Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) was a German philosopher who was the philosophical mentor of Karl Marx. They never actually knew each other but Marx's Communist philosophy was heavily influenced by Hegel. If you have trouble sleeping at night just try to read Hegel. It is a good cure for insomnia. I don't pretend to know much about philosophy because it is way above my head. Hegel believed that all human history is moving toward an inevitable conclusion. The triumph of reason. I have a big problem with this. Who gets to determine whose reason wins out in the end? Karl Marx took Hegel's philosophy a step further. Human history is moving toward an inevitable conclusion. The triumph of the proletariat. Marx outlined his communistic world view in the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. He believed capitalism would fall of it's own weight. It would come about because of capitalism's boom and bust cycles. Reductions of the labor force, depressions, recessions, and disparities between rich and poor. Marx outlined various ways that communists could hasten the collapse of capitalism such as a graduated income tax. We are seeing the tyranny of a graduated income tax today. Governments are able to reward who they want to reward and punish who they want to punish. This is one reason Obama won the presidency in 2012 because the government was auditing conservative groups like the Tea Party. This limited their ability to raise funds for fighting Obama and was a major distraction. The income tax raises our deficits because it provides a virtually endless money stream for the government to waste. Unfortunately we have had a graduated income tax since 1913 that was established by the progressives movement.
Communism's main goal was for government to control the means of production. All corporations and businesses would be nationalized. Marx did not foresee the progressive changes that would occur across Europe and the United States. Communism never took hold in these countries among the working class. Socialism was a compromise between Communism and Capitalism. The progressive era of the early 1800's in Europe and the late 1800's in America brought about things like the minimum wage, unions, child labor laws, food and drug laws, and anti-trust laws. Socialism came about because Communism was considered too extreme. However Communism was never monolithic. There were many versions of Communism that developed in Western Europe. There were two Communist Union generals in the Civil War who were former Prussian officers during the social upheaval in Germany during the 1840's. They were General August Willich who was captured by the Confederates off Gresham lane during the opening action of the battle of Stones River. Also General Alexander Schimmelfennig who was forced to live in a pig pen for three days in order to escape capture during the battle of Gettysburg. Both officers belonged to a Communist group opposed to Marx. He was the most famous Communist however and he did not advocate violence to bring about a Communist revolution. By 1915 Communists realized that Communism was not taking hold in Western Europe as fast as they would like. This led to the development of political correctness which was to be used as a tool to bring down capitalism because it was and is used to silence opposition.
The bloodbath of World War 1 began in 1914. Germany was fighting on two fronts. The war became a stalemate in the west and east. However Germany had an ace in the hole in the east. Vladimir Lenin was a Russian Communist living in exile in Munich Germany. By 1917 the war had become unpopular in Russia and Lenin was sent there by the Germans to exploit this discontent. In October 1917 the Communists overthrew the provisional government that had overthrown Czar Nicholas II. By this time Marx was dead but he would have been shocked to learn that Communism had been established in Russia. He hated Russia and expected Communism to win out in the developed countries like France, Germany, England and the United States. Lenin developed a new form of Communism that was committed to violent revolution and directed at the underdeveloped countries of the world. His plan was to surround the developed countries and over time they would naturally fall to Communism.
Russia was a living example that Socialism doesn't work. Although it industrialized under communism it was a society always on the brink of poverty and everyone was equally miserable. Only the elites enjoyed anything near a comfortable life. China would have gone the way of Russia if it hadn't converted over to a partially capitalistic society. Lenin stated that as long as there is a capitalist alive there would always be a Soviet Union. Capitalism helped maintain communism in Russia for many years. Nixon's Detente policy was a prime example. America sold wheat to Russia at bargain basement prices, creating shortages in this country, which sustained the Soviet Union while they continued to build their military. Reagan always opposed this policy. He was able to bring down the Soviet Union by forcing their leaders to decide between feeding their people or sustaining their military. The Soviet Union was headed for the ash heap of history anyway. Reagan just gave them a big push over the edge.
