“Almost without exception, the history of racism is a history of statism, i.e., of government imposition of racism on society. From [ancient Islam to] the Old South to Nazi Germany to apartheid-era South Africa, it is government that (directly or through indifference) murders people because of their race, establishes segregated economic and cultural institutions, criminalizes interracial sexuality and marriage, and in general is responsible for almost every image that comes to mind when we speak of racism.
[Think about it.] If bigotry is the natural reflex of the social masses, why have racists always had to turn to the State to keep people of different races from teaching each other, hiring each other, marrying each other, and basically living together as members of the same society?
Indeed, if there is an organic relationship between racism and capitalism, then [wouldn’t] history’s greatest racist … also have been its greatest capitalist [?] Our textbooks would record how Adolf Hitler and his National Capitalist Party created the ultimate racist regime by implementing completely the libertarian free-market agenda: an unregulated economy, freedom of expression, freedom of sexuality, private education, open borders, equality before the law, anti-militarism, etc.
Of course, actual National Socialist [Party] policy was the polar opposite on every point. Hitler chose totalitarian socialism (that is, total socialism) as the means to his racist end because he understood what every other racist has always understood: that mass bigotry is “socialist,” not capitalist – statist, not societal – in nature.
Our anti-discrimination laws were not a response to a history of market bias, but a deduction from the tenets of Leftist dogma, which now seeks to redeem the ideology of statism by placing the blame for bigotry on the American people.
Thus, when a Michael Eric Dyson preaches that racism is “America’s original sin,” we must remember that the vision of a virtuous elite taking control of a villainous society that the Left brings to this issue, is the vision that the Left brings (and has always brought) to every issue [while history continually demonstrates the very opposite – a villainous elite taking control of a virtuous society.]”
This truth was not lost on the Founders who, in the writing of the Constitution, sought to place the “necessary evil” that is government in a box that would prevent that villainy from corrupting a virtuous America.
“And that is what has brought us to the fear that if today we allow a Christian florist to “discriminate” against a same-sex couple, tomorrow we’ll wake up in Bull Connor’s Dixie – or at least a society in which all homosexuals are denied access to flowers. (Almost invariably, these apocalyptic predictions have been followed by reports of mass resistance – from the streets to Corporate America – to the idea of bias against gays.)
Today’s statists [read PLDC] wish to compensate for Progressive Era racist regulation by instituting “End-of-History” anti-racist regulation. That’s a big part of why progressives so vociferously defend “public education”: After forcing children into segregated state schools, they consider it an act of redemption to force them into integrated state schools. (Remember school busing?)
Perhaps we should be thankful that they haven’t (yet) sought to atone for anti-miscegenation laws by now mandating interracial copulation (although we grant that, at that point, the feminists would object to regulation, just as they do for the abortion industry).
Could we imagine the reaction of these leftists if it were suggested that the criminalization of religion under Bolshevism necessitated the establishment of an Orthodox Theocracy? They simply cannot face the idea that their position is nothing better than a mirror image of the segregationists’.
A government that persecuted people who wanted to associate with those different from themselves [Jim Crow] has inverted into one that persecutes people who don’t want to [gender neutral public restrooms]. But what is “oppression” when imposed on you [that] doesn’t become “liberation” when shifted onto others?
The only remedy for the repression of any people is the institution of freedom for all people. [What an illiberal idea!]
[Are there individuals who, in general, hate people of other races, ethnicities, genders, religions, etc. Of course there are! But, if they happen to work with or become teammates with, or whose sibling marries an individual of an offending group, there usually is a relationship built that transcends hate. Are they racists? I’m not sure. More than likely, they are profoundly ignorant about the “other” and, through their fear of the unknown, try to avoid it or belittle it to make themselves feel less afraid.]
And freedom is the issue. The First Amendment guarantees the “right of the people peaceably to assemble.” If that phrase means anything, it’s the voluntary association of consenting adults [a free people assembling freely] – which is violated by the forced integration of any (non-consenting) party.
If legislating liberals’ morality now nullifies this clause, what about freedom of religion? Well, as the Left’s universal reaction to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act indicates, this freedom too must yield to “anti-discrimination” legislation (rather than vice versa, as we once might have thought).
How then will freedom of speech remain sacrosanct? If we can ban “hate assembly,” why not “hate speech”? [Oh, wait; we already have – but only if uttered by already “racist” groups like Republicans and conservative white, heterosexual, male, Christians.]
To go from rhetoric to reality, we need only go north. Canada has demonstrated what happens to civil liberties when state punishment of a citizen’s private bigotry becomes priority No. 1. To speed straight to the intersection of religion and bias against homosexuals [consider]: The late Rev. Jerry Falwell had to edit from his sermons anything about homosexuality before submitting them to Canadian television lest he run afoul of that nation’s “hate speech” laws.
That’s right: A minister could not deliver a simple sermon on personal morality for fear of government reprisal. Other social democracies have similar censorship laws – and these are the countries that our domestic progressives point to as examples for America to follow. [Think it can’t happen here. Canada also has a derelict universal health care system that is the inspiration for “Obamacare” – originally “Hillarycare” – that is already strangling the best healthcare system in the world – ours.]
This development is not without its own logic. For decades now, we have seen leftists insist that “civil rights” trump “civil liberties.” That’s because these terms are simply contemporary substitutes for the Left’s older distinction between socialism’s (good) “economic rights” and capitalism’s (bad) “political rights.” The former refers to a right to take other people’s property, which is hailed as ‘social justice’; the latter refers to a right to control one’s own resources, which Engels mocked as ‘sham-liberty’.”
While the above discussion is dry and complex, it is important for citizens to know, at least, that there are logical arguments out there against the insanity that we witness every day coming out of our federal government and most “big city” governments controlled by the PLDC.
“As a mixed economy’s commitment to “economic rights” waxes, its commitment to political rights (such as those in the Constitution) wanes. (Canada and Western Europe are way ahead of us in demonstrating this.) For instance, when you have a right to free contraception, your employer can no longer have any right (say, of religion) to not provide it. And when you have a right to a job or any particular service, no one can deny you that. The slope is as slippery as ever.
The slide began with the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s “public accommodations” clause, which bans “discrimination” by private businesses. The liberals of that time swore up and down that mandating economic conditions would never lead to anything like quotas. Today, “affirmative action” is Democrat orthodoxy. As the example of Ward Connerly [to be discussed later] illustrates, there is no longer any possible “liberal” dissent.
To change metaphors: It is the root that determines what will bloom, which is why “reparations” arose in the first place and have sprung up again in The Atlantic magazine and on MSNBC. And censorship in the name of “civil rights” has long been supported by the Ivory Tower Left [as if we should be shocked that socialists don’t want a free market in ideas any more than in anything else].
Already many of yesterday’s Let’s-regulate-speech-the same-way-we-regulate-business “radicals” have become establishment “liberals” (e.g., Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration).
To get right at that root: What exactly is someone denied when he is “discriminated” against – the services of another person? How can he have a right to something like that? Why does he, not the other person, get to control the “offending”person’s behavior? Are we to accept that no one has a right to control himself, but everyone has a right to control everyone else?
[Let’s review: A person who refuses to allow another person, or government, to compel his or her services is guilty of discrimination.]
And, if his right to those services is violated when he is denied them, is it also violated when he is charged for them? What is now called “civil rights” – the forced extraction of another’s labor – was in more honest times known as involuntary servitude. Similarly, [in a free society,] a job is not anyone’s to take, but an employer’s to give – on whatever terms he offers. [Is the absurdity of these premises self-evident yet?]
Consider … another “civil rights” issue that liberals regard as beyond polite debate: “sexual harassment.” Isn’t it absolutely unacceptable for a man to deny a woman an economic relationship unless she provides him with a sexual relationship? [Ponder this]: Is it absolutely unacceptable for a woman to deny a man a sexual relationship unless he provides her with an economic relationship?
If a man has reasonable cause to believe that a woman will not date him because he doesn’t have a high-end (or any) job, can he sue her for “economic harassment”? Men [by definition] are no more the success objects of women than women [by definition] are the sex objects of men – which is what [people are reduced to by coercion.] The concept of choice means more than just reproductive-rights-for-women-only-in-the-name-of-gender-equality. “No” is a choice that all individuals must have in all relationships.
And “No” is what a lecherous employer will get from the overwhelming number of job-seekers, along with competition from honorable employers, public shaming, and boycott. That latter may be defined as the withholding of one’s resources, which is really all that the alleged crime of “discrimination” consists of.
Maybe this is just a matter of pronouns: “boycott” when I do it, “discrimination” when you do it. “Freedom for me, but not for thee” – that might well be the ultimate mix of the mixed economy. Of course, this mentality fails to grasp that what defends the freedom of any man is the defense of the freedom of every man.
Yet as the self-styled progressive distinguishes himself from the people he characterizes (with scattershot accuracy but increasing frequency) as bigots, he finds he can no longer allow these wrongdoers to “hide behind” the rights of speech, religion, assembly, or anything else. In its essence, it’s hardly a new phenomenon.”
In following the liberals’ logic, one ends up with “Occupy Wall Street”. In the fall of 2011, many college students descended on Wall Street in New York City. They were not demanding a reform of Wall Street bankers who, they said, had cheated the American people, but rather they proclaimed that they wanted to topple capitalism that, they believed, was the real problem that had created the financial crisis of 2007-08.
They demanded a basic change in the character of the state; to replace the capitalist “dictatorship” over the working class with a workers’ “dictatorship” over the capitalist class as the first step in the process by which the existence of capitalists as a class (but not as individuals) is ended and a classless society is eventually ushered in.
But, it was not capitalism that was the problem they described, it was the “Wolves of Wall Street”, the crooks. Lying, cheating thieves are everywhere on the planet and, here in America in the early 21st Century, they are a growing (and occasionally glorified) class because our Judeo-Christian ethic (“do unto others…”) is under attack by the progressive/liberals – the very people who were occupying Wall Street. Talk about hypocrisy!
These wolves are people who think that no matter what system they live in, they will be able to find a way to get theirs without having to work as hard as others for it – and get away with it. In this case, they created financially risky (some say ‘looney’) “derivatives” of investment products and mislead investors as to the actual risk they represented. They are basically greedy people, and you will find them under Socialism, Communism or Capitalism. So, let’s not make the mistake of blaming the system, when it is clearly the situational ethicists and moral relativists that create the crime.
Under true capitalism, the Wall Street banks should have had to declare bankruptcy, and be bought out by honest and successful banks for pennies on the dollar. The bank owners would have taken big losses along with the stockholders. Instead, big government stepped in to bail out the banks who had made unethical business decisions – believing, perhaps correctly, that if the mega-banks failed – the world banking system would collapse. Those same corrupt bankers then gave themselves big bonuses using the same lifesaving tax-payer dollars.
The federal government, not capitalists, had rewarded dishonesty and failure. Just as is the case for racism being a state supported and reinforced behavior, greed and the rewards it nets, and the envy it manifests under a highly regulatory regime, are state-supported and reinforced behaviors.
Our Occupy Wall Street crowd should go down to Washington and ask why the government gave tax payer bail-out money to the crooks who were cheating their clients. This is the real “Income Redistribution”, but not the way progressive/liberals would have you believe. Under Socialism or Communism, you would see more income redistribution but, under the progressive/liberal/Democrat regime, the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class disappears.”
When the Communists took over Russia in 1919, they used many young college students to stage protests against the Czar. Lenin called them mindless “useful idiots.” The progressive/liberal champions of “Occupy Wall Street” were using students that they themselves had propagandized and indoctrinated in the nation’s elite colleges (like nearby Columbia University) to press their cause on Wall Street, and it was again a protest to overthrow the economic and political system and to seize power. These young college students wanted what they saw as “justice”, but they weren’t going to get real justice from their socialist, communist or progressive/liberal instigator friends on Wall Street. Students were again being played as the “useful idiots”.
