Socialism, its Advocates and Benefactors

As British prime minister Margaret Thatcher observed, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Thanks to Jennifer Tiedemann [Goldwater Institute], for her explicit, “American Supporters of Socialism Don’t Understand What Socialism Is.” [March 7, 2019] For some of us there is a need to understand the “supporters”.

Tiedemann points to the case of “Headline grabbing politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” who make the case for “socialism” by espousing proposals such as universal healthcare, a higher national minimum wage, and the “Green New Deal.” To which she questions whether Americans who claim that socialism would be a good move for the US understand what it really is. However, she notes that the millenial’s disillusionment with the capitalist system is growing.

By way of an introduction to the given subject, Jennifer Tiedemann recalls a comment from human rights activist and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov who, grew up under the Soviet system, and thus was well-acquainted with socialism in practice. A couple of years back, he took to Facebook to confront American promoters of socialism:

“I’m enjoying the irony of American [Bernie] Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech sound bites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty…Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.”

Continuing:
“Talking about socialism in America is a luxury paid for by the successes of capitalism,” Kasparov said upon accepting the Freedom Award. “[Barry] Goldwater was right in 1960 and it became even clearer with the collapse of the USSR that the historical record leaves no doubt: Free markets and free people create prosperity, while government control of resources and citizens creates poverty.”

Tiedemann explains that those who are given to desiring socialism reference Denmark or Norway as an example, but do not realize that they are actually market economies, rather than true bastions of socialism. For examples of places which adhere to a purer form of socialism , one need only consider the Cubas and Venezuela, where suffering and poverty abounds.

The latter countries as in the case of the Soviet Union before them, are “economic disasters and brutally repressive states.”

Those who urge a shift to more socialist-style policies tend to point to places like Denmark or Norway—which are actually market economies rather than true bastions of socialism. But in the places adhering to a purer form of socialism—the Cubas and Venezuelas of the world—suffering and poverty abound. According to Kasporav, “Socialism will always be an alluring dream, even in the freest and richest countries in the world, so when Americans think about socialism, the definition may have evolved—from one of politics to economics—but socialism is a powerful drug, and…vigilance must always be maintained.”

Lee Edwards PhD published “Three Nations that Tried Socialism and Rejected it ” on October 16, 2019. The three nations in question are Israel, India and the UK, who adopted socialism as an economic model following WW2. In fact, he notes that socialism has failed in every country in which it has been tried; from the Soviet Union beginning a century ago to three modern countries that tried but ultimately rejected socialism—Israel, India, and the United Kingdom.

Further, Edwards observes that socialism is guilty of a fatal conceit: It believes its system can make better decisions for the people than they can for themselves.

After decades of ever declining economic growth and ever rising unemployment, all three countries abandoned socialism and turned toward capitalism and the free market. The resulting prosperity in Israel, India, and the U.K. vindicated free-marketers who had predicted that socialism would inevitably fail to deliver the goods

A key player in the socialization of Israel was the Histadrut, the General Federation of Labor, subscribers to the socialist dogma that capital exploits labor and that the only way to prevent such “robbery” is to grant control of the means of production to the state.

There was an increasing demand for economic reform to free the economy from the government’s centralized decision-making. In 1961, supporters of economic liberalization formed the Liberal party—the first political movement committed to a market economy.

Paradoxically, the 6 Day War brought short-lived prosperity to Israel, owing to increased military spending and a major influx of workers from new territories. For the first time, there was a public debate between supporters of free-enterprise economics and supporters of traditional socialist arrangements. Leading the way for the free market was the future Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, who urged Israeli policymakers to “set your people free” and liberalize the economy.

Because socialism’s roots in Israel were so deep, real reform proceeded slowly. The 1977 elections resulted in the victory of the Likud party, with its staunch pro-free-market philosophy. At that time

After modest expansion in the 1990s, Israel’s economic growth topped the charts in the developing world in the 2000s, propelled by low inflation and a reduction in the size of government.
“The world’s most successful experiment in socialism,” Light wrote, “appears to have resolutely embraced capitalism.”

In India, Jawaharlal Nehru adopted socialism as the ruling ideology when he became India’s first prime minister after independence in 1947. For nearly 30 years, the Indian government adhered to a socialist line. In 2017, India overtook Germany to become the fourth-largest auto market in the world, and it is expected to displace Japan in 2020.

Because the political leaders of India sought and adopted a better economic system—free enterprise—after some four decades of fitful progress and unequal prosperity under socialism.

