The opinions expressed by writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Cumberland Country Republican Committee.
Essay: Why Socialism Would Destroy America's Economy and Freedoms
This essay was the basis for the first speech at the event of the same name, on November 20, 2019, co-hosted by the Gray and Windham Republican Committees with the co-sponsorship and support of 50 additional organizations and leaders. Around 100 people attended.
Dec 7, 2019
(25 minute read)
Table of Contents
To borrow a phrase from the sixteen-year-old Swedish leftist Greta Thunberg, freedom-loving Americans, both conservatives and liberals, are at the edge of a “mass extinction” event with Thunberg’s active participation.1 I am not referring to her accusations about climate-caused extinction, but rather to the destruction of the political and economic freedoms that have blessed the populations of the world for hundreds of years.
In spite of the recent tragedies of the mass murders of a hundred and fifty million innocent victims by communist and socialist governments, and in spite of the utter economic destruction caused by socialist experiments in countries around the world, a 2019 poll conducted for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation reveals that seventy percent of millennials are likely or extremely likely to vote for a socialist.2
With so many young voters moving far left to socialism, what can we, as freedom-loving Americans, do? How do we convince millennials that socialism would destroy America’s economy and freedoms? Why would it? There are many ways to answer that question. Here’s my attempt:
Socialism would destroy America’s economy and freedoms because it’s a totalitarian system rooted in hatred, envy, and revenge that gives political and economic power to a bureaucratic élite who inevitably become corrupt as they steal from the masses whom they set out to liberate. As socialism removes economic and political freedoms, it crushes the human soul and turns its citizens into jailers and slaves. Personal dreams and ambitions fade away, and society descends into bored mediocrity, corruption, poverty, fear, and death.
Socialism Starts with a Faulty Premise and an Incorrect Compass Heading
If one tries to solve a problem with the wrong premise, it’s very much like starting a journey with your compass setting one degree off. You might not notice it at the beginning, but your destination will be incorrect.
The Socialist View of the Human Condition
The problem with socialism is that its view of the human condition is deeply flawed. Socialists see the faults of the world, misdiagnose the problem, and then apply the wrong solution. Their compass is off. They are correct that poverty and inequality exist. Selfishness exists. Every good-hearted person can and should abhor the frequent misery of the human condition.
But many socialists look at humans who disagree with them, and in particular capitalists and religious people, as virtually irredeemable. They see “rich” people as evil “haves” endlessly oppressing the “have-nots,” a conflict that can only be resolved by the authoritarian hammer of government. Government must force people to be good, redistribute their wealth, and forcibly modify politically incorrect thinking, speech, and action.
The Reality of the Human Condition
The reality of the human condition is that rich people, capitalists, and the so-called “Haves” cannot be simplistically lumped into a category called “evil people.” Humans are all different and unique. The core problem of the human condition is an invisible trait that all humans must deal with and grow beyond: that of selfishness in the human heart. Both capitalists and socialists can be intolerably selfish—or not.
Socialists don’t recognize that human beings, both rich and poor, have spiritually and morally grown over millennia, and civilization has become more democratic and much kinder to those in need.
Socialists also don’t recognize that moral change, love, and unselfishness cannot be forced by government. Their view of human growth was summed up on a sign in the Solovki Gulag concentration camp which stated, “With an Iron Fist, We Will Lead Humanity to Happiness.”3
The answer to global poverty is to inspire unselfishness within the free environment of capitalism, so that wealth and prosperity are created for increasing numbers of people. This might be called “unselfish capitalism” centered on the values of love, beauty, joy, and freedom. One day, perhaps, those who propagate totalitarian ideologies like socialism will realize that living in freedom is indeed the best way to prosper.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is a native of Portland. He's the Chairman of the Gray Republican Committee and is the Info/Web Committee Chair for the CCRC.