Most Americans will reflexively complete the two-word excerpt, “ask not…” from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address. In one sentence, JFK inspired the antithetic narrative to socialist doctrine. He made clear the distinction between a world view founded upon individual improvement, and one enthralled by collective coercion. The answer to the tragedy of life is not to ponder at how the corrupt system might be changed to suit your worldview, but to ask how you might amend yourself and the lives of your friends and family. Society is necessarily made of individuals, and each one has a responsibility to make their country great by doing what little or large they can to alleviate the suffering in their local sphere of existence. Socialism admonishes merit and denies you the respect and opportunity to claim it.

Socialism is (because definitions are important) “a political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” So often I hear people claiming to be socialists, when really, they are capitalists who favour progressive taxes and welfare. Real socialism, or utopian socialism, is far more insidious. Venezuela solved its high infant mortality due to starvation overnight by making it illegal for doctors to record children as having died of malnutrition. Easy. But why do socialist countries always become corrupt? Because socialism, as a political machine, is inherently tyrannical. Where capitalism ensures the sovereignty of each: your right to your own produce and labour, socialism denies it, and forcibly demands that it be handed to those who have not earned it. Where capitalism assures your right to self-determination and offers proportionate reward for altruistic behaviour, socialism refuses these, and dictates that your labour be in servitude to a nameless master. Socialism does not bear the potential for tyranny. Socialism is tyranny.

No-one likes poverty. To claim that capitalists do is childish, and to think that by saying you dislike it you present yourself as the golden standard for morality is equally misguided. The original socialists were correct in their diagnosis but failed miserably in their attempt to find a cure. We can forgive Marx his part in this, for he and his ilk could not predict exactly how their little experiment might play out. But with the 20th century passed, and its horrors well documented, there is no excuse for Marxist philosophy. To this, I am often met with the defensive response, “that wasn’t real Marxism.” Well then, what is? And can you be so sure (because I know exactly what you’re inferring by that) that if you were in charge, as the obviously benevolent, perfect creature that you are, that you would be the one – the first one – to usher in the age of functional socialism? To say this is doubtful would be an understatement, rather it is so viciously arrogant it beggars belief. How many corpses do socialists need before they realise their resentful system will never work? Clearly 100 million is insufficient. Clearly one more run of the simulation is worthwhile.
Well, you have it: Venezuela.