New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, as you may have heard, made the biggest mistake any elite leftist can. He admitted what he really believes. Lamenting the inability of his government to plan every aspect of real estate in New York City “to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be,” de Blasio identified property rights as the great obstacle to his ambitions. “What’s been hardest,” he said, “is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property.” His comments have attracted a wide range of criticism.
First of all, the mayor of New York City, the financial capital of the world, complaining about capitalism is much like the mayor of Los Angeles complaining about the entertainment industry holding his town back. If not for the centuries long embrace of private property rights in New York City, de Blasio would be mayor of an impoverished fishing village. Second, his indictment of private property seems to stop just short of trespassing his own. There is nothing stopping de Blasio from handing his multiple rental properties over to the New York City government, yet these rental properties continue to net him thousands of dollars every month.
But as out of touch and hypocritical as his statement may have been, it serves as a valuable reminder of what is really behind the current “socialist moment” within the Democratic Party. The media has made cult heroes of left wing radicals like Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Bernie Sanders' ex-spokesperson apprehensive over effectiveness of SALT deductions MORE, who are hard at work trying to create new generation of socialist extremists by extolling the virtues of failed Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and New York representative elect Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. De Blasio attributes this radical energy to a “socialistic impulse” in communities of people seeking “things to be planned in accordance” to their needs.
There is an impulse, but it is not socialistic. It is tyrannical, and it is not new. This tyrannical impulse lives within all of us. The desire to set ourselves apart and write special rules for others is the dark side of human nature. It is that immutable impulse, which ever leads men and nations toward ruin, that our Founding Fathers set out to harness and neutralize with the Constitution. They knew no power on earth could turn people into angels. So they consciously devised a political system of divided government and dispersed powers, and cultivated an economic system of free market capitalism, anchored in equal individual property rights.
De Blasio is absolutely right that the great threat to his ideological goals are private property and the rule of law that protects it. What really frustrates him is that in America, everyone else enjoys the same rights he does. That is the real story about the lament of the New York City mayor, and the reason that boomlet socialism is enjoying a surge on the left.
Despite what “fake news” tells you, there is nothing populist about socialism. It has never empowered the “little guy.” In socialist systems, the little guy always ends up in bread lines or behind bars. Nor does it, as conservatives sometimes charge, mire everyone in equal misery. On the contrary, in socialist countries, the wealthy and the connected always make out like bandits. Literally. That is why, throughout history, it is always elites like de Blasio, O’Rourke, Ocasio Cortez, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPoll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Biden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Storms a growing danger for East Coast MORE, along with their allies in academia, entertainment industry, and the mainstream media, who lead the charge to push forward this disgraced ideology.
If and when the revolution comes, they expect to be the ones calling the shots. They think they deserve to wield that power over the rest of us deplorables, bitterly clinging to the wrong side of history. Such self satisfied and power hungry elites are exactly the kind of people our Constitution set up to thwart. The frustration expressed by de Blasio is a positive outcome of that system, one we should all be eager to protect.
Jim DeMint is the chairman of the Conservative Partnership Institute. He served as senator and representative from South Carolina for 14 years.