Socialism

We have an admitted socialist running for president and making a “good” (for certain definitions of “good”) showing. People don’t really seem to get what socialism means. Recently I had a college student tell me that, “A little socialism is good.” Rather than hammer them into the ground and destroy a friendship I mildly disagreed with their claim and changed the subject.

Unless you are of the opinion that we need to destroy our country before we can save it we need to destroy the idea that socialism in any form is “good”. Socialism and communism have been attempted and failed more times than any other political system. While many of the failures have only resulted in general malaise, economic stagnation, and lower standard of living the most extraordinary political failures in history occurred under socialist systems. National Socialism of Germany, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Peoples Republic of China being the most well know of those with their approximately 100 million dead.

I’ve talked to people that have lived under socialism. They know better than the naïve people in this country who have lived all their lives in a somewhat free market economy. I’m not the only one who has talked to the survivors of these regimes. One of my children’s high school teachers, Don Kaag, posted this on Facebook a couple days ago:

My old VW mechanic Dieter in Pullman, WA, is in
his 80’s, retired now, and has turned his shop over to his son Georg. In the late 1950’s, Dieter, as a young East German, “came over the wire”. He escaped from the German Democratic Republic’s “Socialist Paradise” with nothing but the clothes on his back and some mechanical skills he could use to earn a living in the West.

He worked as a car mechanic in West Germany, in Scandinavia, and then immigrated to South Africa, where he met his wife, and where they started their family. Finally he relocated to Canada and then at last to the U.S., earning his way with his talented mechanic’s hands and his brain.

He hates what Socialism did to his homeland.

I was stationed in southern Germany—in Bavaria—in the early to mid-80’s, an Armor officer and tank company commander guarding the inter-German border against a possible invasion by the USSR…and for those of you who were not there and privy to the secret briefings, you have no idea what a very near thing it was. Our tanks had their war-load of ammo on-board 24/7/365.

The border was a sobering sight. Twenty-foot-high barbed wire fence on concrete posts topped with concertina wire. On the fence, pointed back into East Germany, were command-detonated claymore mines. Past that, 100 yards of ground was defoliated, plowed and planted with pressure-sensitive anti-personnel mines. Then further into the GDR there was yet another barbed wire fence with a gravel patrol road behind it, and with hexagonal concrete guard towers every quarter-mile. They had powerful searchlights mounted on them, and machine guns, both pointed into “no-man’s land”.

There’s a point to all of this, I promise. All of this was built TO KEEP EAST GERMANS IN, not to keep West Germans and Americans out.

My friend Dieter was one of the lucky ones—thousands of East Germans died on that wire, or lost their lives to the minefields or machine guns, or to the killer guard dogs trained to attack would-be escapees—Dieter made it, he got out.

Dieter and I have seen the ugly face of “true Socialism” firsthand. He suffered under it and risked his life to escape from it, I only watched it slowly destroy a people through my binoculars and tank sights.

When the Wall in Berlin came down in November 1989 such was their hate for that wall that Germans from both sides attacked the ugly barrier by hand with sledge hammers and picks.

The moral to this little tale of obscure Cold War history is this: America, be very, very careful about electing an avowed Socialist as President of the United States.

Bernie Sanders seems a harmless old duffer, and he promises free goodies for everyone, but in the final analysis he represents those who still think, despite all historical evidence to the contrary, that Socialism is the “wave of the future”. (Look at the U.K. before Lady Thatcher, or at Cuba and Venezuela right now… “Iron Maggie” once said, “Socialism works great until you run out of other people’s money.”)

Socialism and communism needs to be swept into the dustbin of history and given as much respect as witch burning—which it closely resembles.

8 thoughts on “Socialism

  1. In fact, we have one admitted as well as a whole coven of unadmitted socialists running. The ones who don’t admit it are more dangerous, because voters may mistake them for honest people, for people who might actually pay some slight attention to what is in the Constitution.
    For example, Hilary should have that arrow in her logo point in the other direction. And perhaps add a hammer & sickle for clarification.
    Pretty much all politicians operate on the socialist principle “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is negotiable”. The only real difference is how much they intend to steal, and what purpose they plan to use as their excuse.

