Before there was a Nazi Germany there was a German republic. The Weimar Republic. Where people were free to say anything they wanted to. In fact, it was that freedom of speech that allowed Adolf Hitler to rise to power. Who then took that freedom of speech he used away from everyone else. Pumped out state propaganda (i.e., lies). And did horrible things to people. Including to his fellow Germans who dared to speak freely.
Free speech can be an instrument of change. Hitler knew that. And used it. But knowing what an instrument of change speaking freely can be he banned free speech after he effected change with it. And then started the lying. Joseph Goebbels, the head of state propaganda, lied and he lied big. Saying that if the people heard a lie enough they would believe it. Especially a big lie.
Germans are not evil people. But they did vote for members of the Nazi Party. Of course, when they were voting for members of the Nazi Party it wasn’t the Nazi Party of the Holocaust. No. It was a much kinder and gentler Nazi Party. A party for the workers. And the people. For the Nazi Party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. It was nothing more than big government taking care of the people. At least, that was the lie. And the people fell for it. Giving us one of the darkest chapters in world history.
The Natural State of Life for people throughout History has been one of Oppression
As Nazi power expanded free speech withered and died. The free press became an arm of the state. Telling the people only what the state wanted the people to hear. Not what the people wanted to know. The truth. No. Instead, all the people got were lies. To advance the state’s agenda. And to squelch any discontent of the state. For the few who dared to speak up or criticize the state the Gestapo (the state police) was there to arrest, torture, imprison or kill them.
This is why truth is so important to a free people. And why it’s such a threat to an oppressive state. For the governed far exceed those who govern. So the only way a minority power can rise to a dictatorship is by cowing the people through fear and intimidation. Keeping them blissfully ignorant of the truth. And feeding them nothing but lies via the state propaganda machine. Something a free press makes difficult to do. Which is why a dictatorship shuts down free speech.
This is something as old as time. For the natural state of life for people throughout history has been one of oppression. Something our Founding Fathers were very aware of being gentlemen of the Enlightenment. And students of history. Which is why they gave us the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
And a big part of the First Amendment is protection of the truth by the guardians of the truth. A free press.
The Complicit and Corrupt Media supports a Political Agenda instead of being Guardians of the Truth
The free press brought Watergate to the attention of the American people. And caused President Nixon to resign. Because of the cover-up. Not the crime. When Oliver North traded arms for hostages during the Reagan administration the free press was all over that. Irangate. A play on Watergate. And when news surfaced that the Bush family pressured the military to improve President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service record during the 2004 presidential campaign they were all over that, too. But it turned out that this was a lie. And we now know this as Memogate. For the documents that CBS said proved this were obvious forgeries.
In other words, the media lied during the 2004 presidential campaign. To harm President Bush’s reelection chances. Making the media less of a free press and more an arm of the Democrat Party. A propaganda machine. For the mainstream media these days is less about the truth and more about Democrat propaganda. As the Obama administration has had a flurry of scandals that gets scant coverage in the free press. The IRS targeting of conservatives. Benghazi. Spying on the Associated Press. Accusing journalist James Rosen of being a criminal for reporting unflattering news leaked to him (referred to as Rosengate). Fast and Furious. The lies, misinformation and backroom deals to pass Obamacare into law. Etc.
The legacy of the Obama administration will not be the scandals. But the complicit and corrupt media. A media that was derelict in its duty to safeguard the truth. Instead choosing to disseminate lies. And ignoring news that is unfavorable to the Obama administration. Should this nation stop being exceptional. And become ordinary. Like the history before us where the natural state of life was one of oppression. It won’t be the emerging dictatorship to blame. It will be the complicit and corrupt media that allowed it to happen. By choosing lies over truth. And supporting a political agenda instead of being guardians of the truth.
Marx called for a Dictatorship of the Proletariat where the Workers controlled the Means of Production
Karl Marx did not like capitalism. Or middle class people that used money to make money. The bourgeoisie. Who exploit the working man. The proletariat. The bourgeoisie used their capital to exploit the labor of the working man (i.e., taking a risk and investing in land, factories, machinery, labor, etc.) to make money. While the working man slaved away at slave wages creating all the great things we have in the world. Of course, the proletariat could not do any of this unless others took risks and invested in land, factories, machinery, labor, etc.
This was just not fair to Karl Marx. Because the industrial bourgeoisie had all the power. And their exploitation of the proletariat was nothing more than a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. So Marx created a socio-economic philosophy to address this dictatorship. Marxism. And called for a social transformation. For working men everywhere to unite. And break the chains that bound them in the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Calling for a dictatorship of the proletariat. For the workers to control the means of production. In a new system that replaced capitalism. Socialism. Until they could usher in the true ideal. Communism.
In capitalism the bourgeoisie get rich creating neat things people discover and want to buy. In communism there would be no bourgeoisie using the means of production to make a buck. Instead, wise and selfless people would determine what was best for the people. Instead of free markets allocating scarce resources economic planners would. And they’d do it better. Because they are selfless. Creating large surpluses that would go not into some rich capitalist’s bank account. But they would fairly distribute this surplus among the working class. So society as a whole would be better off. Sounds great. But if the market didn’t make the decisions of what to produce who did? As it turned out for Marxism that was a very difficult question to answer.
Leon Trotsky was a Like-Minded Marxist and the number two Communist behind Lenin
The Russian people were growing tired of World War I. And Tsar Nicholas. In fact they had it with the Russian Empire. Even before World War I. Although serfdom was abolished in 1861 the lives of peasants didn’t improve much. There was still famine. And the serfs had to pay a lot to their former landlords for their freedom. So there was revolutionary fervor in the air. And a few peasant uprisings. As well as a few revolutionaries. Such as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Who was a Marxist. His anti-Tsarist political activity got him arrested and exiled a few times. In fact, during World War I he was living in exile in Switzerland. Hoping that the Germans would weaken Tsarist Russia enough to kick off a socialist revolution in Russia.
When revolution did break out Lenin was anxious to return to Russia. But being in Switzerland posed a problem. It was surrounded by warring countries. Lucky for him, though, the Germans were anxious to close the eastern front of the war. And a little revolution in Russia could do just that. So they transported Lenin through Germany and helped him return to Russia. They travelled north. Took a ferry to Sweden. Then by train to Petrograd. Formally Saint Petersburg (Peter the Great’s new capital on the Baltic Sea). Which was later renamed Leningrad. And then later renamed Saint Petersburg. Where he would lead the Bolshevik Party. And the world-wide socialist revolution against capitalism.
