A constant refrain from the socialist left is that “real socialism” hasn’t been tried before.
If you point to a book like The Gulag Archipelago to show the evils of socialism/communism, they’ll claim that the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) wasn’t real socialism because…it just wasn’t.
If you use any of the horrifying examples of the human toll of socialism found in Rand Paul’s excellent The Case Against Socialism, especially the examples of how horrifying China was during Mao’s Red Terror, they’ll claim that China isn’t an example of “real socialism” because…it now has corporatist features. Mention that those features have made it better rather than worse since the days of Mao’s unadulterated socialism and they’ll lose their minds.
Ditto that for Venezuela, Cuba, Burma under the Khmer Rouge, and every other wretched, totalitarian, socialist state that killed millions of its citizens during the horrifying bloodbath that was the 20th century.
To these radicals, facts themselves matter not a bit; all that is relevant is how they “feel” about capitalism and socialism.
Hence why, although they refuse to recognize every example of “real socialism” presented to them, they cling to the absurd belief that the social democracies of the Baltic are “socialist” countries.
Those nations insist they aren’t socialist nations and are correct; although they have far too large of a welfare state for the liking of most Americans, they certainly aren’t “socialist” states. There’s no government ownership of the means of production and the markets are quite free.
But none of that matters to the average leftist. He or she will just keep insisting that “real socialism hasn’t been tried,” or, if they’re feeling especially bold, that it only has been tried in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
They’re wrong on every count. Call them on it.