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4 March 2019
The Green New Deal: Myths and Migraines
The Green New Deal is the Democrat Party’s latest version of the American Dream. The GND is a lengthy list of radical proposals for total transformation of our culture, our economy, our health care and educational systems, our environmental conditions, on and on.
The GND expands government incomprehensively. For starters: no more carbon-spewing airplanes. High-speed rail will take us everywhere. Government-administered universal health care for all – but no private insurance (so wait your turn). Not to worry: the bureaucracy will care for us, will put our children in government daycare, will see to our pesky grandparents. The government will cover everything. No worries!
We need no longer fret about farm animals emitting their befouling digestive vapors into our soon-to-be pristine atmosphere. Some astute planners suggest that even toilet paper (scourge of civilized nations) will be passé. This will undoubtedly be a relief to truly progressive Progressives, but one still wonders what sort of green technology will possibly take its place?
Democrat Socialists also assure us of equal pay for everyone, no matter what job we do (or avoid). There will be subsidized options for the energetically-deflated who can thence stay home and compose music, as Mrs. Pelosi idealized.
There’s more. Safe, adequate housing for everybody, economic security from cradle to grave, clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, access to nature for all of us. Democrats already demand open borders and no more guns in private hands (only the crooks will be armed)… and free government abortions for woman who weary of Nature’s gift of Motherhood … and newborn babies will be left to die if child-rearing and responsible parenting are deemed just too burdensome.
Brave New World Of Democrat Socialism Beckons
Democrat Socialism’s Green New Deal highlights the socio-economic perspicacity of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, abetted by dozens of Democrat elders. Indeed, many Congresspersons (who should know better) line up behind her, in pathetic testament to the vacuity of their vision for America, with dubious “true faith and allegiance to the Constitution,” as their Oath of Office dictates.
Democrat Presidential candidates also espouse this Green New Deal. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and lesser-known hopefuls believe – or pretend to – that Bigger Government and the Socialist agenda are the future of America.
The Green New Deal (a reminder of Franklin Roosevelt’s massive expansion of government in 1933) raises endless questions. The GND’s budget-boggling programs demand overwhelming centralized Federal control. The cost: more trillions of dollars than the total wealth of nations on the planet.
Purveyors of the Green New Deal call it “Democratic Socialism.”
But no two words in political discourse are more opposed than “Democracy” and “Socialism.” Adults with knowledge of history and an ear for political chicanery immediately recognize this as a cynical attempt to hide Socialism’s dreary realities.
Adults with knowledge of history and reverence for truth also remember the abhorrent legacies of Germany’s National Socialism, of Lenin’s enormous, brutally centralized Soviet Socialist System, of Maoist Marxism in China, of Castro’s devastated Cuba, of the total wreckage in Socialist Venezuela, of the lingering futility in Laos and Cambodia.
Even seemingly benign Scandinavian variants demand a flattening of individual creativity. The Nordic Socialist model blocks the growth and free expansion of private enterprise, enforcing a dead-end for entrepreneurs, for the private creation of jobs and for the potential to generate economic prosperity and personal wealth.
No matter what label attaches, all forms of Socialism produce an oppressive Big Government which engenders an increasingly faltering society in which systems of production, distribution, pricing, supply and demand, quantity and quality are arbitrarily imposed and enforced (sometimes with brutal efficiency).
The Human Measures
Socialism creates a centralized bureaucracy which denies individuality, stifles creativity, punishes personal initiative, demands collective sameness, elevates intrusive governmental oversight, disparages entrepreneurship, deprives citizens of their inherent responsibility for their own lives, and makes moral decisions which properly belong to the individual.
Socialism’s worst outcomes involve 1) stifling individualism, private ownership and personal incentive, and 2) the subtle, soul-sapping poison of faux security-for-freedom: give up your fundamental human rights and your creativity. The State will grant free medical care, free education, free retirement, free everything. Just don’t rock the boat or get feisty.
