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Socialism in America: A Brief History

Updated on March 18, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with three non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

WALL HAD TO BE BUILT TO KEEP WEST GERMANS FROM FLEEING THE INJUSTICE OF CAPITALISM SO THEY COULD HAVE A GREAT LIFE OF EQUALITY IN SOCIALIST EAST GERMANY (IT"S A JOKE! GET IT?)
WALL HAD TO BE BUILT TO KEEP WEST GERMANS FROM FLEEING THE INJUSTICE OF CAPITALISM SO THEY COULD HAVE A GREAT LIFE OF EQUALITY IN SOCIALIST EAST GERMANY (IT"S A JOKE! GET IT?)

Unionism Leads to Socialism Leads to Communism

Today, I take up the subject of Socialism in America. In the West, trade unions took the advice offered to them by Lenin to “resort to every kind of trickery, cunning, illegal expedient, concealment, suppression of the truth.”

Socialism had a large following among labor unions, and also among African Americans seeking a quick path to economic equality.

Trade unions allowed their members to exclude others in order to secure high wages for themselves, but those who worked in trades where demand fell off had no where to go; changes in technology caused large unemployment.

Socialism did not take hold in the United States as it did in other parts of the world. American values, that arose from the vast opportunities in that country, drew nearly all the brains into business, and in turn, impressed the businessman’s attitudes upon the soul of the nation. The average workman felt himself to be a businessman. He applied himself to exploiting his own individual opportunities.

TRADE UNIONS
TRADE UNIONS
THE DARK SPOT NORTH OF THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF CAPITALISM IS CAUSED BY SOCIALISM
THE DARK SPOT NORTH OF THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF CAPITALISM IS CAUSED BY SOCIALISM

Socialism in America

Massive immigration around the turn of the 20th Century brought Socialism a measured degree of support in America. Many of the immigrants flocking to American soil were uneducated, unskilled, and some had already been influenced by Socialist ideas in their European homelands.

Rabble-rousers found support by spouting off about how unfair life was to those immigrants who did not adapt well to America, those who lacked moral bonds, and also amongst those who were immigrant criminals. These newcomers were found to be easy prey, and they were exploited.

Then there were Jewish immigrants who brought Marxism to America, such as Daniel De Leon. He helped found the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905, after leading the Socialist Labor Party of America for fifteen years. De Leon preached class warfare, revolution, and the destruction of the Capitalist state of America.

But the man in the street decided that Socialism was downright un-American. And America became a colossal economic success by sticking with Capitalism.

REDISTRIBUTION
REDISTRIBUTION
KUMBAYA
KUMBAYA

Socialists in the Free West Long for the Soviet Union

Most Socialists in the West, or Fellow Travelers as they were called, knew about the atrocities of Socialist regimes but rationalized them as a necessary evil to achieve equality. Some privately gloried in the slaughter. Communists in the West, having failed to make a dent in the power structure of their own countries, and seething with resentment, took a certain satisfaction at the sufferings of Stalin’s victims.

Many American Liberals and intellectuals promoted the ideas of Socialism, and denied that Uncle Joe Stalin was a dictator. They ignored the police state, the mass starvation, the executions, the gulags, and the censorship; they either denied its existence, or they attempted to convince others that it was no worse than in the United States.

American journalist Lincoln Steffens visited Moscow in 1919 and declared, I have seen the future and it works. Russia will save the world.”

The English philosopher, Bertrand Russell, visited Moscow in 1920 and proclaimed, “Capitalism is doomed. Communism is necessary to the world. Bolshevism deserves the gratitude and admiration of all the progressive part of mankind.”

In 1936, French novelist Andre Gide claimed the USSR to be Utopia, despite the fact that during his visit to Russia he observed that “everyone dressed alike standing in long lines in front of stores with the hope of buying repulsive goods.” Gide also noticed repulsive poverty among Russians except his hosts—who were swaddled in luxury. This did not dampen his enthusiasm.

In 1942, the writer Beatrice Webb declared, “The USSR is the most inclusive and equalized democracy in the world.”

SOCIALISM
SOCIALISM
I'LL GIVE THE POOR YOUR MONEY
I'LL GIVE THE POOR YOUR MONEY

The Cold War

The Soviets directed Communist North Korea to invade free South Korea in 1950, prompting the Cold War between America and the USSR. Many American liberals inexplicably blamed their own country for this, ignoring the words of the Soviet leaders themselves that they fully intended to start civil wars and revolutions all over the world in order to impose global Communism: “The Communist International has declared war on the entire bourgeois world.”

In 1992, Boris Yeltsin, the new president of Russia, disillusioned some American Socialists when he said: “The world can sigh in relief. The idol of Communism, which everywhere spread social strife, animosity, and unparalleled brutality; which instilled fear in humanity, has collapsed.”

SPEECH CODES ON CAMPUS VIOLATE FREE SPEECH
SPEECH CODES ON CAMPUS VIOLATE FREE SPEECH
FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION
FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION

Classical Liberalism

A distinction needs to be drawn between the Classical Liberalism of the 18th and 19th centuries, represented in America today by what are called Conservatives, and the Social Liberalism of the 20th and 21st centuries—they are opposites.

Social Liberals have usurped the word 'liberal' as camouflage for leftist movements that advocate massive governmental control. People who call themselves liberals in America today are believers in the all-powerful state.

A Classical Liberal views society as a garden, which once planted, only requires the maintenance of favorable conditions to flourish. Governments granted enormous power often use that power for evil.

As Lord Acton said, “The federal system limits and restrains the sovereign power by dividing it and by assigning to Government only certain defined rights.”

SOCIALIST STATE APPARATUS
SOCIALIST STATE APPARATUS
FREE SPEECH ENDS WHEN CHRISTIANS TRY TO SPEAK
FREE SPEECH ENDS WHEN CHRISTIANS TRY TO SPEAK

Socialist Creep

The most important change which extensive government control produces is psychological change, as the character of a people is altered in regard to its attitude toward authority, by Socialist policies and institutions that undermine even a strong tradition of liberty.

Despite the incredible wealth that freedom has brought about, the individualist tradition is being abandoned in America. America used to stand for individualism, capitalism, democracy, and liberalism (in the classical sense). Most support for Socialism among the lower classes is easily traced to envy of the unsuccessful. It is hard to admit one has made a muddle of one’s life. It easier to blame 'the man.'

Tocqueville predicted a new kind of servitude:

“After having successively taken each member of the community into its powerful grasp, and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform. The will of man is not shattered but softened, bent and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. It does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

UTOPIA IS ON THE WAY
UTOPIA IS ON THE WAY
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE
ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE

The Progressive Movement

The Progressives in America are not Liberals; they are Socialists. They demand an equal distribution of wealth.

The French writers who founded modern Socialism had no doubt that their ideas could only be put into practice by a strong dictatorial government. They regarded Freedom of Thought as the root of all evil. Saint-Simon said, “Those who did not obey his proposed planning boards would be treated as cattle.”

Tocqueville wrote, “Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, Socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man. Socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number.”

The New Deal was the first big success for Socialism in America. Since the New Deal in the United States, the transfer of wealth from those who earned it to those who did not through redistributive, progressive taxation, has been the greatest such transfer of wealth in the history of the world— more than all the confiscations of the Communists nations combined.

The progressive income tax, social security, and the welfare state are ideas birthed by Socialism. The bureaucracies in America have mushroomed since the Great Society legislation in the 1960s, and they are semi-independent “authorities” and “boards” that have blocked business efficiency, been the sources of much waste, and been a focal point for fraud.

WHAT IS SOCIALISM
WHAT IS SOCIALISM
GET ON THE GRAVY TRAIN
GET ON THE GRAVY TRAIN

Full Employment

Most generations flatter themselves that they are less materialistic than their parents and grandparents. The young buy into slogans such as: “full employment,” and “freedom from want.” These words represent fool’s gold.

There was full employment in Russia after three million kulaks were exterminated. There was full employment in Germany as six million Jews were being exterminated.

There is a connection between Socialism and the terror that haunts the modern world. To a Socialist, if the rights of the individual get in the way, the rights of the individual must go—or the individual himself. The end result of Socialism is always civil war or a dictatorship.

Socialists aim to conquer unemployment at any price. This leads to extremely irresponsible, shortsighted measures. This is where a single-minded idealist can do the most harm.

Attempts to cure poverty by redistribution, instead of allowing Capitalism a free range to increase the Gross Domestic Product for all people, has the result of demonizing the achievers and producers of society, and making the poor into determined enemies of the existing political order. The only way to build a better world is to increase the general level of wealth.

It is unfortunate that there will always be many people who, if they are paid according to what their services are worth to society, would have a lower material existence relative to others. Those with Socialist sympathies pride themselves on their more sensitive social conscience. By focusing their indignation on the inequities of the existing social order, they avert their gaze from detrimental individual conduct.

The Welfare State

The Welfare State is Socialism in a mild form. Piecemeal change has been the strategy of Socialists in America.

The unsuspecting public cannot sense that the cause of the destruction of the economy based on the Free Market, and the smothering of the creative powers of a free civilization, is Socialist creep. Economic controls slowly paralyze the driving forces of a free society. Total government spending in the United States has grown from 25% of the national income in 1950 to 50% today.

