Socialism vs. Capitalism: Part I
Many commentators -- including one prominent “conservative” (i.e., traditionalist) pundit -- chastise those on the "far right" who dare to call President Obama a socialist. Make even the slightest hint that you believe our president might harbor Marxist persuasions, and you are quickly branded an intolerant, bigoted zealot unworthy of participation in a free and open society by many of these commentators. If you cannot see it now, I hope that before the end of this article, you will see the irony in this.
These proselytizing pundits proclaim that there is one and only one definition of socialism; and one and only one definition of Marxism. "Socialism," they insist, "is an economic system under which all means of the production and distribution of goods and services are owned collectively and all goods and services are shared equally among all members of society. Marxism is a step beyond socialism that calls for a violent revolution by the lower and middle classes against the upper class to end all ownership of private property and all distinctions among economic/social/ethnic classes and political influence/power. Barack Obama has never publicly expressed, either by word or by deed, any desire for socialism or Marxism. To claim or even to hint that he has is the height of 'judgmentalism' and/or 'right-wing' paranoia."
The myopic mavens saying this are the same ones who are always telling you and me that nothing is ever black and white. There are only gray areas -- "nuances." "If you want to know the real truth," they plead, "look at the gray areas; hear both sides of every argument and study all the facts." Of course, whenever the facts begin to expose their lies, they proceed to distort, or even to manufacture the facts (or, the "facts").
Speaking of facts, let's examine a few of them.
Karl Marx, drawing from Hegel's dialectic philosophy (although thoughtfully critical of some portions of it), argued that socialism is an "antithesis" of capitalism; and that socialism is an "intermediate, yet inevitable stage" from capitalism preceding pure communism. Marx believed, and preached, that once socialism came to fruition in any given society, a "synthesis" would occur. According to Marx, this "synthesis" would necessarily require a violent overthrow by the "masses" against the rich and the powerful -- against property owners, wealth generators and all influential movers and shakers.
Several factual -- reasonable, thoughtful, logical and truthful -- observations must be made here. However, an explanation of the above paragraph -- a closer look at Hegel's philosophy of dialectic, and of Marx's interpretation of Hegel's philosophy -- must first be provided.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's philosophy of dialectic (or, dialectics) goes something like this: Any idea or event (thesis) generates its opposite (antithesis), leading to a reconciliation of opposites (synthesis). [NOTE: These terms have been translated into English from the original German. "Thesis" has been translated and/or defined as "beginning," "universal" or even, as "status quo." "Antithesis" means "advance" or "particular." "Synthesis" also means "contradiction" or "resolution." In a tighter, forensic sense, the terms can also mean "proposal," "debate" and "compromise." Yes, it's very complicated. Hegel was an evil genius!] According to Hegel, this was the inevitable process -- and "progress" -- of human civilization. Hegel's philosophy quickly became very popular and influential among European thought.
Karl Marx ran wild with this philosophy. Marx was a poor man who desperately desired to be rich. He was a failure and a loser. His dialectic "thesis" (starting point; beginning; status quo) was "capitalism." He coined that term as a pejorative against free-enterprise. Following Hegel's popular philosophy, Marx hoped, and preached, that socialism would be the "antithesis" of (movement away; or advance, from) free-enterprise (i.e., economic Liberty). Marx hoped, and preached, that socialism would eventually lead to a "synthesis" (compromise; resolution) -- communism. He was convinced, though, that his "synthesis" (communism) would never be achieved without a sudden and violent revolution.
Near the turn of the 19th century, the Fabian Socialists emerged in England. Already mesmerized by Hegel and Franco-German ideology, Fabian socialists absorbed and adhered to Marx's ideas like a sponge covered on one half of one side in Super Glue. But they were nice, "moral" people! The one half of one side of that sponge could not soak up Marx's idea of a sudden, violent rebellion. They abhorred violence; and, they were rich! [Yes, I am aware that the first link in this paragraph describes them as “mostly middle-class intellectuals.” However, the leaders of the movement were very wealthy and had great influence in the popular culture of the day.] They wanted no part of any sudden and violent revolution that would divest them of their wealth and property; or, of their influence as powerful movers and shakers!
Nevertheless, they did see merit in Marx's ideas. Fabian socialists desired the "synthesis" of communism, where there are no "classes" -- no divisions among sexes, "races," religions, haves and have-nots. All property, power, influence, knowledge, goods, services, etc. should be owned and shared collectively; they "reasoned." Everyone should be equal. Glorious utopia! As long as they set the rules and generally controlled that "utopia!"
Fabian socialists endeavored to bring this dialectic "progression" from "capitalism," through socialism, and into communism incrementally -- gradually; not via violent revolution. "Progressives" such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, Harold Ordway Rugg and Franklin Delano Roosevelt are among the American sons and daughters of the Fabian socialists. Virtually all modern American Democrat politicians and, sadly, far too many Republican (a/k/a -- RINO) politicians are the grandsons and granddaughters of the Fabians. Whether they realize it or not, they are working to destroy the very things that made the United States of America a truly great and exceptional nation.
Because he failed to reach his personal goals and aspirations, and he witnessed others surpassing theirs, Karl Marx deemed "capitalism" a flawed and unfair economic system. Ironic, isn't it (The Lord works in mysterious ways!) that he became one of the most influential and renowned men of the 19th and 20th centuries?! How did he do it? He had an idea. He co-authored a book. His book sold very well -- capitalism!
