What is Critical Race Theory?

An Historical Look at the Social Justice Movement in American Society

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Critical Race Theory
Critical Race Theory
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Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a term that is much bandied about on social media and in the press today, but the average citizen is likely to be unsure about what it is. After all, the term is non-specific in meaning, the very definition of a specious term. We know it’s got something to do with race (in America), it’s a theory (OK, an academic concept), and it’s critical, so it’s a make-or-break thing. But, put those parts together, and it’s meant to convey… nothing of any substance. So, to go beyond pundit-spout, we must look at the roots of the movement. Which the mainstream media does not (will not) cover.

The History of Marxism

The Marxist Left structured its political program based on the theory of class conflict. Karl Marx thought that the basic characteristic of his day’s industrial societies was an imbalance of power between the few capitalist have-alls (the 1% in today’s terms) and the many workers. His solution to that imbalance was revolution: the workers would at some point gain consciousness of their situation, secure the mechanisms of production, overthrow the capitalists, and thrive in a new socialist society.

Since then, many societies have enacted Marxist-themed revolutions. Each and every one concluded in sheer disaster. Socialist/communist governments in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba, and elsewhere ended up killing nearly 100 million of their own (expendable or non-cooperative) citizens. Theory generated from the comfort of a London library was one thing, but in practice, Marx’s ideas brought about utter societal destruction.

Fast-Forward to the Mid-1960s

Marxist intellectuals in the West had finally begun to acknowledge these catastrophes. They wanted to close their eyes to Soviet butcheries and ultimately realized that worker’s revolutions could never happen in classic Marxist fashion in Western Europe or in the US, where there were already predominant middle classes and the standards of living were constantly improving. Americans had never really developed a sense of class consciousness or class division in the same sense as those in the Old World. Americans were brought up to believe in the American dream, the concept that they could rise above their beginnings via education, working hard, and practicing good citizenship.

With this realization, Marxists simply adjusted their revolutionary theory to work with the social and racial unrest happening in the 1960s. They discarded Marx’s economic theory of capitalists and workers and substituted the term race for class and initiated a revolutionary conglomerate of the abused based upon racial and ethnic categories, a move where they acted as the cancel culture on themselves! But, Americans preferred the concept of improving the country rather than overthrowing it. The Marxists needed a new strategy.



Critical Race Theory is Born

It was conceived in the 1990s, constructed upon the intellectual skeleton of “identity-based” Marxism. For many years it remained in universities and obscure academic journals. But insidiously, over the past decade, it has solidified into the default ideology in many of our public institutions. It’s been instilled in government agencies, public (and some private) schools, and human resources departments. You’ve probably seen it in the guise of diversity training programs, public policy guidelines, and school curricula. The accepted over-reach is mind-boggling. Writing for Imprimis, Christopher F. Rufo gives some examples:1

  • In the name of equity, UCLA Law Professor and critical race theorist Cheryl Harris has proposed suspending private property rights, seizing land and wealth and redistributing them along racial lines.
  • Critical race guru Ibram X. Kendi, who directs the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, has proposed the creation of a federal Department of Antiracism. This department would be independent of (i.e., unaccountable to) the elected branches of government, and would have the power to nullify, veto, or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others who are deemed insufficiently “antiracist.” This is the cancel culture at its finest.
  • The Department of Homeland Security was telling white employees they were committing “microinequities” and had been “socialized into oppressor roles.”
  • The Treasury Department held a training session telling staff members that “virtually all white people contribute to racism” and that they must convert “everyone in the federal government” to the ideology of “antiracism.”
  • The Sandia National Laboratories, which designs America’s nuclear arsenal, sent white male executives to a three-day reeducation camp, where they were told that “white male culture” was analogous to the “KKK,” “white supremacists,” and “mass killings.” The executives were then forced to renounce their “white male privilege” and write letters of apology to fictitious women and people of color.
  • In Cupertino, California, an elementary school forced first-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, and rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”
  • In Springfield, Missouri, a middle school forced teachers to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix,” based on the idea that straight, white, English-speaking, Christian males are members of the oppressor class and must atone for their privilege and “covert white supremacy.”
  • In Philadelphia, an elementary school forced fifth-graders to celebrate “Black communism” and simulate a Black Power rally to free 1960s radical Angela Davis from prison, where she had once been held on charges of murder.
  • In Seattle, the school district told white teachers that they are guilty of “spirit murder” against black children and must “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgment of [their] thieved inheritance.”

“The climate crisis is a crisis born of injustice. A crisis born at the pursuit of profit… The trampling of indigenous rights is a cause of climate change. The trampling of racial justice is a cause of climate change.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Terminology

Some of the terms employed by its supporters to describe critical race theory are “equity,” “social justice,” “diversity and inclusion,” and “culturally responsive teaching.” Equity sounds benign. It’s easily confused with the American principle of equality. And really, who among us would object to more home equity? That’s got to be a good thing, right? But the distinction is important. Equality, the principle proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, defended in the Civil War, and codified into law with the 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965—is explicitly rejected by critical race theorists. To them, equality represents “mere non-discrimination” and provides “camouflage” for white supremacy, patriarchy, and oppression.



Critical race theorists and their sycophants like to project the image of themselves as benign social justice warriors, seeking only to improve the condition of society. Nothing is further than the truth. Like Antifa thugs and the more radical arm of BLM, they are Marxists who are determined “by any means necessary” to shift all the power to their control. Unfortunately, the media is only too happy to be complicit and corporate America pays them more homage than they do to consumers. That is capitalism turned on its head. Perhaps it is working after all.

Further Reading


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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.