The United States now offers such high levels of socialist programs that its rates of unemployment wages, and other benefits to the unemployed, dwarf the real wages of working people in its hemisphere, except in Canada, making it better to not work in America than to work elsewhere, resulting in massive illegal immigration.

Furthermore, America has an unusual law that makes any baby born on its soil an automatic American citizen, further attracting pregnant mothers, or those planning pregnancy.

Even among native-born Americans it is estimated that half of the unemployed simply do not want to work because the benefits for not working make working not worth the effort.

HELP FOR THE SHIFTLESS
HELP FOR THE SHIFTLESS

Morals

Morals in individual conduct can only exist where the individual is free to decide for himself. Freedom to order our own conduct includes the responsibility for the arrangement of our own lives. Responsibility to one’s own conscience is the awareness of duties not exacted by compulsion. The very essence of morality is to bear the consequences of one’s own decisions.

Socialism destroys the morality of individual conduct—this is inevitable and undeniable. A ideology whose main promise is relief from personal responsibility cannot help but be anti-moral in its effect, however lofty its ideals. The personal obligation to remedy inequities as individuals is weakened. The state will set everything right. Collective action allows indulgence in selfishness. Virtues are less esteemed and less practiced. Independence, self-reliance, risk taking, standing by personal convictions, cooperating with one’s neighbors—these are the virtues on which a free society exists.

Under Socialism, the individual must do what the collective has decided is good. Then follows a relaxation in standards of personal conduct. Moral values, liberty, independence, truth, honesty, democracy, and individual autonomy—all are demoted under Socialism. The liberty of individuals, freedom of speech, and freedom of association—these are eliminated in favor of group rights. The moral sense is blunted instead of sharpened.

DEMOCRATS
DEMOCRATS

Leftist Teachers

The eggs broken to make this omelette are of the kinds that were once regarded as the foundations of civilization—at least to Americans, the English, the Dutch, and the Swiss. We are talking about independence, self-reliance, individual initiative, volunteerism, local responsibility, and the respect for custom and tradition.

Almost all the traditions and institutions in which democratic moral genius found its most characteristic expression, and which in turn molded the national character and the whole moral climate once found in England and America, are those which Progressives who adhere to Socialism are progressively destroying.

Those who teach in our public schools and universities no longer proudly acknowledge the characteristic values and distinguishing traits for which other peoples know America. Those directing our educational systems have lost their belief in the peculiar values of American civilization or they are completely ignorant of the main points on which it differs from that of other peoples.

Leftist intelligentsia worship foreign gods and have become almost incapable of seeing any good in characteristic American institutions and traditions.

If democracies abandon the supreme ideal of freedom and individual autonomy, they admit their civilization is not worth preserving. It is impossible to preserve decency in a system in which personal freedom and individual responsibility are destroyed. People will be ordered about and not left in peace to pursue their own concerns. The community as a whole decides who will do what work, when they’ll do it, how they’ll do it, and who will get which resources. Shirkers may have to be sent to labor camps for reeducation.

SENSITIVITY TRAINING
SENSITIVITY TRAINING

Bureaucracy

More and more in America, the government encroaches upon business, interfering with lending, wages, and prices—the latter particularly in health care, where its social programs have nearly ruined the finest medical system the world has ever seen.

All of this puts politicians and business in bed together, through lobbyists—how can it not when the government is controlling, planning, or regulating most aspects of the economy on which business depends; when its bureaucracies are regulating most aspects of business itself. One has to wonder if there is some intent to force the surrender of private enterprise. As it is, those with political pull do not compete on a level playing field with those without it—reducing the economic efficiency of the system as a whole.

Bureaucracies, staffed by personnel unfamiliar with the nature of business, are persistently hostile to the self-government, self-organization, and self-regulation that once made American business and Capitalism the envy and the engine of the world.

Business is incessantly thrown off stride by ever-changing institutional data, coupled with ever complicated, ever growing governmental regulation. Success in business under present conditions depends more on relations with politicians and bureaucracies than on the sheer business ability necessary to deal with technology and commercial problems.

Meanwhile Washington talks of punishing profit-makers and assuming direct control of industries, while inflation caused by excessive printing of bank notes looms. It is easy for political propaganda from Socialists to convince the little guy that “big business” is the cause of America’s ailments. Surely Europeans would welcome a spectacular breakdown of the American economy, as this would satisfy their long envy.

Big corporations today generally favor vast regulations because it gives them a huge advantage over the small businessman who cannot comply, or even understand, all of the ever-changing regulations.

SENSITIVITY TRAINING
SENSITIVITY TRAINING

Capitalism

Americans are taught that profit is immoral, and activities involving economic risk are disparaged, as if gains made by the few winners among risk takers—the prospect of which makes the risks worth taking—are deserving of moral opprobrium.

To employ a hundred people is called exploitation, but to command a hundred people as a bureaucrat somehow honorable. Capitalists are despised if they win, and despised if they lose. This is anti-capitalist propaganda.

If America is to survive we must regain the belief in the traditional values for which we have stood in the past, and we must have “a pair” necessary to stand our ground against those who would destroy the greatest nation that ever appeared upon the Earth. This is not the shame-faced apology, assurance that we will change, or compromise between traditional American values and Socialist ideas, that is preferred by American Social Liberals. This is not to apply social experiments to our institutions, but to express unwavering faith in those traditions that made America a country of free, upright, and independent people.

Again, the word Liberal means limited government and free markets—not the corrupted use of the word by American Socialists, in which it means the opposite. This alone is a big clue what kind of people they are.

Steal From the Rich

The free market is the only mechanism ever discovered for achieving participatory democracy. Collectivism has an established record of producing tyranny and misery—but it is still regarded by Socialist Liberals as superior to individualism, with its record of producing freedom and prosperity.

Socialists have already influenced America’s affairs, as evidenced by the steady growth of the state—always at the expense of the individual; and by the steady growth of state initiatives and planning, which take the place of private initiative and planning.

Socialists want the power to assign people to occupations, but governments have always proven unable manage enterprises—they become mired in bureaucratic confusion and inefficiency.

The American people observed what happened under Socialism in Russia, Germany, China, Cambodia, Cuba, Korea, Chile, and Ethiopia; and this gave them the foresight to forestall the advent of full-blown Socialism in the United States. The Socialists shifted gears, gave up their dream of central planning the American economy (at least temporarily), and focused on strangling American business with indirect regulation of supposed private enterprise; and more so on governmentally forced wealth transfer payments—confiscating wealth in the form of taxes from some to make grants to others—all in the name of equality and the eradication of poverty.

FEED THE SHEEPLE
FEED THE SHEEPLE

Escape From West Germany

The coordination of man’s activities through voluntary cooperation, or conversely through central planning, are roads moving in opposite directions: the former to freedom, the latter to serfdom. Voluntary cooperation is the road to plenty; central planning is the road to poverty—even for the average man.

The best examples of this are North and South Korea, and East and West Germany, after the 1940s. Here we had a scientifically controlled experiment (unfortunately with living human beings) of peoples of the same blood, same culture, same civilization, same level of technical skill and knowledge, living under Capitalism on one side and Socialism on the other. In both cases the Socialist side built walls in order to keep its people from escaping, whilst they lived in tyranny and utter poverty; and the Capitalist side lived in freedom and world-class affluence.

Even with these two clear-cut examples for the entire world to see, American Socialists are amazingly still antagonistic to free enterprise, private property, and limited government; they still denigrate and revile Capitalism. Socialists must be persuaded or defeated if we are to remain free people.

Socialism is a failure; Capitalism is a success. To think otherwise must be a form of mental illness. But think otherwise they do! Socialists still want to expand government, and advertise it as protecting poor little people from big bad corporations, eliminating poverty, protecting the environment, and promoting equality and so-called social justice. The proposed national health care plan is an obvious example.

"To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association — the guarantee to every one of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." ~ Thomas Jefferson


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    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      Paul Baker— I am glad you came over to read this article of mine. I think it is one of my best but it has never received as many visitors as my other Hubs, for some odd reason, perhaps just a weird quirk.

      If you want to really get into the Vietnam War, I published an article about that conflict, which you can read by clicking here:

      https://hubpages.com/education/The-Vietnam-War...

      The ideas promulgated by those who are on a mission to destroy America so as to hasten the New World Order—that the colonists stole or defrauded Indians of their land and committed genocide—are false.

      Indians were thrilled to sell land to colonists—they had an almost unlimited supply of it. The Indians coveted the knives, hoes, clothes, and jewelry the colonists had a limited supply of to trade. Indians often initiated these trades. The Puritans allowed Indians to hunt and fish on lands after they purchased them. Boundary disputes were rare.

      The English settlers were so far advanced compared to the indigenous tribes in technology, agriculture, and plain organizational skills, that if it was a Darwinian contest for an ecological niche, it was no contest.

      The colonists did not think themselves racially superior to Indians. They believed Indians were only dark- skinned due to effects of the sun. They thought themselves culturally superior; though it is not clear what you would expect them to think when they met people who had not yet discovered the wheel, possessed no written language, and were essentially living in the Stone Age.

      The Europeans who first came to America absolutely did not come for riches. They came for religious freedom. They certainly had no intentions of killing anybody and surely did not consider themselves capable of wiping out a race of people—genocide—even if they wanted to, which they didn't.

