A populace willing to ignore the dark side of socialism and collectivism has already imperiled the United States. In spite of looking and acting like individualists, modern progressives are willfully unaware that the causes they champion are antithetical to individualism and freedom. On some level, we all may be guilty of showing comfort with the hand of government managing our lives and affairs closely. Every time an American says “someone ought to do something about -fill in the blank”, they accept that someone else has power and authority over whatever activity is in question. While on the surface this may seem to be an innocuous phrase, it shows all of us to be disturbingly comfortable with the idea of some other person or some other power effecting the lives and activity of others.
The modern liberal, progressive, leftist, socialist, most Democrats and many Republicans fail to realize that each move toward a government solution to a given problem moves the United States further away from the founding principles that make the United States exceptional and produced what, in spite of it’s many flaws, is the nation that produced and protected the greatest concentration of wealth and highest standard of living humans have ever known. The United States has utterly outperformed the various nations from which it descended, nations that have already gone down the road of socialism. The notion that greater government produces better results has been debunked by history time and time again. In their emotional zeal to ensure equal standards of living for all citizens, socialists eliminate the market forces and incentives that allow anyone to live well, and eliminate the opportunity for anyone to live better.
The principles of limited government and individual liberty, the possibility of winning and danger of failing have propelled the United States to supremacy by developing the greatest force for achievement in the world; individual man working in his own interest, limited only by his own merit. These ingredients for success by definition cannot fully exist in Socialist states, whether they are failed Eastern European Communist States, or current Western European and Mediterranean “soft” socialist states which have yet to totally fail, but also have yet to succeed. Modern socialists and progressives are numerous, and all very comfortable with inflicting a more equal standard of living on others, excepting themselves of course. These egalitarians are perfectly comfortable with inflicting economic justice on the rest of us because they are certain that their places of privilege are guaranteed among the future ruling elite.
The establishment in Washington, both Democrat and Republican fail to realize that advocating government reaction and regulation as the solution to everything is a road to nowhere. Under either Democrat or Republican leadership, the path to socialism is laid and the difference between the parties appears to be the speed at which we arrive at universal mediocrity unless change is immediate. Youth must realize that there is a lesson to be learned from the failures of communism, even if it is difficult to initially imagine parallels between communist police states and the growth of government and corresponding decline of the United States.
There is nothing romantic about socialism, the trappings and slogans of communist powers gone by served to secure loyalty to the state, and nothing more. Stalinist propaganda may make for interesting decoration, and the hammer and sickle may spark conversation and make someone look edgy to their leftist friends, but these are symbols and instruments of tyranny, mass murder and deprivation. The people living under them throughout history had no right to self determination, no say in their government and no freedom of speech, just ration cards and shoddy apartments. We would do well to ensure our youth know it and are never allowed to forget it.