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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What is Socialism?


Socialism is defined as the “public ownership of the means of production and distribution.” Public ownership can only mean state ownership since there is no such entity as the “public” and thus the “public” can’t own anything. Crystallizing the enlightenment concept of socialism, or public ownership, which first emerged in Europe during the French revolution of 1789, Karl Marx developed a political theory in which human society would progress toward a utopian goal which Marx called communism. This would involve total “collective” ownership. Marx work was influenced by his contemporary enlightenment figure Charles Darwin to whom he expressed great admiration. Marx adapted Darwin’s biological theory of evolution, in which species advanced into superior species by killing off inferior members, into a political theory in which society would evolve through stages toward the final stage of communism. It was understood by the socialists that those who stood in the way of their idea of progress would also have to be killed off. The socialist color of red represents the human blood that would have to be spilled as part of the “birth pangs” of the new and evolved collective society.
The socialist goal of communism would be a society in which all people would be collectivized and all governments would eventually “wither away” according to Marx. Standing in the way of this great “progressive” accomplishment, according to Marx, was such concepts, or “false consciousness” as Marx called it, as individual identity, capital, private trade, property, family, love, faith, morality, and national sovereignty. These concepts, according to Marx, were invented by “oppressors” for the purpose of “exploitation.” The society envisioned by Marx, the collectivized society, was obviously false and unnatural to human beings. No one in their right mind would voluntarily give up such things as personal faith, family, morality, or property. Thus the only way socialism would work would be at the point of a gun which is why socialism, the concept most associated with the left, requires centralized power and a strong authoritarian state.
The American revolution of 1776 was a right-wing revolution. The British colonists asserted their natural right to property and their ability to determine their own future through representation. The government would be limited by a constitution with rights emanating from, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, the creator or from nature and nature’s god. The completely opposite left-wing concept was that rights emanated from the enlightened state. The left-wing French revolution of 1789, a regressive reaction to the right-wing American revolution, involved a left-wing conspiracy to stop an organic movement toward natural rights in France, to counter the influence that the American revolution was having on the people of France. The left-wing replaced that influence with an authoritarian state the likes of which the world had not seen since ancient times. The French revolution, particularly the reign of terror, was a left-wing revolution.
Thus to be right-wing is to be for limited government, while to be left-wing is to be for strong government. To be extreme right-wing is to be for virtually no government at all or for anarchy which is why the libertarians represent the extreme right in America. To be extreme left-wing is to be for totalitarian government as has existed in communist countries. Most Americans are right of center in that most Americans support some government involvement in social moral and environmental issues. Americans have traditionally preferred that such issues be addressed by state and local governments, what is called the concept of subsidiary, in order to maintain the system of checks and balances and to avoid a drift to the left by permitting too much power to aggregate into the hands of the federal government.
Virtually all Americans, including those who consider themselves to be left of center and even further left, are to the right of the two historic left-wing socialist European movements, those being Nazism and Communism. Those two movements required stronger and more centralized governments than the type most Americans would tolerate. The reason Nazism is called right-wing is because Nazism is to the right of Communism which called for an even bigger and more powerful government that did Nazism. In the Marxist sense, Nazism, or National Socialism, would be viewed as an intermediate stage in the social evolutionary process as human society “progressed” toward the final utopian goal which Marx called communism. Thus most Americans, rejecting European socialism, both liberal and conservative Americans, are to varying degrees right-wing.

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