Socialist “Kakistocracies”

We also hear young people vociferously equating capitalism with fascism. Apparently, they are unaware that it was Hitler’s National Socialism, not “National Capitalism,” that sought to subordinate Germans to a collectivist society with the state as the sole face and arbiter of the common good.
José Azel.
A kakistocracy is a system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, and most unscrupulous citizens. The use of the word dates back to the seventeenth century, but I learned it recently from Dinesh D’Souza’s book United States of Socialism. As Mr. D’Souza points out, “socialism is arguably the most discredited idea in history,” and yet there is a contemporary trend in American politics to disavow socialism’s failed history and reintroduce socialist ideas.
Perhaps it is a question of ignorance. A 2019 Gallup survey found that six percent of the respondents understood socialism as “being social, social media, talking to people.” Ouch!
And how do we account for the fact that, although the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the discrediting of socialism were the crucial sociopolitical events of the 20th, century, surveys show that Americans are increasingly attracted to socialism. Studies immediately following World War II showed then that, only 15 percent of Americans wished to see the country “go more in the direction of socialism.” Currently, Gallup reports that 43 percent of the adult population holds that socialism would be a good thing for the country.
What can account for this increased popularity, when under the Marxist materialist perspective individuals possess no rights. As Marx put it: “We have no compassion. When our time comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror.” Or, in Lenin’s words: “When we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism.”
We also hear young people vociferously equating capitalism with fascism. Apparently, they are unaware that it was Hitler’s National Socialism, not “National Capitalism,” that sought to subordinate Germans to a collectivist society with the state as the sole face and arbiter of the common good.
In contrast to socialism, the founding idea of American democracy is that the state is a natural enemy of our rights, and freedom depends on the citizenry’s ability to limit the power of the state. The Founders understood, and American socialists ignore, that nothing is more dehumanizing than to experience life as a meaningless collectivist event. Fortunately, the United States is a republic founded on ideas that celebrate the individual rather than the collective.
Not only is socialism the most discredited socioeconomic idea in history; socialism is also the preeminent example of kakistocratic governance with the most murderous history. The Black Book of Communism (By several European academics 1997) offers a conservative estimate of one hundred million innocent individuals murdered by Marxist socialism in the 20th Century. To this we can add the approximate twenty million victims of Hitler’s National Socialists.
The socialist kakistocratic governance landscape is always the same, whether it depicts the China of Chairman Mao, Kim Il Sung’s North Korea, Vietnam under Uncle Ho, Cuba under the Castros, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, Afghanistan under Najibullah, Venezuela under its socialist revolution and others. Yet somehow, American socialists overlook that all these governments are kakistocratic failures as measured by a government’s ability to offer the citizenry political freedoms and participation, rule of law, transparency, accountability, human rights, and sustainable economic opportunity.
Nonetheless, the new breed of American socialist politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and old timers like Bernie Sanders disown history, and make the extraordinary claim that socialism is the most moral form of government and that capitalism is evil. However, according to the aphorism popularized by astronomer Carl Sagan, “extraordinary claims, require extraordinary evidence” and socialists offer no evidence for their claims.
These socialist politicians pay no attention to the demonstrable fact that capitalism has proven enormously successful in relieving suffering and raising people out of poverty. For them, ideological victory is far more important than truth. Perhaps they subscribe to Stalin’s joke that America was the only country in the world that could afford communism.
There are, of course, some capitalist kakistocracies but capitalism easily wins the economic development measure. Unfortunately, socialists do not learn much from the lessons of history, and do not often visit the library of human reflection.
Dr. Azel’s latest book is Liberty for Beginners.

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