The failures of socialism and communism in societies are an anthology. There has not existed in the history of humanity a greater social failure than those implanted through the ideology that augurs control of the means of production by the state, based on a false social demand. The reason is very simple, preparation, professionalism, evolution and development will never be achieved with resentment, nor by taking one away to put others; a social system triumphs precisely by putting the most capable to exercise the most important positions, when this chain is broken to put the most “loyal, faithful”, everything begins to crumble like a row of dominoes.
When Marx popularized the concept of socialism and communism, the former was identified as a step prior to the latter, with the passage of time and after the evident catastrophe of the systems that degenerated into millions of human lives lost to hunger and repression, their leaders began to create new, “softer” labels, less contaminated, and with a new face to sell to the masses; this is when propaganda begins to mix with marketing.
Socialism became a vacuum-packed and sealed product that could be marketed in the world, consisting of a series of speeches, dogmas and promises to seduce the masses and implant absolutist governments; the problem is when the popularity of the product falls, then it has to be given a new face that can be marketed without being accused of the faults of the past.
An example of this mix between marketing and propaganda, can be the case of the Brazilian construction company Odebretch; the company, after incurring in the most scandalous acts of corruption in Latin America, on illegal financing of electoral campaigns, fell into a deep institutional pit, with a destroyed credibility, and the eyes of the world upon it.
That is why, as of the first months of 2019, they began a process to stop being known as “Odebretch”, and simply to be “OEC”, leaving behind the characteristic red, for a green, blue and gray color; so tomorrow when a plaque is seen in any city of Latin America or the United States, saying that “OEC” is the company behind the project, there will be no way for individuals to resemble the Odebretch that was behind the most serious corruption scandal in the continent.
With communism and socialism, the exact same thing happened, these two terms began to be despised in the world, especially the first, and everything that involved Marxism; then they began to look for friendly labels that would fit the popular tendencies of the time, and from there he was born: cultural neo-Marxism, which in synthesis is a movement that has sought to appropriate all the “just struggles” of the time, such as feminism, veganism, vegetarianism, the environmental struggle, the rights of the homosexual community, among others, in order to try to claim a false defense of “minorities.”
Refreshing the image of socialism
The most popular labels that emerged in the previous century and are still in force today are Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Guevarism, Maoism, Christian socialism, social democracy, self-management socialism, socialism with a human face, 21st century socialism, and such absurd and incoherent terms as these: right-wing socialism, liberal socialism and the product sold by Bernie Sanders called “democratic socialism”; to which today the famous “progressivism” has been added, which synthesizes everything that the socialist of yesteryear wants to sell in his package of “good intentions.”
All these “slopes” that are nothing more than commercial labels with slight changes in the recipe, but with the same purpose – to concentrate all the power in the hands of the state and leave the individuals defenseless -, have always sought to associate themselves with altruistic terminologies and motives, altruism being the main label with which they seek to categorize, besides “humanism”, the common good, egalitarianism, income distribution, and the famous “welfare state.”
At the same time, all these movements have demonized and transformed the concept of capitalism into a dark demon, trying to convert businesspeople into mercenaries who traffic in the labor force of their employees, almost turning them into slavers through rhetoric. That is why they invented and coined terms that they popularized among their followers, such as dictatorship of the proletariat, imperialists, class struggle, social demands, oligarchs, patriarchy, establishing beforehand a prejudice on wealth and money, in order to make a public enemy of everyone who holds goods and companies and, thus, be able to get their hands on them, with the blessing of society.
As a general rule, these left-wing totalitarian regimes have been masterful in the use of words, while those who lead these nations have established names for their republics that are completely contrary to their principles, as is the case with The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and more recently, the “Bolivarian” Republic of Venezuela, with Hugo Chávez claiming the term Bolivarianism (from Simon Bolivar, the Liberator), as an epic of social struggles.
Socialism still sounds very nice and captivates the youngest minds, taking from the rich to give to the poor, “social justice,” “redistribution of wealth,” and other fallacies are still successfully sold in the political marketplace. Curiously, the socialists who hate capitalism so much are the ones who have best known how to trade and market their failed ideas; the idea is that after reading this article you can see beyond the pretty packaging and get into the components of the recipe of this product that in the long run only enriches corrupt politicians and generates famine, repression and death.
This article is part of Emmanuel Rincón’s book “La reinvención ideológica de América Latina” (“The Ideological Reinvention of Latin America”).