      In the 17th century, America was primitive and nearly vacant. A few million Neolithic people were scattered over millions of square of miles of land.

      In 1630, American Indians numbered 400,000 east of the Appalachian Mountains. 3,800 people from England had joined them. The Indians were crippled by tribal feuds, and then decimated by infectious diseases such as smallpox, chicken pox, measles, and influenza, for which evolution or Providence had afforded them no protection.

      Up to 90 percent of these Indians had disappeared from disease by 1670. The Indians had low fertility rates, partly because they breast-fed infants for three or four years. They suffered from very high infant mortality.

      In contrast, the English reproduced at the biological maximum—8.3 children per wife. By 1690, the English outnumbered the Indians east of the Appalachians. The English colonists did not come to America to convert, enslave, or kill the Indians.

      These are just a few of the real facts. For the whole story, I wrote about it in anotheer article, which is here:

      https://james-a-watkins.hubpages.com/hub/America-i

    • profile image

      paul baker 

      6 years ago

      WAS THERE NOT THE EXTERMINATION OF THE NATIVES OF AMERICA CALLED THE RED INDIANS , TREATIES BROKEN LAND TOOK OFF THEM.

      I RECALL THEY SHOWED THE FIRST SETTLERS IN THE USA HOW TO GROW THE RIGHT CROPS AT THE RIGHT TIME OF THE YEAR.

      WAS IT BECAUSE THEY WHERE NOT CHRISTIANS.

      THE NAPALM BOMBING OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN

      VIETNAM WAS NOT VERY NICE WAS IT,TALK ABOUT THROWING STONES IN GLASS HOUSES.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      sparkster— Thank you for the kind compliments. I appreciate this visitation from you. I am well pleased to meet a fellow musician.

    • sparkster profile image

      Marc Hubs 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent hub and great comments too. Some important points are raised.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      cbl2988— Thank you very much for taking the time to come by and read my article. I appreciate your excellent comments. I will come over soon to see what you've been writing lately.

      I find it incredible anyone would think of "using the USSR and China as examples of Socialism working."

      Wow! I guess some folks simply do not live in reality.

      I agree with your outstanding remarks. Thanks again!

    • cbl2988 profile image

      cbl2988 

      7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Josak is the same guy who tried to prove my criticisms of Socialism wrong by using the USSR and China as examples of Socialism working. Socialism (centrally planned economies) are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Sorry, you cannot escape that fact and the fact that the USSR was an economic and political hell-hole, and China had to kill or drive out millions upon millions of people before it decided that some free-market reforms might help it out a little bit.

      Ah, yes! Cuba! The country that more than a million of its own citizens decided it was better to travel (in some cases, swim at least a partial distance) some 90 miles (145 kilometers) over shark infested waters (many on homemade rafts!) than spend one more day in Communist Cuba ruled by a ruthless, murderous dictator.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      Josak— You guessed right—I have never lived in a socialist country. But I have a number of friends who did and they all agree that it was a terrible experience. They all live in the US now and praise God for this incredible blessing for their families.

      I do know that Argentina was among the richest nations in the entire world until they elected their first socialist—Peron. It is the same story everywhere in the world where socialism takes root:

      "Formerly stable prices and exchange rates were disrupted however: the peso lost around 70% of its value from 1948 to 1950, and inflation reached 50% in 1951. Perón intensified censorship as well as repression: 110 publications were shuttered, and numerous opposition figures were imprisoned and tortured."

      Compare East and West Germany; or North and South Korea before you sing the praises of socialism to me. Socialism has caused more human suffering and death than any single idea ever thought of in world history.

      After 2002, under Duhalde, a Peronist with a centre-left economic position, Argentina defaulted on its international debt, and the peso's 11 year-old tie to the U.S. dollar was rescinded, causing a major depreciation of the peso and a spike in inflation, with unemployment as high as 25% by mid 2002, and the lowest real wages in sixty years.

      I see that Argentina is 62nd in per capita GDP—lower than the world average and less than 20 % that of the US. That is quite a drop from # 6—where Argentina stood before socialism. And that is the same everywhere. You cannot show me a single country that has increased its wealth because of socialism.

      Thank you for reading my article. I appreciate your comments.

    • Josak profile image

      Josak 

      7 years ago from variable

      I am guessing you have never lived in a socialist country? I lived in Cuba for four years and now live in Argentina (where the socialist party just won the vote with a 76% majority and where our economic growth has been in the top 5 of the world since socialist government began more than a decade ago)Everyone I met in both those countries has nothing but good things to say about socialism unless they are obsenely rich in which case they argue about it because tey are scared of losing their precious 6th house on the beach.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Micky Dee— I think gulags might be a stretch. Having read the Gulag Archipelago, I can attest we don't have that here. But I am totally against the imprisonment of drug offenders. No society or system of government is perfect, just as are no human beings. But self-governance is the most freedom and liberty humans have. Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. And you are welcome.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      9 years ago

      I need to read more of this series. On the negative side of "our" capitalism- we have more people in gulags than any other country. "Freedom" is bought daily by agents called lawyers here. Corporations have all the political parties "bought". Drug companies and insurance companies extort. Bought a car lately? What a painful, painful experience. ETC. If a country or political club does not embrace the Golden Rule that country will know delusion, corruption, chaos. That's what I see everywhere. Thank you James!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Anti-Fascist— Thank you kindly for coming back with more wise words to share. Yes the whole series is on here:

      https://hubpages.com/education/Define-Socialism

      https://soapboxie.com/economy/Capitalism-Definitio

      https://hubpages.com/education/Experiments-in-Soci

      https://hubpages.com/education/How-Socialism-Works

      https://hubpages.com/education/Socialism-vs-Capita

      Thank you for your interest. My purpose in writing these articles precisely mirrors what you wrote:

      "The task seems to be here, is teaching ourselves how to dissect the aspects of the different 'ism's and look at how they effect us in the piece of the bigger machine we occupy. And then step back and take a comprehensive look at that machine in the context of all the others that might be built."

      I have good friends heavily involved in fabulous micro-lending programs such as Hope International. Truly superior to income redistribution in that it fosters human dignity and self-sufficiency.

    • profile image

      Anti-Fascist 

      9 years ago

      Same here. A lot of people are angry, worried and tired. Maybe that contributes to a lot of this tendency to vent spleens and point fingers. Or, start the comparing game: "My dog's better than your dog..." etc.. Few of the posts indicate the majority doing any new thinking. For themselves. Based upon information that is derived from their own investigations into stuff. Or if so, a cursory examination and then reversion right back into the jingoist planted cliche analysis habits many of us are learning. Where? We see it coming from the constant bombardment with that model in a wide variety of examples. Giving people different flavors of the same disease to choose from. We see this happening mostly in those examples we are getting in the mainstream media. Well, how about in the neo-populist media? All that to say, we are still digesting your offerings and want to look deeper into the thesis you are hammering out. Are all the segments (reference to six of them) available in the hub system? The task seems to be here, is teaching ourselves how to dissect the aspects of the different 'ism's and look at how they effect us in the piece of the bigger machine we occupy. And then step back and take a comprehensive look at that machine in the context of all the others that might be built. The hope being, that for once in history, people might actually have the ability to step out of the old retread models and communicate with one another. Outside of dialectic techniques. Using tools we've none of us ever had before in that area. And, in the final analysis, be able for perhaps the first time in large numbers, to CHOOSE modifications in the models that just could work. For the little guy and the big. What if, the little guy could see a way to cooperate with all the other little guys to understand that the big guys aren't ALWAYS their enemy per se, and find places to work with them that don't involve upheaval and violence? And what if the snobbish elites could actually see themselves allowing volunteerism and charity to make a strong comeback. In ways that their class stuctured view of humanity might be modified by love? To the point where they might trust that the world could be livable without somebody able to operate from behind the scenes to orchestrate everything so it always went just their way? With the ability to globally examine things like this together, might there not be a way found to allow every culture and country, their own self-determination without it having to be built on the backs of dictatorship? What about an intentional wealth-sharing effort in the nature of investing in the lives of those who WILL and WOULD pull themselves up by their own bootstraps? Like the micro-loan phenomenon in places like India? Wouldn't this be preferable to a manipulated and coerced 're-distribution' program, imposing 'from-each-according-to-his-ability-to-each-according-to-his-need?' Douglas MacArther was what he was. Study the man and his life and then ask yourself, was he nuts or savvy like a fox? In this context. When asked early on if there was a way to check the spread of China's regime in the orient on the heels of World War 2 his reply might surprise you. It was: "Send me 1000 missionaries with home folks who will support them in the field, and we can avoid another war here." Will be interesting to review the other segments of your thesis when opportunity presents. Keep thinking. Anti-Fascist.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Anti-Fascist— I surely appreciate your incredibly poignant commentary. I'll not soon forget your thoughful insights. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I do appreciate the visitation and your remarks.

