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New Museum Bears Witness to Communism’s Horrors, Honors Its Victims

In total, more than 100 million have been killed under communist regimes in the past 100 years.


In the heart of Washington, D.C., behind the doors of a building not unlike the others with which it shares a block, lies a most visceral testament to the horrors of communism—a political ideology still all too dominant in the world today.

The new museum, from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, has been in the works for many years. It opened to the public on Monday.

Entering it is like walking into a vault. Or possibly a tomb. Passing by a wall with large, embossed words reading, “REMEMBERING the victims of Communism,” the space quickly darkens and narrows.

Pictures and small video screens containing images of regimes and victims alike emblazon it, evoking a somber tone. Beyond those images, on a larger screen, a six-minute film lays out the rise of Vladimir Lenin and the Soviet Union as a communist power.

The room then funnels visitors into the world of the gulag. Here, there are artifacts from the notorious Soviet prison camps, physical remnants of the millions of Russians who passed through them. In one case sits a teddy bear and next to it a “valenki”—a felt boot that shod gulag prisoners.

There’s also a replica of “black bread,” an oblong, charcoal-colored loaf that gulag prisoners relied on for sustenance. Small measurements show how much of a loaf would be doled out as rations to each prisoner, depending on their docility or misbehavior.

From 1934 to 1947, an estimated 10 million were sent to the camps. Another estimate puts fatalities between 1.2 million and 1.7 million from 1918 to 1956.

An informational panel explains how Josef Stalin, the longest reigning leader of the Soviet Union, intentionally used a famine to starve more than 3 million Ukrainians in 1932 and 1933. Some estimate the death toll reached 7 million.

In total, the museum estimates, more than 100 million have been killed under communist regimes in the past 100 years.

On one wall runs a film, a slideshow of simple, hand-drawn images depicting the hardship of life in gulags, prisons, and work camps from communist regimes around the world. The images were etched by the survivors. Testimonies of what other survivors witnessed while imprisoned are read aloud as the images scroll.

“Every case where [communism] has been tried, it leads to mass atrocities,” Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, the president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, told me. “Truly, the worst examples of human suffering in history in terms of the most brutal, mass-murdering regimes.”

A broader scope of the suffering is played out in the museum’s largest space. There, a film animates the history of communism’s spread across the globe, detailing which nations fell to it. In one corner, the number of fatalities under communism, as well as those subjugated by it, rolls ever upward.

Informational panels throughout the museum detail specific atrocities, such as Pol Pot’s genocide of the Cambodian people, which wiped out 25% of the population of the Southeast Asian nation, and Mao Zedong’s failure in collectivizing China’s agriculture, resulting in a famine that killed anywhere from 20 million to 43 million people.

Juxtaposed to those are stories—written out and accompanied by photographs—of resistance to communism, ranging from peaceful demonstrations to armed uprisings: the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Prague Spring of 1968, and the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 in Beijing, to name a few.

Bremberg said that the former two examples, while lesser known, are of equal importance to Tiananmen Square.

He also cited a statistic woven throughout the museum: 1.5 billion. That’s the estimated number of people still living under communism. The largest communist nation today is China, accounting for the vast majority of that number.

The Chinese Communist Party, which rules over the country, has subjugated more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims, an ethnic minority, to reeducation camps, forced sterilization and abortions, forced labor, and surveillance. It’s genocide on an industrial scale.

Last year, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation received a series of leaked internal documents belonging to the Chinese Communist Party. The findings offer damning evidence of its coordinated efforts against the Uyghurs. You can learn more about them here.

Several nations formerly under communist control, such as Poland, also have museums recounting their own stories of existence under communism. None, however, offer a singular snapshot of its global impact like the new one in Washington.

“There’s nothing like this in the world,” Bremberg said. “It’s extremely important to have this in our nation’s capital. We have millions of tourists, particularly school groups, that come through that really need to learn this, because communism is a horrible evil.”

Although research has shown that up to 1 in 3 millennials view communism favorably, Bremberg thinks it’s the failure to explain the legacy of the ideology—certainly not life under such an ideology—that has given it such an appeal.

“What we’re really trying to do is put the face of the victims of communism forward as a way of educating people,” Bremberg said. “You can draw a pretty obvious conclusion that this is a horrible system of government.”

“[It’s] the scourge of the 20th century, and unfortunately still with us in the 21st century,” he added. “If we want to prevent that from costing untold lives in the future, people need to learn about the crimes of communism … through the experience of its victims.”

Adjacent to the museum’s exit stands a wall visitors pass by before leaving. It’s covered in a patchwork of portraits—the faces of those who have fought back against communism.

Amid the portraits, there are two simple words: “Remember us.”

This piece was republished with permission from the Daily Signal.

AUTHOR

Philip Reynolds

Philip Reynolds is a digital specialist at The Heritage Foundation.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Why Do People Become Communists, and Why Do They Stick With It?

So if there is no rational case for communism as such, why do people go for this stuff?


For as long as I can remember, I’ve puzzled about why people become communists. I have no doubt about why someone would stop being one. After all, we have a century of evidence of the murder, famine, and general destruction caused by the idea. Ignoring all this takes a special kind of willful blindness to reality.

Even the theory of communism itself is a complete mess. There is really no such thing as common ownership of goods that are obviously scarce in the real world. There must be some solution to the problem of scarcity beyond just wishing reality away. Perhaps ownership and trade? Slogans and dreams are hardly a suitable substitute for a workable program.

But how communism would work in practice is not something they want to talk about. They just imagined that some magical Hegelian shift would take place in the course of history that would work it all out.

So if there is no rational case for communism as such, why do people go for this stuff?

The Red Century

The New York Times has been exploring that issue in a series of remarkable reflections that they have labelled Red Century. I can’t get enough, even the ones that are written by people who are—how shall I say?—suspiciously sympathetic to communism as a cause.

The most recent installment is written by Vivian Gornick. She reflects on how her childhood world was dominated by communists.

The sociology of the progressive world was complex. At its center were full-time organizers for the Communist Party, at the periphery left-wing sympathizers, and at various points in between everything from rank-and-file party card holders to respected fellow travelers….

When these people sat down to talk, Politics sat down with them, Ideas sat down with them; above all, History sat down with them. They spoke and thought within a context that lifted them out of the nameless, faceless obscurity into which they had been born, and gave them the conviction that they had rights as well as obligations. They were not simply the disinherited of the earth, they were proletarians with a founding myth of their own (the Russian Revolution) and a civilizing worldview (Marxism).

While it is true that thousands of people joined the Communist Party in those years because they were members of the hardscrabble working class (garment district Jews, West Virginia miners, California fruit pickers), it was even truer that many more thousands in the educated middle class (teachers, scientists, writers) joined because for them, too, the party was possessed of a moral authority that lent shape and substance, through its passion for structure and the eloquence of its rhetoric, to an urgent sense of social injustice….

The Marxist vision of world solidarity as translated by the Communist Party induced in the most ordinary of men and women a sense of one’s own humanity that ran deep, made life feel large; large and clarified. It was to this clarity of inner being that so many became not only attached, but addicted. No reward of life, no love nor fame nor wealth, could compete with the experience. It was this all-in-allness of world and self that, all too often, made of the Communists true believers who could not face up to the police state corruption at the heart of their faith.

