One of the towering figures of world history is Winston Churchill. He provides some historical perspective with these relevant words for today: "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
The very day Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were waving their socialistic banners in their campaigns, USA Today ran an article on the current situation in Venezuela. Hugo Chavez was elected their president in 1999 and led a socialist government until his death in 2013.
Here's some gleanings from the article: "In Venezuela... Rampant inflation and staggering economy... Huge shortages of food, medicines and staples such as toilet paper and shampoo... government price controls... faces $14 billion in foreign debt payments this year... Inflation is out of control and the value of the currency has plummeted...'We just get poorer and poorer'"
A young conservative writer, Aaron Windeknecht, puts it best.
"5 Things Bernie Supporters Will NEVER Understand:
"1. When Bernie says 'free' it doesn't ACTUALLY mean free.
"2. You are NOT entitled to someone else's hard-earned money... Ever.
"3. You CANNOT tax a nation into prosperity.
"4. The rich are not responsible for your financial situation. YOU are.
"5. Socialism will DESTROY the innovation that made America great."
Michael Moore has a new movie, Where to Invade Next with the same old propaganda he always peddles.
Belittling America, he loves to go to other places to show how they do it better than we. Like he did with his movie on health care in Cuba that was filled with misleading information and deception, he continues his work. Of course he uses selective illustrations from smaller, socialist countries to try and convince the gullible and unsuspecting that socialism really works (all the while raking in millions from our society of exploitation and greed).
In the end, Moore does deserve credit for highlighting the miracle of the Berlin Wall coming down after 30 years of repression. He doesn't cite it, but Berlin is an example of the difference between a state-controlled, socialist system and a free market economy.
When the wall came down, people saw the East Berlin side with colorless buildings and a gloomy world of German people trapped in misery and poverty. On the other side in West Berlin was a kaleidoscope of colorful, modern buildings and a people enjoying economic prosperity and individual liberty.
When I've been in South Korea on multiple occasions, I've seen the same contrast with North Korea. One country allows people freedom to work and be rewarded according to their diligent efforts as Scripture teaches. The other is a dismal example of socialistic communism where the government is god, and supposedly income equality rules the day (that is of course except for the ruling class elite!).
When President Obama visits Cuba in the coming days, be assured he won't see the stagnation and suffering of the poor Cuban people trapped in a time warp whose origins trace back to Castro's socialistic "political revolution." In time, the socialism morphed into communism, and to this day, people secretly continue building their little boats to escape what was once presented as Utopia.
Hitler did similarly in Germany with his National Socialistic Party.
Our president won't find a single lawyer, doctor or engineer who owns his own business in Santiago or Havana. Hardly anyone has a computer in their home. Graduates of the University of Havana earn $20 average salary a month from the state. Last year alone, over 8,600 people were arrested or detained as political prisoners.
Free medical care? Free college education? Free childcare and income equality? After five decades of socialistic/communistic rule, would you like to relocate there as you relinquish your censured iPhone?
The Difference Between Socialism and Communism
Months ago, Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president, labeled Bernie Sanders a "socialistic/communist." "I call him a socialistic/communist because that's what he is!" Trump says.
I haven't heard Trump pin this label on Mrs. Clinton, but he did say he'd prosecute her if he was elected president. I'm listening closely for what comes next.
Although they are different in their approach, both of the Democratic candidates advocate political structures and economic systems that promote "equality" and provide more government control and giveaways to garner votes. In theory, both communism and socialism sound appealing, but historically, countries that have tried this approach have either failed or become dictatorships.
Under communism, everything is supposedly owned by the working class and everyone works together for some communal goal. Socialism has some similarities to communism but is not as extreme. Socialism is a political and economic philosophy where income is adjusted and limited by the government through taxation, so there is "income equality" and womb-to-tomb benefits.
Although there is no perfect system, capitalism is our heritage and provides the greatest opportunity for initiative and financial success, if you're willing to work hard and persevere amid setbacks. The book of Acts does record how the early Christian community shared among themselves, but it was voluntary, not mandatory. Of course it is our duty and privilege to give a "hand up" not a "hand out" to those in legitimate need.
Lesson From Our Beginning
When the English Puritans sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower in 1620, they wanted to escape religious persecution and share life as an unselfish Christian community. Initially they thought they would work together and share everything in common. "Equality" was their aspiration but in time they learned an important lesson.
When everyone was promised to share in the same fruits of their harvest, they noticed the less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the fields and were slack in their labors. The harvest was minimal and people literally starved. The diligent colonists became rightfully resentful of the redistribution of the harvest to everyone equally when some were just plain lazy and lacked personal initiative.
We visited the Plymouth Plantation and read as a family a copy of the actual diary of Governor Bradford, who led the community. Here's what he wrote as they recognized their deception and changed from a destructive socialistic system to a capitalistic, free enterprise approach.
"And so assigned to every family a parcel of land according to the proportion of their number for that end. ... This had a very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means."
The Plymouth colony experienced a phenomenal harvest of food. Private ownership meant there was now a close link between their individual work and their individual reward. People were incentivized to be industrious and work hard to enjoy the fruits of their own labors.
May Governor Bradford's closing words wake up those being lulled to sleep by the seductive socialistic lullaby of some candidates today. The early colonists rejected socialistic collectivism and embraced individualism out of which they could share voluntarily and generously with those in need.
"By this time harvest was come and instead of famine now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed to the rejoicing of the hearts of many for which they blessed God!"
This is the lesson of our country's first Thanksgiving. It's the triumph of capitalism over socialism. Let's heed its lesson and warning in this ongoing, unpredictable election season.
Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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