Ammo Grrrll assures us that THIS TIME IT WILL WORK FOR SURE! She writes:
Virtually every generation spawns a new crop of young people who believe that Socialism is a really good idea. The vast majority of those historically-ignorant young people eventually grow up and their Utopian ideas are dashed on the Hard Rocks of Reality. Or as the brilliant Thomas Sowell replied when asked what made him abandon the Marxism of his youth: “Facts.”
Most of them – at least in my generation of socialist advocates – were not even close to “working class,” and even further from “oppressed.” Many were spoiled children of the very rich, so they already were accustomed to getting everything free without the inconvenience of having to work for it. They were big-hearted and small-brained enough to think that all we had to do was substitute Big Daddy Government’s beneficence for their own Daddies’ generosity in a seamless transition from spoiled brat to grownup layabout.
Remember when Nancy Pelosi – who once gave us a tone-deaf Pandemic Lockdown Tour of the expensive pints of chocolate ice cream in her $25,000 state-of-the-art freezer – suggested that if more people didn’t have to work, we would have a lot more poets? Oh happy day! Although it’s hard to find a good rhyme for “gimme.” Timmy? Jimmy? Dhimmi?
Here is how a typical college sophomore would describe Paradise on Earth: “Look, Haven, everything will be free, the State will just pay for everything from its ‘stash’, and nobody will be poor or sick and there will be no wars and the oceans will be lower.” What’s not to like?
So why does it never, never, never, never work? Unless you count “working” as the systematic murder of tens of millions of people who failed to get with the program soon enough, or who had the temerity to own a cow or who wanted two children instead of one or who stopped clapping too soon for a Stalin speech.
Well, it doesn’t work because, first, the economics of it are nuts. But mostly it’s because the human material which is charged with making it work is deeply flawed.
This was amply demonstrated to me in my first experience with “from each according to his ability to each according to his need,” when some sort of “cooperative group project” in 9th grade science was assigned. Fortunately, my group contained one very smart boy nerd who was good in Science and one equally nerdy Grrrll who could write a coherent sentence, so our collective group got an “A” on whatever the project was. Three people out of five did nothing at all and everybody got the “A.” Things that make you go “Hmmmm…”
Parenthetically, this was The Olden Days when letter grades were still assigned and we were not allowed to turn in homework whenever, or even if, we felt like it. Nowadays, the unionized teachers believe students should be allowed to retake tests until they pass. Sadly, under that system, I would STILL be taking Trigonometry exams to this very day. I prefer to just take the “F” and be done with it, but that’s just me. The only thing I know about “cosine” is: never co-sine a loan for a relative! The “tangent” thing I’ve got down pat.
Human beings are definitely capable of grace, love, honor, and stunning sacrifice. They are also capable of unseamly levels of greed, cruelty, hate and laziness. And it’s a roll of the dice which traits you are going to get in any given human encounter. Especially in mobs. All people do very poorly in mobs, from soccer hooligans to BLM/Antifa riots, to Code Pink Topless Ladies. (“We’re begging you. Whatever you demand, we will do. Just for the love of God, put your shirts back on…”)
We humans are also notoriously bad at even short-range planning, let alone the Soviets’ vaunted “Five Year Plans.” My last Five Year Plan had me losing 20 pounds and learning Spanish. Today, I know 20 words of Spanish (“Yo soy gorda”) and have bought larger jeans.
But, see, if I were in charge under Socialism in either the Former Soviet Union, the Current Red China, or the Brandon Administration, I could simply DECLARE that I am 20 pounds lighter and in one of those compilation media mashups on Tucker, every single media lapdog would repeat verbatim that I have lost 20 pounds and look FABULOUS.
Maddow: “I would definitely date her, she’s so svelte. Also the walls are closing in on Trump. Is this the beginning of the end?” Tater Stelter: “Boy, I should learn her secret for losing weight, heh, heh, she’s so svelte. The walls are closing in on Trump and I think it’s the beginning of the end.” Toobin: “Goodness, 20 lbs. and that woman is so svelte. The walls are closing in on Trump and it’s the beginning of the oh, oh, oh, oh, boy, not again…is this thing ON?”
In any system where real discussion and disagreement are not allowed – FSU, China, Twitter, Facebook, Academia – there is no corrective when institutions are hurtling down the wrong path. Especially when the ideas being discussed entail unimaginable amounts of money, such as with the vaccines and monthly boosters. Or Solyndra and its successor scams.
When Trump was President, it behooved the Science and Medicine Swamp Creatures to count every cancer, gunshot wound and car accident death as “COVID.” Jack up those numbers! Now, when there have been more deaths under Brandon, the narrative must be tweaked ever so slightly: okay, maybe 3 feet apart is fine; maybe 5 days in quarantine is enough; it’s possible SOME people are dying WITH COVID rather than OF it…especially the ones with gunshot wounds.
I understand the incentive to stick with the Climate Change gibberish and the COVID panic. Even without a gargantuan financial incentive, we all cling like grim death to mistaken habits and bad ideas that we just plain don’t want to give up. For example, I KNOW that my body does not do really well on tequila. But I LIKE the frozen Chambord Margaritas at ZTejas. They are delicious and go down like Kool-Aid. So I think, “Maybe I was wrong! I will run that experiment again until I get the result I want.” And then the first Margarita talks me into getting another one. And then I regret it in the morning. Until the next time.
Finally, no matter how idealistic people start out, everybody has an Achilles Heel where they can be tempted to betray those ideals. Maybe it’s generational wealth offered on a platter. Maybe it’s access to the kind of women who wouldn’t have given you the time of day in high school. Maybe it’s status or power to boss people around. Maybe a hateful combination of envy and revenge, like McCain being the decisive vote to keep Obamacare. That even shocked cynical me. For me, the surprise is not THAT people are willing to sell out any cause, but for how little.
I cannot fully grasp what it must have taken for those brilliant “Toxic White Males” — our Founding Fathers, bless and rest their souls – who were all doing pretty well, thank you, under the system in place, to risk everything and cast their lot for freedom. To see idiots of every color not worthy to clean their chamber pots, tear down their statues, Taliban-style, is a very bad preview of coming attractions. It may start with bronze people, but it always ends up with real people. Look it up.