An outstanding salesman is one who can tell another to go to hell and make him feel very happy that he is on his way. Such a feat requires intense creativity, deceptive semantics, and the ability to lie creatively and utter warm, loving words to the victim while concealing the intense hatred the perpetrator feels for him. The victim must be convinced he's going to a warm, wonderful place and not understand until too late what is really happening to him.
Satan is a master at this. After all, it's his job and he's been at it for a long time. It is amusing nevertheless that generation after generation continues to fall prey to the same old tricks. But then again, fighting off old lies in new packaging is a full-time job, which requires effort, and few seem to muster the courage to do it.
Contrary to popular belief, communism is not dead! Rather, it is invading the West at an alarming pace - either overtly or covertly. China is a solidly communist country. Cuba remains communist and Venezuela is becoming such. The majority of southern Africa - South Africa included - is either controlled by communists or moving rapidly in that direction.
The new communists may not proclaim themselves to be such. They use other terms such as socialism, etc., but communist thought is alive and well in the halls of academia. The communist collective process has invaded our governments, schools, state, provincial and county governments, businesses and even Bible-based churches. Few pastors and Christians in churches utilizing the popular church growth programs realize they are based on the collective process designed by atheist Vladimir Lenin to brainwash the masses and impose Marxist control on society.
Something should be wrong with this picture, given communism's record of death and disaster and its persecution of Christians and Jews, but because of the nature of how the transition has occurred - repacking old ideas in new wrapping - few have noticed. In this article, we'll look at how socialism, communism's wicked stepsister, has replaced capitalism as the dominant economic and political paradigm in the West.
The Circle of Socialism
Most Westerners believe that fascism is extreme-right and socialism is far-left. Perhaps a more realistic model would be a circle at the top of which stands a free market economy, private enterprise, and a limited constitutional government with a bill of rights for the individual as a cornerstone of freedom. At the bottom of the circle rests a dictatorship, individual or oligarchic, sham rights revocable at any time by the state, and where the rule of law means everything is state controlled. The only practical difference between fascism and socialism is that in a communist society government owns all property and directs all enterprise, whereas in a fascist society private property ownership continues, but entrepreneurs must submit to government's ideologies and goals - chief of which is the task of funding government programs with the proceeds of private enterprise. Today's socialism is striving to straddle both models.
Socialism and fascism only appear different when they're sliding down the outside of their respective circles. Once they arrive at the bottom, both are functionally and historically alike. Both societies believe in total government control of the economy, education, and morals, suppression of free speech and other rights, imposition of a politically correct ideology, subordination of citizens' rights to the goals of the state or collective, and the use of law to coerce and prosecute those who dissent.
Bottom line: At the top of the circle is a free state, where the laws protect the people from government. At the bottom of the circle is a socialist or fascist state, where the laws protect government from the people.
100% Successful Failure
Much of public debate today is not about whether we're going to have a free society vs. state control, but simply about which side of the circle we're going to slide down during the move away from freedom towards a global, state-controlled society. Despite socialism's 100% track record of failure, the entire Western world seems determined to do it again, sliding down the left side of the circle, screaming epithets at fascism as it disappears around the curve, unaware that its current course leads to a head-on encounter with fascism going the other way at the bottom. Thereafter, both movements unite, causing their citizens to live miserably ever after. Few apprehend the inherent evil and diminishing rights in the emerging political structures or understand why they are inimical to the free society they are happily leaving behind. Since we're heading towards a global pantheistic socialism, it might be advisable to examine its three fundamentals: elitism, expropriation, and exemption.
Genuine socialists are, above all, elitist. Socialists conceive themselves to be bright shining Quijotes,1 tilting with windmills, saving humanity from itself, the planet from humanity, the economy from capitalism, and from everything else except big government, which socialists love. On the other hand, they view the putrid pile of pusillanimous pus we call society as the unwashed ignorant who must be saved from themselves. In this capacity, the opinions of the unwashed are to be ignored.
There is a difference between hard-core socialist academics or politicians (ideologues) and the socialazzi (Lenin's "useful idiots"), the average Joe and Jane, who think government social programs are great, but never investigate to see if socialism delivers its promises, which it never does. To his credit, Joe Socialazzi is bothered that the rich seem to be getting richer and he seems to be getting poorer but he just can't figure it out. After all, Joe Socialazzi genuinely cares about people, but he doesn't understand that there's no such thing as a free lunch. The hard-core ideologues, however, understand it's all about power, money, and control.
La Visin Grande
Socialist Quijotes usually have their gran visin del mundo, 2 and ride in on the back of white Rocinantes 3 - a glittering response to appalling social conditions or the environmental crisis du jour. However, socialist solutions always ignore basic rules of both human nature and economics. As such they not only absolutely fail but also create far worse problems than existed before they started, which is why socialism always collapses of its own weight, but only after much damage has been wrought on the little guy.
Socialists do not like opinions in variance with the grand vision. Thus, high priority on the socialist docket is to suppress free speech by whatever method feasible. Suppression of speech in the elitism phase is important. By the time everyone arrives at the exemption phase, everyone knows socialism is a lie, but they can no longer say so. Indeed, a hallmark of Soviet society was that everyone had to give lip service to a series of official lies, which everyone knew were false but couldn't say so.
Once the socialist is in a position to implement the grand vision, he immediately faces a critical problem: funding. Grand designs require grand amounts of money. However, the ignorant unwashed masses don't like to work for free or have their hard-earned money taken from them. So the socialist creates warfare between classes of people. He demonizes the haves and sanctifies the haves-not. He demonizes those who don't see the wisdom in the grand vision. Then he tells the haves-not it is moral, just, and good to seize what the haves have by force and give it to the haves-not. He also says it is wrong for the haves to even try to earn what they have. Soak the rich and save the planet. Viva el free lunch!
Here lies the core contradiction of socialism: socialists demonize capitalism but always require the wealth capitalism generates in order to implement and perpetuate their political schemes. The double speak must be maintained if socialists are to remain in power! The socialazzi never learn that there is no such thing as a free lunch until late in the game, when it's too late.
As socialist programs are created in rapid succession, a staggering bureaucracy comes into existence to support the administration of it, which siphons off the lion's share of what is supposed to be transferred from the haves to the haves-not. Once entrenched, this new bureaucracy has a vested interest in 1) perpetuating the problems it is supposed to be fixing, in order to 2) sustain its cash flow, in order to 3) keep itself in existence, regardless of who gets soaked. Remember, socialism is about power and control.
Socialism continues to exist as long as two factors remain in play:
1) The underlying capitalism is resilient enough to bear the load. This involves being able to pay increasing levels of confiscatory taxation and deal with a crushing regulatory burden or a horribly corrupt political system. Note that these factors always eliminate the little guy from the game! Little guys do not have the financial resources to fight an increasingly abusive system, resulting in one of socialism's most important dicta: Under socialism the middle class always disappears!
2) The masses must continue believing that there is a free lunch and that only rich people are being soaked.
While the game is ongoing, socialists always exempt themselves from the restrictive laws and confiscations they impose on everyone else. In essence they become exactly what they preach against, but more importantly, once the jig is up, a more pernicious form of exemption sets in as socialists make themselves immune from responsibility for the havoc they have caused: morally, legally and above all, politically. Sooner or later even the most mentally challenged becomes dimly aware that socialists look a lot like the rich haves they perpetually promise to soak. The socialazzi discover their money has been devalued, their assets seized, their freedoms quashed, their economy wrecked, they're broke and the system is out of control.
At this point, revolutions - bloody or not - usually occur and exemption kicks in. When the economic horse collapses from abuse and overwork, socialists adamantly refuse to dismount, even when confronted with a very angry populace (vis a vis Argentina). First they try to convince the public that evil rich capitalists are responsible for the horse's ill health and that the horse will recover if the people just make more sacrifices of their money and property. Occasionally the socialazzi are stupid enough to believe this and the horse can be kept alive for a little while longer, but it never regains its former health. Invariably the games socialists play to keep Rocinante alive radically exacerbate an already desperate situation to its ultimate conclusion. In the end, the poor horse simply dies, leading socialists to the major challenge of their dubious careers. It is now impossible to convince the public that the bad smell isn't rotting horse carcass and that they're not responsible. Disaster is at hand when lo and behold, socialism meets its old enemy fascism going the other way in an encounter called by Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Third Way. Others refer to it as capitalistic communism.
Since the socialists don't want to give up money and power, they cut a deal with the big-time capitalists. The socialists make laws that are favorable only to the big guys, excluding the little guys from the game. At the same time the big capitalists agree to fund the socialists' dreams and agendas as long as they get exclusive preferential treatment.
It's a marriage made in political hell. When things go wrong, the socialists can blame the capitalists all the while they pound the bejeebers out of capitalist enterprise to pay for their socialist dreams. As such they are never held accountable for the horrible state of affairs that inevitably results from socialism in the first place! But now we must ask: When this socialist round collapses - which it will as all its ancestors did - given that this is the first time socialism will be implemented on a global scale, there will be no remaining source of external free-market capitalism to stop the endgame chaos, so what will the global dictatorship look like?
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[John Loeffler is host of the nationally syndicated weekly news program, Steel on Steel, heard on the Information Radio Network. The program may be heard on the Internet at www.steelonsteel.com.]