- Politics and Social Issues
By: Wayne Brown
Merriam-Webster defines the term “Socialism” as a noun meaning “a political and economic theory which advocates the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole”. On the whole, that definition does not sound like something we should be overly concerned about does it? After all, our government certainly engages in regulating a lot of commerce and industry in the USA. So what could be so bad if we move to a Socialist system one might ask?
Karl Marx, the father of Marxism, defined “Socialism” as “that transitional state between the overthrow of Capitalism and the realization of Communism.” Now we are getting somewhere. When one examines the first definition, it does not appear that anything is changing to a great degree and government is simply extending it tentacles a bit. But when we look at it from the Marx prospective there is a very deliberate intended movement away from a capitalist society. We also note that Marx points out that the situation is “transitional” or temporary. Ultimately, we see Marx destination reference as the “realization of Communism” obviously indicating that the arrival might be shocking to those experiencing it.
For all practical purposes, if we accept Marx’s definition on face value we would have to assume that the “transitional” state of things would be the rise of big government in a capitalist society. Over time that government would begin to insert its tentacles into various aspects of our lives. First, the obvious selection becomes the environment both in a working sense and in an atmospheric sense. Government creates agencies to regulate initially and finally to dictate in the end what can and can’t be done in the environment of a given country.
Do we have examples of this taking place in America today? To quote Sarah Palin, “Gosh Darn, we sure do!” Just this week the EPA denied Shell Oil access to over 27 billion barrels of crude oil in Alaska on the basis of environmental regulation. The American consumer is burdened with the high price of gasoline at the pump in a sagging economy and the government has its watchdog agency out making sure that private business cannot function in a manner to relieve those pressures and soften the supply side of the picture. No longer are we seeing the government just “regulating” the process in terms of designing rules as to how it can be carried out. No, now we have an agency that dictates whether or not a company can engage in the business at all.
The National Labor Relations Board just filed suit against Boeing to stop the company from building an additional assembly line near Charleston, South Carolina. In recent years, the machinist union at Boeing has gone on strike and completely shut down the operations in the Washington based facilities which Boeing depends on for assembly. Now, Boeing is receiving record orders for their new super airliner which will outstrip the company’s ability to build units efficiently in the existing Washington facilities. On that basis, Boeing initiated efforts to acquire land in Charleston and begin building an additional facility for the production. The NLRB has now decided that the basis for Boeing taking this step is an attempted retaliation against the machinist union at Boeing. This is evidenced, the IRLB stipulates, in the fact that South Carolina is a non-union state therefore it is a direct slap to the union in making this expansion. They continue on to say that Boeing may expand it assembly facilities but can only do so somewhere in the state of Washington. Here we have a government agency telling a private corporation where it can build its production facilities on the basis of nothing more than conjecture. In the meantime, while Boeing fights this in court, their building plan for expansion is in limbo which ultimately may negatively affect the marketing plan for the new airliner and put the entire Boeing Corporation in financial jeopardy. That jeopardy could endanger the very jobs the union is fighting to “protect”.
These are but two examples. Certainly you don’t have to think long to realize that the implementation of Obama-Care will most certainly place another government agency in the catbird seat as it comes to regulating and directing not only the medical industry but to a large degree the insurance industry in America. We do not move in this direction because the government is the “best entity” to run these industries, we do it because the government desires to have the power and control. The government supposedly is carrying out “the will of the people” based on majority opinion.
The financial industry is already under heavy government scrutiny due to the fallout of late 2008. Of course, many will rush to the forefront to argue that the government had to step in and take charge…there was no choice. These people were evil-doers. In fact, the actions of the Clinton Administration in the mid 90’s with the push for a Fair Housing Act created the very stage on which this scenario played out. The government essentially created the legislation necessary to guide the financial industry into a “simplified, government backed process to place home ownership in the hands of all Americans.” Gone were the days of endless stacks of papers and forms to sign. Gone was the need for a good credit-rating and a proportional ratio between the amount one earned and the house they could afford. Gone was the worry of foreclosure for the government would back the loan.
