Yesterday, I received and tossed in the trash a mailed political advertisement from the Idaho Republican party. The political ad listed the names and faces of the Idaho GOP, who will of course work hard at fighting the “President Obama’ administration of a big government liberal agenda.” What ever that is supposed to mean? So let me digress for awhile and discuss something that came up on Facebook. You can form groups, you can create pages, you invite people to like the latter or include them in the former. Given the fact that I am a writer of this blog and books, I took an interest in the literary and political groups that Facebook hosts. Very recently, I entered into a discussion of what “socialism” meant to the old left. In part, it is egalitarian, non authoritarian, democratic in nature, etc. In short, “today’s idea of socialism” looks a lot like the founding fathers’ concepts for this United States of America. Even further, it looks a lot like something you would read out of Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man.” But Karl Marx wasn’t born, I don’t believe, during the American and French revolutions. But he likely came of an age in the early to the middle of the 19th century when both revolutions were still young, they were the talk of European courts, and undoubtedly created fear among a good many of them. Just think of it, with a delicate shudder of horror, the common man rising up and creating a government for himself? To which Karl Marx would have replied as he came of age, why not? First coining the word “Socialism” = putting people first. And in the decades to follow, coining the word “Communism” = a government controlled or owned by the common people. I would say that he initially followed closely the agendas of two revolutions: the idea that the most common of men would be regarded as the equal of their “betters,” was the factual basis underpinning both revolutions. But only in the first revolution was the argument heard, that no foreign government shall tell an independent American nation what rules it must now follow. We’ll make our own rules from now on, thank you very much. Of the French revolution, it was a public uprising against their own government. France, as far as the rampaging mob was concerned, would no longer be governed by kings and aristocrats. They named their new government of the people, the Commune. It wouldn’t be difficult after that, to imagine how Karl Marx could add an “ism” to the “rule of the mob.”
This trip down memory lane being complete, let us then turn to how the GOP have, since the 1980s, chosen to see democracy. If one of the basic premises of socialism is to be “democratic in nature,” and there is a history of “mob uprisings” against European kingdoms, then let us now treat democracy (demos = the people, cracy= authority) in a pejorative manner. “We aren’t a democracy, we are a Republic.” So how did we become this “republic” without the help of the common people desiring independence from Great Britain? Weren’t there many occasions during the American revolution, when mobs rose up against representatives of the British crown? Yes there were. And once you read thoroughly the U.S. Constitution and the history that buttressed the reason for its very existence, in many ways the document is actually socialist, as it would be defined to day by the old left. But the word would not be invented until the 19th century. Even further, our country’s government was also communist from day 1. That is, the day when we formalized the U.S. Constitution through a 2/3rd majority vote [of the people] and created a government out of it. To put it bluntly, this country has been “socialist/communist” from the time of its founding. Yes, I am being deliberately snarky here, but it is still a subject matter that needs to be deeply thought about. Now onto capitalism: the second leg in the stool for an American revolution.
The original concept behind capitalism was not “pursuit of wealth at all costs,” but rather as Adam Smith was to see and define it: a commercial enterprise. Either it would be a self-sustaining one, such as goods produced through a farm or ranch. Or it would be one in which you had to constantly invest new money; such as the manufacturing of durable goods. Ideally, a commercial enterprise could survive and thrive quite well in a “socialist/communist” state. That is, if you go by the original ideas of how such a state should look like and the commitment required to keep it in existence. But by the time of the Bolshevik revolution, the mob uprising there ultimately did not create a “socialist/communist” state. Instead, it created an absolute rule by party also known as totalitarian. Thus today, we will always associate “socialism” with the totalitarian label or even the word “communism” equally as a totalitarian concept. Totalitarian to mean, the party which is the government controls every aspect of human life, every aspect of human society living under such a regime. And under the circumstances, commercial enterprises become literally state owned. I have blogged about this before, of course. But there is a vast difference between “state ownership” and “government regulated.” The latter is called “laws” incidentally, with the expectation that you need to follow them, so that you don’t end up harming your neighbors, complete strangers, customers, or members of your own family. Laws are required, if you want to set up shop and do business with anyone. With laws in place and a scrupulous desire to comply with them, wouldn’t it be more likely that people would trust you enough to do business with you?
The digression being complete, Republicans since the 1980s have used their concerns about “state ownership” to oppose any and all laws that only regulate (but not own) private commercial interests. The resulting disasters and scandals which followed? The S&L bailouts for one. Real estate speculation that caused a “housing bubble,” before that collapsed and left a whole lot of misery behind. Banks collapsing and disappearing. Banks and mortgage companies running amok to the ruin of their customers, because they were protected against their customers’ interests through the help of a Republican activist government. That’s right, a Republican activist government. Think about it for awhile. How did the GOP wish to see “socialism” or “communism?” Wasn’t the real argument that of “the state” to mean the government, that was simply too big for its britches and needed to be cut down to size? That’s right, we all publicly heard that. But that argument seems to have been tossed in the dust bin of history when ever it comes to cases of special pleading. Ronald Reagan assisting American based businesses against Japanese competition. Bill Clinton providing American businesses a new trading platform via NAFTA and CAFTA. Both Bushes calling for the bailouts of an industry that couldn’t understand the words “providing an honest service and further, doing right by your customer.” Even more than that, I recall G.W. Bush handing back taxpayers’ money to keep the nation’s businesses afloat. In a recession he could not publicly acknowledge, but his actions proved otherwise that it already existed. Or the special pleadings of religious interests, Colorado is set to pass an anti-abortion law that criminalizes all forms of it. A woman who is “considering ending her pregnancy” for what ever reason, should have a government invasive vaginal ultrasound. Or how about the NRA? Government liberalized “open carry laws” has seen (according to news reports on Facebook), three teachers so far harming themselves with firearms. Or “open carry” groups who act very immature and intimidating, as they shop at retail stores or dine at restaurants.
Also, The Republican party decided to assign to “socialism” a culture of dependency and the hand outs to the moochers. Of course, they mean everyone else who isn’t a corporate CEO who funds a lobbying group, or a well funded religious interest, or an equally well funded gun lobby AKA the NRA. But in fact, the culture of dependency plus the matter of hand outs, which is these days very blatant along with the corruption, does indeed start with those particular interest groups. No one else has the money to become culturally dependent on the government, or to receive truly substantial handouts. To say the least, the Republicans don’t bother taking a critical and objective look at themselves, or the party they have since manufactured from the time of Reagan. That is a shame really. There is a big government liberal agenda, it is one run by the Republicans. What they don’t want is competition from the Democrats, especially that of President Barack H. Obama. Remember what was said about totalitarianism? What exactly it did mean when it was implemented? Thomas Cromwell helped to implement a Christian totalitarian state. A lot of people died because of it. The outcome of the French revolution was for a time, a totalitarian state. A lot of people died because of it. The outcome of the totalitarian state that developed from the Russian revolution caused a lot of misery and death. As it did in China, Vietnam, and other countries where the “people’s revolution” took root. At its basis, there can only be one thought, one belief, one way of living, one ideology to follow. Resist it and you die.
So following the tossing of that political ad in the trash, “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart aired some moronic GOP political ads now appearing prior to the Congressional elections of 2014. First ad, the woman acts like she is “dating the President” on social media. The second ad, the woman acts like she wants to become a fiancee to a GOP hopeful or incumbent. The third ad, the woman plans to get “married (?)” to a GOP hopeful. Fourth ad, a well dressed woman going out to her formal party, who will she be “dating” by the time November comes around? I’d suggest that these women read my blog and recall, that the GOP listens more to the well funded special pleaders before they will ever listen to you. They are more likely to pick your pocket and shift your money away from public unions as an enormous subsidy (hand out) to wealthy private corporations. Also called robbing Peter to pay Paul. They don’t care about your child’s education or your health care needs. Nor are they of the opinion that you have a right to that Social Security that came out of your paycheck on a monthly basis, during your entire working career. They don’t care if toxic spills enter the water, you are supposed to cook, clean, and eat with. So, now they hand out these ads that are so infantile that Stewart could make some very honest fun of. Both him and Kristan Shaw. As a Republican (because originally the GOP/Democratic parties were socialist = egalitarian in their political views), I can’t even say that I am offended by the ads. But I would be offended by anyone, who’d actually forget about recent history, and vote for the infants who put such ads together. Quite a difference in politics that has since shaped this country, over its more than 200 year old lifespan.