Ace of Spades HQ:
One of the things that puzzles many conservatives is the appeal of socialism. Just what is it about this poisonous concept that appeals to so many people? It’s never worked anywhere it’s been tried. In the past century, mankind has experimented with national socialism, international socialism, socialism as a cult of personality and every other variation you can think of. They have all failed. All of them.
“But Western Europe! But Scandinavia!” cry the socialist apologists. Failed. The “successful” democratic socialist regimes in Europe only “succeed” because we were paying their freight, through subsidies, grants, loans or outright gifts, not to mention the big one: they outsourced their defense to us. None of them could afford their lavish cradle to grave entitlement state if they had to pay for their own defense. If we hadn’t defended them, and they had chosen to forgo defense to fund their entitlements, they would have become a different type of socialist state in short order: Soviet.
Even letting that aside there’s not much that I would call a success in Western Europe. Their societies are all suffering cancer of the culture. Birthrates are below replacement levels, third world immigrants with worldviews inimical to freedom are flooding their countries with no end in sight, and the native people can’t even be arsed to defend what they claim to believe in (for more on this see Steyn, Mark; anything he’s written, basically).
So why, given its abject real world failure, does socialism remain a compelling vision to so many people?
The answer has two parts. First is the nature of mankind. Humans are tribal animals. Socialism is a top down model, and tribes are almost always run in a top down manner. Humans respond to this on an instinctive level. Ordered liberty, free market capitalism, rule of law and other bottom up organizational methods are the aberration in human history. Humans are not wired to respond to these concepts the way they respond to a hierarchy. It’s better for them, but it isn’t instinctive. Think about it like throwing a ball. Humans naturally throw “like a girl”. Give a kid who has never held a ball a ball and tell him to throw it, and that’s how he’ll do it. We have to be shown how to throw properly. Once we learn how, man, we can throw so much better and further and more accurately, but it’s not instinctive. So humans are hard wired to identify with one of the basic tenants of socialism.