“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. “ — German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer
Yeah but what about socialism? — MAC
Thomas Sowell, the great economist and thinker, criticized politicians in his 2003 book Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One with the common example of when a government body raises income taxes on its citizens. Tax revenue may increase at first but when people move out of the state or take advantage of legal loopholes, over time tax revenue drops. If we don’t consider the long-term consequences of our actions, most of the time we end up making bad decisions.
Socialism is classic Stage One thinking because the cause and effect can’t get past the 30-second commercial of “free things”. When old man Bernie Sanders and leftist, giggly starlet Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex flap their jaws about Medicare for all, for instance, they don’t follow up with how much it will cost. Naturally, few in the media will push them on this next question so we’re left with feel-good vibes about everyone waltzing out of a doctor’s office without having to pay the bill.
This piece of the Democrat platform alone will cost the American taxpayer $32 trillion over the next ten years. Here’s a truth Schopenhauer would agree with: It always costs more than we’re told.
What concerns me lately about the acceptance of socialism in our younger generations is – related to Schopenhauer’s statement above – there is a growing acceptance of falsehoods.
Enter the New York Times and a professor at Brooklyn College and the City University of New York Graduate center [comments mine]:
Still, today’s socialism is just getting started. It took Lincoln a decade — plus a civil war, and the decision of black slaves to defy their masters, rushing to join advancing Union troops — to come to the position that free labor meant immediate abolition.
[This guy doesn’t realize it, but right here he’s making an argument for ownership of one’s own physical and intellectual labor, the cornerstone of a free market system. But hey, he’s a PROFESSOR. He must be an expert at stuff.]
In magazines and on websites, in reading groups and party chapters, socialists are debating the next steps: state ownership of certain industries, worker councils and economic cooperatives, sovereign wealth funds. Once upon a time, such conversations were the subject of academic satire and science fiction. Now they’re getting out the vote and driving campaigns. It’s too soon to tell whether they’ll spill over into Congress, but events have a way of converting barroom chatter into legislative debate.
[Spoken like a true Marxist. “State ownership” means you don’t get the rewards of what you earned. Tell me again why anyone would work?]
What ultimately gives shape to socialist desire is less the specific policies in a politician’s head than the men and women marching with their feet. That’s why the two most important utterances of today’s socialists are Ms. [Julia] Salazar’s [candidate for NY State represent] demand that New York abolish the law prohibiting strikes of government workers and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s call “to occupy all of it.” Both statements reveal what socialists have always understood: Mass action — sometimes illegal, always confrontational — will determine socialism’s final form.
[That’s right: Stir up the mob to commit illegal acts like the French Revolution. There should be no government unions at any level because the taxpayer – paying both worker and politician salaries — is never included in the bargaining.]
Socialism is not journalists, intellectuals or politicians armed with a policy agenda. As Marx and Engels understood — this was one of their core insights, what distinguished them from other socialist thinkers, ever ready with their blueprints — it is workers who get us there, who decide what and where “there” is. That, too, is a kind of freedom. Socialist freedom.
Socialist freedom. As with everything else the left destroys, they’re obliterating the meaning of words. If we are not free to exchange our work for pay at a value the buyer and seller determine on their own, we are not free.
Another troubling part of socialism acceptance is facts increasingly don’t matter. For every failed state like Venezuela there is a “Yeah but” the left offers up with the claim that whatever it was these people tried wasn’t pure. No doubt the Venezuelan people who, in 2017 lost an average of 24 pounds and are hunting dogs in the street for food, would love to “socialize” with Sean Penn about now.
I would say socialism is prison without bars, but even prisoners get three squares and a cot.
Image: CO Creative Commons; Excerpted from: https://pixabay.com/en/deceive-deception-lies-1299043/