Young people go marching, the boys and the girls,
They’re thinking like once we did, they’ll change the world.
They claim government is a cure for our ills,
They seem to forget, in fact, socialism kills.

Lenin and Stalin put twenty million down,
Left them to rot in dark pits in the ground.
The gulags and purges were work of their will,
The Holodomor clinched it, yes, socialism kills.

China with Mao was the state with the plan:
“Great Leap Forward,” which needs every woman and man.
But leaped to nowhere! Sixty million graves filled,
The greatest mass-murder, yes, socialism kills.

Socialism anywhere anytime kills.
Never brought fairness and never will.
One hundred million who’ve paid the steep bill
Yell from their graves to you, “Socialism kills!”

Cambodia promised its people a way,
Begin at year zero, to build better days.
Yet killing fields of Pol Pot left the world chilled.
One-third were all dead when socialism killed.

Cuba and North Korea slaughter and starve
The freedomless citizens through force of arms.
Not nations, but prisons with common folks filled,
Your innocence means nothing, for socialism kills.

Some say it might work with good people in charge,
Yet fails every state, whether small, whether large.
Venezuela’s the latest to swallow the pill,
Descending in chaos cause socialism kills.

Socialism anywhere anytime kills.
Never brought fairness and never will.
Against human nature, it rakes up a bill,
One hundred million deaths—socialism kills!


David Welch lives in upstate New York, and tries his hand at poetry when not working in the insurance industry.  He has several novels for sale on Amazon, including the Chaos Quarter series.

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21 Responses

  1. Michael Burch

    The students are not marching for “socialism” but better gun control laws.

    What the poem describes are the results of the more extreme forms of communism.

    Nations with democratic governments and higher standards of living than the US have better gun control laws. For instance: England, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Japan, just to name a few. These nations all have better gun control laws than the US, and far fewer gun-related deaths as a result.

    There is no reason to believe that marching for better gun control laws will lead to socialism or communism. The students are tired of watching their friends get shot to pieces while adults make up lame excuses for not doing anything to end the massacres. In my opinion, this poem is a case in point.

    • David Welch

      From the author: I wrote this several months ago, it was just published now. The reference to students marching is not in regards to recent gun-confiscation protests, but more to groups like ANTIFA. I don’t agree with you views on firearm either, but I thought I should make it clear this particular poem is not in reply to the Parkland students.

      • E. V. "Beth" Wyler

        Don’t fret! You wrote an excellent poem whose meaning is crystal clear; i.e., socialist regimes employ tyranny to rule over their subordinate masses. Thank you for publishing it on The Society’s website.

      • Cecil Hill

        Just found this site and read your poem. Your Cambodia reference tells it all. I spent three years in Phnom Penh teaching English in a school my wife and I founded. I consider the socialism/communism Pol Pot set up and forced on the Khmer was the worst in the 20th Century. He oversaw the most horrendous genocide one can imagine. He was directly responsible for the death of 50% of all Khmers on the planet. This is what the socialist offers mankind – death and destruction and the loss of God-given personal rights. If socialism was so great, why did China make an about face and open its economy to free market capitalism (although big ticket industries are owned by the PLA)? The answer is simple – socialism does not work, capitalism works. Capitalism has empowered more people to move out of poverty than any other system in world history. Oh, yes, I also lived in Sichuan, China for three years teaching at a huge university. Traveling around China, one sees mom and pop stores even in the smallest towns. You have written an excellent poem. Thanks.

  2. Shobha Pawar

    There is mixing up of issues. There’s a gap between theory and practice. Marx was not wrong, but, Marxists were. No religion promotes violence in principle but there have been wars under the name of religion. The fault lies with the practitioners of an ideology.

    • David Welch

      I disagree, and think Marx was wrong from the start. But I thank you for reading and taking the time to respond.

  3. David Paul Behrens

    Socialism and communism are not quite exactly the same. It is true that communism has failed throughout the world, mostly because of the dictatorial aspect to those governments. There are, however many European countries which employ socialistic policies and are very successful. It is called Democratic Socialism. The concept of communism is based upon the root word “commune.” Jesus believed the whole world should be one giant commune, everyone helping and taking care of each other and working for the common good. The reason it has not been successful thus far is because of the inherent greed in human nature. Perhaps we can try it again in about a thousand years, after mankind becomes more advanced. The keys to making it succeed will be democracy and the elimination of greed.

    • David Paul Behrens

      I have been waiting for the opportunity to share this poem, so here goes:


      Seventeen dead and counting,
      Careless indecision is mounting.
      Here we go again, my friends.
      American carnage never ends.

      The death of the innocent belies
      The soul of a child whose cries
      Are left unheard, and all alone.
      America, your cover is blown.

