Essay #2: How Timely! Kevin D. Williamson Agrees With OUR Post!
I posted my little takedown of Socialism on August 5th at 10:53 am. Approximately an hour and a half later on the VERY SAME DAY, the great Kevin D. Williamson, of National Review Online posted this:
“The World’s Worst Idea,” here: https://www.nationalreview.com/…/the-worlds-worst-idea/…)
Now, I’d actually published my original post several days before at a different media outlet, so it was only a copy-paste, and some tidying up for me to to get it into FaceBook.
In other words, Williamson’s National Review feature ACTUALLY came out several DAYS after the appearance of my original, but his NR essay and mine here on FB came out at almost the exact same moment!
Williamson is a great writer and thinker, who will anger AND please people on all points of the Left-Right political spectrum. That’s one of the reasons I appreciate him as much as I do, which is quite a lot.
I find him to be a fascinating, satisfying read, first because of the quality of his writing then because of the quality of his thinking, and the depth and breadth of his erudition.
What I most appreciate about him, though, is the fact that I’ll never be indulging in confirmation bias with his writing! He’s constantly challenging, always brings fresh perspective to any topic he broaches, and never disappoints. If he were to write an essay about how to boil water, it’d be a delight to read, and you’d learn something you didn’t know before.
So, enough introduction to the great Kevin D. Williamson! In my original Socialism essay, I tried to give a better, deeper understanding of Socialism and its place in history and in the world.
My thesis was: Far from being something new and fresh and exciting, it’s old and stale, and people have been groaning under its oppression for millennia. And, in fact, it’s virtually indistinguishable from slavery, serfdom and institutions like that.
Well, the great Kevin D. Williamson has a few things to say about Socialism too. Here are some of them:
First of all, there’s the title itself. Socialism’s “The World’s Worst Idea”
Then, as if to underscore what I’d written, he penned this, “Almost a decade ago, I wrote a little book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism. … I was happy to do it but wondered whether a book on socialism, a brief conspectus of its grotesque failures, would be necessary or useful.”
Next, Williamson says this: “There are some horrifyingly relevant books out now and on the way (about Socialism). One is Iain Murray’s excellent, just-published “The Socialist Temptation” … in which Murray addresses some of the eternal lies (“Real socialism has never been tried!”) and abominable clichés of socialism. He emphasizes that historically, socialism has consistently delivered the opposite of its promises: more economic and political inequality, not less; more poverty, not less; more ruthless social domination of the poor and the marginalized, not less; more environmental degradation, not less.”
Gee, it’s almost as if Williamson is saying that Socialism sure resembles slavery! Or serfdom! Okay, okay… that’s EXACTLY what Williamson’s saying.
Williamson continues further on with, “I am not entirely convinced of his (Iain Murray’s) claim … that countering socialism is a “communications challenge.” The defects of socialism have been very thoroughly communicated — the photographs of the Holodomor are available online, the records of mass murder and spoliation are quite easily accessed, the stories of Cuban refugees are at our fingertips, The Gulag Archipelago is only a click away.”
Indeed… SOME of the depredations of Socialism ARE well-known. It was easy to get people outraged over the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and rightly so! So, why aren’t people nearly as incensed about the TWENTY MILLION Ukrainians starved, bludgeoned, shot, abused, and enslaved to death in the Holodomor? I think the answer is simpler than Williamson lets on:
The horrors of Naziism are well-known because we were all taught them in public schools. As we should have been!
However, we WEREN’T taught of the equally monstrous grotesqueries of the OTHER strains of Socialism contemporaneous with Naziism. Things like the Holodomor, the Great Leap Forward, the Killing Fields, the Forest of Katyn, the constant, mind-numbing discoveries of Stalin-era mass graves in Russia and more.
THAT’s why Socialism doesn’t occupy our mindspace in exactly the same toxic waste bin as Naziism, as it ought to. After all, Naziism IS Socialism, as is Maoism, and Stalinism, and Leninism, and Marxist-Leninism, and so forth. We just never learned about any of THOSE atrocities in public schools.
Given the number of professors in American universities who even today admit they’re Marxists, maybe that’s not all that surprising.
Williamson also gives his reaction to that question further on in the feature.
Williamson, then shines a bit of light on Maoism, another hideous strain of the spectrum disease that is Socialism.
It’s a riveting read; Williamson nearly always is. It’s also quite disappointingly brief. Uninterrupted, it’s maybe a four-minute read; six if you pause to digest some of it — though I guess as a teaser for Williamson’s upcoming feature on Socialism in National Review, it serves quite well.
I strongly recommend it to you, as I do ALL of the great Kevin D. Williamson’s writing.