Humans have sought to create temporal paradises since the Garden of Eden. In literature, dreams of heaven on earth date to Homer’s Odyssey (Elysium) in the 12th century, BC. There have been numerous attempts to create Utopias, including colonists in Jamestown, Pilgrims in Plymouth and the 1789 French Revolution. Communism’s turn came 100 years ago this month when they took over the government of Russia.
In all human history, attempts to create Utopia have led only to death, destruction and misery; the communists alone killed over 100 million. Never has any communist, socialist or collectivist scheme worked for any group larger than a family, clan or tribe. Despite this grisly record, many – ever in search of Zion – continue to believe. What can possibly explain the beliefs of such people – including those who feel the Bern?
Their belief is not based on evidence but on a longing for a moral basis in their lives. They are in search of a religion – but one without God. Politics is their new faith but they are anti-democratic because they already have all the answers. They long for equality but the equality that leads to conformity and despotism. They compare the ideal of communism with the practice of capitalism but never the results of each. They want to be judged by their intentions, never by their actions. They embrace platitudes from cans. They are oblivious to history and believe they will get it right next time.
Capitalism stands in sharp contrast to communism. Just since 1970, worldwide poverty has fallen 80%. In arguably the greatest achievement in human history, billions of people have escaped poverty. Was this miracle due to the UN, World Bank, IMF, NGOs, government or socialism? No; it was due entirely to capitalism. Yet 70% of people surveyed believe hunger and poverty have gotten worse and only 40% of young Americans have a favorable view of capitalism. Socialism impoverishes people (Venezuela) while capitalism makes them wealthy; yet, people cling to illusions.
Communism, socialism and collectivism are lies. They promise Xanadu,Valhalla and Elysium; they give you North Korea, the USSR, and Cambodia. They promise comradeship; they give you totalitarianism. They promise progress; they give you stagnation. They promise hope; they give you lives of quiet desperation. They promise Sweden; they give you Venezuela. They promise a new social order; they give you a smorgasbord of social pathologies. They promise truth; they give you Pravda.
They promise liberty; they give you walls with razor wire and minefields. They promise equality; they give you equal poverty. They promise a clean environment; they give you a toxic wasteland. They promise technology; they give you Chernobyl. They promise a classless society; they give you political elites living in decadent luxury. They promise freedom and justice; they give you Gulags and the Stasi.
They promise peace; they give you war. They promise Apple, Google and Disney; they give you lines, shortages and shoddy goods. They promise hope; they give you nihilism. They promise Mercedes; they give you Trabant. They promise Eden; they give you hell on earth. They promise Singapore; they give you Cuba. They promise abundance; they give you rationing. They promise Utopia; they give you dystopia.
The enduring lesson of communism is that it never has worked and never can work because it is opposed to and irreconcilable with human nature. It always fails, not because it is implemented poorly but, because it is done faithfully. Although socialism, progressivism and liberalism may be less virulent forms of communism, the end result always is the same – economic stagnation, human misery and loss of liberty.
Communism (and all other collectivist schemes) always makes high-minded and exalted promises but delivers nothing but a phantasmagoria of terror, slaughter and poverty. In the end, it is nothing but lies. It is the God that failed!
This concludes our Red October series; our next post is November 5th.