Thursday, November 6, 2008

Teach Your Children Well

We have heard the common sense question of Joe the plumber, equating Obama’s “spreading the wealth” taxation policies with socialism. True to form, the democrats—led by Obama himself—have been busy trying to swat away all association with the label “socialist”, even as they continue to abjure “liberal” as a descriptive term. “Progressive” is what most have hit on—possibly because the dim recognition in people’s minds of Teddy Roosevelt’s flirtation with early 20th century progressivism gives it a patina of respectability, and possibly for the generic sound of the word itself—who in America could be against progress?

It is clear however that the left is not only influenced by socialism, but in many parts is indistinguishable. The increasing antipathy of leading Democrats toward capitalism and the distrust of the market is too well known for disavowal. Congressman Jim Moran, for example, enlarges on those who "believe in this simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and [who] have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth.” A brief reminder of where such distrust—even hatred—for capitalism and markets got its start will perhaps clarify, for the younger readers especially, the jaundiced view some of their elders have of the Obama phenomenon. I mention younger readers because you, as a group, seem to have all by yourselves made Obama’s margin of victory. You should know something about what you helped push across the finish line.

Communism, briefly, views capitalism as more a social relation than an economic relation. In other words, Marxist thought considers, uniquely, that the entrance of capitalism into the world changed the way the classes relate to each other—and it has not been for the good. Thus the competition and greed that capitalism fosters are not the worst evils; the worst evils are those that distort the consciousness of the working class and their social relations—the essential element of man as a “species being”. There are no truly human social relations possible with capitalism still in existence—anywhere in the world; thus, world-wide socialism is necessary. The United States is the last hold out in the West. The industrial working class, now called the proletariat—has been alienated from the land and the means of production, and hence their own selves. They are wage-slaves. The profit the capitalist takes he takes out of the mouths of the workers. This creates the conditions for the inevitable rise of the workers against their overmasters. Where hard-core communism has nothing against a violent revolution, socialists are content with gradual, incremental steps toward the same goals. Call them Progressive, if you like. But the rise of the proletariat has not happened in America; thus “community organization” is needed to bring about the redistributive fairness that Barack Obama has promised.

With that brief preface, let us review some of Frederick Engels’s Principles of Communism, from the helpful website of Youth For International Socialism. Engels was the English promoter of Marxism, working tirelessly with old carbuncle Karl.

I have abbreviated Engels’s response to the following question, and interspersed comments in italics:

Q: What will be the course of this revolution?

A: Above all, it will establish a democratic constitution and thereby directly or indirectly the political rule of the proletariat...Democracy would be quite valueless to the proletariat if it were not immediately used as a means for putting through measures directed against private property...

Perhaps Kelo v City of New London rings a bell; the Supreme Court’s ruling clears the way for any taking any government deems necessary or useful—see O’Connor’s and Thomas’s dissents.

The main measures, emerging as the necessary result of existing relations, are the following:

Limitation of private property through progressive taxation, heavy inheritance taxes, abolition of inheritance through collateral lines (brothers, nephews, etc.), forced loans, and so forth.

All these taxes have long been democrat policy, and all will rise with an Obama administration—mainly from the principle of “fairness”. Wealth will not be allowed to accumulate in non-government hands.

Gradual expropriation of land owners, factory owners, railway and shipping magnates, partly through competition by state industry, partly directly through compensation in the form of bonds.

Gradual expropriation” today is in the form of crisis-driven government takeovers, like those just witnessed in the banking industry. Also, Congress is mulling a plan to take private 401k retirement plans in exchange for-- government bonds at 3%, which puts hundreds of billions of private capital into government hands, and leaves everyone dependent on government promises to pay—which is all a bond is.

Confiscation of the possessions of all émigrés and rebels against the majority of the people.
"Emigrés" here means Jews, who might try to get out of the country with their ill-gotten gains; and “rebels” are anyone resisting the “gradual expropriation” of property. Like those with Swiss bank accounts, who are finding the IRS shutting down this method of moving cash out of the country.

An equal obligation on all members of society to work until such time as private property has been completely abolished. Formation of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Obama’s Civilian National Security Force; Engels’s nineteenth century categories are easily adapted and expanded to include all parts of the modern economy, as the Obama team is well aware.

Centralization of the credit and monetary systems in the hands of the state through a national bank operating with state capital, and the suppression of all private banks bankers.
Recall the unseemly rush to nationalize the banking industry through bailouts and government stock takeovers. Oddly, by the Bush administration; this only makes the further crisis-driven takeovers the more acceptable.

Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mothers' care, in national establishments at national cost.

Obama has proposed universal Pre-K provided by the government—paid for out of NASA funding.

It is impossible, of course, to carry out all these measures at once. But one will always bring others in its wake. Once the first radical attack upon private property has been launched, the proletariat will find itself forced to go ever further, to concentrate increasingly in the hands of the state all capital, all agriculture, all industry, all transport, all commerce. All the foregoing measures are directed to this end; and they will become feasible and their centralizing effects will develop in the same proportion as that in which the productive forces of the country are multiplied through the labour of the proletariat. Finally, when all capital, all production, and all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will have so increased and men will have so changed that the last forms of the old social relations will also be sloughed off.

And there you have it—prosperity through expropriation, attained gradually, incrementally, progressively. Watch as the new Obama administration pushes measures aimed at removing wealth in all its forms out of private hands and into government coffers, for redistribution to selected beneficiaries through giant government bureaucracies and agencies created to minister to the needs of the dependent class. Oh, and to enrich the well-heeled and well-connected elites whose raison d’etre is to rule you. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that "men will have so changed" stuff though.

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