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.
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.
Mr. 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.