The San Diego chapter of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement has always been one of its more… colorful outposts. They’re the ones who held a moment of silence in solidarity with the guy who shot at the White House, after all. In the twilight of the Occupy saga, when only the hardcore crazies are left, places like San Diego are giving us a closer look at the “core beliefs” of the movement.
To that end, Occupy San Diego held a little seminar on the virtues of communism on Sunday. The fun begins about six minutes into the clip.
There are a few things to be learned here, besides the astonishing historical ignorance and poor critical thinking skills of the Occupiers. (Remember, a lot of these people are students.) The enduring romantic appeal of a heavily sanitized communism should not be underestimated. Communism and fascism were history’s worst ideas, but they experienced very different fates in the postwar era. Communism evaded the deep grave in which fascism was rightly buried in Western society, and is still credited with marvelous good intentions, not least because it promises to free gullible young people from material concerns… by robbing them blind.
Thus, when the introductory speaker in San Diego repeats the hoary old promises that communism “seeks to eliminate the conditions in which the majority of workers live only to increase capital to fulfill the interests of the ruling class,” and “under communism, society’s wealth would be used in the interests of the workers,” she’s making it sound like advanced Obamanomics.
Those ideas have not been discredited in the public mind, after causing a century of poverty and bloodshed, because Western academics will not allow them to be discredited. Instead of reviewing the grisly wreckage of communist dungeon states and examining why those glittering visions of “everyone sharing everything” lead directly to gulags and enforced starvation, they ask their students to forget about all the unpleasant “mistakes” of totalitarian rulers who didn’t really understand the true communist genius, and restore full faith and credit in the good intentions of an invariably brutal and squalid system.
Later, the featured speaker muses that under socialism and Marxism, “everybody has a say, and all working-class people run society.” Nothing could be further from the truth, and this delusion lies at the core of everything from the 80-proof Marxism sold at university lectures, to the white-lightning bathtub brew guzzled by the Occupiers… and the watered-down and focus-grouped socialism Barack Obama sells on a daily basis. These people are simply ignoring the staggering amount of compulsive force necessary to make collectivist systems function. The more “re-distributive” society becomes, the more force it must deploy against its people, and the less of a “say” they have in what occurs.
No amount of political activism, during the increasingly rare and ineffectual trips to the ballot box afforded under collectivist systems, can possibly replace the “say” working-class people exercise through the full ownership of their private property, and the accompanying economic liberty this provides. What a dismal cultural and educational failure it is, to see so many young people who not only fail to understand this, but believe their ignorance makes them morally superior. The Occupy Wall Street tragedy lies in its loss of appreciation for economic liberty, and the failure to appreciate that all other liberties ultimately spring from it, because if you own nothing, you can refuse nothing.
Of course, since their defining act is the forcible appropriation of property they don’t own, and the refusal to contribute to its maintenance and repair, that’s not really a surprise. The approval of compulsion for “righteous” ends is written into this movement’s DNA.