Leon Trotsky was a like-minded Marxist. And an anti-militarist. He had a falling out with Lenin but eventually reunited. With Trotsky becoming the number two communist behind Lenin. Trotsky addressed a problem with Marxism for Russia. Socialism was to be the final step AFTER capitalism. Once there was a strong industrial proletariat. Russia didn’t have that. For it was one of the least advanced countries in the world. An agrarian nation barely out of the Middle Ages. So Russia had to industrialize WHILE the proletariat took over the means of production. Which brought up a big problem. How could a backward nation industrialize while having a revolution? How could they do this without other advanced capitalistic countries coming to the aid of the bourgeoisie? Which Trotsky answered with his Permanent Revolution. For the Russian socialist revolution to be successful there had to be socialist revolutions in other countries, too. Thinking more in terms of a worldwide revolution of industrialized states. And not just in Russia. Something another Marxist disagreed with. Joseph Stalin
Communist States have Guards on their Borders to prevent People from Escaping their Socialist Utopia
During these revolutionary times workers’ councils were appearing throughout the country. Soviets. Which helped stir up the revolutionary fervor. In 1917 the imperial government fell. The Bolsheviks killed the Tsar and his family. And Russia fell into civil war. Which the Bolsheviks won in 1922. And formed the Soviet Union. Or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). That stretched from Eastern Europe to the Pacific Ocean. Under the rule of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Until he died in 1924. Then Joseph Stalin took over after a brutal power struggle. Even exiled Leon Trotsky. And established totalitarian rule. Stalin created a planned economy. Rapid industrialization. And collectivization. As well as famines, forced labor, deportation and great purges of his political enemies. To strengthen his one-party rule. To protect the socialist revolution from a return of capitalism.
The Russian Revolution was the only successful socialist revolution in Europe. The dictatorship of the proletariat did not happen as Lenin and Trotsky had envisioned. So Stalin abandoned the idea of Permanent Revolution. And adopted Socialism in One Country instead. To strengthen the Soviet Union. And not support a world-wide socialist revolution against capitalism. In direct opposition of Trotsky. To aid in the USSR’s industrialization Stalin made a pact with the devil. Adolf Hitler. And entered an economic agreement that would allow Hitler to build and test his war machine on Soviet soil that he would use in World War II. Then came the Treaty of Non-aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And the secret protocol. Where Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to conquer and divvy up the countries located between them.
Trotsky did not like what the Soviet Union became under Stalin. An oppressive dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. Not the dictatorship of the proletariat envisioned by Karl Marx. And he didn’t like that pact with a militarist Nazi Germany. He predicted that Stalin’s USSR would not last. Either suffering a political revolution like Tsar Nicholas suffered. Or it would collapse into a capitalist state. Stalin disagreed. And killed him and his family. Getting rid of the last of the old Bolsheviks. Leaving him to rule uncontested until his death in 1953. Exporting communism wherever he could. Where it killed more people than any other ideology. Until the great and brutal socialism experiment collapsed in 1991. For Trotsky was right. It could not survive when a better life was just across a border. Which is why all of the communist states have guards on their borders. To keep their people from escaping their socialist utopia.
College Students and Hippies of Yesteryear have a Soft Spot for their Communist Heroes
The hippies in the Sixties saw a brotherhood of man. They wanted to link arms and sing Kumbaya. Live in their communes. Get high. Have unprotected sex with multiple partners who bathed infrequently. While being one with nature. And poop and pee in the great outdoors. Like the animals. Only with less grooming. For they hated the Man. And didn’t want anything to do with their parent’s generation. They protested any figure of authority. Protested the Vietnam War. And protested against their government. Speaking truth to power. And yearned to bring the Marxist-Leninist revolution to America.
The hippies were rabid anti-capitalists. Which is why they loved communism. Where there were no possessions. No religion. Or greed or hunger. Just imagine all the people sharing all the world. Words from John Lennon’s song Imagine). Former Beatle. And one of the leaders of the counterrevolution. Not to be confused with the other Lenin. Vladimir Ilich Lenin. Of Soviet Marxism-Leninism fame. Or, rather, infamy. One of many icons of the counterrevolution. Along with Mao Zedong. Ho Chi Minh. Fidel Castro. And, of course, Che Guevara. Whose bearded and beret-wearing image adorns many a university dorm room wall and student t-shirt to this day.
College students today, just as the hippies of yesteryear, still have a soft spot for their communist heroes. Thanks to many of these hippies of yesteryear having joined the establishment. And are now teaching our kids in college the evils of capitalism and the goodness of government. Despite their one-time fierce opposition to the Man. Guess things change once you get money. Like someone in the rock band The Who said when asked if he still hopes to die before he gets old (a line from My Generation-a song about youthful angry rebellion against their parent’s generation). The reply was that being old wasn’t all that bad when you were rich. Something the old hippies of the Sixties no doubt discovered. And best of all they got rich by taking money from the capitalist pigs. Their students’ rich parents. Or the taxpayers who worked in that detested capitalist system.
Nations with the Marxist Brotherhood of Man with No Possessions have been the Worst Places to Live
It is ironic that without capitalism these communist-loving parasites could not be parasites. For if no one was creating economic activity there would be no income to tax. Or to pay for the one thing growing more expensive than health care. College tuition. Interestingly, there is no ‘Obamacare’ for our colleges and universities. No. They never label them greedy despite their being the greediest of them all. But you know who they do label as greedy? The taxpayers who oppose higher taxes to pay for the ever higher cost of higher education. They’re the greedy ones. Not the old hippies of the Sixties. And their fellow anti-capitalists.
Another interesting thing about these anti-capitalists? They yearn for one-party rule. Which is why public education teaches our kids to distrust capitalism and to trust government. And our colleges and universities teach our kids to be ashamed of their nation’s past. And the importance of diversity. Which is code for anything that isn’t American. For America was founded by rich white slave-owners who stole the land from the Native Americans. And America’s imperialist aggression is the only source of strife in the world today. While ignoring the expanding communist revolution that was spreading out from the Soviet Union into the Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. The one ideology that has killed more people than any other. Through state oppression, wars and famine.
Yes, this brotherhood of man where there are no possessions have been in fact the worst places to live. The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Mao’s Peoples Republic of China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, etc. These are all nations that had gulags or reeducation camps for political prisoners. Those people who spoke—or thought—truth to power. They all had police states where the people lived in fear of their government. They suffered for the want of the most basic items (soap, toilet paper, etc.). There was state censorship. They persecuted anyone practicing any religion. The people suffered from constant hunger. And the occasional famine. They killed anyone trying to escape their communist utopia. Or sent them off to hard labor and torture. If they escaped successfully then the state punished any family remaining behind. To warn others what would happen if they escaped their communist utopia.
The Great Flaw of Socialism is being unable to Determine What is the Greater Good
Why did these communist states have police states and brutally oppress their people? Because they had to. When the communists built the Berlin Wall it wasn’t to keep people from West Berlin out of East Berlin. It was to stop people escaping from East Berlin to West Berlin. For the East Germans were suffering a terrific brain drain. Capitalists believe in liberty. The freedom to do what they want. And to get paid for their services. A highly skilled doctor expects a higher salary than a janitor. And that just isn’t going to happen in a communist state. You get what the state gives you. No more. Creating a heck of a free rider problem. When your economic system works based on the Marxist premise from each according to ability to each according to need what you get is a lot of people showing little ability and a lot of need. For the more ability you had the harder they forced you to work. While the greater your need the more you got. Such a system encourages people to do the minimum and not be extraordinary. Which is why Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Apple, The Beatles, etc., did not come from communist countries.
A communist state has a planned economy. Instead of a free market economy. Communist state planners manage the economy from top down. Telling the raw material industry what materials to extract. They tell what factories get these raw materials and what they are to build. Etc. Whereas in a free market economy the economy is driven bottom up by the consumers. When consumers start buying a lot of one thing the price for that one thing rises. Attracting other businesses into the market to meet that rising demand. Who place orders with their wholesalers. Who place orders with their manufacturers. Who place orders with their industrial processors. Who place orders with their raw material extractors. Hundreds of thousands of decisions happen as this consumer demand travels up the stages of production in a free market economy. Giving the people what they want. And not what a state planner decides to give to the people.
