The trend towards a simpatico view of socialism on behalf of younger leftists should be taken with a grain of salt. Antifa warriors, intersectional feminists, socialist alternative members, and all other variety of socialist-friendly leftist ideologues are craving a version of socialism that does not exist anywhere.
Here are just some of the demands of the modern lefty socialists: Free healthcare, free college, and a living minimum wage that guarantees food, utilities, housing, education, clothing, transportation, and savings. Anything else?
Certainly, these technology-obsessed, latte drinking, party-drug consuming conspicuous consumers are not looking for a state in which prices are set at a state level, and where all specialized products such as avocado toast, soy milk, flavoured vodka, and tote bags become unavailable as they are produced by capitalist companies seeking to make a profit. Naturally, this leaves traditional socialism out of the picture for so-called socialism loving ideologues.
Bernie bros point at the Nordic-model countries of Europe to claim there is such a thing as functional free socialism. This, of course, is an erroneous claim that is debunked in a previous article by this author called “The Myth of Functional European Socialism,” which basically points out that Scandinavian countries and countries with similar economies are, in fact, not socialists, but capitalist countries. The reason so many public services and safety nets are made available to all citizens in Nordic-model countries is not because the burden of taxation is placed on the top 1%, rather it is placed on every member of society excepting only the poorest. So, this leaves out the fictional “European-style” socialism.
It becomes clear after digging just a bit into the socialist alternative ideology that socialism, as it has been come to be understood, is not what these people are after. They are looking for a system in which the wealthiest 1% of the population in conjunction with large businesses pay the government huge percentages of their income that the government later uses to provide everything for free to the rest of society.
In this fictional socialistic society, healthcare, education, housing, and basic income are provided to every member of society on the buck of the wealthiest people and organizations in the country. In this idealistic society, all consumer goods are readily available such as they would be in a free market economy, and the same innovations continue to be generated for the population. This version of socialism is as idealistic as it is unrealistic.
The issue here is that even taxing the top 1% at a rate of 100% would not cover the expenses of even one basic social-program for one year, meaning that placing the burden of taxation on only the richest members of society would not pay for everything these modern socialists demand.
This hasn’t discouraged politicians like Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein who claim that the elimination of student debt, free university, and free healthcare can be paid by raising taxes on high-income earners. Jill Stein, much like her previous attempts at gaining notoriety, can be ignored for now so we can focus on Bernie Sander’s plan to provide everything at a government level to US citizens. Multiple economists, including those on the left, asserted that the math simply didn’t add up for Bernie Sanders’ plan, since increasing the taxes on wealthy people at the rate he proposed combined with the tax he planned on Wall Street speculation would not generate the income necessary to cover all of the proposed programs.
So, since this Sugar Daddy Government solution doesn’t add up mathematically, not to mention economically and logically, this version of socialism seems to be much like the economy of Wakanda. Wakanda, the fictional country from the movie “Black Panther” has an infinite amount of a metal called “Vibranium” that can build everything from a house to a smartphone. This is what this new version of socialism needs; a fictional infinite resource that can be used to supplement their every desire at the cost of everyone except themselves. Until such a resource can be found, socialism will continue to be an inviable concept.