Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. For the Neo-Socialists, Ignorance Is Bliss

 

America’s new socialists, those Bernie Sanders acolytes, are now all the rage among the Democrats. They share a certain naiveté along with an absolute assurance that they alone can see humankind clearly; that they can find a better way. Seduced as they are by this sense of confidence, they ignore the wisdom of others and (at best) reject the lessons of history. This is all irrelevant, they believe, and they make no effort to learn otherwise. They will guide us with their superior intellect and their overarching empathy. They will make things better. They are the ones they are looking for.

The problem isn’t just them. The problem is that most Americans are equally ignorant of history, hence susceptible to a kind of generational serial socialist seduction. And it’s not as if the lessons of history are ancient or obscure. These lessons are both modern and ongoing. Take China. Americans know nothing of, nor can they even imagine in their wildest nightmares, the horrors of the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1950s and 60s. It was a policy of grassroots chaos encouraged by the party. There was no organized restraint; enemies of the “revolution” were fair game for harassment, incarceration, torture, and assassination. Mao’s populist and self-ascribed army of “Red Guard” revolutionaries were relentless. Books were burned. Religious and cultural buildings and artifacts were torn down and destroyed. Even cemeteries were pillaged, graves and bodies desecrated. There was no such thing as collateral damage when ridding China all non-communist impurity.

China’s schools and universities were closed for decades; an entire generation of Chinese, the equivalent to our Boomers, were left to wallow in ignorance. And when Mao Tse-tung’s dreams of an industrial China failed, the result was massive famine, which led to the forced removal of hundreds of thousands of teenage children from families; they were sent to work on the farms and agricultural communes. To avoid another famine, China adopted the “one child” policy. As years passed and as these policies extracted their horrific toll, there was a new revolutionary penance to be paid. Red is the color of revolution and blood. After an inevitable change in Party Leadership, the old Party leaders, the so-called “Gang of Four” which included Mao’s widow, were tried publicly and sentenced to death. The grassroots revolution was over. The communist party consolidated its power and organized its official and exclusive crackdown on all opposition. “Modern” China was born.

How many Americans know anything about this?

Americans know little of the brutal socialist revolutions that took place in the USSR, Cuba, Mexico, Bolivia or in any number of additional eastern European or South and Central American countries. American naïfs have turned the violent revolutionaries, Lenin, Stalin, Che Guevara, and the Castros, into icons, ignorant of the fact that these were all brutal and bloody dictators. These men killed or jailed all political opposition and quite literally stopped time and modern progress, each leaving his citizenry poor and hopeless and their countries and infrastructure, crumbling into a pre-industrial ruin.

American neo-Socialists will never recognize their kinship with the People’s Republic of North Korea, a self-described democratic socialist nation. They are completely ignorant of Mussolini’s fascists, his national socialist offshoot of the Marxist state (once the model of modern governance among the early 20th century American Left with admirers like Wilson and FDR.) They are clueless as to Hitler’s own embrace and adoption of national socialism. Even as it crumbles before our very eyes, American neo-Socialists are completely blind to the disaster that is the dissolution of the resource-rich state of Venezuela, nor do they recognize the continued chaos among the failed socialist experiments in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Mexico.

They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of the commitment under NATO. (Sweden may not be a NATO member, however is is an obvious beneficiary.) In fact, Sweden, roughly the size of Michigan, is a highly homogeneous state and it has been for some years moving away from socialism, adopting market-friendly reforms and scaling back its welfare state. The country the neo-Socialists tout as the model of modern Socialism is in fact shifting right toward pro-market capitalism, economic growth, and opportunity.

The new Democrat neo-Socialists are naïfs, the most recent iteration of Trotsky’s fellow traveler. More concerning are the hard leftists, the cynics within the organized left who cling to power. Like Mao in China, they are willing to use the neo-Socialists along with the global warming alarmists, the pro-abortion radical feminists, the “Black Lives Matter” organizers and even the Antifa rebels as their own version of the Red Guard, to harass, protest and even incite violence against their political opposition. The cynics want to make it so costly and disruptive to oppose them that no one will do it.

