Socialism is back. T. S. Eliot said that “there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause.” We thought our Gained Cause was having vanquished domestic socialism forevermore after the collapse of Soviet Communism in 1989. In the 1990s, Bill Clinton operated within the broad economic consensus established by Ronald Reagan, and when Republicans called Barack Obama a socialist, some on the left considered it a racially charged smear. But here we are: A self-avowed socialist nearly won the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is a serious contender this time. Another socialist, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is the hottest thing in progressive politics today. The Green New Deal and Medicare for All are proposals for sweeping aggrandizements of government power on a scale not seen in this country since the New Deal, if ever. Meanwhile, some on the right are raising questions about free markets, or even rejecting them. If NR exists for nothing else, it is to stand up for important truths, even when they are embattled or out of favor. It is in that spirit that we have published our most recent two numbers, a twin special issue making the case for markets (our last issue) and against socialism (the issue you are reading now). If our cause wasn’t nearly as gained as we thought two decades ago, it is incumbent on us to make the argument for it more vigorously than ever. Thanks for reading.
In This Issue
Books, Arts & Manners
A review of the film Meeting Gorbachev.