By Dr. Harold A. Black

Why would any rational person be a socialist? They wouldn’t. Insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The definition fits socialism perfectly. Socialism if implemented always comes at a terrible human cost. The Big Three socialists were Stalin, Mao and Hitler. Stalin was responsible for at least 20 million non-combat deaths through forced labor camps, executions and intentional famine. Mao was responsible for at least 65 million deaths through forced famine, execution and imprisonment. Hitler (the Nazis were socialists) was responsible for at least 50 million deaths. Of course, there is a litany of minor socialists who have carried on the tradition of murder but to a lesser degree like Kim Jong-Il with “only 2 million deaths.” Other notable socialists are Lenin, Castro, Maduro, Hugo Chavez, Pol Pot and Mugabe.

You would think that only a fool would favor socialism and its attendant misery. There are no socialist success stories. Compare East and West Germany or North and South Korea. The apologists out there like to cite the Nordic countries, but even a casual Google search would reveal that those countries are capitalist with generous social policies. Even countries that have tried socialist policies retrench from them as those policies engender inefficiency at greater economic and social costs. Great Britain sold its government-owned industries. Finland ended its guaranteed income program.

At its core socialism abolishes private property and has the government make decisions from centralized planning. Ironically, the first American Pilgrims instituted such a system and almost starved.

What excuse is there for advocating a system that is destined to impoverish the masses and only benefit the few elites who administer it? How do socialists explain that poverty around the world has fallen and the greatest movements have been in countries that have limited rather than expanded government?

I know that some people will cite the expansion of the middle class in China as an example of socialist success. But those are people with blinders searching for any hint of success. In reality, China is a third-world country. The only reason for its economic might is its size. The high rate of growth in the Chinese economy is often cited. However, Mao impoverished the country meaning that any growth from such a low base would look impressive. China’s GDP is only 70 percent of the United States even though its population is 4.5 times larger. China’s per capita nominal GDP ranks 59th in the world which is that of a third-world country. The United States is fifth. Yes there are Chinese billionaires. Xi seems intent on reining in that group, their companies and subjugating Hong Kong in order to strengthen his own personal power. By so doing he threatens China’s economic development.

The vast majority of Chinese live on a par with those in the poorest countries. The irony is that if the Chinese were to rid themselves of socialism they would be an economic power to be reckoned with.

Throughout the world, the Chinese are capitalists everywhere but in China. If the Chinese unleashed capitalism, their economy would overpower that of the US and the EU. However, the adoption of capitalism would mean the end of Communist dictatorship. China’s leaders would rather imprison their people, put them in labor camps and execute those who are not true believers than give up their power.

So when you hear some of our local city elected officials, Bernie Sanders, AOC and the rest of those extolling socialism, just look at them for what they are: Lenin’s “useful idiots.”