Driven to Despair: The Return of American Socialism

by Daniel Mallock (December 2018)


Memorial to the Victims of Communism, Prague, CR. In this memorial, individuals fade away to nothing.


 
 
 
American politics has rarely been more divisive and confrontational than it is today. Our political system is widely understood and characterized as a controlled, ongoing conflict, now quite heated and intense, between "Right" and "Left." These terms have come to characterize the American political landscape despite their being outmoded and vague.
 
These core terms "right" and "left" originated during the French Revolution—that unfortunate nightmare of upheaval that eventually swept across Europe in the late 18th century. At the National Convention in revolutionary France prior to the regicide of Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, the supporters of the king and of a more moderate constitutional monarchical republic sat on the right of the hall; the revolutionist Montagnards, later the Jacobins, sat on the left.
 
After the execution of the king (January, 1793), the revolutionists sitting on the left benches in the Convention called for, and implemented, an extraordinarily swift and radical fundamental overhaul of the existing political system; the ancien régime was wiped away and the liberté/égalité/ fraternité utopian fantasies of the Jacobins forcibly put in place with subsequent catastrophic results. The benches on the right sat empty.
 
The "right," over time, came to be understood as those who support a less rapid form of change, and those on the "left" a more vigorous and swift form. In the American political scene of the present day, these terms have shifting meanings and not all agree as to which are correct and which are not. The difficulty in clearly understanding and applying these terms in reportage, analysis, conversation and debate, and the general confusion that they now cause, suggests the need for a re-assessment of their applicability and value.
 
Terms such as "nationalism," "sovereignty," "government," "citizen," "socialism," and even "communism" are underlying elements of a philosophical conflict now underway in the United States. "Right" no longer means simply a desire for orderly change, or even a strong association with the state or nation itself; "Left" no longer simply means a desire for rapid change and eradication/replacement of sometimes ponderous processes and systems in order to facilitate egalitarianism or "social justice." There is a false dichotomy inherent in these terms that suggests one party to the conflict has no true interest in people, and that humanitarianism, consideration, justice, and compassion are concepts reserved entirely for one side only. American politics is so convulsive, confrontational, and difficult in large part because the language we use to discuss such important matters is faulty.

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The Right/Left divide is not what it seems. American politics is now about philosophy and not at all about policy. Politics has become philosophy “by other means” (to shamelessly paraphrase von Clausewitz).
 
There is no "right wing" in American politics; there is no "alt-right" in American politics. These elements—racist, intolerant, white supremacist, and extremely fringe represent a less than miniscule portion of what formerly was understood to be the American "right." Since these elements are not representative of the mainstream of what was once called the American right, the term "right" is not accurate.
 
The more accurate term to describe the majority of those who oppose those of the Left is this: Centrist Constitutionalists.
 
There is no Right/Left conflict any more in the United States per se. These old terms are obsolete and confusing. The political conflict in the United States has two opposing viewpoints best represented by a new lexicon: Centrist-Constitutionalists and Socialist-Communists.
 
Discredited and dangerous ideas from history are now revived and rehashed mainly due to the fact that so many of us have not learned from history; even more disturbing is that others know the history but prefer to ignore the lessons.
 
In the United States and parts of Europe we’re all in a grotesquely recycled time.
 
According to a recent poll “Of the Democrats who responded to the questionnaire, 57 percent view socialism positively while 47 percent view capitalism positively.” Younger Americans are more likely to support utopian solutions than their elders: “Socialism was most popular with the 18-29 age group, with 51 percent saying they held a positive view, while only 28 percent of the 65+ crowd support the concept.” Other polls show similar results.
 
There is a philosophical conflict in our country—those who support the Constitution and national sovereignty versus globalist, utopian, socialist-communists.
 
While this might appear stark the ugly truth is clear to all who will sift through the muckery of confusion, conflict, rigidity, and falsehoods heaped upon the heads of the people by the media, entertainers, academics, and dangerously confused socialist-communist politicians.
 
We're in a new, great conflict between pragmatism and utopianism, between a proven system of freedom (difficult and inconvenient and ponderous and challenging as it sometimes is) and a utopian fantasy of wealth redistribution, government-as-solution-provider, the eradication of poverty, war, and international conflict based on fraudulent, disproven political/economic theories, and an abiding utopian idealized faith in the perfectibility of humanity. Historian Robert Conquest, in his book "Reflections on a Ravaged Century," delivered as succinct a definition as one is likely to find. "To envisage a unanimous social order is to envisage the absence of individuality. Utopia amounts to the inflation of the 'community' into an entity in its own right, rather than a coherence of individual social human beings."[1] 
 
The utopian view is that through perfected systems and structures and institutions that surpass any limitations of the failed (in their view) nation-state concept, the perfectible humans will thrive and the greatest local, national, and global problems resolved. Such a viewpoint is founded upon often unspoken and unchallenged assumptions that are false, and a denial of history that shows again and again and again that such thinking is impractical, fantastical, fraudulent, and dangerous.
 
Systems and structures and organizations are not perfectible, humans also cannot be perfected. It is this knowledge of the imperfectability of humanity and its inventions that prompted eminent pragmatist John Adams to assert that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[2] Only with a functional and just morality can an open society function and a nation of immigrants be unified under one national identity. In the absence of human perfectibility, laws and morality are the essential elements of a just, functional society. Not all laws, and certainly not all moralities are just, and sometimes a just morality and laws can fail; in the United States we’ve been lucky—so far.
 
We can dedicate ourselves to upholding our foundational laws, improving the institutions that support them, both some two hundred years old that provide the hope of the world by ensuring the ongoing safety of individual freedoms and economic opportunity. This structure of freedom is built upon a foundation of independence, justice, national identity, and self-government.
 
All of this is now "on the table" as the new Jacobins take their places in the national debates about the nature of the country and its future.
 
Ours is not a utopian system; it is pragmatic. This is not to say that it is easy, it often isn't. That it works is clear—why else would foreign nationals in their tens of thousands (and millions) try to make their way here legally and illegally to live in such a country? 
 
In September, 2018, the widely known actor Jim Carrey said that "We have to say yes to socialism—to the word and everything.”
 
The youngest ever new member of Congress, a Democrat from New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a proud, vocal socialist, was endorsed by former president Obama. Former Democrat presidential candidate Sanders of Vermont is widely known for his socialist views.
 
Democrat Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio said on November 19, 2018:
 
"I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs.” He added that, if he had his "druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed," he said. "And there would be very stringent requirements around income levels and rents."
—Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio
 
The socialist "impulse" embraced and cited by Mayor de Blasio is a growing theme on the American political left. It is a direct challenge to long-held concepts about the United States and a rejection of the historical truth about the failure of socialism itself. It is a public denialism of the past and a false packaging of a disproven utopian totalitarianism that is fundamentally opposed to the value of the individual and of individual rights under the constitution.
 
Socialism is a political theory/system that does not work. There are numerous examples to cite—Venezuela being the most obvious. Disturbingly, socialism and socialist concepts are fueling the American left—now most accurately described as “socialist-communist.” 
 
Like all utopian impulses socialism is a kind of cri de coeur of frustration at the injustices, difficulties, and challenges of modern life. Its failures, its body count in the tens of millions, its inherent opposition to what is American are all irrelevant to those who embrace it; it’s the "newest," most "respectable" form of utopianism, and the newest and most dangerous incarnation of historical denialism.
 
Utopians commit the worst crimes, justify the worst horrors, ignore the most obvious counter-arguments, and demonize those who oppose them with bitter intolerance and brutality. Utopians are among the most dangerous people on the face of the earth, wherever and whenever in history they are found.
 
"Socialism is characterized by state ownership of land and all means of production." This is an accurate but insufficient definition.[3] The utopian philosophical elements are missing; no definition of socialism without them is accurate.
 
Lenin, quoting Marx, described the first phase of communist society as socialism.[4]
 
State control is fundamental to both forms of tyranny. It is tyranny because it demolishes the individual and converts him to a tool and cog of the utopian socialist/communist state. American socialist-communists believe that it is only the state that can and will solve the great problems of inequity, poverty, opportunity, and war; it is a deal with the devil.
 
The Nazi party was a socialist party—its leader a dedicated socialist. It was called the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) for this reason. Hitler considered the Soviet variant of socialism an international one (COMINTERN) and his own a national incarnation; this being the essential differentiator, in his opinion, between the two tyrannies. That Nazism was meant to culminate in world domination didn't seem to strike Hitler as contradictory.
 
