The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, February 15, 2020


At the moment, Bernie Sanders is rising in polls of Democratic voters (which are NOT indicative of his acceptance across America as a whole), and some moderate democrats are beginning to get nervous. There are however a set of hard realities that will surface if and when Bernie becomes the Dem nominee. These have as much to do with socialism itself as it does with Bernie himself.

In his critical assessment of socialism, Iain Murray writes that whenever anyone notes the historical failure of virtually every attempt at socialism, socialists who have won or are running for election throughout the West invoke a standard response which can be calls a progression. He summarizes this in a comment at Instapundit:
... [If the socialists actually win and gain power], the first progression goes:

-- Avowed socialists set up brave new socialist world
-- The wheels start to come off. This is blamed on “wreckers” and foreign agents.
-- The economy seizes up. Eventually people starve and the gulags get set up.
-- Socialists explain this was never a real socialist system in the first place
But prior to winning an election, socialist must overcome the natural resistance to a really bad idea. As an example, consider left-wing economist, Paul Krugman who recently claimed that Bernie really isn't a socialist. Murray introduces the second progression:
... Krugman’s intervention appears to be a different form of denial that I identify in the book:

-- Socialists set out to win an election
-- Recognizing the unpalatability of a socialist platform, socialists claim they actually only want to be “like Denmark or Sweden.”
-- Socialists deny desirability of a thriving Nordic free market model that includes things like school choice in Sweden.
-- Socialists unveil a platform that looks more like traditional socialism than anything currently on offer in Scandinavia.
-- People who point out the discrepancy between 3 and 4 are vilified as supporting inequality, racism, etc.

If the socialists-but-not-socialists-really then win an election, expect things to progress as in the first progression.

Or, as Toby Young puts it, “socialism always begins with talk of the international brotherhood of man and ends with having to eat your own pets.”
If Bernie actually does gain traction and wins the nomination expect the Democratic party to become shrill in its invocation of the second progression, and if they win, you can bet your life that we'll hear plenty of the first progression as the years pass. Both progressions are based on lies, of course, but that's been the stock in trade of the Democratic party for at least the past three years.