Jonah Goldberg has written an important article in Commentary on what he calls the “neo-socialism” of the Obama administration. I like this label. It is both accurate and more palatable than the term “neo-communism” which I have applied to the hard left. But given the twenty-year political partnership between a neo-Communist like Billy Ayers and Obama, and Obama’s coterie of Communist Party mentors and allies, it is at bottom a distinction without a difference.
Neo-socialists are fellow travelers of neo-Communists and vice-versa. The real division in the modern world is between totalitarians and libertarians, and pivot of this division is the inherent conflict between liberty and equality. Since people are born unequal (in talent, capability, brain power and physical beauty and prowess) and since they develop unequally through circumstance, the only way to make them equal is to take away everyone’s liberty. And of course this will not make them equal because those who get to decide who is made equal and at what pace constitute a new and oppressing ruling class.
This truth is the focus of Federalist Paper #10 and is enshrined in the Constitution which is why every leftist is at war with it and is dedicated to rewriting it. So-called progressives are the 21st Century’s true reactionaries who have failed to learn the lessons of the most horrific social experiment ever inflicted on the human race which murdered 100 million people and destroyed the lives of billions. The term “neo-socialism” attaches them to that awful legacy and serves as a warning to present and future generations of the price that will be paid to achieve “social justice” and also of the fact that the pursuit “social justice” is an evil fantasy which can never be realized.
I have two quibbles with Jonah’s excellent piece. First, it was Rousseau (in The Social Contract) not Babeuf who identified private property as the root of all evil. Second, “social justice” is not a milder socialist impulse — it is in fact a code for communism in the hardest sense. Hayek wrote a brilliant book called The Mirage of Social Justice which argued that 1) there is no such entity as “society” which distributes wealth. Hence the call for social justice is simply a mask — a fake rationale — for distributing wealth politically and thus arrogating to one political faction totalitarian control of everyone else.