Lose. Hope.

Am I the only one who notices the unnaturally gigantic head on that guy?
You know how the Baby Boomer generation's motto went something like, "Don't trust anyone over thirty"? Well, as far as Millennials are concerned, the appropriate phrase for the rest of us to take to heart when dealing with them is, "don't trust the judgment of anyone born after 1990":
A new survey from YouGov finds that millennials have more favorable views of socialism than of capitalism. 
As Santayana said, those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Less than two decades after socialism seemed to have been confined to the dust-heap of history, another generation may have to learn hard lessons. 
The survey, taken at the end of January, found that 43 percent of Americans under 30 had a favorable view of socialism. Less than a third of millennials had a favorable view of capitalism. No other age or ethnic demographic preferred socialism over capitalism. 
Seniors, unsurprisingly, had the most favorable view of capitalism. Just 23 percent of Americans older than 65 had a positive view of socialism. Sixty-three percent of seniors, though, had a favorable view of capitalism. 
Seniors, after all, experienced the long-standing intellectual battle between capitalism and socialism played out in real life. They witnessed a post-war economic euphoria grind down into a socialist malaise, only to be reinvigorated by a global embrace of disruptive technology, deregulation, and global trade. 
In the past 20 years, the number of people living in poverty worldwide has fallen by half. In 1990, 43 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. In 2013, the United Nations estimated that just 22 percent of the world’s population continued to live in extreme poverty. 
“Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast,” the UN Human Development report said
Even if millenials aren’t swayed by the dramatic improvement in worldwide living standards, one would hope they would see the benefits of capitalism in the products and services that inhabit their world. 
They live, and thrive, in a consumer-driven, on-demand society. They have immediate access, at their fingertips, to more knowledge, art, music, and communication than the wealthiest oligarch just a few decades ago. 
Each and every one of the products and services they use every day was developed by someone chasing profit and market-share. It is a cliche to say that capitalism has powered the technological and scientific innovations that have improved all our lives. Apparently, however, it is a cliche that bears repeating. 
On a postive note, every other demographic block in America still prefers capitalism over socialism. Well, Democrats, perhaps naturally, are evenly split between the two economic systems. At least Democrats, though, have slightly higher unfavorable ratings of socialism than capitalism. 
The danger, of course, is that the demographic in America that does prefer socialism is also the future of the country. Of course, they have the luxury of looking positively on socialism, since any impact on their lives is restricted to dusty history books.
Lord, here we go...

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The Millennial experience with socialism is, indeed, restricted purely to history books. But those history books have quite a lot to tell us- even Millennial airheads who aren't born with the sense that God gave a gerbil.

On my bookshelf is an 860-page tome that I acquired recently after years of leaving it on my wish list. It is named The Black Book of Communism, and it is, to date, probably the single most comprehensive reckoning of the horrendous toll that socialism had taken upon an afflicted humanity in the 20th Century. Within its pages, the entire appalling, murderous, bloody-handed record of communist tyranny, oppression, evil, and suffering is laid bare for the world to see.

And from that truth, there is no escape. Not even for the most wretchedly stupid and deluded of Millennials.

Prior to its publication, it was possible for intellectually slippery and dishonest Marxists- is there any other kind?- to use a particularly ridiculous form of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. They would endlessly contort the rumours and terrible stories that made their way out of the second-world hellholes that the Communist nations became, no matter how dire, no matter how awful, and no matter how much bloodshed had to be delicately papered over in the process.

They would argue that no true socialist would ever sentence millions of Russians to slavery and death in the gulags, or condemn tens of millions to an agonising death by starvation in the enforced collectivist famines of Ukraine and the Great Leap Forward in China.

They would fervently claim that the Soviet Union's longevity had nothing whatsoever to do with the West's constant propping up of that failing and decrepit system, and everything to do with the innate robustness of the socialist system of production.

They would resort to the most fantastical contortions of logic in order to refute the irrefutable truth of the impossibility of economic calculation in the socialist commonwealth- a theorem proven so thoroughly by Ludwig von Mises in that seminal paper that his critics had to resort to sheer fantasy in order to argue against him. They failed, miserably and repeatedly, but that didn't stop them from trying.

