(38) comments Back to story

Gary Scoggin

I look forward to seeing if the usual suspects can rebut Dr. Smith’s column without resorting to personal attacks. Methinks probably not.

David Hardee

Rest assured this article will get the rebuttal it deserves for its many fallacies in conceptions it presents. The history of socialism and its result on humanity are well known and quite unpleasant.

Claudia Burnam

What's wrong with personal attacks? I'm sure you had rather people not use their freedom of speech if it goes against Mr. Smiths agenda. E G Wiley

Gary Scoggin

Attacking the author instead of his content is a sign that your arguments aren’t strong enough to stand alone. I don’t agree with Dr. Smith’s premise here but whenever he and a few select others posts, the typical response is an attack on the writer not their positions.

David Hardee

Gary - consider whether this specific author deserves your correctly stated consideration -

An author that presents facts (journalist) should not suffer personal attacks. An author that presents perception (proposition, hyperbole) is attacking not only the subject matter but is attacking the believers for their beliefs (read the article and note his recriminations).with his personally constructed belief. Exceptions - formal debates, comparison of both sides, stated as an opinion to stimulate consideration. Dr. Smith's well known as a user of domineering chronic agitators deserves personal attack.

Gary Scoggin

I agree if he were writing about those events, which in this case he’s not. He’s writing a more general essay about his views of the virtues of socialism and communism. I disagree with him, full stop. But if we focus on him, we don’t engage in his core subject. Which is a much more important discussion.

Carlos Ponce

"Attacking the author instead of his content.." David Michael doesn't have a stellar reputation. In previous columns he defends communism, terrorist organizations and despises Israel.

Carlos Ponce

Looking at history we discover many leaders who have embraced socialism - Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Kim Jong-il, Hugo Chavez, Pol Pot, etc. but especially David Michael's favorite - Chairman Mao. Their legacy shows that pursuing socialism is not a good thing.

Randy Chapman

It's never worked right anywhere, but we can make it work? I'll pass.

Emile Pope


Carlos Ponce

"One hears too often that Nordic economies (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) are based on socialist systems with sky-high taxation that are void of opportunities for entrepreneurial individuals." "Nordic countries are not socialist, they are small, open economies, and they cherish free trade."


Bailey Jones

You've got it, Carlos! Capitalist systems with socialist social programs. I knew you'd get us there eventually.

Carlos Ponce


David Hardee

"You've got it, Carlos! Capitalist systems with socialist social programs. I knew you'd get us there eventually."

As this thread bounces about the globe for Socialis and Capitalist comparisons and comes to the consensus that a capitalist/socialist combination is the best conclusion the rest of the story is:

A modified socialism/capitalist status has been the condition in the USA for the last 60 years. The conditions that create trauma (Great Depression, Dust Bowl, All the Wars) caused a socialist (benevolent) reaction. Each of those responses was effective and terminated when the trauma resolved and the USA returned to the purest form of capitalism.

The current socialist endeavor (benevolent) action was the reaction to the change from a very unique trauma - EQUALITY. That action of benevolence was answered in a very unique way. The usurping of the rights of the STATE and INDIVIDUALS to control their domains. Three specific portions of the life of individuals were now controlled by FEDERAL bureaucracies - HEALTH, EDUCATION, WELFARE. And the most dramatic action which created a FOREVER (till amended) change to the CONSTITUTION. From those activities, the slide to a SOCIALIST populist began. That path has been sliding and corrupting the USA MORES. Dollars are important but the USA MORES are the backbone of civilization.

Where are we as a society today? Civility and respect among the subsets of society are corrupted. The education system is a tragedy. Drugs and urban blight are national horrors. Infrastructure is falling apart while the money is enabling every social degradation - abortions, sloth of the lazy, promoting illegals too come by millions, educational loans and zero down housing loans - these are all the results of the sliding into SOCIALISM.

Unless the swamp is drained and the mores returned the USA will be UN-UNITED SOCIALIST AMERICA.