      If you want to be a Christian land,
      This cannot be allowed to stand.
      Most of your preaching is absurd.
      Jesus said that love is the word.

      Jesus would never fire a gun,
      Nor kill anyone beneath the sun.
      Jesus is the word, the word is love,
      Here on earth, as in heaven above.

      • Pierre Cornelius Sénestre

        So what’s your solution? Let me guess: arm every citizen with a gun because, as NRA leader Wayne LaPierre loves to say, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”

        Or we could be like every single other industrialized nation and establish reasonable gun-control laws. And yet, regulations covering the sale of firearms are looser now that they were a year ago, ever since Donald Trump signed a measure that scrapped an Obama-era regulation aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of some severely mentally ill people.

        Ah, the United States. Home to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and, by far, the most mass shootings in the world.

      • David Paul Behrens

        To Pierre: If you would like to know my solution to the gun issue, I refer you to the comments section beneath “The Parkland, Florida, School Shooting” by Bruce Dale Wise, which was posted on Feb. 20, 2018.

      • Conner Schofill

        David, this poem of yours is patently and blatantly false. God himself admits that He is a warrior, and Jesus is His image. Jesus told the disciples to buy swords because he and his legions of angels weren’t going to be around anymore to protect them, and the story goes that after Judas killed himself the other disciples eventually met violent deaths. So far as we can tell, they never killed anyone, but the show of force would have dissuaded many from attacking them.

        Jesus would certainly fire a weapon if it were justified, as killing is not sinful, but murder is. After all, he is going to judge and condemn people to death. Do not use the Messiah to justify your weak morals (Romans 14). He will hold you accountable. If the truth is too hard for you, grow closer to God and learn to see things His way, with His fortitude. The scriptures are replete with the wisdom of self-armament and self-defense.

        Are you more aligned with God’s will than David, that He would count your heart after His, or more obedient than Abraham, His friend? Both of these men have taken up the sword, as have many others, and God has personally helped them to slaughter enemies, even by frightening them so that they could give chase and cut them down from behind as they were fleeing, having given up. Even brutally killing off a force that has thrown down their swords to outrun you can be totally okay with God.

        If you don’t like it, take it up with him, but don’t inject your insanity into my government. If you want a nanny state, leave. There are other English-speaking nations out there.

  4. Allen

    This is a very conservative view point. No modern society will survive without out a safety net for it’s citizens. The idea comes from the Socialists of the 19th Century, and comparing them to Stalin and Lenin etc. is nonsense.

    Communism is not the Social Democratic Socialism that has made modern republics a success. It certain wasn’t unregulated capitalism.

    • Pierre Cornelius Sénestre

      Here we go again — comparing Socialism to Communism, which is the extremest form of Socialism. Socialism is commonly regarded as an economic system that seeks to achieve equality among members of society. Communism, on the other hand, is both an economic system that seeks equality among members of society and a political ideology that advocates a classless and stateless society and rejects religion. It is regarded as a more extreme form of Socialism.

      Let’s start at the beginning of your so-called poem. Under Lenin’s administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party Communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Stalin was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

      Mao Zedong? He ruled as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976. Pol Pot was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. Fidel Castro was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

      As for Kim Jong-un, he holds the titles of Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (as First Secretary between 2012 and 2016), Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission, Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army, and member of the Presidium of the Politburo of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the highest decision-making body in North Korea.

      Finally, we come to Venezuela, a country ruled by Nicolás Maduro, who, during his time in Cuba at the age of 24, received vigorous training under Pedro Miret Prieto, a senior member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba who was close to Fidel Castro. Six months after being elected in 2013 as a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, Maduro has ruled by decree for the majority of his presidency: from November 19, 2013 to November 19, 2014, March 15, 2015 to December 31, 2015, and January 15, 2016 to present.

      Compare all of them to other Socialist “regimes” such as the EU, which remains a profoundly Socialist organization that believes in strong worker rights at the expense of corporations.

      I realize that you’ve been brainwashed into thinking that Capitalism trumps (hah) Socialism as well as Communism, even though our largest trading partner is China, a country ruled by Xi Jinping, who serves as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic of China, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Also, as General Secretary, Xi holds an ex-officio seat on the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, China’s top decision-making body.

      Lest I forget about Antifa, its movement is a conglomeration of autonomous, self-styled anti-Fascist militant groups in the United States. While Communism is a system based around a theory of economic equality and advocates for a classless society, Fascism is a nationalistic, top-down system with rigid class roles that is ruled by an all-powerful dictator (psst, think “Adolf Hitler”). Anti-Fascism does NOT necessarily equal pro-Communism; in fact, Antifa’s stated focus is on fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly rather than politically.

