Friday, May 08, 2009


By Jack H. Swift, Esq.
May 2, 2009

At all of the Tea Parties last tax day, there were a lot of signs and a lot of discussion about socialism. There was also a great deal of response from liberals and the liberal media to the effect that calling the current administration’s “progressive” policies “socialism” is simply a vile form of name calling. To them, “socialism” is simply a dirty word. Perhaps we need to see if the shoe fits.

Socialism or collectivism is simply a scheme or system of control. It is aimed at the control of social, community, and individual activities. It accomplishes this control indirectly by control of the community’s resources and directly by regulation of its production and the distribution of the rewards of production. The manner in which this control is accomplished can vary and that accounts for the various versions of collectivism: national socialism, fascism, and communism. All forms are inimical to traditional American values of individual liberty, freedom and private property.

Under Communism, control is accomplished through the medium of state ownership of all resources and enterprises for the production of goods. What social activities are not sufficiently controlled thereby, are subjected to rigorous regulation and regulatory enforcement. It encompasses the concept of the police state and ultimately depends upon slave labor.

By contrast, the national socialism so in favor in Europe, is characterized by state regulatory control of resources and production. Although actual ownership may remain in individuals or corporations, the state controls their activities by way of draconian regulation. In that scheme, the public is the subject of widespread and often intrusive bureaucratic regulation. Not in name a police state but effectively the same.

The fascism that the national socialism of Germany quickly evolved into became yet another police state exactly equivalent with that of communism. Key production activities and resources were nationalized and others were rigidly regulated. Thanks to Hitler, national socialism was also endowed with concepts of leader idolization, superiority of particular races, and ultimately slave labor.

The reason the patriots at the Tea Parties took such exception to the incremental socialization of our government is simply because they are jealous of their individual rights and see them threatened by this administration’s “ambitious” plans for our collective future.

Our nation was founded by Puritans, rugged individualists imbued with a unique Puritan ethic. That ethic placed the highest of values upon the individual’s freedom of decision and the accountability of the individual for the propriety of those decisions. The work ethic of the Puritans focused upon a need for the individual to be productive and it provided an appropriate mechanism for the reward of successful production. Although the original Mayflower Compact created a system of collective production and reward, that scheme was imposed upon the Puritans by their capitalist backers of the expedition against the will of the Puritans. It failed immediately, and the Puritans promptly adopted a system of free individual enterprise and reward that guaranteed the development of this nation. That system, combined with the cornucopia of resources with which we are blessed made the individuals of this nation the most prosperous the world has ever seen.

Key to the Puritan ethic are the concepts of individual freedom and accountability. The system rewards success. It punishes failure. On its face, the system is harsh. However, under the concepts of alms and charity, the ethic also promotes voluntary gifting for the unfortunate and downtrodden. But that is not a part of the system. The introduction of a mandatory reward of failure and non-production into the system, dooms the system to failure. The same system cannot serve two contradictory masters. Such a contrary system is absolutely self-defeating.

Beginning with President Johnson, our government launched itself into a system of control and manipulation of production that under the noble rubric of “welfare” called for the redistribution of the rewards of production. Those that were successful were taxed by the government for the purpose of redistributing those rewards to the un-successful and nonproductive.

In terms of a system of government, welfare has no place. It belongs in churches and voluntary charities. Its inclusion in government is simply one element of socialism: control of the distribution of the rewards of production.

Beginning with Nixon, the government responded to the wails of Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrlich and created regulatory systems establishing direct control of resources and production. In fact, limiting them. The Endangered Species Act has become the vehicle of choice to prevent the utilization of public and even private resources. The Environmental Protection Agency is the state regulation of production. The net results of these controls have been the deindustrialization of America. Great for pollution but disastrous for production. In tandem the ESA and the EPA are pure national socialism.

Back in Carter’s day, the government made provision for even more reward of nonproduction. Under the Community Redevelopment Act traditional loan qualification requirements for housing mortgages were scrapped. This was done in an interest to allow a greater percentage of specific ethnic groups to participate in home ownership. The result was that thousands of individuals without the capacity to pay for even so-called starter homes, stepped right up and acquired what you and I would call palaces. Today this administration wants our tax dollars to make up the difference between what they earn themselves and their payment obligations.

The BO team, Bush and Obama, have put us into an economic crisis akin to that experienced by Germany in the ‘30s and the response has been the exact same. We have seen government acquisition of ownership of our key financial institutions. We have seen state control of private industry to the extent of our leader personally approving or disapproving a management plan for our largest surviving industry - even to the extent of personally firing GM’s CEO. We have seen the declaration of an intent to control the compensation of employees of publicly traded private industries. (It is an eerie parallel that Hitler determined the German auto industry had to produce his concept of the people car. Also, East Germany managed all its auto production in a little box-shaped disaster.) The new GM plan apparently calls for government ownership of the controlling interest in GM. How can one possibly distinguish what we are doing from national socialism?

Our problems today are not a Democratic-Republican thing. Our problems are the result of well-intentioned bi-partisan efforts with unbearable unintended consequences. Step by goodintentioned step we have moved ourselves into a system of national socialism. All that we have proven is that socialism, even with the best assistance of capitalism, does not and cannot work.

Regrettably, the five pillars of Obama’s “ambitious” recovery plan announced today have not a single element aimed at the restoration of production as the basis of our economy. They are all aimed at expansion of government control, the expansion of consumption, and the safe comfort of the non-productive. That may be somebody’s idea of “fair” but it will not work.

© 2009 Jack Swift - All Rights Reserved


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