Thank God For Godless Communism
By The Fruit Collectivism Bears, We Know Our System's Better
When I was 15, I worked part-time for the local small-town weekly newspaper. The owner of the business, my editor, became one of the most important mentors in my life. I could write dozens of pieces about the lessons he taught me; one of them concerned the value of competition. We had a rival newspaper, one town over, and I muttered once that I wished they'd go out of business. "Well, some days I think that'd be nice," said the boss, a sigh in his overworked voice. "But really, I don't wish it. We are one of the best papers in the state because we have to be. The competitor keeps us on our toes, and forces us to do our best work."
In a geopolitical sense (or more appropriately, in a global-economics sense), our system of free market capitalism has had one serious competitor: communism. Communism exists at the far end (the left end) of a continuum, the other end of which is a completely free and unfettered market, and intermediate steps along which include regulated markets, socialism, and collectivism.
Though many so-called progressives would love to separate them, from my point of view there are two other continua which march more-or-less in lockstep with communism-capitalism. These are statism-liberty, and atheism-faith. If I correctly remember my eighth-grade history (a subject which is, due to the progressivism currently under discussion, no longer much taught), capitalism has as its running-buddies individual liberty and faith in God. Communism's pals, in stark contrast, are authoritarian control of individuals by the state, and denial of the Almighty in favor of an allegiance to the state that amounts to idolatry.
I do remember eighth grade. That's the second year I took Russian (it was my best school subject) and announced that I would be a Bible-smuggler in the Soviet Union when I grew up. I dreamed of a life of danger and intrigue! See, the Bible, or any other religious scripture, was seriously frowned-upon by the Soviet authorities. You got more than a ticket for peddling The Good Book in their state-controlled socialist Utopia.
I ended up pursuing other dreams, thank God.
America was founded by people who came here looking, first, for religious freedom. They had to hack an existence out of a brutal wilderness; but if they could, they got to keep the fruits of their labor. Their government was far away and distracted by more important things for many decades; these colonists enjoyed a high degree of autonomy to worship, work, and grow their communities. They worked together, but made their fortunes through plucky individualism and by having the guts to take chances and make those chances pay off. Capitalism grew up with faith in God and individual liberty... whenever any one of the three was threatened, all three were threatened.
The Soviet experiment showed that communism grows up with atheism and totalitarianism. In the Soviet Union, you weren't allowed to worship God, and you weren't allowed to do just about anything else your individual spirit moved you to do, either. Have we forgotten how things work out when you "progress" a society to communism? My kids, who were in high school not that long ago, didn't learn about what the word "defect" meant, as a verb, in the 1970s. You weren't allowed to relocate from the Soviet Union... they needed all their "workers" because, after all, you were not a citizen. You were property of the state.
Note how our current American progressive government continues to pick away at the Big Three. Culturally, socially, and politically, there is a "correct" way to think and behave... and it isn't cool to be a business owner, a church-goer, or a person so concerned about individual rights and liberties that you'd go so far as to attend a (gasp) Tea Party rally. Seeking evolution instead of revolution, they "progress" one little step at a time... a tax hike here, a president with no discernible religion there, a government takeover of an industry over there. Some progress.
You've heard me say there are two types of us out there: the Entrepreneur, who is likely to roll up her sleeves, take risks and make things happen, and the Victim, who's sitting around waiting for others (notably the Entrepreneurs) to take care of him. This country was founded, defended, and maintained for more than two centuries by Entrepreneurs who cling to the Big Three because they - God, Liberty, and Free Market Capitalism - are the things that define and drive this nation. Victims seek to pull us all into the sort of "entitlement" that ends up more resembling "entrapment," and they want us all marching one progressive step at a time toward collectivism, statism, and denial of any Being Supreme to the national government.
But here's today's message of hope: we're starting to get it. Especially the generation of my kids, the young adults who'll ultimately bring us back to ourselves. These kids are seeing through the bull of "Hope and Change" progressivism with all its substantial dangers, and are quietly starting to move the country back away from the edge of the cliff. They are educating themselves on the real global conspiracy against private wealth, they're starting their own businesses, and they're keeping themselves healthy and strong for the struggle that is to come. They believe in the markets, they believe in liberty, and they believe in God.
If there hadn't been such a dramatic demonstration case of what happens when progressivism fully progresses, this awakening might not be possible without a repeat of the disasters of the early part of the last century. Remember the words of my editor-mentor: we are the best because we have to be.