      Since you seem like the type of person who requires proof, who was the biggest ally of the United States during WWII, without whom we would have lost the European Theater? Starting in 1941, the Soviet Union (under Joseph Stalin) bore the brunt of the Nazi war machine and played perhaps the most important role in the Allies’ defeat of Hitler. Imagine that — there was a time when the United States allied themselves with Communists to defeat a Fascist regime (or regimes if you count Benito Mussolini, then the leader of the National Fascist Party).

      Educate yourself before you preach such nonsense as “Socialism anywhere anytime kills.”

      • Charles Southerland


        You seem to have forgotten the several hundred million innocent and unarmed people who were murdered and more millions who will be murdered under those beautiful regimes you just blithely mentioned— like there was some equating them to the socialism of Jesus Christ. Normally, I wouldn’t give your comments the time of day, but today is not one of those days. In Venezuela, people are fighting over rats to eat. It also seems that you don’t mention the countries where knife attacks have exploded in lieu of firearms. FYI. The reason we have a second amendment is to make certain that your kind of people never attempt to do what your kind of people (I use the term loosely, in your case), do in our case. And when it really gets down to the nut cutting, you can’t really explain what new”gun control” “safety” measures you would implement without coming out and saying that you are for the confiscation of all guns, simply because there is no other way to accomplish control. See? Not that wasn’t too hard, was it? I said it really slow so you would get it. And most importantly, what you really want, just like those regimes you espouse, is that your guys have all the guns for social control of the masses, now don’t you? Come on, you can fess up. No one is going to shoot you for it.

  5. Charles Southerland

    Dear Michael Burch,

    You seem to be a really nice guy. You are a good writer. I think you are sincere. However, in every case of communist and socialist takeover, guns were first taken from the populace. One does not have to look too far to know it happened whit Czarist Russia when the Marxist revolution of 1917 took place. Likewise China, Laos, Cambodia and Cuba. Worse, those regimes took out the academics, either sending them to gulags or outright murdering them. In the final analysis, if guns are taken away from the masses here in America, you would be the first guy the government would shoot. Not me. I’d be the second they’d shoot. Our unique culture has changed in the past 20 or 30 years. The culture needs to be wooed back to valuing human life again, in all cases. If you do your homework, you’ll find that there was an epic fail on the part of law enforcement at every level of the Parkland Massacre. Every level. You can’t consider me a gun nut. I’m a hunter with a semi-auto rifle, a shotgun for quail hunting, a 44 magnum for finish kills, and a 22 caliber rifle for squirrels. Oh yeah, I have a pistol for killin’ snakes. No conceal carry here. God’s angels protect me. I can prove it, if you’re interested. : )

    • E. V. "Beth" Wyler

      Thank you, Charles! This comments section needs your voice of reason.

      E. V.

  6. E. V. "Beth" Wyler

    David, keep on writing, and please don’t ever permit anyone to bully you into forsaking your freedom of expression. Angry, hateful people make angry, hateful comments. Nowhere is it guaranteed that each reader should always expect to agree with (or enjoy) everything posted. While it’s fine to offer another poet some “constructive criticism” pertaining to poetic style and technique, trashing another poet’s work simply because you dislike his viewpoint is NOT fine. Sometimes all that’s called for is to simply think, “Well, I disagree with that … ” and move on.

    E. V.

    • James A. Tweedie

      Thank you, Beth, for the not-so-subtle reminder that we are a diverse group of people with only one thing in common, a love of poetry in general, and poetry written in classical forms in particular. While we seem to hold many values in common, we should be open and welcoming of all sincere attempts at good poetry regardless of their political, social or spiritual point of view. After all, Homer (for example) didn’t believe in “One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” as I do, but he represented his own (violent) world view in eloquent verse which we can and do admire for its aesthetics without arguing over the untenable immorality of the Trojan War or the poet’s enthusiastic embrace of pagan mythology.

      By the way, thank you, David, for sharing your poem. And thank you, Evan (or other site editor) for accepting it.

  7. Steven Shaffer

    Hi David —

    I appreciate your poem and your perspective. I note that you broke meter a few times, and I think that was for effect.

    I note the conversation re: socialism vs. communism and “pure” socialism vs. the way it has been implemented by “greedy” people. Pure socialism would be great, I suppose (maybe), if in fact we could change human nature. In the meantime, demagogues will continue to use “for the people” slogans to gain power, then turn on the very people that got them to that position. Thus, for all the elevated claims and good intentions, the end result of all government force is totalitarianism. Thus, “socialism kills” is indeed a pithy way of condensing that fact.

    Keep writing! 🙂


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