Have you been struck with disbelief, as I have, at how Socialism is being embraced by Millennials in America?
This is due to revisionist historians writing their own version of American History. Actually, they rewrite the history of the entire world in much the same way.
I’m a baby boomer and sadly but inevitably, we are dying off. Many of our children, who are now grown, have not a clue about Socialism and how it invariably morphs into Communism.
They also do not understand that in a Communist State, belief in God is forbidden. The State demands the obedience and worship of its subjects.
They will NOT compete with God.
Our young people have been indoctrinated by Socialist professors on campuses across the nation. We send our children off to college, hoping that they get a good education – NOT A LEFTIST INDOCTRINATION.
And before the reader says to me “But we sent our children to Christian colleges” please understand that most of these institutions have been infiltrated by Left leaning professors as well. Can you say SOCIAL JUSTICE GOSPEL?
Our children do not understand that Socialism is an ideology, while Communism is the vehicle which must come into play to ENFORCE Socialism.
Many of the young people marching for Socialism and their undying love for Bernie Sanders, do not understand that their way of life in America – the things they own which they take for granted, would be luxuries under a Communist regime.
The Freedom to speak out against other points of view would be gone. Speaking against a Communist State will get one killed. But Bernie presents Socialism in a positive way, knowing full well that his adoring young followers are ignorant of what Socialism truly is, and the horrors of Communist Totalitarian regimes which have slaughtered Millions of people throughout history.
Tell your children to read a book published before 1960 about Joseph Stalin and how many people in Russia were slaughtered under his regime!
He was a monster who enjoyed watching the executions!
This article was written in “2016.” Sometimes Politico surprises me with truth – and this is one of those times.
How Did America Forget What ‘Socialist’ Means?
Marion Smith is executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C.
With Obama cuddling up to Cuba, it’s time to remind ourselves of the evils of socialism.
In 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt sought reelection to the presidency, some of his critics labeled him a “socialist.” The charge was so incendiary that the White House moved quickly to rebut it, labeling it an accusation “which no patriotic, honorable, decent citizen would purposefully inject into American affairs.”
That was then. Today, in America, for the first time in nearly a century, socialism is not a dirty word, or a shunned label, for many people. On the contrary. President Barack Obama, with a minimum of controversy, has reopened relations with the unabashedly socialist regime in Cuba, demanding almost no concessions in exchange for becoming the first U.S. president in 88 years to visit the island. (Indeed, on the eve of the president’s arrival, Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that Cuba—together with China—was committed to the “irreversibility of socialism.”)
Meanwhile, the overwhelming and seemingly improbable support among America’s youth for the 74-year-old Bernie Sanders—a self-described democratic socialist who once proudly defended communist dictatorships across the world—is the latest example of a historical illiteracy that treats socialism as a benign economic system that is more equitable and fair than capitalism. A Pew poll from June 2015 shows a staggering 69 percent of voters under 30 expressing a willingness to vote for a socialist for president of the United States. This was well before Sanders’ electoral successes in the early Democratic primaries. A more recent YouGov survey found that voters under 30 actually have a higher opinion of socialism (43 percent in favor) than they do of capitalism (32 percent in favor).
“For older people, socialism is associated with communism and the Soviet Union and the Cold War,” says Michelle Diggles, a senior policy analyst at Third Way, a liberal D.C. think tank. “The oldest millennials were 8 years old when the Berlin Wall fell. They have never known a world where the Soviet Union exists. … The connotations associated with the word ‘socialism’ just don’t exist with millennials.”
Watching the false hope of socialism be resurrected amid ignorance of basic 20th century history is particularly distressing for me. I am a millennial American myself, but I am also head of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. I have dedicated my professional life to honoring the millions who paid with their lives so that totalitarian leaders could build their socialist “utopias.”
Many are still paying. Today, 20 percent of the world’s population continues to live under communist regimes, in China, Vietnam, Cuba, Laos and North Korea. These countries are some of the worst violators of human rights in history. China operates its own “gulag” system of labor camps for political prisoners. The Castros in Cuba—the Obama administration’s newest friends—routinely throw their opponents in prison, despite Raúl Castro’s misleading comments at his news conference with Obama on Monday. There remain more than 50 political prisoners in Cuba, which the Castro government denies.
Maybe we should have seen this loss of historical memory coming nearly 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Perhaps we should have heard the alarm bells of a 2011 Newsweek survey that reported 73 percent of Americans “couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War” in response to a question taken from the official test for U.S. citizenship. Ignorance of socialism and America’s decadeslong struggle against it has become the norm, and the data suggest this norm will only harden as a generation of Americans pass away and national memory fades.