Sounds fascinating, if bonkers (Marxism is hardly a “civilizing worldview”). It sounds less like an intellectual salon of ideas and more like a religious delusion. Those too can be well intentioned. The key here is a dogmatic ideology, which serves as a kind of substitute for religion. It has a vision of hell (workers and peasants exploited by private-capital wielding capitalist elite), a vision of heaven (a world of universal and equal prosperity and peace), and a means of getting from one to the other (revolution from below, as led by the vanguard of the proletariat).

Once you accept such an ideology, anything intellectual becomes possible. Nothing can shake you from it. Okay, that’s not entirely true. One thing can shake you of it: when the leader of the cult repudiates the thing you believe in most strongly.

Khrushchev’s Heresy

She was 20 years old in 1956, when Nikita Khrushchev spoke to the Soviet Communist Party about the crimes of Stalin. Apparently the unrelenting reports of famine, persecution, and mass death, from the early years of Bolshevik rule – and even the revelation of the Hitler-Stalin pact – would have demoralized them earlier. But no:

The 20th Congress report brought with it political devastation for the organized left around the world. Within weeks of its publication, 30,000 people in this country quit the party, and within the year it was as it had been in its 1919 beginnings: a small sect on the American political map.

Amazing.

The Early Reds

And speaking of this small 1919 sect, I’m reminded of one of my favorite movies: Reds (1981). I could watch it another 20 times. It explores the lives of the American communists of the turn of the 20th century, their loves, longings, and aspirations. The focus is on fiery but deluded Jack Reed, but it includes portraits of a passionate Louise Bryant, the gentile Max Eastman, an edgy Eugene O’Neill, and the ever inspiring Emma Goldman.

These people weren’t the Progressives of the mainstream that history credits with having so much influence over policy in those days. These were the real deal: the Communists that were the source of national frenzy during the Red Scare of the 1920s.

The movie portrays them not as monsters but idealists. They were all very talented, artistic, mostly privileged in upbringing, and what drew them to communism was not bloodlust for genocide but some very high ideals.

They felt a passion for justice. They wanted to end war. They opposed exploitation. They longed for universal freedom and maximum civil liberty. They despised the entrenched hierarchies of the old order and hoped for a new society in which everyone had an equal chance.

All of that sounds reasonable until you get to the details. The communists had a curious understanding of each of these concepts. Freedom meant freedom from material want. Justice meant a planned distribution of goods. The end of war meant a new form of war against the capitalists who they believed created war. The hierarchies they wanted to be abolished were not just state-privileged nobles but also the meritocratic elites of industrial capitalism, and even small land owners, no matter how small the plot.

Why be a communist rather than just a solid liberal of the old school? In the way the movie portrays it, the problem was not so much in their goals but in their mistaken means. They hated the state as it existed but imagined that a new “dictatorship of the proletariat” could become a transition mechanism to usher in their classless society. That led them to cheer on the Bolshevik Revolution in its early stages, and work for the same thing to happen in the United States.

The Dream Dies

Watching their one-by-one demoralization is painful. Goldman sees the betrayal immediately. Reed becomes an apologist for genocide. Bryant forgets pretending to be political and believing in free love, marries Reed, and tends to his medical needs before his death. O’Neill just becomes a full-time cynic (and drunk). It took Max Eastman longer to lose the faith but he eventually became an anti-socialist and wrote for FEE.

The initial demoralization of the early American communists came in the 1920s. They came to realize that all the warning against this wicked ideology – having been written about for many centuries prior, even back to the ancient world – were true.

Eastman, for example, realized that he was seeking to liberate people by taking from them the three things people love most in life: their families, their religion, and their property. Instead of creating a new heaven on earth, they had become apologists for a killing machine.

Stunned and embarrassed, they moved on with life.

But the history didn’t end there. There were still more recruits being added to the ranks, generations of them. The same thing happened after 1989. Some people lost the faith, others decided that socialism needs yet another chance to strut its stuff.

It’s still going on today.

As for the Communist Party in America, most left-Progressives of the Antifa school regard the Party as an embarrassing sellout, wholly owned by the capitalist elite. And when we see their spokesmen appear on television every four years, they sound not unlike pundits we see on TV every night.

It would be nice if any article written about communism were purely retrospective. That, sadly, is not the case. There seem to be new brands of Marxian thought codified every few years, and still more versions of its Hegelian roots that take on ever more complex ideological iterations (the alt-right is an example).

Why do people become communists? Because human beings are capable of believing in all sorts of illusions, and we are capable of working long and hard to turn them into nightmares. Once we’ve invested the time and energy into something, however destructive, it can take a very long time to wake us up. It’s hard to think of a grander example of the sunk-cost fallacy.

AUTHOR

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is a former Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE: Immigrants Travel To Schools With Warning: Socialism Is Deadly

Immigrants who have fled socialist countries are travelling to schools across the U.S. for free under a new program to teach students about the dangers of socialism.

The Dissident Project launched Monday with speakers set to “travel to high schools across the U.S. to speak to students about authoritarian socialism” at no cost to the schools, Dissident Project founder and Venezuelan-born economist Daniel Di Martino told the Daily Caller.

The speakers include activists from Venezuela, Cuba, Hong Kong and North Korea who have immigrated to the U.S. and are dedicated to speaking about how socialism has destroyed their countries.

Grace Jo, a speaker from North Korea, came to the U.S. after almost starving “to death as a child” under the country’s socialist regime. Two of her brothers and her father died from starvation, according to the Dissident Project’s website.

“All of us Dissident Project speakers came to America for freedom, and it is our duty to preserve that love for freedom among the youngest generation. That’s why we’re stepping up and doing our part so Americans never forget that this is an exceptional nation, that free enterprise and the rule of law made it great and that socialism can destroy it all like it did in our native countries,” Di Martino said.

The project was inspired by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ legislation recognizing a statewide “Victims of Communism Day” annually on Nov. 7 and requiring Florida schools to teach students about “the evils of communism.”

“Honoring the people that have fallen victim to communist regimes and teaching our students about those atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” DeSantis said in a statement about the bill in May.

Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, students in Florida will be mandated to receive at least 45 minutes of instruction in their required U.S. Government class about the evils of communism. Potential topics to cover include “Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet System, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin and the Russian Revolution, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and Nicolás Maduro and the Chavismo movement,” according to the bill.

Di Martino began the Dissident Project “after learning about Florida’s new curriculum.”

“I thought we needed a unified platform where schools could find immigrants from socialist countries to speak there at no cost to them so we could reach every single American,” he said.

The Dissident Project will focus its efforts in speaking to school districts in Florida, given DeSantis’ legislation, but will also advertise the opportunity to teachers across the country, Di Martino concluded. Teachers who wish to host a speaker can do so for free by filling out a form.

AUTHOR

DIANA GLEBOVA

Associate editor. 

