Last week, the leftist magazine Jacobin published an article arguing that “the spectacular rehabilitation of socialism as a legitimate position within American politics, particularly among young people, is one of the most significant developments for the socialist movement in decades.” I maintain that those young people aren’t being told the whole story.

When I first responded last week, my focus was a passage that the authors intended as an acknowledgement that what they call “socialism from above” is dangerous.

They wrote:

“Socialists don’t just want to replace private ownership with state ownership. In the same way we don’t believe that capitalists should be able to have disproportionate control over economic resources, we don’t think unaccountable state officials and bureaucrats should have the power to control investment and production through ‘socialism from above.’ In some cases, like the former Soviet Union, the failings of such a system are nearly as deep as those of capitalism itself.”