The Rise and Fall (and Rise?) of Socialism

Maxim Gorky
Maxim Gorky
There’s an interesting article over at Classical Values entitled, “So who owns Socialism?” The author is in a quandary because so much of what we’ve seen happening on the national scene walks like socialism, quacks like socialism, and flaps its wings like socialism, that a national debate on whether it really is socialism would seem to be in order. Unfortunately, that seemingly innocent word became fouled in the cogwheels of political correctness long ago, and one can no longer use it without treading on any number of ideological toes. It’s too bad. I agree with Eric at CV that, as something very closely akin to socialism, if not actually the genuine article, is already a fait accompli in some branches of industry, a serious national discourse on the subject is long overdue. While, as a rule, I’m anything but an enthusiast, I do make exceptions. For example, I would be a whooping fan of socialism in cases such as, for example, nationalization of the legal industry.

Socialism wasn’t always in such ill repute. The great Russian author, Maxim Gorky, thought, along with many other progressive intellectuals in his day, that “democracy cannot be other than socialist.” (“Untimely Thoughts,” p. 164) In January, 1918, just after the Bolsheviks had seized power, he wrote with what now seems uncanny prescience in his newspaper, Novaya Zhizn, “Therefore I keep on saying: an experiment is being conducted with the Russian proletariat for which the proletariat will pay with their blood, life, and worst of all, a prolonged disillusionment with the very ideal of socialism.”

He certainly got it right when it comes to the ideal of socialism. However, perhaps he was rather too pessimistic when it comes to the reality of socialism.

Author: Helian

I am Doug Drake, and I live in Maryland, not far from Washington, DC. I am a graduate of West Point, and I hold a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin. My blog reflects my enduring fascination with human nature and human morality.

One thought on “The Rise and Fall (and Rise?) of Socialism”

  1. With all this technology replacing human beings more and more every day (which will get much worse in the future, very possibly in the near future, with the rise of AI), I think there will be an inevitable return of socialism.

    I’m not saying that socialism will replace capitalism, this is not going to happen anytime soon. But there will be more socialism thrown in the mix. Otherwise, there will be great rage.

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