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Americanism vs. Communism

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

How Socialism Discourages Work and Creates Poverty

Socialism diminishes people’s incentive to work to improve their circumstances by depriving them of the fruits of their effort.


Advocacy for “socialism,” which the Socialist Party USA defines as a “social and economic order in which workers and consumers control production,” has made a comeback in American politics in recent years. Public figures such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sing its praises. But the truth is that socialism deeply undermines people’s ability (and motivation) to improve their own living conditions. The misery socialism has caused for millions of people refutes its promises—horrifically.

Socialism, advocates claim, will bring prosperity and better living conditions for everyone, a claim also made for communism, in which the government controls the means of production and the distribution of the results. British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote that socialism is “calculated to increase the happiness, not only of proletarians, but of all except a tiny minority of the human race.” As have its advocates throughout history, the now-defunct Socialist Labor Party of America depicted socialism as utopian, writing: “Under socialism our farmlands would yield an abundance without great toil; the factories, mines and mills would be the safest, the most modern, the most efficient possible and productive beyond our wildest dreams—and without laborious work.” The website doesn’t specify how such magic would occur.

The website further insists that socialism would improve virtually every aspect of life, stating: “Our natural resources would be intelligently conserved. Our schools would have the finest facilities and they would be devoted to developing complete human beings, not wages [sic] slaves who are trained to hire themselves out for someone else’s profit. Our hospitals and social services would create and maintain the finest health and recreational facilities.”

But socialist policies, when enacted, have catastrophic effects on the lives of the people living under them. To enforce such policies, governments must take control of people’s property—whether by fully nationalizing businesses, mandating what and how much a company must produce, or seizing and distributing their products—thereby violating people’s right to the product of their own effort. The victims include entrepreneurs who have built or purchased businesses, landlords who maintain and manage properties, and everyone who earns a wage, from construction workers to artists.

By violating these rights, socialism diminishes people’s incentive to work to improve their circumstances by controlling or taking away the results of their effort. However hard you work, whatever you achieve, whatever value you create—it won’t be reflected in your earnings.

The novelist Ayn Rand dramatized the effects of such a doctrine in her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. In the novel, a small town factory enacted Marx’s slogan “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” as policy, so that each person’s pay depended on what managers considered as their level of need compared to their colleagues’. They did this based on such factors as the number of children the employees supported, family members’ illnesses, and so on. People began to spend more time sharing their woes with the management than working, and many of the best employees left the company entirely. Within four years, the factory closed. One character explained the hopelessness the policy created: “What was it we were supposed to want to work for? For the love of our brothers? What brothers? For the bums, the loafers, the moochers we saw all around us? And whether they were cheating or plain incompetent, whether they were unwilling or unable—what difference did that make to us? If we were tied for life to the level of their unfitness, faked or real, how long could we care to go on?”

He explained that the company had once been a thriving one that people were proud to work for, but now hard times were the status quo: “We were beasts of burden struggling blindly in some sort of place that was half-hospital, half-stockyards—a place geared to nothing but disability, disaster, disease—beasts put there for the relief of whatever whoever chose to say was whichever’s need.”

This story, although fictional, points to an important fact about human nature: If people can’t change their situation, they won’t try to. Knowing the outcome in advance, they will feel no motivation to make Herculean efforts for miniscule or nonexistent rewards. As economist Ludwig Von Mises put it:

To make a man act, uneasiness and the image of a more satisfactory state alone are not sufficient. A third condition is required: the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness. In the absence of this condition no action is feasible. Man must yield to the inevitable. He must submit to destiny. [emphasis added]

Socialist policies severely restrict individuals’ ability to improve their conditions, so productivity suffers and living conditions plummet. Historical examples of socialism, as well as modern-day Venezuela and North Korea, show the misery that results.

In Soviet Russia, the government attempted to distribute the results of sixty years of steady GDP growth equally by seizing personal fortunes and dictating wages. But buying power for the average person dropped sharply, and whether a person could actually spend his or her wages was largely dependent on knowing the right people. Economist Mark Harrison explains: “The distribution of consumer goods and services was characterized by shortage and privilege. Every Soviet adult could count on an income, but income did not decide access to goods and services – that depended on political and social status.”

People who lived under the Soviet regime and now live in modern Russia appreciate that they have more opportunities to improve their lives than they used to. Back in 2007, interviewers asked Russians about their memories and opinions of life under the Soviet regime; many of them recalled that the USSR had “fewer possibilities.” One respondent explained, “Now there are so many chances. You can earn enough money even to buy an apartment. Certainly it is very, very difficult, but possible.” Another participant elaborated, “Now I can earn money and there are many ways of doing so. . . . In the Soviet Union, engineers and other technical employees of middle and high rank did not have [a] right to a second job. People who had the time and energy and wanted to provide more for their families could not do it.”

In other words, people were willing to work extremely hard to improve their conditions—but weren’t allowed to.

In Venezuela, socialism has driven a once-prosperous country into the ground. University professors juggle multiple jobs to keep food on the table. Others try to escape a desperate situation; more than six million have fled in recent years, and in 2017 the suicide rate was nearly double the global average. Venezuelans are willing to work to improve their circumstances—but the socialist regime’s oppression and economic destruction consistently frustrate their efforts.

North Korea was conceived as a communist nation following the Second World War, but formally switched to a form of “self-reliant” socialism following the Korean War. The leadership of the Worker’s Party of Korea has brought widespread misery in the form of horrific rights violations, including torture, severe censorship, forced labor, and arbitrary detention. Their policies have also led to nearly half the country suffering from inconsistent access to food and water—in stark contrast to their far more capitalist neighbor, South Korea, which has flourished in recent decades.

Advocates of socialism protest that historical examples of socialism were not “true socialism” or “the right kind of socialism.” But it is socialism—people giving government control of producing things—that undermines people’s ability and willingness to produce and provide for themselves in all these examples.

With free markets, by contrast, people are free to own private property and run businesses without the government dictating production or distribution. People are rewarded for their hard work and ability. By innovating, excelling at work, and creating more and better products or services, they can make more money, which they can use to pay for better living quarters, education, electronics, travel, or other life-improving goods or services produced by others. Hence, in mostly free and capitalistic countries, such as the US, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Hong Kong, people have enjoyed massive economic growth, which has corresponded with a major increase in average living standards.

When human beings struggle, create, and innovate, but their efforts do not improve their own circumstances, they burn out or give up. Marx, Russell, Sanders, and other proponents of socialism and communism claim that their preferred systems are “for the people”—but the truth is that they work against the nature and needs of human beings.

AUTHOR

Angelica Walker-Werth

Angelica Walker-Werth is an Ayn Rand Fellow with FEE’s Hazlitt Project and a recent graduate of Clemson University. She is an assistant editor and writer at The Objective Standard and a fellow and research associate at Objective Standard Institute. Her hobbies include gardening and travel.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

INDEPENDENCE DAY TRUTH: Equal People Are Not Free and Free People Are Not Equal

“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the “I have a dream” speech in Washington, D.C.


Today we are hearing about equality, equity, along with the big lies of “Wokeism.” These words are Marxist false flags that force, via government mandate, the elevation of one group over another group for political purposes.