References

  1. Christopher F. Rufo, Imprimis, Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight It, https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/critical-race-theory-fight/

The History of Cancel Culture

History and Present-Day Deniers Seek to Modify Society, Generally to Totalitarian Class-Specific Ends

Photo of Kelly R. Smith   by Kelly R. Smith

Nazi book burning; an act of cancel culture
Nazi book burning; an act of cancel culture
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What does the term “cancel culture” mean today? Dictionary.com says it is, “the phenomenon or practice of publicly rejecting, boycotting, or ending support for particular people or groups because of their socially or morally unacceptable views or actions: Cancel culture can ruin careers, but it can also make a public figure think twice before posting controversial comments,” and “the phenomenon or practice of publicly rejecting, boycotting, or ending support for particular people or groups because of their socially or morally unacceptable views or actions: Cancel culture can ruin careers, but it can also make a public figure think twice before posting controversial comments.1

So, you should be concerned, very concerned. We have this “new face” of this form of social engineering and revisionist history, but consider this tidbit from the World War II-era:

First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak out for me

Martin Niemöller, a German Lutheran pastor and theologian opposing the Nazi rise to power

History of Cancel Culture

It has always been used by the powerful to control and isolate the elements of society that they disapproved of. Ironically, today the tables have been somewhat turned via the tools of the internet and social media in particular. Fake news is a particularly efficient vehicle. Here are some examples from a historical perspective.

Where did it all start? Most likely it has been with us from the beginning when a caveman was ostracized from the group for some slight or inability to contribute to the survival of the group. As historically documented though, American Thinker tells us, “Cancel culture has its roots in intolerance dating back to the French Revolution (1789-1794), when Robespierre’s Reign of Terror resulted in some 30,000 deaths — a period accompanied by a concerted effort to erase and destroy Christianity and its traditions and institutions.  The culmination of that phase of the French Revolution was marked by the regimes’ installation of a prostitute as head of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  With that affront to decency and elimination of God, Robespierre and his successors thought they could rule without moral constraints. “2



Russia introduced a kind of Photoshop mentality to the concept. As the head of Red Army, Leon Trotsky was instrumental in making the communist revolution come to fruition for Vladimir Lenin, and for his successor Stalin after the former died in 1924.  However, by 1927, Stalin had purged Trotsky from the now-powerful Communist Party and Soviet politics. He expelled him from the country in 1929. Then Stalin assembled a team to erase all photographs as well as references to Trotsky in each and every historical record. When the order ultimately went out to have him assassinated years later, the cancellation had been done and there was hardly an official record or photograph left showing that Trotsky ever even graced Russia with his presence.

China was hardly different. Mao Zedong’s communist revolution was founded on historical determinism. This was a fundamental tenet of this flavor of Marxism that required the cancellation of past history and the subordination of its citizens to the collective identity of the communist state. During the Cultural Revolution between 1966 and 1976, Mao instructed his Red Guards to unify the country’s populace to cancel and rid itself of what he held to be the so-called “Four Olds”: Old customs, Old culture, Old habits, and Old ideas. The result was devastating, with Chinese people turning on each other and confused, brainwashed youth betraying their own siblings parents, and grandparents. At the end of it all, Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Chinese Cultural Revolution were responsible for at least 40 million deaths, both those for which Mao was ultimately responsible and those that sprung from the draconian, disastrous policies he obstinately refused to change.



The Current American Cancel Culture

Until recently, most Americans were rolling right along, prospering financially, advancing technologically, and seemingly happy as the proverbial clam. All was not so with the government apparatchiks in Washington. The mainstream media, in their own bellicose style, were alternately promoting the far-left agenda, and “reporting” (rather, chopped, pressed, and formed; just like your favorite pseudo-food) events with such a spin that fact-checkers couldn’t keep up. No matter, the fact-checkers in their employ were hardly non-partisan anyway. Classic smoke and mirrors.

Black Lives Matter and Antifa entered the fray, orchestrating and participating in “peaceful” rioting, looting, destruction of both public and private property, and mercilessly beating anyone wearing a red MAGA hat. Others eagerly began to participate. Colin Kaepernick fanned the flames of the abolish-the-police faction of the movement with his infamous pig socks which he gladly flaunted to the press. Nike corporate capitulated and responded by signing him as their flagship lackey. College students were rallied in their legions by progressive tenured professors who had been roused from the slumber of their dotage by all the hoopla. The stage having been set, the left began making damnfools of corporate America and dismantling or renaming (taming) these icons of industry:

  1. The Muppets. Inanimate puppets which PBS saw as racially diverse are now seen by the far left as insulting. How does one meander further left than PBS?
  2. Aunt Jemima. Because you have to slave over a hot stove to get those pancakes out.
  3. Mrs. Butterworth’s. The same as her colleague Jemima but with the added slur of using a pronoun that is not LGBT-approved. Also, “Mrs.” rather than “Ms” is supportive of the ersatz concept of patriarchy.
  4. Uncle Ben’s Rice. Lawd no!
  5. Cream of Wheat. There’s a tiny picture of a Chef-of-Color on the box. Real black men aren’t stereotypical cooks unless it’s barbecue in a beer ad.
  6. Eskimo Pies. I get it — Associating indigenous peoples with a frozen confection is racist.
  7. Land O’ Lakes Butter. Lose the Indian maiden logo; alert all dictionary publishers to red-line the word “squaw.”
  8. Gone With the Wind. No longer a valid historical drama and brilliant cinemagraphic presentation because it not only portrays not only slaves-of-color but female slaves-of-color. You damn misogynistic bigots! Two strikes, damn your eyes!
  9. Cleveland Indians baseball team mascot. Because they don’t win enough?
  10. Washington Redskins team mascot. See number 9.
  11. Mr. Potato Head. Just because of the pronoun “Mr.” Company representatives actually said they didn’t want to limit its gender choices. #tubersaregenderfree
  12. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer. They are saying it’s because he’s a bully. The way I remember it, he was the one excluded from the reindeer games and therefore, the victim. Besides not even getting the story line straight before passing judgement, it’s fiction, you progressive bullies!
  13. Dr. Seus. Oh, for crying out loud. They say the author may have had some racist tendencies which he evolved from post-puberty. When in doubt, pillory and convict.

