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October 2017 Brief: Volume 24, Number 30

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The Road to Hell is Paved with Progressive Intentions


by Jerry Hopkins



In American political life, there currently doesn’t seem to be a way to determine what is true or false, real news or fake news, fact or fiction. The mainstream media, public education, entertainment, government, and even religion have been “weaponized” to defend the politically correct ideology that will lead to our ruin if we don’t get America back on track quickly.


This situation has been vividly portrayed in the debates over certain issues in both national forums and state and local forums, such as the growing support of socialism or progressivism at all levels of our civic culture. Many people do not understand the problems associated with the rising tide of socialism in our country and in the world. This is a more acceptable term than the synonym used in the past, namely “communism.” Bernie Sanders’ success in his Democrat primary campaign against Hillary Clinton is an example of this grave problem. Millions of young people, particularly millennials, supported him, campaigned for him, and then felt betrayed by the actions of Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. The real problem in this situation was not Clinton’s betrayal of Sanders, but the fact that both of these candidates were committed to the ideology of socialism and big government.


A sensible explanation of socialism should bring alarm to all of us and should bring us to reject any further growth of government and taxation. Every citizen should read Friedrich A. Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom, in which the author uses economics and philosophy to reveal the totalitarian nature of socialism and how it inevitably leads to serfdom, or slavery. Those who admire and advocate socialism as an acceptable system are the same whether they label themselves socialists, communists, or fascists. They must resort to the same destructive and dictatorial systems in order to get power and control to enforce what they think is best. The individual can have no will or self-worth in such a system. Such a system leads to slavery, as Hayek contended in another book, A Fatal Conceit. Such societies and governments are doomed. We have obvious examples of societies and governments today – Greece, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea – that have bankrupt, totalitarian governments that have robbed and ruined their people.


We ought to review what Alexis de Tocqueville said about democracy and socialism in 1848:


Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man while socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.


Socialism is presented by the Progressives as the “road to freedom for all,” when in fact it is the road to serfdom, slavery, and hell on earth. Note the promises that both Democrats and Republicans have made regarding government handouts and systems that have brought us to the verge of total financial bankruptcy, overweening social control, and taxation slavery.


“Collectivism” is a term we need to attach to this kind of system. There is no private property, no personal truth, no individual liberty, and no personal interests. There is nothing beyond the collective. This is the end of truth. To make the collective totalitarian system work efficiently, everybody must be forced to work for the ends advanced by those in control and all must embrace the collective. This is brought about by propaganda, indoctrination, and incentivizing citizens to spy on their neighbors. There can be no dissent, disagreement, or individual personal interest. Socialism eventually leads to the death of liberty and all civil rights for individuals. This has been graphically illustrated in North Korea. Common sense should cause us to abhor the nonsense of socialism, progressivism, and communism, whether it is advanced by Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin.


An exceptional book that gives facts, details, and basic definitions vital to understanding this issue regarding the American left (whether Democrat or Republican) is the aptly titled The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left by Dinesh D’Souza. What the left is advancing regarding our President vividly illustrates the question of intentions versus reality. Why haven’t Americans been concerned about what President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did with Russia (the transfer of about a third of our uranium) and Iran (the transfer of billions of dollars)? What about President Bill Clinton’s payments to North Korea regarding “limiting their nuclear program” as far back as the 1990s?!


Dr. Jerry Hopkins is a retired history professor and a freelance columnist living in Marshall, TX. Contact him at


Permission to reprint or copy in whole or part is granted, provided a version of this credit line is used:"Reprinted by permission from INSTITUTE BRIEF, a publication of Public Interest Institute." The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better-informed citizenry.




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