MAKING PEOPLE EQUAL

The goal of Marxism is to make everyone equal as humans, as workers and as a people. The problem is when this is put into practice the individual is replaced by the state. As the powers of the government increase the freedoms of the individual shrink or disappear completely.

History tells us repeatedly that as government grows the individual shrinks. Just look at the former Soviet Union to understand what is now happening in America.

QUESTION:  Will Independence Day 2021 go down in history as the day we the people lost our freedom?

In The Revolution Betrayed Leon Trotsky wrote:

The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat. Exactly how many Bolsheviks have been expelled, arrested, exiled, exterminated, since 1923, when the era of Bonapartism opened, we shall find out when we go through the archives of Stalin’s political police. How many of them remain in the underground will become known when the shipwreck of the bureaucracy begins.

The people are replaced by government bureaucrats. The laws change from defending individual liberties to taking away the individual and replace the people with crushing state mandates, take the Covid pandemic as a recent example.

Covid shifted power from the individual to that state overnight. The pandemic was used by bureaucrats to take away individual freedom to assemble and replaced it with lockdowns and social distancing.

Covid took away the rights of business to remain open and prosper. It took away individual livelihoods and replace it with government hand outs.

Rev. William J. H. Boetcker spoke of the “Seven National Crimes.”

  • I don’t think.
  • I don’t know.
  • I don’t care.
  • I am too busy.
  • I live well enough alone.
  • I have no time to read and find out.
  • I am not interested.

These seven crimes are the fundamental laws of Wokeism writ large. When we stop thinking, understanding, caring and find ourselves alone, bored and uninformed then our freedom is lost!

A FREE PEOPLE ARE NOT EQUAL

In a truly free society people are never equal. They are different and do things differently throughout their lives. From birth people are influenced by both nature and nurture. No two people are exactly the same when born. The same is true about people who have different life experiences. Even biological twins do not have the same life experiences.

It is fundamental that society understand that it must create opportunities that encourage and use these natural inequalities for the good of all.

The following sentiments were created by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, who lectured around the United States about industrial relations at the turn of the twentieth century. They are all the truth.

  • You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
  • You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
  • You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
  • You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
  • You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
  • You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
  • You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
  • You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
  • You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

There are those who are hell bent on tearing down big men, weakening the strong, destroying the rich, inciting class hatred and taking away man’s initiative and independence.

The founding fathers understood this and that is why they wrote the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

CONCLUSION

QUESTION: How many American patriots have been expelled, arrested, exiled, exterminated, since the 2020 election?

As we Americans approach Independence Day 2021, let us reflect on our freedoms and defend our liberties. If we fail to do so then American, as we have known it, will cease to exist as One Nation Under God and become one nation under big government.

Is this what we want for our children and grandchildren?

I think not.

Have a blessed July 4th.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

RELATED TWEET:

VIDEO: Donald Trump Appeals to Us Because of You!

Reader Cristina sent this explanation (that has been making the rounds) of why Donald Trump will win on November 3rd (or some day thereafter) and although I couldn’t find the author, I found this version of it (and a short YouTube clip echoing the same theme)—we support him because of you!

I’m posting it all because it hits the nail on the head (for me anyway!). LOL! Even if the source turns out to be some Russian campaign!

(Emphasis is mine.)

First, here is a YouTube clip using some of the words and sentiment expressed below:

For Socialists Who Can’t Stand Trump And Can’t Grasp Why Anyone Would Ever Vote For Him…

“If you are a liberal who can’t stand Trump, and cannot possibly fathom why anyone would ever vote for him, let me fill you in.

It’s not that we love Donald Trump so much. It’s that we can’t stand you! And we will do whatever it takes — even if that means electing a rude, obnoxious, unpredictable, narcissist (your words not ours) to the office of President of the United States — because the thing we find more dangerous to this nation than Donald Trump is YOU.How is that possible you might ask?

Well, you have done everything in your power to destroy our country. From tearing down the police, to tearing down our history, to tearing down our borders.From systematically destroying our schools and brainwashing our kids into believing socialism is the answer to anything (despite being an unmitigated failure everywhere), while demonizing religion and faith, and glorifying abortion, violence, and thug culture. From calling us racists every time we expect everyone of any skin color to follow our laws equally to gas lighting us about 52 genders, polyamory, grown men in dresses sharing public locker rooms with little girls, and normalize the sexualization of young children, you simultaneously ridicule us for having the audacity to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or hang a flag on the 4th of July, stand for the national anthem, or (horror of horrors) don a MAGA hat in public.

So much for your “tolerance.”

(See why we think you are just hypocrites??)

We’re also not interested in the fact that you think you can unilaterally decide that 250 years of the right-to-bear-arms against a tyrannical or ineffective government should be abolished because you can’t get the violence in the cities you manage under control. That free-speech should be tossed out the window, and that those who disagree with your opinions are fair game for public harassment or doxing. That spoiled children with nose-rings and tats who still live off their parent’s dime should be allowed to destroy cities and peoples livelihoods without repercussions. That chaos, and lawlessness, and disrespect for authority should be the norm. This is your agenda. And you wonder why we find you more dangerous than Donald Trump?

Your narrative is a constant drone of oppressor/oppressed race-baiting intended to divide the country in as many ways as you possibly can. You love to sell “victim-hood” to people of color every chance you get because it’s such an easy sell, compared to actually teaching people to stand on their own two feet and take personal responsibility for their own lives and their own communities and their own futures. But you won’t do that, you will never do that, because then you will lose control over people of color. They might actually start thinking for themselves, God forbid!

This is why we will vote for Donald Trump.

Not because he is the most charming character on the block. Not because he is the most polite politician to have ever graced the oval office. Not because he is the most palatable choice, or because we love his moral character or because the man never lies, but because we are sick to death of you and all of the destructive crap you are doing to this once beautiful and relatively safe country.

Your ineffective and completely dysfunctional liberal “leadership”(?) has literally destroyed our most beautiful cities, our public education system, and done it’s damnedest to rip faith out of people’s lives. However bad Donald Trump may be, and he is far from perfect, every day we look at you and feel that no matter what Donald Trump says or does there is no possible way he could be any worse for our country than you people are.

We are sick to death of your stupid, destructive, ignorant, and intolerant behavior and beliefs — parading as “wokeness.” We are beyond sick of your hypocrisy and B.S.

We are fed up with your disrespectful divisiveness and constant unrelenting harping and whining and complaining (while you live in the most privileged nation in the world), while making literally zero contributions of anything positive to our society. Your entire focus is on ripping things down, never ever building anything up. Think about that as there is something fundamentally very wrong in the psychology of people who choose destruction as their primary modus operandi. When Donald J Trump is reelected, don’t blame us, look in the mirror and blame yourselves.

Because you are the ones that are responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. You are the ones who have created this “monster” that you so despise, by your very actions.

