Reprinted with permission from Imprimis | January 2015 | Volume 44, Number 1
Jason L. Riley
Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal
Recently, I purchased a firearm at a gun show and had an experience that once again solidified my distaste for collectivist bureaucracies. I often tell my wife and my sons, Ron and Damien, the three people I most often share ideas with, that you would think Americans have had enough experience dealing with bureaucracies at different levels in society that they would see the folly of the greatest bureaucratic scheme of all — socialism/communism.
Recently we observed — or rather, failed to observe — two important anniversaries. The first was October 12, Columbus Day, which we largely ignore. The second was October 10 or 11, the approximate date of the Battle of Tours, which we ignore entirely.
Charles Martel won the Battle of Tours in 732, which saved Europe from the Muslim expansion beyond Spain. Martel's Frankish army defeated a Muslim army, which until then had crushed all resistance.
After a highly charged two-year campaign, the Scottish people have spoken, and the final vote and tally completed. On September 18, 2014, Scotland voted in a massive referendum on the issue of Scottish independence. The result being that Scotland would stay within the United Kingdom after all — rejecting, by a decisive vote, the call for independence: 2,001,926 citizens cast a No vote; 1,617,989, a Yes vote.
The liberal left has devoted a great deal of energy in its war on “racism,” a rather hazy concept in modern society. Most think of racism as disliking or even hating someone based only on their race. Almost, as a reflex, one, at least in this country, associates racism with the Southern states — particularly Mississippi. While the Deep South involved itself in the so-called Jim Crow laws and other expressions of segregation policies, it was not alone in racial exclusion policies and social behaviors.
A week or so ago we discussed Obama's Mid-term Report Card on foreign policy. It was the opinion of most readers of GOPUSA that the sitting President received a solid "F, " failing grade.
A recent article appearing in the magazine Scientific American Mind caught my attention as a perfect example as to how science (scientism) is being used to demonize those who disagree with a particular issue. The article, “What a Hoax,” appeared in the September/October 2013 issue. In fact, the article goes far beyond just demonizing dissenters of the orthodox opinion; incredibly, it classifies them as mentally ill and a danger to society. This of course reminds one of a similar methodology used in communist countries, such as the Soviet Union, Maoist China and communist Cuba.
In his book, After Fidel — The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader, author Brian Latell, a National Intelligence Officer (1990-1994) and the top analyst for Cuba and Latin America for all the U.S intelligence agencies, describes in persuasive detail the personal relationship between Fidel and Raúl Castro. At the time this book was written, Raúl Castro was the anointed successor to the Maximum Leader.
The term "liberal" originally stemmed from the human quest for free inquiry and the study of the liberal arts. Aristotle explained that the greatest pleasure a free man could possess is to have the economic means to indulge himself in the study of nature, books, science (philosophy) — and the liberals arts, rather than to be forced to labor endlessly with no free time for leisure and the contemplation of life.
The State by Franz Oppenheimer (1864-1943) was recommended to me years ago by friends as a Libertarian classic of political science. However, having just finished this tome, I now suspect that some of them did not actually read the book, but instead only read passages from it.
It has come to my attention some letter writers in The Telegraph and posters at Macon.com, have taken umbrage with the use of the word “socialism” in describing the worsening state of affairs in our nation today — from exorbitant, crippling regulations and taxation to abuse of the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution.
In Part I of this article, I discussed a concept that is always on the mind of the socialist planner and that is "social utility." To fully understand this concept one has to understand the socialist philosophy, if it can indeed be called a philosophy — in general, philosophies are analytical.
One characteristic of the collectivists is that when a particular term becomes unpopular, such as the word socialism, they create a succession of more socially friendly terms. For example, in the 1800s they did not shy away from the term socialism, but as people began to understand that socialism was a form of social control and engineering, they dropped the term for more acceptable terms such as liberalism, progressivism and collectivism. The socialist promoting a government-run health care system did likewise.
The Founding Fathers of this great nation designed a Republican form of government. By this, they meant a government under the rule of law and not the capricious rule of man, under a written constitution whose main function is to clearly demarcate the limits of authority of the federal government.
