Last Saturday the leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn took to the stage at Glastonbury cheered on by tens of thousands of festival goers.
He has become a cult figure for the young and the dumb. It is a failure of our education system that he has managed to get as far as he has done. The fifteen-minute speech he made was a tirade of nonsense and virtue signalling. We already know the end results of socialism, we only need to observe history.
The cold war in the second half of the last century was more than just a period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was a battle of ideas between free market capitalism and socialism. On December 26th, 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, ending the cold war, defeated not by their enemies but through economic ruin.
The centrally planned structure of the soviet economy proved to be unfit for a modern economy leading to widespread surpluses and shortages. At the altar of collectivism, freedom and liberty was removed, deemed surplus to requirements. The world that Orwell described in “1984” came to fruition. Millions of soviet citizens suffered.
One of the first moves Lenin made after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 was the creation of his secret police “the chekists”. Throughout its history, the union had many such organisation which suppressed political opposition, the activities of dissidents, free thinking and instilled fear in the general population. These organisations operated above the law, answering only to the executive. It would be many years before freedoms were returned to the people of the union. Returned under Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms in the late 1980’s, perestroĭka and glasnost.
Within three years of the Bolshevik revolution the povolzhye famine hit, killing 5 million people. The policy of seizing grain and agricultural produce for collective use (mainly for the red army), drastically reduced output. At one point the famine had gotten so bad that peasants started resorting to cannibalism.
Under Joseph Stalin around 40 million soviets lost their lives. There is debate about the exact figure however estimates of deaths directly attributed to Stalin’s collectivist policies range from around 20 to 40 million with a further 20 million military and civilian personal perishing during the second world war. To put this into perspective todays population of the United Kingdom is about 66 million.
Another country which succumbed to socialism in the last century was China. On the 1st October 1949 at the end of the Chinese civil war Mao Zedong inspired by the ideas of Marx and Lenin came to power proclaiming the creation of the people republic of China. A one-party state ruled by the communist party. Under Mao tens of millions of Chinese perished. Upon rising to power like Lenin, Mao embarked on a program to suppress political opposition which killed an estimate 2 to 6 million people.
Following the path of the Soviet Union in 1957 Mao initiated “the great leap forward”. A set of policies which aimed to transform the countries agrarian economy to an industrial one via collectivisation. This led to a massive fall in output from the agricultural sector, resulting in famine where around 15 to 55 million people died.
Following the failure of “the great leap forward” Mao in 1966 initiated “the cultural revolution” with the aim of solidifying socialist ideology into Chinese culture. Insisting that bourgeoisie elements had infiltrated the state and society at large, Mao either directly slaughtered or inspired the killing of around 4 hundred thousand to 10 million people through violent class warfare.
In these two nations alone socialism was responsible for more deaths than at the hands of the Nazi’s during the second world war. It is a belief system like fascism that should have been discarded to the dustbin of bad ideas a very long time ago, yet socialism does not inspire anywhere near the same reaction when it props its ugly head.
During the election campaign Jeremy Corbyn’s praise of Hugo Chavez the former leader of Venezuela in 2003 came to the forefront.
Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 5, 2013
An example of an economic success story Venezuela is not. This was a country which was once the richest in South America. After discovering socialism inflation has reached 700 percent. Venezuelan bank notes are now no longer worth the paper they are written on. Despite having the largest known oil reserves of any nation on the planet, food has become so scarce that three in four citizens report involuntary weight loss. Indeed, Venezuelan hospitals are reported to lack even basic medicines.
Perhaps the most telling statistics are the numbers of people trying to flee the country. The financial times publishing an article in January using data from Thomson Reuters showing huge numbers of asylum applications from Venezuelans into Spain and the United States. I repeat this is a country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world yet its people are dying of hunger and fleeing in droves!
Other countries which have seen destitution due to socialism include North Korea, Somalia and the Congo. I would challenge anyone who reads this to find me one example of a successful socialist state. We need to teach these lessons to our young and fast before it is too late.