“Peace! Land! Bread!” These Bernie Supporters sure are getting excited about Socialism. No, wait. That was Russia in 1918. Bernie Sanders is promising health, jobs and tuition. That’s totally different, right?
It doesn’t seem so long ago that Reagan, Thatcher and a few others were standing with NATO against the looming threat of USSR and the Warsaw Pact. Back then, it was generally understood that the West was free, and the Soviets were not. Why else would people defect to the West?
But now? There is a generation of Americans too young to remember anything written above. A generation to whom the offer of government stepping in to take an absent father’s place in protecting and providing has begun to appeal. A generation to whom the socialist message seems to be nothing but upside.
They might even think their “Occupy Wall Street” was an original idea, rather than a tired recycling of “Down with the Bourgoisie!” No wonder they gravitate to Bernie.
But someone stepped up and gave this retread BS the public spanking it deserved. It melted the internet. No, it wasn’t one of the usual suspects: a GOP partisan, or AM radio personality. It was the Russian chess champion, the greatest who ever lived — Kasparov. Kasparov remembers what it was like to live in the old USSR — Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. He set the record straight.
While Bernie wants America to become more like Russia, this Russian wants America to return to its classical identity. The one that exploded onto the scene with energy and dynamism. The one he calls a force for liberty and peace in the world. Here’s a key quote:
I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there.
In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty.
Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.
Later, he mentions the problem with big government. You can give it powers, but it will never give them back. Worse, those powers will evolve, grow, change… and result of such expanded power is often disastrous.
The Cold War has been over since 1991 (roughly 25 years).
Is it possible that the collapsed Soviet Union seems benign and harmless to modern readers? That could be. Let me offer a more familiar reference point.
Think of the modern Dystopian movies. Hunger Games, as one of many. Something about that type of story strikes a chord, and resonates, right? What are those stories about?
Super-powerful central government makes unspeakable demands on the people. People get pushed around one time too many, and a single individual rises up against an unjust system, inspiring others to join in and right the wrong.
Fortunately, Americans that can still see themselves in a story like that haven’t completely bought the Socialist lie. And that’s a start.