Socialism - What is it?
The dictionary definition of socialism is any of various economic and political theories advocating collective and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. In other words, a system of society or group living in which there is no private property and a system of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state, either directly or indirectly. Presently, in the stages of development of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.
Today, there has been an emphasis on clouding history and words and twisting them around by media, advertisers, politicians and some members of academia and certain power groups in our society to mean something other than what they were originally intended. It is wise to explore history and see how the meaning of some words have been used and changed over time to mean something other than what they were originally intended. We need to look no farther than the slang words “gay” or even “player.” Sometimes words that are used are intentionally twisted and used by members of a societal group or gang so others who are not “in the know” will be deceived or not understand the actual slang meaning of the words or phrases. This is somewhat like the use of “Pig Latin” by teenagers and young people in the 1930s and 1940s in America. Even body posture and hand gestures by the “in crowd” can be a form of hidden nonverbal communication. It is sometimes said, “that marketing and advertising is the art of the expedient exaggeration!”
Many people in our modern society, especially the young, think of the word socialism as meaning love and charity in our hearts and good will to all of humankind and a means of the federal government helping all people in need to have a better life. Certainly, federal Social Security Insurance was instituted in the 1930s as an opportunity for elderly people to retire in dignity after investing their hard-earned money over their working years into the program until they reached retirement age and could draw a pension from their investment. Early socialist thought in America was limited to the individual state or county and not thought of at the federal level where an elitist few could profit or control power. After all, we had fought a revolution to throw off the shackles of a powerful monarchy. People thought of themselves firstly as a member of their family and its heritage and then as a citizen of their local town or city, then their county and then their state. They considered themselves universally to be Americans but in the terms of their state belonging to the union.
Socialism is nothing new. It has existed in several forms throughout history. What started out as a grand scheme for human society has invariably turned into a tragedy for the average person. socialism has existed under the guise of monarchies, empires and even democratic socialism. Basically, socialism as described by George Orwell in his allegorical novella, “Animal Farm,” published in England on August 17, 1945, is alive and well today pretending to be what it is not!
Socialism usually starts out sounding good and an easy path to follow to individual prosperity but winds up failing because as Margaret Thatcher, a Prime Minister of Great Britain, once said, “Sooner or later, we run out of other people’s money.”
Socialism is a tough taskmaster because it demands total acceptance and fidelity of all citizens to the leader or leaders of the socialist central government. Deviance from the party line is unacceptable and not tolerated and is enforced by a central agency—many times a secret police force that keeps a list for possible punishment of those persons who dare to deviate.
A prime example of such a state was ancient Sparta that developed from a democracy to a military police state known for its superb military and its efficiency. It had a king and an elitist aristocracy that controlled every phase of the nation’s citizenry from birth to death. They selected at the time of birth which babies were to live and which ones would die if the baby did not meet their standards for being a warrior or an obedient mother. It was a male oriented society like most socialist nations.
Adolph Hitler thought that his Third Reich should be modeled after Sparta. He, like Sparta, tried to create the master race! Sparta had a servant slave population they called “the helots” that performed all the labor, farming, manufacturing and production of goods to serve the military and elite aristocracy of their society. It was very much like the labor camps and concentration camps run by Hitler’s private military, the SS. At the entrance to those camps, Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the SS, had the sardonic slogan, “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work makes you free).
Adolph Hitler described his 1,000-year Reich and National Socialist German Workers Party as Germany’s new religion. He combined the National Socialist agenda with Germany’s capitalist economic system and the support of rich aristocrats to create the “Nazi” party. The abbreviated slang word the Western newspapers and journalists used to describe his Socialist Party was “Nazi.”
Hitler’s propagandist minister, Joseph Goebbels, PhD, wrote a book on the art of deceit by manipulation of propaganda. Here are some excerpts from his book:
A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth and people will believe it and you will even come to believe it yourself;
Propaganda works best when those being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will and the propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred;
The secret of propaganda: Those who are persuaded by it should be completely immersed in the ideas of the propaganda without ever noticing that they are being immersed in it; ... The rank and file are usually much more gullible than we imagine, so propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious and think of the press as a great keyboard on which the politicians can play;
The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly—it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over with an innocent smile constantly on your face;
It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion;
We shall reach our goal when we have the power to laugh as we destroy, as we smash whatever was sacred to us as tradition, as education and as human affection and morality;
Whoever can conquer the street will one day conquer the State, for every form of power politics and any dictator run State has its roots in the street;
What does Christianity mean today? National Socialism is a religion. All we lack is a religious genius capable of uprooting outmoded religious practices and putting new ones in their place;
If we lack traditions, morality and ritual, one day soon, National Socialism will be the religion of all Germans. My party is my church and I believe I serve my Lord best if I do his will and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of democracy and institute their slavery to the state. That is my gospel!
There is no need for propaganda to be rich in intellectual content;
A media system wants ostensible diversity that conceals an actual uniformity;
To be a Socialist is to submit the I to the thou, Socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole!”
Vladimir Lenin, on the other hand, called his branch of the Progressive Socialist Party the Bolshevik Party. He promised to end Russia’s involvement in the first world war with Germany with the help of the German government secreting him and some of his followers out of exile in Switzerland and via Finland into Saint Petersburg to seize control of the provisional government following the February 1917 Revolution and the seizure of the Russian Duma by the Progressive Socialist leaders, Kerensky and Lvuv. Lenin and his Bolsheviks decided to take advantage of the confusion to seize the government and proclaim soviet rule and then use the pure socialist name—the Communist Party described by Friedrich Engel’s combination of Karl Marx’s collective economic system with the communal society in his “Communist Manifesto.” The new Communist soviet government ended Russian involvement in World War I with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Lenin then formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the first communist government where everyone was required to greet each other with the salutation, “Comrade.” The U.S.S.R. also sponsored the Communist International project to create a one world communist hegemony.
In 1933, Adolph Hitler fancied himself to be the new Caesar and used all the trappings of a Roman triumph parade in his mass demonstrations and orations that resembled the illusions and theatrics of a modern-day rap concert with multi colored light shows and its fawning audiences. He used an airplane to rapidly move from one part of Germany to another in his 1933 election campaigning under the slogan, “Hitler Over Germany!” After the Nazi Party won power in the elections and he became the chancellor of Germany, he then shortly gained more power by assuming the presidency of Germany after the unexpected and suspicious death of Germany’s President Paul von Hindenburg. Shortly after, the German Reichstag fire created a national emergency and Hitler suspended new elections, charging an attempted coup by the communists. He declared martial law and became the leader or “Fuhrer” and absolute ruler of Germany. He then gained the personal loyalty of the German military through a blood oath sworn to him and even had the temerity to require everyone in Germany to use the right handed Roman arm salute when greeting each other with the phrase, “Heil Hitler,” in imitation of the Roman salutation, “Hail Caesar,” adopted after the Roman Senate made Julius Caesar the dictator of Rome and later his nephew and heir Octavian Caesar (later called Augustus) the first emperor of Rome.
Our founding fathers knew of the failures of past governments and civilizations and wanted to create a new nation of “We the People” founded on the principles of individual freedom and thought established in the philosophy of the Enlightenment and Great Awakening of the Eighteenth Century, or Deism which is loosely based upon Christianity. The Enlightenment emphasized reason, science, and observation, which led to the concept of natural laws. Copernicus, Galileo, Locke, Benjamin Franklin and Newton were key figures in the Enlightenment being applied to society and emphasized the God given rights of mankind. This altered older views of man’s questions concerning government and himself and laws regulating the natural course of the Universe.
It freed mankind to question their rulers. If a ruler failed in their responsibilities, the people could revolt and replace him because the ruler did not have Divine Right—he was not put there by God, but instead he should be a servant of the citizens that elected him and recognize their power to change their rulers. Thus, the principle that the people empower government was recognized.
The Great Awakening gave the individual citizen a shared national religious experience that revived the religious experience to turn people back to God and understand their own inner emotions and what normal human behavior is in their relationship to God and the Universe as opposed to outward religious behavior. It encouraged ideas of equality and the right to challenge authority with charity to all and with an emphasis on reason and calm serious discussion rather than confrontational and abusive or combativeness in discourse.
These principles have created the longest living democratic republic known to mankind as the United States of America.