The purpose of socialism is the destruction of the individual and to convert persons to servants/slaves of the utopian state authority. Socialism is tyranny and antithetical to American concepts of freedom and justice. Adolf Hitler, one of the leading socialists of the catastrophic 20th century, stated the matter quite clearly.
 
Here you see the difference between the former age of individualism and the socialism that is on the horizon. In the past—that is, for most people it is still the present—the individual is everything, everything is directed at maintaining his life and improving his existence. Everything focuses on him. He is the center. Everyone is a central figure, as is officially acknowledged in his vested human rights.
 
In the socialism of the future, on the other hand, what counts is the whole, the community of the Volk. The individual and his life play only a subsidiary role. He can be sacrificed—he is prepared to sacrifice himself should the whole demand it, should the commonweal call for it.
—Adolf Hitler, February or March, 1930
 
Hitler believed that "the National Socialist movement is the harbinger of the return to the will and mission of nature and the upholder of the socialist idea . . .
—Spring, 1932[5]
 
Such is the origin and the path of the American socialist-communist left.
 
It is a sad and discordant thing when a large block of people, frustrated, propagandized, blinkered, and embittered, embrace the ideology of the enemy because they have run out of patience, have no solutions, and have lost hope and faith.
 
Howard Fast, one-time American Communist party member and author of Spartacus, realized the ugly truth about his and its utopianism, and wrote his view of the communist utopian imperative: “. . . A fanatical worship of dogmatized means and an increasing inability to comprehend the ultimate end. Perhaps the best definition of a fanatic is one who, having lost sight of the end, dedicates himself to the means.” [6]
 
The United States is not a utopia—the founders had no intention whatever of trying to create a utopia.
 
They understood full well that such things do not exist and that only through just laws and institutions to support those laws can a viable and functional society be constructed. They built such a society, though it's now not quite good enough for many on the socialist-communist American left. Why? Why is pragmatism so difficult to support? Why is there such a profound and widespread slant toward utopianism and globalism, and a rejection of American sovereignty and pragmatism on the socialist-communist left? There are numerous reasons for this new ongoing rehashing of failed political ideas. The cynic would say that what is old is new again (quoting the old cliché); the pragmatist would say that this is another form of pressure, a renewal of failed ideas in an age of despair and ignorance, all the while in the midst of what ought to be contrary inputs of national strength, comparative peace, widespread availability of (and access to) information, and growing economic opportunity. It is a reaction of fear and a diminution of faith in ourselves, our accomplishments, capabilities, and our history.
 
One of the many beauties and strengths of the open society is the ability to challenge existing orthodoxy and accepted beliefs. There are always pressures against the status quo, this is unavoidable. When manipulated and not vigorously challenged this consistent pressure can have negative consequences.
 
Also important is the fact that revisionism is built into modern intellectual life, which puts a premium on discovery and invention. Ambitious young scholars are impelled to take issue with their elders—for if they merely agree with those who have gone before, how can they make their mark? In this prevailing atmosphere, saying or doing something new is more richly rewarded than being right. [7]
—Richard Pipes, Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution
 
It’s clear that challenging the status quo is a way to make one’s mark. There seems little glamour in defending what already exists, little profit for the agitator and the change agent in elegant defenses of institutions and concepts fought for and won by generations of the past—now unknown or ignored and disregarded by the new revolutionaries.
 
In a society in which the past is a dark place where light rarely penetrates, the apparatuses of freedom and the men and women who built and defended them now seem, to too many, as relevant as the dinosaurs.
 
The United States was founded on the concept of the great value of the individual. The individual is provided freedom, opportunity, safety, and a just system of laws and governance (including the redress of grievances) in exchange for loyalty and participation. The individual is the foundation cornerstone of the American experiment. Now, the socialist-communist element in American politics rejects this fundamental worldview—how can this be?
 
As it is accepted by all from the very start that the United States is not and was never intended to be a utopia, why are so many losing faith in a tried and true system of government such as ours? Certainly, one form of validation is the influx of millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, who want to enjoy the freedoms and opportunity created and sustained by the American experiment in open society and democracy. But success is never enough, and freedoms have their own negations.
 
Sooner or later, one of my good friends is sure to ask me: How did it happen that a man like you became a Communist? Each time I wince, not at the personal question, but at the failure to grasp the fact that a man does not, as a rule, become a Communist because he is attracted to Communism, but because he is driven to despair by the crisis of history through which the world is passing.
 
