… is from pages 111-112 of Kristian Niemietz’s excellent 2019 book, Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies :
Western intellectuals had lavishly heaped praise on China when millions of Chinese people were starving or worked to death in forced labour camps. But when a programme of relative liberalisation lifted millions of people out of poverty, those intellectuals were conspicuous by their silence. Market-based reform programmes, no matter how successful, will never inspire privileges. They may, in a narrow sense, ‘work’. But they will never capture the imagination of Western intellectuals.
DBx: Western intellectuals pride themselves on their extraordinary ability to detect deviations from abstract and universal perfection in individuals and institutions central to (classical) liberalism. And (shocker!) finding some imperfections – some of which even are real, and a few of which are very deep – these intellectuals then leap illogically to the conclusion that any and all fruits of western liberalism are poisonous to the core.
Yet many of these same intellectuals support socialism, or expansions of government control over human lives that come quite close to be socialistic. Why isn’t the very idea of socialism tainted in their minds with the vile deeds of the likes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, and Chavez? Is human brutality and slavery bad only when it is carried out for some purpose other than the ostensible one of building heaven on earth? Why do some of these intellectuals not criticize their students who proudly (if stupidly) wear t-shirts adorned with the face of the murderous Che?
How many are the intellectuals today who, relying on the ridiculous fallacies in the New York Times‘s “1619 Project” or on the realities of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, insist that American capitalism is naturally evil and that it must be replaced with some system more akin to socialism?