“There are socialists who are really authoritarians in disguise for whom socialism is useful as a political tool for getting power.” -Stephen Hicks on Why Socialism Leads to Authoritarianism
Why Socialism Leads to Authoritarianism
Many modern Americans support socialism because they think it will lead to some sort of freedom. Perhaps, because they’ve never looked at the world around them, they think socialism will give them freedom from work and hunger. Unfortunately for the nations that have tried socialism, that’s not true; communism kills through starvation and its death toll is in the tens of millions. And, even worse, socialism doesn’t lead to any sort of freedom. Instead, socialism leads to authoritarianism.
If you don’t believe me, just look at any socialist country. Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and China are hardly bastions of liberty. Even countries like Sweden and the UK, which have softer and more Westernized versions of socialism, are hardly free.
Free speech doesn’t exist because of censorship, comments against the religion of peace (Islam) can land you in jail, and governing officials often work against their citizens, like what is happening now with Parliament and Brexit. So, in the opinion of this Gen Z conservative, it’s quite obvious that socialism leads to authoritarianism and lost freedoms.
Yet many Millenials, and even many of those in my generation, have trouble seeing that. They think they will somehow use socialism to build a communist utopia. They’re right that socialism leads to communism. But they’re wrong to think that communism will create a utopia; communist utopias can’t exist.
Instead, the system that socialist Millenials want will be full of poverty, government thugs, and harsh laws. That’s because socialism leads to authoritarianism.
The Envy Behind Authoritarian Socialists
A little bit of investigation is all it takes to see what’s behind the authoritarian impulses of many socialists. It’s the root of socialism that Winston Churchill identified in his quote about socialism: envy.
Socialists want what you have, and they want to use the government to force you to give it to them. As Stephen Hicks said in the above quote, what they really want is power. But what do they want to do with that power? Enforce their visions of society and take what is rightfully yours.
And that’s the difference between socialism and communism. Up until our national identity was recently eroded, as I discussed in my review of Who Are We?, few Americans supported socialism. Because our national identity is so steeped in the laissez-faire capitalism of The Wealth of Nations and Capitalism and Freedom, few Americans wanted to support an ideology of wealth redistribution, authoritarian government officials, and high taxes.
Instead, they supported the traditional American system of low taxes (which Trump is trying to bring back through his tax cuts), small government, liberty, and capitalist consent (which is called the Trader Principle).
The only way to beat the socialists is to show the “Silent Majority” that not only does socialism always fail, but also socialism leads to authoritarianism and is not worth supporting. If we convince them and some of the budding socialist Millenials to support capitalism, then perhaps we can win. We certainly need to try.