Why might the people of, say, the US, have been staunch supporters of a free-market system half a century ago and now be demonstrating a dramatically increased belief in collectivism?
How is it even possible that political candidates with no experience in either politics or leadership positions be elected to Congress by promising collectivism?
Well that’s occurring for the same reason that it has occurred throughout history. The US no longer lives under a free-market system. Roughly one hundred years ago, the free market began to be replaced with corporatism. As corporatism increasingly bled the populace, the opportunity for personal prosperity declined. Over time, the average person was seeing less and less evidence of prosperity around him. At this point, he’s viewing corporate leaders enjoying unimaginable wealth, whilst those around him are experiencing stagnation. Real wages have not increased in decades.
Historically, it’s at this point that a people are ripe for the empty promises of collectivism.
And collectivists happily provide it. Although they occasionally promise to raise the proletariat up to the level of their economic betters, for the most part, they focus on the promise that they’ll bring the aristocracy down.
The selling of the idea of collectivism is based upon envy and resentment toward those who are better off than we may be. Collectivist leaders invariably accuse anyone who has prospered as being “greedy” and having “starved the poor” in order to achieve their relative wealth.
Although this is rarely accurate, it’s a great sales pitch, as those who have learned that their lives are not progressing are actively seeking an explanation and are ripe for one that blames those who have progressed.
The key here is that collectivism almost never sells well in a country where prosperity exists. In a free-market country, a strong work ethic is regularly rewarded. However, once the free market has deteriorated enough that the proletariat have come to understand that they’re not genuinely moving forward, they’re ready to jump on board with those leaders who appeal to their frustration and anger.
At this point, logic and reason cease to be important. What matters is rhetoric.
Once a people have concluded that prosperity is not truly in their future, they must choose between hopelessness and empty promises.