Did Speaker of the House Pelosi Attempt to Cancel Trump in Violation of the U.S. Constitution?

Judicial Watch, a constitutional watchdog group working in the public interest, has filed a FOIA suit against the U.S. Department of Defense for records of Pelosi’s January 8, 2021, telephone call with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Defense (No 1:21-cv-00593)3 to answer this question.

At the heart of the matter is a phone call that Speaker of the House Pelosi made to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley regarding President Trump. She acknowledges that the call was “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike. The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy.”

The problem, as the Wall Street Journal editorial page sees it is, “Mrs. Pelosi’s call to Gen. Milley is itself a violation of the separation of powers by seeking to inject herself into an executive-branch military decision. She can offer advice all she wants, but this call at this time has the sound of an order. It might even be construed by some as its own little coup—conniving with the military to relieve of command the person who remains the elected President.”4

Did the CDC Communicate with Big Tech about COVID-19?

Big Tech has taken upon itself the mantle of Ministry of Health Truth by censoring users and doctors with which its opinions disagree. It demands that everyone march in lockstep. To what extent has the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) been involved in this?

Judicial Watch has filed another lawsuit to get to the bottom of this to which they say, “The public has the right to know about CDC’s involvement in Big Tech’s outrageous censorship of Americans, including doctors, who raise questions about the COVID-19 response. The Biden administration should stop stonewalling and release the records about the CDC’s role in suppressing the free speech of Americans.”

The bottom line is that the history of cancel culture and denial of truth is as old as mankind itself but is perhaps more dangerous today than it has ever been. Totalitarianism? Do you think it can’t happen here? The very fact that so many people are willing to accept erasing and banning from society something as mundane as a cartoon character because a manipulative minority finds it offensive (or contrary to a radical political agenda) speaks volumes. Inevitably, the pendulum swings, as it always does.


Further Reading


Resources

  1. Dictionary.com, Definition of Cancel Culture, https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cancel-culture?s=t
  2. Scott S. Powell, American Thinker, Cancel Culture: Its Origins and Implications for America, https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/03/cancel_culture_its_origins_and_implications_for_america.html
  3. Judicial Watch, JW v. HHS CDC Social Media complaint 00625, https://www.judicialwatch.org/documents/jw-v-hhs-cdc-social-media-complaint-00625/
  4. The Wall Street Journal, A Coup of Pelosi’s Own, https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-coup-of-pelosis-own-11610148740

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Is Tuition-Free College an American Right?

Should Government Force Taxpayers to Pay for Other People’s Children’s Education?

by Kelly R. Smith

Is tuition-free college a fair trade for tax-payers?
Is tuition-free college a fair trade for tax-payers?
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This article was updated on 01/08/21.

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Tuition-free college is one of those concepts that can be labeled as a “political football” just as topics such as abortion and drug criminalization are. Whether the ideas gain any traction and effect legislation after any given election is doubtful but they are certainly bandied about for the purposes of pandering and invoking the dog whistle.

Painting with a broad brush, it is a safe bet to say that liberals, leftists (yes, there is a difference), and Democrats favor some form of “free” college while those on the right, libertarians, conservatives, and Republicans oppose it. None of this is surprising since the left favors collectivism and the right prefers independence and personal responsibility. But in the end, the question looms — is tuition-free higher education an American right?

Does the Constitution Name Education as a Right?

No, the US Constitution does not express an opinion on the subject of education. You surely have an inherent right to get an education, the have the right to educate yourself, and the right to provide an education to others if you desire. That’s covered under the 9th and 10th Amendments:

  • The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
  • The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So the Constitution, by deliberate omission, negates the notion that free tuition is a right. The only way the concept could hold water at all would be if the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) somehow made an interpretation and rendered a decision. Not that that is beyond the pale; consider how Justice Roberts allowed Obamacare by somehow interpreting the meaning of the words tax and penalty. Through what lens of reality does that man peer?

Why Tuition-Free Higher Education is Morally Wrong

Let us assume for a moment that all Americans (and as Bernie Sanders and AOC champion, even illegal aliens) have the right to a “free” education. In life, nothing is free. In this case, it’s all tax dollars, baby. This means that applicants would have a “right” to the labor of others. What is the definition of that? Slavery. As per the 13th Amendment, you have no right to the labor of others. Look it up.

Walter Williams nails social justice
Walter Williams nails social justice

So who does end up paying? Obviously, there are those who simply have chosen to go straight into the workplace after high school. They’re paying their own way; why should the law mandate that they shoulder the financial burdens of those why simply want a free ride? Consider these others:

  • In school year 2017–18, the national adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for public high school students was 85%. Those without a diploma are not headed to college; at least not right away. They will be too busy paying for middle-class kids.
  • Retirees, many of which have already paid to educate their children. Enough already.
  • Members of the workforce making minimum wage or fighting for commission sales.
  • Entrepreneurs taking financial chances and providing jobs for others.
  • Citizens who go by choice go into the trades after high school, becoming carpenters, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc.
  • People that choose the military or police track. Why should they pay to educate those that they are defending? What an insult.


But Don’t We Pay for Free Elementary and Secondary School?

Yes… it’s apples and oranges. Elementary and secondary education is administered and financed on a local level, not federal. Communities have a self-interest in getting their citizens through this level of life-preparation for local economic, cultural, and security reasons.

