Consider two presentations by Swedish author and historian Johan Norberg, the first via printed Q/A format in Dailywire.com. (excerpted below) and the second via video format linked.
“(Dailywire): One of the current front-runners [Bernie Sanders] in the (Democrat) primary race is a self-proclaimed socialist. What does that tell you about the political climate in the United States?”
NORBERG: Well, it tells you that you should be worried about the state of political discourse in the United States, and I recognize this because this was where Sweden was in the 1970s. We had this tremendous growth; we had big, successful companies bringing in the money and the profits to the economy; and we thought two things: We thought that we were on top of the world and we could do anything. We didn’t have to care about economic orthodoxy anymore. But also, people began to say, “Well, that’s unfair. Why should a little group and the few businesses make all this money? Let’s just redistribute all of this.”
And especially, I think, if you are young, if you’re a student, if you haven’t been actively involved in working to sustain yourself to a large extent or never been involved in business, you’re used to the money just being there for you, and you also notice all these definite problems and inequalities in the world, and you just think, “Well, all the money’s there. Let’s just do something about it.” And you forget that, no, the money isn’t “just there.” We have to create it every minute, all the time, constantly, and the worse we make the situation for those who create that wealth, the less we will get in the long run. It happens again and again in human history, and often paradoxically, it happens when times are good and people think that they can do anything.
Source: “INTERVIEW (Part I): Swedish Author Johan Norberg On The Devastating Impact Of Socialism, And What It Could Cost The U.S.” By Frank Camp, DailyWire.com. 14/02/2020.
For a more in-depth discussion hosted by Norberg separating the reality from the myth of what is known about Sweden’s brand of socialism see video, below. This video is also linked in the article.
Sneak preview: with regard to education and health care, note how many times the word “choice” is used or implied, e.g. in education, “school vouchers,” and how often the concept of consensus and negotiation between the government and the private sector is cited.
Note also the warnings at the end regarding the need to teach every generation that “the free market economy is the best”.
As the history of Sweden’s brand of socialism reveals, they learned the hard way.
Additionally, keep in mind that Norberg, though supporting free market economics, is also a proponent of a globalist free market economy (which is of course another topic fraught with its own kinds of concerns–and warnings.)
And “in a nutshell” from another source:
The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
Thank you for this warning, Phyllis. Here in the UK we have a quasi-socialist state regardless of which party is in power. Socialism in its purest form (if I can use the word ‘pure’ in this connection) crushes the creative spirit and maintains dependency on the state. The state engages in social engineering and interference on a massive scale. The term ‘failed state’ is often used to refer to Sweden. Check out the Gatestone Institute’s article ‘Sweden: a failed state?’ for the gory details. For good measure here are some quotes about socialism: ‘The goal of socialism is communism’ (Vladimir Lenin); ‘Socialism values equality more than liberty’ (Dennis Prager); ‘Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it’ (Thomas Sowell).
Thank you for your “local insight.” Nothing like boots on the ground (or close to it) to expose the reality of boots on the neck–though at first they may appear as velvet slippers…
While I have been reviewing Norberg’s commentaries and videos, which he has put out as a warning to the American people this election season, I have been continually aware that he is, after all (and astonishingly, in my view) speaking as from the platform of one who still champions a form of socialism, albeit a form that seems to be more harmonious with capitalism.
However, there are instances in both video and writing where he cites those who say things along the lines of that once socialism is out of the box, like Pandora’s box, it is very difficult to get “things” back inside without a revolution. Fortunately for Sweden, their reversal, such as it is, seems to have been more more peaceful than most nations purging the blood and b….hit of that form of government.
People also like to blather on that Jesus and the early church members operated in socialist communities. But they forget (or perhaps never knew to begin with, having received their information in a propaganda bubble) all those verses everywhere about “the worker being worthy of his wage” because a) he is a WORKER, and b) the wage suits the work (implied).
There are also plenty of other verses that deal with slackers and those who refuse to work as well as to those who take advantage of others for subsistence. The word of warning for the rest of us here begins with “Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else…” (Proverbs 22:26). Which is an entirely different thing than providing for those who cannot provide for themselves for legitimate reasons and not just because of some sense of false (or opportunistic) entitlement ginned up by political hacks who know how to work pathos.
Here’s another saying about socialism (which is usually a preamble to communism): socialism comes in by the ballot; communism, by the bullet. And of course, Lenin’s famous line, quoted in your comment, seems, somehow, to just float right on by a lot of people.
One also thinks of the truism: “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Totalitarianism in any form, whether by one person or a group, at the outset just sounds good in its initial, “advertising stage” by those who know well how to wield “word-fare” with slick tongues and catchy sound bytes.
God help us if we allow the camel called socialism to toe its way into the American tent (some would argue, any more than it already has…).
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