by Jim Beers
In one real sense, we are all socialists. Socialism in its very root is the means that appeals to everyone of projecting ourselves on others. Socialism, in contrast to its counterparts from Communism and "National Socialism" (i.e. Nazis et al) to despots like Mugabe and Pol Pot, is perceived as "harmless" to ourselves while using the raw power of a central government to make everyone else live and behave like WE think they should. While Communism, Nazism, and despots are considered by most people as "dangerous" and "uncontrollable" when once in power; socialism, incorrectly, is perceived as "controllable" and "reversible" if it gets out of hand. Therein lies the deadly danger of its appeal.
How seductive it is to ponder a "perfect world" as each of us thinks it ought to be. This "perfect world" is the product of our genetic predispositions, our sex, our upbringing, our experiences, our moral sense, and opportunity. It is trite but true to mention that we are all different. Likewise our imagined "perfect world" differs from all others' such imaginings. Each of us, whether we admit to it or not, wants to live in our own "perfect world".
Socialism's allure panders to this desire in each of us by seeming to promise us what we think will create OUR "perfect world". This is promised by an all-powerful (yet somehow "controllable" and "reversible"?) government that will make things right. Consider some of the following imagined reasons to support socialism:
1. Peace and an end to "violence" can be achieved by "ridding the world of guns" and a socialist government can remake the Constitution to do that.
2. Rich people oppress everyone else and a socialist government will "control" corporations, salaries, products, jobs, etc. and therefore "the rich" by "redistributing" "wealth".
3. Religions cause harm by spreading superstition and they will oppress everyone if they are "uncontrolled"; a socialist government will "control them.
4. Children must be "educated" about science, government, and sex in spite of old-fashioned and reactionary parents; a socialist government will assure that.
5. Animals are mistreated and abused everywhere; a socialist government will eliminate hunting, cockfighting, fishing, trapping, slaughterhouses, pet and livestock ownership, fur marketing, leather, bullfighting, circuses, rodeos, animal experiments, (put your favorite "pet peeve" here), etc.
6. The environment is about to disappear, the globe is warming, we are "running out of oil, farms and ranches and houses and suburbs and small towns are "destroying the ecosystem", "Invasive Species" are ruining the world, we cannot "survive" unless and until we have "restored the Native Ecosystem" and all this can ONLY be done by a socialist government.
7. People eat poor diets and "cost a lot"; ONLY a Socialist government will legislate what may be eaten and which people from unborn children and the sick to the disabled and elderly should be allowed to live or receive medical treatment.
8. Dissent against socialist policies (never dissent against non-socialist policies) is destructive and therefore is best if "controlled" by government and ONLY a socialist government will reform the Constitution to implement government control of speech and the press.
9. Internal dissenters are a grave problem and thus government needs to be less constrained by Constitutional guarantees about search and seizure and reasons for arrest; ONLY a socialist government will do what needs to be done.
In each of the above examples (and there are hundreds of other such scenarios) I am imposing myself on YOU. I live in Chicago and I will disarm YOU living on the isolated ranch house in the Nebraska Sandhills. I live in Boston and I will make YOU live with wolves at YOUR child's school bus stop in New Mexico. I live in San Francisco but I will circumscribe what YOUR priest or pastor can say or cannot say. I live in Indianapolis but I will force YOU to kill all of the gamefowl your family has maintained for generations in Louisiana. I live in Miami but I will make You no longer able to OWN ANY ANIMAL be it pet or livestock. I live in Seattle but I will make YOU allow teachers to take your child to an abortionist; to teach your children about sex and perversions, and to disregard any contrary notions that they might hear from parents. I live in New York City but I will make YOU stop trapping, hunting, and fishing and I will assure YOU are put in prison if you even encourage any minor (including your own) to tolerate hunting, fishing, trapping, rodeos, circuses, etc. just like I have done regarding cockfighting and bullfighting: curious is it not what teachers are being authorized TO DO while parents are being told what they CANNOT DO!
The argument against opposing Socialism usually revolves around how ONLY a socialist government can create EQUALITY. This generally goes something like:
Only a socialist government will assure that same sex advocates will be able to marry like others.
Only a socialist government is free from religious control and therefore can operate for everyone's benefit.
Only a socialist government can take from the rich and give to the poor.
Only a socialist government can apply "science" to the environment, embryo destruction, abortion, euthanasia, and "quality of life/cost control) matters.
Only a socialist government can obtain "rights" for animals and eliminate the concept of one "animal" (human) "owning" another.
Only a socialist government can assure that all children are raised "properly" (i.e. like "I" believe) to become "good" socialists.
Again the foregoing is but a small sample of literally hundreds of such arguments. Suffice it to say that the underlying agreement about values that has supported the US for 200+ years is crumbling. Each of us agrees with one or two or more reasons why things could be better. The temptation that this is achievable by gutting some or all of the Bill of Rights or "taking control of businesses" or giving schools the right to deny parental authority is what Socialist leaders prey upon until they gain control that is irreversible. At that point is no longer YOU or ME: there is ONLY "THEM".
Do not be intimidated into believing that "tolerating" our differences like trapping or religious or carrying a gun means not opposing "gay marriage", abortion, euthanasia, nationalized medicine, animal "rights", etc.:
- "Gay marriage, aside from moral judgments, is unlike trapping in that toleration for same sex openness invites it into your own family and into school curriculums.
- Abortion toleration, aside from the "Right" to "Life" so prominently mentioned in the Declaration of Independence (the document that explained why we were fighting and dying for our freedom in the Revolutionary War), encompasses a repugnant precedent that Government - not our "Creator" as noted in the Declaration of Independence - gives and can rescind that "Right" to "Life". This precedent opens the door to human life being disposable (by government) like a commodity for any reason and the ancillary social profanity that animals have "rights".
- Nationalized medicine can be challenged on many legitimate aspects from the loss of medical specialties and innovations to the simple observations of the results where it is being tried. By turning the argument into a "rich v poor" socialist argument you are ignoring the real issue that socialism and the quasi-socialism in America in recent years has resulted in the disappearance of families and churches and charities that are the hallmarks of a free Republic where marriage is valued, government has no authority over children, sex is not rampant, families stay together and care for their elderly and needy, and churches implement care for the less fortunate in the community. The more government "controls" these things; the more they have diminished.
- Most "rich" Americans were once "poor". Many "rich" Americans will be "poor" again. It is ridiculous to wealthy scion politicians like the Rockefellers and Kennedys leading the socialist charge to "redistribute wealth". Has there ever in the history of man been a government or oligarchy that could take away wealth that did not use it for their own ends instead of the promised "poor"? The protection of private property and a respect for contracts are what the future "rich" (could it be YOU or ME?) and a prosperous America will benefit from more than all the socialist promises and dreams combined.
So the next time you are tempted by the siren call of the Socialists to control other Americans like "the rich", "the corporations", "the ranchers", hunters, horse owners, rodeos, the disabled, the elderly, the gun owner, the dog owner, religions, your neighbor's child, your neighbor's diet, etc., etc.: unless it is harming you or others directly, smile and take pride in a free Republic with guaranteed rights that accounts for all of us with our differences living together in peace and harmony (the truest model of real "diversity"). The socialists among us have made use of ancient enmities and perfectly human differences to turn us one against another such that when the dust settles, "THEY" will have absolute power over everything FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT.
Don't let this continue and never believe that it is "too late" to affirm those words from the Declaration Of Independence -
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.-"
Jim Beers March 27, 2009
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