The snakiest of snake-oil pitches goes like this: Give us some of your freedom and we’ll take care of you. Socialists have been making similar claims back as far as Plato. The end result doesn’t have to be Venezuela. It can just be . . . Europe.
What’s wrong with Europe? Despite a turn away from socialism in some corners of the continent, the damage done to the continental economies by decades of mild socialism is apparent. Taking into account taxes, social-welfare benefits, and the cost of living, Sweden and Germany would be among the poorest U.S. states, on a median-income basis. Swedes in the U.S. are by some measure better off than Swedes in Sweden.
The battery cell of the Democratic party is socialism. The young, the elites, and the media are lit up by it like a bunch of little kids hopped up on birthday cake and cotton candy. Not since the 1930s has socialism been as much of a threat as it is today. And look how the 1930s went. The New Deal was an age of such breathtaking government interference in the community of economic life that the federal government went after kosher butchers in Brooklyn, and even threw them in jail, for allowing customers to pick the chickens they wanted. Today’s socialists are unabashed about their wish to deliver some kind of New Deal follow-up. Who knows what curtailments of freedom will accompany their promises to make you free from worry.
The argument against socialism is never over, because the socialists will always say their idea of utopia has never been implemented. But utopia means nowhere. It doesn’t exist and can’t. Someone has to play whack-a-mole with these bad ideas, and we at NR, we are ready, willing, and able to do so. You can help us carry on with a donation. A secret: National Review, despite its outsized presence in the American conversation, is a small, lean organization. Our budget would be a rounding error at the New York Times or the Washington Post, outlets whose relentless propagandizing for the Left we vigorously counter daily. Your support, even at a modest level, actually makes a difference to us. Won’t you consider signing up for NRPlus, at the price of a cup of coffee a week, and joining our Facebook page, our regular conference calls with leading voices of the Right, and our occasional in-person cocktail hours? If not, even a few bucks help us keep the lights on. We welcome your donations here.