Posts Tagged ‘socialism’

The fact that Bernie Sanders, the self avowed socialist, appears to be currently the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination is proof our educational system has failed to properly educate far too many about the true nature of Socialism.  It is up to us on the political right to set the record straight on social media. To make this easier I’ve assembled a selection of quotes from a couple of articles.

The first collection of quotes are from this American Thinker article Bernie Bros and the Catastrophe of Socialism

This first quote is not to flattering, yet it is accurate.

The love affair of young Americans with Bernie Sanders is the result of their disturbingly disastrous belief that they are entitled to what other people worked for. Pied Piper Bernie seduces young followers with his seductive lie: “You deserve and I will give you everything for free.” Ponder that, folks. In Bernie’s America, no one has to work for anything.

This next quote perfectly sums up one aspect of socialism the youth of this country fail to appreciate, it primarily benefits the least productive workers at the expense of the most productive.

You and Larry have summer jobs as waiters. You work your butt off, remembering patrons’ food orders correctly and swiftly filling their empty glasses; doing everything in your power to make their dining experience enjoyable. For your excellence, patrons tip you generously.

But rather than your well-deserved hard-earned money going into your pocket, it goes into a tip jar to be distributed equally between you and Larry. Meanwhile, Larry routinely arrives late, reeks of alcohol, takes long smoke breaks, routinely gets food orders wrong and does not give a rat’s derriere about the patrons. Management (government) forces you to share the fruits of your labor with lazy Larry. That is the major flaw of socialism.

Most students are not informed that socialism was attempted in several of the earliest colonies of this nation, and it failed each time.  One attempt was made in Plymouth Plantation.

William Bradford was the first governor of the Pilgrims’ Plymouth Colony. Bradford tried socialism, which meant that everything belonged to the community and everyone supposedly did their fair share of the work. Because of lazy Larrys, it failed. Therefore, Bradford wisely decided to give everyone their own land, which was extremely successful. Due to an abundance, families began trading goods and services. Capitalism.

I don’t think too many millennials would be thrilled to learn that socialism would put an end to innovation in the United States.

Duped Bernie Bros are thrilled over his promise to confiscate all earnings over a million dollars. Cell phones, the internet, medical breakthroughs, and other blessings are the result of individuals being allowed to be the best they can be; striving to reap great rewards for themselves and their families. Folks, there is nothing evil about that. If the government takes everything over a million dollars, why would anyone take risks or pursue new breakthroughs?

This next article, from the Mises institute, is rather technical, however, it contains a treasure trove of information Socialism: A Brief Taxonomy

As you can see from this quote, the most often cited definition of Socialism is incomplete:

The contemporary meaning of socialism often runs along the lines that it is a politico-economic theory in which the means of production, wealth distribution, and exchange are supposed to be owned and regulated by the community as a whole. This characterization of socialism emphasizes its important economic features; however, it cannot be considered a comprehensive definition. The wording implies a narrow understanding of socialism from the point of view of materialist and positivist currents of socialism but does not fully encompass the features exhibited in antimaterialist, anti-Cartesian, and Kantian members of the socialist family.

Here is a much more complete definition:

Socialism is a set of artificial socioeconomic systems that are characterized by varying degrees of collectivization of property, or consciousness, or the redistribution of wealth… socialization of property, collectivization of consciousness, and wealth redistribution are necessary and sufficient causative factors that taken separately or in combination unambiguously define an ideology as socialistic and designate preferred paths to socialism

The Mises article contains definitions of many different types of Socialism that have cropped up over the centuries, the one for Democratic Socialism is the most crucial to understand considering the popularity of Bernie Sanders.

Democratic Socialism in the USA, is a significant revision to Marxism, which practically does not leave even the foundation of genuine Marxist principles. Reformism has been a mainstream form of socialist ideology and practice since the end of the nineteenth century. Redistribution of wealth and partial socialization of consciousness are the main paths being utilized by the doctrine. Socialism is supposed to be gradually built within a capitalistic society by methodically changing the socioeconomic laws of the land using parliamentary procedures. Great importance is also attached to the mental transformation of members of the society through the indoctrination of the population in educational institutions and the propaganda of the socialistic ideals in the mass media, social networks, and materials of pop culture.

It is difficult to pinpoint just when progressive indoctrination began at the college level in this country, it began slowly and under the radar at first.  What is abundantly clear today is that indoctrination has reached levels that are hazardous to our constitutional republic.  You can see just how dangerous the level of indoctrination has become from the Federalist article 4 Reasons Socialism Is More Popular Among Americans Now Than Ever Before

The supporters of socialism are not simply the young, but they’re disproportionately young people who are college-educated. The more college they have, the hotter for socialism they get. According to a 2015 poll, support for socialism grows from 48 percent among those with a high school diploma or less, to 62 percent among college graduates, to 78 percent among those with post-graduate degrees.