How do you now feel about tuition-free college being an American right? If you are looking forward to having someone else support you while you pursue a college degree it’s probably because it’s like free candy and you’ve got a sugar tooth. But the path already exists. Do your bit and take advantage of the G.I. Bill. Get a part-time job. Apply for Pell Grants. Apply for scholarships. Take out low-interest college loans. Take responsibility. That’s my take. Many readers might wonder how I justify my opinion. Well, just to be transparent — I worked part-time at the local library while I used the G.I. Bill. When that ran out, I was a full-time carpenter during the day while attending night school. And after it was all done, no student loans.


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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

History of Labor Day

by Kelly R. Smith

A Labor Day American flag under a blue sky
A Labor Day American flag under a blue sky
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This article was updated on 09/02/20.

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September in both the United States and Canada. Its purpose in America is to celebrate the contributions that everyday workers have made to the prosperity, strength, and well-being of the nation. It is also recognized as the unofficial last day of summer and a day to celebrate national sovereignty.

Origins of Labor Day

Although different labor groups and trade unionists proposed days to celebrate, eventually a September holiday called Labor Day was first proposed in the early 1880s. Alternate stories of the event’s origination exist.

One popular belief is that the event originated in connection with a General Assembly of the Knights of Labor held in New York City in September of 1882. Concurrent with this clandestine Knights gathering, a public parade featuring various labor organizations was held on September 5 under the general organizers of the Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York.

Another belief holds that the idea of Labor Day was the brainchild of Peter J. McGuire who held the position of a vice president of the American Federation of Labor. He suggested the initial proposal in the spring of 1882. According to McGuire, on May 8, 1882, he offered a proposal to the fledgling Central Labor Union in New York City that a day be designated for a “general holiday for the laboring classes”. He further recommended that the occasion should commence with a street parade as a public demonstration of organized labor’s solidarity and strength followed by a picnic, to which participating local unions could sell tickets as a fundraiser.

There is no dispute that in 1887 Oregon became the first state in the country to name Labor Day as an official public holiday. In 1894 it became an official federal holiday and thirty U.S. states officially celebrated Labor Day. Since then, all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories have recognized Labor Day as a statutory holiday. Note that some holidays are not officially sanctioned, such as St. Patrick’s Day.

Is Labor Day the Same as May Day?

May 1 is an internationally-recognized holiday and is known as May Day or International Worker’s Day. Is there a correlation between May Day and Labor Day? Not really. May Day is much more politically charged and has less of a flavor of worker’s accomplishments and more a flavor of Communist, Socialist, and Anarchist politics.

In particular, President Grover Cleveland was one of the people concerned that a labor holiday held on May 1 would become an implicit commemoration of the Haymarket Affair and would strengthen socialist and anarchist movements that backed the May 1 commemoration around the globe.

The Haymarket affair (also called the Haymarket massacre or Haymarket riot) was the violence that ensued after a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday, May 4, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago. It started as a peaceful rally supporting workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the day before by the police. An unknown individual tossed a dynamite bomb at police as they worked to disperse the meeting. The bomb blast and following gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; dozens of others were wounded. It sounds remarkably similar to the mayhem, rioting, and looting conjured up by Black Lives Matter and Antifa today in America, 2020.

Labor Day Activities

Like any federal holiday, it is not just another day off from work but it is also a time to relax and spend time with family and friends. Because of the nice weather at this time of year it is an opportunity for outdoor activities like barbecues, fun runs, and ball games. Things will be a little different this year because of COVID-19.

There are also many Labor Day sales since many school years have just begun or are about to begin. Many sporting events are coordinated around this day.  National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams usually play their first games that weekend and the National Football League (NFL) traditionally play their kickoff game the Thursday following Labor Day. The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race has been held on Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina from 1950 to 2003 and since 2015.

So whatever activities you choose to do on Labor Day, remember that actual labor is not one of them!



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Democratic Socialism in America

How It has Failed Everywhere It was Tried; Why the Allure Keeps Bobbing to the Surface

Photo of Kelly R. Smith   by Kelly R. Smith

The economic fallacy of Socialism and redistribution
The economic fallacy of Socialism and redistribution
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This article was updated on 01/24/21.

Recently there has been a surge in Democratic Socialism in America. Bernie Sanders may have run against Hillary Clinton as a Democrat but in reality he is a self-described Democratic Socialist. He campaigned hard and gained an impressive following who subscribed to his fascination with creating an entitlement society. In the end he was sabotaged by Hillary Clinton and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

That election and the following one are over. Bernie faded back somewhat but he is a loyal trooper and has done his job for the movement. Not a whimper of complaint about how the DNC through chicanery gave his campaign the boot. Donald Trump won, served his 4 years, and now Joe Biden beat him through more political chicanery, this time at the ballot box.

Enter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) won the Democratic primary on June 26, 2018 in New York’s 14th congressional district. In doing so she defeated the incumbent, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley. This victory has been described by some as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm-election season. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has been endorsed by a number politically progressive organizations.

As of this writing she is the darling of the Democrat party in general. Coming up on mid-terms though, the old hands were realizing that she is a liability. They were torn though because she was energizing the base which to a large extent consisted of low-information millennials who are suckers for the mantra, “free health care, free university, high pay for flipping burgers, more safe spaces.” Many of these individuals, although not all, are more likely to be members or sympathizers of the domestic terrorist organization Antifa rather than productive society which is supposed to pay for their freebies.

AOC and her squad, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the far-left Democrats, the mainstream media, and many large corporations have come together to protest, riot, loot, and take over parts of major cities to produce a cultural shift in America. The COVID-19 pandemic provided the perfect opportunity. The main goal is to topple President Trump in the upcoming 2020 election.

How Can They Make the Give-Away Nanny State Work?

