The End of Socialism?

Steve McCann at American Thinker has a thought provoking piece on the downfall of socialism:

Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried, and it will continue to do so despite the best efforts of the die-hard true believers in the Obama administration and the rest of the world. The most recent example of this failure: Euro-Socialism is presently bankrupting the countries that embraced it in Europe. This will result not only in more social and economic upheaval, but also the ultimate demise of the ill-conceived European Union.

The original and current proponents of socialism fail to take into account one very basic but immutable factor: the fundamental nature of the human race.
The most dominant trait mankind has, as do all living creatures, is an innate desire to survive and prosper.
The mid-19th century saw the Industrial Revolution and the rise in living standards and education for the populace in Europe. It was during this same period that the advent of socialist/Marxist theory occurred. Those that considered themselves superior to the masses, and in the past may have achieved ruling status through the power of intimidation over the illiterate and unwashed, now had to look to other means to achieve control of the levers of government.
The easiest course to assume this power was to promise, in return for the support of the people, that the state through a new ruling class would provide the citizenry cradle-to-grave economic security. Thus, a Faustian bargain encompassing the desire by the majority for ease of survival and others for the need to rule would be entered into. The populace, having committed itself to this compact, would expect never-ending freedom from adversity.
However, within this arrangement is the seed of its own destruction. For socialism to succeed, it must have an economic underpinning that can provide the foundation for massive social spending. The Soviet Union, as early as the 1920s and ’30s, proved that complete state control of the means of production was a colossal failure, as it could not produce sufficient wealth to support the population.
McCann brings up an interesting point about socialism (and the progressive movement in general) that is not only often overlooked, but actively denied by progressives despite all evidence to the contrary: its aristocratic nature. Socialism by nature establishes an aristocratic elite that controls all of the resources, and ultimately is responsible for dictating the conduct of private lives as well. This elite is presumably composed of intellectuals that are somehow superior to the great unwashed and therefore qualified to control their lives and lead them into an enlightened utopia.
Michael Aaron Jones, also at American Thinker, touches on this aspect of socialism:
The left should  study history and the rhetoric of a distance political system called Feudalism. Many people have a misconception that the early socialist thinkers like Jean Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels were original thinkers, writing ideas about collectivism and equal sharing of property. But one only has to look back a few centuries to see they were simply recycling old failed ideas with some new jive attached.
After the era of Viking, Magyar, and Muslim raids gradually subsided, Europe began to reorganize itself into a Feudal society. The old ways of the Germanic tribes were ending, which meant less freedom and more central power.
The Feudal system was nothing more than creating a ruling class who owned all the land and wealth and provided security and safety to all the serfs; in turn the serfs provided work and servitude to their master. But many people do not realize the collective aspect of how serfs lived together.
After the ruling class reaped the finest of the crops and livestock for themselves, the serfs were to distribute all the yield of their labor amongst everyone equally. They had no rights to any crops or land for themselves, all belonged to the community, which was bestowed upon them by their feudal lords.
A very liberal acquaintance of mine once told me that she supported a political system that was a cross between Marxism and feudalism. She was very self-congratulatory about the fact that her conception of how society ought to be was the product of an apparent contradiction, and that she had somehow resolved this contradiction. I never really saw this supposed contradiction, because socialism and feudalism have always seemed to be fundamentally the same to me: individuals and their property are owned by the state in order to benefit the elite.
Unfortunately, while I can foresee a time in the near future where socialism declines for a time, I don’t see it as collapsing. McCann seems to forget that the reason why Marx called his philosophy “Communism” was because socialism had already been widely discredited. And once communism was discredited, the term socialism was adopted again. And now that it is being discredited again, the term progressivism is coming back into vogue. And when that is discredited, another term will be used. For the left can only maintain its policies by redefining its own terms, as is has no real philosophical foundation to stand on.
Socialism will do what it has always done: it will hide for a while and emerge with a shiny new name, pretending to be something else. But it will represent the same thing that it always has: a way for a self-serving aristocratic elite to control the lives of everyone else.


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