The door was thrown open and the invitation was extended to all banks and lending institutions to get out there and get America in a home courtesy of your friendly neighborhood federal government. True to our capitalist spirit, the financial sector stepped up and carried out the governments wishes creating a gigantic false bubble in the American housing market and placing a lot of “junk mortgages” on the blocks for investors…backed by the government. The Bush Administration warned Congress early on that the program was flawed and needed tightening up. Their warnings went unheeded by Pelosi and Reid’s leadership until the bubble burst in late 2008. When it did break, those in government pointed to those big bad thieves over in the financial sector who took advantage of everyone to line their own pockets. With that as the backdrop for their argument, Congress set out to up the ante on financial regulation and guidance to an all time high…the government was firmly inserted into the financial sector.
With the financial regression witnessed after November 2008, the government was further empowered and emboldened to insert itself further into people’s lives. Obama and his Congressional allies declared all but a state of emergency in the country and called for the immediate passage of an $800+ billion dollar stimulus spending package to save institutions and to stimulate the shrinking job market across America. In doing so, our illustrious President decided that it would be symbolic to say the least to spend a significant portion of those assets on “green technology” as we “created jobs”. Needless to say, little was accomplished in terms of job creation and the green ran freely to various agencies in the green industry sector far removed from mainstream America which had to shoulder the debt burden for this symbolism. Entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received hog troughs filled with cash to salve those burning desire for capital as the housing bubble collapsed. Never mind that this move did little of anything to create jobs but listen to those who would cry, “yes but how many did it save?” I do not see that as a valid question considering that the loss of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would likely be an improvement to the landscape of America. Ultimately, this was a case of the government further inserting itself into the lives of the people, that fact represents the real gain here.
Now, we come to the point where our southern borders are overrun with illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and crime. The federal government points to the Constitution and claims total and ultimate responsibility for the safety and security for our nation’s borders. On the surface, no one really has a beef with that argument until it becomes apparent that the government has no real intention of doing anything to secure the southern border. When, in fact, it becomes apparent that the government has every intention of using the heavy weight of all those illegal numbers which have spilled across to push an argument for immigration reform which when translated means “change the rules for citizenship in America”. It rapidly becomes apparent that 10 to 15 million illegal immigrants transitioning rapidly into citizenship represents a “voting block” which can be gained no where else in America.
When Arizona attempts to secure its own border and provide for the safety of its citizens, the federal government steps in and institutes proceedings against the state citing profiling on the part of law enforcement as a method to identify illegal immigrants in the state. The feds took that a step further indicating that it was not going to be possible to round up the 10 to 15 million illegal immigrants already here since that would require “profiling” in order to be successful therefore the only viable way was to consider amnesty and grant citizenship outside the normal requirements. Here is simply a case of the government dictating the outcome on the basis of issues of “political correctness”, an argument already proven effective in our transportation security approach. Though the government works for the people, the people are powerless when the government acts.
Look closely at what has transpired in America since Senator Joe McCarthy made his attempt to root the Communists out of the federal government in the late 40’s and early 50’s. Look particularly at the era of LBJ and Jimmy Carter. Look at Clinton’s years in office. When Joe McCarthy was laughed off the stage, it became a lot easier to be a Socialist or Communist in America…they literally came out of the closets. Think back to the original definition put forth in Marx’s theory….”the transitional state”. Certainly as we look back in these time periods there are many, many, actions which were taken which have pulled America more and more into that “transitional state”.
At this point, I would offer a definition of Communism so that the destination could easily be recognized. That is not as easily done as one might think in that the description of communism varies by degrees from one philosophy to another throughout the world. In effect there are many variations of it in existence. One could say that both China and Russia are communist philosophically but both vary in their approach to it. Thus a singular definition of communism is not easily obtained.
So how do we know when we are nearing the destination? Great question…so glad you ask it. There is one singular aspect of Communism which is universal and that hinges on the belief that the “proletariat”, or in the case of America, the public masses, will rise up in anger against those who have oppressed them. So we’ll know we are there when the people rise up against the government? No, no, no…the people won’t rise up against the government for they will not recognize it as the oppressor. The people will rise up against the rich, against the corporations, against the capitalist…the real oppressors in a capitalist society.
