On Feb. 2, a resolution was passed in the House of Representatives denouncing the so-called “horrors of socialism.”
This resolution will not in any way impact the lives of the American people and is purely symbolic — symbolic of the ignorance and arrogance of the ruling class.
The resolution argues that socialism inevitably transforms into brutal communist dictatorship, that socialism has caused millions of deaths and that socialism is fundamentally anti-American and should never be implemented in the U.S.
The resolution betrays a total incomprehension of political theory and history. Its arguments are weak and filled with propagandistic lies. But let’s suppose everything in the resolution is correct. Suppose socialism is as evil and destructive as our dear leaders claim. The underlying implication in this document is that American capitalism is not at all like the socialist menace.
We have to denounce socialism, they say, in order that we may never have it ruin our wonderful country, the best of all possible countries.
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And, supposing Congress is right about socialism, though I maintain they are not, it must be pointed out that every accusation about socialism is a capitalist confession. Starvation and mass murders, dictatorships and incarceration — the capitalist apologists point the finger at us when they should be looking in a mirror!
The horrors of capitalism are endless. Nine million people die every year from hunger under our global capitalist system. Over half a million are homeless in the United States alone. Forty-five thousand Americans die every year from lack of healthcare.
All of this horror demonstrates that the capitalist system is violent. Death from hunger and lack of healthcare is preventable. Homelessness is preventable. But the capitalists, with the violent arms of the state backing them, not only ensure that these horrors are not prevented but perpetuate them.
The capitalist state grows more violent all the time. U.S. law enforcement killed over a thousand people in 2022, and over a thousand people the year before, and before that, and on since records of police killings have been tracked. Moreover, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. But forget all this! It’s the socialist countries which are totalitarian police states.
And it’s socialism which props up brutal dictatorships, the resolution claims. Fine, so be it, let us accept the charge, if only for the sake of argument — but will the capitalists accept the charge as well?
After all, capitalist dictatorships have existed the world over and continue to exist, always supported by the so-called “democratic” countries. Take the United States as an example. The U.S. has historically supported dictatorships and authoritarian rulers in South Korea, Chile, Saudi Arabia and others.
The murderous Pinochet dictatorship in Chile is a perfect example of capitalist double-standards. Free market fundamentalists have long praised Pinochet’s economic policies despite the suffering of Chileans who lived under those policies. So, we see, not only are dictatorships tolerated by our bourgeois apologists, they are given full-throated approval!
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To use the Marxist terminology, it is the dictatorship of the proletariat to which Congress objects. When the working people seize power, either by revolution or through the ballot box, the ruling class shudders.
They must constantly work to discredit socialism. They always ignore the achievements of socialists the world over. The advancement of women’s rights, improved living standards, land ownership by peasants, mass literacy campaigns, improvements in medicine, overthrow of colonial rulers — all of these facts mean nothing to the capitalists.
I will not deny that socialists have had failures, some colossal. But we must put to rest the lie that capitalism is a good and peaceful system. It is ugly and violent. And with this resolution, perhaps our Congress understands that more and more people are beginning to see this system for what it really is. The socialist movement should feel invigorated by the resolution. After all, if a thing is weak, there would be no need to denounce it.
I, for one, welcome the denunciation.
Jared Quigg (he/him) is a junior studying journalism and political science.