The crux of what socialism is all about in the modern era is the forced unionization of all labor in a state-run economy. Essentially, socialism in practice turns the entire state into a giant factory managed by central planners, and citizens become the drones who are to do what they are told and take what the state gives them and to be grateful. Just as the difference between communism and fascism in practice is one of scale, the former being a worldwide and the latter a nationwide collectivist enterprise, the difference between communism and socialism is one of degree.
But the reason that socialism is not halted at a certain “acceptable” level in Western economies is because it is fundamentally corrosive; it is an unsustainable element of an economy, when recombined with liberal democracy, it eats away at individual rights protections and checks on state economic intervention.
Socialism preys upon a weakness in human nature, to avoid work and to profit without effort, and socialist parties can build power while undermining capitalism’s success. While communist countries have done this suddenly and violently, today’s socialistic countries are merely doing it slowly and invisibly, as represented by their massive levels of debt, until the economic system collapses and there is rioting in the streets. Thus becomes the perfect occasion for the state to seize complete power.
The greatest mind trick the socialists played on the people is to lead them to conflate the rise of capitalism with that of colonialism, imperialism, and catastrophic war. Vladimir Lenin, in his thesis “Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism,” explicitly makes this charge. But colonialism and imperialism have been around since the history of man, and have been driven as much by religious fervor as by lust for filthy lucre. Not only the ancient empires of Akkadia, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, and the Seleucids confirm this claim, but also the spread of Islamic rule in the 7th century, as well as the ascendancy of the Ottoman Empire.
In the long view, we see that capitalism allowed the West to be successful; it led to improved birth and childhood survival rates, better cultivation of land and agricultural output per acre; greater technological improvements, in transportation, communication, and weaponry; and a much-improved standard of living for the majority of mankind who lived and labored under the system.
This is most likely the tacit reason for many people’s support of socialism; it is seen as a constraint on the inherently aggressive West, which supposedly exploits foreign peoples if only by trading with them and engaging in economic activities in their countries. Socialism is thought to be a way of making things “fair,” either by distributing wealth from the necessarily exploitative rich to the necessarily victimized poor, or by hamstringing strong and assertive nations like America with moral and cultural relativism. But the point is belied, liberals do not believe in the moral authority of the United States, they are not interested in success or “progress,” per se, except in their own equivocating terms, and they see America as the world’s central problem. Power disparity is a sign that America must have cheated, and if it wants to be fair, it has to be equal and join the club of the mediocre and failing others.
Socialism, as can be gleamed from even a cursory view of history, is a failure at any level. That is why socialists don’t generally ask people if they want to take part in yet another failed experiment; they attempt to seize the machinery of the state, and one way or another, create a community by force. It is an ideology of failure, as the Soviets and Maoists came to realize, and both Russia and China have introduced a modicum of reforms into their state-planned economies to foster an element of success, if just so the regimes can skim off some more of the supposed excess. Far from leading to equality between the people, socialism creates even more heightened disparities between the ruling class and the ruled. It is the use of coercion for elites to garner profits, rather than wages. Whether the perquisites come in the form of capital or luxury, the social hierarchy never disappears.
We should not be surprised, therefore, that after a hundred years of Fabian or incremental socialism, beginning with the institutionalization of the Federal Reserve and the Progressive Income Tax, that America is becoming more pyramidized. When the “creative destruction” of the market is not allowed to take place, undeserving firms are sheltered, assisted, or bailed out by the state. The human cost in this scheme is the sacrifice of the individual’s welfare for that of the state and its allies. Socialism does not prevent such sacrifice from taking place, it merely disarms the people in terms of weaponry and property, and gathers them into a herd for mass sacrifice.
Such analogies are not out of place, particularly given the stark anti-civilizational ideology of radical environmentalism. The central idea of this ideology is that man is no better than animals, and in fact, is quite inferior; while man has a moral compass, he chooses not to use it, and instead commits grave affronts to nature. Man should be called upon to sacrifice on nature’s behalf, and by virtue of simply living and breathing, should be considered a threat to the planet itself. At the very least, he should be asked to give up the accoutrements of industrial civilization, all the while allowing the science that makes technological progress possible to be debauched by the state’s big lies, which are funded to the order of hundreds of billion dollars.
The socialistic philosophy of radical environmentalism has hopefully been laid bare; if one refuses to take ideology seriously and instead conflates all warnings with hysteria, one should question if he would be right at home in a Soviet Russia, or a Cuba, or a North Korea before socialism was upon him, and the time for resistance had already passed. It is crucial for those with some instinct of self-preservation to see the essence of ideologies in their barest exposition, without sophistry or attenuation; and hopefully, socialism in all of its forms can be seen clearly for the menace that it is.