Throughout its existence, socialism has done little more than worsen poverty, create mass murder, and abolish freedom. The experiment has been tried—and failed– throughout the world, in every type of nation, for over a century.
The philosophy of the left has powerful and influential advocates within America in politics, the arts, the media, education, and among a certain class of billionaires who disdain the masses and seek to establish a top-down system, of course led by them. But how to sell an idea that produced only misery for over a century? It can’t be done in open debate. It can’t be done through the normal discourse of public discussion. There are no tales of success to entice voters with.
And so, a very different course of action is followed. A relentless overpoliticization of the culture is undertaken, in which every flaw, every shortcoming, every lack of perfection is headlined and dwelled upon incessantly. Imagine a documentary about Babe Ruth that contains only descriptions of the times he struck out. That is the intellectually dishonest tactic that Progressives adhere to.
Needless to say, the mass murders committed in the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia, and by the National Socialist of Germany are largely ignored, as are comparisons between North and South Korea, or in the old East and West Europe. A recent survey by The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany noted that two thirds of the millennials polled didn’t know about the Auschwitz concentration camp; many don’t even know that the full name of the Nazis was the National Socialist Party. The stunning human rights violations committed by almost all socialist regimes are overlooked.
Courses in history and civics are essentially replaced by indoctrination and propaganda that excludes honest facts. Those dissenting from these affronts are labelled with every pejorative available. Major newspapers and televised news shows warp the truth. Key social media sites and search engines censor, obscure or otherwise diminish non-leftist perspectives.
President Obama put into action leftist policies on a significant scale. They did not produce beneficial results, as the economy stagnated, race relations deteriorated, seniors received the smallest social security cost of living increases in living memory, jobs fled overseas, and the middle class became an endangered species. Voters responded by tossing out left-leaning politicians throughout federal and state elections.
Faced with disaster at the ballot box, Progressives reacted with violence and mayhem. When not rioting or inciting disharmony throughout the population, they sought to abuse the law to attack moderate and conservative lawmakers, think tanks, and individuals. Obama used the IRS to attack the Tea Party. His attorney general threatened to criminally prosecute those that disagreed with him on climate change.
When the left lost the White House and access to the instruments of the federal government to harass opponents, they resorted to other tactics, some of which are only in the early stages but which will produce significant and worrisome results in the near future. Billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros have provided extraordinary donations to progressive candidates for what should be not particularly partisan positions such as attorney general. The reason is clear. Just as the Obama Administration unlawfully used the federal government to beat down opponents, states attorneys general could—some already have– relentlessly entangle moderate and conservative voices in endless rounds of lawsuits. Faced with the expense and time-consuming challenge of responding, those non-progressive institutions and individuals lose even when they eventually beat the nonsense lawsuits in court.
The inappropriate use of the machinery of government to intimidate and defeat alternative voices, and attempts to prevent dissemination of differing views, are tactics universally employed in left-wing regimes. The well-practiced playbook is now being employed within America.
Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government