Op-Ed by John Anthony
With or without Hillary at the helm, we can stop socialism in America.
Recently, Sustainable Freedom Lab hosted a three-part podcast series called Socialism in America. Our guests had traveled to over 70 countries, lived under socialism and communism and even begun businesses worldwide and in the United States. We had a software installation expert who works closely with project teams in socialist countries and is in a unique position to understand what these workers think of the United States.
The information these people shared left no doubt that our country has left free market capitalism in the rearview mirror and rocketed into our own brand of socialism.
Is it possible, at this stage, to slow down or even turn back to capitalism? Socialism is more than an economic trend, it represents a cultural shift that has been decades in developing.
The Affordable Care Act, unthinkable in the ’90s, is now embedded in the United States. As we watch its engineered failure, we are only months away from Obamacare’s collapse into federally run socialized medicine.
Common Core nationalized our educational system, even though three congressional laws forbid federal involvement in local learning.
HUD’s newest partnership with the Departments of Education and Transportation enables those agencies to dictate where our children will go to school, who will be in their classrooms, and which socioeconomic brackets will fill our neighborhoods.
In many ways, we have devolved beyond a socialist’s dream.
The government can now exert sufficient financial pressure to control whom your neighbors will be, the size of your community lots, and to annex communities into regions ultimately operated by unelected councils over whom you have no say.
In spite of the tentacles of a powerful government snaking into our towns, counties and states, it is not only possible to reverse socialism; the trend has already started in communities across America.
Growing socialism’s seeds
The key to destroying socialism is not to fight it; it is to starve it. To understand how, we must first understand how that contemptible model took foothold in a country that prides itself on freedom.
In the 1850s, Karl Marx was determined to replace Western capitalism with socialism. Marx believed that greedy capitalists exploited workers and that beneath their smiles Americans felt oppressed. Once given the opportunity, the socialist reasoned, the American working class would revolt against and overthrow the capitalist class; clearing the path for the egalitarian promise of socialism.
Marx was correct. America has its poor, its middle and wealthy classes. But, in the 1800s and early 1900s, while America had its clashes, there was no broad class conflict. There was a good reason.
Marx’s world was one of class immobility where those living in poverty remained impoverished for generations, and where workers were indentured to an upper class that accumulated wealth at their employees’ expense.
But, Americans had class mobility. Like Horatio Alger’s forgotten tales of “Ragged Dick”, with hard work and sacrifice the poor could traverse the road to the middle class and even on to wealth. This ‘hope’ and ‘possibility’ robbed socialism of the single component it needed to survive. Conflict!
In the 1950s that began to change. As newer technologies transferred the dependence of capitalists from their worker productivity, to their capital investments, American’s income gap began to widen. The capitalists, not the workers owned the computers, the machinery and the technology. In other words, they owned the capital that was increasingly responsible for creating their products and the workers became a smaller portion of the economic equation.
As jobs flew overseas and technology advanced, politicians strangled new businesses with mounting regulations, inspections, certifications, and fees. Middle class jobs opportunities slowly ground down. By the mid 1980s America’s middle class began shrinking until today, the United States, which once boasted the largest middle class in the world, now has the smallest middle class of any first world nation.
As middle class job opportunities shrank, so too did economic mobility. According to the economic Gini scale, today the US is almost as economically immobile as aristocratic Britain. People may want to rise out of poverty, but there is less place for them to go.
With the middle class shrinking and the income gap widening, the only piece missing to usher in socialism was class warfare. But Marxist’s followers had already embedded class conflict in our colleges. The Frankfurt School was a socialist incubator that relocated from Germany to the campus of Columbia University during Hitler’s rise. By the 1960s liberation movement, women’s studies, race studies and black history studies created permanent underclasses within the economic classes.
“Critical Theory” evolved in academia as a philosophy that criticized Americas’ traditional cultural values while it promoted women’s and race theories paving the way for class victimization and militancy.
So-called ‘intellectuals’ mocked the once popular Horatio Alger and his uplifting tales while denying the existence of the American Dream.
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Barack Obama’s response to the Great Recession fed the final seasoned log onto the bonfire of socialism. Plummeting unemployment numbers seemed to satisfy millions that he was indeed improving the economy. Even the revelation of record numbers of uncounted unemployed and underemployed workers was still not his greatest gift to socialism.
President Obama fostered an economy with jobs for the wealthy, and jobs and benefits for the poor, but offered little to the critical middle class. Because of his “jobs polarization,” our 44th president has nearly ground economic mobility and opportunity, the heart of America’s economic engine, to a stuttering halt.
By 2016, America was a class-battling socialist nation.
Smothering the flames of socialism
We also have the tools to annihilate socialism. We can manage politicians, shrink the income gap, and restart economic mobility.
Mark Herr, co-founder of the Center for Self-Governance, outlined a brilliant program on our podcast that engages workers, activists, students and church members in what he calls “applied civics.”
Following the 1789 signing of our Constitution, our Founders told us exactly what Americans must do to assure politicians at every level, even the U.S. President, keep our nation prosperous and free. We ignored their directions.
Mark has developed extraordinary teams that are bringing the left and right together, undoing damaging legislation, replacing corrupt politicians and returning our communities to our Founders’ model.
Republican Veny Musum and Democrat Upendra Chivukula, co-authored a book, The 3rd Way – Building Inclusive Capitalism, that outlines a method to close the income gap by redirecting a business’ taxes back into their workers’ pockets to purchase an interest in the company’s growing capital.
This simple practice upends the entire income gap problem that feeds discontent and hopelessness. Their solution benefits business owners, creates wealth for workers, and even provides more long-term federal revenues. Over 1,000 American companies are already following their model.
Sustainable Freedom Lab Lab has created a clearinghouse and tools anyone can use to bring all of these great ideas together to end the reign of smothering federal agencies and corrupt and bungling politicians.
Economic immobility, class conflict and unharnessed corrupt politicians breed the conflict that is the oxygen socialism needs to survive.
Working together, we can starve the fire.
John Anthony is a nationally acclaimed speaker, researcher and writer. He is the founder of Sustainable Freedom Lab, where this article first appeared. Mr. Anthony is the former Director of Sales and Marketing for Paul Mitchell Systems, Inc. In 1989, he founded Corporate Measures, LLC, a management development firm. In 2012, Mr. Anthony turned his attention to community issues including the balance between federal agency regulations and local autonomy.
In January 2016, Mr. Anthony was a guest at the prestigious Rutgers University School of Management Fellowship Honoring Dr. Louis Kelso. In March 2016, he was the keynote speaker on property rights at the Palmetto Panel at Clemson University.
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