This is why communist (and socialist) states are oppressive dictatorships. Because state planners decide for the people. Which must start with the supreme decision maker. The Joseph Stalin, the Mao Zedong, the Ho Chi Minh, the Kim Jong Un, the Raul Castro, the Hugo Chávez, etc. And these people don’t take polls or hold elections. Well, at least elections that are legitimate. Kim Jong Un continues the state policy of his predecessors. No economic reform. Money goes to the military first (especially for his nuclear toys) and whatever is left over may go to the people. And anyone who disagrees with him or thinks wrong goes to the gulag. Or is executed. Like his uncle. While the people suffer the want of the most basic things. Like food. North Korea to this day still suffers the occasional famine because of its economic policies. But one problem the North Koreans don’t have? Deciding where to go for lunch.
“Where do you want to eat? I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” This can go on until someone forceful makes the decision for the group. Often making no one happy. But it will end the endless “where do you want to eat?” This is the great flaw of socialism. Being unable to determine what is the greater good. Because people rarely agree on what’s best for other people. Just look at the recent budget agreement that made few people happy. They were unhappy because they disagreed on what was the greater good. People are different. One size does not fit all. You just can’t please all of the people all of the time. So you have to force your will on the people. The only mechanism that makes socialism work. Force. Because people can rarely agree on where to go to lunch let alone national policy. And this is why all communist/socialist states end in brutal dictatorships. Because only force can make people live in a world without choice.
Oppression and Lies are Standard Fare for a Communist Dictatorship
Communists are pragmatic. They know what they want. And they do what it takes to get what they want. For them the ends justify the means. No matter how horrible those means can be. And they’ve been pretty horrible. As communists have been among the greatest abusers of human rights. Something their people are not too keen on. As well as those living in the free world. So communists do something else a lot. They lie.
When you want to do things against the will of the people you need to either lie to the people. Or oppress the people with a large police state. Which can be costly. Because you have to take care of your police apparatus so they oppress the people and don’t turn on you. That’s how all dictators stay in power. Life is horrible in their countries. But it’s pretty good at the top. And those who protect those at the top. North Korea still suffers from recurring famines. Yet those at the top never go hungry. Or suffer the abject poverty of the people. And it’s been this way for a long time. A system maintained with the firm hand of the state. From Kim Il Sung to Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un. As the Kim family succession continues to keep life horrible in North Korea (see North Korea announces execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek by Chico Harlan posted 12/12/2013 on The Washington Post).
There have been no outward signs of instability under Kim Jong Un, and the North has largely maintained its key policies, resisting economic reform, devoting money to its weapons program and maintaining a gulag system for those accused of political crimes.
Kim Jong Un’s uncle was Jang Song Thaek. I say was for he is no more. Jang was in the inner circle of Kim Jong Il and thought to be a potential successor. But that didn’t happen. As Kim Jong Un had those honors. But Jang was around a long time. And knew a lot of people. Which, of course, made him a threat. So Kim Jong Un had him arrested, put him on trial for crimes against the state and executed. Telling the people he was a “traitor for all ages” and was “despicable human scum” and was “worse than a dog.” He demonized him to get the people to accept that this execution was just. And to send a message. He held power. And anyone thinking otherwise will be demonized and executed. Standard sort of fare for a communist dictatorship. Oppression. And lies.
You get the People to ask for more Government by Buying their Votes with a Cradle-to-Grave Welfare State
A communist state has its drawbacks, though. The aforementioned abject poverty and recurring famines. Because as an economic system planned economies just don’t work. But a free market economy tends to put ideas into people’s heads. Such as we don’t really need the government as much as the government wants us to believe we need them. In the movie V for Vendetta this was something Chancellor Sutler impressed upon his lieutenants. It was imperative to let the people know how much they needed British socialism. Which is not quite communism. But it’s anti-free market capitalism just like communism. And a little easier to sell to the people. For despite the left’s love affair with communism it is hard to spin that as anything other than it is. Horrible. I mean, people aren’t trying to break into North Korea and Cuba. They’re risking their lives to escape these communist utopias.
So those on the left adopted a new type of socialism. Social democracy. Which was communism/socialism lite. It wasn’t as anti-free market capitalism as communism/socialism was. So as not to bring about the abject poverty and recurring famines you got with communism/socialism. And you backed off on the oppressive police state. Instead, you get the people to ask for more government. By buying their votes with a cradle-to-grave welfare state. And a lot of government jobs with decent pay and wonderful benefits. To make the people love the state. And impress on them how much they need the state.
Of course this bloated welfare state is costly. Which they pay for with a progressive tax system. A tax system that is ‘fair’. By making the evil rich pay higher taxes so the good poor and the innocent children can have a decent life. Not just those evil rich people. And how do you oppose this? You can’t. Unless you hate the poor. And the children. Which is what the left says about the opposition whenever they oppose new spending. Or higher taxes. Of course, having to fight these battles over taxes and spending can be a pain in the behind. So the state takes care of those in the inner circle of power. Those who think correctly. Who help get the people to ask for these taxes and spending. The media who helps to spread their propaganda. And the educational system. That teaches the young to grow up loving government. And fearing free market capitalism. Then you add the coup de grâce. National health care.
President Obama lied over and over again to put America onto the Pathway towards National Health Care
Every communist/socialist dictatorship had/has national health care. For once the people become dependent on the state for their good health the state has them for life. And whenever the opposition resists higher taxes for more spending all you have to do is kill some people by making them wait longer for health care that the opposition denied them. Causing outrage among the people. Who demand that the opposition stop playing politics with their lives. The left’s kind of oppression. Having the people beg for more government. This is why national health care (or something that will help usher in national health care) is the holy grail of the left. And why President Obama lied through his teeth to pass the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) into law (see Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’ by Angie Drobnic Holan posted 12/12/2013 on PolitiFact.com).
PolitiFact has named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice…
The Affordable Care Act tried to allow existing health plans to continue under a complicated process called “grandfathering,” which basically said insurance companies could keep selling plans if they followed certain rules.
The problem for insurers was that the Obamacare rules were strict. If the plans deviated even a little, they would lose their grandfathered status. In practice, that meant insurers canceled plans that didn’t meet new standards.
Obama’s team seemed to understand that likelihood. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the grandfathering rules in June 2010 and acknowledged that some plans would go away. Yet Obama repeated “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it” when seeking re-election last year…
Also on Oct. 1, insurers started sending out cancellation letters for 2014…
One example: PBS Newshour interviewed a woman from Washington, D.C., who was a supporter of the health care law and found her policy canceled. New policies had significantly higher rates. She told Newshour that the only thing the new policy covered that her old one didn’t was maternity care and pediatric services. And she was 58…
First, they tried to shift blame to insurers. “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans,” said Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to Obama, on Oct. 28.
PolitiFact rated her statement False. The restrictions on grandfathering were part of the law, and they were driving cancellations.
