Socialism is immensely popular today, to where over half of America’s millennials prefer Socialism over a free market economy. Well, aside from the fact that they know they’re often getting ripped off almost every which way from Sunday, they also are uniformly unaware of how a legitimately free market economy should work. They have no idea of who Adam Smith was or what his watershed book The Wealth of Nations (Isaiah 66) was; the profound impact it had on business and trade in early America; that it was predicated on biblical principles and the Golden Rule; and that it has lifted more millions out of poverty into prosperity than any other economic system in history.
No, the millennials are the product of a once-great education system that now religiously attacks and denigrates so much of our history and achievements. For example, how many 6th Graders can quote just one Ben Franklin aphorism? Or anything by George Washington, or Thomas Jefferson, or James Madison? Even the Golden Rule? Given the current antipathy in academia toward anything positive about America’s formative years, that today’s schoolchildren don’t know their own history isn’t surprising. Sad, but not surprising. Moreover, in light of the reality that too many of today’s parents abdicate their teaching rights/responsibilities to those who run the schools their children attend, and that those same children believe that what they see on their TVs, computers and iPhones is real, is it any wonder that when they encounter real life, they become disillusioned and bitter? And highly receptive to the soothsayers who promise them Utopia – for free?
That’s exactly what Socialism’s hucksters, from politicians to professor and beyond, promise – everything you ever wanted, for free. First school, then college. And health care. And so much more. (Like all those goods and services are actually charities!) These hucksters rely on their target audience’s ignorance about economist Milton Friedman’s famous admonition, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” The best-known proponent of Socialism was, of course, Karl Marx – who also said (although few are aware of it) that socialism was simply a precursor step to full communism. Marx is often called a revolutionary – but his Manifesto is really a call to the return of governmental autocracy, i.e., dictatorship. Think about that: He would replace a king, or a president, or a prime minister, with an absolute dictator. History shows that the only ones who have ever benefited from a dictatorship are the dictators – until they finish draining their treasuries dry. It never ends well.
Under socialism, self-governance disappears, as do our God-given freedoms; after all, the state is supreme. No more freedom of speech, no more freedom of religion, no more right to keep and bear arms – all gone. We’d learn the depth of Thomas Jefferson’s wry observation that “Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” We would rue – for generations to come – ignoring Washington’s dictum about protecting, preserving and defending the Constitution: ”…its only keepers, the People.”
No, it’s clear that too many Americans don’t know what socialism is. Given the state of the American education system, from grammar school through the universities, that’s not surprising. But, shouldn’t we know? FACT: The basic tenets of socialism are diametrically opposed to the fundamental principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Shouldn’t all of us who claim to be practicing Americans do all we can to inform ourselves and those we love to the dangers imbedded in the Marxian philosophy? When we look up the definitions of socialism, communism, Marxism, et al, they all read the same – and the differences among them are truly superficial. Example: socialism is classically defined as “a political and economic system where the state controls the means of production and distribution of goods and services,” while communism is classically defined as – wait for it – “a political and economic system where the state own the means of production, and distribution of goods and services.” Got it? One system “merely” controls everything; the other owns it all. That’s what’s known as a distinction without a difference.
Back to the Constitution. What does the Constitution identify as the raison d’etre of our Government? First off, the Constitution recognizes its authors as “We, the People,” not some dictator or autocrat. And The Preamble identifies the Government role as “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence(sic), promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” No mention of “(f) irst…the creation of an effective social safety net.” Why? Because that’s for Society, not Government.
There are so many areas where our Constitution and socialism collide. Just a few more: Marx advocated: abolishing private property (remember, the state owns/controls everything); abolishing the rights of inheritance (again, the state owns/controls everything); “free” education of all children in government schools (the better to replace true learning/thinking with unquestioning obedience). Self defense? See today’s England or Australia.
If the millennials but knew the truth, would they still choose socialism over freedom? Remember, when in the course of human events, things go wrong, it’s up to us, We, the People, to set things aright. To know, live, show by example, and where appropriate teach (without preaching) the Constitution to those around us – including when necessary, the political class. Because a stitch in time still saves nine. The Founders and Framers showed the way; now it’s our turn. Yes, America has warts – but far fewer than when we first started, and improving as we go. Thank you, Founders and Framers.
I welcome comments and suggestions; if you have a specific question or area of the Constitution you’d like addressed, please send your idea to me.