Why I Can’t Be ‘Live And Let Live’ About Socialism

By Julia Song
·  6 min read
Why I Can’t Be ‘Live And Let Live’ About Socialism

The idea of personal freedoms and the right to hold your own beliefs is something I dearly promote and fight for. Certain things, however, come at the price of someone else’s freedom, and we should be opposed to normalizing dangerous ideologies that, to this day, impoverish, kill, and imprison millions of people around the world.

If you don’t remember my story, feel free to brush up on it here. But, to quickly summarize, I’m 26 years old, and up until my 20s, I fought harshly against the corrupt Socialist government in my home country of Brazil.

My activism felt like a necessary step to take at the time, mostly because the economy and educational systems were wrecked — there was little else to do and small prospects for the future. We either stood up against corruption, or we let the violence and poverty take us out one by one. So the youth created a movement that chose to fight. And I joined in.

Certain parts of Brazil had historically held strong industries and wealth, so it took them a while to feel the impact of the Socialist policies. My region, however, was the poorest. And we felt it on day one.

We either stood up against corruption, or we let the violence and poverty take us out one by one.

As the years went by, my hometown became one of the most dangerous places in the world, worse even than certain warzones. There were no jobs, no reliable institutions, and no good quality healthcare or education. We were left on our own to survive a system that overtaxed us, but rarely ever provided any relief.

Don’t Fall for the Romanticized Tale of Socialism

The reality is that we allowed ourselves to fall for the romanticized tale of Socialism, in which everyone is happy to cooperate to the same extent and willingly shares wealth among the community.

If that were the case, we would need a system in which most people work really hard, and few, who may be down on their luck, get to have a decent safety net until they’re back on their feet.

But in reality, in Socialism, the jobs and the salaries are controlled by the government in order to avoid an “unfair” concentration of wealth. You don’t really get fired or promoted easily, and you don’t get to choose which career paths will reward you the most for your effort. All these decisions are made for you, directly or indirectly, and any prospect of passion for a professional field is, well… gone.

Now, consider if you will, the cost of education. How much does it cost to educate a rocket scientist or a doctor? And how much does it take to educate a farmworker? So chances are, as you rely on the government for education too, you will be given the worst of it all because it’s the cheapest and they don’t really have the money to pay for everyone to go to medical school.

If there’s no passion, no benefit or reward for standing out and working hard, why would anyone do it? 

Everyone wakes up, works hard, and goes back home, making the exact same salary, with the exact same benefits, and living in houses that look exactly the same. Sounds almost like that movie with Jim Carrey where everyone acts like they’re content, but in reality, it’s all for show.

And, well, if there’s no passion, no benefit or reward for standing out and working hard, why would anyone do it? There’s a reward, however, for slacking. You’ll continue to gain your salary while someone else will work twice as hard to make up for it.

Socialism Ignores Human Behavior

Socialism ignores the most basic and natural behaviors, instincts, and cravings of human beings. We aim to “hoard” resources for those rainy days. We wish to stand out. Be different. Be praised. But if we’re unable to do so, why put in the effort? Why put in the work?

The system then begins to fail, and the government needs to overtax people, even more, in order to keep the ruse going a little longer. And of course, they can’t allow people to speak publicly about their grievances. Censorship (which is highly un-American by the way) becomes the norm.

Cracking the whip down on anyone who is duly frustrated...are the ones in power. But how did they get such power, you ask? Oh, by any and all means under the sun. But rarely, ever, legitimate ones.

What makes you believe that all that money and power will never be used against its own people?

Often, you may observe that these systems remain in power through heavily militarized force. They allow violence to run wild so that the population can stay busy fighting each other, while the elites sit on a pile of cash, carefully managing the wealth and distributing it efficiently and ethically among those in society.


Not really.

If you believe that those people in power hoard so much cash but will never help themselves to it, then what makes you believe that, perhaps, someone who will come to power 20 years from now will behave ethically and the same? What makes you believe that all that money and power, kept under one entity, will never be corrupted, never used against its own people?

The fact is that countries, including Brazil, have experienced Socialism to a different degree, in different fashions. All countries that have experienced it though suffered greatly in their own way. The cost in human life is always immense, and one no civilized society should be eagerly willing to pay.

Choosing Socialism Is Choosing Suffering

Choosing to support Socialism isn’t like getting a piercing or a tattoo. It isn’t like choosing between a Harley or a Yamaha. A vacation to the beach or to the mountains.

Choosing Socialism means that you’re defending an ideology that has not only killed over 100 million people worldwide, but that presents significant challenges when it comes to upholding human rights and fostering the possibility of a decent life and livelihood for those in our community.

It’s choosing death, poverty, and misery for everyone. Not just you.

Choosing Socialism is choosing death, poverty, and misery for everyone. 

And that’s where the line needs to be drawn. Because your freedom is now threatening the freedoms and lives of everyone else, and frankly, other than complete sociopathy and narcissism, I fail to understand why anyone would ever wish that upon another.

So, there you have it. 

Closing Thoughts

No, you don’t have the right to silence, censor, impoverish, imprison, or wish death upon the rest of us. And, if your ideology requires you to do that, maybe consider getting a different hobby.

Perhaps try knitting, instead.

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