I got the funniest email this week. It seems someone found an older column of mine entitled “What is a socialist?” (I’ll pause if you care to read it.) Then he sent the following: â€¨â€¨You’re [sic] excerpt on socialism … is disgusting. Way to bend every little fact you can find to your bias. All you’re doing is holding back the progression of mankind.
The sad part is the sender apparently believes what he wrote. Putting aside the amusing presumption that a north Idaho housewife is somehow responsible for arresting the development of the civilized world, I laughed heartily at his last statement.
If an aversion to socialism is holding back the progression of mankind, the corollary is that socialism will advance the progression of mankind. If this is the case, we need only to look at socialist countries, past and present, to gauge the success of how mankind is progressing under that form of government.
Let’s see, there’s the (former) USSR. North Korea. Venezuela. Cuba. Charming places, all of them. I can hardly wait to arrange my next vacation.
Then there are the (cough) “successful” socialist countries in Europe, which are slowly imploding because (to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher) they finally ran out of other peoples’ money.
The usual progressive argument is, “Well, this time it will be different.” Um, no. It can never be different because human nature never changes. Those in power will always wish to grow stronger and more in control. Those without power will, sooner or later, lose all incentive and motivation if the fruits of their labor are routinely taken from them. And those who are dependent on government entitlements will do everything they can to stay dependent, and demand more.
Ah, entitlements. That is the crux of the whole ugly scenario. Entitlements, as any sane person knows, means forcibly removing and redistributing personal wealth at the point of a gun. Far too many progressives are delighted to remove other peoples’ money and pass it around. They cannot and will not admit that redistribution of wealth is a lose-lose scenario. The earner loses incentive to work harder because it only means more of his money is taken; and the receiver loses the incentive to earn his own because he is supplied with free money. Pretty obvious, right?
Apparently not. My problem is I often credit people with too much intelligence. A nation of dependent people cannot progress anywhere. It wallows in one spot and even progresses backward. How many technological, medical, artistic, or even agricultural advances did Soviet Russia make during its regime that weren’t exceeded by the advances of freer nations? How about Cuba? Venezuela? How much misery is experienced by people when government dictates their every move?
And now American socialists want to send us backward in the name of the progression of mankind. Are socialists the only ones who define backwards momentum as progress?
Believe it or not, most progressives have a “better” opinion of humanity than do conservatives. At least, the useful idiots in the progressive movement do, though the leaders are fully aware of humanity’s strengths and weaknesses and exploit this knowledge to acquire personal power.
Progressives say they believe in peoples’ nobility and self-sacrifice. They make policy based on these beliefs and then act surprised and disappointed when people don’t behave the way they want them to. So they create more laws to enforce compulsory “self-sacrifice.”
But conservatives quite rightly view human nature as selfish and self-serving. They make policy based on these aspects of human nature and, as a result, watch innovation and entrepreneurialism blossom because people are working toward selfish ends.
In our homeschool classwork, we are making a comprehensive study of this country’s founding documents with the aid of a superb book. In carefully reading these documents, one thing becomes crystal-clear: Our Founding Fathers wanted limited government and maximum liberty for citizens. They knew a bigger government meant less freedom. The streamlined government put together over 200 years ago inspired a tremendous flowering of innovation, as outlined in “The 5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen.
To quote Skousen: “The climate of free-market economics allowed science to thrive in an explosion of inventions and technical discoveries which, in merely 200 years, gave the world the gigantic new power resources of harnessed electricity, the internal combustion engine, jet propulsion, exotic space vehicles and all the wonders of nuclear energy. Communications were revolutionized. … The average life span was doubled; the quality of life was tremendously advanced.”
But Skousen recognizes the inevitable pitfalls of mankind. “What about progress in reverse?” he asks. “Unfortunately, every new generation of human beings seems to feel the instinctive and passionate necessity to re-invent the sociological wheel.”
In other words, progressives always try to fix what ain’t broken. Their logic is, let’s trash the system that has allowed America to leap forward 5,000 years and instead stifle creativity and ingenuity by removing our God-given liberties and replacing them with Big Brother. Real smart, eh? And of course if we object to Big Brother dictating every aspect of our lives and giving freebies to those who don’t work for them, we are termed racist, ignorant, cruel, unsympathetic and every other epithet a progressive mind can conceive.
The depressing part is socialism spreads because people like their freebies. They like being dependent. They will passionately vote for the candidate, party and agenda that keeps those freebies flowing. If anyone objects, they are called racist, intolerant and – oh yeah – “holding back the progression of mankind.”
Free people are responsible people. They have to be. And the more responsible the people, the fewer laws are needed. But when we stop acting responsibly and start relying on the government for everything, we become a nation of whining victims where nothing is ever our fault and the government assumes the responsibility that should have been ours.
Government interference and the enthusiastic redistribution of wealth will bring this nation to its knees. And it’s hard to progress anywhere when you’re crawling on your knees.
But socialists will never agree. They simply do not grasp that the advancement of 5,000 years will never PROgress under their form of government. Instead, it will REgress.
So to those who honestly think that socialism results in the progression of mankind, I offer the best intellectual reply I can muster: