Big government is a religion. It is a failed, 20th Century religion built on a foundation of mythology and hope for heaven on earth.
Socialism is a cult of materialism that has enticed many of the best minds of the West over the last century it must be acknowledged however. But belief in the socialist dream is largely a reflection of a broad fashion, a meta-narrative that most socialists don’t (in my experience anyway) know they operate in. Smart people are as prone as anyone else to the whims of fashion, and cultism.
Long have many in the West wanted to believe that everything can be engineered – including society. But these “engineers” of society don’t understand (or at least don’t seem to understand) that the human brain works fundamentally on a quantum mechanical level not on a Newtonian one. (Shout out to my old Astronomy prof, Dr. Nikolic for this insight.) Society is not a car engine. It is something that is alive.
Of course even living things can be engineered. A rain forest (a market economy) can be clear cut and planted with a uniform crop (socialism). And indeed a plantation might survive for a while. But the beauty and complexity is gone. Gone are the monkeys, and the orchids, and the mahogany trees, and the poison dart frogs, and the people who once lived in the forest. Instead we have the regimented rows of the socialist farm.
But all the banana trees are the same height. Justice you see.
Socialists continue down the same failed path over and over. History has shown us this. The priests (masters?) of socialism bring in new converts of course. Every religion needs new converts to stay alive and like most religions socialism promises a comprehensive solution to the world’s ills. Socialism is the dream. Deliverance. Transcendence. A solution. It’s an easy sell to people who don’t know better or who are so aggrieved or just plain desperate for whatever reason that they are receptive to the dialectical snake oil.
Cults are always full of the deluded, the pained, and the desperate. Socialism is no different.
But sooner or later socialism ALWAYS fails. The greater the socialism the greater the failure. A little socialism, a little failure. Total socialism, total failure. It’s about as true to a hard and fast rule as there is in political “science.”
It’s no crime to be deluded economically and even to advocate for the failed religion of socialism. If you would prefer a society of monoculture banana trees hey, that’s your thing. But I’ll be damned before you clear cut my part of the forest of life.
Very often bad and failed ideas do not die, they simply reappear during periods of supposed social and political crisis in slightly different intellectual garb, and offer “solutions” that would merely help to bring about some of the very types of crises for which they once again claim to have the answers. Socialism in its various “progressive” mutations represents one of the leading so-called solutions of our time…
…the transfer of such welfare responsibility to the government reduces each and every recipient to a ward of the State. It is politicians and bureaucrats who decide the education your children will receive in government schools; they are the ones who determine the retirement possibilities you will have, the healthcare to which you will have access and its type, the wages and work conditions under which you may be allowed to be employed or unemployed, and the forms and types of associations you may enter into as well as the activities and membership you are permitted.
“Liberal socialism” is not the path to liberation, but of continuing servitude to the those with political power.
The “liberal socialism” about which Mr. Judis dreams is not the path to liberation, but of continuing servitude to the those with political power and who have the presumption to imagine that they know better how people are to care for their own lives than those individuals (See my article, “Democratic Socialism Means Loss of Liberty”).
One would have thought that after more than seven decades of the interventionist-welfare state as the political left’s “liberal socialist” alternative to Marxian socialist central planning, it would be realized that it is just another constraining and corrupt manifestation of the unworkability of any collectivist system of control and command.