Observing the media hijinks and economic moronity of Democrat hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is prepared to increase taxation to unsustainable levels to pay for the socialist dream – “universal health care, tuition free higher education, and the 100 percent use of renewable energy, among other programs” – I could not help but reflect that infinity can be measured only by the extent of human stupidity.
Ocasio-Cortez, a lightweight even on the Bernie Sanders scale, is merely the latest in a long line of what we call today “democratic socialists” or “social justice warriors.” They are oblivious to the proven fact that socialism never works, that it has failed wherever it has been tried, that a centralized state and a command economy inevitably lead to rampant inefficiency, reduced incentive to compete and innovate, diminished production, economic stagnation, and ultimately to one or another version of the police state, whether the “velvet totalitarianism” that John Furedy speaks of or sheer brutal repression – in current terms, the Venezuela option. Socialism is the enemy not only of human flourishing and individual freedom, but, as we will note shortly, of the concept of equality before the law.
“Democratic socialism” is a contradiction in terms – or it is democratic in the same way as death is, reducing everyone to the same level. Socialism is no less a grim reaper than mortality. Similarly, “social justice” has nothing to do with the Western legacy of equality before the law. Clearly, people are not equal with respect to character, intelligence, aptitude, moral fiber, personal responsibility, and motivation, but they should be equal before the law. “Democratic socialism” ignores the complexity of human personality by reducing difference to a lowest common denominator just as “social justice” is dismissive of individual contributions to the well-being of the state. What such fantasy-laden constructs call “equality” is nothing but the dispensation of unearned privilege to the masses, culminating inexorably in the imposition of a featureless collective.
Socialism is a perversion of both equality and justice, the weaponizing of the law in the service of an unfeasible ideal and the progressivist legalization of outright theft, which can result only in the eventual destabilization of the state. It terminates in the society of Harrison Bergeron, in which everyone is equal only in the sense that everyone, apart from an echelon of exploiters, is equally poor, equally deprived, and equally miserable. This is not what Amos would have conceived as justice.
But it is what the Ocasio-Cortezes of the world – and they are legion – would in their risible ignorance inflict upon the rest of us, if we are lunatic enough to allow them. Florida candidate for governor Ron DeSantis is on the mark when he points to the utter folly of Ocasio-Cortez “running around saying, well, capitalism is going to die and…that socialism is the wave of the future. And as somebody who lives in Florida, I can tell you, we probably have more refugees from socialist countries – Cuban-Americans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans – then just about any state…and certainly they can tell you socialism doesn’t work. It’s a failed philosophy.”
Or, to go back to the Powerline meme collection:
If socialism really IS “the wave of the future,” the future is gonna really, really suck.
Update! OG blogger Stephen fisks the living hell out of a socialism-pimping Reuters propaganda piece.
First the headline, which reads: “Once oil wealthy, Venezuela’s largest state struggles to keep the lights on.”
That headline gives the impression that Venezuela has run out of oil, but nothing could be further from the truth. The country still possesses the world’s largest oil reserves, so there’s plenty of oil wealth. It’s still right there in the ground. It hasn’t gone anywhere. The problem is that Bolivarian socialism has ruined the country’s extraction industry, but you wouldn’t know that from anything in the entire story.
Here’s the second graf:
The rolling power blackouts in the state of Zulia pile more misery on Venezuelans living under a fifth year of an economic crisis that has sparked malnutrition, hyperinflation and mass emigration. OPEC member Venezuela’s once-thriving socialist economy has collapsed since the 2014 fall of oil prices.
When Hugo Chavez took over the country in 1998 and began imposing his socialist regime, oil prices were at around $18 a barrel. Twenty years later they’ve “collapsed” to… about $70, with some temporary lows around $40 or so.
That is to say, oil prices since 2014 have averaged about triple what they were in 1998. And from ’98 to 2014, oil was mostly on an upward trajectory and routinely went for well over $100. So the question isn’t how this “crisis” was caused by a “collapse” in oil prices. The question is: What the hell did Maduro and Chavez do with all the damn money?
Here we have a story detailing Venezuela’s economic collapse, and every single problem can be explained by two words: Because socialism. And yet the only time reporter Mayela Armas uses the word socialism, it’s in the context of a “once-thriving socialist economy.”
It never WAS a “once-thriving socialist economy”—because when they went socialist, the economy stopped thriving. Just like they all do, every single time. One thing Stephen gets wrong, though: he calls this propaganda “malignantly uninformed,” but it’s more like MISinformed. Or, to be more precise, dezinformatsiya.