Then, they tried to change the subject. “It’s important to remember both before the ACA was ever even a gleam in anybody’s eye, let alone passed into law, that insurance companies were doing this all the time, especially in the individual market because it was lightly regulated and the incentives were so skewed,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
But what really set everyone off was when Obama tried to rewrite his slogan, telling political supporters on Nov. 4, “Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law, and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”
Pants on Fire! PolitiFact counted 37 times when he’d included no caveats, such as a high-profile speech to the American Medical Association in 2009: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
President Obama lied. Over and over again. He lied to get this pathway to national health care into law (for once he destroys the private health insurance industry what will be left but a public option?). And he lied to win reelection. President Obama lied. And his fellow Democrats lied. Over and over again. To put America onto the pathway towards their holy grail. National health care. The linchpin of the massive cradle-to-grave welfare state. The one thing that allows the state to tax and spend more than anything else. And puts the opposition into the position of wanting to kill people anytime they oppose higher taxes and more spending. Which has a lot more staying power than a government shutdown.
What can you say about someone who lies (at least) 37 times? That person is a pathological liar. A pragmatic. A person who believes the ends justify the means. That the rule of law is only a suggestion. A person that will say anything and break any law to get what he wants. And is willing to kill people by taking away the health insurance they liked and wanted to keep. By taking away the doctor they liked and wanted to keep. And by taking away the medication they liked and wanted to keep. Fear and suffering President Obama and his fellow Democrats and supporters in the media and education are indifferent to. For their greatest concern is how will this hurt President Obama? This is what those on the left worry about. Their dear leader. Not the people. Just like the inner circle surrounding every tin-pot dictator worry about. For if the people turn on the dear leader they may overthrow him. And with him go their privileged lives amidst the abject poverty and recurring famines surrounding them.
Robert Catesby, Guy Fawkes and other Catholic Conspirators conspired to Blow up Parliament
King Henry VIII had a problem with Rome. He didn’t like that the Pope wouldn’t annul his marriage to Catherine. And he did not like the Pope interfering with his absolute rule of England. So he told the Pope to mind his own beeswax. The Pope then excommunicated Henry from the Catholic Church. Henry said fine. And established himself as the head of the Church of England. And turned England Protestant around the 1530s. Causing all English men and women to live happily ever after.
Well, not quite. There were a lot of people who wanted to remain Catholic. And they were pretty adamant. Just as the Protestants were pretty adamant about remaining Protestant. Which led them to, of course, hate each other. A white-hot hatred at that. For they wanted to kill each other. And often did. The Catholics were cautiously optimistic about King James VI of Scotland moving south to sit on the English throne as King James I of England. Who promised to relax the anti-Catholic laws. But, alas, he did not. The brutal Catholic persecution continued. So some Catholics got together to do something about that in 1605. And the rest is, as they say, history.
“Remember, remember the fifth of November.
The Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.
I see no reason why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.”
Robert Catesby and some fellow Catholic conspirators conspired to blow up Parliament. To teach those Protestants a lesson by killing them. The lesson being that it was wrong to kill Catholics. Well, the plan was so long in the making it gave the conspirators time to think. And some began to think that what they were going to do might be bad. So someone feeling overly anxious about what they were about to do leaked information of the plot. And they caught poor old Guy Fawkes in the cellar with all of the gunpowder they were going to use to blow up Parliament. Long story short the gunpowder treason and plot failed. And most of the conspirators were killed resisting arrest. Or executed. But the conspirators were on to something. As England would be consumed by civil war from 1642 to 1651. To settle the question whether England would be Catholic. Or Protestant. The Protestants won. But some time later some Protestants, the Calvinists, thought they weren’t Protestant enough. And for speaking up they were persecuted. So they hopped a boat and ultimately came to a place we call the United States today.
George W. Bush was the Brilliant Mastermind behind the Treason and Plot to Transform the U.S. into a Dictatorship
Ah, the United States. The land of the free. And the home of the brave. After winning our independence from Great Britain the United States became that shining city on a hill. Where people came to escape persecution. Where Catholic and Protestant can live harmoniously together. And where there is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. And the Bill of Rights. Which provided strong safeguards to our liberty. Protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government. Like that we just won our independence from. So we can have our freedom of religion. Even for the Catholics. A free press. The right to peacefully assemble. The right to speak our minds without fear of governmental retribution. And protection from unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause and a warrant narrowly specifying the place to be searched and the persons and things to be seized.
But then came along George W. Bush. And his Patriot Act. A conservative Christian. And the next thing we knew they were warrantless wiretaps on international calls to terrorists. There was rendition. Secret CIA prisons in foreign countries to hold and interrogate terrorists. Guantanamo Bay. Where we held enemy combatants captured on the field of battle. Who fought under no national flag. And who were not signatory to the Geneva Convention. The United States held these international outlaws in Guantanamo Bay outside the American legal justice system. And we even water-boarded three terrorists. The Bush administration even went so far as to use drones to kill terrorists in foreign countries without due process.
According to those on the left George W. Bush tore up the Bill of Rights. The brilliant mastermind behind the treason and plot to transform the United States into a dictatorship. This same man they belittled relentlessly for being an idiot and a fool. This was the guy that was so shrewd and conniving that he was going to become the next Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler or Adam Sutler. This devout Christian who lived by the Golden Rule. Who used the powers of the Constitution to protect the people of the United States from further terrorist attacks. Which he did. The American homeland did not suffer another terrorist attack following 9/11 during his 8 years in office.
Despite winning the War on Terror President Obama increased the Domestic Spying of U.S. Citizens
But the left hated him. They attacked him relentlessly. On television. And in the movies. Even making movies on how to kill him. The political opposition tried to shut him down. And basically did when the Democrats won both houses of Congress in the 2006 midterm election. Taking obstructionism to new heights. And the mainstream media didn’t even hide their liberal bias. Because the assault on our civil rights was so great. They saw parallels between the Orwellian future of Adam Sutler’s England in the movie V for Vendetta and the Bush presidency. Helped along with a lot of imagery of the Bush presidency nuanced throughout the movie. V’s speech to London was not only an indictment of the Sutler chancellorship. It was an indictment of the Bush presidency.
But really, now, which presidency does this speech ring more true? The Bush presidency? Or the Obama presidency? Which presidency has been more active in preventing the political opposition from speaking? It wasn’t the Bush presidency that used the power of the IRS to shut down free speech. It was the IRS under the Obama presidency that shut down the free speech of the Tea Party. Guantanamo Bay is still open. Though President Obama is not adding more prisoners there. For he has stepped up drone strikes. Killing terrorists overseas instead of bringing them back to the U.S. for interrogation. As well as a few civilians who were unfortunately standing near a terrorist during a drone strike. Even killing Americans on foreign soil without first reading them their Miranda rights. Something George W. Bush didn’t do.
And then there’s the collecting of metadata from all our phone calls. Without a warrant narrowly specifying the place to be searched and the persons and things to be seized. And project PRISM. The monitoring and storing of Internet activity. Some of this domestic spying under the Obama presidency may even exceed the authority of the hated Patriot Act. President Obama has increased the domestic spying from what the Bush administration did. Despite President Obama winning the War on Terror with the killing of Osama bin Laden. Which was a campaign theme of the 2012 election. The president had delivered a knockout blow to al Qaeda who was now on the ropes and in retreat. Yet with this victory in the War on Terror President Obama increased the domestic spying the government was doing on its citizens. Why? For the same reason the IRS harassed the Tea Party? To suppress the political opposition? All of this domestic spying failed to stop the Boston Marathon bombing. And these guys were all over the Internet. So if they’ve increased this domestic spying but are not using it to stop terrorists like the Boston Marathon bombers (or the Foot Hood terrorist, the killing of our ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, etc.) what are they using this data for?
