A Few More Words Regarding Socialism

ObamaSocialismby Brad Nelson  8/13/13
First and foremost, socialism is a way for people to legally steal from others. Part of human nature is to try to gain any advantage over others that you can. And we humans are not above “polite” thievery. Another word for “spread the wealth” is “pilfer from others.” In order to justify this thievery, and in order to live with ourselves and fend off the reality of what we are doing, we must see ourselves as entitled victims. We must see ourselves as somehow entitled to other people’s property. And the human mind is very clever at coming up with reasons and excuses for why we are not thieves but are instead deserving victims.

As the Left (aka “Progressives,” first cousins to Communists) ramp up their class warfare rhetoric and lay the propaganda on thick, it’s easy enough for people to believe that they are victims. Remember under Bush when unemployment was about 5% and people were nearly hysterical about how horrible the economy supposedly was? That was a perception produced by the constant agitating, lies, and propaganda of the Left. Perception became reality, particularly when there was very little push-back from the other side.

Competition is the lifeblood of prosperity and capitalism. It can bring out the best in all of us. But there’s a side to competition that can bring out the worst. If you can pit class against class, if you can create a lifeboat mentality of paranoia and victimhood, it’s only human nature to try to get your “fair share” too. So the Left (with the help of “compassionate conservatives”) can turn government from a protector of liberty to a free-for-all as we compete to make sure that we get our share of the governmental spoils. That is very much the system and the mindset that we have now.

To the credit of many Tea Party members, as R. Emmett Tyrrell notes in Revolt of the Masses, theirs is not a revolt to hang onto entitlements. There are many in America who have a real concern (finally) for the solvency of society itself. And there should be this concern.

Fear is a useful weapon of any politician, but particularly of the Left. And it’s doubtful that socialism could survive without it. The more put upon that we feel, the more likely we are to trade a little more freedom for security, something Ben Franklin, among others, warned us against.

That is another thing that drives people to socialism. It’s not just misplaced compassion. It’s not just a desire to legally steel from others. If you can get people to feel insecure, they may attempt to buy the supposed safety that politicians have to offer in their various entitlements and programs. It’s an ongoing scam.

Note that the Left is constantly in crisis mode trying to ramp up fear and the perception that we are in dire straights. And if there isn’t a real crisis, they’ll simply invent one. From DDT to the global warming scam (and the global cooling hysteria of a couple decades back), the road is littered with the fear-based schemes of the Left that turned out to be baseless and yet were effective in terms of gaining power via instilling a feeling of an urgent need that Someone must do something!

Another aspect of socialism is that the very success of capitalism and freedom that leads to our very prosperous and secure way of life can lead to “The Princess and the Pea” effect. When things get really comfy, any imperfections tend to stand out even more. We become like a spoiled child or like that pampered princess in the fairy tale who, even through several layers of mattresses, is so distressed by the single pea tucked under the bottom mattress that she can’t sleep. A recent example of this are the wusses at Slate who have stated that they will not print the name of the Washington Redskins football team because they find the name offensive. The Princesses found a pea.

It’s unbecoming of a free people to be such wusses, but there you have it. We often are. And the Left, who are masters of deceitful Orwellian language and manipulation, even have an answer for this. If you ask people to just buck it up and show some fortitude you’re being “cruel” and “insensitive.”

And this goes to the heart of the false compassion of socialism, for as any mother or father of children knows, little Johnny or Susie must eventually make his or her own way in the world. And you can’t protect them from every scrape and bruise as they go forth into that world. In fact, you will likely create a dependent entitlement spoiled-brat monster if you do so.

And we have far too many of those right now in society, the product of socialism and the Left’s trumped-up class warfare agitating. We need to role back socialism and you can be assured that there will be legions of spoiled Johnnies and Susies who will pitch a fit. And that will be a sure sign of progress…if we can resist the demagoguery of the left as they try to characterize any attempt at fiscal sanity as “trying to starve the children and throw grandma into the street.”

Brave men and women before our time have stormed the beaches of Normandy or suffered real physical hardships in the cause of freedom. The least we can do is resist the pitches of the snake oil salesmen of the Left and finally and forever put a stake through the heart of socialism. • (2119 views)

Share
Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

This entry was posted in Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to A Few More Words Regarding Socialism

  1. Kung Fu Zu says:

    I believe the modern left is made up of basically three groups.

    1. The elites who believe they really are smarter and better than everyone else. They believe they have some esoteric knowledge that the rest of us don’t have. They are simply special; and

    2) resentful, envious people who make grievance a large part of their lives and want to stick it to the rich, whitey, men, whoever; and

    3) those idealists who think the world is not fair and everybody should have just about everything they want and not have to suffer unhappiness of any sort. Their motto is, “it isn’t fair”. Many if not most of these are young and a large number of them will join group no. 2 in due time. Some will get smart and cynical and join group no. 1. Finally, some will grow up and get a job.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Wow. A great triple-header there. It totally agree, Mr. Kung.

      And kinda-sorta there is the backdrop of Utopia to all this. Things can be made perfect. There are a “special” class who knows how to do so. The grievances borne by the aggrieved are there because others have failed in perfecting things, not because they have effed-up themselves.

      Utopia: A bad bargain coming and going. As I become more spiritual (or have my moments), I stop treating God as the hander-outer of entitlements (special favors) and ask for wisdom instead. I can’t relate to God in any meaningful way and just think of god as Obama-with-supernatural-powers, so to speak.

      • ladykrystyna says:

        “As I become more spiritual (or have my moments), I stop treating God as the hander-outer of entitlements (special favors) and ask for wisdom instead.”

        Good idea. I often have to remember to do the same thing. I don’t ask for a job, I ask for the wisdom and the strength to keep looking for work and fight the despair.

    • Monsieur Voltaire says:

      Kung Fu–besides technocrats, grievance-mongers and utopians, there is another huge group making up the Left: socio-cultural saboteurs, to whom tearing down the fabric of Western civilization is a goal worth attaining per se.

      I guess they could be a sub-specie of grievance-mongers, but the difference is that to them, the reason for tearing down age-old traditions lies in the pleasure of seeing institutions die by their hand rather than righting some imagined wrong. Much like St. Augustine, who confessed to have stolen pears not for the anticipation of eating them, but for the pleasure of stealing them–so much so that he ended up throwing much of his loot away.

      These wannabe-stars in the sick snuff flick of Western Civilization are the ones I loathe most, and whom I would fight rifle-in-hand if I had to. And unfortunately, they permeate the ranks of the ruling class.

      • Kung Fu Zu says:

        M. Voltaire, concur that there is a group of socio-cultural sabotuers, but I include them in the first group as I don’t think most in the second group have the education, intelligence and discipline to focus their venom at the underpinnings of our culture. Hell, they don’t even know what underpinnings means.

        Of course, those in group no. 2 can parrot some of the slogans they have heard from their opinion makers, but I don’t think there is much understanding behind their diatribes. They are just generally pissed off and unhappy and want to vent.

        I lived in Asia for twenty years and when I would visit the States, people would occasionally ask me what the difference was between Asia and the West. That is a big question to answer if you don’t have time to write several books, but I told them the fundamental difference is that Asia was not founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and Greco-Roman rationalism.

        In that answer you have what the socio-cultural sabotuers hate about the West. The modern left knows Christianity is the cornerstone of Western civilization and have done all they can to destroy it for a couple of hundred years.

        They are not doing a bad job of destroying rationalism either, as witnessed by our failing school system.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          There are many ways of looking at this and organizing the facts. But at the end of the day, you and M.V. have both stated the underlying template: It’s a hatred of the West.

          The template I often use, Mr. Kung (and one that you seem to share yourself) is that you have the top-tier groups who really do hate Western Civilization and want to overthrow it. And then you have the lower tiers (aka the “useful idiots”). This is just your rank-and-file American who doesn’t hate his country, per se, but has been taught that he isn’t getting all that he or she is due.

          And this is marketed under the terms “women’s health,” “marriage equality,” “social justice,” “diversity,” “multiculturalism,” etc. For those whose minds have been hollowed-out by government schools and our generally superficial and vulgar pop culture, few delve beyond the feel-good platitudes of these ideas. (And basically this is Thomas Sowell’s ongoing shtick.)

          So you have the marketers (the top tier) who really do hate Western Civilization, and the bottom tier (the useful idiots) who can certainly be propagandized into grievance (as many have). But the real electoral power comes in convincing an increasing shallow people that the Left’s shallow notions are good and just.

          And in that they are succeeding, and thus one of the primary reasons for the birth of StubbornThings. We must provide the philosophical, political, religious, and moral grounding for a push-back. It’s perhaps a fool’s errand, but I’d rather be this kind of fool than the useful-idiot kind.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        there is another huge group making up the Left: socio-cultural saboteurs, to whom tearing down the fabric of Western civilization is a goal worth attaining per se.

        I really do think that is the ultimate animating influence, M.V. And it’s an influence that is inherently dark and inherently dangerous. Many of the people I know have a healthy fear of grievance-minded gangs hitting the street should any severe economic downturn occur. The moral fabric of our society is akin to the thin silk gloves that the aristocracy in and around Virginia used to wear (according the the book, “Albion’s Seed”). These gloves would tear at the slightest pressure, thus signifying that the wearer did not do any manual labor.

        I think our moral fabric is just as thin in places.

        As I generally say about the Left, they appeal to our bad natures. And I really don’t expect the political class — right or left — to appeal to our good nature. The nature of politics, at least to me, is in the realm of a necessary evil. We dare not depend upon it to appeal to our good natures or else we depend upon government bureaucrats to, in essence, be our moral conscience and father confessors. No thanks.

        But at least let’s not let government prey on our bad natures, or at least let us minimize that, which is certainly one reason that at the Federal level we have (or are supposed to have) limited government.

        Sick snuff flick of Western Civilization. Please please please, Monsieur, carry that forward in a theme. 🙂

      • ladykrystyna says:

        “Kung Fu–besides technocrats, grievance-mongers and utopians, there is another huge group making up the Left: socio-cultural saboteurs, to whom tearing down the fabric of Western civilization is a goal worth attaining per se.”

        Ah, I see great minds think alike (see my post below).

        😀

    • Kurt NY says:

      I think there is yet another subset of leftists – the would-be heroes. Certain classes of folks look on certain historic events and wish to emulate those they believed acted in heroic fashion to end particular injustices. For instance, how can any American not look on the actions of some early proponents of civil rights and not have a certain admiration for their courage?

      But once those injustices have been corrected, how can we emulate our heroes? For far too many, they find piffling items whose importance and effects they can exaggerate, the better to overdramatize their own actions in response to same. Which also leads to occasional outbursts on the left of debates over who is the more oppressed. But all of which mostly occurs because those driving the discord need to feel important and part of something greater than themselves.

    • ladykrystyna says:

      Well, I add to that the people that know that what they are selling will not work as advertised, but they do not care: they want to set up their New World Order. Like the Fabian Socialists – they will heat the world up so that they can mold it to their hearts’ desire.

      And that attracts the elitists, the resentful and the idealists.

    • MarkW says:

      Back in college, I debated a young communist who proclaimed that in addition to a minimum wage there should be a maximum wage, and ideally, the two would be the same.

      • Kung Fu Zu says:

        To paraphrase Karl Marx, “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Oh, good god. A “maximum wage.” Well, to tell you the truth, it’s not just kooky college kids who believe in that. I know this one guy (a friend and a client) who thinks that the salaries of corporate executives should be capped. This fellow does pretty well for himself. Oddly, in practice, he lives the conservative life. He’s self-made, runs his own business, married, kids, works hard, etc. And yet he’s swallowed down this class warfare covetousness of the Left. And not mildly, but to an insane degree when we talk about it….which I don’t tend to do anymore with him.

        Me, I don’t give a rat’s behind what some CEO makes. That’s up to him and his board and shareholders. Not me. Not the government. I’m sorry that the intentionally-generated grievance and angst of the Left has infected so many otherwise good people. But that’s still no reason to give in to utter stupidity. But many have, and without a thought.

        • MarkW says:

          I’ll bet he has no problem with the salaries earned by actors and athletes.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Probably not. There are those who have adopted (or been programmed into) the (as you said) “your income should depend on your need.” It’s what I call hanging onto a Kindergarten-like attitude into the adult years.

            In Kindergarten, if one person has gum, they’re supposed to bring enough for everyone. And it is arguable that this might be an age-appropriate thing for five-year-olds.

            But not adults, and certainly not citizens of a great republic. But that’s what the Left has done. They’re regressed us to an eternal Kindergarten mindset.

            As long as some guy is not stealing or breaking good and reasonable laws, I don’t really care how much a fellow makes. Good for him or her, I say. But that attitude is almost non-existent these days, having been replaced by the socialist “eternal Kindergarten” attitude.

            But that’s not likely what infects my friend. He’s just a sheer case of covetousness which the Left also instills and stirs up.

      • Kurt NY says:

        “in addition to a minimum wage there should be a maximum wage, and ideally, the two would be the same.” Sure, makes sense to me. Of course the labor of a high school kid just entering the work force at the grocery store or that philosophy major just wrapping up his college experience after seven years of intermittent study is worth the exact same as that of someone supervising a company employing hundreds of thousands of people.

        Ah, the glories of that top-notch American college education.

        • MarkW says:

          People like my debate partner don’t believe that your income should depend on your work. They believe that your income should depend on your need.

  2. ladykrystyna says:

    “If you can get people to feel insecure, they may attempt to buy the supposed safety that politicians have to offer in their various entitlements and programs. It’s an ongoing scam.”

    That’s a great point, Brad. It ties in with my thoughts on this subject – that the Left has basically indoctrinated Americans into believing that life should be without any risk whatsoever.

    I’m always reminded about that when a tragedy happens. IMHO, many tragedies can’t ever be avoided no matter how many regulations we have, or what kind of technology we have.

    But you know that every time a tragedy happens it means lawsuits and regulations. That’s why we have warnings on hair dryers to not dry your hair while in the shower!

    Again, I’m not saying we can’t strive for safety, but I get the feeling the end result is ZERO risk, instead of the least amount of risk possible on this planet. And it also means a loss of common sense (see hair dryer example).

    “Note that the Left is constantly in crisis mode trying to ramp up fear and the perception that we are in dire straights. And if there isn’t a real crisis, they’ll simply invent one. From DDT to the global warming scam (and the global cooling hysteria of a couple decades back), the road is littered with the fear-based schemes of the Left that turned out to be baseless and yet were effective in terms of gaining power via instilling a feeling of an urgent need that Someone must do something!”

    Have you been reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism”? 😀

    It’s the “moral equivalency of war”.

    Obama just did it at the beginning of his second term, extolling the virtues of how the military “works together”. They hate the military, but they wish that the country were run like the military – the higher ups give orders and the grunts follow the orders. One thing they leave out of course is that the grunts don’t have to follow “unlawful orders”.

    “Another aspect of socialism is that the very success of capitalism and freedom that leads to our very prosperous and secure way of life can lead to “The Princess and the Pea” effect. When things get really comfy, any imperfections tend to stand out even more. We become like a spoiled child or like that pampered princess in the fairy tale who, even through several layers of mattresses, is so distressed by the single pea tucked under the bottom mattress that she can’t sleep.”

    That is a great way to describe it!

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      On my can of Planter’s peanuts it says, “Do not give nuts to children under 6.”