No matter how fervently Presidential candidates praise Democratic Socialism (especially Candidate Sanders, who raves about the Cuban and Nordic models), no matter how much deceptive rhetoric flows from lock-step Democrats, the historic patterns of Socialism’s dehumanizing principles cannot – and should not -- be denied.
Freebies From Cradle To Grave !!
Some uninformed voters respond to the facile, fractious rhetoric of Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, Booker and Harris. Naïve voters are especially vulnerable when pandering promises are made for free education, free housing, equal pay for all, free medical care, free abortions and an endless array of no-cost benefits, to be doled out from birth to death in Scandinavian style by an ever-more benign government which expects (wait for it!!) nothing in return except uniformity in performance, income, living style, energy – but at the cost of one’s individualism.
Some people value personal responsibility and relish the freedom to choose their work and life style, to freely select their own medical care, to freely pursue their own education, to freely make as much money as possible, to freely express their own talents, to freely build their own family and honor their responsibilities.
The idea of being “taken care of” for a lifetime by governmental agencies and hovering bureaucratic overseers is insipid. Why surrender one’s talents, individuality and potential to a smothering system which muffles creativity and represses self-expression in favor of uniformity and compelled equality.
In a 1945 speech in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said, “… the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Capitalism has faults, to be sure, but history offers abundant testament to the demeaning limits and debilitating outcomes of Socialism.
In 1989, I visited Communist Poland. I witnessed the long-term outcomes of Socialism. Let me recall several experiences during that period.
A Nation Betrayed
In Poland I saw “Democratic Socialism” in action. I visited friends and colleagues in Warsaw and Krakow, met politically-active members of the Politburo, spent days with a number of academics from Warsaw University and visited with several resident journalists. I talked with many Poles (including Communist Party members), studied their behavior and discussed their values, listened to their fears (spoken openly and whispered privately) about the quality of life and the moral milieu under Socialist ideology writ large in Polish history over six decades.
First, a bit of history.
In September 1939, Poland was invaded, first by the Nazis, then by the Soviet Union… i.e., the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Stalin’s form of atheistic Communism (formulated by Marx, later violently implemented in 1917 by Lenin).
The Soviet invasion of Poland was the result of a non-aggression pact signed with Hitler’s Nazi government. The terms of this pact (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, for history buffs) released Nazis and Communists to invade Poland from East and West. Persecution of the Polish people quickly ensued. Auschwitz, the Nazi death center, was built and eventually took the lives of several million human beings, mainly Jews. (The Pact was later broken when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union).
After the Nazi defeat, the Communist occupiers of Poland held a fraudulent post-war election in 1947. The Communists and their Polish Socialist Party allies manufactured the term “Democratic Socialism” (today’s refrain) to create the vicious fiction of free and open elections. The results overwhelmingly favored these so-called “Democratic Socialists” who were, of course, Communists allied with their Polish Socialist satraps.
This election was a tragic, deceptive illusion, exposed in later years by historians as a massive fraud.
Forty year later, I experienced what Socialism had wrought. Let me relate only one example of what I witnessed about the facts of Socialism in real life -- and its cost to human beings.
Fruit Of A Poisonous Credo
One day in Krakow, my guide (a stoic woman with no regard for the rulers of her nation) took me to the city center where stores and shops clustered. In front of one department store, we spotted a long line stretching up the street and around the corner. My guide grew excited; she knew exactly what this long line of quiet citizens really meant.
She pulled me to the front of the line. I stood mutely as she explained that I was an American, visiting on a government visa. She wanted me to see what their Communist economy had produced.
The people at the front of the line listened, then looked at me and smiled as they stood back so I could enter the department store.
In a healthy economy, the department store could have been similar to Marshall Field or Macys or (in the old days) a well-stocked Sears. But the store shelves were completely empty; nothing on them whatever. Nothing to buy. Clothes racks, empty; nothing to buy. Glass display cases, empty. Nothing. The store was, in fact, a ghost, barren of goods; dark, musty, settling into its own dust.