Europe has adopted many socialistic policies over the years but they tend to have high unemployment rates and weaker economic growth. Because of Socialism in England it was on the verge of bankruptcy when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in the late 1970's. By establishing Reagan like economic policies such as tax cuts, deregulation, and spending cuts she was able to revitalize the English economy. Many Americans want us to be more like Europe. I prefer the boom and bust cycles to a Keynesian economy that produces anemic economic growth and high unemployment like we have experienced under Obama. When government doesn't tamper with economic downturns we come out of them faster and stronger. Historically most recessions and depressions only last 2 to 3 years. The great depression lasted from 1929 to 1940 only because of government trying to manipulate a recovery with the New Deal. If it had not been for WW2 there is no telling how long the depression would have lasted. We actually have more people out of work or underemployed today than we had during the depression. People are not feeling the misery we had then because of our built-in safety nets and entitlement system. Because of Obama's tampering we have had high unemployment, underemployment. and very anemic growth.
Ronald Reagan inherited the worst economic crisis since the great depression. He had to deal not only with high unemployment, but extremely high inflation and interest rates. An oil shortage and the decline of heavy industry in the North such as the American car and steel industry. Reagan's economic plan of cutting marginal tax rates, deregulation of business, and monitoring our currency ended the recession by the Fall of 1982 and spurred the longest period of sustained economic growth in American history. It lasted from 1982 until the housing market crash of 2007. Bill Clinton benefited the most from this economic growth cycle. He also had the added benefit of the so-called peace dividend. The end of the Cold War allowed Clinton to drastically cut the military which can also be credited to Ronald Reagan. The decrease in military spending and a robust economy allowed Clinton to build somewhat of a surplus. Clinton was also helped by the passage of the Welfare Reform Act by the Republican Congress just before the 1996 election. He was forced to sign this into law in order to be reelected..
Much propaganda has been written about the so-called "Robber Barons" that were prominent after the Civil War. John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Henry Flagler and so many others. Liberals for the most part write our history books and set our educational agenda in our secondary schools and higher education. They were called Robber Barons in my eleventh grade history class at East High in 1967-68. Robber Baron is a pejorative term and the very expression of liberal bias. Even then I was being taught class envy and to despise the rich. After a closer look I realize that America would not be where it is today without these men. They, along with a multitude of others, built this country. They built much of our infrastructure. Henry Flagler transformed Florida from a backward, primitive, snake infested wilderness into what it is today, a modern tourist destination. With his own money he built the railroad along the east coast of Florida and eventually extended all the way to Key West. This project was second only to the building of the Panama Canal in scope and size. Rockefeller provided oil at a cheap price to the common man. Before Rockefeller people used the more expensive whale oil to light their lamps. Carnegie provided steel which was stronger than iron at a fair price. Even though these men created monopolies prices remained low., Usually when we think of monopolies we think that they create higher prices. This was not the case. J.P. Morgan on two different occasions saved the Federal government from going bankrupt by using his own money.
You cannot redistribute wealth to the less fortunate unless someone first creates wealth. Workers during this time were paid very low wages. Were living in slums, working ungodly hours in factories. and there was child labor. Various reforms that have come about over the years in the workplace have been needed to make things more equitable. To a point this is the proper role of government. It is to act as a referee in order to provide a fair and safe environment for workers. The government should break up monopolies because a monopoly violates the principles of Adam Smith's view of capitalism. He believed that capitalism should be a moral system that benefits everyone from the top down. Crony capitalism is not true capitalism. When government and business join forces this leads to inefficiency, waste and corruption. We saw this in the building of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads after the Civil War. Now we are seeing it with the government bail outs and tampering with such corporations as General Motors, General Electric and Bank of America.
In addition the proper role of government is to assist people during a disaster. If a massive earthquake strikes the New Madrid fault, which it will one day, and causes massive devastation, the government should provide housing, food, water and security to the survivors until the communities are rebuilt and people are able to get back on their feet. More than likely Christian and religious organizations will be there before the government can fully respond. The same should be the case in an economic disaster. The government should never tamper unnecessarily with the economy. There should be no bail outs. There is nothing too big to fail. All vacuums will be filled eventually by the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. Government should provide for people who are devastated by an economic disaster. When the crisis is past then people should provide for themselves. It is not the role of government to destroy the work ethic of the American people. There are the chronically ill or mentally challenged that can't work and they may need assistance. Most people shouldn't however.
