This is one of most pressing cultural and ideological issues of our time
Socialism is one of the most dangerous and pervasive ideas to currently be tolerated by our modern society. That is not an exaggeration. While there are worse ideologies out there, none are as widely accepted as socialism and its big brother, communism. It is as if we have forgotten the horrors these false paths to utopia have caused humanity over the last century.
Tens of millions have died under communist regimes.
Nowadays, it’s easy for budding socialists and communists to attribute the deadly nature of their favourite political system to the fascist dictators whom have typically helmed them throughout history. However, what many fail to realise is that fascism is an ingrained consequence of a society in which individuals forfeit their right to make economic decisions, imbuing government with strong centralised power and laying the foundations for an authoritarian nightmare.
This is something many of us just don’t get. The attraction between millennials and socialism is bound to be fatal, and the same can be said of the left’s flirtatious attitude toward people like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and any popular but misguided figure who can guarantee a support base for the Democrats.
A recent Gallup poll has shown that Democrats in the United States are now more positive about socialism than they are about capitalism. That’s a staggering 57% of left-leaning Americans who believe that their lives as well as the lives of others would be improved by a system that places all economic power within the grasp of the government.
On the other hand, only 16% of Republicans hold a positive view of socialism. Now, I challenge you to find another statistic that so adequately and succinctly sums up the ideological divide in the United States and the Western countries that follow its cultural lead.
A significant reason why a new majority has emerged in support of socialism is because many simply do not understand what the word means. Socialism is not when the government spends money on behalf of the public good. Socialism is not the answer to poverty and homelessness—capitalism is not the cause of it either.
Socialism is what blind utopians come up with when they are faced with the real problems of the world, and the result is often exceedingly criminal. The only difference posed by ‘democratic socialism’ is that elected government men will ask nicely before kicking down the doors of any business or bank that refuses to relinquish its rights.
However, I am done with giving these ‘thinkers’ anymore benefit of the doubt, questioning whether they know the true definition of what they preach. That’s because modern progressives have proven that their beliefs do indeed fall in line with social and economic authoritarianism. This can be seen not only in their hatred of ‘rich people’ but the idea of wealth accumulation itself.
A writer for The Guardian asks, ‘Why not fund the welfare state with a 100% inheritance tax?’ The author outlines two reasons in favour of letting people keep their own money, which is that they ‘deserve to be rewarded for being good at their job, and also that society needs to offer financial rewards to encourage people to work hard and be productive.’ However, ‘in the case of inheritance,’ the writer posits that ‘neither of these arguments really apply,’ as the benefactors—children and family members of successful people—‘haven’t done anything to earn that money.’
I was reminded of this article and the push for a severe inheritance tax after listening to, I kid you not, Jay-Z’s The Story of O.J. Now, whatever you think of rap or Jay-Z, I think you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not listening to what this successful businessman has to say about inheritance and wealth.
One verse extols the virtues of passing down one’s assets.
Financial freedom my only hope
F*ck livin’ rich and dyin’ broke
I bought some artwork for one million
Two years later, that sh*t worth two million
Few years later, that sh*t worth eight million
I can’t wait to give this s*it to my children
The song effectively advocates for the building of generational wealth, with Jay-Z contending that one of the best ways to alleviate poverty is to work hard, invest smart, pass down earned assets, and teach your children to do the same. With that, struggling communities can lift themselves out of financial destitution.
Poverty is a cycle, but so is wealth when handled properly.
As of now, our culture has a deep issue regarding the idea of the ‘self-made’ man or woman. We tend to think of generational fortunes as either unearned or a cheat on our equitable society.
Going back to that article by The Guardian, the author states, ‘people who stand to inherit large sums haven’t done anything to earn that money,’ calling their predicament ‘an accident of birth’ that they have ‘benefited from…their whole life.’
The moment we start passing judgement upon people due to the unchosen qualities of their life is the moment we descend into prejudice. Yes, it was an ‘accident of birth’ that certain individuals found themselves brought up in a financially privileged family. However, it was also an accident that you found yourself born in a developed nation, breathing clean air, with access to electricity and the internet.
Should we reduce our own excellent standard of living because people in foreign countries are living in poverty? No. There are ways to solve these issues that do not hinge on making everyone equally embattled.
Progressive attitudes are turning socialist; there is no doubt about it. The war on wealth creation and the culture’s obsession with vindictive redistribution is linked to one of the most dangerous ideas of the twentieth century. The only thing we can do now is fight back with better solutions and ensure that the wrong people don’t make it into the highest seats of government.