I force myself to answer: In the West, all intellectuals become Communists because they are seeking the answer to one of two problems: the problem of war or the problem of economic crises.
 
For the revolution is never stronger than the failure of civilization. Communism is never stronger than the failure of other faiths.
—Whittaker Chambers[8]
 
It is an ugly truth about humanity that lengthy periods of peace, times in which the focus of national life is internal rather than on external challenges, can lead to entropy. This is not to say that the United States is at peace, we’re not. We haven’t been at peace since September 11, 2001. This current conflict is a large one in time, scope, and space.
 
This current conflict is our first true generational war; our children and theirs may be involved in the same fight, such is the nature of the virulence of ideologies of hatred, control, supremacy, intolerance, and expansionism.
 
But ours is not a war economy nor a war society. The fighting is far from our shores and daily life continues here as before, though with increased security, infrequent attacks, increased nervousness, and internal conflicts let loose in part because of the ongoing military/ideological conflict at home and abroad. Only when the enemy makes their way through our defenses, and commits atrocities against us or our friends, are we reminded that we are in a state of war. Some leaders have suggested that these atrocities, now seared into the hearts and minds of all Americans, are the “new normal.” Yet, we are a forward-looking set and continue on.
 
The essential problem of being forward-looking is that we fail to learn from the recent and distant past.
 
In an era of domestic peace, government institutions appear less vital because national security is assumed, and the memory of it being directly challenged has faded. Less sacrosanct than ever, government institutions become easier to attack, especially as, with thousands of employees making tens of thousands of daily decisions, corruption at some level must always occur in a nontyrannical regime. Too many ambitious, outside experts and too much information must eventually undermine institutions, since bureaucracies-composed as they are by ordinary people who aren't well paid—require a reasonable berth of error merely to function. Because information as it is disseminated to a large and imperfectly educated audience becomes vulgarized, the media—and well-heeled pressure groups with access to it—will increasingly create mass hysteria over single issues by the crude dispersion of facts untempered by context. Whereas war leads to a respect for large, progressive government, peace creates an institutional void filled by, among other things, entertainment-oriented corporations.
—Robert Kaplan, The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War[9]
 
Robert Kaplan, in his insightful observation above, published in 2000, could not have foreseen the atrocity of 9/11 and the subsequent, still ongoing, global conflict that it created. That this is an existential struggle is not lost on most reasonable people, though its domestic impact has been purposefully minimized specifically so that “normal life” can continue wherever and whenever possible.

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Therefore, Kaplan’s idea that an environment of extended peace (though now occasionally breached by war news, terror attacks, heightened security, homeward bound casualties, etc.) is applicable, though slightly counter-intuitive. Entertainment companies have certainly taken a lead role in the public mind, and “crude dispersion of facts untampered by context” is an important element of “fake news.”
 
That the war is generally far away, that the nation is not fully mobilized for war, that domestic life (and politics) continue close to pre-war norms, that atrocities here at home seem to merely shatter our domestic normality covers us in an illusion of domestic peace. A society mobilized across generations for war is a society in which freedoms falter and wither away; therefore, the domestic illusion of peace supports the continued existence of democracy.  
 
Perhaps it is a testament, in a way, to our love of freedom that the domestic life of our country has, at least, the illusion of peace. However, within this world of denialism and illusion that we have created around ourselves, in which we so desperately appear to want to go on “as normal,” the stresses of the war are directed inward rather than toward the enemy. These stresses build until domestic peace is replaced by domestic upheaval, which is precisely where we find ourselves.
 
For some, ours is a domestic national life of credulity and the inability to discern opinion from fact—it is the perfect pallet for the dystopian socialist-communist utopians to paint. This is the world of fake news and activist fake “journalists,” social justice excesses and anti-intellectualism in the universities, and grotesque partisanship and lies in daily and nightly fake entertainments.
 
In a world within which history is a dark unknown country it is easy to see how so many otherwise decent people could be so readily blinkered. It is not only that we fail at learning from history, what is worse is that we know almost nothing of it at all.
 
Ours is an exceptionally challenging time with issues both foreign and domestic worthy of honest debate and discussion—so that solutions can be investigated and agreed upon. The strength of this country has long been in its open society and appreciation of the freedom of ideas and discourse, that is a tolerance for opinions not one’s own—no longer.
 
This is an American period of culminations and intersections . . . It is a time of loss of faith, and many are falling.
 