By your refusal to respect your fellow Americans, and the things that are important to us. You have made fun of the “fly-over states,” the people who “cling to their guns and religion,” the middle class factory workers and coal miners and underprivileged rural populations that you dismissively call “yahoos” and “deplorables.” You have mocked our faith and our religion. You have mocked our values and our patriotism. You have trampled our flag and insulted our veterans and treated our first responders with contempt and hatred.

You have made environmentalism your religion, while trashing every city you have taken responsibility for. You scream from the rooftops about “global warming” and a “green new deal” while allowing tens of thousands of homeless people to cover your streets in literal sh!t and garbage and needles and plastic waste without doing a single thing to help them or solve the environmental crisis your failed social policies are creating. But we’re supposed to put YOU in charge of the environment while gutting our entire economy to institute this plan when you can’t even clean up a single city??

You complain — endlessly — yet have failed to solve a single social problem anywhere. In fact, all you have done is create more of them. We’ve had enough. We are tired of quietly sitting by and being the “silent” majority. So don’t be surprised when the day comes when we finally respond. And trust me it’s coming, sooner than you might think. And also trust me when I say it won’t be pretty. Get ready.

When Donald Trump is reelected it will be because you and your “comrades” have chosen to trash the police, harass law-abiding citizens, and go on rampages destroying public property that we have all paid for and you have zero respect for. When Donald Trump is reelected it will be because we are sick of your complete and utter nonsense and destruction. How does it feel to know that half of this country finds you FAR more despicable than Donald J. Trump, the man you consider to be the anti-Christ?
Let that sink in.

We consider you to be more despicable, more dangerous, more stupid, and more narcissistic than Donald Trump. Maybe allow yourself a few seconds of self-reflection to let that sink in. This election isn’t about Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden.

This is about Donald Trump vs YOU!

So if on the morning of November 4 (or more likely January 19, by the time the Supreme Court will weigh in on the mail-in ballot fiasco that we are headed towards), and Donald J. Trump is reelected, the only people you have to blame is the left-wing media drones and yourselves.

You did this. Yep you.

If Trump does not win there are millions of Americans who will be looking for a political way to oppose the Harris/Biden Administration’s every move by keeping the Trump legacy alive. I know it is a cliché, but the sleeping giant is awake.

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

AOC: ‘Freeing People’ From ‘Existential Havoc’ of Capitalism

In a conversation with the online Interview Magazine published Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) promoted fellow Democratic Socialist Jabari Brisport from New York as another candidate who hopes to fundamentally transform the country.

AOC asked the openly gay, black nominee for the New York State Senate what Democratic Socialist means to him, Brisport replied, “For me, it’s really about getting people out from underneath the thumb of capitalism, and freeing them from the very small group of people that manage—or I should say mismanage—our economy and our society for their own wealth and benefit. It’s about freeing up people to truly experience all the joys in life by making sure they don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be able to keep their home from month to month, or whether or not they’ll be able to pay for health care when they get sick.

“It’s about freeing people from all the existential havoc that capitalism wreaks on us, and allowing them to truly thrive,” Brisport added.

The duo didn’t offer any examples of where and when in history people have truly thrived under socialism.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

27 Known Connections

Lauding the Protesters and Rioters in America’s Streets

In an August 2020 photo essay in which Vanity Fair magazine “celebrat[ed] the founders of Black Lives Matter [BLM] … and more on the forefront of change,” Ocasio-Cortez called it “profoundly exciting” that the Marxist/anarchist revolutionaries of BLM and Antifa were “discovering their own power” by participating in the massive wave of protests and violent riots that had swept the country since late May. Some excerpts:

  • “I believe that people are really discovering their own power in a broader sense that we have not seen in a very long time. So, yes, we’re starting to see some of this emerging power at the ballot box and at the polls, but we’re also starting to see it in the streets, and people standing up for themselves in the workplace, in organizing themselves and their labor, and it’s profoundly exciting. And it’s really incredible to see how people are really taking the reins for themselves in the direction of systemic change.”
  • “I think that all these people in the streets that are educating others, that are engaging in this elevated and amplified way, have really emboldened me, and it’s given me a lot of courage and encouragement to try to match the energy of everyone else right now who’s really fighting for progressive change.”

To learn more about Ocasio-Cortez, click on her profile click here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

When Democrats Say ‘the People,’ They Mean ‘the Government’

In his inaugural address, Donald Trump announced that,

“today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the American People. For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered — but the jobs left, and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country…. That all changes — starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.”

These were stirring words, but they were the sort of thing presidents have said for ages. Back in his first inaugural address in 1913, Woodrow Wilson decried the fact that “the great Government we loved has too often been made use of for private and selfish purposes, and those who used it had forgotten the people.” In his first inaugural address in 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower asserted that “we, the people, elect leaders not to rule but to serve.” And in his January 1996 state of the union address, Bill Clinton declared: “We know big government does not have all the answers. We know there’s not a program for every problem. We have worked to give the American people a smaller, less bureaucratic government in Washington. And we have to give the American people one that lives within its means. The era of big government is over… Our goal must be to enable all our people to make the most of their own lives — with stronger families, more educational opportunity, economic security, safer streets, a cleaner environment in a safer world.”

However, as Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster explains, Trump’s declaration that he was transferring power back to the people actually heralded a move away from big government, not toward it. Trump’s words didn’t herald a push to expand government power under the guise of working for the people. On the contrary, he was determined to expand the freedom Americans enjoyed and roll back government power. A new era had begun in American politics: for the first time in over a century, the rule of “the people” did not mean the rule of the government.

This equation has been taken for granted since the election of 1896, when a key issue was currency. The Republican platform committed the party to the gold standard, which prevented the production of so much currency as to lead to inflation. A minority of Republicans and a significant majority of Democrats, however, supported the free coinage of silver, which would lead to inflation and thereby make it easier for farmers to pay off their debts. That rapidly rising prices were rendering the life savings of Americans essentially worthless did not trouble the silver advocates, who cloaked their case for what was essentially the government’s assumption of the debts of private citizens in the language of support for the plight of the common man. Forgotten in all the controversy was that when the government does something, it is the taxpayers who pay for it.

President Grover Cleveland supported the gold standard, but toward the end of his second term, he was deeply unpopular, and the silver forces among the Democrats were restive. At the Democratic National Convention, a handsome and vigorous thirty-six-year-old congressman from Nebraska named William Jennings Bryan electrified the delegates with a speech in favor of the free coinage of silver that is one of the most celebrated pieces of oratory in American history. “You come to us,” Bryan declared, “and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.”

Rating America’s Presidents explains that Bryan sounded notes of class warfare that would become ever more common in American politics: “We do not come as aggressors. Our war is not a war of conquest; we are fighting in the defense of our homes, our families, and posterity. We have petitioned, and our petitions have been scorned; we have entreated, and our entreaties have been disregarded; we have begged, and they have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them!” In conclusion, he thundered: “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”

In a frenzy of enthusiasm over this populist appeal, the Democrats nominated Bryan for president. This marked a sea change for the Democratic Party, as the party that had always favored a limited central government now began to advocate for a massive increase of federal control over the economy, under the cloak of a concern for the common man.

