Dinesh D’Souza discusses socialism at UB

Young Americans for Freedom hosts D’Souza Thursday night as part of Preserving American Liberty and Freedom Lecture Series

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Dinesh D’Souza says socialism is the “most discredited idea since slavery” and hopes for America to become a more capitalist society.

D’Souza discussed these views at UB Thursday as part of the Preserving American Liberty and Freedom Lecture Series. Young Americans for Freedom invited the conservative political commentator, who spoke to roughly 50 audience members in the Student Union Theater about socialism’s potential effects, the national “divisions” it has caused and how capitalism will “lessen” inequality in America. 

D’Souza said it would be “inconceivable” for anyone to advocate bringing back slavery, and equated this with advocacy for socialism, as “it has failed everywhere.” He said India and China improved their economies by “moving away from socialism” and that economies “worsened” in countries that haven’t. 

He argued socialism works in certain countries, including Norway and Denmark, because it caters to their “homogenous society.” 

“The Scandinavians are a very homogenous society and their socialism is based on that,” D’Souza said. 

YAF Chairman Carly Bahringer invited D’Souza because she felt the topic of socialism is relevant with the upcoming 2020 election. 

“He brings up all the good talking points about how he’s pro-capitalism and brings about some examples [that] are commonly used and why socialism wouldn’t work in such a diverse country such as America,” Bahringer said.

D’Souza described socialism as a system where the consumer is not “always the guy paying,” referencing the services that would be government-funded under socialism. He said this can hurt economies and attributes this concept to America’s “messed up” healthcare situation. 

D’Souza describes America’s socialism as “identity socialism,” which coincides with “identity politics,” which, he said, has caused divisions in American society.

“The whole idea of the Democratic left is ‘Let’s create enough opposition that we can mobilize a coalition of supposed victims who can create a political majority that will then loot all the other guys against their will and give us all this free stuff,’” D’Souza said. “That is the simple brute force of American [socialism].” 

Public health major Kevin Kubi felt “uncomfortable” knowing D’Souza was on campus, not because of his conservative ideologies but his history of “derogatory, racist and dark statements.” 

He said D’Souza was “championing” a capitalist society where a small amount of people “own the rights” of those struggling.

“When we’re continuously championing capitalism in its unfettered way, we are not trying to put checks on many of these people who are basically paying slave wages, which still foots the bill back on to the American people,” Kubi said. 

 D’Souza said socialism is against the “American dream” and the inequality within America’s society is “temporary” because it is largely due to a period of societal transition that capitalism will “resolve.”

“Capitalism is actually the period of abundance and churn and that churn will level out and we’ll have less inequality, but we’ll be very thankful we had it because it will permanently alter our lives for the better, your life and my life,” D’Souza said. “This to me is the vitality of America. This is the America I want to affirm.”

Matthew Schiller, a junior chemical engineering major, said D’Souza’s discussion made him feel that a more capitalist society is “preferable” to socialism. 

Schiller believes under a more capitalist society, people are the “creator of their own destiny.”

“Fortunately in this country, the United States, we are fortunate enough to be able to choose our own career –– I have the opportunity to choose if I want to be a doctor, dentist or lawyer,” Schiller said. “As opposed to in a socialist country, people don’t have that freedom.”

Alexandra Moyen is the assistant news editor and can be reached at AlexandraMoyen@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @AlexandraMoyen.