In an interview on “The Daily Show,” with host Trevor Noah, Ocasio-Cortez basically trotted out the tired, boring, unrealistic party lines. “If they pay their fair share; if corporations and the ultra-wealthy, for example as Warren Buffet likes to say, if he pays as much as his secretary paid, a 15% tax rate…”

She then goes on to say, “raise the corporate tax rate to 28%.” I suppose to hell with all the job creation and repatriated corporate cash that the Trump tax cuts have created.

Next she goes after the military budget. She drones on, “Just last year we gave the military a $700 billion budget increase which they didn’t even ask for. They’re like ‘We don’t want another fighter jet; they’re, like, don’t give us another nuclear bomb’. They didn’t even ask for it. And we gave it to them.”

Tell that to the USAF jet mechanic on the flight line patching up jets with “gently used” replacement parts.

This is the very same Ocasio-Cortez that tweeted that the GOP is weak on national security. So come on Alexandria, which is it? We all feel better knowing that under your Socialist party you can achieve strong national security without funding the military. How will that policy ensure our national sovereignty? Sounds a bit like unicorns and rainbows.



Socialism and Communism’s Failures Throughout History

Both Socialism and Communism have failed where ever they were tried; there are subtle differences between the two but for the purpose of this discussion, they have both enslaved vast populations and substituted the family structure for government authority. As Hillary Clinton said, “It takes a village,” referring to child-rearing. Although touted as altruistic economic systems, that has always been smoke and mirrors. Certainly there have been “true believers,” but in the end it has always boiled down to human nature.

The leaders have always become murderous, confiscatory tyrants. The followers have always submitted because of the prospect of benefiting from the labor of others. As our nature, we are for the most part a greedy lot.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

― Margaret Thatcher

  • Plato’s Republic depicted a type of collective society in his dialog, (360 B.C.). This was more of a thought experiment.
  • In 16th-century England, Thomas More’s Utopia drew on Platonic ideals for his , an imaginary island where money has been done away with and people live and work communally.
  • Early socialists such as Henri de Saint-Simon, Robert Owen and Charles Fourier conceptualized their models for social organization that were based on cooperation instead of. This was largely driven by the Industrial Revolution. Saint-Simon promoted a system where the state manages production and distribution of goods for the benefit of all society. Fourier (French) and Owen (British) advocated systems made up of small collective communities rather than a centralized state.
  • Owen had owned and operated textile mills in Lanark, Scotland. He set off to the United States in 1825 to launch an experimental community in New Harmony, Indiana. His doomed commune was based with the expectancy of self-sufficiency, cooperation, and public ownership of property. The experiment was at odds with the American spirit, soon failed, and Owen lost much of his fortune.
  • Over 40 small cooperative agricultural communities were inspired and built per Fourier’s theories across the United States. Only one of these, based in Red Bank, New Jersey, lasted into the 1930s.
  • Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto offered theories that were taken up and slightly modified by various political parties (such as the German Social Democratic Party) and leaders like Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong. Thousands of deaths and acts of brutality ensued.
  • After the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the formation of the Soviet Union—social democracy and communism emerged as the two most dominant socialist movements throughout the world.

History of Socialism in America

In the United States Socialism found its beginning with utopian communities in the early 19th century. A good example is the Shakers. Labor activists who were usually British, German, or Jewish immigrants founded the Socialist Labor Party in 1877.

The Socialist Party of America was established in 1901. It is interesting to note that anarchism also established itself around the nation. At this time socialists of different stripes were involved in early American labor organizations and struggles. One thing led to another resulting in the Haymarket affair in Chicago which started International Worker’s Day.

This evolved into the main worker’s holiday around the world except in the US, which observes Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

The Socialist Party of America presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs was opposed to World War I and his influence led to the governmental repression we know as the First Red Scare. The Socialist Party declined in the 1920s, but nonetheless often ran Norman Thomas for President. Fast forward to the 1950s; socialism was affected by McCarthyism and in the 1960s it was revived by the general radicalization brought by the New Left and other social struggles and revolts.

The socialist movement has always had its adherents on our soil but has never been able to sway the majority of the population. For one thing, many hard-working Americans are well informed enough to know that socialism does not work.

Democratic Socialism in America is also hampered by the freedom of citizens to participate in a capitalist system where hard work pays off.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Trump and Kim Jong Un Played Chicken; Kim Blinked First

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Kim Jong Un's ballistic missile policy
Kim Jong Un’s ballistic missile policy

This article was updated on 8/18/18.

This morning we awake to yet another chapter in the unfolding global melodrama between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, the unhinged dictator of the hermit kingdom.

Kim Jong Un, or the “Pillsbury Doughboy with a really, really bad haircut” has been very vocal about his plans for the U.S. unincorporated United States territory of Guam. Specifically, he has been threatening to fire four missiles in order to surround the U.S. territory of Guam in “enveloping fire.”

Undoubtedly this is a trick right out of his father Kim Jong-il’s playbook. Rattle that rusty old saber, make a few headlines, and sit back and wait for humanitarian food aid.

Historically, US presidents back down from North Korean threats. For example, as recently as 2009 the Obama administration said that it will not enforce a UN resolution allowing the interdiction of North Korea’s shipping when suspected of illegal arms traffic.  Instead, the US will ask permission to inspect, and retreat when refused. This weakness did not bode well for Obama’s legacy.

Donald Trump is the New Sheriff in Town

No doubt Kim Jong Un imagined this tried and true strategy would keep working with his threat to attack Guam as he sipped 100-year old whiskey and cavorted with his concubines. However he was ill-prepared to hear President Trump warn Pyongyang last week that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” and could engulf the North in “fire and fury.”

Kim’s response after having a look at a military plan presented to him by his senior officers was telling. He seems to have had an uh-oh moment and realized he wasn’t dealing with Obama anymore. This isn’t the former guy that spends his working hours playing on the golf course, this is the guy that owns the golf course.

