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“How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.” – Ronald Wilson Reagan
Communism only works on the household level. The traditional family is run as a communist society: from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs. In a functional family, it succeeds and succeeds powerfully. Dad and Mom provide the resources and distribute them as needed. The children grow up to be productive adults.
But it stops at the family. It does not scale. Dad and mom save part of their surplus as a reserve against family emergencies. That reserve is invested to create greater reserves. It is not distributed to the general public according to their needs. And the parents use the ultimate fruit of investing that reserve to benefit themselves and their children. This is not selfish. It is prudent.
It is unsurprising the young, especially those raised in privileged families, are seduced by socialism and communism. It was how their homes were run. They don’t understand why it should not work in the broader world, especially if they lack the introspection to step outside their personal life experiences. A superficial reading of Marx and Lenin confirms their expectations, expectations based on prior experience. You have to be able to step back and play the Thomas Sowell game of “And Then What?”* to see the flaws inherent in communism and socialism. Or you have to have lived in a macro-socialist/communist society and experienced its true horrors. You have to understand it to hate it.
* Thomas Sowell had a professor who would, when Sowell proposed a simple solution to a complex question, would ask Sowell “And then what?” Sowell would be forced to explore the possible outcomes and explain those. Then the professor would again ask “And then what?” repeating to a conclusion. This exercise forced Sowell to follow a hypothesis to the end, which revealed its ultimate strengths and weaknesses. Sowell used the technique among his own students, calling it the “And Then What?” game.Published in