Joel Belz explains the source of socialism’s revenant appeal in the United States:
While strenuously wrestling over business and banking and health care and energy and a dozen other issues, we cavalierly handed over to the state a perpetual 90 percent share of the nation’s educational interests. America regularly has about 50 million children enrolled in K-12 schools, and about 20 million more in colleges and universities—and while the pattern fluctuates a little, 90 percent of those 70 million young people regularly get a state-flavored view of reality.
Socialized medicine? Most of us recoil at the idea. Socialized airlines? Reminds us of Aeroflot. Socialized banks? When it happened last month, it terrified us.
But socialized schools? Nine out of ten of us patronize them regularly. And we do so with na’ry a thought or concern about how such an arrangement affects next week’s election, or the election after that, or the lifetime of elections to come.
Seizing the intellectual high ground of education has always been a priority for totalitarians. Marx advocated it, Lenin prioritized it, Hitler incorporated it into his 25-point plan. It’s important because it negates the natural advantage of conservatives, which is that they propagate themselves. Socialists, by and large, don’t, which is why they have to propagate by parasitic conversion.
Since it’s now far too late to salvage the USA in its present form, the important thing is to build for the future. If there’s one thing certain about dysfunctional societies, it is that they are doomed to collapse. Therefore it is much more important to focus on building a foundation for future freedom than to chase after yesterday’s vanished liberties. Having children and teaching them well is the single most significant and revolutionary act any individual can reasonably hope to achieve at this time.
The short-term battle is over and the USSA is upon us. But it will be a short-lived entity by virtue of the Invisible Hand’s iron fist; the only real question is if its successor will be the North American Union or a collection of rump-states of widely varying social structures. Five years ago, I would have assumed the former, but now, given the increasing devolution in Europe and chaos in Mexico, the latter is looking rather less improbable than before.