Socialists Keep Flogging Proven Failure

Socialists Keep Flogging Proven Failure

© David Burton 2019


     As a run-up to the 2020 elections, Democratic presidential candidates have, once more, been vigorously touting their socialist agendas, both overtly and covertly. These demagogues pedal their never-ending Utopian pipe-dream of a classless society where all people are equal, regardless of mental, physical, and aspirational abilities, where there is no pay inequality, where everyone is handed whatever they desire by a government with inexhaustible financial means and where individual taxes are so low as to be inconsequential. These socialists promise a world with no rich, no poor, and no worries. Ah, if only!

     Liberals keep trying to resurrect their Utopian dream of that heaven on earth where everyone gets free handouts, no one has to work - unless he gets bored with all his leisure time - and Kumbaya becomes the national anthem. What these visionaries keep ignoring is the numerous times that their socialistic vision has proven to be an utter failure. They simply can’t believe the obvious fact that American style capitalism has proven to be the greatest success story in the history of the world. For all its supposed imperfections, no other economic system has worked as well, benefitted as many, and improved the quality of life as has the American system of capitalism, coupled with America’s form of democratic government.

     “Socialism is the Big Lie of the Twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.” (Ref. 1)

     “Socialism has been floating around for 188 years, since 1830, and not once in that time has it led to a successful society. Aspects of it have been implemented in normal societies and its influence in putting the social welfare of workers on the agenda is important.
     “As an overall idea, though, it has been a disaster, as nearly every country to have tried it has ended up with the goose-step and the concentration camp.
(Ref. 2)

     There are innumerable illustrations of the truth in what has just been said. So, “What’s socialism?
     “Is it the centrally planned economies of Cuba and North Korea? Or the kleptocracies of Zimbabwe and Venezuela?
     “How about the interventionist welfare states of Greece, Italy, and France? Or the redistribution-oriented Nordic nations?
     “Since socialism means different things to different people, the answers will be all over the map.
     “But there’s one constant. However it’s defined, it doesn’t work. [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 3)

     Veronique de Rugy, a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and a nationally syndicated columnist, recently had the following to say about the socialist approach to most problems – taking money from the most productive segments of society and throwing it at the least productive – as a means to “correct” the “unfair” distribution of wealth.

     “Does capitalism help or hurt women? I recently participated in a debate on the topic at the Cato Institute. While preparing for the event, I learned many fascinating facts that may interest feminists who claim the best way to help American women is for the U.S. government to do what other governments have done: spend a lot of money on so-called ‘pro-family’ programs.
     “Consider Nordic governments, often praised by modern feminists and socialists alike, as models America should emulate.
     “It’s certainly true that, for years, these countries have been hailed for being at the forefront of gender equality with programs such as paid family leave for both men and women and generous child care handouts to help women balance home life with work life. The policies are also supposed to help slay that favorite leftist unicorn — the ‘pay gap’ — and elevate women to positions of power traditionally occupied by men. These entitlements certainly look fantastic on global gender equality indexes.
     “While it’s true that Nordic women participate in the labor force at higher rates than women in other countries, academic studies show that higher taxes on labor income — which are used to fund these generous policies — encourage women to work not full time, but part time. More generally, higher tax rates reduce the amount of time women work and increase the amount of time they spend doing unpaid household work. A Cato Institute study on ‘The Nordic Glass Ceiling,’ by Nima Sanandaji, explains that ‘Nordic professors and other workers are more inclined than their lower-taxed American counterparts to devote unpaid time to domestic work rather than work longer hours in their paid work.’
     “Studies by the European Commission and others find that broad-based welfare policies also create incentives for women to work part time rather than full time. Ironically, paid maternity leave policies make working fewer hours more attractive relative to working full time, which in turn hinders women’s abilities to reach the top executive positions. [Emphasis mine]
     “This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in Scandinavian countries where the benefits are more generous. For instance, while the share of female managers is 43% in the United States, it’s 28% in Denmark, 30% in Finland, 32% in Norway, and 36% in Sweden. These countries also have, relative to other developed nations, very low rates of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
     “Now let’s look at the impact that generous pro-family benefits have on the gender pay gap:
     “When measured properly, the pay gap in the United States is small. It certainly isn’t the 19 cents per dollar often advertised by the left, including some Democratic presidential candidates.
     “The work of Harvard economist Claudia Goldin demonstrates that this gap has almost nothing to do with discrimination. Instead, it has to do with what Goldin calls the need for ‘temporal flexibility.’ That is, women choose to work in positions that allow them the flexibility to take care of their children. What little there is in the way of a pay gap reflects women’s choices and not employers’ discrimination. [Emphasis mine]
     “This ‘earning’ rather than ‘wage’ pay gap is driven by women choosing to be moms, and it exists in every country, including Scandinavian ones. In fact, economic studies show that this gap is as big or larger in European countries with huge amounts of social spending.
     “The lesson here is that we should not justify social policies like mandated paid leave and generous child care benefits with the idea that they will close this gap, because they won’t. American feminists should also be careful what they wish for: More generous policies might bring more women into the workforce, but they could also hinder women’s rise in the workplace by incentivizing them to work part time and, as a result, never make it to the top.” (Ref. 4)

