Read the history of the early days of socialism in Hayek’s masterpiece, The Counter-revolution in Science, and you’ll notice that socialism began life as a substitute for Christianity. They offered their own version of the doctrine of original sin: people are born innocent and turn evil only because of oppression and property is the greatest oppressor. Their “gospel” said that socialism could redeem mankind from evil by ending property and distributing wealth equally. At the same time, it would make everyone wealthy.
Marx added little to the original socialism of Saint-Simon. However, by the time he came along economists had begun to lob devastating critical Molotov cocktails at socialism and Marx couldn’t respond. So, he invented a silly idea that the bourgeois and proletariat had different systems of logic, what Mises called polylogism, then claimed that was the reason the bourgeois couldn’t understand socialism, let alone embrace it. In other words, the evidence and reasoning of economists were merely fabricated tools of the bourgeoisie to keep themselves in power.
He foolishly promised that capitalism would impoverish the working classes then cause them to revolt and drag onto the world stage international socialism. Later, he determined that the capitalist had beaten down workers so thoroughly that workers could not respond to their misery. So, it would take armies, guns and massive death to rescue them.
Socialists and capitalists debated the economic rationale for socialism throughout the 20th century until the collapse of the Soviet Union and its puppet states in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and 1990s. The quick collapse of socialism surprised and dismayed its sycophants. Without the promise of wealth, they had to find a new camel to sneak the burden of socialism into the capitalist tent. Right away, they kidnapped the environment as the excuse for a socialist takeover.
But global warming proved to be too weak for the burden. Socialists couldn’t convince enough US citizens that they were causing it and condemning our species to extinction. After all, even Democrats can understand that most of global warming in the 20,000 years since the Ice Age melted glaciers long before the 20th century. And a few are glad the glaciers receded at least to the Canadian border. Europe signed onto the recent climate change pact while the US backed out under President Trump, but Europe cheated and increased their carbon emissions to the size of bigfoot, while the US shrunk its footprint by burning more natural gas.
Socialists had to find a different scare tactic, a new camel, to ride to the socialist revolution that Marx promised would happen naturally 150 years ago. Some socialist intellectuals (without intellect) had been working on the problem since the 1950s. They asked, “Why hadn’t the working classes risen to overthrow their capitalist masters as Marx had predicted?” They ascertained that the proletariat were more severely oppressed than even Marx had guessed. But that oppression wasn’t just economic. It was racial and sexual; men oppressed women and nonwhites. Heterosexuals oppressed homosexuals, and whites oppressed everyone else. They gave birth to critical race theory and intersectionality. They reasoned that if they could convince women and minorities that white heterosexual men had oppressed them so much and for so long that they couldn’t recognize their own oppression, they could get them to stand up and man the barricades. Excuse me, that should be person the barricades.
Of course, socialists won’t tell you that Leninism is their goal. The Jacobin calls it Trotskyism. Most of the left claim they just want to end racism, but admit that everything must go, the Constitution, property, the law, etc. and they must begin rebuilding from bare ground. But if they made that too clear, they know that most Americans, even minorities, would abandon them. They have to keep their goals relatively quiet or they will lose the element that Lenin referred to as “useful idiots,” those who think the left only wants justice and to end racism.