Why would anyone prefer socialism?
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."
—Thomas Jefferson (1820)
We may often wonder how any rational person can support a totalitarian form of government. At the top of the totalitarian structure is one person, or one group of self-proclaimed "elites." These few elites have freedom and independence, but the rest of the population, the "great unwashed," have none. Hence, the origins of socialism and communism, the modern-day equivalent of the monarchy.
So now one understands why the top echelons of power want totalitarianism. They are the rulers. But why and how can so many regular citizens espouse the absolute control that comes with a totalitarian regime? It must be that these minions of socialism prefer the warm embrace of control by a government entity. They prefer the appearance of safety over the demands of independent thought.
They prefer only the appearance of safety, for an entity that has total control can do anything it wants to the sheep that follow. The great failure of socialism or communism, or even fascism, is that their foundations are build on untruth, a lie. They are based on control, and that is coercion based in power. It is the antithesis of a free decision based on truth and logic.
Now, what of the independent, the individual? What makes him tick? Surely, everyone liked the warm embrace of a loving parent while growing up. But remember that teenage time when the spark of independent thought ignited a fire to achieve something greater?
In order to continue the species, the child has to seek independence. Has to stumble his way along the path of life. Wise parents instill a love for truth in thought and honesty in action. They bid the child to have the courage to go forth and live independently. Wise and caring parents try, in their own inept way, to instill love of learning and give their children a foundation in religion or philosophy so that the child will grow up with the ability to reason and the courage to try.
In a way similar to a loving parent teaching his children, our founding fathers knew their documents would have to stand in when they were no longer on this earth. Therefore, they plumbed the depths of human nature and provided a roadmap for future generations.
From this birthing of a nation, like the love of a parent who knows that independence and freedom are frightening, was formed the concept of our constitutional republic. The foundational ideal is the sanctity, in the eyes of our G-d, of that individual. Our Declaration, Bill of Rights, and Constitution sought to protect those inalienable rights, called the Natural Law. In order to keep us safe against the hideous power of central control, the founders established this Constitution to control the actions of our government, so that free men could lead independent lives.
But with every right comes an equal responsibility. Our responsibility as citizens of a constitutional republic is to be involved in its governance. Americans have the ability to think rationally, to use logic to arrive at a fair conclusion and the courage to act on that conviction. We would much rather try than let our beautiful country go down its current path to totalitarianism. In the Talmud, courage is joy.
Image via Pixabay.