J Robert Smith
- March 2, 2020
- 3 min read
Disinformation [ dis-in-fer-mey-shuhn, dis-in- ]
deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or facts; propaganda:
[Winston] Smith works at the Ministry of Truth, and his job is to rewrite the reports in newspapers of the past to conform with the present reality. Smith lives in a constant state of uncertainty; he is not sure the year is in fact 1984.
— The Conversation, June 12, 2019
What’s so bad about socialism that leftists have to qualify it with “democratic?” Isn’t socialism supposed to be inherently… democratic?
Why does Bernie always harp on his being a “democratic” socialist?
If socialism makes so much sense – and is obviously fair, virtuous, and consensual – why the hedging? And once socialism is adopted, doesn’t it function democratically naturally? Isn’t that the claim, anyway?
The answers are that socialism is a failed ism, and has proven so time and again. It may begin with the pretense of being democratic, but, inevitably, devolves into a very undemocratic system.
Bernie Sanders is no dupe. He knows socialism’s grim history well. He honeymooned in the Soviet Union. He’s aware that in practice, socialism invariably is undemocratic. He mustn’t really mind it.
A most recent case in point, Venezuela. In less than a generation, Venezuela has gone from being free and prosperous to unfree and awful. Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro have seen to it. Note that in socialist countries – whatever the variations – the elite live affluently, while the proletariat live meagerly, if not wretchedly.
In fact, socialist doctrine insists that socialism doesn’t allow for elites. But elites there have been and are.
The inevitable consequence of a country embracing socialism is that an elite seize power and money. Lenin was sly enough to call his elite a “vanguard.” They were supposedly a transitional ruling class. Once the state withered away, everyone would live as equals in a workers’ paradise.
In the meantime, every Soviet leader, from Lenin to Gorbachev, and every member of the Politburo, lived high off the hog. They ate well, enjoyed sound healthcare, occupied the best apartments, had dachas for the summer, and access to private transportation. The Soviet state never withered away. It finally collapsed – after decades of chronic widespread misery and suffering.
Actually, the Soviet Union was a workers’ graveyard, in that Lenin and Stalin had knacks for mass murder and genocide. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, the great Russian writer, dissident, and political prisoner, chronicled Lenin’s and Stalin’s despotic rule. Other notables have, too.
From the International Business Times, March 5, 2013:
In February 1989, two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, a research paper by Georgian historian Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev published in the weekly tabloid Argumenti i Fakti estimated that the death toll directly attributable to Stalin’s rule amounted to some 20 million lives (on top of the estimated 20 million Soviet troops and civilians who perished in the Second World War), for a total tally of 40 million.
Forget the old line that “dead men don’t tell tales.” The dead from Russia to China to Germany to Cambodia to Cuba cry out the tragedies that consumed them.
The ugly truth is that socialism, however it starts, ends up as undemocratic and destructive. As indicted, pick your country. Pick whatever form socialism took. Communism is socialism degrees worse. It’s more fervently totalitarian.
National Socialism – Hitler’s variant – was German-centric, seeking global domination of inferior peoples. Mussolini began as a socialist, but feuded his way out of the movement. He spun off fascism. It’s socialism’s brother. Left-wing intellectuals, during and after World War II, went to great pains to disinform the public that fascism was a phenomenon of the right. They wanted to rid socialism of the stink, the stigma.
If socialism is as intrinsically bad – actually, evil – as facts and records bear out – if, over and over, it betrays democracy and liberty wherever its tried – why would Bernie Sanders insist otherwise? Why would he keep smearing lipstick on that godawful pig?
If Bernie can stubbornly claim that using the word “democratic” makes socialism good, then why can’t others qualify fascism the same way?
Look at the histories of both isms, and ask yourself, “Why?”
What do you think? Weigh in!