How Leftism Replaces Success with Failure
I am in love with successful people. They inspire me to be better than I am now, to reach my full potential just as they have. I don’t seek to tear them down to bolster myself; rather, I seek to learn from them to raise myself to their standards. Of course, some, more than others, are lucky, talented, or more skillful at achievement just as some are lacking in those areas. We judge a proper economic system on whether that system enables more people to have bigger slices of the economic pie, not on the difficulty it poses for the few, and we do not tear it down because everyone cannot succeed within it. Up to this date, the majority of people have, in this country, preferred capitalism.
The secular left, however, has, for a long time, sought to destroy our system so as to replace it with a socialized one. Such efforts were introduced by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in their Communist Manifesto that proclaimed, with good intentions, that a revolution of the downtrodden masses was needed. Their atheistic secular followers later ushered in a time not of helping those downtrodden but of stamping out their hopes and lives as well as their Christian religion. Why? I suggest that they weren’t intent on helping people as much as getting their hands on the means of production to bring in the system they felt was fair and just, even if not, one that they believed should work, not what actually works, and a religion they despised, not what the masses actually wanted.
At the same time, secular humanists trumpeted their own reasons for socialism. In 1933, Humanist Manifesto I declared that “existing acquisitive and profit -- motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and... a socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible.” This movement did not reach the limits to which it imagined because Russia exposed socialism for all it can be imagined, and for a time Communism became the cultural boogeyman instead of capitalism.
These ideas zombified but came back to life in 1973 in Humanist Manifesto II. Secular humanists didn’t mention socialism this time. Instead, they talked about the need to evaluate economic systems in light of how they improve economic wellbeing, and they left the door open to alternative economic systems. What systems? In their section on world community, they deplored dividing people into nations and called for “a world order based upon transnational federal government.” What can accomplish such a thing? Socialism, of course. Despite the improvement in people’s lives from a capitalist economy, and the preference for it, and the overall predilection for the Christian religion, they must be junked.
Despite success in improving livelihood and the environment, the environment was still in bad shape and needed a makeover. Former potential president Al Gore, in his book Earth in the Balance wanted us to enlist "every law and institution, every treaty and alliance, every tactic and strategy, every plan and course of action -- to use, in short, every means to halt the destruction of the environment and to preserve and nurture our ecological system." Gore mused about making the “effort to save the global environment the central organizing principle of our civilization.” These words were published in 1992, and yet we are still here; environmental judgment day has not yet dawned. Nor, based on the little I have read on the subject, do I believe it is dawning any time soon. My suspicions are that Gore, member of a party that leans toward socialism, pushed his beliefs because he doesn’t like our capitalist system and also because of his worshipful beliefs about the environment. Like secular humanists in their approach, Gore wants to seize our way of life and thinking to transform them to his liking, and doom is his selling point.
Intoxicated environmental movements are like a cancer that keeps coming back. They have been reborn in the Green New Deal which, I suspected, was another case of a socialist con job to snatch control over our lives. My thoughts were confirmed when Fox News -- the watchdog of liberal buffoonery -- was on the case.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff recently admitted that the Green New Deal was not conceived as an effort to deal with climate change, but instead a “how-do-you-change-the-entire economy thing” -- a remark likely to fuel Republican claims that the deal is nothing more than a thinly veiled socialist takeover of the U.S. economy.
“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Saikat Chakrabarti said in May, according to The Washington Post.
By this time, I suspected that what animates people who embrace socialism is greed for what others have disguised as Marxist liberation. Yesterday, we free the downtrodden masses, today the environment, tomorrow something else, but someone or something always needs freeing or rescuing. Ask socialists why they want workers to share the means of production and they will say a worker’s labor is undervalued and underpaid. However, the owners of a business get excess profits because they took a risk, and businesses can certainly have multiple owners who all share the benefits. The owners, though, are reaping their rewards for starting the business in the first place while socialists, who didn’t exert effort to start the business, want to take what is not theirs. For socialists, our economic system is a grab bag of goodies to whoever wants them, paid for by everyone else, which explains why the American Socialist Party is not only asking for wealth redistribution but for free college.
Social media is tremendously helpful in spawning ideological buffoonery. A Facebook site called Capitalism Kills (an obvious overreach) has this blurb:
“We have socialism for the rich & capitalism for the poor” is a clever saying, but it obscures reality. We simply have capitalism, a system that concentrates economic/political power through private control of means of production. Socialism (worker/community control) is an antidote.
This type of rant cannot come from anyone other than a person whose mental faculties are stuck in textbooks instead of reality. It’s true that free-market capitalism concentrates power, but what of it? Any system will concentrate power because people are, by nature, different -- some with more leadership assertiveness than others -- and hence power will collect among specific individuals by submission or by force. What apparently bothers this person is that some people have more than others, and the author wishes we could take it away from them.
A country that follows such a path will eventually take from everyone to the point nothing is left, and that’s when a culture will collapse. This might not happen here, but it wouldn’t be a bad time to start hoarding your gold.
Jeffrey Stueber is a Christian philosopher, frequently published writer at the Lutheran Science Institute, host of blog and Wordpress site that criticizes secular beliefs