The "Right" versus "Left" convenient but capricious political arrangement came from the seating position of delegates to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, but it is at times a confusing concept and too often subject to media and academic bias and even misinformation. I have found it easier to have a political spectrum based on degrees of government control.
From 1876 onward, after the North recovered its fortunes and the South was unburdened by the end of Reconstruction, the nation was ruled by laissez-faire capitalism, and freedom flourished for most (not all) of the nations' citizens. The rapid pace of the Industrial Revolution brought about an exemplary standard of living but also new problems for the rapidly developing nation, and socialistic or progressive "reforms" appeared in this country for the first time.
Recently, as if on cue, I have noticed liberal jabs at religion of a peculiar nature. It is as if, from the coldness of his tomb, Karl Marx (photo, below) was inciting these little jabs by his latter day disciples to prop up yet another aspect of his failing communist (socialist) philosophy, a philosophy that refuses to die.
Most of us who have examined the managed care system have spoken about the evils of “corporate medicine.” We have done this because the managed care system is set up, to all intents and purposes, as a corporation. But, a recent article appearing in Transaction Social Science and Modern Society changed my thinking about this most important subject.(1) The article was written by Caroline Poplin, a graduate of the Yale Law School as well as a practicing internist.
Warning! If you have high blood pressure, consult your physician before reading Medical Warrior. Dr. Miguel Faria writes with such fervor and conviction about the looming dangers of a health-care system dominated by big government, big business, and big labor that people with medical problems may wish to read something far less provocative.
French social critic Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) once said, “The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.”(1) During much of the history of our republic, our intellectuals and those who digest these ideas for consumption by the general public, did a poor job of defending the basic foundations of our freedom. Until the sixties, it was taken for granted that private property, absolute moral principles, and free enterprise were desirable.
Because of the recent decline in our health care system, today's physicians practice in a "medical gulag" and suffer from a "siege mentality." The reasons for this, as learned from examples in both ancient and recent history, are the topics for this unique collection of essays which are divided into five sections: "lessons from history"; "medical ecology"; "towards collectivism in medicine"; "the role of public health"; and "managed care, corporate socialized medicine and medical ethics." The author, Miguel A.
"It has been well said that the chief trouble with the contemporary generation is that it has not read the minutes of the last meeting." After this quotation from Richard Weaver, Dr. Russell L. Blaylock proceeds to blame the liberals, particularly the Fabian intellectuals for the distortion of the truth and the consequent state of disarray of the American society at present.
Dr. Blaylock's history of the socialist movement in America filled in many gaps in my understanding ("Managed Truth: The Great Danger to Our Republic," Medical Sentinel Nov/Dec 1998). I would like to correspond with him and ask him a question concerning the article. You listed his "snail mail" address, but didn't give an e-mail address. Do you have his e-mail address and, if so, could you give it to me?
Enjoying your publication,
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Weinberg
Thirty-six years ago after a harrowing ordeal at sea, Miguel A. Faria, Jr., escaped from Cuba with his father and found a new home in the United States. Cuba's loss was America's gain. A consummate historian, Dr. Faria here applies himself with gusto, using a treasure-trove of inside information to tell his personal odyssey and to reveal the true story of the Cuban Revolution and its sell-out to communism. Especially noteworthy are the unknown stories of the Cuban patriots who fought Castro's communist regime.
Now that the Republicans with Tea Party assistance have won the House of Representatives by a landslide, we are hearing a lot of cries from the Democrats and their minions in the media about the need for ending "gridlock" and establishing bipartisan consensus!
In the summer of 1787, as the Founders, led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, concluded the drafting of the momentous Constitution of these United States, a Philadelphia lady at the steps of Independence Hall, asked, "Mr [Ben] Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?" He retorted, "a Republic, ma'am if you can keep it."
Kudos to State Rep. Allen Peake for his valiant efforts and much-needed proposal to eliminate the increasingly burdensome property taxes in the state of Georgia. No one should be surprised that Mr. Frank Gadbois is against it! His aversion to individual freedom and free market capitalism is well known. Instead, Mr. Gadbois is for "progressive taxation," confiscatory, class warfare socialism first enunciated by Karl Marx in the second plank of his Communist Manifesto (1848), in which he called for "a heavy, progressive or graduated income tax."