Widely described as “the sick man of Europe” after three decades of socialism, the United Kingdom underwent an economic revolution in the 1970s and 1980s because of one remarkable person—Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Some skeptics doubted that she could pull it off—the U.K. was then a mere shadow of its once prosperous free-market self.

No preceding British government, Labor or Conservative, has tried to renationalize what Margaret Thatcher denationalized.

In “Socialism How to Destroy a Society” [Arutz7 – 10/09/2020], David Billet focuses on cotemporary times, including the Democrat players. Pointing to the fact that worldwide, socialism has resulted in the loss of 100 million people in less than and the consequent mass famine, he makes a reader wonder why the Democrats would select socialism as one of its guiding ideologies.

Billet demonstrates astuteness in recognizing that Joe Biden is undoubtedly a figurehead, while the Party has been hijacked by a group of radical, self-declared socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Despite their promises, he can only foresee , the destruction of any nation they touch. As in the case of the notorious leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, Sanders also desires to assume control of the US economy. Thanks to Stalin, more than 40 million men, women and children were killed. What is Sander’s expectation?

Recalling that he once praised Fidel Castro, the socialist dictator of Cuba, and literally honeymooned in the Soviet Union, one can only guess. As against the relentless attacking of capitalism, Billet counters as follows:

[a] Results of the labor of citizens will belong to the government.
[b] Socialism rejects all notions of individual freedom. By definition, socialist leaders eventually take control of the economy, which inherently results in the government controlling all aspects of society
[c] In a socialist society, the leadership decides your profession, where you can work, and how to allocate all resources.
[d] A visit to Venezuela may change your mind. By implementing socialist policies, Venezuela was transformed from a thriving society to a country where families are forced to eat their own pets due to a lack of food.

As time passes, we must never forget the words of Winston Churchill, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

John Hawkins explains how,”5 Ways Socialism Destroys Societies” in Townhall of Feb. 25, 2014.

1) It kills economic growth: Strong economic growth is what produces jobs, tax revenue and a better standard of living for everyone, including the poor and middle class. “That’s exactly what killed the Soviet Union, it’s killing Greece right now and sadly, the United States and most of Western Europe is on exactly the same path.”
2) It stifles free speech: “Why are most schools, papers, and colleges run by liberals in the United States? Why do liberals often try to disrupt conservative speakers on college campuses? Why are there such extreme speech codes in Canada that it practically makes some conservative arguments illegal? Why does speaking out against the government risk imprisonment in China and the old Soviet Union? Because socialism requires protection, propaganda, intimidation, and darkness to survive.”—–” As Reagan said, “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”
3) It leads to an increasingly tyrannical government: ” Freedom and socialism go together like oil and water.”——” As government grows, it inevitably becomes more centralized, more distant from the people and ultimately more menacing.”
4) It creates strife and division: “Socialism is all about turning people against each other”.——” Eventually, those who depend on government for their livelihood and those that the government smears and loots to pay them off come to hate each other.”
5) Socialists believe the ends justify the means: Like the pigs in Orwell’s Animal Farm, socialists believe that, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” As Margaret Thatcher explained, “Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seems to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag.”

Demonstrating the ills of socialism is clearly essential in the effort to secure a Republican victory in favor of both the US and Israel. The other is exposing the harm of anti-Semites and Islamic radicals.

Debbie Maimon’s “Enemies of Israel Find a Friend in Bernie Sanders” appeared in the January 8, 2020 edition. “[Sen. Sanders] seems more comfortable speaking about Pope Francis… than about his own religious beliefs,” wrote the New York Times, noting that Sanders admitted belonging to a category of people described by some as “non-Jewish Jews.” Sanders has replaced the Bible with Social Justice and surrounded himself with bigots, such as Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and notorious anti-Semite Linda Sarsour, whose anti-Semitic remarks have garnered notoriety.

Dennis Prager’s, “Bernie Sanders, the Non-Jewish Jew and Non-American” of June, 2016 includes George Soros. Of the latter, he says, “Soros is another man who was born Jewish and later became a radical world citizen, a man who was alienated from America and his Jewish origins, and damages both.” His indifference to his Jewishness, has no Jewish communal ties, is not a believer and most definitely not a Zionist.

Speaking to Connie Bruck of the New Yorker, he said testily, “I don’t deny the Jews their right to a national existence—–but I don’t want to be part of it.”

Soros supports “Palestinian” nationalism. “A consistent belief of radicals is that anti-Jewish and anti-American nationalisms are good, and Jewish and American nationalisms are bad.”

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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