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New Board Game ‘Socialism’ parodies Monopoly, satirizes Hillary Clinton

PHILADELPHIA, PA /PRNewswire/ — What would America look like under Socialism? Startup Company, Diogenes Games says they don’t know, but developed a satirical version of Monopoly to find out. They call it SOCIALISM: The Game.

The small startup is proud to announce the commencement of a Kickstarter campaign to promote their parody tabletop game “SOCIALISM”.

A hilarious sendup of the classic board game Monopoly, SOCIALISM: The Game has a radically different goal than the original – the object of the game is to achieve total fairness and equality through the renting and selling of property under a modern, progressive, and populist public policy. The game is over when everyone has $300or less, and uses caricatures of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to replace the game’s original mascot, Rich Uncle Pennybags.

“We discovered that our game was a fun way to hypothesize what might happen if trends in public policy, trends that have recently entered mainstream political debate, were extrapolated to their logical conclusions in the capitalistic world of Hasbro’s real estate trading game Monopoly,” said John Elliott, CEO and founder of Diogenes Games.

Elliott says the results “aren’t pretty,” but thinks that they just might change the way people think about campaigns, elections, and politics in general. One of the ways the game accomplishes this is through an “enlightened” rulebook that contains sarcastic-yet-realistic changes:

  • There’s no more “banker” – all dealings are with the Federal Directorate of Redistributive Services
  • You don’t “go to jail,” you “go to rehab”
  • You don’t have title cards, you are granted a public “concession” to manage a property
  • No more hotels; public “housing towers” are the highest and best use
  • Chance and Community Chest? Nope. “Fat Chance” and “Communism Chest”

The “Fat Chance” and “Communism Chest” cards also reflect the satirical nature of the game, with gems like “Advance to income tax” and “Bernout! Power grid fails on a cloudy windless day. Flick the lights off, pay the player on your right $100 for a black market generator.”

After months of development, design, and play testing, the game is currently in production and is expected to ship in June, if not sooner.

SOCIALISM: The Game on Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/333308942/socialism-the-game

SOCIALISM: The Game Website: https://www.SocialismGame.com

EDITORS NOTE: This game is political satire, or is it?

Progressivism’s Dark Side by George J. Marlin

George J. Marlin writes about the shadows that envelope Progressivism: a legacy of elitist eugenics and racism.

In early March, I had the privilege of attending the oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole at the U.S. Supreme Court. It was both an extraordinary and eerie experience.

The eight justices questioned Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller and pro-abortion advocate Stephanie Toti about a 2013 Texas law – passed in response to the gruesome Gosnell revelations and trial in Philadelphia – which requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a thirty mile radius of the place at which the abortion is being performed.

I was seated in one of the seven guest rows, where most attendees were pro-abortion. To my left: Planned Parenthood C.E.O. Cecile Richards. Fives minutes before the justices took their seats, President Obama’s top aide, Valerie Jarrett, came in and sat down in front of me.

President Woodrow Wilson

The issue before the Court was whether the Texas law imposes “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. The progressive justices’ cross-examinations were very clinical. In fact, I have never heard the word “abortion” used so often in such a detached manner.

For instance, when Solicitor General Keller pointed out that the law would save the lives of victims of botched abortions, Justice Stephen Breyer dismissed the argument as immaterial because there were only 200 such instances out of Texas’ 70,000 abortions per year.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor snapped at Keller, asking sarcastically, “The slightest benefit is enough to burden the lives of a million women. That’s your point?” In other words, all lives don’t matter.

By the end of this morbid session, I thought I was in a eugenics court. Then it dawned on me, I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, the modern Progressive movement has been dominated by a self-anointed elite, like several of the justices, who had contempt for the common people. In the early 20th century, they even promoted social and economic policies driven by anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic impulses.

Click here to read the rest of Mr. Marlin’s column . . .

Will a ‘Socialist’ Government Make Us Freer? by Jason Kuznicki

“Socialism” is a weasel word.

Consider that the adjective “socialist” applies commonly — even plausibly — to countries with vastly different ex ante institutions and with vastly different social and economic outcomes. Yet Canada, Norway, Venezuela, and Cuba can’t all be one thing. Does socialism mean substantial freedom of the press, as in Norway? Or does it mean the vicious suppression of dissent, as in Venezuela?

