The Socialistic Future Always Sounds So Good
Eugen Richter, a German liberal politician and journalist at the turn of the previous century, published “Pictures of the Socialistic Future” in 1893. As a work in the public domain, the ebook version can be downloaded for free. The novel describes a family anticipating the wonderful things to come from the new socialist program in their home country, Germany. Written several decades before the atrocities of the Soviet Union, Richter foretold the events in chilling detail, almost as though it was a script.
It starts out with a great celebration and the rhetoric of Bernie Sanders and the entire political left. Everything was wonderful. A system for which they had dreamed and worked for years had finally come. Everyone would have fulfilling work that fit their interests, skills, and abilities. Everyone would be taken care of cradle to grave, and culture would blossom as people were no longer oppressed by capitalist overlords.
As the story develops, joy turns into concern, then into fear, then into despair, as the rulers do what unlimited, unaccountable rulers always do. It was an eerie premonition of the coming nightmare of Soviet Socialism. “But that wasn’t real socialism” is the oft-repeated response, nor was Cuba, Venezuela and the host of others, but as Jordan Peterson so powerfully relates, what that really means is that “If I were dictator, I would be wise enough, good enough, and compassionate enough to make it all work like it should.” Another refrain might be that “I wouldn’t be a dictator. I would set things up so that people want to do the right thing.” Such responses demonstrate a profound naivety and a total lack of self-awareness and understanding of history.
As we have seen repeatedly, the closer to pure socialism a political system is, the more brutal, murderous, and repressive it is. That is not a coincidence. By its very nature, it replaces individual volition, preferences, and choices with those of a central authority. Collective choice, a euphemism for choice of the ruler, negates individual choice. If rulers impose choices that go against human nature and the impulses toward self-preservation and self-interest, they must necessarily be enforced with an iron fist. Without coercion and violence, people will simply ignore the rules. In socialism of any kind, government owns and controls the productive resources. Fascism is socialism without formal ownership, but exerting complete control.
Socialist promoters such as Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and pretty much the entire Democratic progressive left, say they don’t want socialism, but only because they have nowhere to hide from the atrocities of socialist regimes. They want “democratic socialism.” They have the same vision as the families in Richter’s terror story had. It sounds so nice and good and compassionate.
The purpose of the enhanced unemployment and the incentive checks distributed from the CARES Act is to help families avoid foreclosures and evictions, so the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, introduced by Omar and other socialist progressives, demonstrates their true colors. The bill would make it illegal for landlords to collect rent during the shutdown, for lenders to collect mortgage payments, and for either to evict or foreclose. That is the fascist part . A fund would be established to subsidize compliant landlords and banks for lost payments, but the subsidy itself subjects them more fascist meddling. The socialist part kicks in if a landlord or bank violates the rules. A government agency would impose a large fine and confiscate the property for use in low-income housing. It is a front-door attempt to destroy the American real estate market.
Regardless of how rosy and good socialist promoters make it sound, it always ends up the same. It is the antithesis of American freedom and free enterprise.
Originally published on Townhall Finance.
Daniel J. McLaughlin is the author of “Compassion and Truth-Why Good Intentions Don’t Equal Good Results.” Formerly a finance executive, he is now focused primarily on writing on economics, business, and politics. You can find him at daniel-mclaughlin.com.