October 25, 2010
Socialism and RealityBy Steve McCann
The images on the television screen emanating from Europe are a sobering reminder that socialism has failed wherever it has been tried and will always do so despite the best efforts of the die-hard true believers. The riots in the streets of France and Greece, the announced layoffs of nearly 500,000 government employees in the United Kingdom, and the potential national bankruptcy of Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Portugal are the current face of this failure.
Yet within the halls of power in Washington, D.C. there is a socialist/progressive cabal, and its titular leader Barack Obama, oblivious to this reality. These ideologues continue to cling to the belief that they have a unique ability to succeed where so many others have failed. The egocentric American Left know no bounds, and their determination to impose their will upon the United States has not and will not abate despite the results of any election.
Having been raised to believe in their preordinance to rule and incubated in an environment of national peace, prosperity, and a lack of adversity, these adherents to a powerful central government, with themselves at the controls, are incapable of change and admitting failure despite overwhelming current and historical evidence.
The original and present-day proponents of socialism fail to take into account one very basic but immutable factor: the fundamental nature of the human race as manifested in the industrial age. The most dominant trait mankind has, as do all living creatures, is an innate desire to survive and prosper.
While some may willingly choose to pursue subsistence on their own terms, to the majority of the human race, the path of least resistance is the most desired. Thus, mankind is susceptible to financial scams, gambling, crime, and resentment or violence towards those who may have more. But above all, many people are very open to the concept of a central authority providing them with the means of livelihood with no thought as to the how (the public-sector unions being the most egregious current example).
A secondary characteristic of human race, and the most dangerous, is the need by some to conquer or maintain total control over their fellow man. Lust for power has always been with us.
The mid-19th century saw the industrial revolution and the rise in living standards and education for the populace in Europe. It was during this same period that socialist/Marxist theory appeared. Those who considered themselves superior to the masses, and in the past may have achieved ruling status through the power of intimidation over the illiterate and unwashed, now had to look to other means to achieve control of the levers of governing.
The easiest course to assume this power was to promise, in return for the support of the people, that the state, through a new ruling class, would provide the citizenry cradle-to-grave economic security. Thus, a Faustian bargain encompassing the desire by the majority for ease of survival and others for the need to rule was entered into. The populace, having committed itself to this compact, would expect never-ending freedom from adversity.
However, within this arrangement is the seed of its own destruction. For socialism to succeed, it must have an economic underpinning that can provide the foundation for massive social spending. The Soviet Union, as early as the 1920s and '30s, proved that complete state control of the means of production was a colossal failure, as it could not produce sufficient wealth to support the population, and their version of socialism (Communism) had to be enforced at the point of a gun or by starvation.
Only the capitalist economic system, which is anathema to a powerful central government and its attendant oligarchy, can produce sufficient wealth necessary to underwrite a social safety net for the general public, promulgate upward mobility, and finance the security of any nation.
Capitalism, reflective of that portion of mankind choosing to seek subsistence on their own terms, does by its nature celebrate the success of the individual, not the collective. Individuals, separately or together, driven by the motive of self-enrichment, produce goods or services desired by others. In the process, jobs and wealth are created, thus benefiting society as a whole.
A massive tension exists between those who adhere to central government control and swear fealty to socialist philosophy and those who produce the wealth of a nation. As the state inherently has more power than the individual, once socialist doctrine dominates the ruling class, government begins a relentless process of injecting itself into the affairs of the individual and producer class.
Those who believe they have a manifest destiny to rule and are faithful to socialist tenets have an overwhelming egocentric psyche and a predisposition to control the populace and economic activity through laws, regulations, taxes, intimidation, and in extreme cases, outright force. The result is the inexorable march toward state control of the economy. Despite the history of failure, every new generation of adherents to socialist ideology believe that they can make this arrangement work and maintain their unwritten agreement with the citizenry.
But the reality is that they cannot, as the economic engine of capitalism will not continue to produce wealth if it is increasingly put under the thumb of bureaucrats and central planners inevitably attempting not only to institute governmental management of the economy, but also to regulate the day-to-day activities of all citizens. The motivation of the producer class will be stifled, and they will either drop out, join the dependent class, or simply move on to other, more hospitable countries -- a reality more in play than ever in today's global economy.
In due course, centralized governments will, as history has shown, turn to excessive and unsustainable borrowing, as well as inflation, to finance their societal obligations. The contract between the statists and the citizens who were promised cradle-to-grave security cannot be maintained, as the economic underpinning of this arrangement will quickly erode.
Social and economic chaos resulting in dramatically lower standard of living must inevitably ensue, and in some cases, these circumstances will lead to violence or revolution. No amount of promises, demonization of capitalism, seizure of the means of production, takeover of the media, confiscatory taxes, or printing of money will reinstitute prosperity or security for the populace. These desperate actions serve only to accelerate the downward spiral.
Within the United States, because of the socialist indoctrination of the governing class, this process is well on its way and will culminate, if not stopped now, in the end of this nation as an economic and military power.
The founding fathers of the United States, one of the greatest confluences of brilliant minds in the history of mankind, understood the basic nature of human beings. They accordingly set forth a form of government and written Constitution to greatly limit those who seek hegemony over the people and to limit the ability of the people to seek unlimited security from a central government. They recognized that only the individual free to pursue economic happiness will result in a society wherein all can benefit on a sustained basis.
President Obama and his minions represent the greatest threat to the United States since its founding. The images of failure from around the globe must not be lost on the American citizens. They must understand that the country's destiny rests in utilizing the governmental structure bequeathed to them by the founders to strip away, as quickly as possible, the power expropriated by today's ruling class.
The winning of elections is tantamount. However, there must also be a concurrent resolve to purge the destructive and delusional philosophy of socialism from the institutions of government. Only then can the United States avoid the fate looming over the horizon.