We need more clarity here before we decide whether socialism is a worthwhile social system, and whether, as Will Wilkinson recommends, we ought to support a socialist candidate for president.

An approach that clearly will not do is to apply the term “socialism” to virtually all foreign countries. Shabby as that definition may be, some do seem to use it, both favorably and not. The result is that “socialism” has grown popular largely because a lot of people have concluded that the American status quo stinks. Maybe it does stink, but that doesn’t endow “socialism” with a proper definition.

Let’s see what happens when we drill down to the level of institutions.

Now, we might personally wish that the word “socialism” meant “the social system in which the state owns the means of production and runs the major industries of the nation.”

This is a workable definition: It has a clear genus and differentia; it includes some systems, while excluding others; and it’s not obviously self-referential. It’s also the definition preferred by many important political actors in the twentieth century, including Vladimir Lenin.

Lenin’s definition was not a bad one. But it’s far from the only current, taxonomically proper definition of socialism. As Will Wilkinson rightly notes, socialism also commonly means “the social system in which the state uses taxation to provide an extensive social safety net.”

And yet, as Will also notes, “ownership of the means of production” and “provision of a social safety net” are logically independent policies. A state can do one, the other, both, or neither. Of these four possibilities, there’s only one that can’t plausibly be called a socialism — and not a single state on earth behaves this way!

Better terms are in order, but I know that whatever I propose here isn’t going to stick, so I’m not going to try. Instead I want to look at some of the consequences that may arise from our fuzzy terminology.

One danger is that we may believe and support one conception of “socialism” —only to find that the agents we’ve tasked with supplying it have had other ideas all along: We may want Norway but get Venezuela. Wittingly or unwittingly.

Before we say “oh please, of course we’ll end up in Norway,” let’s recall how eager our leftist intelligentsia has been to praise Chavez’s Venezuela — and even declare it an “economic miracle” — until the truth became unavoidable: The “miracle” of socialism in Venezuela turned out to be nothing more than a transient oil boom. Yet leftist intellectuals are the very sorts of people who will be drawn, by self-selection, to an administration that is proud to call itself socialist.

There’s some resemblance to a “motte-and-bailey” process here: they cultivate the rich, desirable fields of the bailey, until they are attacked, at which point they retreat to the well-fortified motte. The easily defensible motte is the comfortable social democracy of northern Europe, which we all agree is pretty nice and happens to have quite a few free-market features. The bailey is the Cuban revolution.

This motte-and-bailey process does not need to be deliberate; it may be the result of a genuinely patchwork socialist coalition. No one in the coalition needs to have bad faith. An equivocal word is all that’s needed, and one is already on hand.

Even when we look only at one country, the problem remains: We may only want some institutional parts of Denmark — and we may want them for good reasons, such as Denmark’s relatively loose regulatory environment. But what we get may only be the other institutional parts of Denmark — such as its high personal income taxes. (Worth noting: Bernie Sanders has explicitly promised the higher personal income taxes, while his views on regulation are anything but Danish.)

Will thinks that electing someone on the far left of the American political spectrum could be somewhat good for liberty, but I’m far from convinced. Remember what happened the last time we put just a center-leftist in the White House: By the very same measures of economic freedom that Will uses to tout Denmark’s success, America’s economic freedom ranking sharply declined. And that decline was the direct result of Barack Obama’s left-wing economic policies. We got a larger welfare state and higher taxes, but we also got much more command-and-control regulation.

Faced with similar objections from others, Will has already performed a nice sidestep: He has replied that voting for Sanders is — obviously — just a strategic move: “Obviously,” he writes, “President Bernie Sanders wouldn’t get to implement his economic policy.” Emphasis his.

To which I’d ask: Do you really mean that Sanders would achieve none of his economic agenda? At all? Because I can name at least two items that seem like safe bets: more protectionism and stricter controls on immigration. A lot of Sanders’s ideas will indeed be dead on arrival, but these two won’t, and he would be delighted to make a bipartisan deal that cuts against most everything that Will, the Niskanen Center, and libertarians generally claim to stand for. Cheering for a guy who would happily bury your legislative agenda, and who stands a good chance of actually doing it seems… well, odd.

