According to a recent study by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an astounding 51% of millennials would prefer to live under either a socialist (44%) or a communist (7%) government. Obviously, in the ineptitude of the American educational system, they skipped the chapter on 20th century human rights abuses under communism.
Some consider themselves “socialist” and not “communist” as if to exempt themselves from the violent totalitarianism implicit in communism. However, the Russian communists considered themselves “socialist” because they perceived communism as the “ideal” in which the entire world, free of all the dissidents, would be socialist. This, of course, would be accomplished after the Lenin’s followers had murdered all the opposition.
Millennial socialists and communist supporters ignore this basic fact of communism’s dark and merciless history: Violence. It has been documented that communist governments murdered over 100 million people in the last century, transforming entire countries into virtual prisons with no freedom, no rights and untold human rights abuses. To put it into perspective, the German Nazis murdered 6 million people during the brutal Holocaust. The horrors of communism killed 94 million more people than the Nazis, a figure as incomprehensible as it is astounding. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian writer who lived through the Soviet prison camps observed the implicit violence of communism stating, “For violence has nothing to cover itself with but lies and lies can only persist through violence.”
Despite these facts, the concept of communism still evokes an idealized version of love and “sharing” in the minds of some self-proclaimed socialists. They cite the New Testament book of Acts in which many in the early Christian church held things in common. For these misguided people, communism appears to be the Christian ideal.
However, a huge difference exists between people volunteering to share property and a dictatorial regime seizing property for “the state” (which really means for the ruling elites). Communist theory is less about people sharing, and more about the strong forcing the weak to “share” with them, but by “sharing” they mean “seizing” and destroying the concept of private property.
Yet, when did private property become the enemy? Plato’s Republic and Thomas More’s Utopia both charged ownership of private property as the root of societal ills, and sought to remedy this problem by simply taking it away, while failing to mention the violent and coercive methods by which private property would be seized. This idea seeks to fix the human envy problem by merely assigning everyone equal amounts of possessions, or as radio host, Dennis Prager puts it, “Equal amounts of zero.”
Even in real life this proves to be a fallacy. Take three children and give them each the same toy. They will inevitably find a way to compare one to the other. Is the issue the toy or the children’s attitudes towards the toys? Will abolishing toys make the children stop comparing themselves? Everyone knows the answer is “No.”
Thus, it is with private property. Abolishing private property as the solution to human envy does not address the problem. It only hubristically proposes that no property means no envy, without ever confronting the envy problem itself…or accepting it as a natural part of human nature.
And what about greed? Uninformed young socialists fail to understand that under communist “sharing,” he who divides the pie gets the biggest piece. Dictatorial elites always take from others and “share” it with themselves.
The key question regarding communism is this: Did it fail because of human error or because of internal flaws? The verdict is clear: Communism’s internal flaws run counter to human nature, leverage the wrong incentives, and encourage more greed and lust for power than any other economic system in the world.
History reveals truth, but if left to the corridors of libraries, it cannot shape our future. History must be understood and shared. Thus, in spite of the dismal statistic of millennial preference for socialism and communism, hope can be found in the many people speaking out against both the fallacies of communist theory and the human rights abuse implicit in communist practice. The White House, for example, issued a statement on November 7 acknowledging the 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Noting the barriers to freedom, liberty and the 100 million lives lost under violent, totalitarian dictatorships, it correctly identifies communism as “a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life” and further notes that “These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights…”
As the lamp of history lights the path of the future, may we be wise enough to understand the fallacies of communism and bold enough to speak against its violent practices, for our generation and for generations to come.
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In spite of what you may have heard, electric cars don’t have the market share you might think. A new report from the Energy Information Administration reveals that although plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) (which include battery electric vehicles and hybrid, plug-in electric vehicles) have reached 1.2 million in worldwide sales in 2015, it only accounts for 1% of vehicles in global use.
Why is this?
Some of it has to do with consumer preference—what people want to drive. Some of it has to do with public policy—that the government isn’t forcing people to get rid of their fossil fuel dependent cars.
Many countries realize that consumers prefer gas and diesel vehicles to electric ones and thus seek to remedy this problem by coercion. Britain and France have both vowed to ban the sale of gas and diesel vehicles by 2040. California’s governor has also made statements regarding the phasing out traditional cars. These sorts of statements always carry with them a hidden coercive element, because, as research shows, people won’t switch if it were up to their preferences. People will only switch if the government mandates it.
Driven by central planning authorities, the governments and leaders hope to control the population’s preferences by simply changing their choices. Instead of “Which car do you want?” in their future, they hope to ask the question, “Which of these electric car options do you want? You have no other options.”
Coercion not only compromises the free-market ethic of choices, but it stands as a hallmark feature of totalitarianism and can be identified in practices of both the Soviet Union and modern Cuba. Cuba’s communist dictatorship holds elections, but only gives the citizens communist “options.” The regime enforces “free and fair elections” by threatening to punish those who do not vote. Ultimately, government coercion does not allow freedom—of choices, of preferences, or of life in general.
Moreover, electric-car supporters seem to charge America with the greatest culpability in not being “green enough” while recent data reveals that the U.S. has declined in emissions, while global emissions have increased. How? China.
China’s emissions account for 30% of the world’s emissions according to the Center for International Climate Research (CICERO). China stands as the world’s largest polluter and according to the recent Global Carbon Project study, with an expected 3.5% increase in emissions this year.
When confronted with this reality, many environmentalists simply state, “Well, American should lead the way. We should be the world’s example.” Yet this hasn’t seemed to change China’s mind. Prudent policy towards cleaner global air should include confronting China with their problem, not simply cleaning up the U.S. as an “example.”
We should also be asking the question, “Who is getting all of the money?” The answer lies in government-subsidized electric car companies. Even Bloomberg observes, “Clean-energy vehicles still aren’t attractive enough to compete without some form of subsidy.” Take, for instance, Tesla which would have been underwater long ago if it had not been for government (i.e. taxpayer) money. The Los Angeles Times reports that Tesla, along with her sister companies Solar City Corp. (solar panels) and SpaceX (space exploration) have received roughly $4.9 billion dollars in government subsides. Thus, the entire premise of going “all electric” relies solely upon government money. This means that even if you don’t buy an electric car, your taxes are essentially paying for someone else’s (or at least covering the sales loss if they don’t sell).
The highly subsidized electric car business has become a sort of “cottage industry” for the federal government from which both electric car companies and the government benefit. The increased desire to force consumers to purchase electric cars lacks free-market purchasing freedom. Ultimately the debate over electric cars should be about what you prefer to drive, not about what the government forces you to buy.
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Originally published on Patriot Post, November 16, 2017