For a generation with no memory of bomb shelter drills or sledgehammers smashing the Berlin Wall to pieces, the sad reality of life under socialist rule has been forgotten, and the lessons of the Cold War have been relegated to the “ash heap of history” alongside communism. Instead, the concept of socialism has often been confused with liberalism. Socialism seems like a fine idea that means a more social equitable society for everyone—free health care and free education for starters. Socialism conjures the image of a place like Sweden and Denmark, which contrary to popular belief, are not socialist systems at all. In fact, Danish Prime Minster Lars Lokke Rasmussen responded to claims by Senator Bernie Sanders that the Scandinavian countries were socialist by saying: “Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”
Socialism is not roads, welfare, and free education. Socialism has always had a more ominous goal and shares close historical and ideological connections with more reviled terms: Marxism and communism. Karl Marx took socialism to what he viewed as its natural conclusion: The “abolition of private property.”
Class warfare is a long-running theme in socialism, even in this country. American socialist (and failed presidential candidate) Eugene Debs promised a world where “no man will work to make a profit for another.” Even earlier, French socialist Jean Jaurès lamented: “All this misery, all this injustice and disorder, results from the fact that one class monopolizes the means of production and of life, and imposes its laws on another class and on society as a whole.” Jaurés said that to equalize things, “to break down the supremacy of one class,” the ultimate “aim of socialism, whether collectivist or communist, is to transform capitalist property into social property.”
The process of transforming “capitalist property”—that is, something legitimately purchased, inherited or otherwise earned—into “social property” for everyone is when socialism becomes sinister. This promise of redistribution always involves winners and losers picked by the government. What if one has acquired capitalist property and does not wish it to become “social property?” Well, then the government might have to step in and take it.
The loss of private property—which ensures one’s independent livelihood—perforce erodes one’s ability to exercise free speech. What if the owner of some capitalist property taken by the government dares to protest its seizure? That sort of dissent must be stifled to maintain order, so free speech is replaced by government-sanctioned propaganda. Unpopular opinions are shamed, and those expressing them are barred from forums like colleges and universities.
How do we know? Because we’ve seen it happen time and again. Ninety-nine years ago the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia showed the danger of combining socialist ideas with totalitarian violence, which created modern totalitarian communism. It was Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin who expressed a sort of unifying theory, finally achieving Marx’s goals. “In striving for socialism,” Lenin said in 1917, “we are convinced it will develop into communism.” The result in more than 40 national experiments since then has been either totalitarian dictatorship or economic collapse, costing some 100 million lives before the communist experiment collapsed in Europe and the Soviet Union.
To be sure, not everyone in these societies was a loser, which gets at one of the great paradoxes of all socialist systems: the extreme inequality that allows a cabal of party members to control the political and economic power in a country to the exclusion of an overwhelming majority of the citizens. Only socialist countries have achieved the tragic distinction of launching rockets into outer space while millions of their citizens starve to death in famine. Now that’s inequality!
The Center for Global Policy at George Mason University has recorded an interesting historical development. Its Political Instability Task Force plotted a chart showing the percentage of countries in which mass killings were occurring from the end of World War II until the present day. For most of the second half of the 20th century, that percentage increased steadily. Then, in the early 1990s, a precipitous drop occurred, and in the 2010s we have seen the lowest percentage of countries on Earth with ongoing mass killings ever recorded. What happened in the early 1990s? The Cold War ended and millions were freed from behind communist walls and secret police holding cells. This was also when our millennial generation was born.
Indeed, there is very much a generation gap in today’s socialist resurgence. Nate Silver points out that while polling from May 2015 shows a plurality of voters under 30 supporting socialism, that figure drops to a mere 15 percent among those over 65. The reason for this is not difficult to see. It reflects a difference in personal experience.
Millennials either missed the Cold War entirely or were young children in its final years, with little or no conception of the triumph of liberty achieved with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). They do not understand the menace that socialism— combined with power—posed to the people it enslaved and to the free nations that it threatened. The violence and brutality of the communist regimes of the past are irrelevant, just lines in the history book somewhere between the Spanish-American War and 9/11.
It’s more personal for older Americans. Perhaps some of their friends or neighbors—or they themselves—arrived in this country just ahead of Soviet tanks that were rolling into their homeland. Perhaps they remember the stories of citizens of these supposed utopian socialist prison states arrested, “disappeared,” tortured, or shot simply for trying to cross a border. Perhaps they remembered cowering under their school desks during drills in case of a nuclear attack, planned in communist Russia and launched from communist Cuba.
This is the context young American voters should know as they prepare to cast their vote this year—many of them for the first time. We should all be mindful of the power of words and ideologies, and how discredited ideas can flourish again as memories of their failure fade. We cannot forget the lessons of history. All of us, but especially the youngest among us who will have to live in that world for the longest, should make this election about the future by rejecting the ugly, violent legacy of socialism’s past. source
I do hope that many readers will be able to share this piece with friends and family who are avid Bernie Sanders’ supporters. They need a wake up call.
We, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, should shudder at the thought of a Marxist government in the U.S. THAT is when we will have no choice but to go underground to worship – just like our brethren in China do today.