WASHINGTON – In the course of a TV program focused on economic freedom, a leftist university professor was interviewed to give her own contrasting point of view.
Tax the rich
Predictably, she proceeded to recite a long list of capitalistic evils, including unfair distribution of wealth, lack of access to basic services for the poor, and so on. Her proposed remedies? Well, very simple. Tax the rich, force multinational corporations to bring back to America all the jobs they outsourced, expand regulations of most economic sectors, increase all social services for the poor, and more. Anyway, you get the idea: capitalism is bad, and therefore it needs to be controlled.
This is socialism
“But all this sounds like socialism”, argued the interviewer, “And we know that socialism did not work. It failed”. This rather obvious observation unsettled the professor. For a moment, she did not know what to say.
But then, after an awkward pause, she replied –with a perfectly straight face, mind you– that we haven’t had that many attempts at establishing socialism around the world. And, sadly, one noble experiment, Chile under the late president Salvador Allende, was smothered by a military coup supported by the CIA. Therefore, we shall never know what great things Allende could have produced, because he was never given a chance.
We never tried it
Got that? “We never really tried socialism.” Really? And what about the Soviet Union and all the socialist governments imposed on all of Eastern Europe? (That would include East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia). What about China, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba? And what about socialist models imposed in Africa on Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola? And what about the Latin American variations in semi-destroyed countries like Venezuela?
Well, apparently the professor does not know about them, or may be she believes that these were not real attempts to create socialist societies run by socialist parties.
According to her, the only genuine article was Chile. And, unfortunately the experiment was killed way before it could transform the society. Which is to say that we do not know how good socialism is, because –you see– we have not really tried it.
Not entitled to their own facts
So, here we go. I believe it was the late Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said that people are entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.
Well, this academic feels totally entitled to her own facts. She reinterprets history as she pleases, making things up, and saying really stupid things on national TV.
However, the worst thing is that this idiocy, (and many more), goes essentially unchallenged. (In this particular case, the interviewer –a savvy free market libertarian– did not challenge the absurd statement made by the professor that we have not really tried socialism. He could have done so; but he did not).
Set the record straight
I am not suggesting that we should have censors passing judgment on what people can and cannot say. This would be unconstitutional. (Yes, we do have the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech). But it would be nice if someone, speaking on the basis of factual evidence, would care to set the record straight and expose falsehood, whenever necessary.
Yes, in case we all forgot, starting with the Soviet Union many countries tried socialism. It was a horrible experience. It created cruel dictatorships. Those regimes killed or imprisoned all political opponents. They created stupid and horribly wasteful economic systems. Socialism caused enormous misery; and it was eventually rejected, because it had failed –totally and completely.
If we knew all this, then we would also understand that listening to anybody who would like to repropose socialism, or anything like it, is sheer lunacy.