They would refuse to acknowledge the endless and wretched suffering of over a billion people condemned to a miserable, doomed, trapped existence behind the Iron Curtain, never knowing the basic human dignity of having the right to choose one's own destiny, never to feel the true joy of wealth created and earned through the labours of one's own hands.

And then the Iron Curtain fell, and the Satanic reality of socialism was laid bare, for all the world to see.

I was too young to remember the fall of the Berlin wall. I watched old film footage of that magnificent moment decades later. I saw the joy radiating from the dancing children of East Germany, the tears streaming from the eyes of their parents, and the smiles that illuminated the faces of all those who were reunited with loved ones long thought lost across a wall that had once so shamefully divided a city.

I saw the power of a loving Creator, striving to deliver His children from the insane evil that we had inflicted upon each other.

If ever there was proof that socialism is evil, the fall of the Berlin Wall was it, in living colour.

In the nearly thirty years since that amazing day, the day that saw the final victory of Ronald Wilson Reagan's lifelong war against the evil of communism, a new generation has come forth, and like every generation before it, seeks to forget the lessons that its predecessors had to learn the hard way.

The difference between them and their progenitors is that at least previous generations had the excuse of being ignorant. The flow of information was not nearly so readily available then as it is now. Ignorance was a feeble, though passable, excuse once upon a time.

But now, thanks to the Black Book, there is no excuse. There is no such thing as "workable" socialism. It always fails. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And as the failures of socialism become ever more glaring and apparent, socialists are left with just two choices: double down and continue making the same mistakes, or abandon their mad Utopian schemes altogether and finally admit that they were completely wrong.

Even a Millennial should be able to figure out which option is usually chosen.

The natural counterargument to the (admittedly melodramatic) account of the evils of socialism given above does, of course, go something like this:
You're just a raving right-wing reactionary! Bernie Sanders isn't going to implement full-blown communism! He's just going to make the world more FAIR! By taking from the rich and giving to the rest of us! By investing trillions of dollars in infrastructure and schools and public works projects! By taxing those evil corporations and banks! If you don't support him, you have no heart!
It is a distinct possibility that I do not, in fact, have a heart. But I do have a brain. And unlike the Millennials, I am actually inclined to use it from time to time.

Perhaps Bernie Sanders and his Millennial cohorts do not plan to completely nationalise the country's industries, or to enforce collectivisation of all farmland, or to tax the rich at 100% of their income and wealth. Perhaps he only intends to go, say, 60% of the way toward those goals. What could be wrong with that?

I could give you a hundred different answers to that question, all of them based on hard-headed and clear-eyed understanding of economics, incentives, and history. But the one answer that stands out the most is the emotional argument, which is how Millennials themselves love to argue.

You see, unlike most Americans, I actually have some idea of what real socialism looks like, up close and personal.

Back in the old country, my home state was until quite recently a hard-core socialist state. And I do mean hard-core. The Communist Party that took control of that state in the late 1950s and early 1960s proceeded to strip the major cities of all of their wealth, chased away industry and technology, and redistributed all of the wealth to the farming areas. The result was an entirely predictable implosion of productivity, economic activity, and general living standards.

For the past twenty years I have returned to the old country roughly once a year. For fifteen of those twenty years, I would find myself returning to a city without hope, a city dying slowly on its feet, a shambolic corpse that had not the sense to realise that it was dead and which continued somehow to stagger on, crushing its people under the sheer weight of the accumulated decades of misery and stupidity. Only recently has that socialist insanity began to recede, as the state's government has recognised, however belatedly, that wishes are not in fact horses, and that beggars cannot in fact ride.

And yet even this is not enough. I remember very well sitting in my family's home shortly after Christmas last year, talking about the reality of socialism. My sister is, of course, a Millennial, and has openly expressed her dislike of capitalism- which, when you consider the fact that she went to some of the best schools in the world and is by any standard highly educated, makes you wonder what value, if any, there is in modern "education" at all.

My family is an argumentative bunch- not for nothing have I learned how to develop, express, and defend points of view. But when you're dealing with two women at the table who argue the only way women know- through emotion- then arguing with logic and reason simply won't cut it.

