Is Socialism Worse Than Communism?

Is Socialism Worse Than Communism?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Six years ago in a speech exposing the scourge of neoconservatism, I startled some of the audience by claiming that socialism is more dangerous than communism. I knew that many fine Americans had long held the view that socialism was not good, but “at least it’s not as bad as communism.” I disagreed.

Both socialism and communism promoters claim Marx’s Communist Manifesto as their own (Image from ShopJBS.org). 

My foray of this topic developed because acceptance of neoconservatism amounts to choosing socialism and internationalist meddling, even war. The self-described “godfather” of the movement, Irving Kristol, proudly announced in his 1995 book Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea, that neoconservatism “accepted the New Deal in principle, and had little affection for the kind of isolationism that then permeated America conservatism.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal was socialism with a nice-sounding name. And the isolationism condemned by Kristol has always kept America from meddling in the world’s affairs, even going to war to dictate the way others should exist. In short order, Kristol and his allies moved into the Republican Party where they now exercise inordinate influence led by such neocons as Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

But what about socialism and its communist partner in crime? Honest adherents of both claim Marx’s Communist Manifesto as their own. Partisans on either side have even fought over ownership of the document while they were busily subjugating entire nations and peoples.

But there is an important difference that needs airing. Communists seek domination via hasty takeover and bloody suppression. Their success doesn’t destroy resistance. So they have to create such tyrannical enforcement groups as the NKVD, GRU, or some secret police outfit. The history of these enforcers is well-known.

On the other hand, the more patient Socialists work toward the same totalitarian goal, but they persuade their future victims to vote themselves into socialistic control. Their process destroys resistance. Rule over their hapless victims is more complete. But it will turn deadly if needed.

Lenin and Trotsky established communist control over Russia in 1917. Lenin died in 1924 and another murderous tyrant named Stalin took over. Trotsky worked alongside both, but he always preferred the socialist route to power. In time, he fled Stalin and ended up in Mexico where one of Stalin’s agents put an ax in his head. The brutality of Stalin’s Soviet-style conquests continued.

Taking control of America posed a problem for Stalin and his successors. Resistance to communism has always been strong in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” But bringing America under control with socialism grew dramatically throughout the 20th century and beyond. Socialistic takeovers in such fields as housing, welfare, education, health, and more, plus the combination of a United Nations police force has gained an increasing amount of supporters from coast to coast.

During the recent race for the presidency, millions of Americans cheered for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders. Very few of the Sanders supporters know where his program for their country will take it. Nor did they have any awareness of his years of affiliation with the Socialist International (Honorary Chairman: Karl Marx). Yet they cheered lustily for him to win the Democratic Party’s nomination. He came close to being the nominee and would have been a formidable candidate to become the next occupant of the White House. His manner of gaining control of the people and the nation through persuasion instead of the sword almost succeeded.

Where would complete socialism take America? Literary giant George Bernard Shaw was a proud socialist in England. In 1928, his “Intelligent Women’s Guide to Socialism” stated:

I also make it clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not the character and industry to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.

Should socialism triumph completely in America, the amount of resistance would be minimal – at least for a time – because the people voted for it. But it wouldn’t be too long before the George Bernard Shaw method would be used to keep socialism in power.

How many Bernie Sanders partisans understand this? Hardly any. And how many supporters of neoconservative politicians realize the ultimate goal of the followers of Irving Kristol? Another minuscule number. How many understand that socialism is truly more dangerous than communism? Next to none.

Many more Americans need to be awakened in order to preserve the great experiment in freedom given this nation in the late 18th century. Socialism isn’t the route to justice and progress. It’s the path to control – and it will indeed become deadly like its communist bedfellow.

Know thy enemy. Get your copy of The Communist Manifesto today.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Sanders the Socialist

Sanders the Socialist
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

While chatting recently with a friendly technician who was repairing my copy machine, I got a taste of a very big problem facing our country. The man knew everything about the bulky machine. But he displayed a woeful lack of awareness about our nation’s fundamental principles. And he volunteered a political preference I fear is shared by millions.

Sanders is a proud socialist who wants to establish government compulsion over everyone (Image from Flickr).

Sanders is a proud socialist who wants to establish government compulsion over everyone (Image from Flickr by Gage Skidmore).

The technician, a patriotic U.S. Air Force veteran, volunteered that he didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. He had nothing good to say about either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. But he boasted that, if Bernie Sanders had won the Democratic Party’s nomination, he would have gladly voted for him. He added that Bernie would probably have swamped Trump. He might be correct about that.

