History is unkind to socialism

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review Online explores socialism’s troubled history.

Multiple forms of socialism, from hard Stalinism to European redistribution, continue to fail.

Russia and China are still struggling with the legacy of genocidal Communism. Eastern Europe still suffers after decades of Soviet-imposed socialist chaos.

Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Venezuela are unfree, poor, and failed states. Baathism — a synonym for pan-Arabic socialism — ruined the post-war Middle East.

The soft-socialist European Union countries are stagnant and mostly dependent on the U.S. military for their protection.

In contrast, current American deregulation, tax cuts and incentives, and record energy production have given the United States the strongest economy in the world.

So why, then, are two of the top three Democratic presidential contenders — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — either overtly or implicitly running on socialist agendas? Why are the heartthrobs of American progressives — Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) — calling for socialist redistributionist schemes? …

… Another culprit for the new socialist craze is the strange leftward drift of the very wealthy in Silicon Valley, in corporate America, and on Wall Street.

Some of the new progressive rich feel guilty about their unprecedented wealth. So they champion redistribution as the sort of medieval penance that alleviates guilt.

Yet the influential and monied classes usually are so well off that higher taxes hardly affect them. Instead, redistributionist taxation hurts the struggling middle classes.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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