    • profile image

      Anti-Fascist 

      9 years ago

      From your article in the above, quote: "All of this puts politicians and business in bed together,: unquote. This is the classic earmark of a fascist mentality. The commentary that is out there, branded Hitler's Nazi version as a 'Nationalist Socialism.' Perhaps it is worth revisiting the labels? Especially when we have government under the same umbrella with corporate multi-nationals so blatantly as we do now. Without apology. Who in the bureaucracy of any 'government' can rein in entities who can 'avoid' interference in becoming mega-monoliths by removing their operations from country to country? Fascism thrives on the concept of raising up an elite without claiming that. Socialism results in the elevation of a priviledged elite, but philosophically abhores it. Another comment in your article refers to the corporate megaliths not having to compete on a level playing field with small and medium sized businesses. To a degree, the internet and access to niche marketing has modified the effects, but ultimately, when things like the Pen Central, Enron, and Maddof examples are trotted before us in the media, to the exclusion of other more undermining examples like Freddie and Fanney and especially HUD, should we not be looking at another Reich being reborn? And analyzing ways to prevent the Nazi-like repeat in our time on our watch?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— So be it my friend. So it is written; so it shall be done.

      James

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      James

      I guess we can agree - Capitalism good, Socialism bad, A balance of the two American. :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— I will simply point out that Fascists are anti-Capitalists.

      Other than that, I agree with your ideas. I especially appreciate this:

      "Capitalism is the guy who toils over a farm and sales his harvest to others based on what the market dictates. It is the guy who washes cars, builds homes, runs the hardware store, unclogs your drain, etc.."

      Absolutely in agreeance with this.

      I am not aware of our Founding Fathers advancing any Socialist ideas . . . But that's OK. By and large, I like what you wrote. Thank you!

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      James

      My problem with capitalism has nothing to do with me living in America because this is not a pure capitalistic society which I pointed out earlier. The fear is that those who don't understand the line between what we have created in this country and capitalism will soon drive us into fascism.

      Capitalism is not mega corporations funded by government subsidies and worker income. There is no risk in this venture as proven over the past 2 years. Capitalism is the guy who toils over a farm and sales his harvest to others based on what the market dictates. It is the guy who washes cars, builds homes, runs the hardware store, unclogs your drain, etc..

      Your medical acheivments that you so readily lay at the hands of capitalist are in large part derived through academic research (many of which are public institutions) and government agencies through direct research of tax payer research funding. They are then marketed for profit by the corporations to which you give all the credit. So also give thanks to NIH, HHS, & CDC.

      I suggest you offer up one country in this world that consist of pure capitalism...completely free markets and completely free enterprise. Our founding fathers were the first to introduce what you call socialism into our society but they called it reconstruction and it has been a large part of America ever since.

      Therefore you are arguing for something that not only doesn't exist in the US but doesn't exist anywhere on the planet. No government can function in a black or white environment (no pun intended) they function through a mixture of political theories.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows— Yes, our lens into the world cannot help but be colored by our experience. To that, I would add "by our studies." And I have studied this subject extensively. I am for Free Enterprise and Free Markets. I am against Socialism because its results are horrifying to me, and ought to be to everybody.

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      James,our thinking on the whole matter is colored by our personal experiances when it comes to politics ,business,and socual issues which seems to be different for each of us to some extent.

      Of,course you have a political perspective based on your unique point of view.

      Although I'm not running a business,I can see how a particular business has it's own unique needs in order to stay in business and the less red tape the better.

      However even you must admit that a certain level of red tape is necessary in order to protect the public from businesses that could harm them as a result of poor managment.We,have seen a few wealty men in the early part of the last century who used their wealth to unfairly take advantage of the people until labor laws were introduced to protect the workers from things like sweatshops in the city of Newyork for example;where the owners kept all the exits locked in this sweatshop which resulted in the death of the workers locked inside.

      I find it interesting thst the first fire department was a private enterprise that was paid for by a private business.

      As,I recall people who did not pay for this service had lost their house due to fire.

      This obviously evolved into a public service paid for by everyone through property taxes.

      My point is that you are right about capitalism being the engine that drives private businesses,but that does not preclude private businesses from being employed by the public for the good of everyone involved rather than just those in private enterprise.This is what I mean when I say pure capitalism is only looking out for itself,rather than the kind of capitalism that is beneficial to everyone.If,that's socialism ,so be it.Maybe we should come up with a new word for it!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— If Capitalism is so bad, I hear Cuba is most welcoming to new immigrants; North Korea, too. Surely you can see that the incredible wealth in this country—the wealth shared by all—is the direct result of Free Enterprise, of Capitalism.

      I have traveled around the world quite a bit and most common folks—I don't mean rich folks, I mean common citizens—have nowhere near the roads, airports, supermarkets, food, medicine, amusements, communications, entertainments, public parks, transportation, Freedom, Liberty, personal security, and downright dignity, that every American has. Sure, somebody in America has more than you—and me. But we all have far more than most people on Earth.

      I humbly disagree with you about Capitalism being under attack. Of course it is. Social Progressives are dead against Capitalism, Free Markets, Free Enterprise, and Meritocracy. The medications and medical treatments we have today in America are the envy of the world and they are the direct result of Free Enterprise—not collectivism and state control and central planning—Socialism.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      someonewhoknows

      You make an excellent point. Capitalism contradicts social wellbeing in many ways. Take the prison system - In NJ Judges have been removed from the bench for sending kids to privately run centers of incarceration in return for kickbacks. Why? Because profit is made based on the amount of prisoners housed making the creation of prisoners for things as minor as truancy profitable. A private military needs war to make it profitable. Private drug companies need illnesses, all creating a need to manipulate its market in order to increase its bottom-line.

      Capitalism is the backbone of this society but it cannot provide social services simply because of the nature of the beast. Capitalism provides a tremendous advantage to society in providing jobs, innovations, and delivery of services in most segments of the economy, but this success does not make it a perfect fit for every segment of our economy.

      The Real Debate

      Capitalism is not under attack in this country. The argument of socialism is nothing more than a smoke screen in a battle to determine the level at which capitalism should be contained. If capitalism continues unchecked, in twenty years all children will be put on various medications due to genetic defects determined to be life threatening. Each night I am told I have a new chronic illness treatable by a medication capable of doing greater damage than my current illness, all for the sake of profit.

      Do we really want this philosophy of life to expand throughout every segment of our lives?

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows— What you say is absolutely true. However, I would posit that the reason why government has taken control over so much is the opposite of Capitalism, Socialist Progessivism. Thank you for your excellent points. It's always nice to hear from you.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— I surely appreciate you for coming back and adding these thoughtful insights. You have a keen intellect and I enjoy reading your thoughts. I'll have to get over and read some more of your Hubs soon.

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Q: Is it possible that Capitalism in general as we know it portends to be of the people by the people and for the people when in fact these capitalists that,have overwelming control over key sectors of our governmet such as politics,energy,self defense,Food and drugs etc...are a very small percentage of the private sector and yet they have unpresedented power over our government.Especially wallstreet and the public airwaves and news outlets.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      Allan

      Your points are well taken however my point was not to lay social injustice at the feet of capitalism but to show it as being a promoter of such in the same manner that socialism has been depicted in James hub.

      I also think that your comment somehow classifies capitalism as a white method of economic gain. African's who "SOLD" other African's were indeed practicing capitalism. The profit in slavery was a driving force in its expansion and increased human cruelty. Once ones wealth was determined more by the amount of slaves the individual owned than by the amount of land, forced breeding and the rape of slaves became a part of doing business, the most economical way of increasing personal wealth. Therefore, while capitalism was not the originator of slavery its affects on it were nothing short of devastating.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— What can I possibly add to such a magnificent history lesson? All I can say is Thank You very much my brother for sharing your brain with us.

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      SPBF makes some very vaid points about social injustice, but to lay these all at the feet of Capitalism is historically inaccurate. Shortly after we bought our house 25 years ago Scotland abolished 'feu duty'. That was a token annual payment on all property to our 'feudal superior'. As a former police house, our direct feudal superior at that time was the now defunct Strathclyde Regional Council, but because of where our property is situated our ultimate feudal superior was the Duke of Hamilton.

      The feu was originally levied on landowners in the Middle Ages when our lord could conscript all his feudal inferiors into military service to fight for him, or his feudal superior, the king.

      Slavery was common in those days, but the slaves were white and Capitalism was quite unknown. The lowest of the low in feudal society were called serfs and were little better than slaves themselves.

      Then along came the Black Death, killing about one third of the population right across Europe and suddenly the labour shortage it created gave the workers the whip hand whereupon they became mobile and hired their services to whoever would pay them the highest wages - the start of what we call social mobility.

      Hitherto, feudal class governed everything and you could be hanged simply for wearing the wrong kind of clothes or eating the wrong kind of bread. Now, a new social class arose to fill the void that separated the nobility from their hoi poloi. Because they were neither, they became known as the Middle Class and made money from commerce and trade instead of just exploiting their social position and nobility rights.

      Those were not politically correct times, and cock fighting, bear beating and hanging survived as public entertainments right up to the 19th Century. So do not judge them with an anachronistic eye and assume that everyone was out to do down the black man. In those days, everyone was out to do down their fellow man regardless of colour. We have a museum at Leadhills in Lanarkshire where miners' cottages (or hovels) have been reconstructed to 18th Century standards. Children as young as seven or eight would clean ore by standing in the freezing cold stream for 14-hours-a-day for a pittance of a few pence. Many died as a result, but their brothers, sisters and mothers could well have worked in the Lanarkshire coal mines where accidents were frequent and mortality was high. In 1742, 1000 people died of famine in our area.

