Kamala Harris, a ruthless political opportunist, has spouted some extraordinarily socialist memes while U.S. Senator.

Why is socialism suddenly so popular in America?

…as answered on Quora….

We live under a Damoclean sword. The dysfunction of our representative government is obvious to all. The financial system is geared towards maintaining an ever-growing federal government debt, and continued bouts of crisis-induced and politically-opportunist deficit spending ensures that we are trapped in this system. Though there are even Novel Laureate economists who pretend that “deficits don’t matter,” almost no one really believes this to be true. It is a repressed guilt, when not an acknowledged unease. We are trapped in our political habits, and those habits are leading us to . . . something, some dreaded apocalypse. And we are going a bit crazy. The thin cable holding the sword from our figurative skullcap could snap at any moment.

But that is just our time. A long time coming, but our time. Socialism, which is the shifting of responsibility from individuals to large groups, usually the State as representative and factor of those groups, is a perennial folly. It is a mania of Wish and Hope over reality. And the young, growing out of a dependent condition, are especially prone to its allure. But the lure that is socialism can attract just about anybody. So why now? Especially?

That Damoclean sword is but one of the cyclical factors that is especially important right now. Another long-term cycle is education. Government control of schooling stacks the deck in favor statism — socialism being merely statism’s most extreme form (if we not unreasonably regard communism as merely socialism’s extreme form). Over the generations, public education attracts socialists and breeds socialists, and since socialists demand socialism, they can get it (or chunks of it) incrementally as well as in special moments of crisis.

“Government education” is, remember, a socialist institution itself, an example of sectoral socialistic practice: the universal provision of a good based on “need” and from conscript wealth, not any specific demand. So it is itself a case of a meme template that imprints on many of the students and teachers who get push through its sorting machine. And the students who tend to be most successfully imprinted are the “moderate brights” who take well to classroom instruction, who test well and then are eagerly routed to teach in such institutions, or lead in corporations. While the educations that some receive go into entrepreneurial activity, providing goods and services on the market, the real plumbs offered by the system are class-based, and generally serve to substitute the “rational” systems of pedagogy with market tests of direct service of public demand. This added layer into a market economy is a technocratic one, as well as a class one, and it feeds many socialist memes. This process has been going on for generations, and has ramped up technocratic, classist, rationalistic and generally statist solutions with each generation.

Now, let us not forget the praxis of argumentation. One of the ways socialists tend to gain an upper hand in debate is to pretend that for any present crisis the responsibility is “capitalism” and the solution always more government. Absurd and unsupported claims, sure, but they “feel” right to people who are trained to think that way, or just “want to be saved.”

Rather than accept responsibility for their lot and make incremental improvements to themselves and for their loved ones.

As such, we should acknowledge that socialism is a form of messianism, generally, and in the West has developed as a post-Christian form — a neo-christian replacement of religious worship with state activism.

And one huge element of the popularity of socialism is that it is what most secular people swap God for. Statolatry is the current dominant religion. And it grows as capitalist consumption grows, and as science supplies more answers and as technology offers up more gadgets, because the felt need for a deity or the services of a deity-referencing priestcraft diminish.

More and more answers to questions that religion used to make much of — questions like where did we come from? and what does it mean to be human? — now are supplied by scientists and intellectuals with little or no religious interest or perspective. Though religion may not be there to supply accurate answers to such questions, that has been one thing that religions provide for people.

To discover, as I discovered, decades ago, that my religion supplied bad answers to important questions, meant that I felt compelled to abandon my religion. Now “everybody” is doing what was fairly rare when I was young. Atheism is on a sharp rise. But whereas I gave a great deal of thought and spent much time researching such issues, today’s seculars seem largely of a very bent than me. They are followers, mass-men (and -women, and -divergently “gendered”), and it is because of social pressure that they wander away from religion. Or lack of social incentive.

Just so, they wander into a political philosophy without much though, either, and with many thought substitutes, like the currently popular post-modernism of the intersectionalist left. Whereas I prescribed for myself a conscious program of study before I settled on my political program. Most folks, of whatever political persuasion, sort of fall into their cause.

The history of socialism is one that should serve as a warning to the civilized. But education is such a sorry state that most folks are utterly ignorant of this development. Indeed, the blow to official socialist politics that the fall of the Soviet Union delivered was long ago, and socialist agitation culture — always popular with some — has rebounded. Other interests, such as messianism’s victim obsession and popular prophecies of “environmental” catastrophe and the like turn out to feed socialism.

So, there has been a confluence of secular factors. But the class element should not be forgotten.

In the 19th century, it was wage laborers who provided much of the focus of socialist agitation, with union organizers leaning radically socialist. Nowadays, that is passé. It was long ago discovered that the broad proletariat was largely uninterested in socialist revolution, and only interested, at most, in slow piecemeal reforms.

So socialists switched gears and emphasized educational institutions and filling the ranks of their beloved government bureaucracies. They became classist. They depended upon taxpayer subsidy and special government favors. And the people they came to hate most were actual laborers in the private sector.

The mark of a socialist is, today, someone who has gone to college, and the cultural hatred members of this ‘cognitive elite’ have for wage-earners and their interests is palpable.

And this is one of the main drivers of the sudden popularity of socialism: class hatred — that is, hatred of the proles, particularly white male proles. While socialists pretend to be for justice and love and inclusion, anyone who has honestly studied socialist movements knows the truth: out-group hatred fuels the movement. Always has. And does so now more than ever.

Now it is just doubly droll that it is the old socialist hero The Honest Workingman who is hated most, as a “Deplorable.”

Socialism has always been full of absurdities. Now it is downright hysterical in its absurdities.

twv, January 2, 2021

Yves Guyot addressed an argument that fake-news comedian Jon Stewart made popular and which fuels no small part of the socialist revival.