Having studied socialism in its various configurations, I know how it works. It sounds great. It looks good on paper. It’s an interesting and tempting theory at an opportune time. So I understand why it’s rearing its ugly head again. But once you start down that road, it evolves. And all of those sweet sounding promises fall to the wayside, one by one.
The economics of Socialism may work in theory, but in practice, as history clearly shows, it is unsustainable. And it doesn’t take very long for things to go very badly. Soon someone stages a coup, the first regime is thrown out. Others take their place, but they bring weapons where the first group brought slogans and banners. These revolutionaries are angry and controlling, and instead of just jailing dissidents as did the first regime, the uncooperative are simply eliminated. Permanently. And what passes for “agitator” changes, often with no warning. Power shifts quickly between factions, people are gunned down, terror ensues. No one knows how many phases it will go through before the masses are starving, and there is no work unless given to you by The Party. There are no “safety net” programs, no help for the elderly and sick, no disability insurance, no welfare or food stamps – the money is gone.
If you don’t work and become a good citizen, you don’t eat, and even the workers don’t eat much. The promise of raising everyone to a higher level is a fantasy. Instead it drives most everyone to crushing poverty. All social structure collapses and the people are desperate, driven to kill for just a bit of bread. Eventually there will be a small group of Party Loyalists who will have large apartments, heat, food- contraband. The masses will be held down with a boot at the neck, and a gun at the head, dying in the very streets where they marched in protest and called for Revolution. They will become the living embodiment of “Man’s Inhumanity to Man.” It will be every man, woman, and child for themselves.
Nobody can see this at the beginning. They can’t imagine that something like that could happen in their beloved country. They just want bread for the people. Good work for everyone. Brotherhood for all. Equality. And they’ll get it- the brotherhood misery, and no one escapes. Even those in the Party live in fear because change comes quickly and violently.
It has been awhile since the wall came down in Berlin. People have forgotten. But it always happens the same way. Socialism is one of the most destructive economic systems the world has ever known. It happened the same way in France, Russia, Italy, Germany. The pattern is predictable. Each and every time, the people give their liberty away piece by piece, bit by bit, for the greater good. It will be more fair, they say. This time it will work, they say! We’ve figured out where the others went wrong. We will come together as equals. We will create a new world order.
But it has never worked. Not one time. And each time it’s tried it kills millions, destroys hope, and eventually, there is nothing but despair, hunger, disease, pain. The cherry on top is that it is disproportionately difficult on the least advantaged. They have no recourse.
Socialism is the economic arm of Communism. They go together. We’re hearing about this kinder, gentler Democratic Socialism, a way to make Capitalism nicer, more palatable for everyone. But I know that it is dead wrong, regardless of how wonderful it sounds. I know this because Socialism and Capitalism cannot be combined effectively. The hallmark of one is freedom, the other control. They repel each other like oil and water. They do not coexist in any way that we would find livable. Unless, of course, you believe China is a country we would do well to emulate. History is rife with socialist failure. It is a cancer on every people and country it has ever touched.
Our Capitalist system, this experiment we call America, is still young, yet it has been responsible for creating one of the strongest, wealthiest, most powerful countries ever known to man, and in record time. It has defeated Socialism and Communism with its allies. It is admittedly flawed, but it still stands as the best and most prosperous this world has ever seen.
The U.S. has never invaded and taken over foreign countries to create an empire; we’re content to stay within our borders. After destroying the constructs of collectivism, we have rendered financial assistance, and rebuilt their cities. We are not Imperialists by any definition. Just ask Europe or Japan.
Those among us who’ve escaped the horrors in their own countries, from the former Soviet Union, the Eastern bloc countries, Cuba, and Argentina, urge us to stop the march toward inevitable destruction. They see the signs. They can never forget how it started. And it is déjà vu for them, seeing their adopted country on similar footing.
We are all in agreement that reform is necessary. Our Republic has drifted further and further from the Constitutional blueprint the founders provided. While we have striven to improve ourselves, and have in many ways succeeded, we have also allowed our leaders to take control away from us, the people. The country was formed with a deliberately limited power structure at the top of the pyramid, leaving most tasks to the state and local levels. Government was to be nearest to the people, where they could have an impact on their own communities, where they could wield power.
Over the years the center of power has shifted to the federal level for a variety of reasons, some good and some less so. We desperately need to stop, reassess, and strategize. We’ve largely identified the problems, though we rarely agree on the solutions. We need to step back, look at the big picture, and make incremental changes. We need to look clearly at the programs we’ve put in place over the years. Money and policy are simply not the answer to every problem. We need to be willing to accept that some programs have failed, and be courageous and confident enough to make changes. If something isn’t working, we need to open our minds to different ideas and possibilities. And we need to do it together.
Propaganda is a runaway train, destroying everything in its path. It is widening the gap between us, keeping our focus on the ways in which we differ. Instead, we must change our focus, concentrate on pouring our individual strengths into the melting pot. That’s what made the United States of America the envy of the world. It’s how previous generations overcame great geographical hurdles and drove the Industrial Age. Now we are leading the world in a new frontier, technology.
There is only one way I know to bring people together. Do you remember the days and weeks after the Twin Towers fell? Can you recall the feeling of unity? The hands that reached out to help? The support we showed each other? Do we need a tragedy of that magnitude to get that back? Well, we’re beginning to have one.
Black against white. LGBT versus straight. Christian against atheist – these are just window dressing. Yes, we are each unique. But the idea that some are more than others is a fiction we are being spoon fed every day. Americans are not haters. When there is trouble, Americans reach out to help. We are givers. We donate money, food, blood, medicine, water. We volunteer time and energy. We are the most giving country in the world. We don’t withhold assistance because of race, gender, or religion. And we can offer aid because of our unique place in this world. We are strong. We are innovative. We are good. When we are united in purpose, we’re unstoppable.
It is when we are leading and reaching out that we are at our best. When focused on our neighbors, we stop thinking about ourselves. It is when we give of ourselves that we share the promise of America. There is no reason for division. To stay divided is a choice, to come together is a gift. Only when we put aside the pettiness that has crept in to our lives can we get back to what makes America the place people never want to leave.
As seen on Madison’s CPC.