So I asked my family a very simple set of questions.

  • In the entire history of the division of Berlin, precisely how many people went from West Germany into East Germany?
  • Since the Castro revolution, how many boats were seen going from Miami to Havana?
  • Since the Panmunjom Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War, how many South Koreans have fled into the North?
  • How many people do you know of that went from Vietnam into Cambodia during the height of the Khmer Rouge regime, instead of the other way around?
  • During the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, how many people relocated permanently from Taiwan to mainland China, instead of the other way?
My sister was unable to answer any of these questions with anything other than dumbfounded silence- though the look on her face was most eloquent.

No matter where you look, the answer is always the same: the workers living in those supposed socialist "paradises" were so in love with their new Utopias that they desperately fled them at the earliest possible opportunity. And that is because socialism simply does not work.

If history teaches us anything, it is that Mankind's impulse to create a better world will always lead us into trouble if we are not wary and cognisant of the lessons of history. Unfortunately, one of the key lessons of history is that every generation appears to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors; the best we can do, apparently, is not to cock up quite as spectacularly as those who came before us.

And yet... and yet... in spite of it all, in spite of the nonsense that passes through the sawdust-filled skulls of most Millennials these days, especially those stupid enough to fall for what Bernie Sanders is selling, there remains hope.

Forty years ago, the forces of the socialist world appeared to be ready to dominate all life on Earth. It appeared as though nothing could possibly prevent the global takeover of the Soviet Union and its allies and proxies. It appeared as though the United States of America, with its magnificent traditions of individual liberty, immortalised in the beautiful, defiant prose of the Declaration of Independence and given weight and meaning in the equally brilliant words of the Constitution, would be forced to retreat and dwindle into nothingness, a forgotten footnote in the long passage of history.

But it did not come to pass. Socialism failed then, as it will fail again. And it failed because socialism is built on lies.

The lies that gave rise to socialism have now given birth to new and faster-failing ideologies, such as feminism and social justice- the great new deities of the godless Left. But they, too, will wither and fade, as all lies must.

How do I know this? Because unlike my sister and her friends, I can understand history- and I know enough to heed and take to heart the life and the works of a saint, who waged a spiritual war on Communism, and who now rests with the Lord:

The truth, that life is sacred, is graven in the human heart, and no lie can prevail against it forever. 
I learned that lesson from reading one of the most powerful books I’ve ever come across, Pope John Paul II’s autobiographical Memory and Identity. It was the last book he wrote before he died. In it, that Pope wrote about the three great ideologies of evil that he faced in his life: Nazism, Communism, and the Culture of Death. And he pointed out that in his own lifetime, there was a point when Nazi ideology seemed unbeatable. The Nazis had conquered most of Europe, were menacing Britain, were rolling straight for Moscow, and starting up their machinery for exterminating their enemies. People who lived under Nazi occupation had every reason to think its power would last indefinitely. But in fact, that regime was destroyed after only 12 years in power. So much for the Thousand-Year Reich. 
Next, the Pope pointed out how Communists, who did much of the fighting against the Nazis and then filled their shoes as conquerors and tyrants, looked absolutely unconquerable. Communism rolled over Eastern Europe, then conquered China, and exported its agents and its armies to every corner of the globe, arming itself with nuclear weapons that could wipe out the human race. 
Then in 1989, the Communist colossus collapsed from within. It had been built upon a bedrock of lies about the human person, so human beings eventually rejected it. We were born to know the truth, and something in our soul is repulsed by lies. This awakening takes work and it takes time. But it is ultimately unstoppable.
Ultimately, the truth always wins. And no one- not Bernie Sanders, not the Hilldebeast, not the most craven of cuckservatives- can stop it. 

Comments

  1. Eduardo the Magnificent19 February 2016 at 21:45

    I had someone tell me that the Black Book was nothing but lies and propaganda, and that capitalism had actually killed more people than all the brands of socialism combined. He didn't think there was such a thing as human nature, either. An unprovable theory. Make of that what you will....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I heard a similar argument almost as absurd as that coming from members of my own family. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or to jump up from the dinner table and start Jap-slapping people.

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