by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The vanguard of intellectuals and elected officials who call themselves socialists is still small. But polls show majorities of young people embracing this discredited governing philosophy. And most troubling of all is that we see a quintessentially socialist spirit rising in the hearts of men and women, one that would impose political doctrines on every institution of common life, every corporate board, every HR meeting, every parent–teacher conference, every church, and every home.
Socialist societies strangle and eventually kill the institutions of civil society, by co-opting them all to the same political goal of “building socialism together.” So in socialist countries, not just the press but the print shop, the priesthood, and even the local fence painters are dragooned into projects that do not interest them, or are hateful to them. Or all these institutions are simply corrupted from the political pressure put on them.
This is usually an advanced symptom of socialist societies, and yet we see it happening today in America and many other countries of the free West. Children’s books that fail the purity tests of the Left are now pulped and destroyed before publication. Movie studios now quake in fear, not from a government censor, but from the unofficial censors that operate across media and academia; an emerging government in fact, if not yet in law. The whole culture of political debate and dispute is subjected to a conformist spirit. If you don’t say the magic words, suddenly an online mob will command major corporations to boycott you, to deplatform you, to make it as if you no longer existed.