Quote of the Day: “The world’s poorest countries deserve better than to be the petri dish for Western experts who know too little and a field of fantasy for Western progressives who dream too much” – Bret Stephens
Rather than exploring the theoretical or ideological fallacies of socialism let us look at the practical application of socialism everywhere it has been adopted for the last one hundred years.
The most common refrain I hear from the so-called ‘Democratic Socialist’ of today is that they are not proposing the abuses of the Soviet Union or these other socialist countries. As side notes, they all deny that Nazi Germany was socialist though Nazi is an acronym for National Socialist Workers Party and they often deny that the Soviet Union was socialist though USSR was Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. There is a degree of self-deception required in order to advocate for socialism.
That is not to say that there is not a degree of self-deception used in advocating for other systems, there often is. However other systems did not murder 150 million people in the 20th century, socialism did. The primary self-deception of the ‘Democratic Socialist’ of today is that what they are advocating for is different than what resulted in Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Chavez, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot – you get the picture.
Let me be abundantly clear with the blatant truth that ‘Democratic Socialist’ of today avoid like the plague: the people who advocated for Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler, Chavez, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, and Pol Pot and those socialist systems did not advocate for those abuses anymore than Bernie Sanders supporters do – yet mass murder is what they got. If gulags and concentration camps and the Red Terror and mass murder on an unimaginable scale is not what the initial supporters of these dictators advocated for when they chose socialism – then why is that exactly what the results were? ‘Democratic Socialist’ of today simply cannot answer that question in an honest manner – they must obfuscate, dissemble and pretend.
The answer to why socialism always results in poverty, misery and death is quite simple – socialism is force. Socialism is unmitigated force wielded by the few with the promise of social and economic equality as the result of this force. At the end of the day that is all that socialism is, be it the ‘Democratic Socialist’ version of today or otherwise. There are inherent problems with that model – that power corrupts is part of the issue but the much bigger issue is that power attracts those we least wish to have wielding power. This is why many legitimate studies show that psychopaths are attracted to political and government employment and in fact psychopaths are vastly over-represented in government and politics in comparison to the general population. Socialism provides the means to power for psychopaths to wield that power in an unmitigated, unchecked manner. It is not a mystery that socialist governments always wish to disarm the general population – a universal trait of socialism. Psychopaths want compliant people who cannot defend themselves. One goes hand in hand with the other.
The common folks who supported Lenin in the fall of 1917 or Hitler in the late 1920’s or Ho Chi Minh in the late ’40’s or Castro in the late ’50’s or the Sandinista’s in the ’70’s were not wishing for gulags and mass murder and concentration camps and genocide – but that is what they received. The ‘Democratic Socialist’ of today do not wish for gulags and mass murder and concentration camps and genocide in the least – but they are advocating to put extraordinary power inevitably into the hands of psychopaths. Their argument is the same argument that Hitler and Castro and Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot and Ortega and countless others made – “it is different this time, we aren’t ‘those’ people!”
However – it is never different because the power that socialism concentrates into the hands of the few attracts psychopaths in the same manner that apple pies attract ants at a picnic. Socialism, even the current ‘Democratic Socialist’ version, removes the checks and balances put into place to limit the power – and damage – of psychopaths.
The virtue and attraction of a limited republican form of government and a free market is to make government so powerless as to render the psychopaths impotent.
Often the ‘Democratic Socialist’ attempt to argue that the private sector is a much greater threat to them than a socialist government is – so let us look at that claim for a moment. In a free market, a truly free market and not what we have today, you can simply choose to stop doing business with a firm that you do not wish to do business with. The private sector is empowered to make you do nothing in a free market. The private sector cannot send you to a gulag, to a concentration camp, cannot send armed men to make you do as they wish, or imprison, kill or maim you without the complicity of government. A free market is the removal of all complicity of government in these matters – in other words a free market is freedom from violence, compulsion, coercion and force. Socialism is mandatory violence, compulsion, coercion and force – because socialism IS force and violence and the threat of violence is the only means they have of exercising that force.
Inevitably the mandatory violence, compulsion, coercion and force of socialism will be concentrated in the hands of psychopaths – inevitably. Unlike limited republican government, socialism contains no checks and balances to prevent that – in fact it invites that abuse. No one in Russia thought they were supporting gulags. No one in Germany thought they were supporting the utter destruction of Europe. No one in Cuba thought they were supporting going from the 5th highest per capita income in the western hemisphere when Castro took over to the 126th highest per capita income in the western hemisphere after 57 years of socialism. No one in Viet Nam thought they were supporting the murder of the eldest person in 15,000 hamlets for no other reason than they were the eldest person in the hamlet. No one in Venezuela thought they were supporting mass starvation.
But that is what they got.
Now ‘Democratic Socialist’ say that they do not support any of that and I believe them, they do not. However they do support Bernie Sanders who thirty years ago refused to condemn the Sandinista genocide of the Miskito Indians, saying it was ‘necessary to advance socialism.’ Let that sink in good and deep before you try to convince us that you would never support the historical abuses of socialism because to be frank – we do not believe you. We do believe, as with all of the other versions of socialism, that the fellow willing to slice the most throats will rise to the top and that all of the socialist who claim to believe in justice, equity and fairness will simply stand aside trembling when that happens and do nothing.
