Socialism as a hate crime

It is a great irony that at a time when Facebook and Twitter are closing accounts of conservatives for allegedly promoting “hate,” and conservative speakers are banned from college campuses for (as it is charged) “peddling hate,” opinion polls suggest that socialism is more popular than ever among college students and in progressive precincts of the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, is the most popular figure among progressive Democrats, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has emerged from the Bronx as the newest socialist celebrity and is traveling the country singing the virtues of socialism, as if no one has heard those songs before.

Which raises the question: given our loose standards on the subject, why isn’t socialism a “hate crime”?

After all, the evidence for its malignant effects is obvious to anyone with sufficient curiosity to look at the historical record. The socialist movement has been responsible for the murder, imprisonment, and torture of many millions, and perhaps hundreds of millions, of innocent people during its heyday in the twentieth century. That history of murder and tyranny continues on a smaller scale today in the handful of countries living under the misfortune of socialism—for example, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, and (more recently) Venezuela.