There is also a frank inconsistency to Will’s argument: The claim that Sanders will make us more like Denmark can’t be squared with the claim that Sanders will be totally ineffective. Arguing both is just throwing spaghetti on the wall — and hoping the result looks like libertarianism.

Would Sanders decriminalize marijuana? Or reform the criminal justice system? Or start fewer wars? Or spend less on defense? Or give us all puppies? I don’t know. Obama promised to close Guantanamo. He promised to be much better on civil liberties. He promised not to start “dumb wars” or bomb new and exotic countries. He even promised accountability for torture.

In 2008, I made the terrible mistake of counting those promises in his favor. We’ve seen how well that worked out.

It’s completely beyond me why I should trust similarly tangential promises this time around — particularly from a candidate like Sanders, whose record on foreign policy is already disturbingly clear. None of the rest of these desiderata have anything to do with state control over our economic life, which would appear to be the one thing the left wants most of all. (Marijuana: illegal in Cuba. Legal in North Korea. Yay freedom?)

Ultimately, I think that electing someone significantly further left than Obama will not help matters in any sense at all, except maybe that it will show how little trust we should put in anyone who willingly wears the socialist label. The only good outcome of a Sanders administration may be that we’ll all say to ourselves afterward: “Well, we won’t be trying that again!”

Now, I am prepared to believe, exactly as Will writes, that “‘social democracy,’ as it actually exists, is sometimes more ‘libertarian’ than the good old U.S. of A.” That’s true, at least in a few senses. Consider, for instance, that Denmark isn’t drone bombing unknown persons in Pakistan using a type of algorithm that can’t seem to deliver interesting Facebook ads. (One could say that, as usual, Denmark is letting us do their dirty work for them, with their full approval, but I won’t press the point.)

Either way, that’s still a pretty low bar, no? Meanwhile, there remains plenty of room for us to imitate some other bad things — things that we aren’t doing now, but that Denmark is doing, like taxing its citizens way, way too much. The fact that these things are a part of the complex conglomerate known as northern European social democracy doesn’t necessarily make them good, exactly as remote control assassination doesn’t become good merely by virtue of being American.

In short: Point taken about social democracy. At times, some of it isn’t completely terrible. But that only gets us so far, and not quite to the Sanders slot in the ballot box.

Jason KuznickiJason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is the editor of Cato Unbound.

VIDEO: INFILTRATION — Thousands of young Communists have infiltrated Catholic seminaries

TRANSCRIPT:

During the early years of Communism in the 1920s and 30s, the evil was being spread worldwide as the Blessed Mother had predicted at Fatima in 1917. Communist parties were being formed in various European countries and in American cities as well. They were already attempting to upset the political and cultural order.

alice_von_hildebrand-255x362

Alice von Hildebrand

But what only a very small number of people knew was that the top dogs of Communism had already released the hounds on the Church. The carefully organized plan was to recruit young men who were loyal Communists and get them placed in seminaries. This was carried out by various agents during the 1920s and 30s.

Fast forward 30 years to the 1960s, and the fruits were beginning to be seen. Learned, dedicated, faithful men and women in the Church were looking around and fretting, not sure from what framework they should understand the demolition of the Faith they were witnessing. At one point, Pope Paul VI even said that it appeared the Church was in auto-demolition.

One of those deeply distressed was a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, the brilliant theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand. He and his wife Alice were sitting down one day with a friend, a woman by the name of Bella Dodd. Bella Dodd had been received back into the Catholic Church by Abp. Fulton Sheen in April of 1952.

This particular day, von Hildebrand was lamenting the state of affairs in the Church and said “It seems like the Church has been infiltrated.” To the shock of both Dietrich and Alice, Bella Dodd, former Communist agent, confessed that it had been infiltrated — and she had been one of the Communists ordered to organize it.

Read more.

Please watch this excerpt of the interview with Dr. Alice von Hildebrand:

RELATED ARTICLE: Politics and Pope Francis: What is the role of the Catholic Church and the State?

EDITORS NOTE: The Vortex has more of their interview with Dr. von Hildebrand available for Premium viewers. They are offering a 15-day free trial. Please consider signing, up at no cost, and watch the whole von Hildebrand interview. You may also explore all the other programs — hundreds of hours.

