In his state of the union address, with Pelosi scowling behind him, President Trump said, “America will never be a socialist country.” There are at least two ways he could have meant that America will never be a socialist county. One might be that he would not allow it become a socialist country. I don’t think that is what he meant.
Trump will be president for at most about 5 and 1/2 more years. Other than through his legacy he won’t have any control over what America becomes after that. I think he meant the American people will never allow America to become a socialist country. He’s right about that.
Marx was astonished and perplexed that America, the most advanced economy in the world, refused to adopt socialism. Thinking he had found the best possible social and economic system ever, predicting that capitalism was doomed to die a slow and agonizing death, he believed America would be among the first countries to embrace his theory of social justice. He believed his predictions were so astute and prescient, why wasn’t his theory spreading like wildfire.
He was looking in all the wrong places and at all the wrong people. Those who were going to enthusiastically take up Marxism were the one who saw how it could enhance their personal power. No one looked at Marx’s theory as the new big thing for the all the people. No one who saw Marxism as a personal opportunity for their own selfish interest was at all interested in having their people become more powerful. Their desire was for just the opposite.
Marx was a savior and a hero not to any American president or European (at that time). Those who saw great opportunities in socialism were Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-sing, Pol Pot, Juan Peron, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, and other dictators of similar ilk.
Karl Marx died in 1883. He could have foreseen what those 20th Century mass murderers would make of his thesis. If he had taken human nature into account and how that nature would need to be bent out of all proportion for socialism to work, then he might have foreseen some of the trouble to come.
I’ve found a book and a brilliant essay that fairly explains why the present screechers have it all wrong and are going to sadly disappointed when they see what is to become of their misguided even if heartfelt* (I’m skeptic of that) wishes for America. I think they see in socialism a greater situation for themselves than for us.
The book is from 2000, It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States. The book is a good read and gives lots of analysis. For why socialism failed in America it comes down to this: American workers were already enjoying social mobility and a relative prosperity. Socialists argument made no sense to them. As much as Americans supported FDR’s New Deal they never clamored for socialism.
Daniel Bell, author of Marxian Socialism in the United States (1996), said “When the socialist movement could have entered more directly into American life—as did so many individual socialists who played a formative role in liberal political development—it was prevented from doing so by its ideological dogmatism.”
The essay I’ve referred to above is from Matthew Continetti, America’s Best Defense Against Socialism.
It’s a 1700-word essay worth your time. It will allay your fears of America ever becoming a socialist country.
*I can much easier believe that Eugene Debs (1855-1926) and Norman Thomas (1884-1968) were socialists who believed that socialism would make America great for everyone.