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.

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.

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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.


The Importance of a Moral Foundation

The Importance of a Moral Foundation
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Yuri Bezmenov defected from Soviet Russia 40-plus years ago. A veteran of years of service in Moscow’s dreaded KGB, he eventually came to the West and then traveled through our country delivering his unique wake-up call. Members of The John Birch Society gathered most of his audiences. The warning he gave is needed even more today.

Bezmenov (who adopted the name Tomas Shuman) would freely express his disappointment that so few Americans had any awareness of the steady undermining of their country’s basic foundations. He told all he could reach that America suffered not from espionage, which the KGB considered a minor undertaking, but from “ideological subversion.” What was occurring, he explained, could also be termed “psychological warfare.” Its result brings about a population unable “to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

“The process leading to destruction of the United States as a free and independent country,” said Bezmenov, “starts with demoralization, the turning away from foundational truths. In place of that foundation, Marxism-Leninism would be subtly but effectively introduced.” The undermining of America, he insisted, was being “done by Americans to Americans thanks to a lack of moral standards.” The fruit of this type of demoralization, he pointed out, is that a person becomes “unable to assess true information, and facts mean nothing to him even if he is showered with authentic information.”

Were Yuri Bezmenov alive today, he would point to the millions who supported Bernie Sanders during that self-identified socialist’s campaign to become U.S. president. He would point to the supporters of Hillary Clinton, who, though she is not an admitted socialist, differs with Sanders only marginally. In some ways, Mrs. Clinton is even more to be feared because of her attitude expressed openly to an assemblage of gay, transgender, and pro-abortion activists at the United Nations. She told her adoring crowd that America’s “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

There is much more that Bezmenov sought to explain to Americans. But his emphasis on the undermining of morality as the starting point in the campaign to destroy a nation deserves attention. Cleared of all its obfuscating wrappings, socialism is theft. Sad to say, many Americans have become captivated by its thievery in that they want a supposed free ride for things their parents worked for. And they want confiscation of wealth because they have been convinced that wealthy people are thieves. They know little or nothing about our nation’s foundations contained in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Nor do have any awareness of sound economic principles. Ask them about these fundamentals and expect to be told to cease referring to the “horse and buggy” days of the past.

About morality, John Adams once stated, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Government, in his view, should be a negative force, not a positive force for taking care of people who should take care of themselves. The people should guide their own conduct through such oldies as the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.

And John Birch Society Founder Robert Welch frequently insisted: “Morality sees farther than intellect.” What good is there in the efforts of a very intelligent person, he explained, if that person has no moral base and uses his brilliance exclusively for self-aggrandizement?

Yuri Bezmenov hoped there could be some kind of strong national effort to educate people about the real spirit of patriotism.” Along with that, he urged a parallel campaign to explain “the real danger of a socialist, communist, welfare state, Big Brother government.” And he saw in The John Birch Society the kind of institution that could reverse the already widespread demoralization throughout America – if it became large enough. His message, given decades ago, is still very much needed today.

Learn what you can do to Choose Freedom — Support Morality at The John Birch Society’s action project page! 

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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.


Examining Candidate Bernie Sanders

Examining Candidate Bernie Sanders
by JBS President John F. McManus

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. There aren’t many who think he has even a ghost of a chance to get it. Does he have an ulterior motive? Is there something else he wants to accomplish by throwing his name into the mix?

We have no inside information about Bernie’s motive. He likely knows that an admitted socialist (that’s what he is) doesn’t stand much chance to go very far. It is surprising and somewhat disappointing to know that enough people in Vermont aren’t revolted by socialism to have rejected him as he won ascending political posts: the mayor of Burlington, then as their congressman, and then one of their two senators. But most Americans, not just a majority in Vermont, don’t have a clue about what socialism really entails. Hint: One of its most famous promoters was a fellow named Karl Marx.

“Bernie Sanders is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote. His previous 16 years in the House of Representatives make him the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history.” Text and photo source: his U.S. Senate page.

