a bloated bureaucracy whose many errors 
would land any competent private physician in bankruptcy court. Lyndon 
Johnson employed soaring rhetoric about a “War on Poverty,” but those 
programs have done little but insure that three generations of the 
impoverished families of 1964 are still poor. However, the free 
enterprise traditions of the United States have prevented socialism 
<http://www.tfp.org/who-paves-the-way-for-socialism/> from becoming its 
predominant economic system—at least so far.

What of those nations that embraced socialism far more totally? In its 
least troubling manifestations, as in northern Europe, it saps nations 
of their economic and intellectual potential. Great Britain was the 
birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, but its industrial capacity has 
been on a steady decline since its turn to socialism in 1945. Australia 
and the Scandinavian nations are often touted as places in which “cradle 
to grave” socialism has improved the lives of their people, but it’s no 
paradise there either.

        *Learn All About the Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success
        About Our Times*
        Is Socialism Still Popular?

Cast North America and Europe aside, and the record goes from 
unfortunate to abysmal. Brazil has massive natural resources and yet is 
a very poor nation. Most African nations adopted some form of socialism 
after gaining independence and remain impoverished. Venezuela’s turn to 
socialism has been an economic disaster of epic proportions. Cuba likes 
to blame its economic woes on the long-standing US economic boycott. 
Yet, the Castros could and did trade with most of the rest of the 
world—but in Havana a 1959 Buick still counts as a late-model car.

And, of course, no description of the woes of socialism would be 
complete without including its most famous practitioners—Josef Stalin, 
Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Adolf Hitler. (Yes, Hitler was a socialist 
despite the Left’s attempt to claim that Fascism 
<http://www.tfp.org/is-it-fascist-to-be-anti-communist/> is a right-wing 
phenomenon. Remember that Nazi 
was short for National /Socialist/.) The untold millions that met their 
deaths and the massive destruction that occurred under these socialist 
leaders beggars the imagination.

So, then, why is socialism 
<http://www.tfp.org/a-specter-is-haunting-america-socialism/> enjoying a 
popular upsurge in the United States?

First, it just sounds so good. Karl Marx’s famous prescription, “From 
each according to his ability, to each according to his need” resonates 
in the souls of many. Listen to a student choir sing John Lennon’s 
socialist anthem /Imagine/. That “brotherhood of man” line has an 
undeniable appeal, even for those who know better. It would just be so 
nice, peaceful, and happy if it worked. (Insert heavy sigh.)

        *What Does Self-Managing Socialism Mean for Communism: A
        Barrier? Or a Bridgehead?*

The second reason is the little examined fact that most Americans have 
spent the first two decades of their lives living the socialist dream. 
There is no more socialist segment of our society than public education. 
The system is taxpayer-supported. Buildings, books, furniture, food, and 
the teachers are provided regardless of the students’ individual merits 
or ability to pay. All of the above-mentioned items are provided through 
a bureaucracy, which determines the quality of each of those items, 
without regard to the individual preferences of the students or parents. 
Students are assigned to classes and teachers by a computer-generated 
invisible force that places them together randomly, and over which there 
is usually no appeal. Much work is done collectively, in which all 
members of the group share the grade regardless of their individual 

    Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

We can also see in these schools one of the great flaws of socialism. 
Any system in which the basic decisions are made elsewhere breeds 
indifference. The school system is a great machine, with little regard 
to the individual. The student comes to know that he is unimportant to 
the school as a person. He moves through the required courses and the 
required number of electives until graduation. The school goes on the 
same way whether he is there or not. Teachers and administrators may 
leap to disagree, but the students know the truth. In such a world, 
every impulse is to meet the minimum standard. Even the student whose 
parents demand high grades wonders how little work he has to do in order 
to get his A. If the parents don’t demand it, nobody else does either. 
The kid who passes by the skin of his teeth gets the same diploma as the 
valedictorian. Maybe the honor society members get an extra cord to wear 
on their gown, but underachievers seem to be able to get along quite 
well without it. Actual learning means about as little to the top 
students as it does to those who squeak by with a D. Success means 
complying with the minimum standards of the system.

Another reason that socialism is becoming more popular is that it feels 
good without requiring any actual sacrifice. Taking care of others is 
the essence of benevolence, right? A socialist can indulge the sense 
that he is taking care of the downtrodden without having to give up 
anything that he values.

        *A Specter is Haunting America — Socialism*

Consider the reaction to the story that Bernie Sanders—the 
self-professed “Democratic Socialist”—owns three homes and has a net 
worth of over a million dollars. Supporters either ignored the story or 
quibbled about the details. Setting aside the specifics of the number of 
houses or their value, it remains that Sanders is in an enviable 
position economically. If you wish, press one of the young socialists on 
the ethics of his being a wealthy man who attempts to force people far 
poorer than himself to pay for the needs of the impoverished without 
being willing to sacrifice his own standard of living. The response is 
likely to be an assertion that his heart is in the right place, that he 
fights for the poor, and, therefore, his individual style of life 
matters little.

How can Sen. Sander’s supporters overlook so seemingly obvious a flaw? 
Simple, it is where their heads are as well. Today’s college socialists 
do not want to deny themselves the pleasures of life in their search for 
Utopia. Most of them are in college because a college degree promises 
financial prosperity. Regardless of the fact that this promise is often 
unmet, the typical social justice warrior prizes his own comforts just 
as much as the chairman of the College Republicans. Yet the socialist 
signals a sense of virtue while being able to dismiss those on the right 
as greedy.

    Why Is Socialism Still Popular?

