Jon Sanders

Granted, the possibilities to be realized through socialism must be intoxicating to entitled hippie wannabes who sunk themselves deep in debt pursuing degrees in various Victimization Studies and so forth who are outraged they weren't swarmed upon graduation with employers begging to give them six-figure salaries as Social Justice Executive Officers. The rich should pay off their loans and give them acceptably high-paying jobs, or else the world is broken. If they don't, the government should make them.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. That is their cherished creed. It always suits because they always see themselves as the needy, not the able.

There's not a Niemoller in the bunch to realize where that belief is taking them. A philosophy that makes ownership subjective to perceived need invites violence upon itself, not just the rich.

"Needs" aren't just pecuniary. Protesting guys have needs, too, and that attractive sociology student in the nearby tent looks like her body has the right "ability." The common good needs my continued presence, and my continued presence needs satisfaction, so I'm taking some. Some protesters can't afford the designer tents the others have, but look at that laptop over there -- that and a nearby pawnshop would take care of that need. The theft can be justified to serve the common good.

Once those needs have been filled -- in ways fully keeping with their mutually agreed-upon idea of social justice, mind you -- other needs arise. The movement needs to keep its rapes, thefts, molestations, and sexual assaults out of the news. Nothing must be reported that would make the movement appear bad. So your body is once again disregarded, a collective rape after the individual one. To serve the common good.

In The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn cataloged how the Soviets regarded thieves and violent criminals as their social allies. Crimes against individuals were essentially immaterial to their concern; they were worried about political "criminals." They enjoyed the idea of political criminals being robbed, raped, and abused by violent criminals. It fed the terror.

Solzhenitsyn's was the experience of life in a fully formed socialist dictatorship that had learned to use its criminal by-product to its full political advantage. But isn't it interesting that even in its amoebic forms, little socialist societies are already allowing and covering up crimes against their own members for the common good?

It's no accident. It's the logical result of their beliefs.

Jon Sanders

Jon Sanders is associate director of research at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, N.C.