Magazine June 03, 2019, Issue

Socialism as Substitute Community

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a town hall meeting in Queens, N.Y., April 27, 2019. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)
Alienated people are turning to Marx and Ocasio-Cortez

Modern conveniences, information technology, and a fairly laissez-faire morality and economy, paired with a decent government safety net, make it pretty easy for Americans to get what they need, in most respects. That makes the rising cry for socialism a bit baffling at first.

But there’s a deeper need going unfilled that is driving college students and twentysomethings to their Marx, Engels, Sanders, and Ocasio-Cortez.

And there obviously is something missing in people’s lives.

Suicides hit an all-time high in 2017. Opioid deaths are skyrocketing. Even with employers desperate for workers, 7.1 million prime-working-age men remained out of the labor force

This article appears as “Community Of All, Community Of None” in the June 3, 2019, print edition of National Review.

Timothy P. CarneyMr. Carney, the author of Alienated America, is the commentary editor of the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

In This Issue

Against Socialism

Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

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

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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