The Opportunities of Socialism
"That's not a problem – it's an opportunity."
That's a line attributed to Curtis E. LeMay, a man who ran into a lot of opportunities and solved them all. It's one of the class of quotes that serves to put things into proper perspective and one that should be more well known than it is.
It should also be kept in mind as we gird our loins for our next encounter with the left. Suddenly, thirty years after the collapse of communism, with the USSR and its empire long buried in the dustbin of history, we're inundated with "true socialists" – the adorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the somewhat less fetching Andrés López-Obrador in Mexico. (There are others as well. In Pennsylvania, no less than four members of the Social Democrats of America won primaries this spring as Democrats. In all four cases, the GOP has not bothered to run an opposing candidate.)
Socialism don't work. When I was growing up, lo, in the days of steam and the horse carriage, it was a foregone conclusion that socialism, whatever form it took, was infinitely superior to all other systems and would sweep all before it as time progressed. This was accepted by just about everybody on all ends of the political spectrum. (The conservative response in embodied in the words of ex-communist Whittaker Chambers: "I have left the winning side for the losing side.") Only a handful of followers of Hayek and von Mises's Vienna school had any objections at all. Among everybody else, it was merely a question of when and how far it would go.
The opportunity here takes the form of utilizing this sudden upsurge of the socialist infection as a teaching moment. Attention is going to be focused on Ocasio-Cortez, López-Obrador, and all the rest. Fine – let's see 'em produce. And when they don't, let's nail every last one of them to the wall.
The Zombie Party. A second point is that this sudden socialist outburst is not a sign of health in the left-of-center polity. It's more like maggots crawling over a rotting corpse.