By Lee Enochs
Socialism, the political and economic theory of social organization, which postulates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange of monetary resources for goods should be regulated by the state, is on the rise in the United States.
The economic and political system of socialism are directly related to the concepts of “collectivism,” the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it, and “statism,” a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs of a given state or society.
The recent cultural and political ascendancy and acceptance of Democratic socialists such as Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and the newly elected New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is demonstrable evidence that the collectivistic ideas of socialism are gaining popularity in America.
A recent Gallup polls indicates that a majority of Democrats in the United States no longer hold a positive view of Capitalism and almost 60% of Democrats now hold a positive view of socialism. On the other hand, over 70% of Republicans have a favorable view of Capitalism and only 16% of card-carrying members of the GOP view Socialism in a positive light. Please see: USA Today, “Democrats have a more positive view of socialism, poll finds, “ August 14, 2018).
This positive support of Socialism is particularly surging in the millennial and “generation Z” population demographic of the United States.
Many progressive young people now believe that the federal government should provide for them, without concern for the cost, “free” college tuition, health care and a “living wage” and do not have a problem with high taxes to pay for these entitlement programs.
They also have a positive view of government interference in the private sector.
However, most Millennials and members of “Generation Z” have no recollection and little knowledge of the radical deprivations of socialist regimes such as the former Soviet Union, a totalitarian regime that repressed and subjugated its citizenry.
One only needs to look at the utter chaos of present-day Venezuela, whose entire economy has collapsed due to the utter failure and futility of Socialism as an economic system.
While Socialism may be popular among many Democrats and young people today, I would like to say that such an economic system that is predicated on authoritarianism, high taxes and state control of the economy is entirely antithetical to the principles of liberty as delineated by the Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution.
Yet, when confronted with the fact that socialism is a deviation from the principles of liberty, personal property rights and individualism argued for by the founding fathers in the U.S. Constitution, many of these Democrats and younger supporters argue that Constitutional principals have no relevancy today.
Those of us who are concerned about the future of America who still believe in Free-Market Capitalism, personal property rights and individualized liberty, need to fight to stem the tide of Socialism in this country, lest we head down the path of totalitarianism and subjugation to the state.
Lee Enochs is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Lee also studied political philosophy at Princeton University and currently resides in Southern California.
By Lee Enochs