It is said that there are no atheists in foxholes. The implication therein is, of course, that times of stress and personal risk bring out the truth in each of us. While noted atheist Penn Jillette has offered a rebuttal that there are only atheists in foxholes, because people choose to duck and cover rather leaping forward with God to protect them, the general point remains.

I was reminded of this old adage when I read a story in today’s New York Post. Apparently, a local politician is quite miffed that some public schools in the district he oversees are flush with donated money, while others subsist solely on that which is meted out by the government. This would be a non-story to me, except for the fact that the district is the Upper West Side (UWS) of Manhattan. For those unaware, the UWS is ground zero for limousine liberalism. The denizens of that part of the city are as much poster children for leftist and progressive politics as any of the other well-known locales (e.g. San Francisco, Seattle, Boulder), and many of them are 1%ers and beyond.

According to the story, some schools receive huge amounts of extra money via Parent-Teacher Association donations, money that is used to improve the educational experience of the students in those schools. Others in the district, presumably in the parts that aren’t so affluent (the district runs from 59th Street to 122nd Street, with wealth waning as one moves further north), don’t benefit from similar parental largesse. So, in proper socialistic redistributive form, Community Education Council 3 member Dennis Morgan thinks the PTA wealth should be managed (read: spread around) by the politicians.

He expects resistance.

Rather than simply wave this off as a “no shit Sherlock” bit of obviousness, though, the fact that such resistance would arise from the woke-progressives of the UWS brings forth the atheists-in-foxholes aphorism. And, in doing so, it illustrates what anyone not ideologically blindered knows: that the immutabilities of human nature guarantee that socialism and its brethren can never work as successful political-economic systems.

If the woke crowd chooses to give something extra to their kids, instead of simply injecting their excess wealth into the system at large, how can anyone expect the average person to be less “selfish?” If they are true believers in progressive tenets, why are they donating to their own kids’ schools, instead of focusing on offsetting inequalities by donating to the poorest kids’ schools?

Socialists insist that the problem with capitalism is an inequality born of selfishness and putting one’s self above society as a whole. But, if this is how people are, how could a system that presumes that its participants would not be selfish ever work? This is not the first time I’ve observed that socialism’s advocates always seem to be on the “to each according to his need” side of Karl Marx’s adage, rather than the “from each according to his ability” side.

If a progressive politician recognizes that progressives who are donating money to schools want that money to benefit their kids rather than every kid, doesn’t that put the lie to the assertion that socialism doesn’t inevitably produce a totalitarian, coercive state? Isn’t the (farcical) premise of “democratic socialism” one of arising and functioning in a supposedly free society? If the wealthiest progressives won’t walk the woke walk, why should the rest of us believe that their ideas are anything but morally bankrupt virtue signaling or a smokescreen for selfish motives?

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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