Saturday, March 08, 2008

Too Many Ism's For Some Peoples Brains

The other day at work I was talking to a friend and he jokingly mentioned that I must be a communist. I was somewhat taken aback and asked him why he said that. He said, "You must be a communist, you sure hate this country." I told him he was so wrong it wasn't even funny. I do not HATE this country, I love it. I do however hate what is happening to it. I hate the people who are doing the damage, and I hate the people who are just sitting back and allowing it to happen.

I asked my friend if he could tell me what communism was and he said 'Sure, it was the kind of government that Russia used to have'. I found it humorous that he was saying I was a communist, yet he intends to vote for Barack Obama who is much closer to being communist than I ever will be.

It was then that I began to wonder if people actually know the difference between communism, socialism, and fascism. I am by no means a political scientist, but I can read. Therefore I grabbed a trusty dictionary and looked up the meaning of communism, socialism, and fascism. Here they are for the enlightenment of those who might not be aware of the differences between them.

Fascism-a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Socialism 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state 3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

Communism: 1 a: a theory advocating elimination of private property b: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed 2 capitalized a: a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably.

After reading those definitions it is clear that my friend does not understand the definition of communism, not if he thinks that is the type government that Russia used to have. Russia was formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR.

Russia never was a communist country. Pure communism is an ideology in which there is no private property, everything is shared equally, and everyone works for the good of the community. While it may be a noble concept it is something that will never happen as long as mankind exhibits greed, envy and ambition. Pure communism also takes away motivation, for why would someone try to improve themselves, or work to the best of their ability if those who don’t still get an equal share of the goods produced by the overall community?

To say that I am a communist is a joke. I believe in self reliance, not depending upon others for your own well being. While I do admit that associating with others can be rewarding, and often mutually beneficial, but I do not want to be reliant upon anyone for anything. These personality traits preclude me from being a communist, and my friend should have known better than to make such an uninformed statement.

The former Soviet Union was a socialist state in which the government owned everything. They dictated where you could work, where you would live and whether or not you could move up in society. To maintain that socialist state required that the government stifle and punish expressions of personal freedom and liberty, otherwise people would not sit idly by with no chance to improve their lives.

The people of Russia were told that they were making these sacrifices for the benefit of Mother Russia. Yet the ruling class lived their lives in a manner that provided them with a disproportionately better lifestyle. They did not suffer the poverty that the average worker in Russia was forced to endure for the ‘common good’.

If you think about it, doesn’t socialism sound a lot like what the Democratic candidates all are promising us? Do they not offer us government run and managed health care, education and all sorts of other benefits, which are all funded by the taxes taken from the working class?

Alexander Tytler once penned something that describes what is happening in this country, and also explains what will be the end result. If fits in very well with what the Democratic candidates campaign upon because they are the ones who are offering so many government solutions to the problems in America.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”

Isn’t that what is happening in this country, we are voting for candidates who make us promises that in the end will be funded by the taxes upon our labor? When we vote for a candidate solely upon which one makes the most convincing promises, we are voting for socialism, complete governmental control over our lives. You have to realize that as you vote for these candidates, and their promise of government run programs, you are also sacrificing your own freedom to choose. Each program that the government institutes to benefit you also has the flip side of taking away a portion of your own personal freedom.

Since I have just denigrated the Democrats you are probably thinking I am a staunch follower of the Republican Party. Unfortunately that is not true. If the Democrats are socialist in nature, the Republicans are well on the way to being fascists. If you examine closely the economic and foreign policies of the Bush administration you will see that they have enacted legislation which is gives the president almost unlimited power, in other words an autocratic leadership. The foreign policy of the Bush administration and his War on Terror declares that our War on Terror gives the U.S. the right to do anything, and to do it anywhere in this misguided war. The rights of the individual have been trampled upon by numerous laws passed to protect us from terrorism. Does that not put the nation above the individual, a clear sign of a fascist state?

A close friend of mine describes our system of two political parties as a two headed snake. Both heads bite and will cause this country irreparable harm. I agree with that viewpoint and would go one step further. Both heads, or political parties, are traitors to the principles upon which this country was founded.

This country was established as a representative republic. We have been told so many times, coming from so many sources, that we are a democracy that we have accepted it as the truth. That is not true!

Our founding fathers were very clear in regards to the nature of our government as defined in the Constitution. Nowhere are their thoughts more clearly explained than in the Federalist Papers, a series of articles written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, all published under the pseudonym of Publius.

In Federalist #10, James Madison defines a democracy as
“From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.”

If we were a democracy, you or I could, if we so chose to, involve ourselves directly with the process of enacting legislation. However, that is not how our system of government was designed to function. We instead elect people to represent us in our government.

In Federalist Paper #39 Madison explains,
“If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.”

That describes how our government was set up to function. Notice that the government derives its power from us. It does not say the government has power over us. Government was designed to be our servant, not our master. Also, it says that it was to be administered by persons holding their offices ‘during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior.’

If we look at the abysmal approval ratings our Congress and our president have right now, it should be very clear that our elected representatives are not holding their offices during ‘pleasure’. If you look at how long some of our elected representatives have been holding office, someone like Edward Kennedy, who has been in office since 1962, it is clear that they are not serving for a ‘limited period’. Finally if you look at the scandals and the corruption that permeate our halls of power it should also be clear that our elected representatives are not serving ‘during good behavior.’

We the people of this country hold the ultimate power. However we cannot wield that power effectively if we are ignorant in regards to what our elected representatives are doing. We cannot wield that power effectively if we insist that government be responsible for caring for our every need.

If we continue to vote for the candidate who makes the most appealing promises, then we get what we deserve. Just remember, that as Tytler said, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

Ultimately it is your choice. Do you want to live in a society in which the government controls all aspects of your lives, or do you want to have the freedom to choose for yourself? If you choose freedom, than I suggest you begin paying just a bit more attention to what the candidates you vote for are truly offering you. Is it slavery or freedom?

I only have one last thing to say, and I quote Samuel Adams,
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

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