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April 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-8


A Commentary on American Public Policy


Part 2



What does Mr. Smith mean to suggest?  Simply this:  when we endeavor to satisfy our own self-interest in the capitalistic system, we find out this is best done by producing something that is so much desired by our fellow man that he is actually willing to pay us for it.  The nearer we come to satisfying his desire and the more times we satisfy that desire, the more we get paid.  The more we get paid, the closer we come to satisfying our own self-interest.  It is all entirely voluntary.  Therefore, there need not be any action on the part of government, much less force, to make it come about.  It is such a desirable economic system that we don’t have to put up fences around our nation to keep people from leaving.  On the contrary, people are very literally dying to get in.  They dodge machinegun fire, run across mine fields, and try to make their way across vast waters in leaky boats, or even on rudimentary rafts and inner tubes.  In fact, if you think about it, there is something personal about it, inasmuch as nearly all of our ancestors chose to come here for religious reasons, this economic reason, or both.


But as intimated above, we are precariously close to letting this marvelous and dynamic system slip from our grasp.  This nation is succumbing to the siren song of those who would beguile us with the utopian dream of a nation that is altruistic, egalitarian, and all good things, if only we will grant the government the power to make it so.  And there is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of those who wish to see this come about do so with a pure heart.  They are simply unable to see the future consequences of their current request.


You may think that I am being too shrill and that the situation isn’t nearly as dire as I have presented it.  Maybe so, but read on.  Are you familiar with Norman Thomas?  He ran for President of the United States in every national election from 1928 through 1948.  And he ran under the banner of the Socialist Party of America.  Read what Mr. Thomas had to say on this subject:


The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism, but under the name of Liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program until one day America would be a Socialist nation without knowing how it happened.


There you have it.  The strategy is out on the table for the entire world to see.  Just as socialism is the precursor of communism, liberalism is the precursor of socialism.  Please don’t doubt that there are people who are working day and night, whatever their reasons, to implement one or the other of these systems.  And although their motives may be most noble, there is no reason to believe the unintended consequences they will engender will be any more pleasant than those you see in Russia, Cuba, North Korea, China, or any other socialist country.


Although there may be howls of protest from some quarters, the author believes that in order to gain an understanding of socialism and its precursor, liberalism, one must at least take a cursory look at The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx.  What was Marx’s plan?


The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all the other proletarian parties:  formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat . . . In this sense, theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence:  Abolition of private property.  (Part II.)


Marx had an intricate plan as to how the true believers in communism were to act in order to implement the communist agenda; but he was also aware that there were others of which he could take advantage to further his cause.  Read further what he wrote in his Manifesto:


A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances, in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.  To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organizers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, and hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind.  This form of Socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.  They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat.  The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois Socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems.  In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system, and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem, it but requires in reality, that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie.”  (Part III, Section C, Subsection 2).


Again, the author reminds the reader that it is not his intention to smear entire classes of people.  Just the same, it was members from groups such as these the author had in mind when in the opening paragraphs he suggested that there were those who actively promoted the interests of the socialist philosophy without truly understanding they were doing any such thing.  But Mr. Marx understood the import of their actions, although he may have misjudged their motive.  He believed they did it “in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.”  At this time, I’m still willing to believe that they simply do not understand the future consequences of their current actions.


Before we move on, we must make a distinction here.  In the above excerpt from Marx’s Manifesto, he developed a list to which a good many categories could still be added.  But that doesn’t mean that each individual belonging to any of the categories is a promoter of socialism.  The distinction is this:  those who are willing to promote their activity through coercion by government are promoters of socialism.  Those who are willing to promote their activity by strictly voluntary action are exonerated.  The key is the voluntary, or involuntary, nature of the activity.  We will now visit what are commonly referred to as the “Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto.”  If you are not already familiar with them, you will soon see for yourself just how far down this path our country has already progressed.  The author will comment briefly on each, although in many instances you may be well ahead of me.



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