As the socialist country of Venezuela falls apart before our eyes — once the wealthiest country in South America, and now, after decades of socialism, a failed state — it is troubling to note that many in my generation wish to adopt the same system that led directly to the chaos we are seeing in that country. Almost half of those in the Millennial and Generation Z generations say they would prefer to live under socialism, and they are being rapidly herded to that position by the the prominent avowed socialists in the Democratic Party like Bernie Sander and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Following demographic trends, it is not inconceivable that we could have our own Venezuela moment in another 20 or 30 years.
But for anyone still on the fence about whether to advocate socialism or not, I think there is a very simple test that should clarify things for you. Take a look at the socialist countries in the world today. Would you like to live in any of these places? If socialism is a good idea — let alone a path to Utopia, which is how AOC presents it — then there should be in existence today a number of socialist countries that you, a socialist, might consider moving to. So, which one? Venezuela? North Korea? China? Tanzania? Sri Lanka? Nicaragua? Would you even want to spend a weekend in any of these places?
Of course, the socialist sympathizer in America will immediately cite Denmark or Sweden as socialist successes. The problem with calling the Nordic countries socialist successes is that they are not socialist at all. Let the Prime Minster of Denmark speak for himself on the topic:
I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.
It seems a cottage near Copenhagen is out of the picture. The closest thing you can find to a socialist success story is Bolivia, which is not really a socialist success story. And, at any rate, would you actually want to live in Bolivia? Would you prefer it to here?
We could expand this hypothetical search to include historical places. Let's say you could take either a plane or a time machine to your destination of choice. Which State-controlled wonderland of the past would you go for? Soviet Russia? Nazi Germany? Cambodia? Socialism and communism killed 100 million in the 20th century (and counting), so you might want to think twice before heading in any of those directions.
We can talk about the economic and philosophical problems inherent to the socialist model, but the proof is in the pudding. And this particular pudding is made with misery and starvation and tyranny and death on a scale previously unknown to mankind. Perhaps we should take the hint. One or two examples of socialism failing might not be enough to discredit it. But a century of chaos, bloodshed, and poverty brought on by this system of governance should be a sufficient sample size. If you're still not convinced, flights to North Korea are pretty affordable. Just try not to get arrested and tortured to death while you're there.