So I ask again. Which presidency does V’s speech ring more true? The God-fearing George W. Bush who tried to protect the people? Or the ‘consolidate power by any means necessary’ President Obama? The president that gave us Obamacare against the will of the people. A program to be enforced by the hated IRS. Who have their own armed enforcement officers. Obamacare also forces Catholics to provide birth control and abortion pills to their employees. Against their conscience. Making Obamacare anti-Catholic legislation. Similar to the kind that inspired the gunpowder treason and plot. Of which Guy Fawkes participated in. And who was the inspiration of V. Giving us the answer to our question.
Before WWII there were many who Admired the Great Things Authoritative and Charismatic Dictators were Doing
The Nazi Party is one of the most documented rises of totalitarianism. A system of government where everything and everyone is subordinated to the state. Where the state comes first. And the people are expendable. Ruled by a single person. A charismatic leader. Who the people pledge their allegiance to. And follow obediently to the ends of the earth. We can learn a lot by studying what happened in Nazi Germany about the quest for absolute power. For though party ideology may differ the path to that party is eerily similar wherever, and whenever, you look.
Of course, some are infatuated by an all-powerful state. Not for the crimes against their people. But what an all-powerful state can do. Where enlightened individuals can do what’s best for the people without having to deal with a political opposition. Just read what one beloved world leader wrote about Adolf Hitler prior to the outbreak of hostilities that embroiled the world in World War II:
Other musings concern how great the autobahns were – ‘the best roads in the world’ – and how, having visited Hitler’s Bavarian holiday home in Berchtesgaden and the tea house built on top of the mountain for him.
He declared; ‘Who has visited these two places can easily imagine how Hitler will emerge from the hatred currently surrounding him to emerge in a few years as one of the most important personalities that ever lived.’
This was written just a few years before Hitler invaded Poland. Up until the war broke out there were many who admired the great things authoritative and charismatic leaders were doing. Mussolini made the trains run on time. And FDR was so smitten with Joseph Stalin and the great things he was doing in the Soviet Union that it broke his heart when the Soviets signed a non-aggression pact with the Nazis. Allowing the invasion of Poland. And starting World War II. While splitting up Poland between the Nazis and the communists. Basically removing Poland from the map.
The Left has used the Expanding Size of the Federal Government to Harass and Silence their Political Enemies
This is why Nazi Germany is so interesting as a study in politics. For the Nazis rose to power within the political process. They won elections. And then used their legitimate powers to expand their power. Often helped by the clever use of propaganda. Misinformation. And brutal criminal acts. Which becomes easier to do as your powers grow. And you place yourself above the law. And become a nation of a charismatic ruler. Instead of a nation of laws.
With the recent scandals of the Obama administration (Benghazi, the obstruction of free speech, the persecution of conservatives, etc.) some are making comparisons to Watergate. While some even go so far as to compare it to Nazi Germany. Of course, President Obama and the Democrats are NOT Nazis. In fact, they are diametrically opposed to much Nazi ideology. Just to give one example take immigration. The Nazis believed in a pure Germanic race and opposed immigration of non-Germans. While Democrats want to throw open the borders. So the left are not Nazis. But if you read the 25 points of the Nazi Party platform of 1920 you will see that the left employs many of the same tools to rise to power as the Nazis—and all totalitarian regimes—used in their rise to power. Here are some of the 25 points.
9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, Schieber and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.
23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that:
a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race:
b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language:
c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.
25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.
Both the Nazis and the left call for an egalitarian society. For example, everyone should have access to health care. While everyone is obligated to pay their fair share (i.e., the health care mandate forcing people to buy health insurance). Both call war a crime against the people and want to confiscate war profits. Among other profits. The left wants to get rid of the profit incentive and capitalism while the Nazis wanted to just nationalize private sector industries. The Nazis wanted to get the elderly dependent on the state by expanding old age welfare. Just as the left does with Social Security and Medicare (and now Obamacare). The Nazis wanted to implement price controls to help the middle class. The left’s solution to the high cost of health care (in part) is price controls. Forcing doctors and hospitals to work for less. The Nazis wanted to severely punish those who are injurious to the state agenda. The left used the IRS and other agencies of the federal government to make life uncomfortable for those who actively oppose their agenda (case in point the recent scandals plaguing the Obama administration). The Nazis controlled education as “early as the beginning of understanding.” The left had the government take over the student loan program to get more kids into college where they can further indoctrinate them. The left controls public education. That gets out the vote to help Democrats win elections. And the left is always trying to create/expand state-run childcare. To start indoctrinating children as “early as the beginning of understanding.” The Nazis wanted to ban any free speech that did not help the general good. As the state determined what that general good was. The left marginalizes the one network (Fox) that doesn’t endorse the left’s agenda. They’ve tried to muzzle free speech on the one media outlet they did not dominate (talk radio) by trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. And they’ve talked about extending that to the Internet to shut down any opposition there. The Nazis called for a strong central authority with unlimited powers to protect the general interest. The left has expanded the size of the federal government under the guise to protect the general interest. And the recent scandals show the use of that growing central authority to harass and silence their political enemies. Conservatives. Who are today’s scapegoat.
JFK was more Champion of the People than Seeker of Dictatorial Power unlike Today’s Democrat Party
The Nazi party did not do well until the Great Depression. When the masses were unemployed and suffering under the war reparations of the Versailles Treaty. The people were angry. Frustrated. And felt they were suffering for the crimes of others. Then along came Adolf Hitler. And the Nazi Party. They did not let this crisis go to waste. The Nazis identified a scapegoat for all of their woes. The Jews. With a great crisis and a scapegoat the Nazis started winning elections. In 1928 the Nazis had 12 seats in the Reichstag. By September of 1930, after the pain of the Great Depression was being felt, they had 107 seats. Making them the second largest party. At the same time the Hitler Youth junior branches started indoctrinating boys and girls as young as 10. By July 1932 the Nazis were the largest party in the Reichstag. The Nazis co-ruled the country as part of a coalition government. In 1933 the Reichstag burnt down. Another crisis too good to waste. The Nazis (who probably started that fire) blamed the Communist Party (KPD). The second largest party in the Reichstag. The Nazis got the KPD banned. Giving the Nazis majority rule. They then suspended basic civil rights. Because enemies of the people were everywhere. And the government needed to protect them. Making Germany a police state. The Civil Service law of 1933 began the removal of Jews from every office. The Nazis then abolished trade unions. Forcing everyone to join the German Labor Front. Then in March 1933 the government passed the Enabling Law. Transferring legislative power to Hitler’s cabinet. Creating Hitler’s dictatorship. As the future of Germany could no longer be left to the chaos of an elected body. It needed the strong will of a charismatic leader who knew what was best for the German people. And the German people followed his will obediently. Because there were enemies all around. And they needed someone unhindered by an elected body or law to protect them.
Liberal Democrats are NOT Nazis. They have more ideological difference than they share. But they do have one thing in common with the Nazis. Their quest for power. And in that quest for power they have used some of the same techniques the Nazis used. Because all power-hungry people use these techniques. They identify an enemy (Jews/conservatives). They champion the people. And then lie through their teeth. Using their growing powers to consolidate even more power. All the while the people enthusiastically support them. Supporting the oppression of their common enemy. Until that consolidated power begins to include them in their oppression. Where all but the most devout Nazis regretted their earlier support of the Nazi Party. As it was all but the most devout Nazis that suffered from the state’s oppression.