      It was people like these who fled to the Americas in search of a better life, and many rose to positions they could never have dreamed of in the land they left behind.

      Many of the early American slaves were deported convicts or indentured white slaves, but plantation conditions favoured blacks who British colonists discovered from their Spanish and French neighbours could be bought cheaply from Africa, where they were sold on the open market by their fellow Africans to the highest bidder. Those we didn't buy, the Arabs did. And long after we abolished slavery in the British Empire, the Arabs still bought their slaves on the African market.

      Further north in Africa, shipwrecked British and American seamen were captured as slaves and, to the east were enslaved by the Ottoman Turks.

      To this day slavery still exists in parts of Brazil, India and the Middle and Far East. So let's not pretend that the whiteman was exclusively culpable in this disgusting and godless trade. He learned from other masters. Nor let's pretend that Capitalism is uniquely wicked. Slaves were used by monarchies and empires long before the rise of the Middle Classes or the Capitalist creed.

      The root cause is neither race nor Capitalism, but the innate human wickedness all men are born with.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Springboard— Socialism surely undermines effort, as you say. No matter what its defenders may say about it, that is an indisputable fact. Why hustle if my future has been decided already? And yes, as you also say, Socialism discourages success and then we all lose. So the great leveling these people want is truly a leveling down—not up. Thank you for tuning in. I enjoyed reading your insightful comments.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      I like that you point out that socialism aims to conquer unemployment at any cost. That's the one thing about socialism that really irks me is that it so undermines effort. France is good example of weird labor policy, I think there an employee cannot be fired in the first 5 years or so...

      This just defies all we know about productivity and what encourages it. Certainly France is no industrial mecca. Neither is the US anymore, but the fact that our economy, despite its albeit current woes, is still something by which the world can measure progress.

      Obviously I want people to be employed. Unemployment is not good for the economy either. But forced? I don't know how anyone would expect that to be good for anyone.

      First of all, employment cannot be defined as having a job. It can better be defined as doing something productive, and that would include starting your own business. Something I think socialism, in its truest form, curtails. Certainly it also very much discourages success.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— I do appreciate your point of view. You are a deep thinker and I will always welcome your comments. Thank you for taking the time to engage.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      James - I suggest that you get hold of Columbus journals which are available online, because they completely contradict your assessment of the Caribbean. Columbus himself discusses what he thought was vast gold on the Islands, and repeatedly discussed the people of the islands (Taino) as being gentle people with little in the form of weapons and would be easy prey.

      Remember that was only the first example offered. Slavery, American Indians, Miners, Child Laborers..etc. All gave their lives for the sake of capitalism.

      This country found greatness not in capitalism but in socialized capitalism which is completely different from what you advocate. The founding fathers were the first to use socialized capitalism as act of government. They called it reconstruction.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Harvey Stelman— I know what you mean about the title. My original title was "Socialism in America," but someone already had that one. I apologize for the lack of precision and that the article did not meet your expectations, my friend.

      What I meant about free speech I thought was self-evident. Kids in school in just the past 50 years, but particularly in the last 10 years, are constantly having their free speech rights violated if what they want to say could be offensive to one kid out of 500 because it pertains to Christianity. I could give a hundred examples. One school had an assignment where kids had to write about the all time favorite hero and the only person who ever lived not allowed to be that hero was Jesus. A Jew, of course. Some may applaud this sort of thing but once they silence the Christians who might be next? No, not the Muslims.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      caretakerray— Thank you, Ray, for your kind compliments. It is insane to keep trotting out this failed ideology under new guises over and over again expecting a different result. :-)

      Your are welcome.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— Thank you for your kind compliment. You wrote:

      "whether the privileged classes call themselves capitalist or socialist, they will do whatever it takes to remain in control"

      I think the difference here is that in Capitalist countries you have free elections while generally Socialists get around to cancelling elections and having a dictator for life.

      I enjoyed reading your remarks about Germany. I am all for equal opportunity, but equal outcomes can only be implemented through penalizing achievement and confiscation of earnings and assets.

      I love William Wilberforce. If you haven't seen the film "Amamzing Grace," I highly recommend it. My friend, Eric Metaxas, wrote the companion book by the same title, which is far better, focusing more on Wilberforce's Christianity than the film does.

      Your remarks about slavery are profound. I suppose those we terribly mistreat must be demonized to an extent. You are absolutely spot on about the massive inflation caused by all that Spanish silver and gold. You always find the best points to make. What a deep thinker you are, my friend. Thank you so much for these outstanding contributions to this conversation.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— Your account of the Taino is interesting. Of course, you picked that up from the one and only historian who thinks there were ever over 500,000 Tainos, period. And everybody agrees that 85% of them died from Smallpox, something that no one foresaw or understood. Before the Spaniards came, the Taino were being subjugated and enslaved by the Caribs, as is well known. They were fighting, killing, enslaving, being enslaved, taking land, having land taken . . . just like most of the world then. The idea that Indians (I am a quarter Indian myself) were "Noble Savages" sitting around loving each other until Columbus came, is a myth designed to boost the self-esteem of the vanquished. Nothing more.

      As for the second half of your commentary, the "Requerimiento" came indirectly from the pope and would require a long and detailed explanation. I don't agree with it. I don't agree with the methods or conduct of the Spainards, either. I have never seen Colombus himself accused of mass murder. I cannot judge men of the past as if they were living today, knowing what we know.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      9 years ago from Illinois

      James,

      "Free speech ends when Christians aren't allowed to speak." Where did you get this one? Christians have always led this country, and supposedly stll do. In the past it has been Christians not allowing others to speak. As a Jew, I know this for a fact. It wasn't common, but it happened too frequently. But I digress before I get mail I do not wish to.

      Your article could have been more concise. There were many excellent points you brought up, but you didn't delve into what socialism in America would be like. With the title, "American Socialist" I expected to read about what socialism would bring us.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      JON EWALL— Love the Lincoln quote. Your comments in general are extraordinary. I especially liked these words of yours, Jon:

      "The government take over of student loans will force banks to layoff some 33,000 employees. Those jobs will be taken over by union government workers.

      Obama and this congress will enslave the people, and destroy our nation if allowed to continue on a path to socialism."

      I certainly agree with you. Thank you for reading and for leaving your wise words behind. I am glad you joined the conversation.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      jjmyles— You are surely welcome. I agree with you that the upcoming elections will tell the tale of where the country is heading. If we don't reject Socialism now it will be getting late indeed. Thank you for reading and commenting. I look forward to reading some of your work.

    • profile image

      caretakerray 

      9 years ago

      James A Watkins:

      Great hub. Most informative as are all your hubs. I never cease to wonder at a people that insist on implementing a system already proven not to work.

      Thanx :)

      caretakerray

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      Good Hub James.

      As Jesus once said, the poor will be with us always. What he recognised is that there is always inequality in any society, and whether the privileged classes call themselves capitalist or socialist, they will do whatever it takes to remain in control. Also, not everyone has the will or acumen to be wealthy. Germany is an excellent example of this, where twice during the Twentieth Century it experimented with radical wealth redistribution.

      This followed Germany's total economic collapse of Novermber 1923, when the Reichsmark fell to 4.3-trillion Marks to the Dollar. And again in the late 1940s, following the collapse of the Third Reich.

      In 1924, the economy was restored by the allocation of a strictly limited quota of Rentenmarks, and in the 40s by a similar allocation of Deutschmarks. I forget the exact amounts, but pretty much every German was given the same amount of money to limit supply and thus avoid feulling fresh inflation. It worked, but an interesting side observation is how the wealthy became wealthy again quite quickly, just as the poor returned to their poverty, because simply giving everyone the same amount of money does not guarantee equality.

      As to citing Thomas Jefferson as an exemplar of Christian morality, that would have come as a surprise to this free-thinking Free Mason, who while recognising the benefit of the Bible was not actually a Christian himself.

      William Wilberforce, however, was. And he worked tirelessly to abolish slavery both in Great Britain and throughout the British Empire, which he finally achieved in 1830.

      The relatively recent slander of negro inferiority stems not from any incipient ancient racism, but directly from slavery itself. Once upon a time slavery was universally practiced. The Babylonians had slaves, the Greeks had slaves and the Romans had slaves...In fact, everyone did.

      In Britain, the English once enslaved Scottish and Welsh prisoners of war, and vice vera. Then countries like Britain, France, Holland and Spain became colonial powers and began trading in commodities like tobacco and sugar. And what did we discover? In the hot tropical plantations where such crops were grown, black slaves proved better workers that white slaves. The law of supply and demand meant that black slaves became favoured over white slaves until white slaves eventually became yesterday's commodity.

      As slaves of any race or culture were regarded as mere chattels, it was only a matter of time before the prevalence of black slaves caused the contempt that society afforded their status as property to be transferred to their race.

      As for Christopher Columbus, he was an Italian Jew living in Spain at the height of the Inquisition, when it was expedient not to draw attention to the fact, because people like him were being tortured and burned at the stake by Torquemada on a regular basis. Thus, when he was commissioned by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to seek out a new trade route to the East Indies, believe me, he was not about to refuse.

