Un-Democratic Socialism

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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Socialism Disguised as Democratic

When the socialist experiment came to its inevitable crash in the USSR, the world unanimously agreed that capitalism triumphed over communism. As if Samuel Huntington’s seminal work The Clash of Civilizations had finally vindicated capitalism and deservedly vilified socialism. Unfortunately, it seems that today’s members of the Democratic Party either slept in school history lessons and rather devoured Karl Marx’s work or they are simply intellectually severely handicapped. One of these options is redundant.

2020 will be a defining year for the new Democratic Party.

After Bernie Sanders, a socialist Senator from Vermont, opened the Pandora’s Box of socialism in 2016 Presidential Elections most of his lunatic ideas remained out of the mainstream. However, by paradoxically disguising socialism as “democratic” first and oppressively totalitarian second as history had consistently exhibited, many Millennials fell in love with Sanders’ Orwellian double-speak. What makes this a puzzling travesty is that despite being considered the most educated generation in American history, Millennials simply found Sanders’ ideas of a just society through theft too tempting to ignore.

Millennials Love Socialism

Historically speaking, however, Millennials’ affection towards socialism should not come as a surprise. After all, Marxist doctrine has rarely been promulgated or admired by the class (the proletarians) that Marxists claimed to protect. Interestingly, the elitist university educated individuals were those who admired Marx. They consequently organized, agitated and initiated communist uprisings in different communities. In no society have the poor unanimously voted or demanded communism. Controversial philosopher Ayn Rand recognized this pattern when she called university campuses the most dangerous places in America. In the light of recent events around America’s college campuses, it will be difficult to disagree with her statement from the 1970s.

Thus, socialism has naturally become an accepted mainstream platform in 2020 Democratic candidates’ campaign strategies. Get your popcorn ready for the primary debates. It will be hilarious to watch who out of the 20 plus candidates will out-promise the others. Especially when it comes to “free” things under the worn out socialist slogans of “for the common good” or “in the name of a just society” while pussyfooting around the question of affordability. This pivotal question will be ignored as an irrelevant nuisance in another futile and deceptive pursuit of a noble socialist paradise.

However, as the famous Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman profoundly said in 1975, “one of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their [noble] intentions rather than their results.” In the socialist world philosophy, the shortcomings and utter failures of collectivist policies are always someone else’s fault. Rather ironically the only thing that socialist leaders do not want to take ownership of is their own failures.

What is Democratic Socialism?

In all seriousness what does democratic socialism mean? Apparently, democratic socialism would combine the best of two rivaling worlds. The efficiency and prosperity of the free market system and redistributive and organizational elements of social justice through higher taxation and nationalization of key industries. Supposedly, all of this can be achieved by noble bureaucrats appointed by politicians. Politicians who naturally have zero skin in the game.

As if free markets can maintain efficiency when government bureaucrats intervene with politically motivated maneuvers. As if government-appointed board of organizers would know better how the economy works than the efficient market pricing system. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, and their crony friends proclaim that they have the answers to the fundamental question of economics. How to successfully combine economic efficiency, social justice, and individual liberty.

This trilemma has a detrimental assumption at its core. If we choose to prioritize economic efficiency, we will have to also emphasize individual liberty due to human actions and incentives. At the same time, if we pursue individual liberty, we must begin from the concept of economic efficiency, not distribution. Social justice as a principle does not automatically compliment liberty or efficiency because “justice” is a subjective matter of sufficiency.

You Cannot Change History

In other words, social justice is a political principle designed to maximize power/control. Whereas economic efficiency and liberty complement each other. In short and in mundane economics jargon, democratic socialists falsely assume that free market equilibrium will remain stationary. No matter how much and how poorly these self-appointed omnipotent organizers meddle with the economy. Therefore, democratic socialism is and has always been a non-scientific sham. The designed intended to appeal to our lowest emotions, envy and hate towards the pursuit of success.

One simply cannot change the contradictory structure and bloody history of failed socialism by playing with semantics. Adding a positive term in front of the grotesque basis of socialist ideology does not change reality. Nazis will not become admirable and sympathetic individuals even if someone added “democratic” in front of national socialists. In conclusion, 2020 will be a defining year for the new Democratic Party. The spirit of the times, however, necessitates us to utilize Orwellian double-speak and call them “democratic tyrants” instead. After all, semantics can change the past and form the future. Makes sense, right?

Author Profile

Henri Erti
Henri Erti
Henri Erti is a writer for NRN. Born in former USSR Estonia, he escaped communism to neighboring Finland where he learned first hand about the atrophying effects of socialism. Erti studied international business in Brevard College (NC) and completed graduate studies in international political economy at Dubrovnik International University (Croatia).