Truth makes the Devil blush.

Thomas Fuller, in Gnomologia

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With all this nonsensical chatter about socialism and its planned economies, one wonders if Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party of the Left, or its handmaiden brigade of intellectuals, “journalists” and la-de-da dreamers blush?

Why might one ask this?

For two reasons.  One, truth is vital to our welfare and it has in its essentiality a sacredness that cannot be besmirched without grave consequences.  And, two – any modest reading of the history of Russia in the hands of Lenin and his colleagues and their collectivist efforts would tell a person immediately of the folly of socialism and communism.

I give you a few examples.

The “vanguard elite” of Lenin’s “revolution” was to accelerate the industrialization of Soviet Russia for the benefit and victory of the proletariat.  His governance did just the reverse – the exact opposite.

Before the Communist takeover, Russia’s industrial production between 1900 and 1913 grew by 62 percent.  After Lenin gained power the industrial workers returned to their peasant origins.  In the winter of 1917-1918 the population of Petrograd declined from 2.4 million to 1.5 million.  By 1920 it had lost 71.5 percent of its population.  In 1919 the total Russian industrial labor force had fallen by 24 percent from 1919 to 1920.  The output of manufactured goods in 1920 in Russian was only 12.9 percent of its pre-war total.

Lenin knew how to talk and promise and intimidate but like Marx he had no understanding of industrialization or real world economics.  He apparently believed in magic – this magic: just centralize all power in the state and let the state run things and all will be hunky-dory.  Our friends on the Left are no more informed today. 

However their sin is not mere stupidity but rather their unwillingness to learn from history and in Russia’s case and the case of other such failed schemes, like Venezuela, East Germany, Cuba and Cambodia, to live within reality.  What was once belief in magic is now lunacy.

Interestingly Russia is no better off today than in Lenin’s days.

In commenting on socialism, F. J. C. Hearnshaw appropriately identified it as “The combination of religious sentimentality, industrial insanity, and moral obliquity.”

Somehow he did not mention self-destructive stupidity.


Note: An interesting read on this and other aspects of recent Western history can be found in Paul Johnson’s Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties.