October 30, 2008
The Repugnance of Socialism
"The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within...They come from a peculiar type of brainy people, always found in our country, who if they add something to our culture, take much from its strength. Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals."
- Winston Churchill, on Leftists
Earlier this year I read a column in which the writer rejoiced because the word, "socialism," is no longer a scary bogeyman to Americans. When I Googled the writer and learned he was only 31 and graduated from Columbia, it wasn't hard to figure out how he got it all wrong.
Since he had clearly been taught our "revised" history -- the one that glosses over the 100,000,000-grave killing fields of the communists and makes high drama out of the "sufferings" of the Hollywood blacklisted and the McCarthy hearings -- he didn't have a clue about what actually happened. This pitiful, Ivy-League indoctrinated writer had reached the false conclusion that Americans used to be scared down to their woolies of the big bad commies, but weren't anymore.
Isn't it hard to believe that reasonably intelligent parents actually pay big bucks for those fancy degrees in poppycock?
Americans weren't scared of socialism, silly. They found it viscerally repugnant.
One must never mistake repugnance for fear. The first is based upon reason, the latter upon emotion.
And the reasons for loathing socialism are as clear as the nose on anyone's face.
No fully-grown human being with a single ounce of self-respect ever wants to be taken care of by others. No person with dignity will tolerate being told what to do, what to think, how to work or how to be an "acceptable" person. No free man or woman will tolerate the loss of liberty in exchange for material comfort.
Many generations of Americans vehemently rejected these notions over and over again, not out of fear, but out of the kind of visceral loathing that makes a normal person wretch, gag and grab for his religion and his guns.
The Lure of the Nanny State
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C. S. Lewis
A great many Americans -- perhaps even a majority -- seem poised to hand over vast amounts of their hard-earned money and their hard-won liberties to the promised "collective redemption" being offered by Barack Obama and his socialist band of "progressives" in Congress. With the votes of nanny-state supporters from all classes among us, their utopian dreams will be put to the test on our own ground and the reach of our federal government will be expanded drastically according to their plans.
But how does this really play out?
Always and everywhere it is tried.
The Socialist's Lure
One of the simplest realities of life is that the person who pays the bill is the one who makes the decisions. When that person is you, you decide. When the payer is a state collective, the collective decides. And you obey.
This ain't rocket science. The freedom to decide is the reason all children finally leave the security of the nest and jump to the ground. It's innate. This will to be free. To decide for oneself.
Consider only these 3 areas of Obama's collective plan for the redemption of American society:
- Obama wants to use a lot of taxpayer money to offer education to children from birth through college. Free to mommies and daddies. On the taxpayer dollar, rather than on the parents'.
The socialist lure: Give the state your children and the state will relieve you of the burden of educating them and teaching them values and knowledge. Parents, you're off the hook.
The result: The state then makes all the decisions about what your children will be taught, how they will be brought up, what knowledge is important and what is not.
- Obama wants to bring the federal government's involvement into healthcare to an unprecedented level.
The socialist lure: Give the state your money and the power to enforce healthcare for all, and the collective state will relieve you of your responsibility to provide this service for yourselves and your children.
The result: The state makes healthcare decisions. Healthcare is then rationed according to need, as decided by the state.
- Obama wants to enshrine positive rights to all citizens that include a guaranteed "living wage" to all regardless of individual work.
The socialist lure: No citizen will be without the means to live a fairly equitable life regardless of individual delinquency or extra effort.
The result: The poor and unfortunate become wards of the state and vastly increase in number. Work incentives plummet.
- Obama wants our politics to be nice, not mean or divisive. He wants unity. He wants us all to get along.
The socialist lure: Peace. Harmony. Goodwill to all. No good guys and bad guys. All will be nice and we will sing Kumbayah in perfect harmony all over the world.
The result: Anyone who dissents, who finds error, who sees things differently will be silenced. This is the only way collectives ever enforce their ideas of "unity."
Progress? In the memorable words of C. S. Lewis:
"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive."
Freedom and individual responsibility are inseparable.
The choice we are facing in this election is simple. We have freedom only when we accept personal responsibility for ourselves and our children. If we want to divest ourselves from the responsibility to provide for ourselves, then we also forfeit our freedom to make our own decisions.
Great leaders have appeared from time to time to warn free people of the innate deceptiveness of the socialists' lures. Ronald Reagan saw the evil as clear as day. Reagan's "ten scariest words in the English language":
"I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."
Winston Churchill expounded further on leftist ideology:
"Let them quit these gospels of envy, hate and malice. Let them eliminate them from their politics and programmes. Let them abandon the utter fallacy, the grotesque, erroneous fatal blunder of believing that by limiting the enterprise of man, by riveting the shackles of a false equality...they will increase the well-being of the world."
John McCain is a leader in the same mold as Reagan and Churchill when it comes to seeing the innate evil within the Marxist lure and its deceptive threat to real peace and any prosperity worth having. But of these three -- Reagan, Churchill and McCain -- McCain is the only one who has seen firsthand, from the inside, how it is that collective regimes may appear fair and just and unified.
McCain learned the hard way that socialist fairness is a carefully choreographed illusion, that socialist justice is a capricious commodity doled out on a whim by dictators with hard-core boots and clubs.
Unity? Unity is obtained through coercive means and by taking children very early into indoctrination as model, happy future workers for the collective "good."
So, Obama got his ideas by palling around with radical communist revolutionaries of the 60s. Obama chose these radicals as mentors and friends. Obama's own parents were from the same mold as well. Happy socialists all.
John McCain spent a good deal of his adult life with radical socialists too. Five and a half years to be precise. Only McCain got his education on the merits of communism from inside one of their "utopian" cells under force.
Perhaps never before have Americans had such an easy choice for our next President. Here's hoping we've raised more freedom-loving patriots than fools.
Or Obama's victory celebration may turn out to be the biggest April's Fools Day we could have ever imagined.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is an independent journalist and a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She blogs at commonsenseregained.com.