Magazine June 03, 2019, Issue

Why Socialism Causes Shortages

Empty supermarket shelves in Caracas, Venezuela, May 28, 2016 (Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images)
If you want to want, it’s the perfect system

You can believe that socialism is wonderful, as apparently many people do, and no one will stop you. You will get plenty of support from the media and academic elite. You can rally around their Twitter handles, podcasts, and Kindle tomes.

On the other hand, the whole theoretical basis for the idea was completely smashed a century ago. From a historical perspective, every prediction that socialism would produce nothing but chaos, deprivation, poverty, suffering, and death turned out to be true. If both theory and history scream “Fail!” — and this failure affects things you claim to believe in, such

This article appears as “If You Want to Want . . .” in the June 3, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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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