“Why did you choose to name your publication 1818 Magazine?”—it’s a question we hear a lot. Perhaps you’ve even wondered about the name yourself.
The year 1818 was exceptionally important, but perhaps not for the reason you think. It wasn’t when our little magazine was founded. (It’s rather new, in fact.) It’s also not the year of an especially memorable historical event, such as a war or an election, that has influenced the thinking of our writers.
The year 1818 is when Congress started providing government workers with pensions—but that’s absolutely not the inspiration for the title of our publication.
The reason we chose 1818 as the focus of our digital magazine is because it marks the birth of a very special (and truly horrible) person, Karl Marx—the founder of the modern socialist movement.
Marx was not a murderer–at least, not that we know of–but his ideas have led to death and destruction on a scale that has never occurred in human history. From China and Vietnam to Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela, whenever humans have attempted to impose communism, or anything like it, they have failed, and spectacularly so. More than 167 million people were murdered, exiled, or imprisoned by socialist and communist parties in the twentieth century alone.
When confronted with socialism’s horrific track record, progressives and socialists repeatedly tell us, “That’s just right-wing propaganda! No one on the left in America supports authoritarian socialism. We are democratic socialists, and that’s totally different!”
But here’s the thing, many of the socialist horror stories of the twentieth century started as well-meaning, democratic attempts to create socialism. The tyranny comes later, usually after socialist policies inevitably cause an economic catastrophe.
Now, we’re not saying if someone like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were to become president tomorrow (God help us!) that America would suddenly morph into Venezuela or Stalin’s Soviet empire. But what we are saying is that the smiley-face democratic socialist policies of today have on many occasions in the past put nations on the road to tyranny. In some cases, it takes years, decades, or even generations for it to occur, but in the end, if socialists control things long enough, varying degrees of tyranny always come, because whenever you centralize power and authority on a large scale, people end up getting hurt.
This is not to say that America as it is today is perfect. It’s far from it, in fact. The current system is full of corruption, greed, anger, hatred, cronyism, and immense inefficiencies imposed by government systems. We must fix these problems, but centralizing political power is the absolute worst way to do it, even if that centralization is controlled by a “democracy.” (Just ask African Americans whether “democracy” worked for them in America prior to the Civil War or during the Jim Crow-era South.)
The only way to ensure all people have a fair shot at life, and the only way to guarantee a truly free society, is to protect the rights of individuals at all costs and to end the corruption and cronyism that have infected every part of corporate America. (Yes, you read that correctly, big corporations can and often do hurt people too.)
So, with those principles in mind, 1818 Magazine was launched in early 2021 to provide the intellectual case against socialism, communism, cronyism, corporatism, progressivism, and all other movements seeking to diminish the rights of individuals. We chose “1818” because our mission is to reverse the movement that began with Karl Marx.
For us, 1818 is not just any old year, it’s the mark of a new era, the growth of leftism here and around the world, and it’s symbolic of the incredibly dark days that followed.
In our eyes, 1818 is a reminder of where the world has been, where it is going, and why we have chosen to devote ourselves to winning this war of ideas. It represents our commitment to stopping collectivism. It’s our rallying cry, our “never again.”
Thank you for reading 1818 Magazine. We hope you will consider joining our movement to enhance freedom by spreading our work and ideas far and wide. On our own, we will accomplish nothing. But we know that together we can change life for the better and stop the rampant spread of Marx’s tragic, deeply misguided ideology.
No matter how uphill our road to liberty and prosperity might seem at times, as long as even one voice continues to cry out for freedom, our movement will press on forever, always sustained by our hope for a better, freer world.