As Afghanistan is burning – with American citizens left behind the enemy lines by Joe Biden, at the mercy of the murderous Taliban – Washington’s socialists don’t sleep.
Having sunk $2.2 trillion of your money into yet another failed nation-building project, the leftists, headed up by Confiscator in Chief Bernie Sanders, are conjuring up additional schemes of how to leech another $3.5 trillion from hard-working Americans. Sanders is dead set on delivering on his goal stated in August 2020, "We must first elect Biden, then keep pushing country further left."
As an immigrant to America from a socialist country, I am distressed about the monumental shift of my adopted homeland toward socialism. I am compelled to warn my fellow Americans what socialism is really about.
Let me put in context what the promises of free stuff and equality for all, by elitists like Sanders, really mean.
Socialism is an evil system, incompatible with freedom and democracy. It doesn’t work because it is based on unrealistic theories that ignore human nature. It has failed everywhere. And it could also destroy America.
Socialism idealistically looks for government to create complete equality in society and to end suffering—a noble-sounding idea. To achieve this goal, the government promises to give everyone life’s necessities, regardless of people’s merit for pay or desire to work. However, it must find the money for all these necessities. Historically, socialist governments have confiscated wealth and income to pay for them. Ultimately, the government runs everything.
Lessons I learned as a child are worth repeating to younger Americans today. The first problem with socialism is not only that socialists eventually run out of other people’s money, as Margaret Thatcher once famously said, it is also that socialist societies stop producing wealth altogether. If individuals cannot keep the wealth they create, they stop creating it. Most people make the rational decision: do mediocre work, because the same amount is paid regardless how hard they work.
Once the state kills entrepreneurship, the society will stop innovating. Do you know why Americans have a potato peeler, garlic crusher and apple cutter in their kitchens, for example, while Russians use a knife for everything? Because there was no financial incentive for Soviet citizens to create them. The same logic, tragically, applies to creating blood pressure medicine and cures for cancer.
The second problem with socialism is that, as scarcity of goods grows, those in charge of wealth redistribution start taking care of their needs first, rationing goods and services for everyone except themselves. There comes a point when the society simply doesn’t produce enough necessities, forcing ordinary people not part of the state apparatus to cheat and steal to survive. Two distinct classes of people form: those who are part of the system (the privileged) and everyone else (the oppressed).
In the Soviet Union, the Communist Party elites (we called them apparatchiki, because they were part of the state apparatus) had everything, and everyone else struggled. We lacked such basics as toothpaste, pantyhose, toilet paper and sanitary products. Party members, who were less than 10% of the Soviet adult population, shopped at different grocery stores, were treated at different medical facilities, and had other privileges. Everyone, for example, had "free" medical care, but you only saw a doctor if there was an emergency.
Socialism is inhumane, forcing people to do unethical things out of desperation. My mother was stealing meat from the food factory where she worked to feed our family. Our family was not particularly poor by Soviet standards, but there was nothing to buy. There were simply not enough goods and services for everyone, although they were all technically "free."
During the past few years, I have increasingly felt like socialism is resurfacing in America.
A third problem with socialism is the state’s complete control over individuals. In fact, being called an "individualist" has a derogatory connotation in Russian. Under socialism, since the state "takes care" of its people by providing everything "for free," it plays the dominant role in all spheres of life. It tells you what to do, where to live, what to wear, what to say and what to think. It censors everything.
There are laws and rules for everything. There is no free press, literature or cinematography. No religion. No presumption of innocence. No rights. No property. Suppression of dissent is routine and brutal. Eventually, people start to self-censor to avoid persecution. You speak and appear to think "correctly."
Socialism creates a society of "one-percenters" and "ninety-nine-percenters," except the one-percenters are the ones who redistribute wealth, not the ones who create it. Having lived in a country where everything was "free" but nothing was available, I am terrified when I hear proposals for a single-payer medical system, "Medicare-for-all," or "free college for all."
During the past few years, I have increasingly felt like socialism is resurfacing in America. The rise of pervasive political correctness, growing intolerance toward religious people, and alienation of and even attacks on people whose views don’t conform to the mainstream orthodoxy remind me of my youth in the USSR. I find myself repeating the same admonitions to my children that my mother frequently gave my sister and me: "Don’t believe everything you hear on TV, think for yourself, and keep your and your family’s views private.
Ironically, just like my parents tried to shield me from untruths and brainwashing by Soviet schools by explaining at our dinner table the truth behind Soviet indoctrination, I’ve found myself pulling my children from public schools and placing them into religious schools in order to avoid heavy and biased government-sponsored indoctrination.
It was painful for me to watch my little ones coming home and spouting how oppressive America is when I know firsthand what oppression really means. I also could not bear watching my kids coming home sad and confused because they were simply not old enough to be bombarded with all the sex-related garbage that the school pushed on them under the rubric of "family education." Family education, in my view, truly belongs within the family.
Big Tech and the mainstream media’s taking on the roles of the government’s mouthpieces and agents of influence is frightening. Silencing those who express "incorrect" opinions by de-platforming them on social media, banning their books, and blacklisting them to ensure they cannot make a living—simply because they have strayed from the "party line"—is the method of totalitarian states to suppress dissent and ensure total control.
I sincerely hope more and more of our citizens wake up and recognize these markers of a Sovietization of America so that we can regain the freedom of the America that my mother sent me to at a young age. I hope Americans keep the right to express unpopular views without fear of being ostracized by fellow citizens or losing their jobs, continue to enjoy presumption of innocence and due process, and be free from unlawful government surveillance for having "incorrect" politics.
Socialism inevitably results in stagnation and tyranny. If we don’t want our nation to join the ranks of failed and oppressive socialist countries, we must fight socialism in America with all we’ve got.