Socialism becomes the anti-Semitism of the enlightened, by Jonathan S. Tobin
Socialism is a bad idea that simply will not be allowed to die. As Thomas Sowell has written:
Socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.
And yet, a large minority of Americans have been convinced that Socialism is the way to go. Lust for socialism has a long and bloody history. In the early days of the Soviet Union, Jewish socialists worked with Soviet authorities to advance Soviet socialist policies while simultaneously destroying Jewish institutions.
Jewish Socialists didn’t wish to abandon their Jewish identities. They dreamed of a world in which Yiddish-speaking Jews would exercise a degree of autonomy and nurture a culture whereby capitalism would be routed and replaced with a more just system.
They soon discovered a profound contradiction between the promises of socialism for Jews and what it actually delivered. In a system built on compulsion and where governments could dictate behavior to their subjects, Jews inevitably found themselves being victimized and told to give up their separate identity.
The Jews of the Soviet Union were crushed. The war on religious beliefs was led by other Jews who were true believers in the new faith and determined to wipe out all elements of Jewish life other than those that could be controlled and manipulated by an all-powerful state that didn’t hesitate to eradicate any spark of freedom, faith or links to Jewish identity and Zionism.
The only place where Jewish socialism succeeded, at least for a time, was in Israel, where the power of the institutions it created helped build the state. Even there, such ideas were ultimately no match for the genius of the market economy. The inherent inefficiencies of top-down, government-run economics could not prop up failing institutions like kibbutzim forever. Still, the contrast between the kibbutzim in their heyday and collective farming elsewhere was that Jews were free to leave and not compelled to become state serfs. Nowhere else was socialism tried so freely, and as a result, its terrible shortcomings were less in evidence.
Bernie Sanders is the spiritual heir to these Soviet era Jews. But with the current lack of historical knowledge and the perennial socialist promise of a benevolent government that will take care of all of all of our needs, Sanders and other "Democratic Socialists" are gaining strength. Even many Jews are willing to sacrifice Israel in order to follow these socialist pied pipers.
Read more here. And then you're going to want to read this current Tobin article in which he discusses Niki Haley's new book on her time working in the Trump administration. Short version: Trump's advisors tried to turn him away from supporting Israel based on political "common knowledge" that has been wrong and counterproductive for generations. Trump disagreed, and he was right.