Rule Five Progressive Utopia Friday

Have a look at the reality of leftist utopias from someone who lived in one.  Excerpt:

I grew up in one of the most progressive societies in the history of humanity. The gap between the rich and poor was tiny compared to the current gulf between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ we find across much of the West. Access to education was universal and students were paid to study and offered free accommodation. Healthcare was available to all and free at the point of use. Racial tensions were non-existent, with hundreds of different ethnic groups living side by side in harmony under the mantra of ‘Friendship of the Peoples.’ Women’s equality was at the very heart of Government policy. According to the prevailing ideology “all forms of inequality were to be erased through the abolition of class structures and the shaping of an egalitarian society based on the fair distribution of resources among the people.”

You are probably wondering whether the idyllic nation from which I hail is Sweden or Iceland. It was the Soviet Union.


Low levels of wealth and income inequality were achieved by making everyone poor and restricting access to basic goods such as food, domestic appliances, and basic clothing. The ’emancipated’ women of the USSR were denied the evil fruits of misogynistic Western civilisation such as tampons, washing machines, and the ability to feed their children. And while healthcare provision was universal, it was also universally poor and entirely corrupt. Only people with influence, connections, and the ability to pay bribes could actually obtain good treatment.

University places which paid students to study were subject to the same corruption with examiners able to solicit bribes and favours. In exchange for an education, you forfeited the right to a future career of your own choosing—instead, you would be allocated a job by the state system, often in a completely different part of the country.

This is the inevitable result of socialism, folks, followed by economic collapse and either a peaceful restructuring in to a more market-based economy (see eastern Europe n the Nineties) or a complete meltdown (see Venezuela, right now.)  In the first case you get a reasonable transition that leads to more personal freedom, more economic freedom and greater prosperity.  In the latter, you get increasingly brutal government crackdowns and people starving and, due to increasing desperation, violent revolution.

The fall of the Soviet Union was somewhat in the middle, with an initially more liberal (in the classical sense) government slowly sliding back to authoritarianism under Czar Putin.  But it’s the comments on “equality” in this article that bring up that inevitable truism, that capitalism presents the equal distribution of opportunity, while socialism presents the equal distribution of misery.

Don’t expect this lesson to sink in with American lefties, though.  The counter-argument always seems to be that all of those failed socialist experiments just didn’t have the right Top Men in charge.  “They didn’t do it right.  We will.”

Uh huh…

This isn’t a cultural battle that will ever be won or lost, no matter how convinced either side is of the rightness of their cause.  And it’s sad, because one side is arguing for freedom, and the other, servitude.  There are elements of this longing for control in both major American political parties, sadly, and in pols of every description.  Robert Heinlein said it best:

Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

Remember that next election season.