As much as the Left in America claims to be progressive, open, rational and pro-science, they are, in fact hostile, irrational and anti-intellectual when it comes to the actual lessons of history. Socialism has proved to be the harbinger of only decline. It is antithetical to progress as an organizing philosophy. It simply fails over and over.

Our constitutional republic may not be perfect, but you cannot ignore our progress over this blink of the eye of time. The neo-Socialists may not see this, but that does not negate the reality of it. And as for the leftist cynics, the stalwart Democrats who are desperate to cling to power, never underestimate the wisdom of the American experiment nor the underlying courage, conviction, and virtue of its people.

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  1. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    Teach it and Preach it! 

    • #1
    • September 21, 2018, at 10:48 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Judge Mental Member

    Doug Kimball: The new Democrat neo-Socialists are naïfs, the most recent iteration of Trotsky’s fellow traveler.

    More like Lenin’s useful idiots.

    • #2
    • September 21, 2018, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Doug Kimball: Even as it crumbles before our very eyes, American neo-Socialists are completely blind to the disaster that is the dissolution of the resource rich state of Venezuela, nor do they recognize the continued chaos among the failed socialist experiments in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico.

    Socialism is built by and for the Takers. Free Market Capitalism is built by and for the Makers. Since all prosperity, not to mention survival, is dependent on constantly producing things (food, clothing, shelter and so on) it should be obvious which system has long term sustainability. However the Takers in charge are more than willing to watch the system unwind while those gullible Plebes they’ve convinced can get everything Free spiral into abject poverty. As long as those in charge are insulated from the poverty and chaos that is. 
    This is nothing new, Socialism is simply the latest system designed and perpetrated by these Takers to keep themselves at the top of the heap. It’s no different in these respects than Monarchy, Dictatorships, Warlordism et al which dominated nearly all of History and still dominate the Globe. What we have in this country is a stark aberration in historical and chronological terms, bordering on the unique. It was difficult to attain and could be impossible to regain if lost. It is tragic that we, collectively, declined to properly educate several generations as to their remarkable and fragile heritage. 

    • #3
    • September 21, 2018, at 11:21 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. Juliana Member

    This article describes the current situation in China. The final two sentences are truly chilling.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/china-s-dystopian-social-credit-system-science-fiction-black-mirror-mass-surveillance-digital-dictatorship

    If you are interested in an in depth look at Mao, I would suggest Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang. Parts of this book are absolutely horrific.

    I have read numerous books about Hitler’s National Socialism and the Soviets. I need to turn my attention to South America and Cuba in order to get a different perspective and become more familiar with the tactics of Guevara and Castro. We cannot allow the current crop of ‘socialists’ to convince the masses that this will be good for them.

    • #4
    • September 21, 2018, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: The new Democrat neo-Socialists are naïfs, the most recent iteration of Trotsky’s fellow traveler.

    More like Lenin’s useful idiots.

    THAT TOO!

    • #5
    • September 21, 2018, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. I Walton Member

    Yes the kids are ignorant and many not even equipped to learn. We allowed our own marxists/nihilists to take over the educational system, the media and now one of the political parties. Unlike the kids they mis educated, they are old enough to know about socialism, but were too busy living out their adolescent marxist dreams or taking over key positions knowingly or not for the Soviets and their fellow travelers, to actually pay attention to what was happening in their socialist homelands. Perhaps they think they’ll be the ones to run things if real socialists win, but they won’t. Even within our democratic system we are seeing who comes out on top. Thugs will run it and the pseudo intellectuals who think socialism is cool, will be among the first to be jailed, reeducated, shot, or what ever the thing is the new bunch do to the naive in important positions who actually believe their story.

    • #6
    • September 21, 2018, at 3:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Mark Camp Member

    This is on The List but I think that at this late month, I can confidently say more: it will be in the Top Ten for 2018.

