Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried, and it will continue to do so despite the best efforts of the die-hard true believers in the Obama administration and the rest of the world.
The most recent example of this failure: Euro-socialism is presently bankrupting the countries that embraced it in Europe. This will result not only in more social and economic upheaval, but also the ultimate demise of the ill-conceived European Union.
The original and current proponents of socialism fail to take into account one basic but immutable factor: the fundamental nature of the human race. The most dominant trait mankind has, as do all living creatures, is an innate desire to survive and prosper.
While some may willingly choose to pursue subsistence on their own terms, to the vast majority of the human race, the path of least resistance is the most desired. Thus, mankind is susceptible to financial scams, gambling, crime and resentment or violence toward those who may have more.
But above all, people are very open to the concept of a central authority providing them with the means of livelihood.
A secondary characteristic of human race, again shared by other species, is the need by some within the group to conquer or maintain control over their fellow man. Thanks to modern technology and weaponry, gone are the days when a megalomaniac could by sheer force of determination and arms conquer and impose his will on others.
The mid-19th century saw the Industrial Revolution and the rise in living standards and education for the populace in Europe. It was during this same period that the advent of socialist-Marxist theory occurred. Those who considered themselves superior to the masses, and in the past may have achieved ruling status through the power of intimidation over the illiterate and unwashed, now had to look to other means to achieve control of the levers of government.
The easiest course to assume this power was to promise, in return for the support of the people, that the state through a new ruling class would provide the citizenry cradle-to-grave economic security. Thus, a Faustian bargain encompassing the desire by the majority for ease of survival and others for the need to rule would be entered into. The populace, having committed itself to this compact, would expect never-ending freedom from adversity.
However, within this arrangement is the seed of its own destruction. For socialism to succeed, it must have an economic underpinning that can provide the foundation for massive social spending. The Soviet Union, as early as the 1920s and '30s, proved that complete state control of the means of production was a colossal failure, as it could not produce sufficient wealth to support the population.
So only the capitalist system, which is anathema to a powerful central government and its attendant oligarchy, can produce sufficient wealth to underwrite a social safety net for the general public and finance the agenda of the governing class.
Capitalism, reflective of that portion of mankind choosing to seek subsistence on its own terms, does by its nature celebrate the success of the individual, not the collective. Individuals, separately or together, driven by the motive of self-enrichment, produce goods or services desired by others. In the process, jobs and wealth are created, thus benefiting society as a whole.
A massive tension exists between those who adhere to central government control and swear fealty to socialist-Marxist philosophy and those who produce the wealth of a nation. The state inherently has more power than the individual, and once the radical element of the ruling class assumes power, government begins an inexorable process of injecting itself into the affairs of the individual and producer class (which is always a minority in any society).
Those who believe they have a manifest destiny to rule and are faithful to socialist tenets have a predisposition to controlling the populace and economic activity through laws, regulations, taxes and intimidation. Despite the lesson of the Soviet Union and its state control of the economy, every new generation of adherents to socialist ideology believes it can make this fallacious philosophy work and maintain its arrangement with the citizenry.
But the reality is that it cannot, as the economic engine of capitalism will not continue to produce wealth if it is increasingly put under the thumb of bureaucrats and central planners inevitably attempting to not only institute state control of the economy, but to also regulate the day-to-day lives of all citizens. The motivation of the producer class will be stifled and members will either drop out, join the dependent class or simply move on to more hospitable countries.
Governments will, as history has shown (most recently in Europe), turn to excessive and unsustainable borrowings and inflation to finance their societal obligations. The contract between the statists and the citizens who were promised cradle-to-grave security cannot be maintained, as the economic underpinning of this arrangement will quickly erode.
Social and economic chaos resulting in a dramatically lower standard of living must inevitably ensue, and in some cases these conditions will lead to violence or revolution. No amount of promises, demonization of capitalism and seizure of the means of production, confiscatory taxes or printing of money will reinstitute prosperity or security for the populace.
This is the path on which President Obama and his fellow travelers have set the United States.
The Founding Fathers of the United States, one of the greatest confluences of brilliant minds in the history of mankind, understood the basic nature of human beings. They accordingly set forth a form of government and a written Constitution to greatly limit those who seek hegemony over the people, especially those seeking unlimited security from a central government. They recognized that only the individual free to pursue economic happiness would result in a society wherein all would benefit on a sustained basis.
American voters made a grave error in judgment in 2008. But unlike in many other countries in Europe and elsewhere, this mistake can be reversed, as the citizens of the United States do have the governmental structure to allow the country to step back from the precipice that this nation and many others are presently staring into.
But will the general public understand that the socialist path the nation is on is preordained to fail? Will the citizenry change the government before it is too late?
McCann is a regular contributor to the American Thinker, the electronic magazine where this article first appeared.