First, let me say that Socialism’s strength is that it easily plays on people’s emotional heart strings, manipulating their sense of fairness and compassion. It’s also easy to entice the uninformed with the promise of free healthcare and free college tuition. As I’ve pointed out before, today’s “woke” left are also masters at twisting words like “progressive,” “equity,” “democracy,” and “anti-racist.” These are euphemisms to disguise their neo-Marxist agenda under the veil of race. But my question is, why do Socialist/Communist systems ultimately fail wherever they’re tried?
Since Communism is the ultimate end goal of the overarching ideology of Socialism, I’ll use both terms interchangeably here.
In its 100-plus year history, Socialism, and all its variations, has never produced what it promises. In fact, the hardcore versions are responsible for the murder of over 100 million of their own citizens just in the 20th century (non-war related).
Even when you look at the five Communist countries in the world today (Cuba, North Korea, China, Vietnam, and Laos) you find the most repressive regimes, who routinely violate human rights in order to keep their power. This is why no one is trying to escape free countries in order to flee to these totalitarian dictatorships.
As you can see from the freedom map below, the Communist and Socialist countries, and so-called “democracies” with totalitarian dictators (like Venezuela), score the lowest in terms of human freedoms (click on map to go to article):
It’s interesting (in an alarming way) that the United State’s freedom score continually declines as we adopt more Orwellian policies.
What I see is that Socialism is built on two faulty assumptions: the first, an almost naive view of human nature; the second, a crazy view of how history unfolds called historicism. And when the foundation you build on is faulty, the structure will always fail. We will look at these briefly.
The failure to understand human nature
The first area where Socialism utterly fails is that it has a dangerously naive view of human nature. James Lindsay had a great podcast on this subject called, “Communism Doesn’t Know How.” I highly recommend you take the time to listen to it. Here’s what Lindsay says about Communist’s view of human nature and society in general:
“It doesn’t know how humans work. It has one of the worst theories of humans that I’ve ever seen in my life…it’s really baked up by people who don’t understand how human beings work, whether they’re psychopathic, whether they’re personality disordered….”
“It doesn’t know how society works either. It’s got all these stupid ideas that are like, ‘everything’s just cooperative…blah, blah, blah.’ You just make it so nothing bad happens to people and then they’ll want to cooperate and share and help. They have no concept of where violence comes from. They have no concept of self-interest and how it actually works. They have no concept of competition. They have no concept of the fact that some people are just jerks. They have no concept of humanity, no concept of human beings, no concept of society.”
This is where our founding forefather’s were brilliant in creating our form of government. They understood these things about human nature; and, more importantly, they understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The true genius of the the U.S. Constitution lies in separating the soverienty from the power, so they can check one another and keep an eye on one another. Whenever you move away from these checks and balances, you create tyrants.
The Socialist’s religious veiw of history: Historicism
But Lindsay goes on to say that, even if we grant that these Socialists have a perfect view of human nature and society, it still wouldn’t be able to do what it wants to do because it doesn’t know how to get there.
“The reason for this inepitude is because communism has an origin. They have this bogus concept called historicism, which basically believes that History (capital H, as if it were a singualar entity) unfolds according to fixed laws, and with a particular trajectory. That, in fact, that there’s a purpose to history, to get from some very rudimentary or regressed state, to some very progressed state, that it’s going to utopia at the end of the Communist rainbow…and it’s going to go through a process that’s going to unfold which is a dialectical process, which is the exposure of the contradictions that prevent it from already being perfect.”
This particular view of Historicism comes from the early 19th century German philosopher, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). It’s Hegel’s utopian idealism that influenced Karl Marx and all of the leftist ideological offshoots since.
We already looked at historicism in “Uncovering the Wokish Beast.” What we get from Hegel is called the dialectic method, where you imagine an ideal world, focus on getting rid the contradictions, and then the result will be a better world. This is foundational to all progressive Socialist ideologies, whether cultural or economic.
Hegel, Marx, and everyone else along this line of Socialist ideologues have this almost fanatically religious view of history, that it’s on some inevitable trajectory toward a perfect utopian state. They view conservatives and Capitalism and Christianity, or anyone who disagrees with their ideology, as hinderances to its ultimate completion. These contrary views must be eliminated in order to usher in their utopian pipedream.
It’s these two core premises that ultimately set Socialism up for disaster. When you have a fatalistic view of history, and a dangerously ignorant view of human nature, you end up with a very repressive totalitarian nightmare. Those who are the most ruthless and powerful end up controlling everyone else (as we have witnessed, over and over again, in history).
This is why Socialism will always fail in spite of all of its lofty promises.