“Critics of capitalism have always associated that economic system with social inequality; unfair distribution of wealth and power; a tendency toward market monopoly or oligopoly (and government by oligarchy); imperialism; counter-revolutionary wars; various forms of economic and cultural exploitation; materialism; repression of workers and trade unionists; social alienation; economic inequality; unemployment and economic instability. Notable critics of capitalism have included: socialists, anarchists, communists, national socialists, social democrats, environmentalists, technocrats, some types of conservatives, Luddites, Shakers, and some types of nationalists. Wow! Let’s look a little closer at two of their “suitable substitutes” for America – socialism and communism.”
Until the publication in 1848 of the Communist Manifesto, much of the western world of the 19th Century followed a course where individuals owned private property, business enterprises, and the profits that resulted from wise investments. Marx and Engels pointed out the uneven distribution of wealth in the capitalist world and predicted a worldwide popular uprising to distribute wealth evenly. Ever since, nations have wrestled with which direction to turn their economies.
In 1865, with the war over and the Union preserved, capitalism and industrialization were poised to transform America yet again but, other economic systems would vie for favor with the nation’s social activists – fresh from their victory over slavery. One was socialism whose basic organizing principle is:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Individuals should not have ownership of land, capital (money), or industry, rather the whole community collectively owns and controls property, goods, and the means of production.
Ideally, in this system all share equally in work and the fruits of their labor. Socialists differ from communists in that they do not believe that the workers will overthrow capitalists suddenly and violently. They believe that the workers’ state must give the old ruling class no opportunity to organize a counter-revolution; it must use its armed strength to crush capitalist resistance when and where it arises.
“The roots of socialism in America can be traced to the arrival of German immigrants in the 1850s when Marxian socialist unions began, such as the National Typographic Union in 1852, United Hatters in 1856, and Iron Moulders` Union of North America in 1859. Theodore H. White, author of Fire in the Ashes: Europe in Mid-Century (1953) wrote, “Socialism is the belief and the hope that by proper use of government power, men can be rescued from their helplessness in the wild cycling cruelty of depression and boom.” Helpless is perhaps the worst adjective one can associate with 19th Century Americans.
The Socialist Party in America was born and grew dramatically between 1900 and 1912. In 1911, there were 18 Socialist candidates for major-city mayorships, and they nearly won the Cleveland, OH and Los Angeles, CA mayoral races. Under the charismatic leadership of Eugene V. Debs in 1912, 160 councilmen, 145 aldermen, one congressman, and 56 mayors, including Milwaukee, WI, Berkeley, CA and Schenectady, NY, were elected as Socialists. [Berkeley is still electing socialists!] At the time, Socialists published 300 newspapers, including the Appeal of Reason, which was a Kansas-based publication with 700,000 subscribers. Membership in the Socialist Party totaled about 125,000.
Debs converted to socialism while serving jail time for his part in the Pullman Strike in 1897 (to be discussed later), and began to edit the Appeal to Reason publication. From 1900 to 1920, he ran for president on the Socialist ticket while increasing membership to the Socialist Party tenfold. Although Debs insisted he was a Marxist, he spoke more about poverty and injustice than typical socialist concerns about the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat (Marx).
In 1912, Debs received 900,000 votes, which was six percent of the presidential votes cast that year, principally for his stand against America`s involvement in any world or European war. Debs appealed to blue collar workers hungry for improved working conditions and higher wages, but also such intellectuals as authors Jack London and Upton Sinclair.
Prominently associated with crusading Republican President Theodore Roosevelt and through the 20th Century`s first years, the socialist inspired Progressive Movement came into view with its belief in “the perfectibility of man, and in an open society where mankind was neither chained to the past nor condemned to a deterministic future; one in which people were capable of changing their condition for better or worse.” Of course, their view of “big government” would make any changes by the People impossible but, they were able to overlook that very apparent contradiction.
The Socialist Party was included within the Progressive Movement. The party dealt with American problems in an American manner. Unlike the Communist Party, the Socialist Party at that time felt no obligation to adhere to an international party line. For example, socialists and other progressives campaigned at the local level for municipal ownership of waterworks, gas and electric plants, and made good progress in such endeavors. The creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) under Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt is a fascinating case of the socialist’s grim determination to control wealth. Municipal ownership of utilities is now the standard. (See The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes.)
Next time: Progressive icons Wilson and Roosevelt.