The post The Anti-Capitalist Capitalist reminded me of an anecdote about a hippie, and his hat, that I read many years ago. I have forgotten most of the details and am unsure if it is a true story. It doesn’t matter, though. The story is worth repeating.
Back during the 1960s, a hippie, one of the famous bomb-throwing radicals, I believe, was giving a speech advocating Communism. By Communism, he did not mean the totalitarian dictatorship practiced in the Soviet bloc. Instead, he proposed that everyone should live in communes where the people shared everything equitably. The hippie inveighed against private property of all sorts, arguing that selfish ownership was the cause of all evils, and spoke feelingly of the paradise that would follow if only everyone would share everything equally. When the hippie finished speaking, the narrator of this story went up to him and complimented the hippie for his excellent speech. He then admired the hat the hippie was wearing and asked if the hippie would give him the hat., Shocked, the hippie said no, of course not. Why not? “Because its my hat.”
It is strange and more than a little ironic that the people who most advocate sharing the wealth somehow never believe that the sharing applies to their own wealth. Bernie Sanders is a socialist who believes we don’t need twenty-three varieties of deodorant, who honeymooned in the Soviet Union is a millionaire with three mansions. Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors, a self-described Marxist, owns four houses. Socialist star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has shown no signs of giving up her Congressional salary to live the lifestyle of a bartender, despite calling for increased taxes on the rich. The Castros and the Chavezes happen to be the wealthiest families in Cuba and Venezuela.
I am beginning to think that the whole idea of socialism is a scam, a means to get money, property, and power that other people have earned. The great industrialists of the Nineteenth century have been called ‘robber barons’, but at least they gained their fortunes by providing goods and services other people wanted. Our modern socialists are truly robber barons who take in the name of the poor and powerless to enrich and empower themselves. They are nothing but thieves and hypocrites and should be treated accordingly.