Some malevolent forces in human history are like dragons and can be slain. ISIS is a shadow of what it once was. Osama bin Laden became fish food. The Soviet Union is no more, and democracy and free markets flourish in much of Eastern Europe.
And some bad ideas in human history are like zombies; you think they’re dead, and then they rise again. Year by year, polls indicate a growing number of Americans are attracted to the idea of socialism, hand-waving away nearly a century of misery, oppression, and injustice.
And so we have to make the argument again — and we need your help to do it as effectively and reach as wide an audience as possible — as we seek to raise $175,000 in NR’s Spring 2019 Webathon, to which you can donate here.
I don’t think of myself as old, but I remember the ABC miniseries Amerika, about a Soviet-dominated United States, and news coverage of the Reykjavík summit and the scoffing about Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars.” (I fully supported the idea in grade school, believing it must have something to do with the movies.) The names and faces are different, but the promises are the same: Somehow, we’ll all be happier if we just entrust the collectivists with more power over our lives, because they promise they would never, ever abuse those far-reaching powers.
Recently, our Kevin Williamson observed that if the socialists are right, and true socialism has never been tried, their preferred system is the unluckiest in human history, as the countries that embrace it keep “trying” it wrong and coincidentally collapsing into authoritarian economic basket cases with gulags, secret police, bread lines, and the rest.
Apparently, socialism’s bony, decaying hand bursts forth from the grave with renewed vigor in years ending in a nine. In 1999, some hopeful leftists interpreted the anti-WTO protests in Seattle as the birth of a new American anti-capitalist movement. Back in 2009, the cover of Newsweek audaciously announced, “We Are All Socialists Now.” And this year brings many Democratic presidential candidates quick to emphasize that they either are outright socialists or don’t want to be called capitalists. The great irony is that much of today’s anti-capitalism has proven quite lucrative: Bernie Sanders is a millionaire with three houses, the socialist podcast Chapo Trap House is making $125,000 per month from donors, and those Che T-shirts cost roughly $18 each.
If they can shell out that much to tear down the system that enables their profits, surely we can kick in some to defend the cause of free markets and free people. Every time the socialists have risen up and attempted to push us, National Review has stood athwart them, yelled “Stop!” and pushed back. You and previous generations of right-thinking Americans have been kind and generous enough to keep us in the fight every time. Please keep us in the fight now. Your each and every contribution — whether it be $10, $25, or $100, or if it’s $200 or $1,000 or maybe even . . . $10,000! — is meaningful, consequential, and needed. Donate here.