     The Democratic Party here at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century has assumed, more and more, the aspect of a full-blown socialist political party. We see the following left-leaning Democrats in Congress and in the run for the presidential nomination for president in 2020: Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ver.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s “squad” that includes freshmen Representatives Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.). Could socialism be coming to America?

     “Hugo Chavez famously said, ‘The only way to save the world is through socialism, but a socialism that exists within a democracy; there’s no dictatorship here.’
     “The American political right and center have been trying to feverishly tie democratic socialism to the ongoing failure of the Venezuelan state. American advocates of democratic socialism insist Venezuela isn’t a true representation of democratic socialism and that more palatable Nordic outcomes can be achieved. However, a closer look at the policy stances of American democratic socialists reveals some very concerning parallels between their policy preferences and those of the currently failing Venezuelan state.
     “In the beginning, Venezuelan socialists won power in fair, open, and democratic elections. This is important to note because American socialists are convinced democratic norms are sufficient protections against tyranny. They are not.
     “Democratic elections in Venezuela were slowly corrupted by those in power for the sole purpose of preserving authority. Many in America decry the role of private money in our electoral process, yet ignore the potential dangers of a centralized government-run electoral system.
     “It’s foolish to disregard the fact that democratic institutions are vulnerable. . .
     “The idea that our current distrust in the electoral process can’t be exploited by a demagogue is wishful thinking. The democratic process is fragile. This is why the United States is a constitutional republic, not a direct democracy.
      - - -
     “The Venezuelan constitution originally embodied the separation of powers. However, socialist leadership saw the document as too restrictive. In response, they blurred the lines, effectively ridding the country of checks and balances, to drastically hinder any opposition to the socialist agenda.
     “American socialists are already advocating for subverting constitutional norms. They seek to end the Electoral College and are promoting the same court-packing schemes employed by the dictators Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. American socialists even go as far as to suggest abolishing the Senate. These are all efforts to severely weaken potential conservative or moderate opposition.
     “American democratic socialists don’t even pay lip service to constitutional norms. . .
     “In the eyes of the American socialists, the Constitution is an obstacle to the ‘people’s’ revolution that cannot stand. . .
     “Venezuela was once a prosperous nation. Socialists ruined it. Income and wealth redistribution was just the start. Price controls on wages, rent, food, and gas have devastated the country. The nationalization of several industries increased the presence of ultra-inefficient state-owned enterprises. All these have exacerbated massive shortages.

"Once It’s Okay to Steal From the Rich, It’s Okay to Steal
     “America is a prosperous nation, and in large part because our mixed-market approach has generally limited socialist interventions. Although we already employ some income redistribution, American socialists plan to dramatically expand it. They have called for a massive government reorganization of the economy via the Green New deal and the total nationalization of health care and utilities. [Emphasis mine]
     “This command-and-control-style economic planning is disturbingly close to that of the failed USSR and the currently collapsing Venezuela state. American socialists have been shameless advocates of price controls and there’s no reason to believe their disregard of basic economics would end at housing and wage controls.
      - - -
     “In Nordic socialism, the government doesn’t impose wage controls. It embraces free trade and has a low corporate tax and minimal regulatory regime. The Nordics view capitalism as essential to creating income and wealth to redistribute. American socialists see capitalism as a system of rampant exploitation that needs extensive restrictions, if not outright abolition. These fundamental differences place American socialists in a firm alignment with the failed models of socialism that have been relegated to the trash bins of world history.

