Among our many older friends of long standing is a very smart (as an objective matter), funny and socialist lady. It is my experience that socialists can be very smart. It is also my experience that they tend to be ill-informed and/or choose to ignore the catastrophic shortcomings of their creed by virtue of their complete inability or unwillingness to perform any sort of analysis. They also tend to be multi-millionaires, as is our friend. This last has always puzzled me.
This lady recently underwent hip replacement surgery. She lives in a socialized medicine jurisdiction, Canada.
My wife called her last week to see how she was getting along. In the lady's usual, humorous way she described a post surgical interaction with one of her socialist (naturally) grandchildren. Apparently the grand daughter was outraged that our friend jumped the queue and had her surgery before less well connected Canadians would have.
The grand daughter wanted her granny to share the misery of her socialist sisters and, had she the influence, would have forced her granny to wait, in misery. Her own grandmother. Shared misery is, after all, what socialism always results in. See Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, the former Soviet Union etc. (Please note that the Scandinavian countries are not socialist. They are free market economies with generous welfare regimes, as is Canada.)
This story also highlights another ubiquitous aspect of socialism. The connected do not actually live under the socialism they prescribe for everyone else. They jump the queue.
Why? Because socialism cannot co-exist with human nature. It is counter-intuitive to a human not to take advantage of every opportunity to improve the quality of his own life. Thus, every socialist regime becomes brutal when persuasion is insufficient to suppress human nature and people refuse to countenance the shared misery absent coercion. Cuba and North Korea are giant prisons, as was the USSR. What else do you call a place, no matter how large, that one is forbidden to leave without the blessing of the authorities?
There have been a few individuals in human history who appear to have been able to overcome human nature in some respects. Jesus and Mother Theresa come to mind. I know, small list.
Take a close look at any socialist country and what you find, once the veneer has been removed, is a kleptocracy. The rich and connected become richer, the poor poorer and the middle class disappears.