So who was that beloved world leader that wrote so admiringly of Adolf Hitler before the outbreak of World War II? He was an American. A Democrat. Who actually went on to fight in World War II. Against the Japanese. Who went on to become president of the United States. Fierce Cold War warrior. And, surprisingly, endorsed economic policies that Ronald Reagan would one day endorse. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (see How JFK secretly ADMIRED Hitler: Explosive book reveals former President’s praise for the Nazis as he travelled through Germany before Second World War posted 5/23/2013 on the Daily Mail). Who may have had some faults. But being a Nazi wasn’t one of them. JFK may have wanted to use the power of government to make America better. But he was an old school Democrat. Who was more champion of the people than seeker of dictatorial power. Unlike today. Where it appears the Democrats in power use the IRS and other agencies of the federal government to oppress their political enemies. Conservatives. Kind of the way the Nazis oppressed their political enemies in Germany. And like the communists oppressed their political enemies in East Germany. Where our fierce Cold War warrior spat in the face of that communist oppression by proclaiming, “Ich bin ein Berline.” I am a Berliner. But today it is the Democrats that are the oppressors. Not the ones fighting against oppression.
Funny thing about the Americans is that they just didn’t Like Paying Taxes
United we stood. For awhile. Until we defeated the British at Yorktown. And negotiated the Treaty of Paris where Great Britain recognized our independence from the British Crown. But people grew weary of the war. On both sides of the Atlantic. And those in the once united states (small ‘u’ and small ‘s’) were eager to retreat to their states. And forget about the Continental Congress. The Continental Army. And everything to do with the confederation. Threatening to undo everything they fought for. Because of their sectional interests.
Shays Rebellion nearly pushed the country into anarchy. It was the tipping point. They had to do something. Because if they weren’t united they would surely fall. They owed Europe a fortune that they had no hope of repaying. Funny thing about the Americans. They just didn’t like paying taxes. Making it difficult to repay their debts. The Europeans gave them little respect. France tried to sell them out during the peace talks to rebalance the balance of power in their favor. Spain wanted to keep them east of the Mississippi River. And off of the Mississippi. Even refused them passage through the Port of New Orleans. Britain didn’t evacuate their western forts. The Barbary pirates were capturing American shipping in the Mediterranean and selling their crews into slavery. And Catherine the Great of Russia wouldn’t even meet the American ambassador. So the Americans were the Rodney Dangerfield of nations. They got no respect.
In 1787 delegates gathered in Philadelphia. To revise the Articles of Confederation to address these problems. Some enthusiastically. Some begrudgingly. While one state refused to attend. Rhode Island. For they were quite happy with the way things were. As the smallest sate in the union they had the power to kill almost any legislation that didn’t benefit Rhode Island. For some legislation the vote had to be unanimous. And they enjoyed charging other states tariffs for their goods unloaded in Rhode Island ports. Things were so nice in Rhode Island that they didn’t need much taxation. Because they had other states funding their needs. Thanks to those tariffs. Of course, this did little to benefit the union. While imposing taxes on their neighbors in the union. Sort of like taxation without representation. Funny thing about Americans, though. They didn’t like paying taxes.
Montesquieu said a Republican Government must Separate Power into Three Branches
Thomas Jefferson was in Europe in 1787. John Adams, too. But just about every other “demi-god” (as Jefferson called those at that gathering) was in Philadelphia in 1787. America’s patriarch Benjamin Franklin. The indispensable George Washington. The financially savvy Alexander Hamilton. The studious James Madison. The Framers of the Constitution. Highly principled men. Well read men. Prosperous men. Who were familiar with world history. And read the great enlightenment philosophers. Like John Locke. Who especially influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence. With his inalienable rights. Consent of the governed. And property rights.
As they gathered in Philadelphia to revise the Articles it became clear that they needed something more. A new constitution. A stronger federal government. With the power to tax so they could raise money. For without money the union could not solve any of its problems. So they set upon writing a new constitution for a new government. A republican government of republican states. As they began to frame this constitution they drew on the work of a French philosopher. Charles de Montesquieu. Who championed republican government. The ideal government. A government of the people who ruled at the consent of the governed. With built-in safeguards to protect the people’s inalienable rights. The key requirement being the separation of powers.
Montesquieu said a republican government must separate power into three branches. The legislature, the executive and the judiciary. A nation of laws requires a legislature to write the laws. Because the laws must respect the inalienable rights of the people the people must elect the legislature from the general population. So the legislature’s interests are the people’s interest. However, if the legislature was also the executive they could easily write laws that represented their interests instead of the people. Elevating the legislature into a dictatorship. If the legislature was also the judiciary they could interpret law to favor their interests instead of the people. Elevating the legislature into a dictatorship. Likewise if the executive could write and interpret law the executive could elevate into a dictatorship. Ditto for the judiciary if they could write the law they were interpreting. So the separation of powers is the greatest protection the people have against a government’s oppression.
If a Power wasn’t Delegated to the New Federal Government it Remained with the States
During the Constitutional Convention they debated long and they debated hard. The Federalists were in favor of a stronger central government. The anti-Federalists were not. The Federalists included those who served in the Army and the Congress. The anti-Federalists were those who didn’t serve ‘nationally’ and favored states’ rights. In general. So one side wanted to increase the power of the central government while the other side wanted no central government. For their fear was that a new federal government would consolidate power and subordinate the states to its rule. As if the last war never happened. And the states would still bow to a distant central power. Only this time to one on this side of the Atlantic.
So the balance they struck was a two-house (i.e., bicameral) legislature. A House of Representatives. And a Senate. The people in each state elected a number of representatives proportional to their state’s population. So a large state had a large representation in the House. So that house represented the will of the people. To prevent the tyranny of the minority. So a small privileged class couldn’t rule as they pleased. Whereas the Senate prevented the tyranny of the majority. By giving each state two senators. So small states had the same say as big states. Together they represented both the majority and the minority. Further, states’ legislatures chose their senators (changed later by Constitutional amendment). Providing the states a check on federal legislation.
To round things out there was an executive they called the president. And a judiciary. Providing the separation of powers per Montesquieu. They further limited the central government’s powers by enumerating their powers. The new federal government could only do what the Constitution said it could do. Treat with foreign powers. Coin a national currency. Declare war. Etc. If a power wasn’t delegated to the new federal government it remained with the states. To give the new federal government some power. Including the power to tax. While leaving most powers with the states. Striking a compromise between the Federalists and the anti-Federalists.
The 2012 election is still about 5 months away. But President Obama has received another endorsement. In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour the daughter of Cuba’s communist dictator said President Obama is her kind of leader (see Obama wins endorsement from Raul Castro’s daughter by the CNN Wire Staff posted 6/4/2012 on CNN).
The daughter of Cuba’s president supports the re-election bid of U.S. President Barack Obama, but believes he could do more were it not for the pressures he is facing, she said in an interview broadcast Monday on “CNNi’s Amanpour.”
“As a citizen of the world, I would like him to win,” said Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of Raul Castro, in the exclusive interview, which was conducted Friday in New York. “Given the choices, I prefer Obama…”
Amanpour pointed to a Human Rights Watch description of Cuba as “the only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent.”
