There is a central contradiction in the philosophy of socialism that is both essential to its “success” and completely at odds with its purported mission. Briefly stated:

Socialism is predicated upon an utter indifference to the life of any particular individual.

This holds true even for the “kindler, gentler” Democratic socialism being peddled by the prominent voices on the Left in America today. While, superficially, their policies are purportedly about helping the poor and protecting the vulnerable and oppressed, twin realities put the lie to this veneer of caring. First, there’s the history of outcomes, both worldwide and here in America. Half a century of War on Poverty has succeeded in institutionalizing, rather than eliminating, poverty. Indeed, poverty was on the decline until LBJ’s war. Today, people may have a phone-book’s worth of government programs to assist them, but the result of those programs is that people remain trapped in a perpetual state of dependence. Add to that the countless tales of government waste and failure (take one look at New York City’s Housing Authority today, under Mayor De Blasio, and tell me why anyone would trust government to do anything more than bag groceries), and the pernicious “forgotten man” aspect of policies like minimum wage laws (which are great if you can get one of the higher minimum wage jobs, but not so hot if you’re among those who gets priced out and has to live on the dole. The true minimum wage is always zero), and you witness the reality: Big nanny government cares about you in the aggregate, not as an individual.

If you overcome the barriers government has erected (welfare trap, minimum wage, occupational licensing, excessive permitting, being treated as a revenue source for the sin of living in a poor neighborhood, rent control laws that stifle housing supply, et cetera and so forth) and manage to climb the economic ladder, i.e. become not-poor, you’ve now crossed over from a vote to be purchased to an asset to be raided. Consider this recent utterance from more-progressive-than-thou NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio:

Here’s the truth, brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. Plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.

Thanks to a strong economy, tax revenues in New York are exceeding expectations, and filling the city’s and state’s coffers with Other People’s Money (OPM), and yet De Blasio wants more.

They never seem to get enough OPM, of course, and if you’re not among those to be exploited for the sake of achieving power and ascendancy (i.e. a member of an identity group whose votes are courted), you’re among those to be fleeced in order to fund their pursuit of power.

You matter to the socialists if you do as you’re told, vote as you’re told, believe as you’re told, and give over whatever chunk of the fruit of your labor they demand. Break from that passel of requirements, that is, be an individual, and now you’re at best of no interest to them. Make enough money and you become a target. Speak improper words or advocate the wrong ideas, and you’re the enemy.

Socialism is not only a philosophy of collectivist governance, economics, and property ownership, it’s one of intellectual collectivism and one diametrically opposed to individualism. You are certainly free… to do as they tell you, and you are certainly free… to embrace ideas they approve of.

Their obsession with diversity is part of an elaborate confidence game. The socialists draw you in with promises of an easier life, of a watchful eye, and of protection against those who’d exploit you. They get you to give them power and offer you bread and circuses. When things don’t turn out as they promised, they blame others… or blame you. Again, you only matter to the progressives/socialists/’Democratic Socialists’ when you serve their agenda. Witness recently declared Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s agenda, or progressive darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, which is being sold with a “the rich will pay for it all,” but whose support collapses when its destructive truth is revealed.

I’m not a mind-reader. I don’t know if De Blasio, Warren, and Cortez really believe their hare-brained schemes will work, or if it’s all a snow-job to advance their careers and increase their personal power. What I do know, however, based on everything that they say and much that they do, is that unless you think and do as they demand, you, as an individual, mean absolutely nothing to them, and in fact are nothing more than a goose to be plucked, for your money if you have any, for your vote whether you do or not, and for your identity markers, whether you agree or not. This is true whether you are rich or poor, white or black, male or female, coastal or middle-america, liberal or conservative. Do as you’re told, vote as you’re told, give them the power they want, and they may throw you largesse, and they may elect not to say bad things about you. Be an individual for a moment, and out the window you go.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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