Bryan lost, and lost two more times, but his ideas took hold. By the time of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Democratic Party, and a significant and growing portion of the American public, took it for granted that taking an industry or sector of the economy out of private hands and placing it under government control was tantamount to giving it to “the people.” It is such a compelling sleight of hand that Communist regimes also used it for decades.

But then came Trump, who actually meant “the people” when he said “the people.” And that’s one principal reason why the statists who hitherto championed themselves as guardians of the interests of “the people” hate him with such incandescent intensity.

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De Blasio Quotes Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto in Discussion on Relationship with NYC Business Community

No pretense anymore. None. The Mayor of the capital of capitalism is imposing governance based on the most brutal, anti-human ideology in human history.

The Communists’ chief purpose is to destroy every form of independence—independent work, independent action, independent property, independent thought, an independent mind, or an independent man. Conformity, alikeness, servility, submission and obedience are necessary to establish a Communist slave-state. Ayn Rand

[…]

It is the Communists’ intention to make people think that personal success is somehow achieved at the expense of others and that every successful man has hurt somebody by becoming successful. It is the Communists’ aim to discourage all personal effort and to drive men into a hopeless, dispirited, gray herd of robots who have lost all personal ambition, who are easy to rule, willing to obey and willing to exist in selfless servitude to the State. Ayn Rand

Who will he quote next? Hitler?

De Blasio Quotes Marx’s Communist Manifesto in Discussion on Relationship with NYC Business Community

By: Zachary Evans,National Review, July 24, 2020

New York mayor Bill de Blasio quoted Karl Marx when outlining the relationship he wanted his office to have with the city’s business community, in an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC.

Host Brian Lehrer asked de Blasio how the mayor was approaching businesses for help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Lehrer said that the mayor was not known for extensive outreach to the business community given his focus on issues of wealth inequality.

“There’s an underlying truth in the fact that my focus has not been on the business community and the elite,” de Blasio said. “I am tempted to borrow a quote from Karl Marx here…”

“They’ll love that on Wall Street,” Lehrer interjects.

“Yes they will,” de Blasio laughs. “There’s a famous quote that ‘the state is the executive committee of the bourgeoisie,’ and I use that openly to say no, I read that as a young person and thought, well, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.”

The quote comes from the first chapter of Marx’s Communist Manifesto, in which Marx outlines his theory of the progressive advancement of the class of the bourgeoisie at the expense of the proletariat.

The mayor continued in the interview, “We need to work with the business community, we will work with the business community, but the city government represents the people, represents working people….A lot of folks have just sort of hit a wall when I say guys, you’re gonna have to pay more taxes, and we’re gonna have policies that favor working people more.”

De Blasio ended by saying he knows that many businesses want to help with a “comeback” for the city, and that his administration “really appreciate[s] that.”

The interview was not the first time de Blasio has quoted a communist figure. In 2019, the mayor apologized after quoting communist revolutionary Che Guevara at a rally of striking airport workers in Miami.

“I did not know the phrase I used in Miami today was associated with Che Guevara & I did not mean to offend anyone who heard it that way. I certainly apologize for not understanding that history,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter after backlash from Miami’s Latino community, many of whom are Cuban exiles.


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Pence: ‘Socialism Has Failed … Freedom Works’ [Video]

Vice President Mike Pence warned a gathering of conservative activists Thursday about the perils of socialism and its historical record of failure.

“Socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried, in every era in every continent. Freedom works,” Pence told a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. “It was freedom and not socialism that ended slavery, ended two world wars, [and] has made America a beacon of hope.”

The vice president, tasked with leading the government’s response to the coronavirus, also said Americans “expect us to work together” to keep the public safe.

Pence repeated President Donald Trump’s vow that “America will never be a socialist country” as he noted that the ideology has gained in popularity among lawmakers on the left in Congress as well as on college campuses.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Socialism is being sold as a promise of better health care and a cleaner environment, Pence said.

“The reality of socialism is different,” the vice president said. “The truth is, citizens in the most free countries in the world earn seven times more than citizens in the least free countries.”

Pence noted Venezuela’s grave problems and shortages as the country is in the midst of a struggle for freedom against what the Trump administration considers dictator Nicolas Maduro’s illegitimate government.

“Venezuela was once the second-wealthiest country in our hemisphere,” Pence said. “Then we wake up after a decade of a socialist dictatorship. Almost 5 million people in that country have fled to neighboring lands.”

Pence spoke about a woman from Venezuela who said her grandchildren had to rise at 4 a.m. to get a ticket to stand in line to buy a piece of bread in the afternoon.

“This president and this administration will continue to stand with the people of Venezuela,” Pence said.

The vice president also said the Democratic Party has embraced socialism.

“Whether it’s called ‘Medicare for All’ or a ‘Green New Deal,’ Democrats have embraced socialism,” he said. “History tells us it has literally impoverished millions of people and robbed the liberty of generations.”

Pence began by speaking about the coronavirus one day after Trump put the vice president in charge of the federal government’s response. The vice president said:

We’re all in this together. This is not the time for partisanship. The American people expect us to work together. … I promise you this administration will work with leaders in both parties, on the state and local level. This president will always put the health and safety of America first.

Pence said the White House’s coronavirus task force has met daily and that as of Thursday, 15 known cases of the disease have been detected in the United States.

“The risk to the American public remains low,” Pence said. “We are ready for anything.”

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs Thursday through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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Of Workers and Wealth

Pope Leo XIII: Whether we have wealth or lack it makes no difference. What matters is to justly use what we have, especially if we are rich.


The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view that the direct contrary is the truth.

Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity.

Now, in preventing such strife as this, and in uprooting it, the efficacy of Christian institutions is marvellous and manifold. First of all, there is no intermediary more powerful than religion (whereof the Church is the interpreter and guardian) in drawing the rich and the working class together, by reminding each of its duties to the other, and especially of the obligations of justice.

Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss.

The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers – that is truly shameful and inhuman.

Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence, the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings.

Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex and age. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless, before deciding whether wages are fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labor should be mindful of this – that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one’s profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine.

To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. “Behold, the hire of the laborers. . .which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen’s earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the laboring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred. Were these precepts carefully obeyed and followed out, would they not be sufficient of themselves to keep under all strife and all its causes?

But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death.

Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery.

The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation – that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place.

As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them-so far as eternal happiness is concerned – it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. . . .

Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ – threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord – and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess.

– from Rerum Novarum (1891)

Bernie Is a Capitalist, Whether He Likes It or Not

Sen. Bernie Sanders belatedly released his tax returns this week. The New York Times reported:

The returns show that Mr. Sanders’s earnings shot up after his first presidential bid, when he built up a vast national following. He and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, reported income that topped $1 million in 2016 and 2017, lifted by proceeds from his books.

The couple had an adjusted gross income of $561,293 in 2018, according to their most recent tax return. Mr. Sanders had about $393,000 in book income last year, and he and his wife reported giving nearly $19,000 to charity.

His income now puts him within the top 1 percent of taxpayers, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service.

Apparently, nothing succeeds like penalizing success.

