from the Congress Action newsletter
by: Kim Weissman
April 2, 2000
To anyone not blinded to reality by their ideology, it is no secret that socialism, because of its inherent and essential nature, is, and must always be, an abject and disastrous failure. The failure of socialism and social engineering by "the best and brightest" of left-wing liberalism is once again being proven, the latest evidence coming from communist China, Canada, Britain, France, and Australia.
Communist China's one-child policy has long been a shining example to which the population control extremists in this country point, admiringly demanding that we should try to be as "enlightened" as those Chinese so we can "save the earth". As has been repeatedly demonstrated on this page and elsewhere, the very ideas that the world is overpopulated, and that population density leads to poverty and starvation, are totally erroneous; but the "save the earth" crowd simply isn't interested in facts.
Now comes news from communist China that their one-child policy isn't all it's cracked up to be, and has been, in fact, a disaster. Communist officials, "spurred on by a rash of student suicides, breakdowns and family murders", are "softening" their policy. The social engineers have been shocked by widespread female infanticides, illegal gender-selective abortions, and rampant official corruption and terrorism in enforcing the policy. Turns out that, no matter how hard the "enlightened" try, people simply can't be "engineered" like machines.
Think that the Jane Fonda-Ted Turner-Hillary Clinton population controllers in this country will learn anything? Don't bet on it.
Socialized, government controlled medicine is a perennial favorite of the leftist social engineers in this country. Hillary Clinton has become most closely associated with that goal as a result of her disastrous nationalized health care scheme in 1993, and she has long touted Britain's National Health Service with envy. Former candidate Bill Bradley made nationalized health care a major plank of his failed campaign, and candidate Al Gore has cited Canada's health care system as a model to be emulated.
Now from Canada comes a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that there are long waiting lists for surgical and diagnostic procedures (one report concludes that the median patient has to wait 70% longer than is medically reasonable); that some procedures, routine in the United States, are unavailable in Canada; that technical devices such as CT scanners and MRI machines are scarce; that cost controls on pharmaceuticals have actually led to deaths from the lack of available medicines; and most astonishing of all, in this era of increasing general world-wide health and lengthening life spans, Canadian life expectancy is actually declining.
From Britain's National Health Service comes a report that perhaps one third of all terminally ill cancer patients are dying only because of delays in treatment or misdiagnoses. According to the London Times, "long delays between appointments were often blamed for a time lag when previously treatable cancers grew incurable". A leading British cancer specialist was quoted "It costs nothing to ensure that patients see a doctor within two weeks, as the government has insisted, but what is the point if they then have to wait about three months for treatment with a worn-out radiotherapy machine?" [Much more on the 'health care' issue]
Think that the Hillary Clinton-Al Gore nationalized health care schemers in this country will learn anything? Don't bet on it.
France contains what is considered to be the last big communist party in Europe. But this week, France's communist party scheduled a party vote on a document condemning the history of communism, concluding that communism "did not liberate humanity", but rather led to the "oppression of the individual, a tendency to see different opinions as deviation or betrayal, and practices which in all too many cases bordered on the criminal".
Sounds like political correctness in this country. One member of the party hierarchy in Paris said "It's time to move on and leave all those old ideas behind. They didn't do us any good." True, but those ideas did lead to mass imprisonment and the slaughter of millions.
Typical of the usual reaction of brain-dead socialists (and leftists in this country), who never let reality intrude into their irrational fantasies, was the reaction of one old communist in France: "It's not the party that needs to change, it’s the rest of society." Typical of the egomaniacal thinking of all socialists: the rest of the world is wrong, only they are right.
Think that the socialist left in this country, that is still trying to impose government regulation on everything in sight, will learn anything? Egomania isn't confined to leftists in France, so don't bet on it.
Socialism, by its very nature, is an inherently tyrannical ideology that uses force or the threat of force to take from those who produce and redistribute to those who don't (after the ruling elites take their cut). Under socialism, all power rests in the hands of the almighty State.
One of the very first steps always taken by ascendant socialist governments, like their brethren totalitarian ideologies of fascism and naziism, is to make sure that the people they rule have no power to resist their mandates. That requires a disarmed population, a process that always starts with routine firearms registration, followed, when the totalitarians are ready, by universal confiscation. All in the name, of course, of a more peaceful, orderly, and crime-free society.
We are currently undergoing one of those increasingly frequent paroxysms of irrationality from left-wing extremists in this country over firearms, claiming that criminal violence is caused by the mere existence of guns, and ridiculously proclaiming that violent crime would be reduced – if not eliminated entirely – if we could only get rid of guns. Or at least register them. After all, what's the harm in that, they ask?
Left-wing irrationality over guns isn't confined to this country, and that irrationality has made great headway in countries like Britain and Australia. But unlike those countries, the United States has a Constitution that provides some protection to the individual right to keep and bear arms in this country. Because of our Constitution, Australia and Britain are further along than the U.S. in their attempts to rid their societies of guns, so that anyone interested in studying the effect of gun control – that is, anyone interested in facts, which excludes most left-wing liberals – can study those societies and observe whether the gun-ban-as-crime-control schemes have any merit. They don't. Which of course won't stop the gun banners in this country from lying through their teeth to achieve their goals of disarming our population.
Here are some facts from abroad. Australia has historically had a low crime rate, and a reputation as a quiet, peaceful country. Then in 1996, a criminal went on a shooting rampage. Anti-gun propaganda was cranked up (as it is following every similar incident in this country), and gun bans were swiftly enacted, encompassing not only handguns, but many hunting rifles and shotguns as well. Leftist politicians promised that the crime rate would probably "drop by up to 20%" once they got rid of all those nasty guns. That didn't happen.
In just the one year following the gun bans, homicide rates INCREASED (in one Australian state increasing by a staggering 300%), armed robberies (note that: armed robberies, by criminals who still had and always will have guns) INCREASED, assaults INCREASED, and the burglary rate in the United States, which had been higher, is now lower than that in Australia, Canada, and Britain (the other western democracies that recently enacted or had draconian gun ownership restrictions). Prior to the gun bans, there had been a steady decline in the rate of armed robberies and burglaries in Australia; following the bans there has been a dramatic increase in both.
The rate of violent crime in Britain is now higher than in the U.S. Think that left-wing gun banners in this country like Bill Clinton and Sarah Brady will learn anything? Don't bet on it. [Much more on crime, guns, and The 2nd Amendment]
Socialism is collectivism, in which the independent decisions of individuals are replaced by the collective decisions of the State. Free, unfettered choice by individuals is hateful to socialists. One bastion of freedom in our society is the election process. But beyond the right to vote, as free people protected by a Constitution, we have the right to publicly speak and write in support of candidates we like, and in opposition to candidates we dislike ("Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech").
When we have neither the time nor the skill to personally speak or write, we have the right to join other like-minded citizens in support of, or opposition to, candidates for office. ("Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble"), and the right to contribute – it takes money to spread a message in our society – to support those who advocate for us and those candidates we want to represent us. We cannot morally be forced to contribute to causes or candidates we dislike ("...to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical..." — Thomas Jefferson) – although it happens all the time, through mandatory union dues, and taxpayer matching funds to political campaigns. But campaign "reformer" Al Gore is trying to destroy those freedoms. Here's his latest scheme:
You cannot contribute to candidates you support. You will be forced to contribute to those you oppose. If you give to Gore's fund, your money will be given by government bureaucrats to everyone, even to candidates whose beliefs are hateful to you. Even if you don't contribute a dime to Gore's fund, as a taxpayer you will be forced, by the tax deductibility of the contributions of others, to subsidize candidates who want to destroy everything you believe in.
Leftists, who loudly support freedom of choice when it comes to killing unborn babies, want to deprive you of the choice of who you support to represent you. They'll decide for you. If insufficient money is raised, Gore will force broadcasters to donate air time. But not so you can find out what candidates believe, because Gore promises "a crackdown on issue advocacy ads". Gore benefits from voter ignorance. He will "appoint commissioners who…believe the public interest must be protected in new ways". Beware of leftists who propose "new ways" to define your freedom.
So why is it, despite overwhelming evidence gleaned from repeated examples played out over decades and continents, that the left in this country refuses to learn that socialism is an abject failure? They aren't dumb, why can't they recognize reality when it stares them in the face?
The fact is, they do. They know full well that for the vast majority of the people in any society burdened by socialism, life becomes a nightmare of poverty and slavery in service to ruling party apparatchiks. The leftists in this country know all that, and they don't care. Why?
Because in their delusions of superiority, they believe that they will constitute those ruling party apparatchiks. As the French kings before the revolution, socialist ideologues really don't care how dismal a life is lived by their subjects, so long as they rule, and by virtue of their rule, live the good life themselves. As bad as life was for most people in the Soviet Union, the ruling elites lived the good life. And even better, those ruling elites get to impose their crack-brained schemes on their suffering populations without having to overcome the annoying roadblocks put in their way by democratic institutions, without any need to establish a consensus of opinion, without any requirement of showing that their schemes make any sense or stand any likelihood of success, and most important, without any of the constraints imposed by a Constitution. True nirvana for the tin-pot tyrants who populate the left in this country, who call themselves "liberals".
[TYSK added additional formatting to the above article]
The above article is
the property of Kim Weissman, and is reprinted with his permission.
Philosophy of Government