So what’s going on here? One answer is that many politicians throw their hats into the presidential ring in order to become better known. They even expect to lose. But being a contender for the nation’s highest office helps them in future elections. It’s name recognition, not positions on issues, that constitutes the most important attribute a candidate can have. An upstart “nobody” rarely wins in this country. Get your name and your face before the public and you might have a chance. And doing so in the presidential sweepstakes gets one’s name known.

Bernie already knows this. And hardly anyone in Vermont is unaware that Bernie represents them in the halls of Congress. He doesn’t need the exposure a presidential contender gets. As for voters in the rest of the country, a huge chunk of them find him laughable – lovingly so, but still laughable.

So what else could drive Bernie? Again, we can only speculate, so it sure seems as though opposition from Bernie will make Hillary Clinton seem more centrist. We can’t think of many others who could do that. She becomes less dangerous to many if her opposition for the nomination is the gruff-talking, mussed-hair guy with the Brooklyn twang (originally from Brooklyn, it shows when he speaks).

For the record, Bernie has voted against defunding the abortion mill known as Planned Parenthood. He always votes “yes” to raise the national debt. Given a chance to rein in presidential misuses of the military and presidential lawmaking about immigration, he voted “no.” He joined others in attempts to block construction of the Keystone pipeline and additional drilling for offshore oil. He even supported forcing employers to provide contraception coverage for their workers regardless of the business owner’s religious views. As for repealing ObamaCare, he already voted “no.”

But Bernie’s in the race to become President of the United States. Could there be anything good to come out of him winning? Maybe it would be better for the country if an admitted socialist moved into the White House. Then there might be more resistance in Congress. There certainly is a need for more congressional resistance because, Bernie or no Bernie, the country is adopting socialism. Were he still alive, Karl Marx would be delighted.

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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.


New Economics Guru, Same Socialistic “Solutions”

New Economics Guru, Same Socialistic “Solutions”
By JBS President John F. McManus

The book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” has rocketed close to the top of the New York Times best-seller list. One report claimed that 200,000 copies had been sold almost immediately upon publication. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman gushed that the book is the most important study of economics in at least a decade. And its author, Frenchman Thomas Piketty, has already met with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and other Obama administration heavyweights.

So what does “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” tell us? Its message is that too much wealth is now concentrated among too few people and that economic inequality invites dangerous reactions. He likens growing economic disparity in the West (especially in the United States) with conditions prevailing in late 18th century France when many of its wealthiest were brought to the guillotine.

Piketty bases his conclusions on years of studying tax records in Western nations and Japan. How anyone could survive such a prodigious poring over that kind of musty history is amazing in itself. But doing so impelled him to conclude that the rich are getting richer and opportunities for members of the middle and lower classes to become well-off are fading.

What does this one-time faculty member at MIT recommend? He thinks a global wealth tax is needed, not necessarily to benefit a global government but for providing local governments with an ability to share the wealth. Karl Marx would surely approve.

The just solution to inequality, of course, is minimal government. This is what formerly characterized America. Here upward economic mobility from generation to generation prevailed – and was expected. Not so anymore. There are far fewer wealth-producing jobs and many more fat cats earning their millions, not through productivity but through shifting around the contents of their portfolios loaded with stock certificates and other paper assets. Too many have forgotten that real wealth comes from productivity, not from financial manipulations.

The recommendations in Piketty’s book won’t solve the main problem he addresses. One can only hope that it will focus some attention on growing wealth disparity here and elsewhere, and then on the need for reductions in government taxation, regulations and controls over the people. It’s the stifling presence of too much government that has impeded wealth creation, especially here in the United States. The need here and elsewhere is to look back at how our infant nation speedily became the greatest producer with the largest middle and upper classes. Summarized, here’s what happened: America became great not because of what government did, but because of what government was prevented from doing by the Constitution.

“Capital in the Twenty-First Century” addresses a problem but ignores its cause. We recommend viewing “Overview of America” to understand how America became great and could be even more so.