Those on the left probably jump immediately to the conclusion that support for socialism is just a natural outgrowth of big brains and elite educations. But there is, in fact, a less obvious but ultimately far more compelling explanation: Something — something bad — is happening at universities to pull students toward the (far) left.

We have already seen above that what’s not happening at even elite universities today is a whole lot of education in important subjects such as history. What we are getting instead is a lot of groupthink and indoctrination. Universities have always skewed a bit left. But beginning in the early to mid 1990s (for reasons I’ve explained in some detail elsewhere), ideological diversity began to vanish entirely, as the leftward deviation turned tidal.

Unfortunately the progressive indoctrination has spread down to high schools and grade schools because progressives infected teaching colleges.  The indoctrination has also been spread down to this level by teacher unions. 

Multiculturalism has always been a vehicle used to spread progressive indoctrination. Here is a particularly ridiculous example I found on Breitbart  Seattle Schools Plan Curriculum to ‘Explore’ Cultural Appropriation of Math.

The Seattle school district is putting into place a K-12 curriculum that encourages students “to explore how math has been ‘appropriated’ by Western culture and used in systems of power and oppression.”

Here is a quote from the Breitbart article that was originally from an article in Education Week

In most places, if schools offer ethnic studies at all, it’s usually in a stand-alone course in high school. But increasingly, schools and districts are starting to sprinkle ethnic studies across the K-12 spectrum. Seattle is taking a highly unusual approach by weaving the field’s multicultural and political questions not just through all grade levels, but into all subjects.

Politically correct revisionist history has been a mainstay of progressive indoctrination.  It is a particularly dangerous one because it is meant to undermine the entire foundation of our constitutional republic.  This Daily Signal article Woke History Is Making Big Inroads in America’s High Schools chronicles the spread of this revisionist history.

Two years ago, the Indiana Legislature mandated that high schools offer an ethnic studies elective. As approved by the state’s Education Department, the class teaches about the contributions of ethnic and racial groups, various cultural practices, as well as such concepts as privilege, systematic oppression, and implicit bias. And now three states—California, Oregon, and Vermont—are trying to create authoritative statewide templates that, advocates hope, will make it easier for schools to adopt ethnic studies.

The statewide California ethnic studies curriculum was proposed in June by an advisory committee, composed of ethnic studies teachers and professors, and met with public outcry that such classes are designed to recruit students into political activism, indoctrinate them with ideological jargon, and promote the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

Multiculturalism may seem warm and fuzzy on the surface however it is meant to tear down one particular culture, the culture of the United States.  Here are two great Thomas Sowell Quotes which sum up this sham.

Much of what is promoted as “critical thinking” in our public schools is in fact uncritical negativism towards the history and institutions of America and an uncritical praise of the cultures of foreign countries and domestic minorities.

What “multiculturalism” boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture—and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.

It will be extremely difficult to turn the tide back on this progressive indoctrination but it is something we must do to save our constitutional republic.  Ending Common Core and all other federal intrusions, while taking local control of K-12 schools, are important steps in the process, along with completely relaxing the iron grip of teacher unions.

During the last presidential debate Senator Elizabeth Warren talked about her plan to punish those who are the most success in this country.  Of course she did not use the word punish, preferring to use one of the usual progressive platitudes.  I’m sure you can guess which one in a microsecond.  Warren is not the only democratic presidential candidate pushing a wealth confiscation scheme, at least two others are.

This type of wealth confiscation has been tried in several states and a great many countries with the same disastrous results.  The Mises Institute article The Problem with Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth-Tax Plan discusses Senator Warren’s plan in great detail.   

The central argument of Warren’s the wealth-tax proposal is this: through a progressive wealth tax system — which means those with more wealth will pay higher tax rates — the wealthiest people in America will pay their “fair share” and that fair share will enable the equal redistribution of wealth.

As you can see from the first component of her proposal, this is not just a tax increases of 2 percent on income, this is a tax on assets and wealth.  Components two and three prove that this is just the beginning,

First, households would pay an annual 2 percent tax on all assets for net worth equal or less than $50 million. Individuals and families who are worth more than a $1 billion would pay a 3 percent tax . Second, the Warren forecasts a revenue of $2.75 trillion, and that would be allocated in the creation of new government programs such as universal child care for every child age zero to five; universal pre-k for every three- and four-year-old; student-loan forgiveness; free tuition and fees for all public technical schools, two-year colleges and four-year colleges. Third, the Warren proposal aims to heavily tax corporations so that they would pay their so-called “fair share.”

The proposed 2 percent tax on the wealthy will only fund a tiny fraction of those new programs and there is no mention of the flagship progressive pipe dream, Medicare for All.  A massive amount of federal bureaucracy and regulation will be needed to ensure corporations pay their fair share.  This is discussed in the next quote.