But Castro said the rights group “does not represent the opinion of the Cuban people. And their informants are mercenaries. They’re people who have been paid by a foreign government for media shows that do not represent Cuban positions directly…”
Castro offered no sympathy for Yoani Sanchez, the dissident blogger inside Cuba who has won multiple awards for her work, which is critical of the Castro government.
“She gives service to foreign powers who are interested in eliminating the Cuban experience,” Castro said. “She’s an official voice of the global dominant powers.
Castro disputed Sanchez’s assertion that she was not allowed to work. “She is allowed to work in Cuba,” Castro said. “But she makes much more money with the prizes, which are being sent to her from abroad, than for any work that she might do with the very low wages that we have in Cuba…”
Asked about Sen. Robert Menendez’s description of her as “a vocal advocate of the regime, an opponent of democracy, who has defended the brutal repression of democracy activists,” Castro called the Democrat from New Jersey “a person who really doesn’t have his feet down on the ground.”
Just in case you’re not sure Raul Castro is Fidel Castro’s brother. When Fidel suffered some health issues he handed the dictatorship over to his brother. Because he could. Much like Kim Jong-Il handed his dictatorship off to his son, Kim Jong-un. Because he could. When you have absolute power over life and death of your people you can play by any set of rules you choose. And Fidel Castro has chosen to continue their oppressive communist police state. For those who didn’t escape across the water to Florida, that is. This is Cuba. Where the Cuban masses suffer under the Castro dictatorship. Something Mariela Castro Espin apparently supports. Saying the Castro will is the people’s will. Those Cubans trying to make it to Florida on watercraft than can barely float, though, beg to differ.
And this champion of oppressive communist police states endorses President Obama in the 2012 election. As I’m sure the Castro brothers do. As well as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. And if he was still alive, Mao Zedong. And the man that exported this oppressive Stalinism himself. Joseph Stalin. So it would appear that President Obama impresses the anti-capitalism bloc. For they must feel that he hates capitalism as much as they do. And they would love to see how much more he can hate it with 4 more years.
Although young men protect their own neighborhoods, major institutions such as banks, ministries and historic sites remain relatively unprotected. A number of banks and commercial towers have been thoroughly looted. Law enforcement is left in the hands of rebel fighters, some of whom had never been to their country’s capital.
Young men continue to pillage military sites abandoned by Kadafi’s men, carting away huge stores of weapons, just as Iraqis hauled off guns and explosives later used to make car bombs and launch attacks on Iraqi and U.S.-led forces.
Stores of weapons in the hands of angry young men? Rarely does that end well. And rarely does lawlessness just spontaneously turn into lawfulness. Put the two together (angry young men with weapons and lawlessness) and what do you get? Woe to anyone that is identified as a loyalist.
Reports also have begun to surface of reprisal killings of suspected loyalists, although few accounts could be fully verified given the chaos and lack of communications in Tripoli…
More obvious right now is the visceral violence of rebel forces hammering away at residential neighborhoods known to be strongholds of Kadafi supporters.
Rebel fighters use artillery and antiaircraft guns in such districts, which include Abu Salim, Hadba and Salahadin. At one point this week, rebels were firing assault rifles into residential apartment blocks in Abu Salim, where they suspected a sniper was holed up.
Civil wars tend to be the cruelest of wars. And the bloodiest. They split up neighborhoods. And families. With vengeance often being the battle cry. For these aren’t soldiers on a distant battlefield who don’t know each other. This is far more personal. It’s typically someone you know killing someone you know. And what makes it especially cruel is that before the war these were people you called friends. Or family. This kind of killing unleashes an indescribable hatred. And searing anger. Hence the vengeance.
Members of the district council insisted that the men had taken up arms against the revolution and were being held pending trial. But they also said some of those arrested included people pulled out of their cars at checkpoints because they looked “suspicious,” often code for dark-skinned Libyans and others of sub-Saharan African descent…
Said one Tripoli taxi driver, “I have a fear that one day we’ll be like Iraqis, wishing for the days of Moammar Kadafi.”
As bad as Saddam Hussein was, at least he kept the peace. That’s the advantage of an oppressive dictatorship. People live in fear of the state. Not each other. And if you behave properly, the state might just leave you alone. As long as you’re not an intellectual. Can read. Or wear glasses. If you’re not a threat to state power, or a perceived threat, life can be good. All you have to do is to say nothing. Avoid eye contact. And never, ever complain. For if you thought things were bad, just wait until after you complain.
Typically in Civil Wars, the Winning Side often Unleashed a Bloody Purge on the Losing Side
Many people may not know this but the American Revolutionary War was part civil war. Those loyal to the Crown fought for the Crown. Against the Patriots. And the bloodiest fighting during the Revolution was between Loyalist and Patriot. Especially in the South. Where some unspeakable horrors took place.
Now typically in civil wars, the winning side often unleashed a bloody purge on the losing side. But not in America. At the end of the war there were no reprisals. No hangings. No persecutions. At least, not by those in power. Most of the Loyalists just left. They went to Canada. Or back to the UK. General Washington resigned from the army. And the elected civilian authority made the peace. Quite shocking. For few generals ever voluntarily give up near absolute power. And returned to their farm. He was the American Cincinnatus.
About a decade later, the French Revolution erupted. A more classical civil war. Far more bloody. With plenty of reprisals. And guillotining. The streets of Paris ran with blood. The Reign of Terror purged political enemies. Than the people who unleashed the Terror fell victims to it themselves. The fighting unleashed Napoleon Bonaparte onto Europe. And the Middle East. Made him a great general. Even impressed a composer by the name of Ludwig van Beethoven. A fan of republican government. Even dedicated his Third Symphony to him. And then Bonaparte made himself emperor. So the revolution to overthrow a king ultimately ended up with an emperor. Infuriating Beethoven so that he slashed the dedication page from his symphony.
Two revolutions that were part civil war. One atypical. The American. And one more typical. The French.
Winning the War was one Thing. Winning the Peace was Another.
At the time these were some pretty nasty wars. But they pale when compared to the American Civil War. Some 620,000 died. That’s a huge number. About 2% of the population then. To get an idea about how devastating 2% of the population is consider this. With today’s population that would equal some 6 million dead.
Winning the war was one thing. Winning the peace was another. The war was horrific. And a lot of Northerners wanted a hard peace. To make the South pay. But Abraham Lincoln wanted an easy peace. Near the end, shortly before Robert E. Lee’s surrender, Lincoln met with General Ulysses S. Grant, General William Tecumseh Sherman and Admiral David Dixon Porter. He discussed the easy peace he wanted. He said he did not want any retribution. Any trials. Any hangings. If the defeated Confederates would sign paroles promising to never pick up arms again against the United States, they could simply go home. He wanted to bring the South back into the Union. As quickly and as painlessly as possible. Forgive and forget. Echoing his sentiments in his second inaugural address:
With malice toward none, with charity for all
The South was beaten. Lee was surrounded. The question was what would Lee do? Surrender? Or disband and head into the hills. Carry out guerilla war? This was weighing on everyone’s mind. It terrified Lincoln. Grant and Sherman feared it, too. Even Lee. When Grant met Lee at Appomattox to discuss surrender, Grant offered very generous terms. In keeping with Lincoln’s wish for an easy peace. It had a very favorable affect on Lee. And his men. Lee surrendered. And once his war was over he dedicated his postwar life to making peace.
