Led by young people, the Democratic Party is sliding headfirst into becoming a Socialist party.
By wide margins, millennials (those under 25 or so) are huge fans of socialism. Not the kind of “socialism” that conservatives usually accuse the American left of, but genuine, no-holds-barred socialism.
It’s a dangerous trend and threatens to toss the nation’s oldest political party off a cliff.
To be clear: Democrats (most of them at least) aren’t socialists. They’re all in favor of over-regulating and over-taxing big business, but you don’t hear calls to nationalize companies like Wal-Mart and Microsoft. Their class warfare demonizes the very wealthy but still they’re not screaming to seize their wealth en masse.
That’s what happened in Venezuela. And it’s a total disaster.
But to millennials, they have no historical perspective of what true socialism is. Their only knowledge of it is when the right calls Barack Obama a socialist (he’s not, just a radical leftist). “I like Barack Obama,” they say. “I must be a socialist too!”
The policies advocated by Democrats are a very bad idea. But true socialism – like what they have in Venezuela and Cuba – is disastrous. It’s a crime against humanity and it’s a political ideology and practice that is one of the stepping stones to communism – the ultimate betrayal of individualism and democracy.
Even the senior editor for the left’s most venerated magazine, The Nation, now declares that socialism is the only thing millennials have left to save their generation. Sarah Leonard writes:
The openness of young people to socialism may indicate two things: They are fed up with being repeatedly let down by capitalism; and people who came to political consciousness after 1989 do not have a vision of socialism heavily influenced by the Cold War. When the economic crisis hit, there was a resurgence of casual interest in Marx, with headlines like “Why Marxism Is on the Rise Again” and “A Generation of Intellectuals Shaped by 2008 Crash Rescues Marx From History’s Dustbin.” Some Black Lives Matter activists have taken up the mantle of the Black Panthers, whose vision of socialism confronted centuries of racist exploitation. Newfound engagement resulted from attempts to describe what was happening to us, and Marxism—which describes a system designed to produce expropriation at the bottom and growing windfalls at the top—suddenly seemed more convincing than liberal fumbling to explain how Democratic policies generated by people such as former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers could have contributed to the disastrous crash.
The socialism we envision, and toward which we take some first steps toward describing in this book, is one that prizes democracy, striving always for the sort of mass redistribution that makes individual human flourishing possible. Our goal is an economic democracy that produces more freedom than we could ever hope for under our current system.
Meanwhile, here’s what true socialism leaves in its wake:
Caracas (AFP) – Venezuelans are accustomed to severe shortages of cooking oil, diapers and other staple products. But those hoping to buy what they could find got a new unpleasant surprise this week.
They found malls dark and shuttered under a government electricity rationing regime.
“This is madness, this is not the solution!” said Nataly Orta, 48, at the locked gate of the Lider mall in eastern Caracas.
“It’s a drastic measure that will only create more unemployment and worsen an economy already in crisis.”
Authorities ordered more than 250 shopping centers to find other sources of power from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and again from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, for the next three months.
A business association then said on Saturday the authorities had agreed to relax that requirement by supplying some stores with power in return for them reducing their opening hours.
Unable to generate their own electricity, most malls had been shutting their doors during those early afternoon and evening time slots.
“I came to the pharmacy and supermarket to see what I could find and I come across this instead,” said Julia Torres, 54, outside the shuttered Lider. “Every day, we’re a little more surprised by what’s happening in Venezuela.”
Bernie Sanders was asked what socialism meant to him. He went on about FDR and free college tuition and – gee, young people think – that’s great!
Except socialism is so much more.
I hope Churchill was right when he said people become more conservative when they age. If not, in 30 years, we’re going to be lining up for flour, diapers and milk too.