      As it turned out, the 'Indians' he discovered on his travels were not from India at all, but the name stuck nevertheless. And the depredations that followed were largely fuelled by the Spanish Crown's hunger for gold, and the Inquisition's zeal to find fresh people to torture.

      Oh, and that gold brought back by the avaricious Conquistadors was so plentiful that it fuelled enormous inflation that destabilised the Spanish economy for years. Its paper equivalent today, I suppose, is what our governments so quaintly call 'Quantitative Easing'.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      James

      Sorry for the delayed response on Columbus. I will start by suggesting that you have never met a Taino indian in your lifetime. This is because they were almost completely wiped off the face of the earth using the exact same methods used to destroy Native Americans. These men, women, and children were the original settlers of what we now know as Haiti and the Dominique Republic.

      The following is an account of the contact between the Taino people and Columbus.

      This ruthlessness took its toll on the Taino population. When Columbus arrived at Hispañiola in 1492 there were an estimated 8 million people living on the island. By 1496 the population had been cut nearly in half; three to four million natives had died in less than four years. By 1508 the population was less than one hundred thousand. By 1518 there were fewer than twenty thousand. And by 1535, the entire native population of Hispañiola was gone. In just 43 years an entire culture had been eliminated. In fact, every island in the Antilles experienced similar purges and rapid decreases in population.

      http://www.glencoe.com/sec/socialstudies/btt/colum...

      After each Spanish fleet would land on the shore of Carib islands the following pledge (documented) was made.

      I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and Their Highnesses. We shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as Their Highnesses may command. And we shall take your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse to receive their lord and resist and contradict him.

      Whipping Boy (NO) Mass Murderer (YES)

      The fact is that no matter which form of government or social structure you view, if it is dominant anywhere in the world it is also violent.

    • JON EWALL profile image

      JON EWALL 

      9 years ago from usa

      HUBBERS

      It's all about progressive socialism right before your eyes.The people that we elected to congress are more concerned about the party rather than the majority of the people who elected them.

      Lincoln once said '' to remain silent is to be a coward''.

      Wake up America's before it's too late, sound off to your representatives and remind them of the oath of office that they took when accepting their position in our government.

      Why is our congress neglecting to fix the economy and the job market. They would rather create legislation to support unemployment than get jobs for the private sector.

      The government take over of student loans will force banks to layoff some 33,000 employees. Those jobs will be taken over by union government workers.

      Obama and this congress will enslave the people, and destroy our nation if allowed to continue on a path to socialism.

      Watch Glen Beck on Fox on wed.

    • jjmyles profile image

      jjmyles 

      9 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Truth!! Thankyou for the research and work you have put into this hub. The American people have been asleep to long and look what has creeped in the back door. The November 10th elections will be a good place to start cleaning house.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      kea— You're welcome. Thank you for the accolades. You have made my day by your affirmation and encouragement. :D

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      William R. Wilson— I have owned several businesses. None of them had assembly lines, though. I employed skilled labor. I had to offer top wages and benefits because other companies were constantly trying to take my talent away. The key is to have some talent that somebody wants. Menial labor should only pay what people will do it for. People need incentive to develop skills, to learn. Otherwise, as in the USSR: "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us."

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      John B— You hit the nail on its proverbial head. I don't see how any sane person can look at the two Koreas, or the two Germanys, and not see what a total and complete failure Socialism is. They keep trying to say the system's good but the people were bad. In every cotton picking case? Maybe bad people flock to Socialism.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows— Thank you for coming back and adding these interesting observations.

    • kea profile image

      kea 

      9 years ago

      Hi James - I read this last week on my Blackberry at the airport. This is awesomely put together. I really like your writing style - this was very moving and very engaging. I agree with you. If you wrote a book on this subject, I'd buy it! Thanks for putting this awesome piece together. You rock! Cheers.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows— Well, perhaps my response to you was a bit flippant. I am rereading your comments . . . I don't want the government involved in business, other than passing laws through legislative bodies. This makes the government too big, too powerful, leads to huge bureaucracies that produce nothing, centralizes power far from activities, and leads to tyranny. Set wages? Set by whom? Who should have the power to set wages for every occupation in the world? I think we need interest, though I would like to see it limited to 10% per year. You wrote:

      "Profit was intended to go toward the improvement of a business rather than to be paid out to investors as is presently done."

      That should be up to the business owners to decide. Investors deserve a fair return on their capital. 5% or 10% is reasonable.

      You mention no competition. But competition is exactly what is needed to bring out the best in people. Take athletes, for instance. I am glad a system is in place to allow the very best to rise to the top. Do you want to see me in the Olympics? Would athletes train as hard as they do if they didn't have to compete to make a team? Health Care for all? We have health care for all now. The means to pay for it is what is being questioned.

      "It would be in everyones interest to help each other in every way that we can.Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

      Of course, I agree. We should help each all we can and we do, by and large. Confiscation of wealth by the government is not the same thing as me helping someone. I say abolish the income tax, let my earnings be mine, and tax consumption.

      Capitalism is not necessarily a system ruled by rich men. Under Capitalism there are millions of entrepreneurs who are not rich per se, but they may be striving to get rich, which leads to motivation, discipline, hard work, thrift, and innovation.

      I don't recall Ford being bailed out. I was against the corporate bailouts to begin with. You list governmental control of goods and services under Capitalism. No. The opposite is true. And you write that Capitalism is for low wages. Not true either. Regarding wages, what Capitalism is for is wages that reflect the true value of the usefulness of work, not an artifically contrived wage (set by whom?). If you will sweep the floor for $8 an hour and I demand $10, and if YOU CAN SWEEP IT JUST AS WELL, you should get the job.

    • William R. Wilson profile image

      William R. Wilson 

      9 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      "Henry Ford offered a 40 hour work week and overtime pay long before it became law. Good companies must offer strong benefits as they compete for talent."

      Henry Ford offered the 40 hour week more than 40 years after workers started striking for an 8 hour day. In 1886 500,000 workers went on a general strike for the 8 hour day.

      If we were still waiting around for companies to "offer the best wages to attract the best talent," our wages would be stuck at 1930s levels.

    • profile image

      John B 

      9 years ago

      Two good examples of capitalism vs non-capitalism are the aforementioned N.Korea vs S.Korea and China vs it's counterpart Taiwan. Both of these are the same peoples with the same natural resources and by any measurable comparison the non-capitalist entities have fell severely behind. China is trying to regain by allowing some calculated bits of capitalism in, but that's dangerous water for them to tread and keep a boot on the head of the biggest population around. That's why Google is dancing with the Chinese gov't. The last thing China needs is unfettered info spreading around their domain. South Korea.... That doesn't need any explanation. Economically, anyone will be lucky to catch 'em. Good day all

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      Having the government Spending money into existance by virtue of the people's labor to do so as Abraham Lincoln did to pay for the civil war seems to me to be better than borowing money from elsewhere at interest.We,may not get rich but we sure would be better off in anycase.

      Henry Ford had at least one factory in russia early in the twenieth century.In fact he could have been seen as a socialist because of his $5.00 a day wage and his demand that all his workers buy ford cars.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      William R. Wilson— I am well acquainted with the man on the street yes. Henry Ford offered a 40 hour work week and overtime pay long before it became law. Good companies must offer strong benefits as they compete for talent. There is no question that capitalism fueled the success of America. Would you rather live in North Korea? Or East Germany before the Berlin Wall came down. Why was that wall there? Can't you see it man!?

      Unions may have helped a generation or two but ultimately drove manufacturing right out of the country.

      If your theory about government spending is true, why not just print one hundred trillion dollars tomorrow and spend it. We'll all be rich!

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      tonymac04— I did go and read that article, Tony. Thanks for the link. It was interesting.

      James

    • someonewhoknows profile image

      someonewhoknows 

      9 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      James ,I'm all for capitalism.The kind that does not think it owns the government.The same goes for socialism.I'm for a balanced social system.Not one where those who claim to know better than the rest of us what system of government we should live under,by force.Those who are in charge and were put there by the people is the kind of government I believe in.What good is a pure capitalist government.If,capitalism in it's purest form were to exist exclusive of social controls as some would have it, then profit would not be used to improve the effieciency of production.They would simply ask the people as a whole to finance their business ,for the benefit of all.Mostly themselves. Banker's are the least needed institution and the one that makes the most money.What does a bank ,especially a regional federal reserve bank have to lose when the money they lend into the economy doesn't come from the people of the economy it serves?

      Capitalism - An economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of goods and the price of those goods by the production of those goods in a free market system.A system controlled by a group of rich men. A Plutocrat or Plutocracy.

      Fasism - being an Autocratic dictitorial system of government hidden behind other systems of goverment. Hitler comes to mind.

      Socialism - An economic system characterized by a supposed ownership by the people through the ruling class of society of the goods and services and the price of those goods and services based on need rather than earnings.(Unless of course you are a part of the ruling class)

      The only major differences between Capitalism and Socialism at the ruling level is Capitalists are more productive in general terms than Socialists are.But ,other than that and the socialist idea of unions and the workers demands for fair wages for a fairs day of work and civil rights the difference is superficial at the peoples level.Our so-called free society is fast losing it's freedom to the fear of fear itself.We are told,in order to be free we must give freedom up.A little here and a little there and sooner or later it will all be gone.

