Magazine June 03, 2019, Issue

Socialism as Epic Tragedy

Vladimir I. Lenin (Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images)
The idea millions killed and died for was a mirage

The saga of socialism constitutes an epic tragedy. It was the most popular political idea ever invented, arguably the most popular idea of any kind about how life should be lived or society organized. Only the great religions can compare. Within 150 years from the time the term “socialism” was coined, some 60 percent of the world’s people were living under governments calling themselves socialist. Of course, not everyone who lived under such a regime shared its philosophy, but many millions did embrace socialism, join socialist parties, vote for socialist candidates, and even kill and die for socialism.

The powerful allure

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?’

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