By Christian Carvajal
History is full of opportunities to learn from the collective wisdom of humanity. To understand history through political ideologies, failed civilizations, language, and culture is to be aware of the atrocities that have been committed by despotic leaders.
To this day, one of history's most repeated mistakes is one of socialism, as seen in countries like Cuba, Venezuela, and China. Socialism has transformed these countries into failed states and continues to be synonymous with human suffering.
Socialism is described as a political and economic system that affords ordinary workers and citizens the ability to control their work environment and voice political concerns under the watchful eye of the government. 1
Does this sound like a system designed to create wealth or uphold inalienable human rights?
Today, the United States is entertaining socialist ideas through Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who use creative social media storytelling to repackage socialism into something that is not.
Why hasn't the United States been able to sidestep the socialist experiment and resurgence altogether?
Well, because Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders are convinced that socialist propositions are agreeable, expedient, and actionable through the federal government's omnipotent power. They would have you believe that modernity's current social and economic problems can be explained and legislated away through an expansion of government that would exist to provide free stuff.
As an American citizen, the growing acceptance towards socialist ideas among the millennial demographic is deeply concerning. Social media platforms are being used to spread misinformation that is otherwise left unchecked. Would Americans be better off being given free education or free health care or instead afforded the opportunities to acquire those items as they see fit?
Dr. Thomas Sowell, a world-renowned economist, has warned us countless times that "[w]hat socialism, fascism, and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people...need to take decisions out of the hand of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat." 2
In other words, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez justify their positions by claiming that a planned economy and specific government policy implementation will somehow legislate America into prosperity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
With the 2020 Presidential elections on the horizon, it is important to understand what is really at stake when politicians express the desirability and urgency of socialism and what comes with buying into feel-good talking points like free education and free health care, as a way to earn your vote.
Consider that some Americans do not want to be told how to live by popular socialist politicians, or told what they deserve to have. Consider what the government giveth, the government taketh.
Christian Carvajal is a New York Contributing Writer for Young Americans Against Socialism. He holds a B.S. from St. John’s University and is currently earning an MPA degree from Marist College. When he is not reporting on socialism running wild in America, you can find him at Prince St. Pizza in N.Y.C, researching issues in higher education, or outdoors hiking.