A similar surrender was negotiated between Sherman and General Joseph E. Johnston. Despite the assassination of Lincoln. Which happened after Lee’s surrender. Sherman waged hard war throughout the South. But he did not hate the South. War was war. And once the war was over, he followed Lincoln’s directive for an easy peace without hesitation. Eager to ‘let the South up easy’. And bring them back into the Union.
Lincoln’s assassination infuriated the North. They wanted vengeance. They wanted retribution. And they wanted to hang Lee. But Grant stepped in. Said he made the deal with Lee. And the deal would be honored. Or he’d resign. President Andrew Johnson relented. And Grant wrote Lee to assure him there would be no trial. His terms would be honored. And Lee reciprocated by dedicating his remaining life doing what he could to bring the South peacefully back into the Union.
Let us Judge not, that we be not Judged
The Civil War ended in 1865. It easily could have gone on. But thanks to Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Lee and Johnston, the war ended. And the peace began. The Southern people looked to Lee even in defeat. For he was like George Washington to them. Loved. And respected. Washington’s and Lee’s words and deeds carried great weight in their postwar years. And made peace possible.
But Lee surrendered to Lincoln as much as he did to Grant. And it was Lincoln that made the difference in this civil war. Made it different from other civil wars. For he could see beyond the conflict. To a higher plane. As he said in his second inaugural address.
Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.
This is what you need for reconciliation. Do they have that in Libya? Let’s hope so. But history has shown this to rarely be the case. You need great people. A Washington. A Lincoln. A Grant. A Sherman. A Lee. A Johnston. Is this person in Libya? Or is Libya to descend into terror? Time will tell.
Socialism as a political/economic theory is pretty involved. With an involved history. And if you’re suffering insomnia one night I recommend reading some of it with a glass of warm milk. Should put you right to sleep.
Let me simplify it a bit. To begin with, by ‘socialism’ I mean any form of collectivism (socialism, communism, fascism, statism, social democracy, etc.). They’re all similar. Just variations on a theme. And they all suffer the same defects. Three of which I summarize here:
Public (instead of private) ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange
Put the common good before individual wants or desires
Equality of outcomes
That’s not everything. But it’s the 3 big reasons why socialism fails. Basically, socialism is the opposite of capitalism. In fact, socialism was created to defeat capitalism. The East-West rivalry during the Cold War was the final showdown between the two systems. And we know how that turned out. (In case you don’t, capitalism won).
Public (instead of private) ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange
Mikhail Gorbachev asked the great Margaret Thatcher how she fed her people. Her reply stunned him. She did nothing. The Soviet Union was struggling to feed her people with their socialist command economy. And they couldn’t do it. They who had great tracts of some of the most fertile farmland in the world. And yet they still had to import grain from their arch nemesis. The United States. To keep famine at bay. The free markets of capitalism didn’t have to struggle to feed her people, though. The United States had food to spare. And even though Great Britain is an island nation that had to import much of her food, there were no famine fears in Great Britain. The socialist just couldn’t understand how that was possible.
One of the problems with socialism is that it ignores market forces. And perverts the economic decision making process. In a free market, market forces maximize the use of scarce resources that have alternative uses. The market does this through the laws of supply and demand. And prices. Things high in demand but low in supply have high prices. This ensures there is enough of that supply available for those who really need it. Anyone who pushed a car to the gas pump during the gas shortages in the 1970s understands this. When the Nixon administration kept prices artificially low, everyone bought and used gas until the supply ran out. If we had let prices rise to their true market price, those who didn’t absolutely need gas would have cut back on their purchases, leaving gas available to those who really needed it and were willing to pay a high price for it.
When the state takes over the economy, politicians make economic decisions for political reasons. They ignore the ‘invisible hand’ of the market place. In the Soviet Union, the state boasted about its industrial output and filled stores with tractor parts no one wanted to buy. Meanwhile, people stood in line for hours in hopes of buying soap or toilet paper. And no matter how hard they tried they just couldn’t increase the yield of some of the world’s most fertile farmland.
Put the common good before individual wants or desires
Doing what’s best for the common good sounds noble. And easy to do. We all agree our children should be safe. And should have enough to eat. And that our schools should serve them breakfast each morning. And teach them about contraception. Well, okay, it’s not that easy to do. Because different people want different things. And different people think different things are better for the common good.
This is the problem of putting the common good before our individual wants or desires. Few can agree on what the common good is. We know our own wants and desires. But we have no idea what other people want or desire. Unless we ask them. But does that even help in determining the common good? Get a group of your friends and family together. Make it at least 10 people. Now get the ten of you to agree on a movie to see. You know what will happen? First of all, you’ll waste a lot of time saying, “I don’t care. What do you want to see?” Then people will start suggesting movies. And for every one suggested, someone will vote it down. This will go on until you finally arrive at a movie that no one wants to see. But because it’s the movie everyone hates the least, everyone’s willing to settle for it.
Now imagine that little exercise with a thousand people. The agreeing process will be even more difficult. In fact, it may be impossible. It is very unlikely that one thousand people will agree to anything. And if they try they will waste an enormous amount of time in the process. No. Someone will have to decide for the group. Someone will have to weigh everyone’s opinion and decide what is best for the common good. No matter how many people disagree with this one person’s decision. F.A. Hayek wrote a book about this. The Road to Serfdom. He said socialism ends in dictatorship. Because there’s no efficient means to determine what’s best for the common good. He predicted this would happen in Germany with their creeping state socialism. And Adolf Hitler proved him right.
Equality of Outcomes
If a business has a good year, they tend to be more generous at the holidays. Let’s say a business owner wants to give out some Christmas bonuses to thank her employees for all their hard work. She goes to her accountant. Asks what’s the maximum she can give out without giving herself any cash-flow problems at the beginning of the new year (taxes, insurance, etc.). The accountant crunches some numbers and says $50,000. If she has 15 employees, that’s about $3,300 each. Which should make for a pretty Merry Christmas. Now, let’s say she has 125 employees. That works out to a $400 bonus per employee. Which won’t be quite as merry.
The lesson learned? The more people included in the getting of something, the less each one gets. And so it is with socialism. The only way to get equality in outcomes is to give everyone less. Sure, we can afford to give Congress people a Cadillac health insurance plan. But we could never afford to give the same coverage to everyone. To be able to give coverage to all the people, each person will have to get less.
And they will continue to get less. As costs go up, it is difficult to maintain the same level of government benefits. Eventually, they’ll have to raise taxes to cover the higher costs. And when they can’t raise taxes anymore, they’ll have to reduce the amount of benefits. Or, in other words, they’ll have to ration benefits. A bureaucrat will have to decide who should get what. Which could easily turn health care into politics. A political opponent needs an expensive cancer treatment? So sorry. We’ve already reached our quota this year. Try again next year.
Socialism is Slavery
What it comes down to is this; socialism really fails for one reason. It goes against human nature. It only works when we sacrifice our wants and desires so that others may have their wants and desires. It’s not trying to keep up with the Jones. It’s helping the Jones get ahead of you. It’s living your life to serve others. And there’s another word for that. Slavery. Hence the title of Hayek’s book. The Road to Serfdom. For socialism to work, the state must become a dictatorship. And we must become its slaves. But few willingly volunteer for servitude. So, given the choice, we will ultimately choose to make socialism fail.