The third reason that socialists continue to carry their banner proudly 
may be the most important—pure undiluted arrogance. The problem with 
socialism, they cry, is that it hasn’t been done properly. “Listen to 
us—the young, the pure, and the good. We can fix the mistakes of the 
past. We can cure the injustices. We can raise up the poor. We can guard 
each man’s dignity and spare each man’s pride”—as the campfire classic 
/They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love/ puts it.

Try to expand the knowledge base of the blissfully arrogant by 
mentioning the abuses of Mao, Stalin, Castro, or Che Guevara and most 
will look confused at first. Eventually they will come up with a reply. 
It is most likely to resemble the following. “We are not like that. 
Those are dead men; their actions are in the past. We don’t need to make 
the mistakes they made. We have not been corrupted by the world.”

Of course, the college educated will disguise their arrogance under 
other words that assert their intelligence. One will hear about power 
structures, imperialist residue, and systems of oppression. 
Working-class conservatives are dismissed as dupes who work against 
their own interests. Western culture, which created the universities in 
which the socialists work and learn, is the creation of dead white men 
as a tool to subjugate females and those of other races. Defend the idea 
that western culture created the concepts of freedom that they 
supposedly espouse and you commit microaggressions. The enlightened can 
no longer tolerate your “hate speech.” Make an argument based on logic, 
and you will be met with the language of deconstruction or the concept 
of relative truth.

        *What the Popes Have to Say About Socialism*

How can the young socialists avoid the mistakes of the past? They can’t, 
because they can’t get around the fact that socialism is inherently 
unjust. In 1878, Pope Leo XIII correctly assessed the evils of socialism 
<http://www.tfp.org/10-reasons-to-reject-socialism/> in his encyclical, 
/Quod Apostolici Muneris/ (On Socialism).^1 

    “For, indeed, although the socialists, stealing the very Gospel
    itself with a view to deceive more easily the unwary, have been
    accustomed to distort it so as to suit their own purposes,
    nevertheless so great is the difference between their depraved
    teachings and the most pure doctrine of Christ that none greater
    could exist: ‘for what participation hath justice with injustice or
    what fellowship hath light with darkness?’
    <http://www.drbo.org/x/d?b=drb&bk=54&ch=6&l=14-#x>” (Paragraph 5)

Leo XIII would further explain at length in 1891 in /Rerum Novarum/ (On 
the Condition of the Working Classes).^2 

    “[I]nasmuch as the Socialists seek to transfer the goods of private
    persons to the community at large, they make the lot of all wage
    earners worse, because in abolishing the freedom to dispose of
    wages, they take away from them by this very act the hope and the
    opportunity of increasing their property and of securing advantages
    for themselves.” (Paragraph 9)

    “Inasmuch as the Socialists, therefore, disregard care by parents
    and in its place introduce care by the State, they act /against
    natural justice/ and dissolve the structure of the home.”
    (Paragraph 21, emphasis in the original)

    “[T]he equality conjured up by the Socialist imagination would, in
    reality, be nothing but uniform wretchedness and meanness for one
    and all, without distinction.” (Paragraph 22)

            *Equality and Inequality Among Men*

    “[I]t is perceived that the fundamental principle of Socialism which
    would make all possessions public property is to be utterly rejected
    because it injures the very ones whom it seeks to help, contravenes
    the natural rights of individual persons, and throws the functions
    of the State and public peace into confusion.” (Paragraph 23)

It cannot be said that Pope Leo was speaking as some sort of hidebound 
reactionary, longing for a time in which the peasants did as they were 
told. /Rerum Novarum/ also speaks movingly about the obligations of 
employers and the rights of workers. Clearly, this was no passing fancy 
on the part of Leo XIII, but a well-considered opinion developed over a 
considerable period of time.

Any intelligent adult can look at the plight of socialism’s many victims 
and easily conclude whose vision of life under socialism was more 
accurate—that of Karl Marx or that of Leo XIII. It is long since time 
that we, as a society, exposed the truth about socialism 
<http://www.tfp.org/what-the-popes-have-to-say-about-socialism/> to our 
children, especially those who are listening to its siren call.

This will not be easy. Socialism has eaten deeply into the intellectual 
fiber of modern life. Many are they who, knowingly or not, buy into 
Marx’s assertion that the victory of socialism is inevitable. They can 
be found in the universities and labor unions, in schools and the halls 
of Congress. Unfortunately, large numbers of them can also be found 
amongst the leaders of Holy Mother Church.

        *10 Razones Por las Cuales el “Matrimonio” Homosexual es Dañino
        y tiene que Ser Desaprobado*

The apologists for socialism have many tools at their command. The 
“mainstream media” will be happy to show the travails of the poor and 
unemployed in the United States. They will be happy to use their 
rhetorical skills in socialism’s behalf—as we saw in the debate over 
Obamacare when the lack of healthcare /insurance/ was presented as the 
lack of healthcare itself. The socialist’s supposed compassion will be 
trotted out to make the working guy who wants to bring home a few more 
of the dollars that he earned look like a short-sighted hick, clinging 
to, as President Obama famously put it, “God and guns.”

Of course, the anti-socialist has a less obvious, but far more important 
weapon. It is a weapon whose effect can be delayed but never denied. 
That weapon is called Truth, and socialism cannot ultimately defeat it. 
For those of us who know socialism for what it is, faithfulness to God 
and His Church demand that we proclaim the evils of this inherently evil 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://kalos.csdco.com/pipermail/rushtalk/attachments/20180527/1d7f869a/attachment-0001.html 

More information about the Rushtalk mailing list