Noise from Noyes: Socialism causes millions of deaths
The advent of socialism has been perhaps one of the most terrible scourges on mankind. In its most basic form, it’s simply the abolishment of private property, as Marx puts it. It’s an authoritarian form of governance that forcibly revokes the freedom of individuals. Economist Ludwig von Mises describes that socialism “aims at the abolishment of private enterprise and private ownership.” Not only economic freedom, but civil freedom is also suppressed under socialism because it seeks to ultimately be the ideal solution for “mankind’s social and economic organization.”
Socialism comes in various forms, although, as Mises puts it, there are “no substantial differences between the intentions” behind each form. Communist, fascism, and even democratic socialism are all socialism. They all seek to subjugate every aspect of life, community, and economic activity to the will of the state.
Even if socialism is democratically chosen, it doesn’t change the realities of its implementation. Your neighbor is no more justified to enslave you because your other neighbors will him to do so. Those who promote socialist ideals are often born in free countries and have never lived under the oppression of what they espouse. People from socialist countries flee to freedom, not the other way around. There are no South Koreans seeking sanctuary in North Korea. There are no Americans fleeing to Venezuela to find a better life.
Debbie D’Souza, a political activist and native Venezuelan told PragerU that, in Venezuela, the socialist government took over industry to save the people from the greedy capitalists and distribute the profit among the people. “It’s easy for governments to confiscate money. But eventually there’s no more money to confiscate,” she said.
D’Souza also quotes a study that shows “75 percent of Venezuelan adults lost weight in 2016. An average of 19 pounds.” Completely centralized planning and rationing of resources leads to food shortages and mass starvation.
Russia saw almost innumerable deaths at the hand of communism. According to the International Business Times, although hard to estimate, as many as 50 million Russians died “unnaturally” under Stalin’s rule, not including war casualties, a majority directly resulting from his policies. These deaths were from artificial famines, forced labor camps, imprisonment, exile, and executions by the state. It was far from the worker’s paradise that the communists had promised.
China under Mao Zedong was also not a time of liberation. Despite hope for freedom, the Chinese people ended up facing one of the greatest horrors in their history. Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution destroyed the very fabric of Chinese society while establishing the socialist state ruled by the Chinese Communist Party. According to the New York Times, 45 million people died from famine that was the direct result of collectivist policies in industry and agriculture. In the subsequent Cultural Revolution, millions more lives were taken in the violence and chaos propagated by Mao and his cadres.
Under the Third Reich of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, or Nazis, socialism led to the systematic mass murder of people through the Holocaust and other authoritarian policies. Not counting those who died from combat in WWII, the national Socialist policies of the Third Reich killed as many as 20 million people, according to the research by Professor Rummel of the University of Hawaii.
Socialism is bad on paper and in practice, no matter what form it takes. In the freest country in history, the U.S.A., students claim that “real socialism” has never been tried and that it is actually good for society. The truth is, freedom, civil rights, and prosperity cannot exist symbiotically with socialism. This very day, people are in death camps in North Korea and starving in Venezuela. Before you slap on a Bernie Sanders sticker or praise Marxist ideas, remember what they stand for, and the millions murdered, starved, and oppressed by socialism.