Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lenin circa 1920, Progressives circa 2012

Say that Obama is a socialist and the MSM will treat you with derision. But compare and contrast, if you will, the philosophy and methods of Lenin with those of our progressive left today - not only Obama and progressive law makers, but the MSM also - and you may well be surprised.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a brilliant man - he thoroughly understood the dark sides of power, of thought control, and the tools of oppression. But like all brilliant men, the mistakes he made were colossal. His central ideas, that economies could be forced to work without profit and could be centrally directed for the benefit of all, have proven disastrous on an epic scale. And yet, his central ideas as well as the blue print he created for achieving them live on with Obama and the 'progressives' of today:

Lenin - "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."

Once today's progressives settle on a meme, they stick to it with utter tenacity, the truth of it being irrelevant. It is the left's primary form of argument and examples are endless. Romney's tax plan will cause a $5 trillion increase in the deficit; the Tea Party is a fundamentally racist organization; the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous reaction to a youtube video, conservatives want to push granny off a cliff, ad infinitum . . . The protection against this in a free society is the MSM. But when the MSM is thoroughly vested in seeing the victory of the left, then lies all too often become the truth.

Lenin - "The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses."

One wonders how the members of the MSM see themselves today. The NYT, for example, ran front page stories on Abu Ghraib for 32 consecutive days. Yet as regards the most serious Presidential scandal in living memory - the murder of four Americans in Benghazi while the government did nothing - the New York times has run precisely zero front page stories. During the recent Sunday Morning talk shows, only Fox News's Chris Wallace pro-actively raised the issue of the Benghazi scandal. Our MSM today are not guardians of the truth, they are propagandists and agitators, whether in the affirmative or the negative.

Lenin - "When one makes a Revolution, one cannot mark time; one must always go forward - or go back. He who now talks about the "freedom of the press" goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism."

There is no room for freedom of the press for the left, or indeed, for any contrary voice. Do recall that, despite our First Amendment protections, this administration did their best to discredit and to shut out Fox News on more than one occasion over the past four years. And of course, look at the treatment of anyone who wanders off the left's plantation - Buzz Bissinger and Stacey Dash being the most recent victims.

Lenin - "The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

If Obama wanted to gut our nation, is there anything that he or the progressive left would be doing differently than they are today? While Obama is borrowing at an unheard of pace - 40 cents on every dollar of government spending - and spending our nation into penury, our Fed has the printing presses running overtime. Inflation in food and fuel is already hurting Americans, and if nothing is done, it will get far worse. And on top of that are not just the rising taxation (and hidden costs) that Obama has planned through Obamacare - he also has plans to raise taxes to punishing levels on capital gains, those in addition to more taxes on the 'wealthy'. It is a Lenin-esque recipe for destroying the American middle class. The penultimate irony is that the left presents themselves as the champion of the middle class.

Lenin - "Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps."

This really is the essence of the far left's view of our nation and the role of government. Profit is evil, businesses are the enemy (unless, of course, run by cronies or the spouses of progressive lawmakers), and the working man has no chance except those given to him by big government. The Life of Julia is but one crystal clear example. Moreover, capitalists believe that the most effective regulator of markets is competition. As suggested by Lenin, progressives see the only viable market regulator as draconian government regulation (unless it involves cronies, in which case actual subsidies and government created markets through mandates (e.g., ethanol, electric vehicles, solar power, wind power) are fine.

Lenin - "[E]conomic struggle, . . . described as “resistance to the capitalists”, . . . in free countries [means] the organised-labour syndical, or trade union struggle."

According to both Marx and Lenin, unions are the building blocks of communism. Additionally, they are, today, an anachronistic response to the long dead ills of the early days of the industrial revolution, they are the economic foundation of the left, and they are a plague on our nation. Public sector unions in particular serve no viable purpose, they are champions of big government and higher taxation wholly irrespective of economic effect, they make up the largest number of union members, and they are breaking the treasuries of our states. Yet the Obama administration has pushed so hard to fund and favor unions, whether it be the UAW, Boeing or, for that matter, using hundreds of billions of dollars to insure that public sector union workers remained employed during the recession?

Unfortunately, it is not just the government pushing unions from the top down. Unions wield incredible power in many states with a history of rule by Democrats. In Michigan, the voters are considering whether to enshrine union power in their Constitution, essentially giving public sector unions a super veto over most legislation that the legislature might pass. It would be hard to imagine a more insane piece of legislation - and yet, it is even odds that the measure might pass. As Lenin also once said, "capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." (As an aside, this may well be unconstitutional as it would deny Michigan a Republican form of Government, as required by the U.S. Constitution Art. 4, Sec. 4)

Lenin - "Present-day society is wholly based on the exploitation of the vast masses of the working class by a tiny minority of the population, . . . the capitalists. It is a slave society, since the “free” workers, who all their life work for the capitalists, are “entitled” only to such means of subsistence as are essential for the maintenance of slaves who produce profit, for the safeguarding and perpetuation of capitalist slavery."

The profit motive is central to capitalism - and utterly anathema to the far left. Has there ever been a President more damning of the profit motive in our history than Obama (cronies excluded of course). Recall how he demonized the health insurance industry and the GM bondholders (so he could use money rightfully theirs to pay off the unions) for seeking filthy profit. Just as it was to Lenin, so it is to today's progressives - profit is evil. Their problem, like Lenin's, is that they don't make the connection between punishing profit and the impact both on government revenues and economic growth.

Lenin - "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."

A reasonable argument can be made that this is the alpha and the omega of the problems our nation faces today. Over the past fifty years, conservatives went into business while progressives took control of our educational system, k through grad school. Communism and socialism should, in a rationale world, be in the dustbin of history. But a sizeable chunk of our population embraces the philosophy of those ideologies, blissfully ignorant of history and economics.

Lenin - "One man with a gun can control 100 without one."

The progressives love gun control - and ultimately for a good reason. As they know and as our Founding Fathers knew, a disarmed populace is subject to government control. Look at virtually any gun control legislation in the U.S., and what you will find is not an attempt to limit guns to criminals only, but rather to limit guns to criminal and law abiding citizen alike. Not only are such attempts nefarious, but they do nothing at all to stop crime. Indeed, take a look at the most violent areas and you will almost uniformly find the strictest gun control laws. Chicago, with its strict gun control laws, just had its 436th murder for the year. There is no rational reason to disarm law abiding citizens - other than to further the reach of government.

Lenin - "Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism."

The penultimate goal of the left is to substitute the government as the source and final arbiter of morality. Once that is achieved, then the government is unbound. It can punish undesirable thought with the police power of the state and it can substitute its own views of morality for religious based ethics. The history of the 20th century is written in the blood of that experiment, as the 'progress of the state' took precedence over individual human life. Over 100 million people were slaughtered for that progress, one only possible when the state drove religion out of the public square.

The progressives are openly hostile to Christianity, and have been using the Courts to move Christianity out of the public square for over fifty years. But with Obama, they have their first progressive able to take proactive action - which he has with the HHS mandate. That mandate is a direct assault on religious liberty in America.

Lenin - "It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed."

The nanny state and the green movement - both creations of the progressive left - are perhaps the most vivid examples of the rationing of liberty in the U.S. If the progressives have their way, they will be directing every aspect of our life - for our benefit of course. As Czech President Vaclav Klaus said, “It becomes evident that while discussing climate we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment, but a clash of views about human freedom.” But as always, for those rich enough or close enough to power, the less rationing that occurs. When uber warmie Al Gore flies, he doesn't fly commercial to minimize his carbon footprint.

I am pretty terrified by my view of history and the state of the U.S. today. The ghost of Lenin lives on, regardless of what the progressives and the MSM would like you to believe.

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