      Capitalistic Ideas

      1. low wages for workrs

      2. no union

      3. low or no taxes on their businesses

      4. A centralized government with the ability to control the production of goods and services

      Socialist ideas - Socialism in Russia was more like a dictatorship by the ruling class.

      1. low wages for workers

      2. unionized ? Unions in the west have deteriorated to being more about capitist workers demanding more than they deserve than it is for workers demanding their fair share.as it was when they started unions.

      .

      3. centraized government that controls the means of production Buidings and machinery

      4. taxing someone based on their ability to pay.An indexed taxing system.

      Some people seem to think that socialism is only the poor trying to get more from the rich. Tell me if I'm missing something here. What about the tarp? What about the bailout of corporations like G.M. Ford and Chrysler?

      Why is it we think of conservitives as pure capitalists? Is,it because they are conservitive in their spending habits?Take another look.The conservitives don't mind if you give them money they don't desreve anymore than an socialist would if they needed it.Remember it is better to give than to recieve.Isn't that a conservitive statement? I'm sure you would agree that it depends on who is doing the giving and who is doing the recieving.

    • William R. Wilson profile image

      William R. Wilson 

      9 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      "But the man in the street decided that Socialism was downright un-American. And America became a colossal economic success by sticking with Capitalism."

      Very interesting statement James. I suppose you are acquainted with the man in the street? And I suppose that this public sentiment against socialism is what allowed labor protections like the 40 hour workweek and overtime pay, etc. to become law in America?

      Also interesting that you claim that a commitment to capitalism led to America's success. Do you realize how much economic growth was driven during and after World War 2 by government spending?

      GDP and government spending are inseparable. And the struggles of unions helped the average American achieve the American dream, owning a house and a car and living a comfortable life.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      I would just like to point you to this Hub by Richard vanIngram: https://hubpages.com/politics/Individualism-vs-Ego...

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      John B— Ah! The voice of reason. Thank you for adding these wise words. Bill Clinton had the bright idea of implementing a luxury tax on yachts. Another way to soak the rich, the only buyers of yachts. He ruined the entire luxury ship building business, centered in New England and filled with artisans and craftsmen. Thousands of talented people lost their jobs forever.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      tony0724— Every word you wrote is right on the mark, my friend. Thank you very much for your illuminating words.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      cheaptrick— You are welcome, Dean. Thank you for visiting. Your comments are sad but true. Enjoy your trip. I'll see you when you get back.

      James

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Alexander Mark— You are welcome. Thank you for your remarkable commentary. If I may quote you:

      "conservatives are individualists. So were the creators of the Constitution, which by the way, they didn't talk much about in any portion of my schooling. . . Even with the little I know about the Constitution, it was obviously created by God-fearing individualists."

      Yes, you are so right.

      "socialistic policies have infested America, corrupted capitalism and destroyed principled thinking"

      Bingo!

      The only way to turn things around is through education; by teaching the truth, instead of lies.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Royal Diadem— We can surely agree to disagree. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your thoughtful remarks.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      John B— I love that line by Lady Thatcher. I met her once. Your entire comment in fact is fabulous. Thank you for this valuable addition to the conversation. Happy Easter!

    • profile image

      John B 

      9 years ago

      Big businesses will only make what they think are profitable changes unless forced. Most of their stock owners demand it. Give them new rules and they look at their options. They may relocate, layoff, reorganize, alter pricing, withdraw benefits, close, sell, file bankruptcy or any number of things. Pushing them can lead to sometimes unintended consequences. One thing's certain. The old "with every action there's an opposite reaction" deal usually holds up. Question is: who get's hurt?

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 

      9 years ago from san diego calif

      James I have had to read this hub in segments as there has been an awful lot of Information to absorb here. Most any socialist leaning individual when talking about healthcare will point out that the System seems to work in the Scandanavian region like say Norway. What they fail to mention is that Norways population is about the size of LA County as a whole. Therefore the model works there because it is sustainable by virtue of their oil output. However here at 350 million that would be impossible.

      I will say one thing though if the healthcare insurers , big banks and other large industry would have practiced anything like ethical behavior we would not be in the social battle that is now taking place here. I am still for freedom of choice obviously but big business really has to start being a little more ethical in their practices.

    • cheaptrick profile image

      cheaptrick 

      9 years ago from the bridge of sighs

      James my friend,this Hub is so packed with info I'm printing it and taking it with me on this years trip[Nomad is ready and waiting]to the dry Tortuga's.I will tell you this however.The new employer requirements[Health care and several other changes] we received are so heavy we must let some folks go in order to keep our companies solvent.It breaks my heart cause our employees are very close but we can see no other solution.

      Thanks buddy and keep up the good fight

      Dean

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Once I started to understand the difference between conservatives and liberals, I always thought it was strange that liberals call themselves liberals, since they are anything but, except when it comes to promoting immorality and elitism to achieve their end goals. When I read about the prudes of the 19th century, I always envisioned them as the hard hearted negativist liberals of today minus the free-sex, no-religion values.

      The left accuses the right of tyranny, while simultaneously forcing everyone to pay into health care and creating laws that supersede state laws (like the new Federal Emission standards signed into law Friday by Obama).

      Thank you for stating the stark difference between liberalism and conservative values: conservatives are individualists. So were the creators of the Constitution, which by the way, they didn't talk much about in any portion of my schooling. Which is why I have decided to study it in detail next year. We all should. Even with the little I know about the Constitution, it was obviously created by God-fearing individualists.

      But what now? Did the downfall of America start with the New Deal or farther back? In any case, socialistic policies have infested America, corrupted capitalism and destroyed principled thinking. I am thankful for the conservative principles I was taught when younger, but am constantly amazed at the all too common attitude of, "it doesn't matter what he does in private, as long as Bill is a good president." And I receive the same amazed stares back at me when I make it clear that my decisions are based on principle.

      So my point is what now? How can we resist the tidal wave of hatred toward God and conservatism? I'll tell you what I'll do, I'm gonna keep on living like a human being and resist the changes to our rights in America.

    • profile image

      Royal Diadem 

      9 years ago

      James I don't always agree with you and this is one Hub I do not agree with. I kind of on the side of SOBF. I thank he has express where I am at as an Afro- American. It has not made to much difference to me capitalism or socialism, either way blacks were not favor, in a chance for getting ahead until here recently, either way if you look at the History books some one lost their freedom or rights while someone else gain a profit in capitalism. Think about it. Other wise well written hub!

    • profile image

      John B 

      9 years ago

      Things that seem too good to be true usually end up hurting those that they appeal to most, as well as the citizens of that society that had it's leaders instigate the facade in the guise of humaneness.

      I like Margaret Thatcher's line: "Socialism is the best form of government until you run out of other people's money".

      Enjoy celebrating the most important 3 day stretch in history

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Linda Myshrall— You are truly welcome, Linda. Thank you for so much for the wonderful accolades. I very much enjoyed reading your comments on this subject.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      iantoPF— Thank you! I appreciate your readership, your blessings, and your excellent remarks. I always welcome an opposing point of view and I do learn from those who disagree on many occasions. I think some who oppose my views also learn a bit from me. So, the interchange cannot hurt.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      John B.— Thanks for coming back with this strong addendum. You are so right. I appreciate your discernment in these matters. Folks for Socialism just don't see human nature clearly. They are blinded by the desire for gains they have not earned. They don't understand that robbing an entire society of the incentive to better themselves and their families through accomplishing something worthwhile to their brothers and sisters in this world spells doom for that society as a whole. I especially liked this:

      "Socialism is the legalized theft of everyone who has more."

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      John B.— Your remarks hit on several important truths, brother. In every Socialist state there is a ruling elite of intellectuals that fancies itself the saviors of the little people who just don't have the brain capacity to think for themselves. And there is a certain percentage of the population always willing to be led by a strongman, provided the strongman will bring down those in the community who create envy by their success in life. But this ruling elite do not live in hovels as their subjects do. They live in splendor, which they hide from the masses, requiring total control of the media. This is where they need a "fairness doctrine" and "political correctness" or "speech codes." George Orwell saw it all perfectly.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Hxprof— Thank you for checking in and leaving your wise words here for us to peruse. I can't wait to see your new article. I'm sure it will be a doozy, because even your comments never fail to be interesting and insightful.

    • profile image

      Linda Myshrall 

      9 years ago

      James, Another terrific piece. I am not one who is given to flapping about and looking for danger around every corner. Having said that, I will add that I love my country---flaws and all, and I do not want it fundamentally changed into something I don't recognize and don't particularly like the looks of. I would like to see some reform, not fundamental change. Still, believing myself to be a true Independant, I am forcing my mind to stay open. I watch everything, read anything, then evaluate after I check the facts, and I have to say that your research appears flawless and your case well made. The scales appear to be tipping for me. As an aside, this entire series is fantastic. It had to be a terrific amount of work, and I appreciate your efforts. Thanks, Linda

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Dim Flaxenwick— You are surely welcome. Thank you for your kind compliments. I am trying to gently remove the blinders here. I hope it works. :-)

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Dim Flaxenwick— Thank you very much. I'm glad you caught the supreme irony in that caption. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      A M Werner— Thank you for your further comments. The point about Capitalism is that with it comes Freedom and Liberty. And that Capitalist economies far outperform Socialist economies in the general wealth they produce. It isn't divided evenly, no. That is what makes it work. The poor in America were better off than 95% of all Russians under Socialism.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— Christopher Columbus was an incredible explorer. His ventures were to find a new route to the East Indies after the traditional trade routes had been blocked by Muslims after they completed their conquest of the Holy Land, and surrounding Christian countries. His journies were not to subjugate anybody. He is the latest whipping boy for haters of all things American or European but unfairly so. There is no record of Columbus killing anybody except some of his own men, for disobeying orders. His men did bring syphillis back to Europe, resulting in millions of deaths, but not Columbus himself. The first fight between Europeans and Indians happened after Indians kidnapped two European boys, castrated them, and used them as homosexual sex slaves. Lots of folks of all stripes might get upset about such a thing. Columbus certainly didn't invent slavery, nor did Europeans. The first slavery appears to be in Africa, from whence it gradually spread to the Middle East and Asia. Europe seems to have had slavery last among human peoples, and to have been the first to outlaw it.