Nations cannot create wealth. They can confiscate it from their citizens in the form of taxation or they can take it from other countries like England did during the colonial era. This kind of economy was called the mercantile system. It was one of the main reasons that America rebelled against England. We were forced to trade with England or those countries that they allowed us to trade with. If the Colonists traded with anyone not approved of by England they could be imprisoned for smuggling. We were forced to choose their friends and their enemies. The Boston Tea Party came about because England was trying to force Americans to buy and use English tea from the East India Company exclusively. England lowered the taxes on tea in an attempt to undercut the smugglers. In addition the colonists resented the English taxing us without colonial representation in Parliament. Under the mercantile system a nations economic strength was determined by whatever wealth they could accrue. England was a have not nation. It was small and there were few raw materials. This is one reason that they built the strongest navy and army in the world. During the colonial period England would conquer a country and over time take their wealth and raw materials.
On my last trip to London in 1990 we toured the huge bank vault at the Tower of London holding the Crown Jewels. I am sure that a great deal of this wealth was taken from England's colonies over the years. America was probably luckier than most of England's colonies, but the mercantile system was an onerous system. Scotland was treated like England's red headed step child. Adam Smith, the great Scottish economist, who wrote the Wealth of Nations, saw first hand how Scotland was transformed. From a poor, underprivileged country under the mercantile system into a thriving economy under free market capitalism. By the time Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations in 1776, England was well on it's way in the transition from the mercantile system to the free market system. It was also the year that we declared our independence from England. In the early years of capitalism there were abuses and gaps between rich and poor. However capitalism has improved the life of the more people than any other economic system hands down. I believe that Obama is a Marxist. Since the passage of Obamacare, the raising of taxes, the expansion of government regulations on business. The growth of entitlements and welfare, Obama has widened the gap between rich and poor unlike any time in modern history. His policies have been devastating for the black community. America has more people out of work today than were out of work during the great depression. We don't feel the pain today because of the safety nets that weren't there during the depression. People were begging to work and would have gladly worked if jobs had been available then. Our system of welfare and entitlements today have created generations of the chronically unemployed who would prefer to stay at home rather than be gainfully employed.
Debbie (Blabbermouth) Schultz, as Rush Limbaugh calls her, was asked several times what was the difference between a modern day Democrat and a socialist. She never could give a coherent answer because there is no difference. The true socialist such as Marx or Lenin would advocate the nationalization of all industry. The means of production would be controlled by the state and the people would be forced to comply with a socialist lifestyle or face the firing squad. Under so-called Democratic socialism the things that most people are capable of doing for themselves, cheaper and more efficiently will be done by the government. You are forced by law to comply. Like having to buy health insurance whether you want to or not. The producers will be taxed into oblivion in order to spread the wealth and fulfill their big promises. Even more than we are seeing now if Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton are elected. As Margaret Thatcher once said, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money". I also like the saying, When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you will never get an objection out of Paul. This is what happened in Greece. It is a country in bankruptcy today. Under Democratic socialism taxes will continue to rise. The deficit will continue to increase at a phenomenal rate. Entrepreneurship will be squelched and we will become more and more like Europe with high unemployment and an ever growing anemic economy.
|Nurse Ratchett aka Hillary Clinton|
What socialists don't get is that rich people have options. They can protect their money by hoarding or leaving the country. This is what the English were doing before Margaret Thatcher revitalized the British economy. Cronie capitalism and corruption will continue. All of these utopian ideas like providing free college for every young person sounds great but somebody has got to pay for it. Nothing is free. Socialists are patient and they have incrementally chipped away at capitalism for years. For over one hundred years now they have pushed and pushed for nationalized health care. Ultimately their goal is a single payer system and the chaos of Obamacare is designed to push us in that direction. Environmentalism and the climate change hoax is targeting our energy industry.We are moving toward the eventual triumph of reason as Hegel envisioned. But it is their definition of reason not ours. We have to make a good case for the triumph of Conservative reason. It is hard to fight Santa Claus and this is the challenge that Conservatives face. They have to be the adult or the parent that is the bad guy. The father that has the wisdom and courage to say no when the mom says yes or vice versa. However they have to be able to make their case in such terms that people realize that ultimately it is for their own good. Otherwise we are headed for the proverbial financial cliff.