All modern mass movements in politics are socialist. I cannot think of an exception to the rule that if someone is marching in the street, they are looking for the state to manage the economy, to give them something for free, and for individual rights to be suppressed. As I write this from the former Marxist state of Poland, what comes across is that the true horror of communism is not that living standards were lower, it is that you could not run your own life as you chose by following your own personal desires. It was the suppression of the right to live as one would personally wish that makes socialism so devastating, not to mention that in doing so they also impoverish a community.
In politics, everyone has an agenda. My own personal agenda was set for me by the values of The Enlightenment, whose most important text may have been Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. The Declaration of Independence was signed in the same year that the book was first published, and it is these values that all subsequent history has shown has led to the most contented societies as well as the most prosperous.
Our greatest enemies are those who would run our lives as they see fit. Whether theological, social or through a lust for power or wealth, there are all too many who would like to take our freedoms from us, who would like to tell us how to run our lives. And matched with that, it seems as if half the population of the nations in which The Enlightenment came to be the ruling political philosophy have a hatred and fear of freedom and are unable and unwilling to direct their own lives on their own.
There were a million in attendance at the Women’s Marches around the world yesterday. Quite a lot of people, but very clearly a small minority. Socialists love marching around to demand their rights, but if there is some right that women today want that is not about suppressing freedom for others in some way I don’t know what it is. Everything that needed to be said about women’s rights was said by John Stuart Mill in his The Subjection of Women. If it comes to that, I wrote the only article to be found on the net on The greatest woman of the twentieth century, who was without doubt Margaret Thatcher, but which no one else had mentioned until I did in 2010 because she is a daughter of The Enlightenment and not some socialist seeking to rule the world based on some Marxist philosophy of some kind or another. And if it comes to that, Sarah Palin remains for me the great missed opportunity, giving us Barack Obama instead.
There is no agenda for the million on the street. There is nothing coherent they want that they do not have, and there is nothing that Donald Trump will take from them that they have already. Unless, of course, what they want is a socialist state. That they cannot have, and they are very lucky that for the moment at least, no one is of a mind to give it to them.