"Democratic Socialists Don’t Actually Like Democracy
     "The most influential American democratic socialists have an extensive history of defending regimes that were anything but democratic. There are a lot of big names among the apologists who form the thought leadership in democratic socialist circles. Bernie Sanders praised food shortages. He also defended dictator Fidel Castro and Cuba’s horrific medical system.
     “Noam Chomsky, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguist who moonlights as an economic development specialist, met with Chavez to praise the Venezuelan dictator for his work on poverty reduction and equality. He openly trashed American capitalism and has yet to fully repent for being blatantly wrong about his infatuation with the authoritarian regime.
      - - -
     “. . . The current leadership of American democratic socialism has learned absolutely nothing from failed states. They have no interest in noting the differences between the various failed socialist states and the oft-cited Nordic models. In their heads, failed socialist states can be explained by: blaming U.S. foreign policy, a stubborn attachment to the no true Scotsman fallacy, a fairly naive view of democracy, or a mixture of the aforementioned.
      - - -
     “Denying the failures of socialism is the keystone underpinning the role of useful idiots in spreading a defunct ideology. Imagine the scoffs and laughs that would follow the assertion that market failure doesn’t apply to true capitalism. Yet the socialist elites make such foolhardy defenses of failed socialist models with straight faces.
      - - -
    The new-age millennial socialists believe the European economic policy is superior to American norms with easily transferable properties. This is naive and dangerous. European GDP performance is dismal in comparison to America’s . . .
      - - -
     “As the popularity of democratic socialism grows, it’s important to remember that the only real difference between democratic socialism and regular old socialism is a phenomenal rebranding effort. There is ample reason to believe that, if left unchecked, American socialism would produce the same outcomes that ravaged Venezuela.” (Ref. 5)

     The socialist Pied Pipers lead the uninitiated down the primrose path. “Programs like socialized medicine, welfare, Social Security, and minimum wage laws will continue to entice us because on the surface they appear to be expedient and beneficial. Those programs, like all socialist programs, will fail in the long run regardless of initial appearances. These programs are part of the Big Lie of socialism . . .
      - - -
     “The main difference between capitalism and socialism is this: Capitalism works.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 1)

     America’s success has been built upon entrepreneurship and rugged individualism. American capitalism seeks and rewards the best and brightest in its ranks. Socialism’s failure has resulted from its stifling of entrepreneurship and its squashing of all that smacks of individualism. Socialism is focused on total equality which, of necessity, requires that in order for all to be equal, all must assume the abilities and aspirations of the lowest common denominator in the socialist system. The best and brightest in such a system must be stifled, lest the inequality among humans becomes too obvious. Socialism demands that the “rich” give their wealth to the poor. Socialism requires that there be no “top one percent.” To be the ideal socialist, one must always be at the fifty percent level.

     Socialists constantly offer the fallacy that if one only gives up a little of one’s freedom, socialism will provide one with a little more security. As experience has constantly demonstrated, the bargain may be a tempting one, but it never pays off. Under socialism, people invariably end up losing both their freedom and their security. [1]

     Socialists abhor the accumulation of money which supposedly only benefits the filthy rich who care nothing for the starving unwashed masses. Their first act upon assuming power is to take all money out of the hands of the “wealthy”. All-too-often, much of this “wealth” ends up in the hands of the socialist elite. Today, many of our liberal elite closet socialists – including several Democratic presidential hopefuls – propose confiscating the money of the “rich” through a “wealth tax”.

