December 4, 2009
The American Left in ContextBy Steve McCann
The current Left -- or the Socialists -- in Europe were born out of the fire of revolution and war. They came from a determination to change a historical and implacable social order, a drive to ensure that causes of two devastating continental wars in the twentieth century never recurred.
The Left in the United States, while professing commonality with their European counterparts, has evolved out of peace, economic prosperity, and a determination to impose a rigid social order under the guise of classless society.
European Socialism, while desirous of guaranteeing equality of outcome and opposed to unfettered capitalism, nonetheless recognizes the essential role that free enterprise plays in the economic well-being of the people by providing jobs and the funds needed to support government programs.
The American Left understands that unbridled capitalism is the engine that assures and promotes individual liberty and freedom. Therefore, free enterprise must ultimately be overthrown and replaced by a state-controlled economy if the Left is to create a social utopia.
Europe has had a recent history of megalomaniacal dictators, all-powerful central governments, and the devastation they caused, as well as hands-on experience with Marxism/Communism. Thus, they developed their own hybrid Left, who have a limited philosophical connection to the tenets of Marx or Lenin.
On the other hand, the current iteration of the Left in the United States has its roots in Marxism: class struggle to overturn the oppression under capitalism into a socialist and ultimately classless society by any means possible.
The Left in today's America is made up of two groups: the minority is the true believers, and the majority is those who have been duped into supporting the movement as a result of various social or behavioral factors.
While small in number, the true believers are self-evident. They unabashedly proclaim their animosity toward the United States. With all possible fanfare, they state their support for the poor and oppressed. They never run out of different ways to tell the world how smart they are, and thus capable of leading the proletariat to the Promised Land. Yet they are devoid of humor, sensitivity, and the ability to connect or relate to the average American.
In order to foment class warfare, the hardcore Left overtly and shamelessly exploit envy, race, and ignorance. They are always portraying government as the savior and downplay stories of actual and provable ineptitude or corruption. Instead, they exaggerate real (or even imagined) reports of capitalistic greed and dishonesty. The Left self-righteously use these anecdotes to "prove" that all enterprise must be controlled by a powerful central government.
The truly dedicated on the Left are shameless in making promises they cannot keep, and they defend this deception as the ends justifying the means. But above all, they are relentless in doing whatever is necessary -- including bankrupting the country -- to achieve their objective: namely, power for the sake of power.
The college campus bubble has long been the incubator of the Left. No society could match the insular and unaccountable nature of this environment. The fruits of capitalism have paid the salaries of those who have never experienced the responsibility of employing others, creating wealth, or producing a product in a competitive worldwide or national marketplace.
In addition, the United States in its 228-year history has never experienced adversity on the scale suffered by Europe 65 years ago in World War II, or the ravages of communism as recently as twenty years ago. It has therefore been quite easy over the years for the so-called intelligentsia to sit in faculty lounges and coffee shops waxing eloquent about the ideal of a classless society -- led, of course, by those who have the best interests of society at heart: namely, the intellectuals themselves.
The foremost of these true believers are now in power in Washington, D.C. They are being led by President Obama, who had to wait until his election to reveal his real agenda and his fealty to the philosophy of the self-named Progressive movement (a kinder, gentler appellation than "Socialist" or "the Left").
However, the president and his appointed or elected cohorts would not be in a position to forever change the future of the United States by relegating it to a secondary world status were it not for the duped Leftists, who function as enablers for the movement at large.
In the 1960s a social revolution took place against historical and societal norms. An era of peace and prosperity unprecedented in the history of mankind was underway in the United States, allowing a new generation to focus on hedonistic pursuits, self-aggrandizement, and a search for "meaning" in their lives.
The heavy lifting and sacrifice that created this economic boom made the United States the dominant military power in the world. This hard work was done by previous generations who maintained a fealty to the traditions that allowed the country to achieve greatness and permitted their progeny to live a better life.
It was these traditions, based on the religious foundation of the country and the societal mores which sprang from them, that came to be viewed as standing in the way of allowing the population to experience absolute freedom. The very necessary civil rights movement, which achieved so much, was hijacked by many of the post-Depression generation into a call to overthrow all of society's norms.
Coupled with the Johnson administration's mishandling of the Vietnam War, a broad movement began. It was promptly seized upon by the true believers of the Left as a recruiting pool; Leftists proclaimed to the gullible that the United States was an unjust, repressive tool of capitalism. The siren song of a classless society wherein all are treated fairly and there are no absolutes found eager ears.
Over the intervening years and into the present, the fear (as promoted by the Left) of the so-called religious right's and conservatives' desire to turn the United States into a theocracy became the basis for many of the gullible to promote the policies of the Progressives without understanding what they in fact stood for. It was more important to protect their lifestyles than comprehend what was happening around them, or the controlling agenda they unwittingly support.
For example, the health care reform bill presently under debate in Congress and promoted by President Obama is not about health care reform at all. Rather, it is an attempt to ultimately control the behavior of the citizenry. Once government controls the access to and cost of medical treatments, it can dictate what behavior is acceptable under the guise of controlling expenditures.
Thus, those among the gullible who have faithfully supported the Left may well find the very behavior they deem so central to their lives outlawed by the government. The religious right attempted to use only moral suasion, not the force of law.
Also within the enablers of the Left are those who search for meaning by adopting various causes, such as "save the earth" or the elimination of all nuclear weapons. These movements have been successfully promoted by the Progressives. Living lives of comparative ease, it was simple to use guilt over their status to entice the mostly upper-middle class to sign on to these causes.
Little did the gullible affluent understand how they were manipulated into supporting an agenda that will destroy their and their children's standard of living and security. The nuclear disarmament movement is clear in its objective to render the United States defenseless, and global warming is increasingly being revealed as a hoax manipulated by unethical scientists for money and promoted by the Left as a political agenda item to redistribute wealth.
The carbon cap-and-trade bills advanced by President Obama will accomplish only two things: increase enormously the cost of energy and dramatically reduce everyone's standard of living. Couple that bill with much higher proposed income and user taxes, and the administration moves a step closer to accomplishing a major Marxist goal: reduce all to one economic class.
Within eight years, the policies of the Left in Washington, D.C. will result in the national debt of the United States exceeding 100% of the gross domestic product, putting the United States in the same category as the most mismanaged of third-world nations. The dollar will be worth perhaps half of what it is today, the standard of living will decline nearly as much, and we will no longer be able to afford a military that can protect us from those who wish us harm.
It is critical that the majority within the American Left understand the direction and endgame of the true believers in their movement. Their only true interest is in controlling the United States and all of its citizens. Look to the actual experiences of those in Russia and Eastern Europe -- people who lived under the system the truly dedicated Progressives desire to emulate -- and compare their experiences to the life and standard of living you now enjoy. If you do, you will join the rest of us in making certain the United States remains the land of individual rights and freedom.