In 2003, while in Stuttgart, Germany, I started my first rounds of college classes since High School.  I had already taken Calculus and Psychology in High School as College Transfers, but this was my first real setting in a college environment. 

I’ll never forget my professor of my first class after I got off of work, Doctor Stanley Wilkes, a professor of Institutional Socioeconomics.   I learned a lot about economies and how they differ.  But it was our second quarter that a soldier, Specialist Trent, asked, “Professor, we haven’t studied much socialism or communism.  What is the difference between those two?”

Doctor Wilkes smiled back at him and replied, “I held the best for last.  For the next three weeks, you will receive 3 tests on Friday.   Most everything will be a review but the tests will be long and monotonous.  I will be grading these tests differently.  I will average all of the grades and everyone will receive the class average.

Many students rejoiced, others weren’t as happy.  One student argued, “Professor, I’m liable to ruin my strait-A average!”

The Doctor Wilkes shouted, “Foust, sit down and stop being so greedy!”

The students that were rejoicing were now cheering.  I thought to myself, “There is no way I’m getting an A, all those cheering are those barely passing.”

The first test came around.  Sure enough, those that were cheering didn’t even show up.  I was a straight-A student (in College – hand to God).  I arrived and sat down and did my test which lasted the entire 3 hours.  My fingers were numb from holding the pen and my arm felt like I had just done thousands of 4-counts of windmills.

The next Monday the grade came in.  It was a D.  My test was given back to me and it was a 100.  Those that were complaining scored between 95 and 100.  Almost no one else showed up for the test, especially those cheering the professor when he announced this new grading system.

The next Friday, I said, “fuck it!”

I didn’t show up, neither did any of the other A-Students as it turns out.  That Monday we returned to his class and he remarked to the class, “Congratulations, you are all receiving an F.  No one showed for the test.  Welcome to socialism.”

He then remarked, “But we can’t have that.  I can’t have a failing class. So, I’m passing out these wrist bands.  These wrist bands will allow me to track your whereabouts so if you don’t show for class I can have the MP’s pick you up and forcefully bring you to the class.  I can also dispatch them to pick you up and put you in jail.  This wrist band will also keep you up at night ensuring that you are doing your home work.”

I speak up and shout, “Professor, with all due respect, this is inhumane.  The US Army isn’t that bad in basic combat training.”

The professor then looks at me and smiles, then replies, “Welcome to communism.”

This provoked a lot of thought from everyone in the class that day.  The professor passed us with the scores we had before his new rules, but we still thought about that quarter.  The one thing that struck me was how quick I was to give up when I’m not rewarded with the fruits of my labor and risk.   Some of the students even remarked, “But this is a classroom.”

I was very quick to speak back up and reply, “But our scores are currency, the test was our labor, and the professor’s review is the class GDP.  The GDP was not sustainable, and therefor he had to impose communism to force us to turn in our work.   The point of this was obviously to show us that socialism leads to only two possible paths – communism or revolution.”

That is how socialism works.  It is a one-way street.  If a citizenry isn’t capable of fighting, then there is communism.  If they are, there is a revolution and generally a republic is established — if they win.  If not, welcome to China.

“But Democratic Socialism is different!”

Besides the word “Democratic” it is not.  It still has a hierarchy, it still distributes the wealth equally (except to that hierarchy and high echelon which is why Hollywood stars love to promote socialism — they would be exempt) giving hard working individuals willing to take risks in the economy no incentives to continue their efforts.  Eventually, it will devolve to communism or a revolution.

No matter how many words you put in front of “Socialism” to dress it up, it’s still socialism with the same paths.  It is the suicide note of a nation.