In my class, I tolerate almost every sort of student- conservatives, liberals, libertarians, socialists, and even moderates. In our discussions, debates, and in simulations, it doesn’t matter to me how a student thinks the best way to improve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- it isn’t my place to make them conform with my views or my ideology. But even though I’m tolerate of those groups, I do not tolerate fascists, hypocrites, or those students who openly promote tyranny and seek power over others.
Public education receives a lot of money from the state, and that money comes with a responsibility and obligation that I make sure that there are not students in my classroom who think that it okay to openly support fascism, that it is not okay to serially lie about their beliefs and views on issues, or that it is not okay to promote control over other people and tyranny and oppression. I crack down on those beliefs and try to teach students that those are not acceptable in our free and open society- they can think and believe whatever they want, but as long as I’m getting money from a free state of laws and liberty and freedom, I’m not going to let students openly and with my support think or say anything that advocates its violent overthrow or a take over by any hateful groups out there.
That being said, I am plenty accepting of liberals and socialists- as long as that is what they really are. The problem is that there really are not that many true socialists that come through my classroom, because there honestly are not a lot of real socialists in general. Oh, there are plenty of people in society that pretend they are socialist- they preach equality, redistribution of wealth, no ownership of property, fairness, and a society of rainbows and puppy dog tails- but when it really comes down to it and I make them make decisions about their own lives, their own property, their own liberty, it turns out they believe something else entirely.
Many people in society claim to be socialist, but in reality they are just thugs- they want others who they don’t like to redistribute their property, by force if necessary. They want other people, not them or their friends, to lose their liberties and freedoms- but not them. They want equality, as long as that equality drags others down to their levels- but once they have more than others and are more fortunate, they no longer believe in equality. They talk about the joys of a society that they can build, ignoring the horrors of it in reality.
Victor Davis Hanson wrote about this in a recent article called There Are No Socialists. Here are some of the key parts:
…The strangest things about the global statist crack-up are socialists’ unhappiness with their socialist utopia, and their subsequent efforts to avoid the consequences of the very redistributive state that they themselves once so gladly crafted…
…Here at home, Obama got his ObamaCare. Why, then, did he grant hundreds of exemptions — many to northern California liberals? Should they instead not have lined up to volunteer to implement such a wonderful, long-needed entitlement?
He said energy would rightly sky-rocket, given his determination to curb fossil fuel production (cf. “bankrupt” coal companies). Why then is Obama concerned that gas hit $4; is not such a high price a welcomed retardant to burning hot fuels? The higher the gas prices, the more that subsidized wind and solar power, and electric cars are attractive, and thus the more we enjoy “sustainable” power. Right? Am I missing something about this desire within our grasp of “living within our means”?
Obama enjoyed big majorities in both houses of Congress; and on the campaign trail he had promised a de facto amnesty under the euphemism of “comprehensive immigration reform.” So why did he not grant such exemptions, and absorb 11, 15, or 20 million new “citizens” from Oaxaca? Is not that the point of amnesty, to welcome in new constituencies who will remember a benefactor at the polls?…
….This discussion is, of course, a belabored example of why and how socialists do not like socialism. Indeed, statism is not a desired outcome, but rather more a strategy for obtaining power or winning acclaim as one of the caring, by offering the narcotic of promising millions something free at the expense of others who must be seen as culpable and obligated to fund it — entitlements fueled by someone else’s money that enfeebled the state, but in the process extended power, influence, and money to a technocratic class of overseers who are exempt from the very system that they have advocated.
So what is socialism? It is a sort of modern version of Louis XV’s “Après moi, le déluge” – an unsustainable Ponzi scheme in which elite overseers, for the duration of their own lives, enjoy power, influence, and gratuities by implementing a system that destroys the sort of wealth for others that they depend upon for themselves….
…History is not kind to such collective states of mind. Pay an Athenian in the fifth century BC a subsidy to go to the theater; and in the fourth century BC he is demanding such pay to vote in the assembly as well — and there is not to be a third century free democratic polis. Extend to a Roman in the first century BC a small grain dole, and by the late first century AD he cannot live without a big dole, free entertainment in a huge new Coliseum, and disbursements of free coined money. Let the emperor Justinian try cutting back the bloated bureaucracy in sixth century AD Constantinople and he wins the Nika riots that almost destroy a civilization from within even as it is beset by hosts of foreign enemies….
Victor Davis Hanson is the author of books such as The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern and How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security (Encounter Broadsides).
Original Post: A Conservative Teacher