An amusing story from FEE – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s $3,500 Suit Fits a Longstanding Socialist Tradition – highlights some interesting points regarding socialism.
Collectivism and Central Planning Create an Elite Ruling Class
Practically speaking, the process of proselytizing and mobilizing a population, consolidating power, and converting an economy to central planning—to say nothing of running it—starts and ends with a small, elite corps of ruling intellectuals. That over time they accord to themselves the trappings of the moneyed class they simultaneously assail is neither surprising or hypocritical. Collectivism of every stripe— democratic socialism, national socialism, communism, syndicalism— cultivates a new, political aristocracy.
Ocasio’s affluent attire is thus in keeping with a longstanding tradition of exceedingly well-heeled redistributionists, as are Bernie Sanders’ homes, the wealth of Cuba’s Castro brothers, North Korea’s Kim family, Hugo Chavez’ daughter, and historical cases that include Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, Chairman of the People’s Republic of China Mao Zedong, and many others. (An interesting side note is that another of the accouterments of high peerage—nepotism—is found in nearly every example, as well.)
Despite the core assertions made by its adherents and promoters, in practice socialism is always an exercise in privilege. It should come as no surprise that in a political/economic system helmed by an elite, the trappings of a ruling class inevitably follow, as does the very wealth that by pillorying they ascend to. ‘Revolution’ indeed.
The unity of elitism and imperialism is something I will leave for others to investigate. I will note here, though, that the Ziru Sirka, the First Imperium, was a strongly collectivist organization where money per se did not exist except as an accounting tool: access to goods were determined by your appointed work caste.