'Socialism Itself Is Tyranny': Shapiro Addresses MN College Students Amid Protests
Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro spoke at the University of Minnesota on Monday night following some controversy over where the event would occur.
Shapiro’s speech, which was organized by Young America’s Foundation, was supposed to take place on the university's main Minneapolis campus.
When event organizers attempted to reserve a lecture hall that had previously been used by liberal speakers like former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), their requests were denied.
University officials cited safety concerns over potential protests. In September, Shapiro spoke at the University of California’s Berkeley campus, which drew hundreds of protesters and led to several arrests.
Shapiro ended up speaking at a smaller venue in the St. Paul Student Center several miles away, where he was met by a standing-room-only crowd and a few dozen peaceful protesters outside.
"There are a hundred police officers that were necessary to protect you guys and to protect me so that I can say conservative things," he told the audience.
In his speech, Shapiro touched on a number of subjects, including the "tyranny" of socialism.
"Capitalism is good because capitalism is freedom," Shapiro argued. "Socialism is bad because socialism is tyranny. Not 'it's an aspect of tyranny.' Socialism itself is tyranny."
.@BenShapiro takes University of Minnesota by storm with his explanation of why socialism is a failed, tyrannical form of government.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) February 27, 2018
He explained that the core principle of socialism is that an individual's labor is owed to society.
"The notion of socialism is that you do not own your own freedom, you do not own your own time, you do not own your own labor, you do not own your own work, you do not own the products of your own work," Shapiro said.
He said the notion of capitalism, on the other hand, is that you own all of those things and must engage in a free exchange with others who do not owe you anything.
Meantime, the crowd of protesters held signs and chanted slogans accusing Shapiro of being racist, sexist and anti-gay.
"We are here to support the community who feels threatened," one student protester told the Star-Tribune.
Watch Shapiro's full speech below.