- - Sunday, March 1, 2020

Capitalism and socialism have long histories. Analyses of each system cites pros and cons, but the acid test is what ensues when both economic systems are given free rein for long periods. The American variety of capitalism, still evolving, remains an engine of societal betterment far superior to socialism. But socialism has a better press in many academic precincts, for it is a fount of politically correct shibboleths which turn many progressive hearts aflutter. As philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Fluttering hearts, ever alert to the conceit that this time will be different, do not credit the dismal history of socialism.

Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders thinks we should rewire America, the engine of free enterprise and ingenuity, as Scandinavia, a socialist “paradise” of cradle-to-grave stagnation.

It may be instructive to note that three weeks after VE Day, the United Kingdom elected a Labor Party government, thus replacing Prime Minister Winston Churchill with the socialist Clement Atlee. Several months later Churchill proclaimed: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” In 1948 he said, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy “

If Democrats prevail in 2020, will this time be different?

PAUL BLOUSTEIN



Cincinnati

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