      Oh, geezuz. And, really, a six-year-old isn’t old enough to eat a peanut? Good gracious god. What silly people we have become.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    For what it’s worth, Jonah has a really good article regarding socialism. Yes, Virginia, the Nazis really were socialists: Nazis: Still Socialists.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Yes, and I commented on that one too (agreeing, of course). It helps that I’ve read extensively on Nazi economic policy.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Have you read “The Wages of Destruction:The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy” by Adam Tooze? It is a very detailed study of the development and workings of the Nazi economy. I suggest those who think the Nazi’s were not socialists read this book.

        I believe we sometimes get too tied up in terms such as Nazi and Communist. What they, and most other political ideologies or systems, have in common is that they are really statist where certain elites control the levers of power and profit. I believe the USA was the exception in history to this and we are running to join the usual historical model.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I believe we sometimes get too tied up in terms such as Nazi and Communist.

          Indeed. And that was an exceptional article by Jonah disentangling the confusion. Of course, it will make no difference with the Left. Even Dennis Prager believes the Nazis were of the right (if far right). All that the Left knows or cares about is that socialism is good, Nazis are bad, and therefore the Nazis couldn’t be socialists.

          How and why they don’t distance themselves from the much more murderous and oppressive Stalin and Mao is one of the wonders of the modern world. But only through propaganda and the thorough corruption of the intellect and morals can this be accomplished.

          One wonders, now and again, if there isn’t an actual Beelzebub active in our culture.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            I sometimes think that one reason the Left equates anyone they don’t like with Hitler is the pseudo-syllogism, “I hate Hitler. I hate X. Therefore, X is the same as Hitler.”

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              That reminds me of one of the funniest (and, I think, dumbest) supposed truisms of the internet. If you invoke “Nazi” you are supposedly invoking Godwin’s Law. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this was a notion invented by a Leftist in order to deflect away from the true nature of socialism.

              Be that as it may, Jonah’s book, “Liberal Fascism,” gives a good and detailed description of why Nazis were indeed socialists. It’s just another statist totalitarian impulse. There are many varieties of this beast. So comparing Castro to Hitler is appropriate. To see the fascist instinct in the gay lobby is appropriate. This is not just name-calling. This is that same intolerant instinct.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Godwin’s Law is appropriate when the Nazi reference has no relevance to the issue at hand. The problem is that so few people know when it would be relevant — for example, someone unfamiliar with The Nazi War Against Cancer would consider “Health Nazis” a violation of Godwin’s Law.

                I had a lengthy review of Liberal Fascism in FOSFAX 215, with a follow-up in the next issue on his addendum on Obama for the paperback edition.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I did a large article in FOSFAX 217 on Nazi Germany which was based on several books, including Tooze’s as well as Hitler’s Beneficiaries by Goetz Aly (which discussed the Nazi welfare state), Hitler’s Empire by Mark Mazower (which I believe is where I learned that the Gestapo chief in Poland was named Friedrich Kruger), and The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans. (I minored in history and economics at Purdue.)

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Thanks for titles of books on the Third Reich.

            I’ll never think of “Friday the Thirteenth” in the same way. (Although I have never seen the movie)

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Actually, I think it was the Nightmare on Elm Street series, though I’ve never seen any of them either. (I have seen the first 3 Halloween movies, which tend to be very good on suspense and not so gory.)

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I just added “Hitler’s Beneficiaries” to the Bookshelf. What an interesting synopsis that someone wrote:

            The crimes against humanity committed by the regime were not, he argues, the work of a few individuals or an evil external to the population and the course of German history in the 20th century. Rather, the Nazis met the population’s overwhelming desire for material security and an improved standard of living. The Nazis redistributed wealth in favor of the lower classes and opened up avenues of social mobility for them. The Holocaust, then, was not just a result of the ideology of anti-Semitism but also of the policies of plunder that won the regime the support of the vast majority of the German people.

            No…the Nazis certainly weren’t socialists.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            If you don’t have it already, an excellent general history of the Third Reich is “Nazi Germany: A New History” by Klaus P. Fischer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *