The left used to hide their socialist/communist leanings. Now it’s fashionable to call oneself a Democratic Socialist, an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Merriam Webster has several definitions for democracy, but the first definition is: “a government by the people.” On the other hand, socialism is defined this way: “a system in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the government; a system in which there is no private property.” Are you getting this? In a democracy, the people run the show. In a socialist system, the government runs everything. How can the two go together in a single sentence, let alone as a descriptor for a political party? But, it’s all a ruse. These socialists just know more people will fall for it if the word democratic comes before socialist.
we already tried socialism
Let’s go back in history to check out a place called Plymouth. Our public school system chooses often to omit very important concepts because most school officials and teachers are Democrats with liberal views, and some facts in history just don’t jibe with their ideologies today.
William Bradford, the governor for many years at Plymouth, wrote a detailed account of life before the Pilgrims arrival at Plymouth and also life in the New World. His work is entitled Of Plymouth Plantation. In his account, he describes the harvest feast of 1621 in which the Pilgrims and the natives feasted for three days. This later became the holiday we know as Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, however, the winter of 1621 was quite lean.
And, during the winter of 1623, the Pilgrims actually survived with only five kernels of corn per person per day. Talk about lean!
Soon after that lean winter, the Pilgrims learned that other settlers would soon arrive. They weren’t happy because that meant more mouths to feed. Some of us wonder how things could have been so dire. Did they not have fertile soil? Did they not know how to hunt? Did they not know how to fish? Why were their food supplies so limited?
The answer lies in the economic system they had adopted from their original merchant-sponsors in London. The system involved everyone working and contributing to a common storehouse. Then, each person would take what they needed. I think you can see where I’m going here. Human nature being what human nature is, there were some individuals who worked hard six days a week, resting on the Sabbath. Some, however, worked only four days or three, and some not at all. Yet, those working fewer days still took enough food to feed themselves and their families. And, those working six days began to wonder why they were working so hard; it seemed unfair to them. Then, with the new arrivals, many of whom came from debtors’ prisons and who didn’t have much of a work ethic, the frustrations increased.
Governor William Bradford recognized the desperate situation, and seeking an answer from God, he looked in the Bible. (His example is one all of us should follow. When you have a problem, seek your answer from God. The Bible is full of wisdom and answers.) Back to our story. Bradford found his answer in II Thessalonians 3:10 which states, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
To some millenials and bleeding heart liberals today, his plan may have seemed harsh. Bradford assigned single men to a family. Each family was given a plot of land to work, and whatever they produced they could consume. If the Pilgrims produced more than they could consume, they could sell their produce or barter for something they wanted. The colony thrived under this new capitalist society. In fact, the Pilgrims even opened a trading post and exchanged items with the Native Americans. They also paid off their debt to their English sponsors, and enlivened by the Pilgrims’ success, more Puritans arrived leading to the “Great Puritan Migration.” Now that’s a success story, and the moral of the story is that communal living and sharing doesn’t really work, but capitalism does. When you look out for your own interests and those of your family’s, you are motivated to work hard and to try to succeed, while communal sharing, unfortunately speaks to our worst defects: laziness, indolence, and passivity.
“free” is always enticing
So, having learned this lesson quite early in our country’s history, one has to wonder why so many have lauded socialism and communism. The answer to that question is twofold.
First, I love this quote from philosopher George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We live in the 21st century, yet we have huge segments of the population who are ignorant of history, so they easily fall for an ideology and economic system where its proponents promise “free stuff” for everyone. Free always is enticing. Free college, free healthcare, a living wage, and some have even proposed a free salary of $1000 a month for every citizen of the United States.
the indoctrination of our youth
Second, students are being propagandized about the so-called benefits of socialism and the deficits of capitalism. We’ll discuss American public schools in another podcast, but suffice it to say that history textbooks are often authored by leftist professors with a definite interest in portraying America in a dim light. I know this because I taught world history, American history, US government, and a class I absolutely despised called world cultures.
When I taught American history, I noted that no mention was ever made of the party that freed the slaves. That would be the Republican party. No mention was ever made of the first African Americans to serve in the US Congress. You see, they were all Republicans. No mention was made that the party that created the Ku Klux Klan was the Democrat party. No mention was ever made of the Jim Crow laws being the invention of Democrats. No mention was ever made of the eugenics movement in America by progressives. A leftist slant is inevitable in most textbooks today.
should economics be taught as a social studies course?
I want to share an interesting anecdote with you. When I taught middle and high school students in Oregon, I remember discussing with an administrator, who had formerly been a business teacher, the fact that economics as a course had been moved from the business department to the social studies department. He couldn’t understand why that change was made. Most veteran social studies teachers had not taken a single economics course in college and were not at all qualified to teach it. In fact, nearly everyone I knew who “had” to teach it because no one else wanted it, struggled to create interesting activities and lessons to engage students. There was only one teacher, nearing retirement who had an interest in teaching the subject. We’ll call this teacher John.
John was a luddite, someone who fears technology. Often John would come to me for help with his laptop. I’m not an expert in computer hardware, but I know my way well around a lot of software and apps that teachers use daily. I’ll never forget the first time I helped John. His laptop had shutdown unexpectedly while I was working with him, so I asked him his password. He replied, “Marx.” I said, “Excuse me?” and he repeated his response. “You know, Marx, as in Karl Marx.”
Never one to show outwardly what I was feeling internally, I did not react. Afterwards, I began drawing some conclusions. John was an unashamed socialist and was tasked with teaching his students economics. Mind you, these are simply my conclusions, but it now seems obvious why economics as a school subject was transferred from the business department to the social studies department. It wasn’t about business models and statistics; it was about politics and ideology. As a rule, many business teachers either have had their own business at some time or another or are entrepreneurs and are staunchly pro-business. On the other hand, many social studies teachers have been indoctrinated in their social science courses at college about the benefits of socialism and the pitfalls of capitalism.
the lefts war on the wealthy
Once again, all one need do to affirm this is look at a social studies textbook. When I was growing up, I read many biographies. Two of my favorites were of John Jacob Astor and Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie, in particular, impressed me with his rags-to-riches story. In those days teachers and parents taught children, not to covet what others had, but to try to emulate their success through hard work, determination, grit, and drive. You can imagine my surprise when I opened a US history textbook and discovered that these captains of industry were referred to in the text as robber barons.
So, these ambitious, hard working individuals did not get their wealth through diligence and persistence. No, they apparently robbed people for their wealth. This helps explain Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama’s view that if you are wealthy, you didn’t do it alone. Listen first to Warren and then Obama.
Both Warren and Obama make such specious arguments. It’s like the chicken and the egg. Which came first? How could the government build roads, schools, and hospitals without people starting businesses and thus creating wealth and taxes? In addition, Obama and Warren don’t even pursue the line of thinking that it takes a person risking their money, time, and hard work on an idea that might not work. The common employee may work hard, but does not risk his money while employed, but the business person does that. This is nothing more than class warfare. Yet another way to divide America to achieve leftist goals.
the left relies on useful idiots
Back to our subject. You know, there have always been “useful idiots” to spread propaganda about the socialist model. One such idiot was Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times journalist Walter Duranty. Duranty was stationed initially in Europe and later in the Soviet Union, and it was thirteen articles he wrote about Joseph Stalin and communism that won him the coveted prize. His only sources for the stories were Soviet Union government officials. He never talked with ordinary citizens who would have explained the dire conditions under which they were living.
In his writing for The Times, Duranty always put a positive spin on atrocities. Here’s one example. The Communists had a plan to “liquidate” five million kulaks. (Kulaks were well off farmers opposed to collectivized agriculture.) Duranty wrote, “Must all of them and their families be physically abolished? Of course not–they must be ‘liquidated’ or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass.” Righhhhht. Liquidate meant just what it sounds like. Stalin wanted all five million Kulaks dead or gone. In the end, all had their land and homes seized, and were declared “enemies of the people.” Many were transported by boxcar to Siberia to work. About 390,000 kulaks perished.
We, too, have our useful idiots like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders who laud socialism. Sometimes these lefties even let their guard down and show their adoration for the dictators in charge of failed socialist/communist regimes. Here’s Anita Dunn, Obama’s White House Communications Director discussing her two favorite philosophers.
Mao? Really? What’s to admire about a ruthless dictator?
Next, you’ll hear from Ron Bloom, Obama’s Manufacturing Czar. First, whoever thought it was a good idea to name a chairperson a Czar should be fired. The word Czar comes from Caesar and was used in Russia to mean emperor or king. I guess it fits the Democrats. They’re all about power. Anyway, here’s Ron Bloom.
This guy was the manufacturing chairperson but believes the free market is a joke. Do you see anything wrong with this picture? The part, however, that is most disturbing and telling is when, in showing his admiration for Mao, he agrees with him that “power comes largely from the barrel of a gun.” That’s scary stuff folks. You get in line or we will make you using lethal force.
Do most Americans know this history? Do they know that Joseph Stalin was responsible for over 20 million deaths? Do they know that Mao killed 78 million of his own people? If they are young, the answer is probably not. If they did, they might recognize the dangers of socialism and not be so enamored of an ideology that has led to millions of deaths.
everyone should read animal farm
Many of these young people, you know, the ones that are captivated by Bernie Sander and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, could benefit from reading Animal Farm. Published in 1945 by George Orwell, it is an allegory depicting the Russian Revolution of 1917 and goes into the Stalin era of the Soviet Union. I read it in seventh grade as required reading, but it didn’t mean anything to me at the time. Then, in ninth grade it was once again assigned. I found it boring. Now, as an adult, I find it an excellent indictment of the socialist/communist ideology and a warning to anyone who might contemplate a socialist utopia as a better system than our democratic republic and free market economy.
For those of you who have an understanding of the book, I’m just going to ask you to bear with me while I try to summarize it for those unfamiliar with the tale. It begins with Old Major, a boar, gathering all the farm animals on Manor Farm together to describe a dream he had. In his dream, all animals would live together amicably and would not be oppressed or controlled by humans. The animals love the idea. Soon thereafter Old Major dies, and three young pigs use his ideas to create Animalism. A few days later, the animals stage a revolution and overthrow the farmer, renaming the farm “Animal Farm.”
At first, Animal Farm prospers, but soon two of the pigs battle each other over running the farm and using technology. One of the pigs, Napoleon, wins the battle running the other pig off the farm. Then he tells the animals that from that point on only the pigs would make the decisions for the good of all animals. Napoleon begins to solidify more and more power, and begins acting like a human, drinking heavily, sleeping in a bed, and trading with the farmer.
There is so much more to this story, and it’s not a long story either. In fact, it’s called a novella not a novel. It’s well worth your time to read this classic, and I’m not going to spoil it for you, but there is one line that has stood out to me over the years. It seems all the principles of Animalism boiled down to only one tenet: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
the left are the “pigs” in our “farm” today
Doesn’t this sum up leftists/socialists to a tee. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) wants to ban the combustible engine and air travel for common folk like us, but when asked if she wants to ban private jets, she has a different response. This clip is only 23 seconds and she gives a very brief response, you’ll have to listen carefully. The rest of the time, she refuses to answer the reporter’s questions.
So AOC’s prescription to deal with so called global warming would NOT include a ban on private jets. Don’t you know who these people are? They’re important. They need to fly around because they’re policy makers. Remember, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
How about another AOC gem? Even though she is the sponsor of the Green New Deal which seeks to abolish cars which run on gas, AOC’s campaign mostly relied on cars to get around. According to the New York Post she “listed 1,049 transactions for Uber, Lyft, Juno and other car services.” Why didn’t Ocasio-Cortez use the subway to get around? It’s interesting to note that the subway station was just 138 feet from her campaign office. The answer to the question about why she didn’t use the subway is, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
How about Bernie Sanders, proud socialist? Here he is speaking about wealth inequality.
You would think a socialist like Bernie would eschew material comforts, right? Welllll….not so much. You see Bernie recently purchased his third home for $600,000. His new home sits on Lake Champlain in Vermont. But, I thought socialism was about making everyone equal. Oh, that’s right. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
the stench of hypocrisy
The stench from the hypocrisy on the left could bowl you over. But, AOC remains both arrogant and hypocritical. Here’s how she responded to criticism. “Living in the world as it is isn’t an argument against working towards a better future.” Ummm…sorry AOC. It is a darn good argument against hypocrites like you who want the rest of us to give up our air conditioning and cars and stop eating beef. If things are as critical as you and your green cohorts believe, that the world will end in twelve years, why are you still riding around in cars and planes? Oh yeah, that’s right. These rules only apply to the little people like me because all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
the truth about the New Green deal
In the end, the Green New Deal is all about socialism. It’s about getting the masses to do what the elites want us to do. Some would call that coercion, but some might call that force. Here Ocasio-Cortez is talking about how much money is too much for an individual to earn.
Last time I looked, we live in the land of the free. If I am intelligent enough and have the drive and determination to create something everyone wants, then the sky should be the limit on the amount of money I can earn.
But, the wacky left would ruin our economy, kill all cows, ban cars and airplanes, and determine how much each person could earn. Listen to AOC explain what this is really all about.
Okay folks. Anytime the left talks about any kind of justice, grab your wallet because it means they are going to take your hard earned money and give it to (and I’m quoting from the Green New Deal document) “anyone unable or unwilling to work.” AOC terms that economic security and economic justice. I call that highway robbery. Isaiah reminds us, “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing…”
why are some americans enamored of socialism?
So, what is it about socialism that has captured the hearts of many Americans? Frankly, I believe they are being lied to by people like Bernie Sanders. Sanders explains the models we should emulate toward making America a Democratic-Socialist country. He often cites Denmark, Norway and Sweden as examples of such a system.
Here is Johan Norberg, an author and historian and a man who was born and raised in Sweden refuting the notion that Sweden is a socialist country. Norberg is being interviewed by John Stossel.
Wow, there’s so much to unpack here. First did you get that low income Swedes pay 60% in taxes? The wealthy are not the ones soaked in Sweden.
Regardless, these extremely high taxes are how the Swedes get things like “free” healthcare and college. But, based on the high taxes, I’m sure you’ve figured out it’s not really free. Did you also hear that Sweden has privatized things like the school system? This has forced schools to compete and thus all schools have improved. Would the left ever go for this in America? I think not. The Swedes have also privatized their form of social security which scares the heck out of everyone in America. And, as Norberg explains, Sweden has a market economy that is strong. So much for a socialist Sweden!
Now let’s check out Denmark, another country Sanders lauds as a model for socialism. Here’s Lars Christensen, a Danish Economist, explaining Denmark’s economic system.
Once again, the top marginal tax is 59%. That’s how they pay for medical care and college for all. But Christensen makes clear that these services are not free. They are–and this should be obvious to any thinking person–paid for through the high taxes. Christensen further reveals that these high taxes “put the brakes on economic growth.” This is something we don’t want for our country.
In 2015, the Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen responded to Bernie Sanders’ assertions that Denmark is socialist by saying, “I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.” He went on to say, “…the Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens. But, it also is a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish.” Hmmm…I’m not sure I would totally agree with that based on their high taxes. I still prefer being in charge of my own money.
don’t they see the disaster that is venezuela?
So, all the Scandinavian countries Bernie and AOC cite as being socialist don’t agree with that characterization. But when asked about real socialist countries like Venezuela, they are virtually silent. And, let’s recap. Venezuela used to be one of the richest countries in the world thanks to their huge supply of oil reserves. But, ever since its lurch to the far left and socialism under first Hugo Chavez and now Nicholas Maduro, its people are literally starving and the country’s economy has collapsed.
Erick Brimen is a Venezuelan immigrant living in the United States. He remembers when Chavez came to power. He explains, “As a young and idealistic student…I was captivated by socialism’s promise of a more equal, fair, and just society.” But, rather than fixing corruption, socialism, in his view has made things much, much worse. Let’s listen to him speak about socialism as he is interviewed on Fox.
Boy, if only the 60% of young people who support socialism in America would listen to Brimen, they might change their minds. I say “might” because most often what you get from these young people when you point to Venezuela as a failed socialist state is, “But that’s not real socialism.”
Of course it’s real socialism just like Cuba and North Korea. Do I dare say it? These places have become poop holes where people are scrambling through garbage trucks for rotting food to eat. Why would we want this for our country? Any time you put more and more power in the hands of government officials, you get corruption. We’ve experienced that in our own country to a limited degree. How else do you explain how most congressional members go to Washington as middle class people and retire as millionaires? Remember the main tenet of Animalism: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
equality or freedom: You choose
And, speaking of equality, that seems to be what social justice warriors want most. I will always remember what Mr. Adams, my social studies teacher in high school, once told our class. He said, “You cannot have freedom and equality together. They are exclusive. You either have equality or you have freedom.” I recall staying after class to debate him on this strange-to-my-ears concept. He was trying to help his students understand the difference between two different concepts: socialism and capitalism. In socialism there is purported equality, but no drive to improve because the wage will be the same as the person next to you who does very little work. (Think Plymouth and the communal storehouse we discussed at the beginning of the broadcast.) Thus, the state of affairs crumbles when there are no incentives to improve.
Capitalism, on the other hand, allows people to try to create, invent, improve, and yes, sometimes to fail at endeavors. But it doesn’t quash the drive and motivation out of people like socialism does. And, Galatians reminds us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” And, make no mistake, socialism is an ideology which enslaves its citizens.
We would all do well to read Kurt Vonnegut’s short story entitled “Harrison Bergeron.” It’s a sad tale of a futuristic society where everyone is equal. People who are smart are fitted with an implement in their ear which produces loud noises every twenty seconds to disable higher levels of thinking. Individuals who are attractive must wear hideous masks, so as not to make unattractive people feel bad. Anyone graceful is weighed down with metal so as not to cause distress to clumsy folks. You get the idea.
The story begins like this: “The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”
the cpc, an arm of the democratic socialists of america
Take a few minutes and read this story. Think about Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Maxine Waters, and the other 75 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) who are proponents of socialism. I bet you didn’t know that the Democratic Socialists of America played a major role in the founding of the CPC. This helps explain why, in 2015, Debbie Wasserman Shultz had a hard time answering Chris Matthews when he asked her, “What’s the difference between a Democrat and a socialist?” Here’s her weak response.
That was basically a non-response. The Democrat party has been hiding the fact that there is really not much difference between today’s Democrat party and socialism. In fact, the Democratic Socialists of America’s main goal has been to work within the Democrat party to remove the stigma of the word socialism so it becomes more palatable to Americans. I think they are succeeding, unfortunately.
what can we do to fight socialism?
What can we do about this rise of Americans favoring socialism? First, if there are young people in your life with the misconception that socialism is the ticket for “economic justice,” you must get them to read Animal Farm and “Harrison Bergeron” Do it together and discuss the main theme(s). Next, you must point out countries like Cuba and Venezuela and show them what happens economically under socialism. Finally, if they are Bernie supporters and believe the tripe that Scandinavian countries are socialist, have them watch a few documentaries on Youtube showing how they are not socialist countries but instead have a free market system. On bethelightdaily.com, I have provided a resource page with links to the two stories and the documentaries.
a needed prayer
Let’s end in prayer, and remember to be the light daily.
Almighty Father, to you be all glory for you are worthy. Thank you for all your blessings in America especially the blessing of freedom. Lord we ask you to continue to prosper our country. But we also ask that you devour the darkness seeping in through purveyors of falsehoods conceived by Satan himself. Father, we know that socialism breeds corruption, laziness, despondency, and enslavement. Open the eyes of those who would be deceived by an ideology that has been tried by the world’s worst dictators, has killed millions of people, and has failed miserably wherever it’s been implemented. It is only by humbly coming to you to seek forgiveness and accepting the free gift of salvation your son, Jesus, gave us when he died for our sins that we can truly understand freedom. We thank you for your blessings and beg you to keep America the land of the free, and if we must fight this scourge that it also remain the home of the brave. In Jesus’ name, Amen.