Left-wing failure is not arguable. The international record stands for itself, having become a truism without ever quite attaining the status of a cliché. Though the academy and the media have tried their best to bury the record (while earnest and naïve types such as Anne Applebaum scratch their heads as to why it lacks the immediacy of the Nazi crimes), it’s impossible to hide failures so gargantuan as to have left mountainous piles of corpses across the entire landscape of Eurasia. (Every few years the spring thaw in Siberia and the Urals uncovers mass graves, the legacy of the Gulag, sending thousands of mummified, nearly intact corpses drifting down the rivers. This is what Weinstein, Antifa and the rest would wish on us.) The same pattern is occurring at this moment in Venezuela, a wealthy nation reduced first to pauperdom and soon to open massacre.

The record in the U.S. is less ghastly but just as compelling. We look back on an eighty-year period in which the elite attempted to replace America’s representative democracy with a socialist superstate by a process of accretion – putting in place, one at a time, policies that removed only one single aspect of society from the hands of the people while at the same time building up an interlocking system of control and manipulation. Their error lay in the fact that you can’t put in socialism gradually, but only in a single action, a revolutionary coup de main at the point of a gun, as Lenin, Mao, and Castro all knew. Gradualism gives the individual programs time to fail, to reveal how empty the effort is, exactly as has happened here. There is not a single socialist policy, from social security to affirmative action to ObamaCare, that is not nearing collapse.

It ended with Obama, a man who embodied leftist incompetence, frivolity, and egomania in one package. For a few months in 2009, Obama had it all in his hands, and he frittered it away. Obama failed completely, left no legacy and no alternative. Obama was the last of the commissars. Now nothing remains.

That’s why the left is going for the gun, the club, the homemade flamethrower. Because there’s nothing else left. Like Japanese Imperial Army troops gazing through the bunker slits at something they were assured did not exist – a U.S. fleet stretching as far as the eye could see – the left has nothing remaining for it but the banzai charge.