      Thank you very much for your comments. You did make some excellent points.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 

      9 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      James; Another terrific Hub.

      after John B's comment I feel I have to make it clear that I read your articles because I am a fan of your work and the depth of your research. I have no thought of ever changing your mind and, as you know i am a died in the wool Socialist. of course I disagree with your views but that does not mean I cannot respect and admire the strength of conviction that draws you to write them.

      two points I would like to make that I hope will add to your thoughts on this;

      1) The most conservative document that America has ever produced is the Constitution. The most Liberal document that America has ever produced is the Declaration of Independence. There is balance here and without balance the nation could indeed fall.

      2) On the subject of East Germany; What brought the regime down was not the people who left. Did you know that for at least two years before the fall there were growing rallies and protests? The slogan at these rallies was "We stay here" The ones who brought down the regime were the people who stayed and let it be known they weren't going anywhere.

      Just a couple of thoughts but one of these days I must write a Hub about this myself.

      Many Blessings James.

    • profile image

      John B 

      9 years ago

      Socialism is the legalized theft of everyone who has more. Does not care where or how you got it. It just needs to be shared with those that don't have it. Bill Gates has pledged $10 billion to charity in 2010. In the utopia of socialism, where will that magnitude of charity come from once you've stripped the wealthiest of society and who will employ the thousands of workers always employed by Microsoft? Gates may be one of the world's biggest contributors, but he's just one of many. There are those who suggest we're all created equal in every sense. Would've been cool if I'd applied myself better and accomplished what Bill Gates has, but it's not very comforting knowing I could've lived his lifestyle and done as much for charity but didn't reach my TRUE potential.

    • profile image

      John B 

      9 years ago

      Jim. Put down that cigarette that "someonewhoknows" made you smoke. There will always be opposite sides. I just wonder why someone spends their time reading and commenting on what the other side thinks, unless they're considering changing (self-improvement in this case). Is being argumentative that much fun? Liberals lead the field of academia because of their obvious superior intellect. Us on the right just plod along while the left keep proving their superiority. They know what's best for all of us. That in itself shows how smart they must be. Only 8% of the current administration has worked in the real business world yet they understand business well enough to make decisions for them as well. Will I immediately become superior if I jump to the left side? Yes! Then I'd be equal in their eyes and no longer inferior. I'm confused. How are they smarter now if everyone's equal? Communism or socialism have two classes of equality. The ruling class equality and the being ruled class equality. Obviously the ruling side is smarter. They're not out plowing the field. I suppose if the left side just came out and made in known how much smarter they are, more fence-sitters would flock to them so they'd become instantly smarter too. Better watch what I ask for!

    • profile image

      Hxprof 

      9 years ago from Clearwater, Florida

      James, another comment on a high point in your artcle. You stated, "In 1992, Boris Yeltsin, the new president of Russia, disillusioned some American Socialists when he said: 'The world can sigh in relief. The idol of Communism, which everywhere spread social strife, animosity, and unparalleled brutality; which instilled fear in humanity, has collapsed.'"

      It could be that Yelstin, a part of the former Soviet regime had a change of heart, but NOT LIKELY, not at all. What was ironic was that the people running Russia under free-market reforms were the same ones who'd given their hearts to see that the Soviet Union would one day achieve world hegemony under communism.

      The cold war is still on, colder than ever. As I write regards America's borders I'm hitting this theme hard.

      The Chicoms and Russians are bent on bringing America down if not outright conquering it.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      9 years ago from Great Britain

      I'm back. What a fantastic read. Thank you. It's a bit scary that people cannot see the obvious downfalls of socialism. Take care.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 

      9 years ago from Great Britain

      Brilliant work as always James. I have to go back to the beginning to take it all in ,. Meanwhile.... LOVE .. the caption to the Berlin Wall pic.

    • A M Werner profile image

      Allen Werner 

      9 years ago from West Allis

      James, if I may offer this addition because I am in agreement with SOBF; I believe Capitalism is really just another word or extension of Imperialism. Instead of nations feuding, businesses fight for acquisitions and for dominion over resources, skills and products. Somehow, in a giant twisting, America has managed to make this sort of philosophy sound Christian. It is still conquest for survival. Peace.

    • SOBF profile image

      SOBF 

      9 years ago from New York, NY

      James to help you wrap your arms around my comparison I offer example A...Christopher Columbus the great discoverer or should we say executioner. Columbus while celebrated in American is seen by most as the father of genocide. This is before the transatlantic slave trade, the colonization and occupation of Africa, South America, and Asia all leaving mass carnage behind. The difference between the two is that while socialism tended to make victims of those in its own society capitalism victimizes other societies.

      I am curious as to why so many people like to draw a line between capitalist (which we are not) and socialist (which we are not) instead of addressing what we are. While the conversation is great for debate it actually does not apply to the US, its Government, or Commerce.

      I mus also salute you for actually responding to a tremendous amount of comments. You are a better man than me on that count.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Ictodd1947— You are perfectly right. Of course, I will help anybody I see in need that I am able to help. Thank you for your outstanding comments. I appreciate your ongoing encouragement to me as a writer. You are truly welcome. Always great to hear from you.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      Linda Todd 

      9 years ago from Charleston

      James, this is an excellent hub with explanations of Socialism and Capitalism. I am with you on all accounts and it seems that the initiative of the current Administration is to spread the wealth around. I love my neighbors souls and if they are hungry, I will feed them but I do not owe anything further...AM I WRONG? I don't think so. I believe in working for what you get and if someone works their way to more money than I have; it means they have at some point (most of the time) worked harder or had more education than I or strived in some way more than I have. They owe me nothing!!

      Thanks for an excellent hub.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      gracenotes— You are welcome. Thank you very much for the constructive criticism. I agree with you that the start is quite abrupt. This was originally one LONG article of 13,000 words that I cut into pieces. I have now written a new beginning to this Hub, which I hope accomplishes what you hoped.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      stars439— You are welcome. Wow! Your comments should be read by everyone who comes to this page. Every sentence you wrote is filled with truth so I can't pick out any one part to quote you on. Well done!

      I would like to see the federal government dismantled, back to where it was 100 years ago. That would be perfect and we would all thrive, at least those who try would. And those who don't would be taken care of by private charity.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      RevLady— Yea, my brain has a very limited capacity these days, too. :-)

      I am glad that you found it interesting, meaningful, and edifying. Thank you for taking the time to read my work and for your kind compliments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      carolina muscle— Thank you very much, my friend.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      someonewhoknows— Thank for a recital of the Communist Manifesto. I've read it already. Please read a detailed history of the Soviet Union, who leaders had the exact same views as you do, and get back to me. I had quit smoking until I read your comments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      PionionDuck— I surely agree with you that the Income Tax, and then the Progressive Income Tax, and then the Withholding Laws, have taken away huge chunks of American Freedom. And you are dead on that the size of the federal government is a huge problem and a drag on the economy, exacerbated by constant interference with the Free Market. When the largest employer in the land is the government you've got a problem, Houston, because they do not add one cent to the GDP. All many people can think about is getting their hands on somebody else's wealth, maybe because of some lame excuse such as what happened to some distant relative 150 years ago. They care not about the loss of Liberty and the crumbling of the whole damn system—the system that has granted them and their brothers and sisters an incredibly higher standard of living than say those in Zimbabwe or Mexico.

      Thank you very much, my friend. Your comments here are the deepest on this page. You are right.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      akirchner— Thank you for the compliments. I am glad you liked the article and the pictures. I appreciate your words of wisdom.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      SOBF— Thank you for your consideration and courtesy. You wrote:

      "For example while you discuss the atrocities of the socialist/communist parties you completely ignore those committed for the sake of capitalism. The parallel between the two pretty much cancel one another out."

      I am having a hard time wrapping my arms around this comment. Capitalism has killed as many people and oppressed as many human souls as the regimes of Socialists, such as Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Castro, et al.?

      Your last paragraph is quite sensible. I surely respect your point of view and I appreciate you stopping by to share it with us. Thanks.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      JannyC— Thank you very much my dear for your kind comments.

    • James A Watkins profile imageAUTHOR

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      aguasilver— John, as serious as your comments are, they brought a big smile to my face, for some reason. Thank you for coming my friend and leaving your keen insights here. I hope eveybody who visits this page will stop and read them.

      James

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