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Socialism in America- Definition of Socialism and Socialists in Schools

Thursday, November 27th, 2008
Posted in Uncategorized by Joel Gross

At a recent dinner I had an interesting conversation with an American schoolteacher about economics and politics and eventually discovered that she was a socialist. Since I wanted everyone to enjoy the dinner, I didn’t ask her more questions to find out the depth of her socialism knowledge or if she understood the effects socialist principles have on a nation. Most people in America, like the schoolteacher, believe in at least a few socialist ideas. In my conversation though most of these people have not thoroughly thought out their positions and why they support them. In this article, I will discuss the definition of socialism, the history of socialism and how various socialist principles have been embedded in the American government. I will end the article with a somewhat controversial proposition.

Definition of Socialism- Socialism is the mix of economic and political theories for organizing society that advocates collective ownership and management of the means of production, distribution of services and goods, as well as dividing everything equally. Socialist theories stand in opposition to ideas of free markets, private ownership, and individual responsibility. In summary, socialists prefer very large and powerful governments (China, the old Soviet Union, Cuba, and France to some extent). Capitalists prefer small & limited governments (United States, Australia).

History of Socialism- Socialism rose up in the early 1800′s in response to some of the excesses of the industrial revolution. Robert Owens, Charles Fourier, Louis Blanc and other hated the inequality and poverty they saw in their countries and advocated changing the government to distribute the newfound wealth more equitably. Of course, before the industrial revolution EVERYONE was in poverty and though a few people had been left behind, the industrial revolution would not have happened without Capitalism and there would be no wealth to spread. Anyways, by 1847 Socialism had gained a lot of momentum and Frederick Engels began really pushing it. Around this time, socialist governments were installed in France and in Germany. Karl Marx wrote the seminal book on Socialism in 1848, “The Communist Manifesto”. The Communist Manifesto’s principles have been used as the bedrock for the establishment of most socialist societies that came later. Karl Marx believed that all of history could be explained by a series of class struggles between the bourgeoisie (rich & powerful) and the proleteriat (poor huddled masses). Marx advocated the overthrow of capitalist governments by a “Communist Party”, and these overthrows actually took place in Russia, China, Vietnam and Cuba. The Communist Revolutions that took place in each of these countries started out being fairly ideologically pure, but all of them quickly morphed into a new form of oppression: Totalitarianism. The Soviet Union (now Russia) collapsed almost two decades ago, but the aftereffects have shattered the country and now it is run by former KGB men who are essentially kings that rule with an iron fist. China is slowly morphing to a half-breed between socialism and capitalism, while still regularly crushing human rights. Cuba’s revolution was led by Fidel Castro who after achieving victory, quickly converted the socialist government to a plain vanilla dictatorship. Pure Socialism as an economic and political system simply does not work and usually totalitarian governments rise to fill the power void (Stalin over Lenin, Castro taking over Cuba and Chairman Mao in China).

Fundamental Problems with Socialism- Why has socialism failed so miserably in all the countries it has been tried? Why haven’t the passionate believers in socialism been able to make it work as a government? To understand why socialism has failed in such a massively tragic way in so many countries, you must think logically and use your basic common sense. What is socialism in its most basic form?- Socialism is where EVERYONE is employed by the government, works for the government and is paid by the government. Unfortunately, governments in every form in every country throughout history have been ridiculed for being inefficient bureacracies. The bigger a government gets the more opportunities for inefficiency are created. Why is this? It’s because human beings are genetically programmed to be selfish and take care of themselves and their families before strangers. Think about it: if I gave you a thousand dollars, would you split it equally amongst all your friends or would you keep it and buy yourself something or save it? Obviously you keep it for yourself. People prefer to take care of their own needs first. In a socialist government, someone must have power over other people in order to spread goods and services to everyone. This is where corruption enters the picture- the people in power are inevitably tempted to give themselves a little extra… then a little more. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. All of the other people see this and become disillusioned with their government and start slacking off at work and taking what they can get too. Eventually, you wind up with an entirely rotten country that falls to pieces (Soviet Union). In the process, tens of millions of people are slaughtered (up to 60 million under Stalin and up to 43 million under Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”- which reminds me of the New Deal lol).

The other factor that socialism ignores is the basic principle you read about in every Psych 101 text ever written: Rewards and Punishments. Socialism removes the rewards for working hard and instead installs punishments. Why would you work harder when no matter how hard you work, you still get your same loaf of bread and bottle of water? Why would you put in 80 hour weeks when there is no mansion in the suburbs or Lexus in the driveway or trophy wife to shoot for? Instead of having these capitalist rewards for working hard, you are punished because if you work harder than the people around you, you are seen as trying to stick out and not be absolutely equal with everyone else. Nails that stick out get hammered.

