Philip Carl Salzman is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. His public interest articles can be found at the Frontier Centre, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Gatestone Institute, Middle East Forum, Minding the Campus, C2C Journal, Areo Magazine, and Dogma Review.
For so long, it appeared that socialism had definitively failed in practice and had lost its appeal as an economic ideology. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had crashed; its Eastern European satellites had escaped in the 1990s; China had transitioned from socialism to state capitalism beginning with the economic reforms of 1978 and has carried on energetically ever since; communist Cuba had declined to an offshore holiday resort for Canadians and Europeans, and socialist Venezuela totally collapsed. In a 1989 essay entitled “The End of History?”, Francis Fukuyama argued that, in the events mentioned above, we were witnessing “an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.”
Socialist parties have, of course, been present in many European countries throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and at some time and in some countries, have been dominant. But they have tended to be “pink” rather than “red,” and have generally favoured welfare state policies rather than the takeover of the means of production; at the moment, most European countries are currently struggling to stay on life-support. The British Labour Party, for instance, abandoned state ownership of the means of production in a 1993 revision of Clause IV of its constitution.
Socialism, however, has recently taken off in the American political scene, and continues to be the foundational principle of Canada’s New Democratic Party. In the U.S., “Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year.” Furthermore, all “Americans aged 18 to 29 are even more positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%).”
Socialist leanings of young people should not be a surprise to anyone familiar with our educational system, from primary school through university, which has evidently been captured by Marxists, with their familiar cries of a world supposedly divided into oppressors and the oppressed. It means, if I do well, somebody must have been screwed; there is no economic model in Marxism for “I win, you win, we all win.” Education these days consists largely of anti-Western and anti-capitalist, as well as anti-white and anti-male political propaganda.
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