Nothing is as moronic about the modern left as its espousing of socialist values, like wealth redistribution and state-determined equality of outcomes, and its simultaneous backing of politicians and leftist celebrities who defy every one of those purported values. The cognitive dissonance it takes to support a left-wing party headed by wealthy oligarchs is truly breathtaking. Such radical fat cats in the main use the state as a way to suppress competition, flaunt the radical environmentalist claptrap through carbon-belching air and motorcade travel, and even crush the market system that got them to their lofty positions.
Much ink could be spilled about the ideological inadequacy of a political movement whose advocates preach a utopian society of perfect equality, yet dismiss their own political leaders as examples of how the system would work in practice. Instead, a short list of prominent socialist and left-wing politicians and their personal fortunes will be provided.
Ladies and gentlement, here are your socialist one-percenters.
- Francois Hollande, the new socialist president of France, is a great example of a man who talks the talk, but in no wise walks the walk. As Bloomberg aptly put it, “French President-elect Francois Hollande, who portrayed himself as a ‘normal man’ during the election campaign, owns properties worth… $1.51 million, according to a government publication.” Not too shabby for a man who is supposed to be ‘down for the little people.
- Dominic Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the IMF, recently embroiled in a sexual assault case that was dismissed. Also a member of the French Socialist Party, he is estimated to be worth $10 million. French socialists recently denounced DSK as a way of getting some ideological distance from the creep. Nice try, shysters.
- Hugo Chavez, unofficial dictator-for-life in socialist Venezuela. Born in a mud hut, he rose to tyrannical control over the country, and is now worth an estimated $1 billion dollars. Chavez claims to have recovered from cancer treatment provided in Cuba, and will “run” again for tinpot dictator over the country. He would have been constitutionally forbidden to do so, but he supposedly won a referendum in 2009 to ban term limits. Because, you know, he’s for democracy and stuff.
- Fidel Castro, communist leader of Cuba, is worth a cool $900 million, according to a Forbes estimate. After ruling Cuba with an iron fist from 1961 until 2011, he finally turned power over to his brother Raul Castro. (Because communists have evolved past all that nepotism business.) In any event, while the Cuban communist brothers lived high off the hog, the majority of Cubans struggled to put food on the table. Is that a lifestyle we Americans are supposed to envy? While it is debatable whether or not Fidel Castro is dead, it’s not debatable that communism is a dead ideology, except in the minds of delusional fools.
- Daniel Ortega is the new socialist leader on the Latin American block, and is said to be worth at least $1 million. Bankrolled by fellow lefty Hugo Chavez, this budding Nicaraguan despot is sure to be worth more than this low-ball estimate. Extensive real estate holdings attained through state expropriation give this man a healthy boost in the wealth category. Although he sounds like he could be the heir to a taco empire, he got his money the old-fashioned socialist way — by stealing it.
- Julia Gillard is the current prime minister of Australia. Notorious for posing as an environmentalist moderate during her election, and then pivoting to a hardline “green” stance, she is currently worth $2 million. Gillard’s predecessor and mentor as Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, has been described as the “Richie Rich” of prime ministers, and is himself estimated to be worth around $156 million. There is also solid evidence that a Gillard staffer engineered a mini-race riot on Australia Day, showing the left’s shared penchant for scumbaggery transcends national borders.
- Paul Martin is a former prime minister of Canada. Although he attained a fortune of $225 million as CEO of CSL Group, among other things, he felt compelled to co-author the Liberal Party platform of “Creating Opportunity,” colloquially known as the “Red Book.” Since 1993, when the Liberal Party won a landslide, the Canadian economy is yet to break free of the seven percent to nine percent unemployment range.
- Vladimir Putin is the authoritarian head of Russia, an ex-KGB colonel who has maintained many socialist policies from the USSR days, as both president and prime minister. Putin has been slow to privatize the numerous industries of the Soviet era, and has allowed little economic freedom, bullying any industry titans unless the predatory controllers of those firms pay obeisance to the Kremlin. Worth about $40 billion.
- Al Gore was vice president under Clinton and ‘almost the next president of the United States.’ A global warmist by occupation, he has called for increasingly tight controls over the market economy. An “unregulated” market is supposedly going to lead to a manmade climate change apocalypse, that is, unless we fork over — $76 trillion dollars. As a man who jet sets around the planet preaching the green gospel, while racking up a hefty utilities bill in his numerous mansions (including ocean front property), he is worth about $100 million.
- Barack Obama is the historic first black president of the United States. A man who was backed big time by Wall Street in his 2008 campaign and yet claimed that the Occupy Wall Street kids were the reason he ran for office, he has constantly demagogued the class warfare argument for wealth redistribution. Although he has constantly framed America as a country that is heartless and oppresses minorities, he is a walking parody of that insipid line of attack. Since writing a couple of biographies, sold mainly in the capitalist market (though it’s questionable if any read them), he is now worth about $10.5 million.
Not only millionaire politicians, but fabulously wealthy left-wing celebrities like Michael Moore and Jane Fonda spout off radical talking points about wealth redistribution, yet pursue personal fortunes in the capitalist system. Billionaires like George Soros and Warren Buffett, among others, talk up redistributionist policies, but do not “pay their fair share.” That’s beyond the scope of this article and could be the subject of a forthcoming post.
This is just a taste of left-wing hypocrisy, which actually disproves their entire ideology in practice. One is loathe to find a single, solitary example of a socialist who has attained power in a country and hasn’t made himself materially better off than his fellow comrades.
It should be said to radicals that even if the capitalist system were to be destroyed, as history has borne out, socialist economic control would lead to even worse material and wealth disparity. It’s not money that causes us to be greedy, but that people are naturally competitive and many people have a lust for life. And it’s not that people have more or less money that is the issue, but whether wealth is attained honestly, and whether people have an opportunity to better their own lives.
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Kyle Becker blogs at RogueGovernment, and can be followed on Twitter as @RogueOperator1. He writes freelance for several publications, including American Thinker, Misfit Politics, and OwntheNarrative, and is a regular commentator on the late night talk shows at OTNN.