Socialist Countries and Totalitarianism- Socialism is not just a cute idea for hippies, lazy people and those who think it sounds “nice”. Capitalist countries that implement socialist ideas inevitably begin a downward spiral through socialism and into totalitarianism. America has been in this slowly accelerating death spiral since the late 19th century and is picking up speed now with all of the socialistic bailouts of poorly run companies (AIG, Fannie Mae, Big 3 auto companies, etc). You are probably thinking to yourself that I’m exagerrating and things aren’t that bad… but you’re wrong. Unless a powerful politician who believes in the principles America was founded on we are going to be led astray by popular politicians like Barack Obama. I think Barack Obama is a genuinely great guy and that he is very smart and has America’s best interests at heart… but he’s the type of guy who tries to solve all the problems of a government himself. Anyone who tries to do that ends up having to take more and more freedoms away from the people in order to try to save them. If it wasn’t for World War 2, FDR would’ve continued to amass power until America was a full on communist country. Fortunately after WW2, Truman and others during the late 1940′s and 1950′s handed much of that power back to Americans. Other countries have not been so fortunate and these countries citizens have seen their freedom, culture, religion, individuality and even their very lives robbed from them by their totalitarian government. Chairman Mao in China thought he was going to do all of the Chinese people a favor with his “Great Leap Forward”, but he ended up ruining his countries agriculture and industry and tens of millions of people starved to death and millions more were murdered for opposing his policies. This is why it is vitally important to stand up against the slow infiltration of socialism into American government and society.

Socialism in Education- Education for individuals under the age of 18 in America is under the control of the government. Ever wondered why public schools are constantly failing and it always seems like there is a “crisis in American education”? It’s because much of the American education system, especially for minors, is government controlled. In 1840, before the advent of public education, the United States had a literacy rate of 97%- which was one of the highest rates in the world at the time. After the Civil War, the government stepped in and established the public education system in order to try to help recently freed African American slaves. By 1900 all children up to the age of 14 were required to attend school. Private schools were still pretty dominant and teacher’s worked hard to ensure that their students understood the material they needed to learn. Unfortunately, in today’s public schools it is almost impossible to fire incompetent teachers and equally difficult for teachers to try to improve on their curriculums. Public education sounds like a great idea in theory, but let’s think about it further. I agree with mandatory education laws so that parents can’t abuse their children and everyone gets a fair start, but I think that schooling should be done through private and charter schools instead of being forced into the public school system. Each student should have freedom of choice in which school to attend (just like college), and each student should receive a set amount from the government that follows him to whatever school he wants to go to. The system I am proposing isn’t perfectly capitalistic, but it adjusts to make sure that every kid has a fair shot at a good education.

Our current system encourages our teachers to preach socialist principles to our children (the teachers get pay raises from voters and if they teach socialist propaganda to students they are more likely to get more money). We must stop the government from indoctrinating our youth with socialist propaganda. Education (at least till age 14) should be free & mandatory for all, but in order to save America’s future, public schools should be abolished and replaced with a system of private & charter schools.

37 thoughts on “Socialism in America- Definition of Socialism and Socialists in Schools

  1. Hi I like your idea about education. “student should have freedom of choice in which school to attend (just like college), and each student should receive a set amount from the government that follows him to whatever school he wants to go to. The system I am proposing isn

  2. Tim, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am a believer in small government, but I also believe that kids have a right to an education and be given the tools to pull themselves & others up. Joel

  3. Last time I just put in twice as much of every ingredient, but didn’t change the temperature, and it never cooked properly. If, say, I was to make a cake with 100g of everything at 180 degrees C and wanted to make it with 200g of everything, how much should I turn the temperature up by?

  4. I am getting so tired of people who obviously have no idea how to define a term writing volumes on its effects in the course of everyday life. Go read some Marx and get back to me. Socialism is not a clearly defined economic or political ideology, just a stopping point on the way to a Marxist society. Man…go back to school and read a book people.

  5. I agree Just saying, America’s problems is the lack of small business and the great number of monopolies. The middle class should be the majority, but not whole pop. like in socialism or communism.

  6. i dont think that what has been present is factual, the idea of the writer is based on capitalist block thus its imposible to agree on such.how can you argue that the intetion of socialism its to take even what you have since you ‘re committed to.

