John Sexton embeds entertaining video of Tucker Carlson and Cornel West, and offers a good explanation of why socialism always fails, from the perspective of the vast majority. He focuses on a good question that Tucker asked West: If democratic socialism works, why doesn’t Venezuela have toilet paper? The video is embedded at the end of this post.
Of course West’s answers are lame–“real” socialism has never been tried, blah, blah, blah. You could infer from this that West is an idiot and, if he were arguing in good faith, that would be a fair assessment.
But I think the truth is worse. I think the leaders of the socialist movement are perfectly well aware that the inevitable result of socialism is tyranny and mass poverty. But for them, this isn’t a bug, it is a feature. In fact, it is the whole point. Socialism is now, and always has been, a pretext under which power-mad psychopaths seize power and terrorize their fellow humans.
Viewed with cold realism, socialism works very well for those who bring it about. It worked for Lenin and Stalin. It almost worked for Trotsky, but socialism is like “Game of Thrones”–it is a risky business. It didn’t work for the Old Bolsheviks for the same reason: they lost out to the more vicious and more power-crazed socialist, Stalin. It worked for Yezhov, Yagoda and Beria, although they, too, lost out after years of demented revels. It worked for Khruschev, Brezhnev and Andropov.
Socialism worked for Mao. It worked for Fidel Castro. It worked for Erich Honecker and Nicolae Ceaușescu, until the very end. It worked for Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, again with sad ends that didn’t inflict anywhere near enough pain to negate the years of glory and power that went before. It worked for Hugo Chavez, who like Castro, parlayed socialism into a multi-billion dollar fortune, and it has worked so far for Nicolas Maduro. All of these psychopaths, and many others, got exactly what they wanted out of socialism. From their point of view, it is a successful ideology.
While the vast majority suffer under socialism, such suffering is by no means universal. Any number of commissars, Stasi informants, Cuban snitches, petty apparatchiks with dachas, etc., have parlayed their sadistic tendencies into good livings and what they want most, power over others. If you follow Twitter, or generally pay attention to the American Left, you see an army of would-be commissars who yearn for the day when they can accuse a neighbor of wrongthink and have him sent to an American Gulag. In the meantime, they settle for mob action, “doxxing,” and so on.
Socialism isn’t misguided, it is evil. Socialism isn’t a failure, any more than the Black Death was a failure. Sadly, it has worked all too well for more than a century.