Sen. Sanders said, “I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.” But his incarnation as John Galt didn’t last. In a Fox News town-hall, Bret Baier asked him“When you wrote the book and you made the money, isn’t that the definition of capitalism and the American dream?”

After an uncomfortable pause, the senator answered, “No.”

But he is wrong. Having an idea, acting on it, and making a pile of money is the very definition of successful entrepreneurship.

Sen. Sanders took a laptop costing a few hundred dollars and produced, in Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, a document for which he was paid $795,000. Taking an input valued at a few hundred dollars and turning it into an output worth $795,000 is the essence of entrepreneurial capitalism.

And Senator Sanders is right—he deserves that money. In January 2018, an estimated 73 percent of US adults owned either a desktop or a laptop. That’s 187.4 million people. How many of them produced a word document worth $795,000? Very few. No doubt Jersey Shore’s Snooki used a laptop like Sen. Sanders’ to produce Gorilla Beach, her debut novel, but there were more people willing to pay—and pay more money—for Sen. Sanders’ book. Value is subjective, after all. By providing greater satisfaction, Sen. Sanders reaped greater rewards.

Sen. Sanders and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 26 percent, well below the levels of 70 percent or so he claims “the 1 percent”—which includes him—ought to pay. They topped this up with $19,000 in charitable donations, another 3.4 percent of their income.

But if Sen. Sanders really thinks he isn’t having enough of his income taken from him, he can solve this situation unilaterally, and he can do it today—without waiting for Congress. He can donate his money to the federal government.

On Wednesday night, Tucker Carlson asked a Sanders supporter, Nomiki Konst, why he didn’t do just that. “Because that’s not how our government functions,” she replied, “Where do you send that form? The IRS? ‘Hi IRS, here’s a cheque for 70 percent?’”

No, you send it to the Treasury, as their website clearly instructs.

“Who does that?” she went on, “I would love to see one guest on your show that has actually written an entire paycheck.” In fact, so far in 2019, the Treasury has received $3.7 million in “Gift Contributions to Reduce Debt Held by the Public.” Carlson could get one of these donors on his show.

There’s an old line that “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” Konst’s argument shows how hollow that phrase really is.

Sen. Sanders has a choice, as do the members of the so-called Patriotic Millionaires. If they truly feel that politicians are not getting enough money to spend, they can give them some more. They can choose to “Be the change.” But they don’t. They will only act on their professed desire if other people are forced to act along with them. For all their talk about wanting to give the government more money, they make such payment contingent on other people who may not want to do so being forced to by law.

This is a curious form of generosity. It is an even more curious form of choice. Where is the choice for the people who think they already pay enough in tax? Government is not simply the name we give to the things we “choose to do together,” it is the name we give to things where 51 percent of people choose something, and the other 49 percent have to go along. As economist Milton Friedman once wrote, “You may get to vote once a year—on what? On a long, long list of propositions, with very little relationship between your vote and what ultimately happens.”

Sen. Sanders claims to be a socialist, and socialism is often described as “sharing.” But there is nothing inherently socialist about sharing. You can just as easily share under capitalism. Indeed, the latest World Giving Index produced by the Charities Aid Foundation listed the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands—all seven of them capitalist countries—in the top 10 most charitable countries over the last five years. By contrast, Venezuela, formerly Sen. Sanders’s poster child for “democratic” socialism, ranked a miserly 115th in 2017.

In 2011, the year when Sen. Sanders was boosting Venezuela, it ranked 118th compared to first place for the capitalist USA. But then, according to the World Bank, in 2011, GDP per capita in the US was $49,000 compared to just $14,000 in Venezuela*. Under capitalism, you actually have something to share. As Margaret Thatcher once put it,

No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money, as well.

Giving your money voluntarily—what most people would think of as sharing—is not what socialists actually mean by the word. That is why Sen. Sanders and the Patriotic Millionaires refuse to give the federal government their money voluntarily while a mechanism exists to do so and others are already using it. Their idea of sharing is that the government takes money from somebody else to hand it out as it sees fit. We already have a degree of this in capitalist societies. Today’s socialists want to increase the amount of people’s wealth that passes through the hands of the government.

The socialist notion of “sharing” is nothing of the kind. Sharing is voluntary, this is coerced. It is not sharing but coercion that is the essence of socialism. As the British author Kingsley Amis—a youthful socialist who came to support Thatcher—put it, “if socialism is not about compulsion, it is about nothing.”

* In constant 2010 dollars

COLUMN BY

John Phelan

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment and fellow of The Cobden Centre.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission.

‘Put Socialism on Trial,’ Larry Kudlow Urges

Larry Kudlow, director of the president’s National Economic Council, called Thursday for putting socialism “on trial”—and convicting it. 

“I want you, and everybody in this room and your friends and your neighbors, I want you to put socialism on trial, that’s what I’m asking,” Kudlow said, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington.

“I don’t want us to stand idly by,” he told the CPAC audience. “I don’t want to let this stuff fester. I want it challenged. I want it debated. I want it rebutted. I want to convict socialism.” 

The top economic adviser to President Donald Trump noted the emergence of support for socialism among young voters and among Democrats in Congress. 

He singled out the so-called Green New Deal, a proposal backed by congressional Democrats in the form of a resolution sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. 

The Democrats’ plan would move the country away from fossil fuels while implementing a raft of liberal initiatives. 

Kudlow called the proposal “central planning on a grand scale.” 

“The Green New Deal would literally destroy the economy. Literally,” Kudlow said. “It would knock out energy, transportation, airlines, jobs, business. We’d probably lose 10 to 15 percent of our GDP. That’s remarkable. But that’s what our opponents and critics are saying.” 

Kudlow added: “About $75 trillion is the total cost of the Green New Deal and its associated policies.”

He called for Americans to be armed with facts. 

“Tax the rich. Tax wealth. Wealthy, successful people don’t pay their fair share,” Kudlow said, echoing the left’s arguments. 

“The top 1 percent of income earners pay about 40 percent of taxes,” he said, ticking off some facts. “The top 10 percent pays nearly 70 percent. The bottom 50 percent pays 3 percent. So, who pays the taxes? Successful people.”

“So don’t let this ‘tax fairness’ debate go by,” Kudlow urged his audience. “Use the numbers.”

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.

COLUMN BY

Portrait of Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image of Karl Marx is by Wikimedia Commons.

Globalism: Persuading the Individual to Stop Being an Individual

If society understood the reality of collectivism instead of the promise of collectivism then their support for collectivism would vanish.

The elite globalist leaders selling collectivism know this to be true and so they have had to rebrand collectivism as Globalism. Songs are written about globalism – John Lennon’s classic song “Imagine” is the globalist anthem. The successful marketing of collectivism requires the names to change from already rejected Communism and faltering Socialism (think Venezuela) to the promise of a New World Order renamed GLOBALISM that disingenuously pledges social justice and income equality.

Globalism is the new word for the old lie about collectivism – that surrendering individual rights and national sovereignty will deliver social justice and income equality.  

Philosopher Ayn Rand understood the sinister nature of collectivism and and wrote extensively about socialism/communism and how it persuades the individual to stop being an individual:

“Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good.” 