  7. You and your neo-con brethren are the scum of the earth. You call yourselves Christian and turn your back on many of the basic Christian tenets. Capitalism breeds ALL of the seven deadly sins. Jesus himself made sacrifices for the greater good, to help mankind in order to end suffering. Yet, most of you Christians would rather see someone live and die in squalor than to provide them a true opportunity to make something better of themselves. All you are is a narcissistic idiot and are one of the many that led us into this recession…. Capitalism is good for nothing besides dividing the classes even more. Just wait until the revolution hits this country, your kind won’t last long amongst us. :)

  8. Bandit, That is pretty hateful and violent talk coming from someone trying to school us on what Christ and Christianity really means. The problem with socialists is they insist charity comes only from the govt. They are incapable of understanding volunteer, christian love. Once the govt steps in, the love one would have towards the underprivileged turns into the hate as Bandit here showed us. Jesus never talked about govt. force to feed the flock among us. It has to be done willingly, without the profit of govt. force. Here is what the Bible says about sharing and charity: 1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint (govt force), but willingly; not for filthy lucre (corrupt govt agencies), but of a ready mind; You see, socialists like Bandit are perfect examples of the very people they condemn. It’s called Projection. Bandit projects his own image onto his target, Christians and capitalists. People like Bandit have no comprehension of providing for the needy “with a ready mind”, as a matter of lifestyle choice. Christians are almost always more prone to naturally give to the needy, “with a ready mind”. Bandit doesn’t realize that traditional American Free Enterprise, (not the socialism by proxy we have descended into) has provided our society with the most equal distribution of wealth on the planet. No it’s not perfectly equal, it’s just the most equal system on the planet. Socialist and communist countries claim to equalize wealth and in a way it’s true. They take all wealth and concentrate it to the 6% ruling class. What the other 94% get is only what the 6% ruling class says they get. Socialists like Bandit don’t understand that socialism and communism is just a modern, reworded and repackaged version of Serfdom where 94% of the population surrenders their God given Rights to the 6% ruling class for “security”. That’s right. A peasant farmer is compelled to surrender the fruits of his labor from the land owned by the 6% ruling class in exchange for security from marauding hordes. In this case security from the marauding hordes is now social security, health care security, subsidence security.

  9. Also, socialism is a system based on covetousness, ENVY (eat the rich) and GREED (taking more than they deserve). It produces sloth (why work hard when everything is going to be given to you? ). It evokes WRATH like Bandit showed us. It enriches the 6% ruling class (party members) who are GLUTTONS for power and the wealth they take from others. Socialist celebrate diversity in every form of debauchery and LUST of heart as their highest social values. And they do it all with the inflated PRIDE of openly talking about their plan for those who don’t obey them; “Just wait until the revolution hits this country, your kind won’t last long amongst us. :)”~Bandit

  10. I defy anyone to show me another system that has done as much to quickly raise the standard of living and quality of life of a country, as capitalism has for America.- Glenn Beck. Every socialist government from the beginning of time has failed, and anyone who thinks that America became No. 1 based on any form of socialistic values is mentally ill. I am 18 years old, female, and have worked since I was 14. If you want anything in life, just as the Founding Fathers wanted when creating that thing called the Decloration of Independence, you must work for it. Being liberal-minded by expecting other’s work to justify your princess-fantasy lifestyle will not get you far once our economy collapses, and you will all be completely screwed, for you have no idea how to work for a living. This isn’t something you can read in a book, or learn from college instructors. Good luck ladies, because I’ll be the one laughing when you’re begging me for my hard-earned dollar- Montana Thomas.

  11. Thank you for another informative website. Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a challenge that I am just now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

  12. You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. At all times follow your heart.

  13. While many look at our socialist public schools and feel they are failing, what we need to realize is that the public schools are a smashing success at doing what they were created to do–indoctrinate not educate. Please check out several articles on http://revisedhistory.wordpress.com that deal with public education in this country. It’s not fun reading but you will learn.

  14. “People prefer to take care of their own needs first. In a socialist government, someone must have power over other people in order to spread goods and services to everyone. This is where corruption enters the picture- the people in power are inevitably tempted to give themselves a little extra… then a little more. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. All of the other people see this and become disillusioned with their government and start slacking off at work and taking what they can get too.” Joel, the problem with this argument is that you drastically ignore the fact that corruption occurs whether you are a socialist or capitalist. You only mention corruption in the socialist context, but what about in the context of capitalism? For example, what about how “big money” (some of our most successful capitalists) influences politics at the expense of working Americans? As Will Rogers once said, “America has the best politicians that money can buy.”

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