Yes, total socialism would have been a disaster. But Gene Debs was not an enemy of democracy, did not hate his own people, and was a good man. That’s why a self-righteous haughty man like the liberal Democrat Woodrow Wilson refused to pardon him after the war (Wilson’s government had sentenced Debs to ten years in prison for urging young men to resist the draft), and why the man liberals love to demonize, President Warren Harding (a bit of Trump, in fact) did pardon Debs, and even invited him to the White House for a chat.
It’s painfully clear that Mr Biden cannot be relied on to comprehend the complex situation he is in and then make informed decisions about what to do about it, so I desperately hope is IS a puppet of someone! More or less anyone.
We’re going down an unknown path. If all that was in our future was the sort of super-welfare state plus lots of nationalized industries conrolled by powerful industrial unions … ie what happened in Europe from about 1950 - 1980 … that would be one thing. Bad, but reversible, as all the European countries did. (And as we did, starting, actually with Jimmy Carter – another candidate for (minor) sainthood in my book – who began the deregulation of the airline industry.)
But I think we’re heading for something much worse. The European list towards socialism did not involve an attack on their own culture. Swedes weren’t told they were evil because they had tried to conquer Europe, or Danes that they had to expiate the sins of their raping-robbing Viking ancestors.
Even the Communists instilled patriotism in their people, and promoted virtuous behavior, in their own way, among their young people. (Okay, you were supposed to inform on Mommy and Daddy if they expressed deviant thoughts, so in that respect they were like today’s Left, but basically, you could have transferred the ‘personal behavior rules’ of the Young Pioneers to the Boy Scouts and vice versa without many changes. Those people weren’t fools: they didn’t want to wreck the societies they had taken over. But, yes, there was Pavel Morozov: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlik_Morozov )
And as we descend into the darkness, the old hacks who run the Democratic Party, go along with it. But I don’t think they know what they’re doing. They’re hoping if they throw a few bones – us – to the raging radicals of the PC Left, that they’ll be spared.
I see it like the golden years in Europe before World War I. There were a few people who were worried about a serious war between the Great Powers, although generally the mood was optimistic and with good reason: things were getting better every year.
The pessimistics turned out to be right, far more right than even they had predicted, since the huge scale of the killing and destruction was really unprecedented, and had a profound effect on the worldview of the intelligentsia afterwards, softening them up to support fascism and/or communism.
But no one predicted the latter. No one predicted the emergence of totalitarianism. It was something new in the world.
Similarly with Islamism. Before 1979, radical Islam as a powerful mass movement, capable of running a state as in Iran … was not predicted, at least not by anyone I’m familiar with.
I think we’re moving into something like that now, something new in the world. I don’t know what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born, but we’d better try to destroy it while we can.