I came to America as an exchange student in 1978. And few years after that, there was a set of events that seemed to be bringing socialism permanently onto what Ronald Reagan described as the “ash heap of history”—the lapse of the Soviet empire and countries like China and India moving away from Socialism. Socialism seemed to be an idea that was on its way out.
Then in the 21st century—surprise! Suddenly socialism makes a comeback and migrates its way into the mainstream of the Democratic party. So, even someone like Joe Biden, who wouldn’t necessarily call himself a Socialist, has embraced most of the socialist agenda—the Green New Deal, free college, etc.
We are dealing with a new type of socialism with new elements. This is not the socialism of Castro or Mao.
The socialist divide
There was a Socialism before Marx referred to as “communitarian.” These Socialists would create voluntary communes. They were voluntary, “free love” communes, with a basic idea that everyone would pool their resources and live as a community. They weren’t Christian communes, but the premise was similar to the early Christians who similarly pooled their resources for a common good.
When Marx came along, though, he introduced a divisive element: class warfare. The idea here was that the working class had to violently overthrow the capitalist class and displace them to seize the reins of power. This was the birth of division Socialism, and it’s based upon hate and division.
The left today has taken this far beyond Marx. For Marx, this division was just based on class—the rich versus the poor, the working class against the capitalist class. But today, the left has introduced identity politics—blacks against whites, men against women, straights against gays, and legals against illegals. So, the left is dividing society many different ways, not just two ways. They are trying to assemble a coalition of victim groups to produce a Democratic majority. I call it “Identity Socialism”—it’s the marriage of classic Socialism and identity politics.
Pointing the finger
The left—these Identity Socialists—uses a rhetoric of inclusion and tolerance, but there’s an intolerant element in there. The point is that when you include groups, you have to identify a group that is exploiting them and go after that group. So, the Identity Socialist’s object of hatred is the white male heterosexual. He is the ultimate exploiter, if you will. All the antagonism converges on that guy.
And it’s highly ironic that a white male—Joe Biden—is leading this Democratic cause and may very well be the Democratic nominee.
Another irony is that most of these people on the left describe how they are trying to be like the Scandinavians. But what they want couldn’t be any further from the Socialism of Scandinavia. The Scandinavians still have the idea of a single society. They don’t demonize the rich. In fact, they’re very careful not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. They have low corporate tax rates, , no wealth tax, no inheritance tax, and most have no minimum wage. You can hire and fire people for any reason, and there are none of those financial transaction fees that Bernie and Elizabeth Warren want to impose on Wall Street.
It’s very important to realize that when the left invokes these models, they’re not really following them. The demonization of the rich, which is the central characteristic of American Socialism is completely absent from Scandinavia.
Goonsquads and fearmongering
Interestingly, President Trump called those from Antifa, and others instigating the current riots, “anarchists.” However, they’re not. True anarchists don’t want any form of government. These are anarchists who want a powerful government. They are the willing “goons” of the Socialist state. My wife is from Venezuela. In Venezuela there is a private army called, “colectivos.” They’re former criminals who have been let out of jail, unleashed by the government. They are armed with sticks and rocks. And they’re given motorcycles to go find business owners and dissenters and beat them up.
And we’re seeing this now in America. This is the private army of the Democratic left. This is, by the way, why you never see Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi criticize these people. They’ll say things like, “Oh, they’re in pain, they’re hurting—that’s why they’re doing these things.” Really? Hurting? These people are dancing on top of cars and setting things on fire. To me, they look like they’re having a grand ole time—like they’ve been cooped up for too long from Coronavirus, and they decided to unleash.
Of course, there was an original injustice. But it becomes an exploitation of that injustice and the effort to use that as a wedge. We’ve been seeing Socialism marching on the banner of fear, and the Democrats have used the rhetoric of apocalypse. It actually goes back to the 1970s, when the line was, “The world is running out of food.” And in the 80s with, “nuclear winter,” and then in the 90s with, “the ozone layer is disappearing.” Today, it’s climate change and “we’re all going to die in 12 years.” Then, of course, Coronavirus: “The virus is going to get you—you can’t see it, but it’s going to get you.”
In every single case there is an attempt to create a mop psychology to make us do things that we would never do in calmer or deliberative moments. Socialism rides on the politics of irrationality and fear.
Accountability is the answer
To stop this, we need to deploy the opposite forces against it. As far as Antifa and those on the streets, it’s vital to hold them accountable. It’s precisely that sense of entitlement—a generation that’s never held accountable—that creates the belief, “Wow, I can keep going. I can break this window, and no one’s going to stop me.” Then, in response, you see a chief of police saying, “I’m not going send my officers out there to get in harm’s way.” There’s a definitive and frightening message that gets sent to the American people: You are on your own. No one’s going to protect your property rights. No one’s going to protect your house.
This sets up a powder keg.
We need to shut down the deep state and hold those people accountable. We have to fight digital censorship. Ultimately, though, this is all about conformity. The left is trying to turn us into worms. They’re trying to ultimately make us bow down and succumb to them. Socialism isn’t just about economic confiscation. It’s about reducing the citizens into servile serfs of the state. That’s why Hayek used that very telling and prophetic phrase, “The road to serfdom.”