The title of this essay, attributed to both George Orwell and a reformed Bolshevik writer named Panait Istrati, addresses the socialist-apologists’ assertion that, in order to make an omelet, you have break a few eggs. Thus were Stalin’s brutalities justified in the 1930s by the intelligentsia that refused to relinquish their utopian socialistic fantasies. And, I have most recently been reminded of it by Kevin D. Williamson’s review of the Game of Thrones finale (his comments align with my recap).

Socialism and its variants are and have been, throughout history, presented as improvements over the existing, imperfect outcomes of various political systems, but in particular as an evolutionary “next step” after capitalism. It started with Engels and Marx in the mid-19th century and saw its first actualizations in the early 20th. Since then, it killed over a hundred million people and kept billions in poverty, across many nations rich and poor, cold and hot, eastern and western, northern and southern, white, yellow, black, and brown.

That’s a lot of broken eggs and a lot of frying pans. We should have had at least some tasty omelets by now, no? Instead, the omelets range from insipid and disappointing to charred, ruined, messes that destroyed the frying pans along with them.

A chef who continues to attempt to serve variants of a dish that has failed so many times in the past is a chef that won’t stay in business very long. Unless, that is, he finds a way to force customers to consume his failed dish. How might he do that? By getting the backing of people who refuse to accept the intrinsic impossibility of the good omelet, and by getting the backing of people who know that they will not be forced to eat the shitty omelet and that the chef will serve them other, better things, things that the benighted masses won’t be offered.

This is, obviously, metaphor for the popular “it simply hasn’t been done right” defense of today’s soft-socialism. When we point out how many times, and at how horrific a cost, socialism has failed in the past, we are waved off with “this is a new way and it’ll work” head-in-the-sand optimism.

Those optimists, oddly enough, are the first to trot out a “it’s never been done before” critique of libertarianism, arguing that, if libertarianism is so great, how come there are no libertarian countries in the world. That they don’t see the incredible irony of that point in the face of all the failed attempts at socialism in the world tells us that they aren’t serious thinkers, but rather people who’ve grabbed an idea that makes them feel tingly and are pretzel-logicking defenses of it into existence.

Fact is, socialism, soft or firm, has been tried, in countless recipe variations, and it has failed every time. Even the supposed successes, the Nordic social-welfare states, suffered when they implemented their versions and have only seen recovery from walking back towards free market economics. Undermining the socialist-apologists further is their willful blindness toward the actual Nordic model, despite hawking the current state of those nations’ citizenries as proof of socialistic success, in favor of a centralized control and highly redistributive system more analogous to that which is destroying Venezuela.

Many of the people who promise omelets are, in truth, more interested in breaking the eggs. Pay close attention to their rhetoric and priorities, and you’ll see that they care more about knocking down than benefiting those who are trying to move up. Theirs is the politics of envy, of greed for that which others have created, and for the knocking down of those that have succeeded. They mask it with assertions that they “care” for the benighted masses they claim to want to up-lift, but that veneer is paper-thin and easily scratched off anyone who’s willing to do so.

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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