Magazine | June 03, 2019, Issue

Against Socialism: An Introduction

(Luba Myts )

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.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

In This Issue

Against Socialism

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

The Week

The Week

Don’t tear up your tickets just yet: We hear the Kentucky Derby loser is appealing to the Ninth Circuit.
Athwart

Going Postal

Bernie Sanders tweeted a hot new idea: ‘Did you know that from 1911-1967, Americans could bank at their local post office?’

Most Popular

Culture

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
World

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More