This is the last correction of misinformation in this series, and with the next few blogs I’ll get into more esoteric crap. Or less, i dunno. I’ll almost certainly revisit the idea of “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” in the future, because it irritates me that much of our national debate has been corrupted by people changing the language and thrust of debate. So the last bit of info you may be spitting out if you don’t know any better (or if you do and you’re just a dirty liar) is…
Progressive Socialism is the next step in Human Social Evolution. Get this straight, There is nothing new or progressive about socialism. Let me say it again, in case you weren’t listening, There is nothing new or progressive about Socialism. Okay, one last time for the cheap seats, There is nothing new or progressive about Socialism! Socialism is not a new idea, and it is the opposite of progressive. It is, in fact, REgressive. Socialism is, in fact, the oldest form of socioeconomic government on earth.
When you finish sputtering, I’m sure you’ll remind me that “modern” socialism is no older than the New Deal ( or the October Revolution) and is based entirely on two core concepts: Government can and must be the driving force of an economy, and an advanced society must care for its less capable citizens. And you are right, or at least you would be, if those were new ideas.
In the Middle ages that concept was referred to as The Right of Kings and Noblesse Oblige, that is to say, the government had the right to define the economy, and the government had an obligation to assist the needy. Socialism (without fancy names) goes back at least to Ancient Egypt, where Pharaoh maintained storehouses for grain to be disseminated among the populace in times of shortage. Imperial Rome was incredibly socialist, with all production being defined and regulated by the Imperial Palace in Rome. China (as a unified empire) has never not been socialist, to my knowledge (the only real difference between Mao’s communism and Shek’s imperialism was the logo printed on the business cards).
Hitler was a Socialist, and his National Socialist Party had more in common with modern Progressive Socialism than either has with Marxist Communism. Marxism (which, in its bases is as Utopian as More’s Government of Good Will and Rouseau’s Natural Man) maintains that the people will of their own free will and no need for governing oversight choose to freely distribute the wealth, means and rewards of of production (after a short period of violence to wrest such production from the hands of the wicked and the selfish). Compare this to the rhetoric against the “One Per cent”. Now compare that rhetoric to Hitler’s diatribes against Jews. The fact is, that you can use “Jew” and “One Per Cent” interchangeably in both situations and still have the same, hateful message.
I’m not letting so-called conservatives off the hook, either. This rush to deregulation of all things (or even to conditional regulation) is just as socialist as ObamaCare. Pullman’s Company Towns were the model for every Industrial Socialism experiment since. Henry Ford established company towns around a number of his major plants. Even Reagan was a bit of a Socialist: His “trickle-down” economic theories were based on the principle that wealth entering the highest sectors of society would trickle down to the masses—not really a big jump from Noblesse Oblige, is it.
The fact is, that any organization allowed to be overpoweringly large and monopolistic, will form some type of socialism. And Socialism is the enemy of Democracy. I’m not just talking about the apocryphal Tytler quote where Democracy dies shortly after the people discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. Socialism—and the many “Public Welfare” projects that define it—demands an autocratic or oligarchic government with a vast monolithic bureaucracy. You can’t disseminate billions of dollars to the needy without rules and regulations defining who is needy (and deserving, because, let’s be honest, if the wrong kind of needy folks get something, well that’s just stupid).
The Free Market isn’t broken, it’s hobbled. Democrats have placed unnecessary limits on people’s ability to improve their position and Republicans have opened the gates for massive multinational corporations to feed on the innocent. Five companies own more than three quarters of the Media. Five companies supply almost all of the fuel for our cars and trucks (and two of those are foreign-owned monopolies). Most Agricultural Production is owned or controlled by a few “Associations”.
You can’t regulate monopolies; you have to break them apart. Regulation just leads to more socialism. It also leads to corruption. If the friendly cop on the street is vulnerable to turning a blind eye to Mickey the Finn’s game of Three-card Monte because Mickey’s a good guy and always spots the cop a cup of coffee or an after work beer. then how much more vulnerable is the Federal Regulator who daily associates with men who have access to millions of dollars in disposable cash and perks. If a doughnut makes the cop on the beat near-sighted, then that new Lexus or department “conference” in Aruba must make regulators completely blind.
I have a lot more to say on this subject, and I probably will, in the near future, but I’m digressing from the final fact: Socialism is not new, and it’s not even a little progressive. Socialism is Collodi’s “Land of Toys”, enticing us to free license as a means of enslaving us. It’s the witch’s candy house. It’s the coin of Caesar. Where Socialism reigns, Democracy lies broken and molested in the gutter.