When I suggested that Bernie Sanders would admit to being a socialist, he gave no response. Evidently being a socialist is OK with my technician acquaintance, not because he knows what being a socialist means and how un-American such a view really is, but because he doesn’t know what it means. Had I an opportunity to explain what socialism truly connotes, I might have cited an excellent warning given in 1974 by economist Percy Greaves. In his book Mises Made Easier, Professor Greaves wrote:

Following the Bolshevist Revolution of 1917, the Bolshevist leader Lenin chose the name Communist Party for all those dedicated to the use of violence, revolution, and civil war to attain their final goal, and to distinguish his followers from the socialists, or social democrats, who sought the same final goal by democratic processes.

In other words, a convinced socialist is at least as dangerous as a Communist, maybe more so because his ultimate goal isn’t well known. My technician acquaintance surely has no awareness that Marx’s Communist Manifesto is the blueprint for both Communists and Socialists.

During the televised debates between the Vermont senator and Mrs. Clinton, I saw Sanders come across as genuinely honest and sincere. But he is a proud socialist, a man who has spent a lifetime favoring the same total government scheme, though not the same route to achieving it, as did the murdering tyrant Lenin. The man fixing my copy machine wouldn’t have supported Lenin, or Stalin, or any of their successors who murdered millions and enslaved those they permitted to live. But he would willingly back Sanders. And therein lies the big problem facing America today.

Bernie Sanders doesn’t advocate killing anybody; he just wants to establish government compulsion over everyone. But he never summarizes it that way. He will soak the rich, make health care and college education free, put government in charge of supplying everyone’s needs, and more. It all sounds so very good to anyone who has no awareness of either America’s fundamentals or the Marxian program. Yet, millions of young Americans flocked to his rallies and cheered him with great gusto. Lots of older Americans did likewise.

The socialism advocated by Sanders is a huge threat to freedom. The problem is that so few Americans understand the value of limited government or the worth of the Constitution, which is socialism’s polar opposite. America grew from a veritable wasteland to becoming the envy of the world, not because of government action but because of the Constitutional requirement for inaction. Millions of college-educated people today have never heard that view and, consequently, are ripe fruit for socialists to pluck. They see problems, most of which have been created by government, and expect government to solve them. The American way would be to get government out of the way and let enlightened self-interest do the solving.

Currently, there are 74 House members who hold membership in its socialist wing called the Progressive Caucus. Sanders is the only Senate member of this Caucus.

All of this presents a huge problem for America. The copy machine technician I encountered doesn’t want the socialism goal advocated by Sanders; he just wants the nice-sounding program the Vermont maverick offers. But it’s only nice-sounding, something even my acquaintance will discover if this nation doesn’t get back to the fundamentals that made it so appealing in the first place. Learn more about socialism’s impact around the globe.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Say No to Dangerous Trade Pacts

Say No to Dangerous Trade Pacts
by JBS President John F. McManus

A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center sought the public’s attitude about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) intending to greatly link the U.S. with 12 Pacific nations and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that would deeply tie our nation with the bloc of nations known as the European Union. Both pacts will soon be considered by Congress. To say the least, the Center’s findings were mixed.

Two-thirds of those polled favored trade in general, while fewer than 25 percent believed that trade pacts created jobs and boosted wages. Yet, asked about the TPP and TTIP specifically, about half of the respondents expressed approval and half were skeptical.

Facts are more important than the attitudes of the public, however, especially when the public has little awareness about the loss of jobs because of previous trade pacts. Most Americans know that jobs have indeed been lost but few know that a 20-year-old trade pact largely led to the losses. The 1995 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) paved the way for saying good-bye to approximately 5 million jobs. It also established judicial tribunals whose rulings now supersede decisions handed down by American courts, a development that has shocked even some of NAFTA’s previous supporters. A hard look at both TPP and TTIP shows that they threaten to worsen both of these problems.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is an admitted socialist. Yet he is cautioning colleagues about the TPP because he sees in it a great deal more than just tariffs on goods. The liberal Washington Post correctly claims that the agreement deals with “a broad range of regulatory and legal issues,” that can impact foreign policy and even domestic lawmaking. Sanders rightly insists that TPP “is much more than a free trade agreement.” If he understands this, other senators and congressmen can see it as well. But most think only in terms of increased trade, which is what the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce stress. Numerous labor unions, environmental groups, and global health organizations have also registered opposition because the pact deals with matters of concern to them.

A further complicating factor regarding these pacts is President Obama’s desire to be awarded “fast-track authority” for speedy approval of both. Such a grant of power would bar Congress from debating and amending the pacts, allowing only a “Yes” or “No” vote on each. Sanders reminds colleagues that the Constitution grants Congress sole authority “to regulate commerce with foreign nations,” not the Executive branch.

The Socialist from Vermont might be dead wrong on some issues but he’s correct in this instance. And the high and mighty so-called capitalists at the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce are wrong. Congress should never cede its constitutional prerogatives by granting “fast-track authority” to the President. And both the job-threatening and foreign-entangling TPP and TTIP should be rejected. Let Congress know today!

 


Mr. McManus joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966 and has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.