Marx's version (interpretation) of Hegel's dialectic process actually happened in Russia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba and several other places around the world. How has that worked out? [Of course, China's leadership has recently seen the grave error of Mao's -- via Marx and Lenin -- ways. China is adopting the principles of economic Liberty almost as fast as we are forsaking them here in the United States of America!]
Fabian socialist influence is rapidly coming to fruition in most of Western Europe today. How is that working out for the people of Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and, very soon, France?
"Progressives" in the United States of America have been working, gradually and incrementally, to implement socialism here, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, since at least the very early 1900's. We'll take a slightly closer look at these three facts in Part III of this series.
Socialism is an "intermediate stage," a fundamental change or transformation, from "capitalism" (economic Liberty) to communism (religious, political, economic and scientific tyranny). Given the will -- or lack thereof -- of the people, this stage may be very, or relatively quick and sudden; or it may take years -- even decades -- of incremental steps and pauses.
A socialist is anyone who would desire, or, especially, would work toward the implementation of socialism. In other words, anyone who harbors and/or expresses a desire for, and/or works toward the transformation of his society from free-enterprise -- no matter how sudden, gradually or incrementally -- into socialism is a socialist.
Please read Barack Obama's two auto-biographical books, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance and The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. Note that the latter was inspired -- according to the author himself -- by one of his pastor's (Jeremiah Wright) sermons. Note also that Wright's "theology" is rooted in "Black Liberation Theology," and that Black liberation theology (a la James H. Cone) is fundamentally set upon Marxism with racist (anti-white) overtones. Obama spent roughly 18 years in Jeremiah Wright's "church."
Observe in his own writings that Barack Obama boldly claimed inspiration, guidance and motivation from avowed Marxists, socialists and "anti-colonialists." [Somehow, he seems to have equated colonialism with "capitalism." Perhaps he was (is) oblivious to the fact that colonialism was the result of mercantilism and the unrestricted (by Rule of Law) cravings for wealth and power of European monarchs and aristocrats. Except under the administrations of proto-"progressive" presidents (such as Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk, both Democrats!) and truly "progressive" presidents (such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson), the U.S.A. neither desired nor had any part of colonialism.]
Take a close look at transcripts of (or watch/listen to on YouTube) Obama's speeches and statements, especially those off-teleprompter moments. From his vows to fundamentally transform the United States of America, to his off-the-cuff remark to Joe the Plumber, to his incessant class warfare rhetoric, to his constant implications that ("capitalism," or) "'Republican policies' got us into this mess in the first place," to his countless utterances that Republicans just expect everyone to "fend for themselves" and through to his most recent diatribe against entrepreneurs, the truth is now crystal-clear to every moral, educated and informed American.
Our president is a socialist and he has communist leanings and aspirations. It pains me to no end to say this! Before you call me a liar, a bigot and/or a wing nut, please study the facts. Go far beyond the iota of facts and opinions that I have presented in this article. If you still want to silence or to ridicule me, then the moral, educated and informed people of this world will know beyond any shadow of doubt who the real intolerant bigot -- charlatan/tyrant -- is!
Another vital fact:
An essential tenet of socialism is collectivism. Collectivists despise the opinions, aspirations, achievements, etc. of Liberty-loving individuals. A (perhaps, the) fundamental principle of the United States of America is individual human Liberty. [More on this in Part II.] Read carefully President Obama's fundraising speech of 13 July 2012 and you can plainly see where he stands on collectivism!
The final, imperative fact(s):
Please study the history of socialism/socialists over the past 130 years or so all over the world. You will clearly see both a common theme and a number of objectives. The common theme is that God is dead; man is in charge now. The three most important of these objectives are: 1) control of (public) education, 2) control of media and 3) control of health care. Study, especially European history over the past 100+ years and you will soon clearly realize that once the latter is finally achieved, free-enterprise (virtually all hope of economic Liberty) is vanquished all but forever and socialism has been achieved! It is all happening here in the good old U.S.A., thanks to Obama & Co. -- "progressives" past and present.
Is socialism biblical? Read Acts 4:32-37. If you have not read and studied any other part of the Bible, you will say, "Oh, yes! This passage shows conclusively that socialism is entirely biblical!" Hold your horses!! Read Acts 5:1-11!
Acts 4:32-37 portrays a completely voluntary -- not coerced or required -- situation in which spiritually-minded persons sold large portions of their assets from time to time to help others who were genuinely in need. Acts 5:1-11 graphically shows what happens when just two people (a married couple -- Ananias and Sapphira) see their duty to help the poor as a material obligation, rather than a spiritual one. They were obeying men (the Apostles, or, the collective) to the extent they deemed necessary and proper. They were not obeying God or following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Everything went to hell after that!
What is the purpose (lesson) of Acts 4:32-5:11? Why would these passages appear in the Bible (the Word of God) if they were not meant to rebuke collectivism, socialism and/or any desire for authoritarian – top-down – rule of men? After all, virtually the same message had been given some 1000 years earlier in I Samuel 8:5-20!
Realize, also, that one of the two most memorable and quoted phrases of Marx is, "…[R]eligion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul (or 'spirit') of soulless conditions (or 'a spiritless situation'). It is the opium of the people." It is usually shortened and translated as "Religion is the opiate of the masses."
Socialism violates Liberty, Justice and the Word & Will of God. It is everything that America is not.
Sam Weaver has been a columnist for RenewAmerica.com since 2002. He can be reached at email@example.com.