Most Americans reject socialism. After more than forty years of cold war with the Soviet Union and its eventual collapse, the obvious failure of socialism in Cuba and countries of the Eastern Block, most of us realize that socialism simply does not work. That’s good, except that most of us clearly do not recognize socialism even though it permeates every fabric of our society.
This fact is obvious in considering the reaction by a majority of us to the various attempts to “stimulate the economy” including the “stimulus package” passed by Congress last week and signed into law by President Obama. We cling to the classic definition of socialism as communal ownership where the state owns and controls the means of production and distribution. Any system that does not measure up to that definition is not considered socialism. That is not the way modern western style socialism works, at least, not in the beginning stages.
Because of the negative image of socialism in the West, governments have been content, until now, to allow private ownership of business property, contenting itself with taking a lion’s share of profits through taxation and controlling commercial and industrial operations through regulation. The dictionary definition of socialism simply does not accurately define socialism in its modern Western form. Consequently, it is easy to accept the idea that is put forth by pundits and opinion makers in the media that Obama and his policies are not socialist but progressive.
What is not properly understood by many of us is the difference between means and goals. In socialism, the goal is to redistribute wealth to attain what they believe to be social justice. Nationalization, progressive taxation, targeted tax policies, and proliferation of social programs are merely the means used to reach this goal. A necessary by-product of the goal is control over the personal behavior of the people; otherwise, they will not voluntarily cooperate in its achievement. This is particularly true of those who are heavily taxed only to see those taxes redistributed to less productive members of society.
The litmus test as to whether a policy is socialist or not is whether it results in a transfer of income or wealth from one group of citizens to another. Policies that take income or wealth from the person or persons who labored to accumulate it and transfers it to other individuals or groups who had no part in its creation is socialism, whatever label might be used to disguise the fact. By this easily understood standard, President Obama is clearly a dedicated socialist and the policies he proposes are just as clearly socialistic.
Aside from the world wide, historical evidence that socialism is destructive to any society where it is practiced, in America it is also illegal. The one thing all Americans, including our elected officials, agree on is that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. The problem is that not enough of us know what that means. The Constitution was crafted by delegates to the Philadelphia Convention on behalf of their respective states to provide a means of performing certain necessary functions that could not be effectively performed by the several states individually. After much debate, it was finally ratified by all thirteen of the original states. The Constitution had two major purposes. First, to provide the new government with the powers necessary for national defense and the protection of liberty and property. The second purpose was to limit that power to the functions spelled out in the document.
Any powers not spelled out (enumerated) in the Constitution that may be necessary to maintain a stable and free society is left to the discretion of the states and the people by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. As with most laws, the limited powers of the Federal Government were soon tested in court. The first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, George Marshall, wrote in the majority opinion of a Court case in 1803, “Any law passed by Congress not sanctioned by the Constitution is by its nature, void.” (Paraphrased for clarity)
Socialism, which is based on greed, envy, resentment and a lust for power, is undeniably unconstitutional and therefore illegal. When elected or appointed officials of government impose their will on the people either by legislation, bureaucratic regulation or Executive Order they are in violation of the Supreme Law of the Land and it is the duty of every citizen to resist such unlawful behavior by any means at their disposal.