“The Lion King” knew of the cycles of life, and so does our older population. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 took communism and socialism out of the headlines, but not out of the classroom. Older Americans remember the destructive nature of socialism. Many millennials have been fed a diet of the virtues of socialism and look favorably on it.

One simple statement needs to be remembered: “There are no free lunches.” Something for nothing doesn’t work. All the freebies being offered have to be paid for.

There was a cartoon showing Bernie Sanders saying Mike Bloomberg is trying to buy the presidency while holding a sign saying, “Vote for me and get a lot of free stuff.”

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new Constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) had this to say about “The Fall of The Athenian Republic” some 2,000 years prior:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

Technically we are not a democracy. though we have continually gradually began to operated as one. This observance has held true in every society that has been governed as a socialist state. Exhibits A & B are Cuba and Venezuela.

If America does become socialist, it will get what every country that has tried socialism has gotten. I visited a Soviet satellite state and saw its grim-faced people trudging between empty store shelves searching among them for enough to subsist on. The goods that were there were meager and/or meaningless. The “People’s Stores” were failing the populace. The underworld and bribery proliferated. Humiliating condescension was rampant as people sought the favor of the government representatives in order of hopefully getting some basics of life like food, medicine and clothing.

George Orwell had it right when in his novel “Animal Farm” he said that in the new socialist society everyone is no doubt equal, but some are more equal than others. In a socialistic society the leaders are highly favored while the populace suffers.

Disadvantages of socialism include slow economic growth, less entrepreneurial opportunity and competition, and a potential lack of motivation by individuals due to lesser rewards.

Take, for example, free child care birth through fourth grade. Initially it sounds good. What it means is the government controls the child, not the parent. The government indoctrinates the child rather than the parent rearing the child with their personal values. Such control is true of everything that is proposed to be free. Socialism indentures the public to the government.

Socialism is being proposed as a viable opportunity for the future while the past reveals it to be a failed system of the past. Casual reviews of countries having socialistic governance have shown a gradual increase in misery and inevitably chaotic failure.

The thing of concern is not that candidates for public office advocate socialism, but that a significant segment of society supports them.

Pray for America — no, really.

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The Rev. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta. Visit his website at www.nelsonprice.com.