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Roots of Socialism

Socialism continues to attract the foolish and the wise in spite of its repeated failures. The breadth and depth of this attraction suggest that it is rooted in some common experience. That experience is childhood.

Children have food, shelter, education, and medical care provided (well or badly) by adults.
want food, shelter, education, and medical care provided for everyone. Families are small socialist societies. Socialists want to treat everyone like family.

Children want things before they learn about money. When parents say "we can't afford it" children think they're cruel or stupid.
believe a government that doesn't give the people what they want is cruel or inefficient.

Children believe what they're told. They believe Santa Claus is real and leaders are wise.
believe in the wisdom of their leaders. Adults are skeptical of leaders, preferring their own wisdom and beliefs.

Children can't imagine human diversity. They assume everyone feels like they do.
think the right plan will make everyone happy. In reality our different values, habits, and perceptions make profound disagreement natural and inevitable.

Children need parents who care about them so elected officials claim to care about the people. Businessmen who care mainly for themselves are like bad parents neglecting their children.
respect elected officials and hate businessmen.

Children should not control adults and socialists should not control society. Socialist thinking regresses us into a state of helpless dependence. The illusion of socialism will only be discarded when people understand its roots and outgrow its childish world view.