We believe that because it is always true.
Other Side Quote of the Day: “If Franken has to resign, then Trump needs to resign.” – Joy Behar
Quote of the Day: “You know, ever since we started this Archie Bunker thing in the early ’70s, making fun of white working people, we kissed them goodbye. You make fun of people, you look down on them? They get the message. You call them deplorables? They hear it. You bet they hear it. You say they cling to their guns and their religion? Oh yeah, I cling to my religion. OK. I’m a little person, and you’re a big person. Thank you, I’ll be voting for the other guy this time.” – Chris Matthews
People virtue signal all kinds of topics on the internet but one of the most popular is about homelessness and the virtue signaling is most often pointed criticism of how churches are morally inferior and the virtue signaler is morally superior. Memes to the effect of “There are 200,000 homeless people and 350,000 churches so see how evil/selfish/hypocritical churches are!” proliferate among people who have never attempted to systematically help the homeless.
Twice I have been a part of church-based programs to help the homeless, in two different states. Rather than virtue signal let me tell you what my experience was and what I learned:
The first program was pretty complete. The church would provide a homeless person with a room in a home (the home of a church member by the way, how many of these virtue signalers are willing to invite the homeless into their homes?), new clothing, medical care, and find them a job. If I were homeless, and probably everyone reading this post if they were homeless, would be all over this offer. A place to live, medical care, new clothes, a job? Are you kidding? Who would not jump on that rather than living on the streets?
Very few homeless people accepted this offer though they streamed into the church most everyday asking for cash. Why would they reject this offer? Here were the requirements the church placed on the person who would accept this offer: you had to behave properly particularly in the home they placed you in, you had to attend a narcotics or alcohol recovery program (the church itself ran these programs but you were free to attend a different legitimate program if you preferred), you had to show up for work on time everyday you were scheduled and actually work, and you had to re-establish a functional connection with a member of your family. You had to be accountable.
Most of the homeless people who came in to the church simply demanded cash. The church was not going to do that. Those who were seemingly willing to go down the path that the church required most commonly refused the offer by rejecting the requirement that they re-establish connection with a family member. For people such as myself this was a shocker. I would presume that most people would think as I do and see re-establishing contact with a family member as the easiest requirement to meet – but that was not the case. For those who went far enough down the path that I was able to talk to their family the reason why this was a stumbling block was obvious – I heard the same stories over and over: “He stole from me, he assaulted me, he sexually assaulted me.”
The short story is obvious – these people were not sleeping on their moms couch or living in their brothers garage or living in their sisters camper simply because these family members could not afford to have them around for the sake of their own safety. As much as these folks may have loved or cared for the homeless person the concept of providing them shelter or even being in proximity or having any relationship was a non-starter due to the behavior of the homeless person. Be reminded – these are the homeless people that were willing to allow us to talk to their family members. Who knows what horror stories existed with those who flat out refused to give us the information we needed to talk to their parents or siblings or children? We heard the same statements over and over from homeless people who would not let us talk to their family – “They are all a bunch of liars, no reason to talk to them!” It was a distinct pattern.
There were people who came in to the church that were homeless as a result of circumstance and not so much anti-social behavior. These people were fairly easy to detect right off because they weren’t the people that were simply demanding cash but typically had a plan and needed assistance in executing that plan. That plan was usually along the lines of “My mom will let me live at her house but I need a ride/bus ticket/etc. to make that happen.” In those cases we would most often talk to mom or whomever and then buy them lunch and give them a ride to moms house or take them to the bus station and buy a bus ticket to Omaha or where ever and see that they got on the bus to Omaha. The people who were homeless due to circumstance were easy and it was almost always straightforward. They had zero problem with you talking to their family or friends and wanted us to coordinate with their family or friends and the family or friends were eager to help and thankful for our assistance in those cases. The people who were homeless due to circumstance were often embarrassed by their situation but they were not attempting to hide their friends and families from us.
The other program to help the homeless was more narrow in its’ focus – simply place homeless people in abandoned HUD homes on a temporary basis. This program lasted exactly one weekend, where after much bureaucratic engagement we were able to secure a HUD home and placed three homeless people in that three bedroom two bath suburban home on a Friday. By Monday that three bedroom two bath suburban home was stripped – everything that could be sold was removed from the home and gone. Plumbing, electrical, appliances – you name it. Down to the drywall.
My point to this post is that virtue signaling your superiority when you have never been in the trenches of trying to help these people demonstrates your shallowness in understanding the problem. If it was simply a matter of matching people up with beds then the problem could and would be solved by tomorrow – but that is not the problem. The problem is addiction and mental illness and most of all the destruction of family relationships and sometimes just some truly atrocious human beings who pose a grave physical threat to other human beings. It is trite to say “get them into a program” because there are an abundance of programs for them to engage in – there is no lack of programs and there is no lack of beds.
Beds and programs are not the problem.
Other Side Quote of the Day: “Rodchenkov should be shot for lying, like Stalin would have done.” – Olympic official Leonid Tyagachev, referring to the defection of Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow’s anti-doping lab