For The Left, Socialism Denial Is Holocaust Denial

For The Left, Socialism Denial Is Holocaust Denial, by Robert Tracinski.

We’re supposed to remember the horrors of the Holocaust so we’ll never let it happen again. But we haven’t done the same for the horrors of socialism. …

There has long been a ritual, which I sincerely hope will continue, in which young people are required to immerse themselves in the horrors of the Holocaust. There is no shortage of books and movies and documentaries and first-hand accounts—really harrowing stuff that keeps you up at night and gets seared into your brain so you can’t forget it. And that’s the point. You’re supposed to remember it and have it haunt your nightmares so that you will never allow it to happen again.

But our culture never did that for the horrors of socialism, which is how you get a majority of young people having a positive view of socialism.

What have they missed that they can believe that? Here’s what they’ve missed: the artificial famine in Ukraine, the Soviet Gulags, the forced deportation of Lithuanians, the persecution of Christians, China’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, the killing fields of Cambodia, North Korea’s horrific prison camps and famines, the systematic impoverishment of Cuba, and now Venezuela’s collapse into starvation and mass-murder. All of this should be absolutely required background knowledge for any educated person. …

Now when I cite all of this history, there’s always someone who insists that it isn’t fair to pin all of these crimes on “socialism” because those examples weren’t really socialism. The only “real” socialism is the warm, fuzzy welfare-statism of a handful of innucuous Western European countries. This is a pretty obvious version of the No True Scotsman fallacy, and a good way of disavowing responsibility for the disastrous results of a system you praised just a few years earlier.

But these crimes follow inevitably from the basic idea behind socialism: the idea that the good of “society” as a collective is more important the rights or even the life of the individual. That’s the “social” in “socialism,” and by throwing out the rights and liberty of the individual, it serves as a rationalization for an endless amount of carnage. Who cares if this particular person—or a few million people—suffer, so long as you can claim that mankind collectively benefits?

Consider the name of the roving thugs who are beating and killing dissidents in Venezuela right now: they call themselves collectivos. That says it all.

Socialism has been tested out more times and in more variations than probably any other social system, It has been implemented in every continent, every culture, every stage of economic development. It has always led to disaster, to the extent it has been implemented. If you’re lucky, your country gets off with a mere economic crisis, as in Greece. At the worst, your country is in for decades of living hell.