Kim is now in full backpedaling mode and says he has resolved not to launch the attack on Guam just yet but instead advised the U.S. “to take into full account” whether the current standoff was to its benefit. He also said it was incumbent on the U.S. to “stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer.”

He went on to say, “If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared.”

Sanctions Against North Korea Also a Factor

The recent UN-mandated sanctions against North Korea are likely a factor figuring into Kim’s come-to-Jesus moment. Although he usually scoffs at sanctions, this time even Russia and China committed.

China is the real surprise. It is Kim’s largest trading partner and cheerleader. The Chinese customs agency specified that on Monday it will cease processing imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ores and fish at midnight on September 5.

The latest sanctions, considering all the nations that are participating, are expected to block exports valued at more than $1 billion. This is significant since total exports are valued at $3 billion last year.

Over the years Kim has used various means (other than ruthless treatment and starvation of his countrymen) to keep his grip on power. One of these is the state propaganda of the Kim Jong Un as a mystical figure. Perhaps he can use some of that mojo to channel his father and ask for advice.

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Why the American Liberal Wing of the Party has the Democrats Floundering

by Kelly R. Smith

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Liberalism defined by Norman Thomas
Liberalism defined by Norman Thomas

Post updated on 11/01/20

The policies and philosophies of both the Democrat and Republican parties are always in flux. At times this is such a slow process that it is hardly noticeable except in retrospect. The Republicans still identify as  conservatives but in action they have become Republicrats. They still talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. Both John Boehner and Paul Ryan rolled over and gave President Obama everything he wanted. Without a fight or any credible sausage-making.

And the Democrats? They’ve lost their way as well. They have lost the White House, the Senate, most of the state governor slots, and many seats on the municipal level. They have regained the House during the mid-term election and promptly reinstated the delusional Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

The party today is disjointed, comprised of the mainstream sheepls, the liberals, and the truly unrealistic liberals (socialists) such as “Bolshevik” Bernie Sanders. Well, he’s not technically a Democrat but he ran as one and caucuses with them so the point is moot. It doesn’t help that Hillary Clinton‘s illegal chicanery cost him the nomination, something the mainstream party’s faithful and the fickle millennials choose to ignore. Those rules don’t apply to us. Hint, hint, nod, nod.

The Democrat Party Players Have Outlived Their Usefulness

One of the reasons the Democrat party has been experiencing a meltdown is that there are few new players of any caliber. And the old guard is hanging on like frayed bookmarks. They are old and it shows.

Take Nancy Pelosi for example. She has lapses of memory leading to stuttering or mumbling, “Uh, uh, uh.” She has taken to giggling like a 5-year old at the most inappropriate and solemn moments. And when referring to the sitting president Trump she had this to say, “There’s nothing I can work with President Bush on.” Um Nancy, that was over eight years and two iterations of Obama ago?

And Maxine Waters seems to have some neural synapse issues as well. Speaking of the Russians she said, “They have hacked our D-triple C, uh, DNC.” Maxine, it’s your party’s infrastructure; you should know the acronyms by now.  And continuing she said, “As Putin is advancing into Korea.” If she ever had a grasp on basic geography or international politics, it’s faded away like the morning dew.

And let us not forget Sheila Jackson Lee saying, “I stand here as a free slave.” If memory serves, all slaves were freed before her time. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg but they demonstrate that no young guns are stepping up from the ranks.

Societal Changes Have Morphed the Democrat Party

It can be said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (not to be confused with the ballsy Theodore Roosevelt) and his policies ushered in the age of American liberalism. His New Deal put those policies into practice. This spirit of liberalism embodied the philosophy that citizens were united in a collective enterprise. They banded together to construct a strong nation and protect each other. The mantra they marched to was, “Solidarity, opportunity and public duty.”


Both sides of the isle will admit that this construct served the country well in its time of need. But times change, technology advances, citizens embrace new concepts of self-identity and relationships, and American liberalism has hardly had feet of clay.

Things really began to change when President Reagan ushered in the concepts of self-reliance and small government. The country flourished economically and suddenly traditional liberalism lost its sheen.

The days of all working together for the collective good were gone. The various groups of progressive activists splintered off and began to direct their efforts away from mainstream party politics and toward a broad range of single-issue social movements that provoke liberal anger. The politics of identity is now the name of the game.

Nowhere is this more obvious than on college campuses across the nation. Liberal, tenured professors mold the young minds not with Roosevelt’s all of us together attitude, but encouraging separation along identity lines. This is classic Obama/Saul Alinski/Antifa tactics. Divide while accusing your opponent of deviding. Rather than encouraging these young adults to grow up and take responsibility for themselves, they provide “safe spaces” where they can play with Legos and finger-paint. And some of these spaces are segregated.

These are the snowflakes that the Democrat party is inheriting. And encouraging, as the mindless bots that they are.

Democrats Have Contradictory Bias Issues

Not long ago the alt-left folks were having fits because a Christian baker would not betray his convictions by decorating a wedding cake for a gay couple. Fair enough; it is his business even if Obama would have said, “You didn’t build that.”

Barack Obama, "You didn't build that."
Barack Obama, “You didn’t build that.”

But now the tables have turned. This happened when Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to eat a meal in peace. “I was asked to leave because I worked for President Trump,” she said, adding, “We are allowed to disagree but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm, and this goes for all people regardless of politics.”



Yeh, and the Democrats rejoice. Unlike the Christian baker, under liberal rules a bigoted Democrat restaurant manager has the right to refuse business. Because business is their religion? Perhaps. Despite the restrictions they put on them.

No wonder the Democrat party is floundering. They have no rudder, they have no clear direction, and their “leaders” have dementia.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

So Much Hypocrisy, So Little Time

OK, just to get this started, I do not always or often use this blog as a bully pulpit. But, perhaps the time has come. There is so much insanity in the news today. It might be that my advanced age or my meds are having a subtle effect on me, but I think it is time to tell some people to put on their big-girl panties and SHUT THE HELL UP.