    In fact, I hope to see at least one cut from this text in a future Quote of the Day. Like, say, the bolded bit below:

    “Seduced as they are by this sense of confidence, they ignore the wisdom of others and (at best) reject the lessons of history. This is all irrelevant, they believe, and they make no effort to learn otherwise. They will guide us with their superior intellect and their overarching empathy. They will make things better. They are the ones they are looking for.

    “The problem isn’t just them. The problem is that most Americans are equally ignorant of history, hence susceptible to a kind of generational serial socialist seduction.”

    • #7
    • September 21, 2018, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Randy Webster Member

    Doug Kimball: brutal socialist revolutions that took place in the USSR

    Anastasia screamed in vain.

    • #8
    • September 21, 2018, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Randy Webster Member

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    • #9
    • September 21, 2018, at 4:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    Nope. That’d be Norway.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO

    • #10
    • September 21, 2018, at 4:23 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Doug Watt Moderator

    Venezuela is a killing ground right now. ;

    “In cases documented by Amnesty, victims were unarmed. Autopsies revealed bullet wounds in the neck, throat, head. They were killed while on their knees or lying down,” said Esteban Beltran, director of Amnesty International Spain.
    It found 22 percent of all homicides in 2016, or 4,667, were committed by security officials.
    Last year, it found 95 percent of the homicide victims in the country were men, with 60 percent of those ranging in age from 12 to 29.

    • #11
    • September 21, 2018, at 5:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Ralphie Member

    Doug Kimball: The problem is that most Americans are equally ignorant of history, hence susceptible to a kind of generational serial socialist seduction. And it’s not as if the lessons of history are ancient or obscure

    I was watching a Fox Business on a Saturday a few years back, and one of the panelists, it may have been Steve Forbes said the Department of Education should be abolished. There was a young woman on the panel, and she was shocked and blurted out “A whole department!?” The host told her it wasn’t around very long, and she didn’t know that. I think she thought it was from the beginning.

    • #12
    • September 21, 2018, at 6:18 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    Good catch. It benefits from NATO without the commitment, which is perfect.

    • #13
    • September 21, 2018, at 6:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Doug Watt Moderator

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    Good catch. It benefits from NATO without the commitment, which is perfect.

    Actually the agreement is a mutual defense treaty with Sweden and Finland. Just like the Japanese they must purchase US weapons systems that they wish to obtain. US troops train with Finnish troops in winter warfare exercises. The Swedes produce their own fighter aircraft, but they would be allowed to purchase F-35’s or Javelin anti-tank missiles if they so desired. There are no US troops based in Finland, or Sweden on a permanent basis.

    The benefit works both ways, concerning sharing intelligence, and training together. One doesn’t want American forces learning to read maps when the Russian forces are already 100 miles deep into Sweden, or Finland. 

     

    • #14
    • September 21, 2018, at 7:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. philo Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: The new Democrat neo-Socialists are naïfs, the most recent iteration of Trotsky’s fellow traveler.

    More like Lenin’s useful idiots.

    This, and language like “The problem is that most Americans are equally ignorant of history…: and “Americans know nothing of, nor can they even imagine in their wildest nightmares, the horrors of…,” reminds me of this passage from WITNESS:

    But rumors reached me that Honig had been sent to Russia for special training, and that, as soon as he could return to the United States, be broke with the Communist Party and repudiated Communism. – Page 229

    It’s so much fun when it is all talk but reality has a way of punching idiots like this right in the nose. The lucky ones get to retreat back into the warm bosom of a constitutional republic.

    • #15
    • September 21, 2018, at 7:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. DonG (Biden is compromised) Coolidge

    Socialism=genocide

     

    • #16
    • September 21, 2018, at 7:51 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Randy Webster Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    Socialism=genocide

     

    More like socialism=suicide.

    • #17
    • September 22, 2018, at 12:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  18. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    You’re giving Sanders far too much credit. I think he long ago discovered a way to get into politics so he didn’t have to work for a living, scratching out a lazy living as a loser in Vermont.

