A sure way to debase a political discussion is to label someone a “socialist,” “communist,” “fascist” or “Nazi.” These are pejoratives, not descriptions. Most of the time, the user has no real understanding of what the terms mean. Just are just weapons.
They are as meaningless as “conservative,” “liberal,” or “progressive.” Libertarians realized this long ago. That’s why the Nolan Chart was developed.
Given an understanding of the historic context, however, they can be used to describe what’s happening to the American political system.
Socialism, communism, fascism, and national socialism (Nazism) are all variations of authoritarian systems that put the State above the individual. In that respect, they are all at the polar opposite of the fundamental principle of individual liberty upon which our nation was founded.
In a 2005 essay “National Socialism Comes to America” Joe Sobran wrote, “Americans are still permitted to do a great many things, though not as many things as their ancestors could take for granted. Fine. But permission isn’t freedom. The privilege of a subject isn’t the right of a free man. If you can own only what the government permits you to own, then in essence the government owns you. We no longer tell the state what our rights are; it tells us.”
In a companion piece, “How Tyranny Came to America” he traces how our nation has degenerated to this state largely because “The modern American educational system no longer teaches us the political language of our ancestors.”
“Our ancestral voices have come to sound alien to us, and therefore our own moral and political language is impoverished. It’s as if the people of England could no longer understand Shakespeare, or Germans couldn’t comprehend Mozart and Beethoven,” he writes.
President Obama is supposed to be a Constitutional scholar. Was he absent the day his professor covered this observation James Madison:
“In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws: its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any.”
Now his Treasury secretary, an appointed official, wants the power to basically take over corporations in order to “save” the economy. This is not a slide, or a slippery slop; it’s a hugh shove off a cliff for liberty.
It’s simple, really. Under national socialism and fascism State doesn’t own the “means of production” otherwise known as business and industry, but it tells owners what to produce, how to produce it, how much to produce and what they can charge.
Under socialism or communism, the State owns the “means of production” outright, and tells the operators (the former owners who built it) what to produce, how to produce it, how much to produce and what they can charge.
In both system, the State (AKA The People) is supreme. The individual is subservient. People technically may own property, or produce all the things the society needs to thrive, but the are only allowed to own or produce at the whim of The State or The People.
You either own property, or you are property. In a socialist, communist, fascist or national socialist system the people are slaves.
It’s time for American to wake up and smell the national socialism. Maybe this primer on constitutional government from the Father of the Constitution will help.
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant chances that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow.” (Federalist no. 62, February 27, 1788)
Madison elaborated upon this limitation in a letter to James Robertson: “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators. If the words obtained so readily a place in the Articles of Confederation, and received so little notice in their admission into the present Constitution, and retained for so long a time a silent place in both, the fairest explanation is, that the words, in the alternative of meaning nothing or meaning everything, had the former meaning taken for granted.”
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” (Speech to the Virginia Constitutional Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788 )
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” (Writing in 1794about Congress’ appropriation $15,000 for relief of French refugees)
“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” (Speech at the Constitutional Convention, July 11, 1787)
“As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” (National Gazette Essay, March 27, 1792)
“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.” (Letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792)
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” (Federalist No. 51, February 8, 1788)