  1. Kathy Griffin’s juvenile stunt with the President’s decapitated head. OK, you were more than a idiot for doing it, but now you portray yourself  as the victim of your pathetic stunt? Even CNN fired you. How much more of a loser can you be? Where were you when Obama was trampling on the constitution and illegally surveying citizens without a search warrant? Moron award #1.
  2. The black community criticizing Bill Maher for using the dreaded “N-Word” saying,” Senator, I’m a house n—-a.” Black entertainers and celebrities and rappers and regular black folks on the street delight with using this term to describe their friends. Yo. And it is totally cool with the martini-sipping inner-city hipster types. But if you want to criticize Bill, clean up your own act first. And while I’m at it, drop the term “ho.” Your moron-ness is showing more than your undies on your sagging britches. Moron award #2.
  3. Hillary Clinton not calling it quits. Ok, she lost; get over it. She was so in love with herself she thought she had it in the bag. After all, she was a woman so it was her turn, qualifications and felonies be damned. Now she is blaming the DNC who conspired with her to cheat against Bernie Sanders in the Democrat primaries. Moron award #3.
  4. The “good Muslims.” Well, this is the story that won’t go away. Refugee Muslims in Germany defecating on lawns and raping citizens. The ones in London first raping children and now mowing people down with a truck and stabbing as many as they can “for allah.” Yet the “good Muslims” still welcome terrorists into the mosque and refuse to turn them in. You are complicit. Clean up your own house. Take a stand and drop the “religion of peace” crap. Moron award #4.

Well, these are just a few of the things that have me juiced up and most other writers are afraid to mention. Let me not be the last to remind you: laying down and saying , “la-la-la-la” is your own choice.


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The Sad Demise of Michelle and Barack Obama’s Legacy

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Article updated on 02/28/20

A presidential legacy is a term that is often bandied about as an indicator as to what kind of impact the president had on society and global policy. This is also true, albeit to lesser extent, with first ladies and their “pet projects.”

For most presidents the jury remains out for a while, sometimes as long as a decade, in order to give the dust time to settle. But with the Obamas, it began happening almost overnight. There is no way to sugar-coat this—the initiatives were bold but they were doomed to failure due to being ill-conceived or outright counter-American values.

One problem is that Barry Obama never really had any real world experience to prepare him for office. Even the most lowly congressional aide knows that the president of the United States doesn’t bow to a Saudi king.

Or deliver pallets of cash to the Iranians like some mafioso, just to avoid banking channels and legitimate procedure.

Even had he been the best community organizer in that economic crackerjack city of Chicago, that doesn’t really qualify as the executive experience that a job such as the Presidency demands. And nothing he did was even original; it was mostly cobbled together from the ideas of his mentor Frank Marshall Davis and Saul Alinsky both avowed communists or socialists.

If it can be called a component of a legacy, the establishment of a highly-effective shadow government was brilliant. His loyal civil servant followers continue to soldier on long after that last trip on the tax-payer’s dime.

And Michelle? Meh. She may have been a competent lawyer, who knows? But for someone to utter, “This is the first time I have been proud of my country,” only after she has landed the fattest plum of a spousal job on the planet? Oy vey! What a total lack of decorum.


Barack Obama’s Failed Programs

Although Obama delved into many social and economic experiments consistent with his progressive agenda, only three have the dubious honor of taking center stage.

For example, venturing into the clean energy game might have been a laudable goal but doing it with no real scientific justification and rolling the dice with taxpayer money was just a bad move; there is no other way to put it. Remember Solendra? They left taxpayers liable for $535 million in federal guarantees. This kind of speculative investment is best left to the private sector because they can conduct business much more effectively and realistically.

The next failed initiative is Obamacare. Granted that it’s inception was perhaps done with the best of intentions, but it was unworkable from the beginning. Now it is collapsing under it’s own weight; the last of the huge insurance companies are bailing and Grandma can’t afford her meds.

Finally, the Iran deal brokered by John Kerry was doomed to failure from the get-go. This was a bad deal and it resonates with the Neville Chamberlain mindset when dealing with Hitler—you know; just give them a bit of appeasement and life is good. It’s not playing out so well with the emboldened Iranians now that they have cash-in-hand and an Obama absolution for all things done.

Obama’s Transgressions Just Keep On Coming

Unlike past ex-presidents, Obama hasn’t had the good grace to bow out and let the new president go about his business. He keeps his hand in it, partially some think by guiding his own shadow government with the help of his old allies and minions who are still in government employ (and are the prime suspects of carefully-planned leaks under the Trump administration).

It turns out that it is a two-edged sword. Yes, he can continue as a radical organizer on a grand scale to try to topple Trump but it also keeps him under public scrutiny. His misdeeds keep surfacing.

  • Sam Westrop of the Middle East Forum tells us that following the civil war in Sudan, ” The Obama administration approved a grant of $200,000 of taxpayer money to an al-Qaeda affiliate in Sudan — a decade after the U.S. Treasury designated it as a terrorist-financing organization. More stunningly, government officials specifically authorized the release of at least $115,000 of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization.”

Michelle Obama’s Failed Legacy

Michelle Obama had a laudable goal of getting American children in shape and eating right. The problem is that she approached it too scientifically and in too much of a heavy-handed manner.

Schoolchildren would hardly eat the industrial slop they were fed to begin with, but at least it was things they liked such delicacies as pizza, burgers, fries, etc. When all of this was replaced with “healthy” industrial slop the kids rebelled and most of the victuals ended up in the trash.

She also failed to take into account that kids that participated in after-school activities like sports and cheerleading were running on empty when expected to perform since they were not allowed to pack snacks on school property; many schools were instructed to frisk the kids and to dispose of “unauthorized” food items, leaving the parent’s wishes completely out of the loop.

