Socialism has finally come to the party without a mask. Politicians at every level are openly and unapologetically advocating “Democratic Socialism.” What is Socialism and what is its future in America? First, some background:
Every tribe and nation on earth, without exception, must answer three economic questions: What will be produced? Who will produce it? Who will get what is produced? Throughout history, mankind has devised only two general approaches for answering those questions: Either a dictator or “elite group” will answer those questions on behalf of everyone else; or, everyone in a tribe or nation will participate to one degree or another in the decision making process.
The “elite group” approach, found all over the globe, is known by many labels: Authoritarianism, Marxism, Leninism, Fascism, Centralism, Collectivism, Egalitarianism, Statism, Communism and Socialism. These are all variations of the same theme: power and control over production and consumption is concentrated with government decision makers. The second approach, found only in a few isolated pockets, is called Free Enterprise or Free Market Capitalism.
The primary differences between all these systems can be illustrated with a playground seesaw. On one end sits government power and on the other end sits individual freedom. As one side goes up, the other side must go down. For example, as the percentage of government workers goes up; as taxes go up; as regulations on the private sector go up, the freedoms and resources left to individuals on the other end of the seesaw must go down.
Socialism and its various permutations are all about making government bigger while subjugating the masses to government control. Socialism is all about replacing the individual pursuit of happiness with “the common good.” And, government planners will decide what is the “common good.”
In stark contrast to Socialism, Free Market Capitalism is all about government power going down and individual liberty and private property rights going up. Capitalism recognizes the best ideas that advance and improve humankind frequently emerge not from government bureaucrats, but from the minds and imaginations of the most unlikely among us. Therefore, the freer the masses to pursue their own personal happiness, the more likely valuable ideas will emerge and find their way into the marketplace; ideas that produce new wealth, create new jobs and elevate the standard of living for others.
Does Socialism work? Of course it works. The right question is: “For whom does it work?” The government elites in Cuba and Venezuela are doing just fine.
So, what is the future of Socialism in America? This November, like no other election in America’s 242 year history, will answer that question. It will depend on how many voters understand that American blood has been spilled all over the globe fighting the very same ideas espoused by the likes of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Andrew Gillum.