Carlos Ponce

The comparison is not valid.

Bailey Jones

shhhh... don't mention Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, or any of the other places that "socialist" policies have improved the well being of humanity. And certainly don't mention the US, with its 40 hour workweeks, child labor laws, unemployment insurance, guaranteed retirement income, universal free primary education, health care for the aged, etc.

It only counts as "socialism" if it's a failure.

Reggie Barnett

I have family from Norway, they are taxed at 70% of income, they have no military, gasoline is $12 per gallon. Medical care is marginal, when a member became ill there they called a Norwegian doctor in the USA for advice. Its a wonderful country but no one migrates to Norway. Opportunities do not exist like in the US. My family will go visit but will never go back to live.

Bailey Jones

To raise the question that often gets asked here - if things are so awful in Norway, why do people live there? In the UN's 2019 survey of personal happiness, Norway ranked 3rd. The US was 15th. Are Norwegians just happy dupes?

Tony Brown

The problem with Marx' and Engels' theory is that it never worked. Ever. Too many people actually want to make a better life for themselves and their children, and that incentive has proven necessary in order to generate the productivity necessary for socioeconomic improvement on a holistic basis.

Under Marxist theory, "elected representatives of the masses" choose who gets what, and when they will get it - with all decisions made on an altruistic basis "for the good of all." Workers then get that allocation hey work hard or they don't. And guess what happens then? When it doesn't matter how hard people have to work to receive their allocation, productivity plummets. On the political side, the leaders gradually take over more and more decision-making - initially for general control of the system, which later morph into personal proclivities. Anyone remember the center lanes on main Moscow thoroughfares, which were reserved for Communist Party officials riding in their Zil limousines? At the same time, grocery stores were empty because there was nothing to sell.

Democratic socialism is on one side of a coin. On the other side is benevolent dictatorship, where an altruistic leader manages everything in the best interest of the people. Neither has ever worked - except in the dreamland of sunshine, lollipops and unicorns.

Of course, if any one really is interested in a truly benevolent dictator who will make all decisions for you that are truly in your best interests, I'm available.

Bailey Jones

Annnnnd here we go again. Instead of talking about what is and isn't socialism, how about we talk about what is or isn't good policy for America? I know that talking about actual ideas is harder that tossing around meme grenades, but it's much more interesting, and enlightening.

Ray Taft

Here you go! Get a firsthand eye-witness account of socialism from one of its victims and not from one of its accolades who lives in an America not under socialism.


Bailey Jones

Ray, I wonder how many accounts you've read (you won't find them on Breitbart) of life in capitalist countries when capitalism fails, such as in the Great Depression or the dust bowl days, when there was no "socialist" safety net to catch people who fell into desperate poverty. Show me a capitalism that never busts and never discards the old, weak and sick, and I'll give up my notions of social welfare. (A couple of accounts are here. https://www.facinghistory.org/mockingbird/firsthand-accounts-great-depression)

Carlos Ponce

Blaming Capitalism for the dust bowl? That's not your usual modus operandi. Normally you'd blame Climate Change.

Bailey Jones

Actually, I'd blame poor land management and an extended drought for the dust bowl. I'd blame America's largest refugee crisis - 2,500,000 poverty stricken farmers who lost their homes - on capitalism, specifically that aspect of capitalism that discards unprofitable human beings.

Gary Scoggin

The fallacy of Marx and Engels is the notion that seeing the common good will entice people to enduringly put the common interest above their own. That this becomes so appealing that even after the state “withers away” people will be forever so motivated and that no coercive force will be required. Other than religion, which Communism formally disavows, I see nothing in human experience that substantiates this assumption.

Gary Miller

Socialism fails by not understanding human nature. The worker who works hard expects the hard work to benefit himself and family. For the common good is a mithe socialist has never proved is enough to let government tell us what we must do, when we must do it and how we must do it. 200,000 years ago the hard worker produced the most offspring and enjoyed the best care in old age. Today the hard worker rejects socialism because he is sure he is more interested in his family than some government bureaucrat.