  2. Joe, we need to remember that socialism does, in fact, work very well – under one very specific set of circumstances – and that is a TOTAL population group of less than 100 individuals (more or less). Think of a tribe of monkeys. Their form of “government” has all the characteristics of socialism, and it works because everybody knows everybody else, and there is no freeloading. Once you pass about 100 individuals, if starts to fall apart, and at nation-state levels it has no choice but to fail miserably, as you point out…..

    • Yup. That is why I made reference to it as a political system in my blog post. I suspect part of the reason for the persistence of socialism despite all the contrary evidence is because of some “hardwiring” in our brains. It served humans well, at the tribal level, for 10s of thousands of years. That predisposition is difficult to overcome even though that environment doesn’t exist for most people.

      • Socialism attempts to mimick the “rightness” of the family unit, which nearly all of us have experienced. It’s only a ruse though of course.

    • Their form of “government” has all the characteristics of socialism, and it works because everybody knows everybody else, and there is no freeloading.

      The characteristics of socialism, yes- but missing one key element, which is force. If we ever formed a pure libertarian colony, like on Mars or something (because it will probably never happen on this planet), it would surely bear a lot of “socialist” characteristics- that is people sacrificing to help one another for a common social good. But they’d be doing it by choice- and choice is the key. When it’s s choice, you can cut off the free-loaders. Without choice, it leads to entitlement for the receivers and resentment for the givers.

  3. I think a good approach with what we’ll call “Default Socialists” (those who grow up immersed in the Progressive thinking the pervades public education, media and entertainment and simply don’t know any different) is to highlight the difference between liberty and coercion. Maybe follow that with some basic American history.

    Socialism is authoritarian (coercive – relying on pressure and intimidation)
    The Declaration of Independence is anti-authoritarian (based on the concept of human rights, which is libertarian – encouraging self reliance and moral-based behavior for its own sake)

    There are a number of popular lies designed to depict liberty as slavery, and morality as judgment, largess from the government (coercive redistribution) as a “right” and etc.

    It’s an endless stream of lies, and they work well. Thus, when confronted with the idea of liberty, the Default Socialist become angry and cannot think rationally nor communicate concisely.

    THAT is where, if we are solid, we can reach them.

    Emotion is the leverage point whereby we are separated from reason, and so we can be lead to believe that rights are privileges and privileges are rights, good is evil and evil good, liberty is slavery and slavery is freedom.

    Emotion can just as well serve as the contrasting feature between the rational and the irrational. If we become emotional, we serve only to cement the position of the Default Socialist. If we can make a small point calmly and without rancor or accusation, a seed is planted, and it will grow on its own.

    Another clever form of lie used by socialists, which is at work everywhere, is conflation. The American Founders had slaves, and so they were hypocrites, and so we are invited to come to the conclusion ourselves to throw the baby out with the bathwater. They must not have meant what they said, it was only a trick of manipulation, and so we should disregard it. And we do. Same with Christianity, same with the family unit and especially with fathers. Some of those people are rat bastards, and so we must dismiss, out of hand, any virtues they uphold as being tricks and lies designed to manipulate. Thus all of the bulwarks of a healthy society are attacked, maligned and discarded. It’s projection, if you think about it.

  4. “I was stationed in southern Germany—in Bavaria—in the early to mid-80’s, an Armor officer and tank company commander guarding the inter-German border against a possible invasion by the USSR…and for those of you who were not there and privy to the secret briefings, you have no idea what a very near thing it was. Our tanks had their war-load of ammo on-board 24/7/365.”

    CPT Kaag speaks the truth. I was Year Group 83, i.e. the 1983 group of new officers. I was Infantry, but we trained incessantly with our Armor (tank) units, practicing mobile warfare. We were literally and figuratively preparing for war. We had Division sets of equipment in prepositioned (POMCUS) locations where every other year, units would practice flying into Germany, drawing their equipment and going to war (REFORGER) in very realistic scenarios. The 80’s were a deadly serious time, that I don’t think many truly appreciate. In many ways, it’s amazing we made it through without an apocalypse.

    Jeff B.

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