Theirs is a collectivism of social class, race, and gender. They are the ideological offspring of the communists and fascists of the 20thcentury. They blend together a synthesis of Marxism and Nazism into the new world of political correctness and identity politics. They view themselves as radical “progressives,” determined to overthrow and abolish the capitalist, racist and sexist sins of the past, and put in its place an amorphous “democratic socialism” that is premised on a new tribalism of group identity and belonging.
The problems of socialism are problems of socialism — problems related to the absence of markets, innovation, and free enterprise and, principally, problems related to the epistemic impossibility of the socialist promise: rational central planning of economic activity. The problems of socialism are not the problems of authoritarianism and will not be cured by democracy. Socialism and authoritarianism often go hand in hand (almost always, in fact), but socialism on its own, even when it is the result of democratic elections and genuinely democratic processes, is a bottomless well of misery. The Soviet gulags and hunger-genocide, the Chinese prison camps, and the psychosis of Pyongyang are not the only exhibits in the case against socialism, and the case against socialism is also the case against democratic socialism, as the experience of the United Kingdom attests.