The Islamization of Europe and the West demonstrates how mass social indoctrination toward collectivism leads to cultural suicide and the death of the individual.

Ayn Rand writes:

“When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.” No human rights can exist without property rights. Since material goods are produced by the mind and effort of individual men, and are needed to sustain their lives, if the producer does not own the result of his effort, he does not own his life. To deny property rights means to turn men into property owned by the state. Whoever claims the “right” to “redistribute” the wealth produced by others is claiming the “right” to treat human beings as chattel.”

Europe’s surrender of its national sovereignty began after WWII with the 1957 Treaty of Rome that created the European Economic Committee (EEC) which eventually became the European Union(EU) of today. Internationalizing Europe’s sovereign nation states into the EU left the United States as the single greatest obstacle to one-world government.

Macron’s victory in France is a victory for collectivism at the expense of French sovereignty and French individualism represented by Marine Le Pen. It is a surrender to postmodern moral relativism, and historical revisionism designed to destroy democracy and its incomparable individual rights and freedoms. The question is WHO benefits from Macron’s victory?? The globalist elite of course. Socialism (total government control) is the death of democracy and is the prerequisite for internationalizing nation states and the imposition of one-world government Globalism. The greatest single obstacle to one-world government is the nation state. National sovereignty is to a country what individual sovereignty is to a human being.

The left-wing liberal agenda seeks to destroy the socio-political capitalist infrastructure of America and transform it into a dependent European-style socialist state with cradle to grave control by the government. Their strategy is to destroy American democracy by dismantling the supporting American institutions of family, religion, and education that promote independence, adulthood, individualism, and ego strength – the same qualities that made America great.

Ayn Rand warns us:

“Socialism is not a movement of the people. It is a movement of the intellectuals, originated, led and controlled by the intellectuals, carried by them out of their stuffy ivory towers into those bloody fields of practice where they unite with their allies and executors: the thugs.” 

American education, our elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities, are a specific target and field of practice. The anarchists, socialists, and hippies of the 60s have become the teachers and professors now indoctrinating their students toward collectivism. The problem, of course, is that these narcissistic intellectuals have never lived under collectivist tyranny – they are armchair pundits living in subjective reality. Anyone interested in the objective reality of collectivism should be listening to those who have escaped from its tyrannical rule.

The entire narrative of the Left is designed to induce regression through educational indoctrination and the media – as Hillary Clinton famously remarked they need “an unaware compliant public.” Unaware and compliant are the hallmarks of childhood. The pitch might sound good to a childish mind who is seduced by candy from a stranger but the adult mind understands the sinister end-game. Once the public is entirely dependent on the government they lose all individual rights and national sovereignty as the socialized state becomes part of the internationalized one-world government. The doors of the car lock and there is no escape – only exploitation and enslavement.

One-world government is the big lie of the 21st century. It promises redistribution of wealth and social justice. What it delivers is unapologetically described in chilling detail by globalist elite English aristocrat Lord Bertrand Russell in his 1952 book The Impact of Science on Society.

The left-wing liberal lemmings are the useful idiots who are too arrogant to understand that they are participating in their own destruction. They have been indoctrinated to believe they are fighting for “social justice” when in fact they are helping to establish the dystopian nightmare of one-world government where there is no middle class, no upward mobility, no national sovereignty, and no individual freedoms. There is only the ruling elite and the enslaved population who service them.

The left-wing liberal lemmings in Europe and in America should take a break from marching and “resisting” and start reading Bertrand Russell’s The Impact of Science on Society written in 1952. They will learn that their script was written 65 years ago by the globalist elites who dreamed of one-world government – a binary socio-political system of masters and slaves.

The globalist elite’s New World Order was their self-serving answer to the Malthusian problem of the earth not having enough resources to sustain the population growth. Tavistock Institute was exported to America with the purpose of indoctrinating Americans via education and the media – particularly television – the greatest vehicle for mass social engineering ever invented. The Hollywood glitterati and the protesting hoards should take a pause and understand there is no place for them in the New World Order – they are simply useful idiots who will be destroyed.

The aristocratic Lord Bertrand Russell and the late David Rockefeller had no moral problem with eliminating the useless eaters any more than Hitler with exterminating Jews, Islamists with exterminating infidels, or the Chinese Emperors with burying their concubines alive to service them in the afterlife. The point is elitism is supremacist – there is no egalitarian respect for human life only the pretense of humanitarian considerations. The Left and the Islamists have common cause in trying to destroy America from within – but it is the globalist elites who finance and disingenuously facilitate both groups because the social chaos they each engender is a prerequisite for imposing globalist one-world government. For the globalist elite whether in Europe or in America, the Left and the Islamists are BOTH useful idiots.

Socialism will never provide social justice – it will only provide the pathway to one-world government where no individual rights or self-determination exist. Socialism strips the individual of his selfness and transforms that individual into property of the state. The individual who willingly forfeits his selfness for socialism has been successfully persuaded to stop being an individual. Socialism is not a free ride it is slavery.

Your Socialism is Bad and You Should Feel Bad by Daniel J. Mitchell

I’m tempted to say that statism is sort of like a cult. Proponents of socialism and other big-government ideologies have a dogmatic zeal that blinds them to reality.

For instance, no nation has ever become rich with big government. But that doesn’t stop leftists from advocating in favor of higher taxes and more coercive redistribution.

They are equally capable of rationalizing that economic misery in places such as Greece and Venezuela has nothing to do with bad policy, and you can even find a few zealots willing to defend basket cases such as Cuba and North Korea.

So long as they don’t burn me at the stake for my heretical views, I guess I won’t get too agitated by their bizarre fetish for statism.

But I will periodically mock them. And that’s the purpose of today’s column. We’ll start with this nice comparison between a capitalist grocery store and a socialist grocery store. I have no idea, by the way, if the lower image actually is a supermarket in a socialist country, but let’s not forget that a real-world version of this comparison is one of the reasons there’s no longer an Evil Empire.

But the bad news about socialism is not limited to economic deprivation for the masses.

The system also leads in many cases to totalitarianism (see this article by Marian Tupy, for example).

Venezuela is a particularly poignant example. Once the richest nation in Latin America, it now is an economic laggard and also is a cesspool of oppression.

Which makes this set of images from Reddit‘s libertarian page both funny and sad.

As you might expect, Milton Friedman had some very pointed observations on this topic.

The really good part starts shortly before 2:00. He explains very clearly that socialism is based on force and coercion.

I’ve saved the best for last.

The PotL sent me this collection of risky temptations and it perfectly captures the attitude of many statists. No matter how many times socialism has failed, they never learn the appropriate lesson. It just hasn’t been tried by the right people, they tell us. Or been imposed in the right circumstances.

So they want us to give it one more try, just like a person with no willpower will eat one more bite of chocolate.

Which is the same message you find here, here, and here.

Incidentally, this analysis not only applies to socialism, as technically defined, but it also applies to redistributionism. Which is definitely more benign, but nonetheless produces bad results.

The bottom line is that statism is a recipe for stagnation and free markets are a route to prosperity.

Republished from International Liberty.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review.

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