    He’s not that smart. Which helps explain why he thinks all these ideas that have resulted in the deaths of 100 million or so to be a good thing. Which I’ve been writing about for some time.

    https://dangerwaffles.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/bernie-sanders-apocalypto-economics-part-1/

    • #18
    • September 22, 2018, at 4:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. Steve C. Member

    Chris Campion (View Comment):

    You’re giving Sanders far too much credit. I think he long ago discovered a way to get into politics so he didn’t have to work for a living, scratching out a lazy living as a loser in Vermont.

    He’s not that smart. Which helps explain why he thinks all these ideas that have resulted in the deaths of 100 million or so to be a good thing. Which I’ve been writing about for some time.

    https://dangerwaffles.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/bernie-sanders-apocalypto-economics-part-1/

    Socialism is a grift. 

    • #19
    • September 22, 2018, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. I Walton Member

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Venezuela is a killing ground right now. ;

    “In cases documented by Amnesty, victims were unarmed. Autopsies revealed bullet wounds in the neck, throat, head. They were killed while on their knees or lying down,” said Esteban Beltran, director of Amnesty International Spain.
    It found 22 percent of all homicides in 2016, or 4,667, were committed by security officials.
    Last year, it found 95 percent of the homicide victims in the country were men, with 60 percent of those ranging in age from 12 to 29.

    Security officials are or are controlled by the Cubans so, even if they weren’t part of the major drug trafficking cartel, they’d not care about Venezuelans. Do we ever hear about what is going on there? Do our Hollywood celebrities still idolize the place? Do our talking heads know anything about it? When they interview folks on our side, do our guys ever point out what’s going on there? Would they know?

    • #20
    • September 22, 2018, at 7:31 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Steve C. Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Venezuela is a killing ground right now. ;

    “In cases documented by Amnesty, victims were unarmed. Autopsies revealed bullet wounds in the neck, throat, head. They were killed while on their knees or lying down,” said Esteban Beltran, director of Amnesty International Spain.
    It found 22 percent of all homicides in 2016, or 4,667, were committed by security officials.
    Last year, it found 95 percent of the homicide victims in the country were men, with 60 percent of those ranging in age from 12 to 29.

    Security officials are or are controlled by the Cubans so, even if they weren’t part of the major drug trafficking cartel, they’d not care about Venezuelans. Do we ever hear about what is going on there? Do our Hollywood celebrities still idolize the place? Do our talking heads know anything about it? When they interview folks on our side, do our guys ever point out what’s going on there? Would they know?

    Invincible ignorance.

    A normal person: The Cuban government discriminates against multi racial citizens. And, they put homosexuals in prison.

    Hollywood person: They have free health care.

    • #21
    • September 22, 2018, at 9:38 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. SParker Member

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    Nope. That’d be Norway.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO

    Or Denmark. A nose ahead of the US on the 2018 Economic Freedom Index *

    Or Iceland. Hard to figure how much they spend on defense or what they spend it on. They have no armed forces. Maybe promoting wider knowledge of Icelandic sagas. That should scare off any potential aggressor. A clever and thrifty people.

    • Tempting as it may be to use this fact in an upcoming argument, be aware that Milton Friedman’s observation (in Capitalism and Freedom) that the economic efficiency of the free market is irrelevant–it’s true importance is that it allows for a free society–has been turned on its head recently. That is, the economic lack of efficiency of a planned economy is irrelevant; it makes us free. It allows us to lay down the burden of choosing who we work for (or what we do, I suppose). Freedom is slavery after all. Not that US socialists will need any such fancy-dan logic: “See! Denmark’s socialism is what gives you your economic freedom! Plain as the nose on your face.”
    • #22
    • September 22, 2018, at 6:09 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    SParker (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    Nope. That’d be Norway.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO

    Or Denmark. A nose ahead of the US on the 2018 Economic Freedom Index

    Or Iceland. Hard to figure how much they spend on defense or what they spend it on. They have no armed forces. Maybe promoting wider knowledge of Icelandic sagas. That should scare off any potential aggressor. A clever and thrifty people.