Now, look about you and think on it a bit. What are we hearing in our current situation? “The rich are not paying their share.” “Corporations are taking all the jobs to other countries.” Corporation are not paying their share of the taxes!” Even the current President is getting into the act and suggesting that our problems could be significantly reduced if only the rich would come forward and pay more. The divisions are chiseled out into our society each day. The oppressors are labeled time and again so that when the unrest reaches a crescendo, the targets will be clear.
Understand this…all Americans do not have to fall out into the streets in riots for this to take place. Socialism is insidious. Things take place for what appear to be totally different reasons on the surface. If you look closely in the crowds or near about, you might spot one of those “community organizers” just like our dear President use to be in his past life. He will be the one inciting the people to riot; reminding them of their anger and who they are angry at in the process. Things will start small…maybe with the unrest of a few groups of illegal immigrants in California demanding their just due as non-citizens yet protected from questioning by profiling laws. Other things will spark such as the recent union demonstrations in Wisconsin with union members being urged on by their union organizers. Some union groups are already promising the President that they will demonstrate at opposition events throughout the 2012 elections.
Let’s mix in a little fire and gasoline…literally. The price of gas keeps going up though OPEC claims there is a surplus of crude oil on the market. I personally know firms in west Texas who are looking for places to store the stuff at the present waiting for the surplus to drop in order to find a market for their product. But gasoline prices continue to rise on the various excuses that it is time to make the summer mix and in the fall, it was rise because it is time for the winter mix and the excuses go on and on. Regardless of why, the reality is the price is going up. Along with it up goes the price of diesel fuel. Up goes the transportation costs in both trucking and railroad sectors where nearly 100% of all American freight moves on a daily basis. Eventually, those cost increases hit the retail shelves. Soon consumers have to decide between a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk. It angers them and the fire starts to burn. Soon their money buys less and less because the dollar is in free fall and inflation is in a run away state. Demand for products drops; more people lose their jobs and their homes. Tempers flare as more and more people want to know who is responsible for all of this. “Oh, it’s the rich; they didn’t pay their fair share,” quickly comes the reply seemingly from nowhere.
“What can we do? What can we do? More and more people cry out. Now this is the point in the script where one of the “community organizers,” like our President arrives on the scene and reminds these folks that they need to be angry with the rich. Then he teaches them how to get really mad and take their frustrations out on those who have oppressed them and left them in this sorry state of affairs. In this process, it becomes clear to them that their government has put in place things that were supposed to help them but the rich people undermined all of that and put them in this terrible state. The unrest grows in leaps and bounds as more and more people realize that they have lost all that is material or of value and they want vengeance.
Then the trouble begins. Demonstrations and riots in the streets in multiple locations with larger and larger crowds which draw big time media attention. Of course the community organizers are there making sure the focus is still on the message and the target. Soon things start to get out of hand on a level that the local police cannot manage. Violence escalates to the point of injury and death. Chaos begins to reign supreme in the larger metropolitan areas. The destination is almost in sight.
Now the government steps into the mix, the savior of the people. National Guard forces are put on the street. Curfews are put in place and enforced. Still there is trouble in the streets as clashes continue demonstrating the unrest and frustration apparent in the people. The government then announces that marshal law has been imposed nation wide. When that announcement comes, the tour bus is basically pulling into the arrival area parking lot and our trip is over. At that point, we have finally stepped off the hill, slid down the slippery slope of Socialism, and arrived right on time into the arms of Communism just as those who wanted it to happen predicted that it would…without firing a shot. The government basically takes control of the country, the Constitution is a forgotten document, and a new day dawns in America where all the wealth belongs to all the people and each shares in it according to his or her need.
Weigh all this in your mind and the next time someone asks you “what’s wrong with socialism”…Maybe you’ll be able to tell explain it to them. Maybe you can point out to them how absolutely close to the edge we are currently standing and how easy the slide down that slope is going to be for us. Be sure that you tell them that once we start the slide, there’s no turning back and when we get to the bottom of the hill…the rich people won’t be there either.
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