I looked back at the line of people, some of whom nodded at me, as if to say “See…. See how we live…”
And only then did I realize that this two-block-long line of people were waiting to buy toilet paper, stacked just inside the door where an official sat at a folding card table, watching me glumly.
Each person was allowed to buy two (only two) rolls of toilet paper, after hours of waiting. One elderly woman came up to me and tore open the roll she had just received. She handed me a sheet, spoke to me in Polish, her voice quavering with anger. Her meaning was clear: "Feel this!!" I felt the piece of toilet paper she held forth to me: its texture was of sand paper.
The Cost Of Naivete
There are many more poignant, crucial details I could tell:
- - of countless autos which littered every street of every city, abandoned for lack of replacement auto parts;
- - of the countless broken windows in apartment buildings, unrepaired for want of replacement glass;
- - of countless unfinished construction projects sitting idle month after month because of unavailable building materials;
- - of a centralized distribution system so poorly planned that food rotted in the fields while people hungered in the cities;
- - of countless unemployed men, sitting in rows along curbs with heads bowed in despair, silently smoking stale cigarettes, exchanging not a single word;
- - of pollution so thick on city streets that smog swirled like London fog around one’s ankles;
- - of the ever-present State Security agents, unsmiling men, coldly watching their own citizens with suspicious gaze;
- - of serious teen-aged Army soldiers dressed in thick grey uniforms; prematurely grim youngsters, groomed in the official tenets of atheist rhetoric;
- - and, most memorably, of the frightened young desk clerk at my hotel. When I was checking out, she handed back my passport and, at the same moment, glanced warily across the lobby at the State Security agent, clad entirely in black, sitting, watching. She leaned closer to me and whispered, “… America must be a wonderful country. In America, you do not have to be afraid…”
Socialism’s Message To Us All
To this day, the lasting message of my visit still remains quite clear to me:
- Socialism inevitably demands (however gradually) a surrender of initiative and creativity.
- It is a primitive system based on a perverted vision of human nature and belief in the infallibility of bureaucratic power.
- It militates against human ingenuity and dictates the expression of artistic and creative talent.
- It abhors civic virtues of industry and inventiveness, of motivation, drive and inspiration, of the simple desire to get ahead and make money. These civic virtues fuel a free Capitalist economy which rewards risk-taking and propels fiscal achievement. Under Socialism, however, these virtues are held back by the bureaucratic mandate of Socialist “equality” at the cost of fundamental human freedom.
Socialism invariably creates repression of dissent and degrees of increasing violence. Repression begins 1) with name-calling and the accusatory dictates of political correctness (which we already behold in America in abundance). Repressive tactics often escalate 2) to psychological intimidation (which we also behold in America), 3) then to legal sanctions, 4) physical violence and episodic brutality and, eventually, even to 5) control by political terror and disregard for human rights.
At worst, the power of the Socialist State becomes absolute. All sources of production and distribution are controlled by the bureaucracy. Control soon extends into every aspect of human activity, to businesses and cultural infrastructures, to schools and farms, into the arts, television and media, even (as in China) to religion, to family size and state-imposed abortions. Morality and law are decided by power. God is an intrusive myth.
What Do We Do Now?
Some Americans are blind to the revelations of history, in denial about the reality of these issues. They say, “…It could not happen here…” But the facts are clear: Socialism is already well established within our political elite.
Socialism is a doorway to moral decay and economic chaos, a doorway to cultural suicide. Socialism brings misery to the people over whom it inevitably exercises coercion and repression, even brutality. This is history’s lesson, verified in every nation where Socialism has been implemented and/or now exists.
Socialism always elevates the power of the collective State over individual dignity. Malignant outcomes are inevitable. Yet Socialist messages are being preached every day by our elected political celebrities who are either 1) ignorant of the human costs or, worse, are 2) fully aware of that Socialism will surely destroy our Republic.
What we do next -- how we vote -- will make all the difference….