Why do socialists ignore the grim reality of socialism?

The party is in melt-down after the latest poll results but, instead of realising that there is something wrong, the activists have set about claiming that Labour need to go all Corbyn and Sanders.

The problem with these socialists is that they have little understanding of the grim reality of socialism.

Democrats following Sanders, on the other hand, are proposing a fundamental break with our market-based economic system. They are proposing a completely different course by promoting socialism.

It is an interesting choice. Socialism is one of those ideas that has great theoretical attractiveness but a record of massive practical failure. The devastation — not just economic but also in terms of human suffering — that has been wrought in the name of the greater good of a socialist system is staggering.

When so many young people express so much enthusiasm for the idea of socialism and want to try it again, you have to wonder if they have ever been taught the history of the twentieth century.

One suspects that the same faculty members who dance in the streets with them for Sanders may be culprits in failing to mention the horrors brought on by socialism in every nation that aggressively embraced it during the last century.

I suspect the writer is correct.

These students may wish to turn to historical sources and study recent efforts to create socialist economies and societies. The lessons are clear, so this research will not take long.

They might start with the experience of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Notice the name. Or the National Socialist movement called Nazism. Notice the name again. Or Maoist China, a socialist state again in name. Millions of people died under these banners of socialism and millions more were impoverished.

If those examples seem too extreme, try some of the countries that have pursued socialist government while still remaining somewhat democratic.

Greece comes to mind. It has seen a massive reduction in the standard of living after years of socialist, democratic government. You can also add in Portugal, Spain and, to a significant degree, France. All of these nations have suffered at the hands of socialist leadership that has fundamentally undermined their standard of living.

In the Americas, Venezuela and Argentina are two nations blessed with an incredible abundance of natural resources and wealth. Both, in the not too distant past, were economically vibrant. They are now suffering massive reductions in the standard of living of their people.

The list goes on and on. Country after country, where the demagogues of class warfare and “something for nothing” economics have sold their bill of goods to a frustrated electorate, has seen not only a drop in its standard of living, but in many instances peoples’ freedoms and lives destroyed.

Our schools and their history faculties clearly skipped over all this while imparting knowledge that would purportedly help students evaluate the best economic and political course for our nation.

They ignore the grim reality of socialism. Put simply, there is no such thing as a socialist paradise.

It appears the focus must have been on how uniquely unjust America is. Or perhaps on how unfair our form of market economics, built on individual risk-taking and entrepreneurship, has been to our people.

People like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Howard Schultz and Bill Gates are all massive job creators. They all give America a unique economic edge in a competitive world. And they are all products of America, and our market economy.

Try to find such opportunity or such prosperity in a socialist nation. It does not happen.

Maybe what needs to be fixed is not our market economy but our educational system. It skips over teaching the historical and undeniable failures of socialism and thus leaves our students totally unprepared to evaluate whose ideas will work best in leading our nation and improving our quality of life.

If Labour want to be taken seriously, then they have to recognise that most Kiwis don’t buy the socialist dogma anymore. We live in the centre. Many of us are self-employed and we know that if a dollar must be spent it must be earned first. Labour are yet to learn that lesson, and so they make rash promises that would cost billions and the voters say, “How are you going to pay for that?”


– The Hill

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