Socialism seems to be taking America by storm. And one need look no further for proof of this fact than in the continuing popularity of U.S.Senator Bernie Sanders, an admitted Socialist, who continues to garner media publicity while criticizing tax reform as a boon to the rich and challenging the legitimacy of the Trump presidency. Just what is it about Socialism that seems to connect with an increasing lot; especially when its historical failings are so evident?
Take the case of Venezuela.
Despite possessing the world’s largest known oil reserves, its people continue to face mass starvation and an economy on the edge of collapse. Items ranging from baby formula to toilet paper are nearly impossible to come by, while the Socialist central government has worsened the situation and tried its best to conceal the fact from the outside world. This is the reality in a country the American left once cited as a model government.
Much of the blame lies with deceased former President Hugo Chavez, once considered a god by many, whose legacy of fraud and mismanagement has finally come home to roost.
And his policies, like those of his dictatorial successor Nicolas Maduro, are the reason why Venezuela’s inflation rate stands at 4,115 percent!
As the Heritage Foundation’s James M. Roberts has noted, Chavez’ nationalization of privately-owned companies and his redistribution of the country’s wealth turned his dream of Socialism into a nightmare which destroyed a once-prosperous nation. Yet Chavez didn’t stop there. Like so many other Socialist frauds throughout history, his governance helped turn Venezuela into the most corrupt country in the Western Hemisphere; while his attacks on economic freedom diminished its presence there on a grand scale.
Today, Chavez’ minions continue to increase their wealth and power through repression of legitimate economic activity, drug trafficking and support of international terrorism. Venezuela’s vice president has most notably been declared as a drug kingpin with Islamic terror connections by the U.S. Treasury. Many similar examples exist among the nation’s ruling elite.
The story is always the same.
The all-caring Socialist state steals from the country it rules and ruins privately-generated prosperity, while promising to curtail evil Capitalism by taking care of the needs of its citizenry through government handouts. In the end, countries are literally destroyed from within as freedom and the rule of law disappear.
This is anything but the romantic picture of Socialism that is painted by the likes of Bernie Sanders. And let us not forget that Socialism is the bridge to Communism; a brutal system responsible for the murder of millions throughout history that it was intended to help.
From 1949-1987, 76 million Chinese died at the hands of their government. The Soviet Union killed another 62 million of its people from 1917-1987. In fact, according to the late Professor Rudolph Rummel, 262 million people were eliminated by their own governments during the 20th century.
Yet many on the left still revere Mao and Stalin today, believing the United States should copy their systems. Anita Dunn, Barack Obama’s communications director in 2009, boldly claimed China’s Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers. Meanwhile, America’s education establishment is dominated by leftists sympathetic to Socialist/Communist philosophy.
The question is, why are people increasingly enamored with Socialism and even Communism? The reasons are myriad; the dumbing down of public education, leftist indoctrination over generations, government dependency and class envy. George Mason University professor Walter Williams theorizes that many ultimately support these systems mutual goal of “restricting personal liberty” in deference to government.
Today, it is easy to denigrate Capitalism, an economic system which celebrates the ingenuity of man and the value of the human spirit. America’s standard of living is owed entirely to it and has never been matched. History has never recorded such innovations or achievements via either Socialism or Communism. And for those who have been fooled into believing in these foolhardy systems, wake up. Whether you came to your misguided conclusion via classroom education or due to oratorical saturation from the likes of Bernie Sanders, take a good hard look at the reality of Venezuela.
Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News. Reach him a firstname.lastname@example.org.