By Nicholas Wishek
The greatest danger to the American way of life is not radical Islam, China, Russia, or global warming. The greatest threat to our way of life is the growing love affair Millennials have with socialism. Liberals and progressives have always leaned toward socialistic ideas, but have previously shied away from declaring outright support for socialism. That’s changing. And that’s not good. In December, 2017 Forbes published an article by Ralph Benko entitled, “Bernie Sanders and the Resurgence of Socialist Sentiment in America.”https://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2017/12/15/bernie-sanders-and-the-resurgence-of-socialist-sentiment-in-america/#6b2ad3f632bd In it he pointed out some alarming facts. Most striking was that more Millennials would rather live in a socialist country than a capitalist country. What does it bode for the future when more and more Millennials go to the polls preferring socialism to our free market capitalism?
In spite of the facts he advanced Mr. Benko disparaged the problem, saying, “I find the rising tide of socialist sentiment more quaint than alarming.” It seems to me that he was a bit hasty in that conclusion. Socialism is seductive. After all, it’s based on the slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Who could dispute the righteousness of that sentiment? If we all lived according to that guideline we’d have as close to a utopia on earth as is possible in our fallen world.
Consider, too, what socialist politicians advocate. In 2016 Bernie Sanders proposed an “Agenda for America” that had “12 Steps Forward.” https://www.sanders.senate.gov/agenda/ This agenda included equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, making college affordable for all (free), and health care as a right. In 2018 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran on and won, running on a platform that included Medicare for all, housing as a human right, a Federal jobs guarantee, the expansion of Social Security, and free higher education for all. (Along with all the rest of the progressive agendas like gun control, women’s rights, and taxing the rich.) https://www.ocasio2018.com/issues/ These are promises that appeal to many who have less than others.
These policies are all in line with that famous Marxist slogan about ability and needs. It appeals to those millennial idealists, like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. They truly do believe that all people deserve medical care, housing, education, et al. If everyone can’t afford those things then those with money ought to do the right thing and contribute however much it takes. That is the allure of socialism to all the young idealists who supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Ocasio-Cortez in the mid-terms. The problem with socialism is that pesky thing called human nature.
That is the dark side of socialism that the idealists don’t acknowledge. Because everyone doesn’t have the same work ethic, make the same good choices, and, to be honest, have the same ability some people will always do better than others. Socialism requires that those who do better must share their success with those who don’t have as a good work ethic, or who haven’t made responsible choices, even if they have the same ability. If everyone who through hard work and sacrifice doesn’t believe they should share freely with what they have earned then government must force them to share. Socialism requires force to make it work. What this does is to discourage many who would otherwise work harder and do more from doing so. Why work so hard if you have to divvy up the efforts of your labor and sacrifice to give to those who haven’t worked as hard or given up as much? There was a reason the overseers on antebellum plantations carried whips.
Socialism seeks to control your health care, your housing, and your education in order to control you. If that happens government, like the old company stores of bygone days, will have you under their control. With that much authority all the items on the progressive agenda can also be enacted. Restrictive climate control laws, no problem. Open immigration with a quick path to citizenship, done deal. Pass draconian gun control laws or even the eliminate the Second Amendment, entirely doable. Free speech will be what the government tells you it is. Government can tell you what to eat, what to drink, what you can say and what you can do. Socialism is the antithesis of traditional American values, yet, thanks to progressive control of education, almost all of the entertainment media, and most of the news media Millennials are convinced socialism is better than a free market society. Socialism doesn’t work. It never has, and never will. If the growing tide of Millennials doesn’t wise up, and instead continue to elect leaders who promote socialist values our way of life will be a thing of the past.