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Governing America

Theories can predict; but they can't govern

Communist, Marxist, socialist or just liberal?

There has been much discussion recently about who is (or is not) a Marxist or socialist. I thought that an explanation of those terms might be helpful to readers. My explanations may not be exactly the same as found in a dictionary, but I believe them to be close enough for practical purposes.

Marxism is a theoretical economic system intended to solve all the world’s problems by forcing everyone to the same economic and social level. Marxism cannot exist in a democracy because citizens will not voluntarily surrender control their lives and fortunes to the coercion of an unseen, but all knowing, bureaucracy. Communism, on the other hand, is the forced implementation of Marxist theory in a country dominated by a criminal ruling class. As we have seen in Eastern Europe, communism is an unworkable economic system, but some dictators still perceive its value as a means of controlling the masses.

Socialism is a milder form—without the coercion— of Marxism. Socialism can exist in a free society and has proved acceptable in some countries. Socialists, like Marxists, want to level the economic and social standings of all citizens. Socialist governments take a portion of the earnings of those who are economically successful and redistribute it to those who earn less, or who earn nothing at all. It is a kind of reverse Robin Hood except, in this case; Robin is stealing from those who actually worked for the money.

From American history, we remember that there should be no “taxation without representation,” but socialists find “dispossession without compensation” perfectly acceptable. Socialists share with Marxists the delusion that meddling with the income of the productive classes has no negative consequences on the nation’s wealth; but a society where people have little opportunity to keep what they earn will also have little incentive to work, discover, invent or create.

You might ask, “Why would people vote for socialism?” The answer is that socialists have only to convince a majority of voters that that they will receive more from the government than will they will have to give to it.  For voters it looks to be a simple game of balance: Will I get more or less from the deal? The very wealthy endorse socialism because no level of taxes will affect their lives and because they feel grand to have helped the little people. The favored political classes advocate socialism because socialism empowers them, and the powerful always take care of themselves first.

Behind their glorious and high-minded rhetoric, socialists hide the fact that a sizable part of the population produces nothing of value, but will be rewarded with gains seized from those who do produce. They also refuse to understand that, even with confiscatory taxation, there are insufficient financial resources in the nation to satisfy the requirements of all their grand plans and promises. The inevitable result of socialism is a general lessening of the national living standard.

So there you have it; a socialist is a more acceptable—and less extreme—Marxist.

But, if you work and earn your own living, you won’t like
progressive socialists' plans for you!