Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. But it’s not a bad one because it works in both meanings of the expression.
One is the current state of affairs, and socialism qualifies in spades. All Western European economies are largely socialist, and ours is no exception.
Free enterprise hasn’t yet been banned, but it has been hogtied by strangulating regulations and bled white by extortionate taxes. At the same time Western European states all have a bloated public sector, siphoning out of the economy about half of what the nations earn, plus or minus a few per cent.
This isn’t an earth-shattering discovery – the facts are in the public domain, and they are widely known. However, they are just as widely ignored because the public has been brainwashed to overlook the other meaning of ‘lie’ in the title.
Socialism has been sold to the masses as a sort of secular Christianity: helping the poor, looking after the downtrodden, the last shall be first, that sort of thing. This is one of the biggest lies of modernity, a smokescreen concealing the real nature of socialism.
The ideal towards which socialism gravitates, if at different speeds in different countries, isn’t a Christian commune but the Soviet Union. Its principal desideratum is infinite growth of state power at the expense of individual liberties. That’s all. Everything else is hogwash, with lies acting as the hose.
There has never been any shortage of proof for that definition, but three current examples spring to mind. All three show that socialism (with wokery as its subset) both increases the number of the poor and hurts them more than the rich.
Recently published data show that even the poorest US state, Mississippi, has a higher per capita income than France or Britain. Without delving too deeply into the maelstrom of economic currents, let’s just say this is yet another proof that the prosperity of a country is inversely proportional to the amount of socialism in it.
Socialists are so eager to help the poor that they do their utmost to increase their number, thereby acquiring more beneficiaries of charitable socialist impulses. Again, this is a fact so amply supported by historical evidence that I’m ashamed of even mentioning it.
Socialists typically hurt the poor at one remove. Their egalitarian zeal compels them to penalise wealth producers, thereby making sure they produce less wealth to spread around. But at least socialists don’t often target the poor specifically and directly, bypassing any intermediate steps.
So much more egregious are the two recent attacks on motorists launched by London’s socialist mayor and endorsed by Britain’s (socialist?) High Court. Both attacks proceed from the entrenched position of barefaced lies.
First, the mayor introduced a 20 mph limit on most London roads, including those that had a limit twice as high a couple of years ago. The justification for it is carbon emissions that are supposed to go down in line with the speed.
But they don’t. Depending on the make, IC cars deliver the lowest carbon emissions in the 35-50 mph range. Emissions at 20 mph are higher than at 30 mph, and these are higher than at 40 mph. Since such data are available at the touch of a computer key, the mayor can’t plead ignorance as an excuse.
One has to conclude that this speed limit is nothing but a disguised tax: since it’s next to impossible to maintain a steady 20 mph on some London roads, especially at night, the council will rake in greater amounts in fines. That’s who benefits. But who is hurt?
Affluent people tend not to drive in London – depending on how wealthy they are, they rely on limousines, black cabs or car services. It’s their drivers who are punished by this wicked measure, along with other poor sods who drive for a living, including the proverbial White Van Man.
Car service drivers are getting points on their licences, and it doesn’t take many for them to lose their livelihood. And even if they manage to evade fines by religiously observing the extortionate limit, the number of fares they can serve (and hence their income) goes down.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife had to catch an early Eurostar train, and a car service picked her up at 5 AM. Yet she barely made it because the apologetic driver couldn’t go over 20 mph even on an empty six-lane road straight as an arrow.
The driver idled away the time by entertaining Penelope with horror stories of his colleagues paying fines or even losing their licences. The narrative was richly interspersed with curses aimed at the London mayor Sadiq Khan. (Lest you accuse the driver of racism, he was a Muslim himself).
The other example is even worse. Starting in a fortnight from now, all London drivers of IC cars eight years old or older will have to pay £12.50 every time they get behind the wheel. The whole city has been included into ULEZ, the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.
This is a socialist (woke) policy that targets the poorer people openly, directly and unapologetically. For, as I mentioned, the fat cats so hated by our affluent middle classes rarely drive in London. And if they do, it’s usually not in clapped-out bangers 10 years old.
However, if they do favour such cars out of reverse snobbery, they can afford to pay £12.50 for the privilege – as they can afford the current £15 congestion charge for entering Central London. Yet some people aren’t so fortunate: an old woman driving to church, a low-paid clerk living in an area not covered by public transport, a family that can’t get to a supermarket in any other way.
At the same time, Transport for London is spending millions on a nauseating TV campaign, with the slogan “Every trip counts”. You bet it does – for the fleeced majority.
Socialist lies have been swallowed hook, line and sinker, with the duped masses thrashing about trying to wiggle free. Various aspects of socialism have become orthodoxies that, like Caesar’s wife, are above suspicion.
One can still criticise isolated excesses, such as those I’ve mentioned, but not the underlying assumptions. All the biggest lies spun out of the Enlightenment are now sacrosanct.
And if you don’t believe me, stop a random passer-by in London and ask him what he thinks of, say, the NHS. He’ll be happy to regurgitate the relevant socialist lie – Londoners are very obliging.