    Pretty sure Iceland has a coast guard. I saw some military-looking ships in Reykjavik harbor last year. But their main defense is obviously us, with our bases in Greenland.

    • #23
    • September 22, 2018, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • Like
  24. Doug Watt Moderator

    I’d be willing to give Iceland a lot of financial leeway. If you lose Iceland to Russia then Russia will have the largest aircraft carrier in the world. They will be in a position to control the North Atlantic.

    • #24
    • September 22, 2018, at 6:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    I’d be willing to give Iceland a lot of financial leeway. If you lose Iceland to Russia then Russia will have the largest aircraft carrier in the world. They will be in a position to control the North Atlantic.

    Your post reminds me of what Orwell called Great Britain in 1984: “Airstrip One”.

    • #25
    • September 22, 2018, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Randy Webster Member

    SParker (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Doug Kimball: They point to Sweden, a county that spends only 1% of its GDP on defense (the US spends 3.1%), just one half of its commitment under NATO

    I don’t think Sweden is a member.

    Nope. That’d be Norway.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_states_of_NATO

    Or Denmark. A nose ahead of the US on the 2018 Economic Freedom Index *

    Or Iceland. Hard to figure how much they spend on defense or what they spend it on. They have no armed forces. Maybe promoting wider knowledge of Icelandic sagas. That should scare off any potential aggressor. A clever and thrifty people.

    • Tempting as it may be to use this fact in an upcoming argument, be aware that Milton Friedman’s observation (in Capitalism and Freedom) that the economic efficiency of the free market is irrelevant–it’s true importance is that it allows for a free society–has been turned on its head recently. That is, the economic lack of efficiency of a planned economy is irrelevant; it makes us free. It allows us to lay down the burden of choosing who we work for (or what we do, I suppose). Freedom is slavery after all. Not that US socialists will need any such fancy-dan logic: “See! Denmark’s socialism is what gives you your economic freedom! Plain as the nose on your face.”

    I need a way to like this sarcastically.

    • #26
    • September 22, 2018, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  27. SParker Member

    dnewlander (View Comment):
    Pretty sure Iceland has a coast guard. I saw some military-looking ships in Reykjavik harbor last year. But their main defense is obviously us, with our bases in Greenland.

    Pretty sure they do. I flashed on Icelandic coast guard cutters during the Cod Wars with the UK. But here’s what Wikipedia says on the subject:

    Iceland has no standing army, but the Icelandic Coast Guard which also maintains the Iceland Air Defence System, and an Iceland Crisis Response Unit to support peacekeeping missions, perform paramilitary functions.

    My mistake. The slip-up is they list 0 armed forces in the list of Nato member nations. Still I like being descended from Egil Skallagrimsson & Co. as the most effective deterrent.

    • #27
    • September 22, 2018, at 8:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Jack Shepherd Coolidge

    SParker (View Comment):

    dnewlander (View Comment):
    Pretty sure Iceland has a coast guard. I saw some military-looking ships in Reykjavik harbor last year. But their main defense is obviously us, with our bases in Greenland.

    Pretty sure they do. I flashed on Icelandic coast guard cutters during the Cod Wars with the UK. But here’s what Wikipedia says on the subject:

    Iceland has no standing army, but the Icelandic Coast Guard which also maintains the Iceland Air Defence System, and an Iceland Crisis Response Unit to support peacekeeping missions, perform paramilitary functions.

    My mistake. The slip-up is they list 0 armed forces in the list of Nato member nations. Still I like being descended from Egil Skallagrimsson & Co. as the most effective deterrent.

    Well, there’s only 400,000 of them, so any army they might have would be pretty close to zero anyway.

    I ate at a burger place there ($30 for a burger!) that has an official count of Icelanders on the wall. Whenever someone is born, they ring a bell and increment the number. I told my host that that was amazing, since we don’t know within ten million how many people are in the US.

    • #28
    • September 22, 2018, at 8:32 PM PDT
    • Like

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