     “A wealth tax would mean less wealth to tax. Taxing the mere possession of property and securities, by definition, makes them less valuable. Many people would have to sell assets to pay for the tax on what they own.
     “The value of an asset, especially a financial one, can be heavily influenced by the health of the economy. The radical tax and regulatory schemes (regulations are a form of taxation that today costs us nearly $2 trillion, which is more than the GDP of all but a handful of countries) proffered by the Democrats would slow the economy to a crawl. This, in turn, would cause tax revenues to fall far below expectations. Despite thousands of years of experience, these political hacks cavalierly assume that costly, burdensome rules and higher taxes don’t affect people’s ability to do business.
     “Wealth taxes would be an unprecedented assault on people’s privacy . . . Government bureaucrats would have the right to demand lists of all your assets—as well as the right to examine your home, storage facilities, brokerage accounts, bank accounts and everything else—to determine if you have crossed the wealth-tax threshold. They would, at a click, have—for the same purpose—access to the records of everything you have bought or sold.”
     “This is the road to serfdom.” [Emphasis mine] (Ref. 7)

     A wealth tax is but another step down the road to eliminate historically successful capitalism and replace it with historically failed socialism.

     I ran across an interesting piece about socialism entitled These 3 Countries Tried Socialism. Here’s What Happened. (Ref. 8). I recommend reading the article in its entirety, but have summarized it below with my personal slant.