Jose' Boix

As a Cuban born American Citizen, I find that the column authored by David Michael Smith, Ph.D. describes the model of change that Cuba went through after January 1, 1959. So instead of debating the nuances of what is what, just evaluate the results of applying the exact approaches noted herein to Cuba. Then decide where would you rather live.

Once again, I continue to find that the most vocal and ardent supporters of such failed ideologies live under the protection of a capitalist system; jobs, good pay, freedoms, and are allowed to innovate and develop just to name a few "benefits." Just my thoughts.

Bailey Jones

I don't think anyone with reason in America advocates government ownership of the means of production, and certainly not totalitarianism. "Socialism" here is meant merely to address the areas where capitalism fails - during the inevitable economic downturns for instance, and areas where market concepts don't work - like health care, and the tendency of capitalism to redistribute wealth upwards, from the many to the few. (And to address the corruption that inevitably follows that concentration of wealth and power.) No American "socialist" that I know of is looking towards Venezuela or Cuba as examples (or even China who seems to be doing just fine) but rather to Canada and northern Europe.

Charles Douglas

Please don't brag on the vast econical progression of China of all nations. IT was not long ago China was starving!!! They were putting limits on how many babies a family could have there, and were correcting any mistakes concerning birth numbers by harsh actions. They lied, they cheated, and, and, and, did I say they lied? Okay, and they stole from everybody who did business in China! In short they got to be as well off as they have, mainly off the BACKS of the American taxpayers, & the STUPIDITY of people like Nixon, Carter, Bush, Clinton, and Obama! They made quad-zillions of dollars off America and profited even to day off favorable status for undeveloped nations, and the WTO! So PO-L-E-A-S-E-E-E!!!!!

Don Schlessinger


Bailey Jones

Real growth of over 6% each year since the 1960s. Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Charles Douglas

Six per cent growth since the 1960s? WOW!!! You just proved my point, and made my case! " Your Honor..Sir if it please the Court, the defense rests!"[whistling]

Carlos Ponce

"Shocking What Happened Next, Confronting Socialist Supporters"


Paul Hyatt

Here is my thought Mr. Smith. If socialism is such a great and wonderful thing, why are you not living in Cuba, Venezuela or many others that have tried this failed method of government? Several of the people writing here today seem to espouse the goodness of socialism over the so called evil of capitalism.... I would ask them the exact same thing. If our nation is so evil because we have a capitalism run nation, they why be miserable? Move to a socialist country and live the great life that you thing it is....

Jack Reeves

Another little tidbit that our ultra liberal media and post secondary educators tend to ignore is that more often than not, the new "revolutionary" leaders will attempt to secure their power by eliminating the instigators who helped them acquire it. The ones who were an asset to the so called "awakening" ,now become a liability.

Charles Douglas

Jack! Jack! Jack! Absolutely! Out of the park!!!!!

Reggie Barnett

I have been fortunate enough to have worked for international companies with people from many Socialist and Communist countries. On man fled the Soviet Union in the late 1970's. He said in Socialist Communist countries there is greater division in wealth than in a free democracy and capitalistic system. The Government leadership live like royalty on the backs of the working people. Those in control force the common people to a lower standard of living than they experience themselves. We see this is in the US Congress where they vote to provide themselves raises, exclude themselves from the same medical care they require us to use. Social class division happens in every society. I also work with Venezuelans whose families are living in horrible conditions because of a promise of socialism and corrupt government leaders. I believe there are "Misconceptions to Socialism" but exactly opposite of the David Michael Smith. The reason pure socialism does not work is because private equity and entrepreneurship is what provides a better opportunity for everyone. Socialism only provides opportunity for those in Government and everyone else suffers.

Jarvis Buckley

Don't know why I read his articles?

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