A Case Against Swallowing Socialism.
By Katelyn McCarthy
Imagine that you are suffering from some ailment and are sitting in the doctor’s office in the hopes that he will have a cure for you. He comes into the room, a bottle of pills in his hand, and says, “Well, my dear patient, we’ve got a solution for you. Just take one of these pills twice daily, and we expect that your condition will clear up.”
“Thanks,” you say. “What exactly is this medication, Doctor?”
“It’s a formula we created some years ago,” he says. “Everyone who has taken it so far has died from it, but that’s because it wasn’t being administered properly. We think we’ve cleared up all the issues, and now we’re ready to try it again.” He unscrews the lid and shakes a red pill into his hand. “Now if you’ll just open wide—”
What would you do?
Would you take the pill?
Sure, the doctor says it’ll heal you, but didn’t he just say that it has killed everyone who has taken it so far? He says he won’t bungle it this time—that he’s worked out all the kinks. Are you willing to take that chance?
If you’re anything like I expect you are, you’ll push his hand away. “Sorry, Doctor,” you say. “No thanks.”
If you would do that in the doctor’s office, wouldn’t you do it somewhere else—say, in the classroom or the voting booth?
According to a survey conducted by YouGov, 70% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Z’rs regard themselves as extremely or somewhat likely to vote for a socialist candidate for office. After having seen how socialism (a term which Karl Marx used interchangeably with communism) has played out over the past hundred years, these statistics leave me scratching my head.
A common refrain supporters of Marxism will use when asked about the strength of their ideas in light of the abusive regimes of the Soviet Union, China, Venezuela, and others, is that Marxism has never truly been put into practice. That all of those regimes were twisted forms of Marxism. That, should “real” Marxism be established, we can build a utopia.
“So you should support a Marxist society,” they say, echoing the doctor. “Sure, every government that has professed Marxism so far has destroyed the lives of its own people, but that’s because it wasn’t being administered properly. We think we’ve cleared up all the issues.”
If you are now pulling from your arsenal of arguments, perhaps pointing out various idyllic Scandinavian governments, I would like to pause again and simply ask: knowing what sort of pill it is the doctor is holding before you, would you take it? Could the doctor cajole you into swallowing it? Convince you that he is right? Persuade you that it won’t do to you what it has done to the others?
Marxism is a pill which has killed 100 million people the world over. When its supporters tell you that such Marxism was a corrupted form and that we can get it right this time, I want you to ask yourself: is that a risk you’re willing to take? A pill you’re ready to swallow? Are you willing to base your future on arguments backed by nothing but blood?
Think it over.
And, by the way—the doctor is waiting.
Ryan Ford '23,