The first consequence will be the significant expansion of federal authority over the economy. Even if, in theory, the Warren wealth-tax plan targets only the super wealthy at first, this does not mean that the middle-class is exempted from a potential rise in income tax. For Elizabeth Warren to fund all the programs that she wants to implement, taxing the billionaires — even at a very high level — won’t be enough. The middle-class will eventually be forced to contribute to the funding of these programs, which means that the plan, instead of alleviating the wealth gap, will reduce the purchasing power of the middle-class. This means that ordinary citizens will have a hard time saving for their retirement or to invest in business ventures. Moreover, the plan gives the federal government more extensive power and authority over the allocation of resources and the economy as a whole.

How bad will results of the plan be?  Check out the next quote.

As a result, federal agencies will have far greater control over how resources will be allocated and invested throughout the broader economy. Yet, experience suggests government allocates resources inadequately and inefficiently, while distorting markets, and leading to bubbles and malinvestments.

The second consequence will be a great decrease in productivity for the economy overall. Indeed, those who already own large amounts of assets often own those assets because they have managed to put them to good use expanding the economy and increasing employment.  The wealth tax, meanwhile, is built on the premise that government agents can convert that wealth into cash payments, and that the government knows better how to distribute it. 

Mass exoduses of those who produce always occur when these wealth redistribution schemes are  implemented which result in a large scale decrease in wealth and standard of living.  This will happen here because:

The Warren wealth tax plan may confiscate the material wealth of wealthy persons and families. But those same people can take their know-how and move elsewhere. The impact on American productivity would not be positive.

At first the negative consequences of Senator Warren’s plan may only affect the wealthy.  This won’t last long.  Very quickly the negative effects will spread down to the middle class.  This conclusion was reached by the author of the Mises article.

Senator Warren’s wealth tax plan, despite the well-intended programs that it will generate; will end up as merely a tool to increase the power of Washington policymakers. Over time, taxes will creep down the income scale as the income tax did, eventually hiking the tax burden for the middle class, while also cutting productivity which will drive down wages and wealth for everyone.

Very rapidly the negative consequences of the Warren wealth confiscation plan will ripple through the economy, eventually turning into a tidal wave of destruction.  This has happened wherever this type of plan has been implemented.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and most other Democratic presidential candidates  proclaim support for either outright socialism or policies that are very much like socialism in nature.  At the very heart of all of these policies is a diminishment of private property rights. 

The founding fathers of the United States understood that the right to acquire property and the right to use that property as wished where two of the most important God-given natural rights, rights that were essential for this nation to be both prosperous and free. That was a frequent topic found in their writing.

John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of the founding fathers of the United States received a great deal of their education about the essential nature of private property rights from John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government.  Here is a quote from Ch. V, sec. 27.  As you can see from this quote, money earned in the form of wages is one of the most crucial forms of private property.  It was written in 1689 and it is also the work that influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution the most.

Every individual man has a property in his own person.  this is something that nobody else has any right to. The labour of his body and the work of his hands, we may say, are strictly his. So when he takes something from the state that nature has provided and left it in, he mixes his labour with it, thus joining to it something that is his own; and in that way he makes it his property. He has removed the item from the common state that nature has placed it in, and through this labour the item has had annexed to it something that excludes the common right of other men: for this labour is unquestionably the property of the labourer, so no other man can have a right to anything the labour is joined to—at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others

This quote from chapter 5 of Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith makes it absolutely clear that the money paid to an individual to perform work is the same as the labor itself and both are the property solely of the individual.  Progressives do not understand that at all. 

Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased; and its value, to those who possess it, and who want to exchange it for some new productions, is precisely equal to the quantity of labour which it can enable them to purchase or command.

John Adams had this to say about the importance of private property when he wrote The Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States in1787.

Property is surely a right of mankind as really as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion, would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise would come, and pretexts be invented by degrees, to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least, in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid heavy on the rich, and not at all on the others; and at last a downright equal division of every thing be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate, would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and then demand a new division of those who purchased from them. The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shalt not covet,” and “Thou shalt not steal,” were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

Thomas Jefferson wrote this about property in a letter to Samuel Kercheval

The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen, in his person and property, and in their management.

In this quote from a letter to Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours, Thomas Jefferson echoes John Locke.

A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings.

Milton Friedman had this to say about private property in the interview “Free to Choose”: A Conversation with Milton Friedman

I think that nothing is so important for freedom as recognizing in the law each individual’s natural right to property, and giving individuals a sense that they own something that they’re responsible for, that they have control over, and that they can dispose of

Here is one last quote on this subject, this one from the essay Will Property Rights Return? written by my favorite author Thomas Sowell

Both free speech rights and property rights belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.