From Brexit to Donald Trump's election, the surge in populism this year has revealed that many voters believe something is wrong with the world's political and economic system. What is less clear is what exactly can be done to combat these problems. While voters in Italy recently rejected an effort to centralize the country's political system, the matter is never truly settled and we will continue to have to combat efforts to centralize political power and criminalize dissent.
And, no election will change this. While technological progress can indeed improve our daily lives, the ideological battle over government power will never fully go away, and the battle over ideology will continue so long as people have free will.
Indeed, the western media's fawning treatment of Fidel Castro demonstrates the enduring mystique of socialism — while recent Harvard and Rasmussen polls suggest that perhaps half of young Americans hold unfavorable attitudes toward capitalism. No matter how many millions perish in collectivist bloodbaths, the Left remains committed to its ideology of radical egalitarianism and enamored of murderous revolutionary figures like Che Guevara.
This week on Mises Weekends, our great friend Yuri Maltsev, a victim of Soviet totalitarianism in his youth, joins us to explain how and why westerners still don't understand what socialism really means. He recounts his many trips to Cuba, and demolishes the myths surrounding that country's vaunted "healthcare" and "education" systems. He explains how socialism actually produces a superclass of elites and a form of socio-economic apartheid, rather than egalitarian nirvana. And he reminds us that the romantic vision held by western elites is best defeated by those who have lived through the ravages of collectivism firsthand.
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Image source: Antti Jauhiainen www.flickr.com/photos/ajau/