Ukraine topples Lenin statues, meets quota ahead of schedule

Despite severe weather conditions, the plan to topple Lenin statues in Ukraine has been successfully completed this month, ahead of schedule. The government of the former Soviet republic is happy to report that the quota of toppling monuments to Vladimir Lenin and other communist leaders has been met and in some places exceeded, with toppling of a number of unrelated statues in the process, as well as ransacking headquarters of the local Communist Party in Kiev.

Leninoval_280_3.jpgAlthough many critics warned that the goal was unrealistic, irrational, and even mathematically impossible, the toppling of statues of the creator of the world’s largest planned economy still went ahead as scheduled, paced over the course of several Five-Year Plans, starting in 1991.

However, not everything went according to the Planning Committee’s projections. The first Five-Year Plan revealed a drastic shortage of ropes to pull the statues down, and of gasoline to power the moving machinery.

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The second Five-Year Plan was plagued by continuously bad weather, consisting of five hot summers and as many cold winters, with uncharacteristically wet rains in between, presumably the result of climate change caused by a disproportional use of fossil fuels in the United States.

During the third Five-Year Plan all work was put on hold by the newly created Local 11 Statue Toppler Union.

The union leadership demanded an increase in wages and benefits in addition to a restraining order prohibiting all non-unionized persons from approaching any Lenin statue within a 200 foot radius.
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The fourth Five-Year Plan was beleaguered by a nationwide strike and a media campaign on behalf of Local 12 Pigeon-Handlers Union, whose members feared permanent unemployment and demanded a fair treatment with guarantees of lifetime salaries and benefits should all Lenin statues be toppled and outsourced to Third World countries.

The number of Lenin statues in existence also appeared to have been grossly underestimated, factoring only statues with the iconic beard and omitting those representing the father of the socialist revolution in his teens or prepubescent years, prior to the development of Lenin’s facial hair follicles. Neither did the plan account for the number of Lenin’s busts, bas reliefs, and mosaics, as well as semi-professional carvings and drawings on the walls of public restrooms.

Lenin_Snowman2.jpgNo Lenin statues made of stone were ever toppled either, which was later blamed on the Planning Committee typist who mistook the word “stone” for “scone.” Amazingly, as many as twelve “scone” statues had been reported as processed and billed by government contractors.

A subsequent audit discovered instances where money was paid for the toppling of Lenin statues that never existed, or where the statues had been made on the spot out of snow or cardboard and then pulled by a bulldozer. In other cases funds were disbursed where no actual topplings occurred.

As a result, while the number of all reported topplings exceeded the initial projection, a visual observation by the auditors led them to conclude that nearly all Lenin statues still remained exactly where they had been placed by the erstwhile Soviet government.

At the time, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich clarified the situation as follows: “More than twenty years of heroic and selfless struggle by our government to topple Lenin statues have exhausted the national budget and forced us to request a bailout from either the European Union or the neighboring Russia. Given that Moscow has more expertise than Brussels in toppling Lenin statues, we chose to side with a partner who better suits our historic needs.”

Leninoval_200_2.jpgIn the aftermath of certain events in Kiev earlier this year, the Ukrainian president modified his position, closely approaching that of the Russian president: “If you like your Lenin statues, you can keep your Lenin statues.”

In a final speech to the nation delivered from the steps of a charter plane Mr. Yanukovich stated: “Rather than burdening our economy with this pointless toppling, I should have followed the Russian model and granted myself exclusive powers to build more palatial mansions in every struggling region of the country. Now if you’ll excuse me, my baggage and I have a flight to catch.”

Leninoval_200_3.jpgInspired by the president’s farewell address, citizens of Ukraine enthusiastically poured into the streets, toppling Lenin statues completely free of charge, without troubling the overworked authorities and union contractors with requests to plan and coordinate their activities. After only several hours of work, volunteers around Ukraine were able to topple all of the remaining Lenin statues.

The next morning, as various government officials looked out their windows and didn’t see the familiar Lenin statues, they immediately knew that it was time to report a successful completion of the final Five-Year Plan, ahead of schedule and almost within the budget.