Parents of college-age children are finally catching on to the cultural Marxist PC scam. Cries of “insensitivity” every time a conservative or libertarian speaker appears anywhere near a college campus; “safe rooms” equipped with play dough, soft music, and videos of frolicking puppies; the endless accusations of “racist/sexist/homophobe” aimed at all non-leftists on campus; and widely-publicized episodes of vulgar, ignorant, x-rated, “students” screaming their heads off at conservative campus speakers have exposed the real purpose of political correctness: censorship of any and all non-Marxist ideas. It’s not about fighting racism, sexism, etc.; it’s about censoring the ideas of freedom.
Today’s college students have been –and are being – trained to be intolerant, totalitarian-minded, communist thugs. All for a mere 50 grand a year at even mediocre institutions of “higher education.”
This all began after the worldwide collapse of socialism in the late 1980s. Socialists never give up on their dream of ordering their fellow human beings around, plundering them with taxes, and enriching themselves in the process. Very few of the twentieth-century socialist ideologues ever admitted that they were disastrously wrong, or apologized for providing aid and comfort to the likes of Stalin, Mao, and Castro. Instead, they and their intellectual descendants have worked tirelessly to invent a virtual socialist reality – at least in the minds of America’s youth – while censoring all dissenting opinions. Socialism’s dirty secrets must never be revealed to America’s youth, lest they revolt against the giant lying machine known as “higher education.” (There are a few exceptions, of course, but most of academe is now dominated by the totalitarian, cultural Marxist Left).
What are socialism’s dirty secrets that must be kept from America’s youth? Let’s examine a few of them:
- Socialism has always and everywhere been an economic disaster, and every honest scholar knows this. After seventy years of socialism, the Soviet economy was barely 5% of the U.S. economy, despite the false assertions of pro-socialist economists like Paul Samuelson, who wrote in the 1988 edition of his famous textbook that the Soviet economy would exceed the U.S. economy by the year 2000.
- You cannot fix socialism with smarter government planners or plans. Socialism cannot work because the rational economic calculation is impossible without private property, free-market prices, the profit-and-loss market feedback mechanism, and economic freedom in general.
- The ostensible goal of socialism – egalitarianism – is at war with human nature because all human beings are unique in thousands of different ways. The only kind of “equality” that socialism has ever created is equality of misery and poverty.
- Socialism generates far more societal inequality than economic freedom does. In all socialist societies the politically-connected elite live lives of luxury while nearly everyone else is equally impoverished. In democratic socialist Venezuela today the economy has been ruined by socialism while the daughter of the late Hugo Chavez, the father of Venezuelan socialism, is reportedly worth $4.5 billion.
- The worst kind of people – the most immoral, corrupt, cynical, uncaring, and brutal – rise to the top under socialism because socialism is all about forcing people to abandon their own plans for their own lives and complying with mandatory government plans instead. It is no accident, in other words, that socialism is associated with such violent thugs as Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Mao.
- Fascism was just another variety of socialism. The word “Nazi” was an acronym for national socialism. The German socialists distinguished themselves from the Russian socialists by calling their variety of socialism “national” as opposed to “international.”
- It is a myth that Scandinavian socialism has been successful. Swedish capitalism was extremely successful in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Swedes began living off of the fruits of capitalist prosperity by adopting a version of democratic socialism in the 1950s. As a result, there was not a single net new job created there from 1955 to 1995.
- Nineteenth-century socialism was “government ownership of the means of production,” but it now includes the welfare state progressive income taxation and the strangulation of capitalism with regulation and taxation. The welfare state has destroyed the work ethic of millions; destroyed millions of families; caused a 400% increase in out-of-wedlock births in America since 1960; and transformed millions into lifelong beggars and wards of the state.
- Government-run healthcare systems – medical care socialism – is like all other government enterprises in that it operates with all the efficiency of the Post Office or Department of Motor Vehicles and all the compassion of the IRS. Anything as important as medical care should never be put in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.
- The worse pollution problems on the planet for the past century or more have been in the socialist countries, as documented by books with titles like Ecocide in the USSR. After the collapse of socialism the world learned that, in addition to being economic basket cases, socialist countries were also ecological cesspools.
These are but a few of the well-documented truths about socialism that are rarely, if ever, mentioned on college campuses. They are among the main reasons why the cultural Marxists have erected so many instruments of ironclad censorship on college campuses. They are why institutions like the Mises Institute – and all the scholars associated with it — are so reviled by them, for they provide their students – and anyone else – with a source of alternative economic education, an education based on sound economics and based in reality. Mises wrote in Human Action of how the socialists of his day were at war with economics, for economic common sense threatened their totalitarian plans. Today’s socialists hope to never even have to respond to sound economic arguments and facts at all by simply censoring them out of existence.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo [send him mail] is professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln; How Capitalism Saved America; Lincoln Unmasked; Hamilton’s Curse; Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government; and most recently, The Problem With Socialism.