Her stance today is summed up as, in her words, “So consumers out there – again, I don’t care where you’re from, what your party is – I would be highly insulted by that thought. ‘You want to talk about nanny state and government intervention? Well, you just buy the food and be quiet. You don’t need to know what’s in it.’ That’s essentially what a move like this is saying to you, mom. They think you don’t care because what they hear from are the people who want their kids to eat whatever they want to eat.”

Her legacy on this issue is doomed because parents don’t want to be preached to, don’t want to be told that the government does not approve of the way they handle their private and personal family relationships.

Barack and Michelle Obama's failed accomplishments
Barack and Michelle Obama’s failed accomplishments

The Bottom Line

The joint Obama legacy will not likely be one that is a long time in the making. Just five months into a new administration all these lofty ambitions have crumbled into the footnotes of history. Is this good or bad? That is your decision to make, dear reader.


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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.






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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.


And Coming Up to the Mid-Term Elections

Sorry Bernie, Socialism Doesn’t Work

America’s Democrat Fascination with Socialism

by Kelly R. Smith

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Hungry Venezuelans queue up for food scraps after socialist government collapse.
Hungry Venezuelans queue up for food scraps after socialist government collapse.

This article was updated on 10/09/20.

Bernie Sanders was a strong contender for the Democrat party nomination during the last presidential election. In fact, there is much (well-deserved) speculation that he only got edged out by Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s dirty tricks.

Bernie’s issue with middle America was that he is a Democratic Socialist. Most folks in flyover country don’t want free stuff; they want jobs. Of course the youth want free college and forgiveness of student loans but for those of us that actually have to foot the bills, that is not such a promising prospect. In what world does it make sense to fund someone else’s children’s higher education? K-12 is one thing; that is good for society at large, but college? No.

Bernie Sanders is not alone in his desire to control every aspect of our lives and sweep the Constitution away like so much rubbish. Upstart first-term congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC) is busy making waves. Her antics and lack of knowledge about all things economic and otherwise are beginning to rankle even her fellow Democrats. The first term is supposed to be about learning from established colleagues but she will have none of it.

Her outlandish ideas are exemplified by her proposed “Green New Deal” which aims to allow the government to regulate bovine flatulence (cow farts), eliminating air travel (although she doesn’t mind using it herself), and a government-enforced retrofit to her green standards of all buildings across the country. That’s right; the property owner doesn’t get a say. This, people, is what Democratic Socialism has in store for you.

What is Socialism?

Socialism is defined as a range of economic and social systems that are characterized by social ownership and worker’s self-management of the various means of production as well as the political theories and the movements that are associated with them.

Social ownership is a broad term. It may refer to forms of public, collective, or cooperative ownership, or to citizen ownership of equity There are a number of varieties of Socialism and there exists no single definition encapsulating all of them, however, social ownership is the common thread woven throughout its various forms. The problem is human nature. Why should I work hard if most of the resulting gains are to be distributed to those less disposed to do so? The incentive is removed; society stagnates. Entrepreneurs and visionaries fade away. All that’s left is a glut of worker-bots and government central planners.

Socialism vs Capitalism

Welcome to Venezuela

A recent Foxnews report tells us that, “a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.”

This in a country that should be enjoying riches from its oil reserves. But looking deeper there are two issues. First, and most problematic, is that Venezuela has a fondness for socialism rather than a free market.

Yes, free stuff works fine when the oil is flowing but basing your economy on just one commodity is dangerous, nay, it is suicidal. The problem with their oil, as abundant as it is, is that it is extremely sour crude. This simply means that the sulfur content is so high that hardly any refineries will process it. It just costs too much to refine and the extracted sulfur itself is dangerous and difficult to dispose of.

It’s Simple Economics

It is no secret that the market today is flush with sweeter crude due to shale sands, fracking, and other technologies. So why import and refine Venezuelan crude at higher prices? The issue will only get worse since President Trump approved the Keystone Pipeline. There is no prospect for any improvement for the common Venezuelan citizen. People will starve and medical care will stay on its downward spiral.

So there you have it. Socialism, a reclusive and closed country, a reluctance to develop agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism; it is simply a recipe for disaster. The common people suffer. We see it not only in Venezuela but also in countries such as North Korea. Socialism has only worked in one place as far as I know. That would be the Panama Canal Zone before President Carter gave it away. Ironically, it was a federal agency run by that bastion of free enterprise, the USA. So yes Bernie, you were wrong from the get-go.

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” — Winston Churchill

But the problem is that Bernie is a Utopian. He sincerely believes socialism is the way to “govern” society. Here’s his take in his own words:

Bernie wants to mold America after the (former) Soviet Union and the impoverished Cuba. Both are failed states, which is a fact that he will not acknowledge. Democratic Socialism in America would be no different.

How Socialism Destroys Societies

By its very nature socialism destroys society; no intent is needed. This has been proven over and over. Unfortunately, zealots such as Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and AOC always say they can make it work. The fact is that it is all a mad thirst for power and riches. The previous attempts just didn’t do it the way Karl Marx envisioned it. But, history has proven that…

  • It destroys economic growth. It penalizes success and rewards failure. When the government confiscates money from successful people and redistributes it to the less successful, the successful have no incentive to build businesses and create jobs. Why should they? Just look at Greece today. Once socialism bottomed them out, rather than rethink their economic system, they simply turned to the European Union to keep them afloat. An entire country asking for redistribution from the EU. That might be called macro-socialism.
  • Free speech goes out the door. Just look at the extreme speech codes in Canada. Speak out against the government in China and you are going to jail. Socialist governments can’t abide honest, informed debate about its merits between citizens (or, comrades if you will) who are free to choose or reject it. So they stifle it with regulation.

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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.