A political movement that promises you less than you have now has gone astonishingly far. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
Communism has always failed – in terms of delivering the general abundance it once promised. The “proletariat” was told that in a communist society, everyone would have plenty rather than a few having everything.
And look where we’re headed.
The new variant of communism no longer promises general abundance. It promises general scarcity. You will own nothing – and be happy!
They literally say this.
The saying is much more honest than the bogus promises of the Five Year Plans that communists used to tell the masses would result in more rather than less. Orwell mocked this business in 1984, the story’s characters pretending to be excited about an increase in their ration of Victory Chocolate (and so on) that was always a reduction in actuality. One of the reasons for the fall of communism in the old Soviet Union was the obvious disparity between life in the Soviet Union and life outside the Soviet Union. It was acutely obvious in what was once East Berlin vs. West Berlin – which was literally next-door. East Berliners could see for themselves what communism didn’t deliver.
And they could see – in the West – an alternative to communism.
This was a big problem for communists. Not just because it gave the lie to the promises of communism, leading to sullen cynicism within communist countries, where the “proletariat” – meaning, everyone except those who ran the communist state – knew they were living a benighted existence and others weren’t, which told them that a benighted existence wasn’t the only kind of existence possible. It also presented a possibility – of escape from communism to a not-benighted place, such as what was once America.