For almost two years, Barack Obama has been traveling throughout the country shouting the mantra of “CHANGE”. Using the skills he acquired as a “Community Organizer” and the techniques he borrowed from Saul Alinsky he has successfully convinced a major segment of our citizens of the need for change above all else. In two days, we will discover if that segment is large enough to make him the next President of the United States.
“Change” has become the buzzword of the 2008 election campaigns. Politicians of ever shade and persuasion have included a call for change in their “stump” speeches. Few have bothered to explain just what type of changes they are asking the American people to accept. I have listened to dozens of speeches and interviews by Obama over the past few months, and I have read the transcripts of dozens more. I am convinced that the change Obama and the Democrat Party are proposing is not a change in direction but rather a change in speed.
The creeping socialism I have watched throughout my lifetime has suddenly become a speeding juggernaut. There is nothing new to be found in the promises of Obama. They were all expressed before, in different words, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the “Communist Manifesto over a century and a half ago. More recently, they have appeared in the literature of the Democratic Socialist of America and the Socialist Party USA.
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx made the following prediction:
“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class, and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.”
“In the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.”
He then listed ten steps necessary to bring about this “proletarian dictatorship”.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
When Marx’s Communist Manifesto was edited in 1888 by Freidrich Engels the most common source of wealth was the ownership of land. Today it is ownership of businesses or investment in corporations. Although the means of wealth creation has increased and diversified, the aims of the socialist movement has not changed. Its ultimate goal is the ownership or control of all means of production and the abolition of capitalism.
“Socialism will establish a new social and economic order in which workers and community members will take responsibility for and control of their interpersonal relationships, their neighborhoods, their local government, and the production and distribution of all goods and services.”
“For these reasons we call for social ownership and democratic control of productive resources, for a guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and to a fair share of society’s product, in accordance with individual needs.”
~Socialist Party USA
“In the short term we can’t eliminate private corporations, but we can bring them under greater democratic control. The government could use regulations and tax incentives to encourage companies to act in the public interest and outlaw destructive activities such as exporting jobs to low-wage countries and polluting our environment. Public pressure can also have a critical role to play in the struggle to hold corporations accountable. Most of all, socialists look to unions make private business more responsible.”
~Democratic Socialist of America
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Socialism could not exist in America without a progressive income tax. It is the sole means for redistribution of income; therefore, it is strongly advocated by all socialist parties and their sympathizers.
“We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum. We oppose regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes. We call for the restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale.”
~Democratic Socialist of America
The first progressive income tax was levied during the Civil War by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The lowest marginal rate was 3% for those earning between $600 and $10,000 per year. It was eliminated by Congress in 1872 and revived again in 1894. In 1895, the Supreme Court declared the income tax unconstitutional because it was not apportioned between the states. The 16th Amendment in 1913 repealed the apportionment clause in the Constitution and established the power of Congress to levy taxes on all income regardless of its source.
Opponents of the graduated income tax argue that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment that calls for “equal protection under the law” as well as the Fifth Amendment, and that it violates the God given, unalienable right to private property enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, “liberty and the pursuit of happiness (prosperity)”.
In spite of the arguments against a graduated, progressive income tax, most Americans either accept or support it, including some 80% of the nation’s economists. Since 1945, some two-thirds of the taxes raised through income taxes are used for income redistribution and social engineering to support the socialist agenda.
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
“We call for all financial and insurance institutions to be socially owned and operated by a democratically-controlled national banking authority, which should include credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks. In the meantime, we call for re-regulation of the banking and insurance industries.”
~Socialist Party USA
This goal has been greatly advanced by Henry Paulson, Ben Bernacke, George Bush and Congress with the recent dedication of more than $1 trillion for corporate bailouts, stimulus packages, equity purchases in banking institutions, and mortgage loan guarantees.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
“We support the breakup of large media companies so that no one company or individual owns more than one newspaper, radio or television station, or television channel. We call for the re-regulation of the communications industry (in particular, the assertion of public ownership rights over radio and television frequencies).”
“We call for government ownership of satellite and cable companies with revenues generated by these operations allocated to a publicly controlled fund to finance innovative visual and audio programming (including movies), over the air radio and television, and cable and satellite programming. The fund would also greatly increase the money going to community cable programming.”
“We support public funding of newspapers and magazines. Any non-profit organization that publishes a journal would receive public funding in proportion to its paid subscriber list.”
“We oppose private ownership of the Internet backbone. We call for direct public ownership of at least 50% of the total bandwidth and for democratic ownership and control of the Internet domain naming system.”
~Socialist Party of America
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
The key words in the above statement are “liability of all”. Under the socialist ideal, everyone is employed. Full employment can only be achieved with the use of “make-work” programs such as those instituted by FDR in the thirties—WPA and CCC, for example. Barack Obama expressed the same idea in his July 2 speech in Denver.
“I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am President of the United States…This will be the central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges.” ~Barack Obama
Additional insight into the thinking of socialists involving universal “forced” employment can be found on the website of the Democratic Socialist of America.
“We don’t agree with the capitalist assumption that starvation or greed are the only reasons people work. People enjoy their work if it is meaningful and enhances their lives. They work out of a sense of responsibility to their community and society. Although a long-term goal of socialism is to eliminate all but the most enjoyable kinds of labor, we recognize that unappealing jobs will long remain. These tasks would be spread among as many people as possible rather than distributed on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, or gender, as they are under capitalism.”
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c.
Just a few short years ago, I would have considered these ambitious goals of the socialist movement to be impossible under our system of government. However, considering the campaign promises of Obama and his Democratic running mates in the context of the history of the last seventy five years, they not only seem possible but probable.
Real change in America can come only from a return to the Constitution and a turning away from the path to socialism we have been on for the last century. That would be real change.
See you at the polls Tuesday.
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