     Socialists are fond of saying that socialism has never failed because it has never been tried. But in truth, socialism has failed in every country in which it has been tried, from the Soviet Union beginning a century ago to three modern countries that tried but ultimately rejected socialism—Israel, India, and the United Kingdom.
     While there were major political differences between the totalitarian rule of the Soviets and the democratic politics of Israel, India, and the U.K., all three of the latter countries adhered to socialist principles, nationalizing their major industries and placing economic decision-making in the hands of the government.
     The Soviet failure has been well documented by historians. In 1985, General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev took command of a bankrupt disintegrating empire. After 70 years of Marxism, Soviet farms were unable to feed the people, factories failed to meet their quotas, and people lined up for blocks in Moscow and other cities to buy bread and other necessities.
     And yet, socialism still beguiled leading intellectuals and politicians of the West. They could not resist its siren song, of a world without strife because it was a world without private property. They were convinced that a bureaucracy could make more-informed decisions about the welfare of a people than the people themselves could. They blindly believed, with John Maynard Keynes, that “the state is wise and the market is stupid.”
     Israel, India, and the United Kingdom all adopted socialism as an economic model following World War II. India resolved to constitute into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. The original settlers of Israel were East European Jews of the left who sought and built a socialist society. As soon as the guns of World War II fell silent, Britain’s Labour Party nationalized every major industry and acceded to every socialist demand of the unions.
     At first, socialism seemed to work in these vastly dissimilar countries. But the government planners were unable to keep pace with increasing population and overseas competition. After decades of ever-declining economic growth and ever-rising unemployment, all three countries abandoned socialism and turned toward capitalism and the free market.
     The resulting prosperity in Israel, India, and the U.K. vindicated free-marketers who had predicted that socialism would inevitably fail to deliver the goods. As British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher observed, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.
     Israel: Israel is unique in that it is the only nation where socialism was successful — for a while.
     The original settlers “sought to create an economy in which market forces were controlled for the benefit of the whole society.” Driven by a desire to leave behind their history as victims of penury and prejudice, they sought an egalitarian, labor-oriented socialist society. Most early settlers worked either on collective farms called kibbutzim or in state-guaranteed jobs. The kibbutzim were small farming communities in which people did chores in exchange for food and money to live on and pay their bills. There was no private property, people ate in common, and children under 18 lived together and not with their parents. Any money earned on the outside was given to the kibbutz.
     The socialist Labor party effectively ruled the country from Israel’s founding in 1948 until 1973 and the Yom Kippur War. In the early years, few asked whether any limits should be placed on the role of government. But, the Israeli “economic miracle” evaporated in 1965 when the country suffered its first major recession. Economic growth halted and unemployment rose threefold from 1965 to 1967. After 1967, the economy revived but government-led economic growth was accompanied by accelerating inflation, reaching an annual rate of 17% from 1971 to 1973.
     For the first time in Israel, there was a public debate between supporters of free-enterprise economics and supporters of traditional socialist arrangements. The 1977 elections resulted in the victory of the Likud party, with its staunch pro-free-market philosophy. Because socialism’s roots in Israel were so deep, real reform proceeded slowly. Meanwhile, the government kept borrowing and spending and driving up inflation, which averaged 77% for 1978-79 and reached a peak of 450% in 1984–85. The government’s share of the economy grew to 76%, while fiscal deficits and national debt skyrocketed.
     Finally, in January 1983, the bubble burst, and thousands of private citizens and businesses as well as government-run enterprises faced bankruptcy. Israel was close to collapse. At this critical moment, a sympathetic U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, and his secretary of state, George Shultz, came to the rescue. They offered a grant of $1.5 billion if the Israeli government agreed to abandon its socialist rulebook and adopt some form of U.S.-style capitalism.
     The impact of a basic shift in Israeli economic policy was immediate and pervasive. Within a year, inflation tumbled from 450% to just 20%, and the budget deficit of 15% of GDP shrank to zero. The socialist rhetoric and ideology “had been permanently retired.”
     After modest expansion in the 1990s, Israel’s economic growth topped the charts in the developing world in the 2000s. Israel’s political parties are agreed that there is no turning back to the economic policies of the early years. “The world’s most successful experiment in socialism appears to have resolutely embraced capitalism.
     India: In the case of India, acceptance of socialism was strong long before independence. Jawaharlal Nehru adopted socialism as the ruling ideology when he became India’s first prime minister after independence in 1947 and, for nearly 30 years, the Indian government adhered to a socialist line, restricting imports, prohibiting foreign direct investment, protecting small companies from competition from large corporations, and maintaining price controls on a wide variety of industries including steel, cement, fertilizers, petroleum, and pharmaceuticals. Any producer who exceeded their licensed capacity faced possible imprisonment.
     “India was perhaps the only country in the world where improving productivity … was a crime.” It was a strict application of the socialist principle that the market cannot be trusted to produce good economic or social outcomes. Economic inequality was regulated through taxes—the top personal income tax rate hit a stifling 97.75%.
     Some 14 public banks were nationalized in 1969; six more banks were taken over by the government in 1980. It was the “zenith” of Indian socialism, which still failed to satisfy the basic needs of an ever-expanding population. In 1977-78, more than half of India was living below the poverty line.
