== Oct. 14th, 2008 | 09:07 am Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” —Ronald Reagan
October 14, 2008 Why Obama's socialism matters source: Bookworm For conservatives opposed to an Obama presidency, the last few days have brought the wonder of the smoking gun: Obama really was a socialist. Combine that hidden paper trail with his Ayers affiliation, and it's reasonable to believe that Obama still holds these socialist political views.
Conservatives' excitement at finally having found the real socialist hiding inside that empty suit is tempered by one thing -- outside of conservative circles, nobody really seems to care. The media, of course, is very aggressive about not caring, but the malaise seems to affect ordinary Americans as well.
In order to stir ordinary Americans to the sense of outrage those of us in the blogosphere feel, we need to remind them that socialism is not simply a more liberal version of ordinary American politics. It is, instead, its own animal, and a very feral, dangerous animal indeed.
It helps to begin by understanding what socialism is not. It isn't Liberalism and it isn't mere Leftism. The terms Liberal and Conservative date back to Victorian England, when Liberals were pushing vast social reforms, such as the end of child labor, while Conservatives were all for maintaining a deeply hierarchical status quo. Considering that modern "liberals" are seeking a return to 20th Century socialism, those phrases too scarcely seem like apt descriptors.
The original Utopians did not yet look to the state for help establishing a world of perfect equality. Instead, they relied on each enlightened individuals moral sense, and they set up myriad high-minded communes to achieve this end. All of them failed. It took Marx and Engels to carry socialism to the next level, in which they envisioned the complete overthrow of all governments, with the workers of the world uniting so that all contributed to a single socialist government, which in turn would give back to them on an as needed basis.
Assuming that you're not big on individualism and exceptionalism, this might be an attractive doctrine as a way to destroy want and exploitation, except for one thing: It does not take into account the fact that the state has no conscience.
Once you vest all power in the state, history demonstrates that the state, although technically composed of individuals, in fact takes on a life of its own, with the operating bureaucracy driving it to ever greater extremes of control. Additionally, history demonstrates that, if the wrong person becomes all-powerful in the state, the absence of individualism means that the state becomes a juggernaut, completely in thrall to a psychopath's ideas.
Herewith some examples: First, consider Nazi Germany because so many people forget that it was a socialist dictatorship. Or perhaps they're ignorant of the fact that the Nazi's official and frequently forgotten name was the National Socialist German Worker's Party. In other words, while most people consider the Nazi party to be a totalitarian ideology arising from the right, it was, in fact, a totalitarian party arising from the left. Practically within minutes of the Nazi takeover of the German government, individuals were subordinated to the state.
Even industries that remained privately owned (and there were many, as opponents of the Nazis = socialist theory like to point out), were allowed to do so only if their owners bent their efforts to the benefit of the state. Show a hint of individualism, and an unwillingness to cooperate, and you'd swiftly find yourself in Dachau, with a government operative sitting in that executive chair you once owned.
Then there's another example: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. From its inception, the Soviet state brutalized people, whether it was the upper echelon party purges or the mass slaughter of the kulaks -- all in the name of collectivism and the protection of the state envisioned by Lenin and Stalin.
Most estimates are that, in the years leading up to WWII, the Soviet socialist state killed between 30 and 60 million of its own citizens. Not all of the victims died, or at least they didn't die instantly. Those who didn't receive a swift bullet to the head might starve to death on collective farms or join the millions who ended up as slave laborers in the gulags, with most of the latter incarcerated for thought crimes against the state.
Another example is the People's Republic of China, another socialist state. One sees the same pattern as in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia: individuals were instantly subordinated to the needs of the state and, as the state's needs became ever more grandiose, more and more people had to die. Current estimates are that Mao's "visionary" Great Leap Forward resulted in the deaths of up to 100 million people. The people died from starvation, or were tortured to death, or just outright murdered because of thought crimes. The same pattern, of course, daily plays out on a smaller scale in socialist North Korea.
Those are examples of hard socialism. Soft socialism is better, but it certainly isn't the American ideal. Britain springs to mind as the perfect example of soft socialism. Britain's socialist medicine is a disaster, with practically daily stories about people being denied treatment or receiving minimal treatment.
Invariably, the denials arise because the State's needs trump the individual's: Either the treatment is generally deemed too costly (and there are no market forces at work) or the patients are deemed unworthy of care, especially if they're old. British socialism has other problems, aside from the dead left behind in her hospital wards. As did Germany, Russia, and China (and as would Obama), socialist Britain took guns away (at least in London), with the evitable result that violent crime against innocent people skyrocketed.
The British socialist bureaucracy also controls people's lives at a level currently incomprehensible to Americans, who can't appreciate a state that is constantly looking out for its own good. In Britain, government protects thieves right's against property owner's, has it's public utilities urge children to report their parents for "green" crimes; tries to criminalize people taking pictures of their own children in public places; destroys perfectly good food that does not meet obsessive compulsive bureaucratic standards; and increasingly stifles free speech. (Impressively, all of the preceding examples are from just the last six months in England.)
Both history and current events demonstrate that the socialist reality is always bad for the individual, and this is true whether one is looking at the painfully brutal socialism of the Nazis or the Soviets or the Chinese, with its wholesale slaughters, or at the soft socialism of England, in which people's lives are ever more tightly circumscribed, and the state incrementally destroys individual freedom. And that is why Obama's socialism is so scary!
Regardless of Obama’s presumed good intentions, socialism always brings a society to a bad ending. Americans who live in our free society that allows people to think what they will, do what they want, and succeed if they can, will not willingly hand themselves over to the socialist ideology.
They must therefore be reminded, again and again and again, that socialism is not just another political party; it’s the death knell to freedom. So remember, while McCain wants to change DC, Obama wants to change America! source: The American Thinker
commentary Opinions]][[Category: philosophy
commentary Opinions]][[Category: philosophyGOVERNMNENTS Opinions]]