What is socialism? If you query the average person, particularly of the leftist persuasion, they will tell you a panoply of empty platitudes: a living wage, a just society, and lots and lots of free stuff. Despite a whole host of surveys showing growing support for the failed ideology, especially among Democrats and young people, it is safe to say that many Americans are unaware what socialism really is and isn’t.Christine Hallquist
Hallquist attempted to dismiss the question by explaining that she doesn’t like labels because it divides people. However, she did begin to slam capitalism with vague gripes about the gross domestic product and how consumption is harming the planet. Hallquist insisted that the U.S. become “a civilized society” by offering a living wage and healthcare for all.
CNN’s John Berman pressed Hallquist, suggesting that she aligns more with socialism. This elicited an interesting response: “Well, yes, and I’m not sure I even know what socialism is,” Hallquist replied. “So, I just don’t have the background to answer that question.”
At least Hallquist is honest.
Democrats Support Socialism
The topic came up because a new Gallup poll found that 57% of Democrats hold a favorable view of socialism, compared to just 47% of Democrats who support capitalism – the first time since Gallup measured the issue. And, as expected, it was the younger demographic that has hopped onto the socialist bandwagon.
Is there any other reason as to why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is considered the future of the Democratic Party? She has become the newest face of socialism in America, taking over the reins from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). There has been some resistance within the party to adopt a system that has killed tens of millions of people, but it is inevitable that the Democrats will lean further left.
The results of the Gallup survey were in line with a 2017 study that discovered half of millennials – those typically born between 1980 and 2000 – endorsed socialism and opposed capitalism. The poll further discovered that nearly half of millennials would prefer to reside in a socialist state and many listed iconic tyrannical figures as “a personal hero, hero for the country, or hero for the world.”
But there was good news: one-third of millennials could not correctly define communism and socialism.
This wasn’t too surprising. Ocasio-Cortez couldn’t define it in her interview with Margaret Hoover, Senator Sanders avoids talking about what socialism means, and plenty of man on the street interviews with youth shows an incredible lack of knowledge pertaining to such a popular concept.
Of course, any time you allude to Venezuela, the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, or Zimbabwe, they are quick to point out that that isn’t real socialism.
What is Socialism?
So, what is socialism exactly?
In its most basic form, it is the nationalization of industry where the economy is taken over and managed and planned by the state. The government institutes price controls, implements production quotas, and criminalizes profit. And, yes, true socialist states have adopted these policies – Venezuela seized control over the bread industry, Cuba installed a price ceiling on essentials, and profits were non-existent in Soviet Russia.
The results? The intended objective: equality – everyone is equally miserable, except those at the top.
As legendary economist Friedrich Hayek noted, the definition of socialism has evolved over the years, meaning that it now involves an immense welfare state, too.
Should the U.S. government incorporate the hallmarks of socialism, and it has in the past, then today’s youth wouldn’t enjoy their favorite Starbucks beverage: a venti, half-whole milk, one-quarter 1%, one quarter non-fat, extra hot, split quad shots, no foam latte, with whip, two packets of Splenda, one sugar in the raw, a touch of vanilla syrup, and three short sprinkles of cinnamon. Instead, they’d get to imbibe a black liquid euphemistically referred to as coffee.
Why Support Socialism?
Considering its putrid history of death, destitution, and destruction, why would there even be one iota of support for socialism? Young people today are the biggest benefactors of the capitalist system – what other time in history can you spend a chunk of your time sharing anti-capitalist memes on Facebook using your iPhone and consuming those expensive Starbucks lattes?
It’s simple enough: The marketing geniuses are tapping into the envious and pessimistic nature of modern-day youth.
When you describe socialism as a system where everyone gets something for nothing, everyone is equal, and everyone is perpetually happy from their hourly shots of soma, you’re going to attract positive attention. The movement receives a remarkable push when you use a young pretty face as a mascot for socialism. It gets even bigger when the mainstream media showers the ideology with nothing but praise and adulation.
The reality of socialism is far different than what the likes of Michael Moore promise you. You will never get something for nothing – the bills need to be paid sometime. You will never be equal – the worst always rises to the top. You will never receive a unicorn – socialism breeds fantasies and wishful thinking.
Socialism isn’t our savior. It is Mephistopheles, a coquettish figure that lavishes us with temporary pleasure while damning our souls to eternal hell. Unlike the modern telling of the classic Faustian tale, The Devil and Daniel Webster, we will not have a Daniel Webster to save us from the clutches of desolation. It will have been too late as the professional charlatans will have sold us out for power.