Is it more surprising that some socialists spew racism or that other socialists imagine their ideology as synonymous with anti-racism? Your answer reflects your knowledge of history.
President Donald Trump took aim at socialism and left-wing ideology during his speech at the United Nations – specifically in the context of Venezuela, a socialist state currently experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in its history.
“The socialist Maduro regime has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse,” Trump said. “This dictatorship has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation, by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. ”
“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented,” Trump continued. “From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or Communism has been adopted it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenants of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people living under these cruel systems.”
My definition of democratic socialism is creating a government that works for all of us, not just a handful of people on top.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 27, 2016
Just to set the record straight.
Socialism is the belief that social and economic equality is obtained through government ownership and regulation of the means of production.
Communism is the belief that social and economic equality can be obtained only by establishing an all-powerful Communist Party and by instituting socialism – a system in which the government owns and controls all types of economic activity.
The only difference between communists and socialists is that communists follow the teachings of Marx and Lenin, believe that a violent revolution is needed to seize control over resources, and wish to eliminate political opposition. Socialists believe in none of these.
Thus, communists are socialists, but socialists are not necessarily communist!
Karl Marx Vladimir Lenin
Marxism is an ideology that is dangerous and oppressive, and its popularity within our generation is chilling. Whether it goes by the name Communism, Democratic-Socialism or more recently, Progressivism, it’s a system that is kept alive by teachers and students hoping to usher in the next utopia by LARPing as revolutionaries. We all want to make the world a better place, but the solutions so often sold by Marxists are destined to drag America into a pit of a never-ending economic depression.
We need to recognize the fact that not everybody is equal. People do make bad decisions that put them into poverty, such as drinking and drug use. Also, if you are able-bodied and have free time, there is no reason you shouldn’t be working right now. When I started working, I was paid $7.50 an hour. This is because I started when I was 16—as you should. I was dumb, unskilled, and lived with my parents. While I don’t represent everybody who makes minimum wage, I am who the minimum wage was designed for. The minimum wage is supposed to be a baseline, not a living wage. If we arbitrarily raised it to $15 an hour, millions of people would be pushed out of work. I wouldn’t have been able to get a job in the first place! Nobody is going to hire some pimple-faced kid like me who has no idea what he’s doing for $15 an hour.
Socialist policies like free college aren’t going to fix that. And while that may sound great to the average college student, in reality, this program hurts the very people Socialists claim to champion. We shouldn’t put the burden of paying for our college education on the backs of working-class Americans, which is what Sanders is proposing. Despite what Sanders says, “free” college would tax working- and middle-class Americans substantially more than millionaires and billionaires, because many people in the top 1% income bracket keep their money in offshore tax havens. Universal healthcare also sounds awesome, especially to somebody like me who just recently buried a close relative because we couldn’t afford her cancer treatment. But in an interview in 1987, Bernie Sanders said, “If we expanded Medicaid, [gave] everybody a Medicaid card, we would be spending such an astronomical amount of money that we would bankrupt the nation.”
Georgia State senior Tomas Rodriguez is an American whose parents fled Venezuela after it became too dangerous to live in under the Socialist regime of Hugo Chavez. He visited his relatives there often, and he described the deterioration of the state over time.
“There was an increase of fear in people’s lives as the years went on,” he said. “I remember more and more stories of common crimes like carjacking. The amount of people, you know, here [in America] who have broken their arms are the amount of people there who’d had their car stolen or had been mugged or something like that.” His family told him stories of the rise of Hugo Chavez, the Socialist president of Venezuela. “My uncle said from here, we’re going straight to Cuba,” Rodriguez said.
What sounds really good on paper plays out quite differently in the real world. Trying to restructure society to serve everybody’s needs is a noble cause. Nobody who lives in the wealthiest country on earth should go to bed hungry. But we need to find a better solution to create an economic environment that rewards people who are trying to work and allows wages to rise naturally.