In similar fashion to Howard Fast, Whittaker Chambers became an American Communist in the 1920s. Over time, he became an important operative in the Soviet military spy network in the US. He eventually realized that Communism was evil, and abandoned it. He then went underground and fought against the very same traitorous criminals and clandestine foreign agents with whom he had once worked to destroy the United States.
 
Chambers’s allegations against Alger Hiss, a high-ranking US government state department official formed the basis for the massive legal case that would be called the Hiss-Chambers case in post WW2 America. This was an essential event during the Cold War. Chambers is an American hero, and his book Witness an extraordinary classic of American political, historical, and literary history.
 
Thus men who sincerely abhorred the word Communism, in the pursuit of common ends found that they were unable to distinguish Communists from themselves, except that it was just the Communists who were likely to be most forthright and most dedicated in the common cause. This political colorblindness was all the more dogged because it was completely honest. For men who could not see that what they firmly believed was liberalism added up to socialism could scarcely be expected to see what added up to Communism. Any charge of Communism enraged them precisely because they could not grasp the differences between themselves and those against whom it was made. Conscious of their own political innocence, they suspected that it was merely mischievous, and was aimed, from motives of political malice, at themselves. But as the struggle was really for revolutionary power, which in our age is always a struggle for control of the masses, that was the point at which they always betrayed their real character, for they reacted not like liberals, but with the fierceness of revolutionists whenever that power was at issue.
—Whittaker Chambers[10]
 
When the country was founded there was a short period of unity and celebration. There were no political parties after 1776 but the American party—citizens and survivors of the revolutionary war were happy to be living in freedom outside the reach of kings and oligarchs. By 1826, when John Adams died on July 4, the general unity of the early years of the country had largely been replaced by a virulent, party partisanship. Regardless, Adams, in one of his last public statements made it known to the organizers of the July 4th celebration for the 50th anniversary of the country in the city of Quincy, Massachusetts, that his celebratory greetings to the citizens on that occasion should be “Independence Forever!”
 
It was understood by the founding generation and many who followed that American unity was the foundational cornerstone of American independence into the future. It was understood that the American future depended on a single unifying political and cultural identity: American. This message of unity, of the concept that no identity groups were of any great moment but one, “American,” was a consistent theme of leaders in government, business, and culture across the generations, until the Obama presidency. That President Trump has taken up once again this theme of the great importance of a unifying national American identity, soveriegnty, and power, is one of the central reasons why the socialist-communists of the American left oppose him and so sharply criticize and insult him at every turn. Unified countries do not surrender their independence and freedoms so readily. 
 
Three days before his death on January 6, 1919, Theodore Roosevelt wrote the following in a letter to the American Defense Society. On January 5th, it was read aloud to the society. This, therefore is considered his last public statement:
 
Our principle in this matter should be absolutely simple. In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in fact an American and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
—Theodore Roosevelt, Letter to the American Defense Society, January 2, 1919[11]

 
 
The current occupant of the White House stresses American unity, American power, American sovereignty, identity, and pride. These are the same messages that have been stressed by American leaders since the founding with but one presidential exception. These ideas, built around support for the Constitution and Americanism places President Trump in the center of American political tradition and ideas. His supporters think along similar lines.
 
President Trump and his supporters are centrist constitutionalists and should be described as such.
 
In this new political environment of ignorance and intolerance in which old language fails, and once trusted and revered knowledge has been widely denounced or lost utopianism now has a socialist-communist face. During the Cold War socialism and communism were seen as negative terms that described dangerous, failed, murderous, enemy totalitarian systems. Not anymore.
 
Washington, in his 1796 farewell address, warned future generations against both “innovations” and partisanship as two of the greatest challenges to the continuance of the government. The American left is now driven by love of “innovations” and a loss of faith in American traditions and institutions. What they would see as an innovation, an improvement, is rather a great hammer poised against the edifice of the democracy.
 
Towards the preservation of your Government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts . . .
 
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to founding them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you, in the most solemn manner, against the baneful effects of the spirit of party, generally.
 
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes, in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled or repressed; but in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
 
The alternate dominion of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which, in different ages and countries, has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism; but this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an Individual . . .
 
'T is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government . . .
 
Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essentially that public opinion should be enlightened . . .
—Washington’s Farewell Address
 
Whittaker Chambers, like Howard Fast and many others in this country, became strong communists and worked hard for the utopian workers’ paradise that communism promised—until they didn’t. They realized that the utopian solution they had embraced was a great fraud, and evil. 
 
The errors of the past are flooding upon us, the friends of the constitution and of the country are stunned by the shift. The strident loss of faith by a large cohort of the country brings us all to a new crisis. The unity of the country is chipped away and in the residue the seeds of hatred, intolerance, and despair are planted.
 
Few men are so dull that they do not know that the crisis exists and that it threatens their lives at every point. It is popular to call it a social crisis. It is in fact a total crisis—religious, moral, intellectual, social, political, economic. It is popular to call it a crisis of the Western world. It is in fact a crisis of the whole world. Communism, which claims to be a solution to the crisis, is itself a symptom and an irritant of the crisis.
—Whittaker Chambers, Witness[12]
 
This great internal dissension and conflict is not simply a political party matter but rather a conflict of philosophies; pragmatism vs. utopianism; national unity vs identity politics, sovereignty vs. globalism, individual freedom vs socialism, ignorance vs wisdom, hope vs a surrender to despair, ignorance, and illusion.
 
The United States is no utopia and was never meant nor designed to be such. Thomas Paine, in his pamphlet of the American Revolution, Common Sense (1776) wrote:
 
Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one . . . Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.
—Thomas Paine, Common Sense
 
The philosophical crisis in the United States is based upon a simple dichotomy: the idea that government is a necessary evil to be improved over time versus the belief that government is a necessary and benevolent good, and the only structure powerful enough to solve the problems of humanity and of society. One position is American and valid, the other is alien and a fraud.
 
One position is built on the essential value of the individual, and the fears of power and its abuse that prompt the people to keep the government in check.
 
The other position seeks to empower the state because power is not to be feared, but used to solve great problems for the benefit of humanity. To meet the requirements of this fundamentally anti-individual philosophy people must be converted from citizens to apparatchiks and slaves in service to the government and its ruling class. Supporters of this approach believe that only in this way can the great problems of the world be solved. That the cost of socialism is freedom is lost upon the utopians of the socialist-communist left. 
 
 

[1] Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century, (Norton, 2000); p.35.
[2] John Adams, Letter to Massachusetts Militia, October 11, 1798.
[3] W. Cleon Skousen, The Naked Communist, (Izzard Ink, 1958, 2017); p.82.
[4] V.I. Lenin, The State and Revolution, 1917. “But the scientific distinction between socialism and communism is clear. What is usually called socialism was termed by Marx the ‘first’, or lower, phase of communist society.”
[5] Hitler – Memoirs of a Confidant, Edited by Henry Ashby Turner, Jr.; Translated by Ruth Hein (Verlag Ullstein Gmbh, Frankfurt/Main-Berlin-Vienna, 1978; Yale University Press, 1985); first quote p.16, second quote p.319.
[6] Howard Fast, The Naked God, (New York, 1957); p.30.
[7] Richard Pipes, Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution, (New York, 1995); p.7.
[8] Whittaker Chambers, Witness, (Gateway, 1952, 1980, 50th anniversary edition); first quote p.191, second quote p.193.
[9] Robert D. Kaplan, The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War, (New York, 2000); pp.174-5.
[10] Whittaker Chambers, Witness, (Gateway, 1952, 1980, 50th anniversary edition); p.xvi, and p.473.
[11] Theodore Roosevelt, last public message: letter to the American Defense Society, January 2, 1919; in The World War: Utterances Concerning its Issue and Conduct by Members of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, (New York, 1919); p.44.
[12] Whittaker Chambers, Witness, (Gateway, 1952, 1980, 50th anniversary edition); p.7.
 
 

__________________________________
Daniel Mallock is a historian of the Founding generation and of the Civil War and is the author of The New York Times Bestseller, Agony and Eloquence: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and a World of Revolution. He is a Contributing Editor at New English Review.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast

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Comments
30 Nov 2018
Henry Kent
Wonderful and absolutely true. Hope this gets a wide audience because it's necessary to re-frame the discussion. We've been following the narrative (hate that word) the communists have created rather than insisting on the truth, which is what is described here.

30 Nov 2018
Ken
Every student studying American history should read Daniel Mallock's superb essays.

4 Dec 2018
Send an emailRebecca Bynum
I concur with both comments above. Excellent and illuminating work.


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