     Economic performance from 1965 to 1981 was worse than at any other time of the post-independence period. As in Israel, economic reform became an imperative. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had pushed her policy agenda as far to the left as possible. In 1980, the Congress party won a two-thirds majority in the Parliament, and Gandhi adopted, at last, a more pragmatic, non-ideological course. But as with everything else in India, economic reform proceeded slowly.
     An industrial-policy statement continued the piecemeal retreat from socialism that had begun in 1975, allowing companies to expand their capacity, encouraging investment in a wide variety of industries, and introducing private-sector participation in telecommunications. Further liberalization received a major boost under Rajiv Gandhi and GDP growth reached an encouraging 5.5%.
     With the spread of capitalism, India overtook Germany in 2017 to become the fourth-largest auto market in the world, and it is expected to displace Japan in 2020. That same year, India overtook the U.S. in smartphone sales to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world. Never before in recorded history have so many people risen so quickly.
     All this has been accomplished because the political leaders of India sought and adopted a better economic system—free enterprise—after some four decades of fitful progress and unequal prosperity under socialism.
     The United Kingdom: Widely described as “the sick man of Europe” after three decades of socialism, the United Kingdom underwent an economic revolution in the 1970s and 1980s. Under its system of socialism, the British government owned the largest manufacturing firms in such industries as autos and steel. The top individual tax rates were 83% on “earned income” and a crushing 98% on income from capital. Much of the housing was government-owned.
     As in most socialistic regimes, a major hindrance to economic reform was the powerful trade unions, which since 1913 had been allowed to spend union funds on political objectives, such as controlling the Labour Party. Unions inhibited productivity and discouraged investment.
     From 1950 to 1975, the U.K.’s investment and productivity record was the worst of any major industrial country. Trade union demands increased the size of the public sector and public expenditures to 59% of GDP. Wage and benefits demands by organized labor led to continual strikes that paralyzed transportation and production.
     In1979, newly elected Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took on the labor unions. As a result, union membership plummeted from a peak of 12 million in the late 1970s to half that by the late 1980s.The top rate of personal income tax was cut in half, to 45%, and exchange controls were abolished. Moving from socialism to capitalism, a core Thatcher reform was privatization. Not only was it fundamental to the improvement of the economy, it was “one of the central means of reversing the corrosive and corrupting effects of socialism,” Thatcher wrote in her memoirs.
     With the discarding of socialistic policies, Government-owned airlines, airports, utilities, and phone, steel, and oil companies were sold off. In the 1980’s, Britain’s economy grew faster than that of any other European economy except Spain. U.K. business investment grew faster than in any other country except Japan. Productivity grew faster than in any other industrial economy. Some 3.3 million new jobs were created between March 1983 and March 1990. Inflation fell from a high of 27% in 1975 to 2.5% in 1986. From 1981 to 1989, under a Conservative government, real GDP growth averaged 3.2%.
     China: There is still one more lesson to be learned about socialism and capitalism – that of China.
     From 1949 to 1976, under Mao Zedong, China was an economic basket case, owing to Mao’s personal mismanagement of the economy. In his avid pursuit of Soviet-style socialism, Mao brought about the Great Leap Forward of 1958-60, which resulted in the deaths of at least 30 million and perhaps as many as 50 million Chinese, and the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76, in which an additional 3 million to 5 million died. Mao left China backward and deeply divided.
     Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping, turned China in a different direction, seeking to create a mixed economy in which capitalism and socialism would coexist with the Communist Party monitoring and constantly adjusting the proper mix. For the past four decades, China has been the economic marvel of the world.
     China now permits foreign investors to buy into Chinese companies, but the government—i.e., the Communist Party—always retains a majority interest. It operates an estimated 150,000 state-owned enterprises that guarantee jobs for tens of millions of Chinese. It depends on the energy and experience of the most entrepreneurial people in the world, second only to Americans.
     In short, the People’s Republic of China was an economic failure for its first three decades under Mao and Soviet socialism. It began its climb to become the second-largest economy in the world when it abandoned socialism in the late 70s and initiated its experiment in the Chinese version of capitalism , which so far has been successful.
     As we have seen from our examination of Israel, India, the United Kingdom and China, the economic system that works best for the greatest number is not socialism with its central controls, utopian promises, and OPM (other people’s money), but the free-market system with its emphasis on competition and entrepreneurship. All four countries tried socialism for decades, and all four finally rejected it for the simplest of reasons — it doesn’t work.
     Socialism is guilty of a fatal conceit: It believes its system can make better decisions for the people than they can for themselves.
     Israel’s socialist miracle turned out to be a mirage, India discarded socialist ideology and chose a more market-oriented path, and the United Kingdom set an example for the rest of the world with its emphasis on privatization and deregulation. Whether we are talking about the actions of an agricultural country of 1.3 billion, or the nation that sparked the industrial revolution, or a small Middle Eastern country populated by some of the smartest people in the world, capitalism tops socialism every time.


  1. Why Socialism Failed, Mark J. Perry, FOUNDATION for ECONOMIC EDUCATION, 31 May 1995.
  2. The Failure of Socialism- Bernie’s Legacy,, 8 July 2018.
  3. Socialism: A Track Record of Failure, Dan Mitchell,, 14 April 2019.
  4. ‘Pro-family’ programs won’t shrink pay gap, Veronique de Rugy, Boston Herald, Page 17, 23 September 2019.
  5. U.S. Democratic Socialists’ Political Agenda Looks A Lot Like Venezuela’s, Raheem Williams, The Federalist,
    8 May 2019.
  6. Wealth: The Democrats Don’t Get It, Steve Forbes, Forbes, Pg. 21, 31 October 2019.
  7. Truths About European Paradises, Steve Forbes, Forbes, Pges 21-22, 31 October 2019.
  8. These 3 Countries Tried Socialism. Here’s What Happened., Lee Edwards, The Daily Signal, 16 October 2019.

  27 December 2019 {Article 393; Politics_54}    
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