Good stuff, Mel! Recently I was listening to the Shack guy talk about “the one.” He leaves the 99 for the one and the women who loses a coin, tears the house up searching for the one. Something that is very unique to Christianity, we matter as individuals. The rights and well being of one individual is very important.
This, along with what you’ve explained about Historicism sums up my objections to socialism, communism. You’ve summed it up very well here, “When you have a fatalistic view of history, and a dangerously ignorant view of human nature, you end up with a very repressive totalitarian nightmare.”
I keep trying to tell people, “honor your mother and father,” and what that is, is a response to rampant cultural Historicism. Everyone who came before you was not an unevolved Neanderthal ruled only by ignorance and superstition! When you have that mindset you are cut off from the wisdom of the ages, you become entitled and self absorbed, and also deeply lonely and disconnected from your fellow man.
Good points, IB. People often use passages like 1 Cor 12 to say that Chistianity is compatible with Socialism but it’s not. In verse 27 it says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” We are member individually. We maintain our individuality, our gifts, our contributions. We don’t just disolve into the collective group! Like with the Trinity, the Father doesn’t become the Son, so God is not just some collectivist entity. They are individual Persons, members of one another that operate out of other-centered, self-giving love. That’s how the body of Christ works, too.
With Marxism, the individual doesn’t matter. And with this collectivist mindset, you can dehumanize the individual (which Socialism regimes have done, over and over again, in history). It becomes “us vs. them”, it’s divisive and tribal. If you’re not part of the collective, we can do whatever we want with you. Also, the person with a collectivist mindset doesn’t say, “I am responsible for my own actions.” This is why it always collapses in on itself.
These things need to be said, and they need to be repeated until people start listening. Remember the Berlin Wall. Remember the desperate people fleeing Cuba. Compare North Korea to South Korea. All of these tell us what a total failure socialism was, is, and always will be. J.
You’re right, we need to keep saying these things, reminding people of history, of the reality of the horrors of Communism and Socialist regimes, to expose it for what it is, until people wake up and stand against it. As it’s been said, if we don’t know our history, we’re doomed to repeat it.
How right on Mel. Thanks for sharing
Pingback: Storicismo and The One! | See, there's this thing called biology...
Brother this is a very very very good post! Besides the horrific body count their view of human nature being flawed and a bad view of religion and Christianity is enough to reject it!
Exactly! Unfortunately, our young people have been indoctrinated in this and not told the awful truth about Socialism. The deception is in its facade of fairness and equity. It’s quite the opposite when it’s allows to run in society. We have history to prove it, over and over again.
I am so sad to see my generation and younger being brainwashed instead of knowing the true result of socialism and communism. I was a PoliSci major in UCLA and you be surprised how many openly are sympathetic to Marxism or are openly Marxist
It is sad, but not surprising when you realize that they’ve been indoctrinated for decades now. They’ve learned their history from Howard Zinn, which is pure anti-American, Marxist propaganda. The neo-Marxists have done a very successful job with their “long march” into our institutions (while we were sleeping), and it’s going to take a long time to undo it, if we’re willing to stand up to it. If we’re not, all will be lost in the U.S. Fortunately, many people are waking up and starting to stand up against this evil ideology.
It’s crazy Indeed how popular Howard Zinn’s book is and also others like him…yes people are waking up!!
The massive irony is that the definition of the word “dialectic” is “the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions”. That’s amazing their method is called the dialectic method when the socialist world view doesn’t seem to be interested in investigating or aiming for truth at all! Let alone any form of true introspection or self-awareness.
I would probably say it is because their psychological “method” is actually a “conclusion first” perspective. They set out pretending to be exposing truth but, they’ve done so while already having a conclusion for the reasoning or causes behind everything. You can’t really get to the truth of anything if you already believe you know it before you even look at the facts. It’s just plain bias. i.e. believing racism is the reason for all societal ills and ignoring all contradictory evidence.
Good points. Whenever you’re talking about Socialism, you’re dealing with massive contradictions and hypocrisy. I particularly liked a couple of your comments.
“I would probably say it is because their psychological “method” is actually a “conclusion first” perspective.”
Very good insight here. It is confirmation bias. They assume their version of a utopian word, and that history is fatalistically headed toward this end, then they try to force their square peg into a round hole.
“It’s just plain bias. i.e. believing racism is the reason for all societal ills and ignoring all contradictory evidence.”
You’re describing Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is a neo-Marxist offshoot. CRT can be defined as “the belief that the fundamental organizing principle of society is racism that was created by white people for their own benefit.” This is basically their own definition, from their own books! So they see everything through the lens of racism and ignore any contradictory evidence, as you said. They also deny any progress made against actual racism over the last 60 years. This is why their theories are insanely hypocritical and prejudicial (they become anti-white racists) and totally detached from reality.