May 30, 2016
Republicans are flabbergasted at the popularity of Bernie Sanders and his main cause, socialism. After all, socialism and its authoritarian twin, communism, uniformly produce disaster. The population of North Korea and South Korea are genetically identical; yet communist North Korea is a totalitarian cesspool of mass murder, gulags and starvation. Meanwhile, capitalist South Korea is booming.
The list goes on. Russia, China, Viet-Nam and Cambodia while under communist regimes produced no economic growth, but mastered the arts of mass murder and famine. The hero of the American left, Hugo Chavez and his toady understudy Nicolás Maduro have turned once prosperous Venezuela into a basket case. When the communist Daniel Ortega took over Nicaragua, 20 percent of the country fled to neighboring Costa Rica. Cubans risk life and limb to escape the hell hole created by the toast of the faculty lounge, Fidel Castro. Even moderate socialist regimes such as Italy and Spain, have huge problems with unemployment. Adolph Hitler was a socialist.
Republicans like to blame the liberal media, biased college professors and public labor unions, but the problem is much deeper. Why do populations vote socialists into power when it is obvious that capitalism produces the technological advances, longer lifespans and creature comforts we all enjoy? The answer is that socialism is encoded in our DNA.
Our species, Homo sapiens are mammals as are rabbits, lions and baboons. We all have DNA that mutates to select for two processes: survival and reproduction. Our species roamed the planet for 140,000 years, mostly as hunter gatherers who often died of starvation. Thus any economic system that promises everyone a stable food supply will be supported by the masses, even if the food is lousy. As a medical school student, I will never forget following around a professor who was in his eighties. He had interned in Chicago during the Depression and told me that he frequently cared for elderly patients found on the street dying of starvation and dehydration. Several years after social security had passed, this rarely happened.
Most Republicans will now point out that the United States has a safety net. Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, disability payments, social security and food stamps basically make work an option, especially in liberal states like Connecticut. In fact, the main health issue with the poor is now obesity. Most of our so-called poor have air conditioning, cars, flat screen televisions and iPhones. So why is socialism still popular?
The answer is the second half of the evolutionary goal – reproduction. Female mammals are attracted to males that maximize their chance of having successful offspring. In general, this is the largest male. Human females are no exception. In only 2 percent of marriages is the wife taller than her husband. But women also realize that other factors are crucial in assuring the survival and education of their offspring: marrying a man with earning power and social status.
Our economy has turned lower middle class men – even physically attractive ones – into sperm donors, not fathers. Many young middle class males have been relegated to their parents’ basement playing video games, watching internet pornography and experimenting with drugs. Opioid deaths are becoming an epidemic among young males. The humiliation of this lifestyle makes socialism very appealing. Just look at the faces at a Bernie Sanders rally.
Many women who want to reproduce must now marry the government, demanding free health care, day care and education. Socialism is very appealing to them too. As my daughter was told by an inner city girl while she was doing Teach for America in Bridgeport, “Marriage is for rich people.”
Thus if Republicans want to preserve the capitalistic system that has produced our wonderful lifestyle, we need to understand that capitalism also produces wealth inequalities and inferior social status that outrages large portions of the population. Hello Bernie Sanders.
Republicans should move to the economic middle and embrace affordable health insurance, pension security and jobs that enable a man to support a family – even if thus requires a progressive tax structure and an element of wealth redistribution. Otherwise the socialists will win and destroy everything. Why is this? Because the guy who was rejected by the high school prom queen does not mind standing in line for hours for a loaf of bread, as long as that prom queen and her husband are standing in line with him.