If you can’t handle one little arbitrary political abduction at the hands of secret government police, socialism may not be for you.
Socialists protesting in Portland are learning that “The worst thing that can happen to a socialist is to have his country ruled by socialists who are not his friends.” -Ludwig von Mises
See, you might not realize it, but the USA is already heavily influenced by the socialist/ communist philosophy of Karl Marx.
Socialism is more of an umbrella term, meaning centralized control of the means of production– like factories and farming– in the hands of the state.
Communism is more extreme, with complete abolishment of private property, and a dictatorial government that allegedly attempts to distribute wealth “to each according to his need,” and extract labor “from each according to his ability.”
The two are related enough to use them interchangeably for our purposes.
Karl Marx was born over 200 years ago. And despite the utter failure of his communist philosophy in practice, the cult lives on. Still people want to try again… this time they will get it right.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels originally published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. It laid out the beliefs and action plan of the Communist Party. The goal was to get communists of every nationality to rise up and unite to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors.”
Little did they know their words would be used by the likes of Stalin and Mao as justification for over 100 million murders all in the name of a great leap forward for society.
In America, the goals of the communists have crept their way into society with little fanfare. Many people have no idea that public schools, the graduated income tax, and even a central state-controlled bank (like the Federal Reserve) were tenets of the Communist Manifesto.
In one section The Communist Manifesto boils down to a list of ten main goals.
Here are those goals, in Marx and Engels’ own words, followed by some discussion about of how deeply they have seeped into the United States government.
Also known as property taxes.
Can you really say you own land if you must pay the government every year in order to keep it? Fail to pay your rent, and they will eventually confiscate “your” land. This money is then used for “public purposes” like public schools (just wait for #10) and police, who will remove you from the government’s land if you fail to pay your rent.
And if the local government can fine you for keeping a front yard garden, or backyard chickens, do you really own the land anyway? The proletariat simply trades capitalist oppressors for government oppressors.
The federal government owns outright 28% of all land in the United States, 640 million acres. This includes the Bureau of Land Management’s 248 million-acre turf used to control and oppress political dissidents like Cliven Bundy.
“The BLM is also responsible for subsurface mineral resources in areas totaling 700 million acres.” That means they control almost three times as much land as they own.
Each state government owns an average of 8.7% of its state’s land. Another source claims the feds own over 31% of the U.S. landmass, which brings the combined state and federal total ownership to almost 40% of all land in the USA.
And let’s not forget about eminent domain, where the government can just take your land for “public use” (or public benefit) with “just compensation.”
If you don’t feel that the compensation was fair, simply take the most powerful government on Earth to court– courts that they own. I’m sure you will be treated fairly.
Even after the latest tax cuts, the federal income tax rates range from 10% to 37%. You pay more if you earn more. That’s what a graduated income tax means.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 20% of income earners in the U.S. paid 87% of all income taxes in 2018. These people who earn $150,000 or more account for 52% of the income earned in the USA, but will pay almost all of the income taxes.
The top 1% of earners– the evil bourgeoisie making over $730,000 per year–actually paid over 43% of all income taxes in 2018.
So 1% of earners who make 16% of the country’s total income will pay 43% of the total income tax.
It sounds like way more than their “fair share” to me. But the communists won’t be satisfied until everything is owned by the state.
They want to fleece the rich one more time when they die, even though all that wealth was taxed already as income or capital gains.
There is a hefty exemption to the estate tax (AKA death tax)–the first $11 million or so is not taxed. But every dollar over that is taxed at 40%. (State-level estate taxes add additional costs, often with lower exemptions.)
When you think about it, $11 million is not so much money when you are talking about a business that might be passed down through inheritance.
If a business is worth $15 million, the family of the deceased would owe $1.4 million. If they don’t have $1.4 million in cash hanging around, they could have to dismantle the business in order to pay the taxes. That could mean a loss of good proletariat jobs and a hit to the economy.
The same could happen to a piece of land or estate that has been in the family for generations.
The socialists would say, “Aww boo-hoo, screw the rich,” because they are hateful and greedy for other people’s wealth. But understand that they never stop with the rich.
Eventually the middle-class is gutted by the socialists, when they realize all the confiscated wealth of the rich won’t last a year in government spending.
Let’s start with the Exit Tax.
Why don’t you just move out of America if you don’t like the taxes?
Well, America taxes its citizens worldwide, even if they do not live or work in the USA.
Why not renounce your citizenship then?
That is one option. But it’s actually not free. In fact, the U.S. confiscates a serious percentage of property from emigrants.
It is called the Exit Tax. It gets complicated, but basically, the government is going to tax you on your net worth, as if you just sold all your assets.
If you don’t have the liquid cash to cover that, you would actually have to start selling assets–property, stocks, etc.–in order to pay the Exit Tax. Of course, you would be taxed on the income or capital gains first, and then have to pay the exit tax with what is left over.
But again, a big part of being a communist is hating rich people. People with a net worth of less than $2 million are much less affected by the exit tax, and only have to pay a few thousand dollars to divorce Uncle Sam.
So let’s turn to confiscation of rebels’ property that affects the poorest proletariat… civil asset forfeiture.
This is often used against poor people who cannot afford to defend themselves in court. The police simply steal property or cash that they “suspect” was involved in some type of crime, without having to prove anything.
They don’t even have to charge you with a crime, let alone convict you. And you have to prove your innocence if you want your car, house, or cash back.
For example, police seized over $50,000 from a Christian Rock band that had collected donations for an orphanage, because they couldn’t prove they got the money through legal means.
Between 2001 and 2016, “more than $2.5 billion in cash seizures had occurred on the nation’s highways without either a search warrant or an indictment.”
And that’s not even counting the more than $3.2 billion the DEA has seized since 2007 without filing civil or criminal charges.
Just having cash is a pretty low bar to be considered a rebel. Then again, what should we expect from a communist doctrine?
I wonder if today’s communists are aware of this one. They can’t possibly think the Federal Reserve helps the proletariat, yet that is exactly what the manifesto describes.
Some people might disagree that the Federal Reserve is state-owned. Technically it has a private board, although board members are appointed by politicians.
But the government granted the Federal Reserve dictatorial control over the economy. The government refuses to audit it, and the government protects its monopoly. It is without a doubt a feature of a centralized state.
The Fed sets the interest rates, prints money, and finances much of the debt of the United States government.
It centralizes capital, and lets the government decide how to use it. They usually use it to bail out banks, wage wars, and steal more value from the people through inflation.
The Federal Reserve also makes it easier for the state to confiscate rebel property. With a government monopoly, it can simply freeze accounts at home, and bully banks abroad into accepting the will of the US government.
FCC, FTC, DOT, FAA, TSA, CBP–oh it’s an alphabet soup of communications and transport regulators.
They regulate the phone lines, the roadways, air traffic, rails, mail and package delivery.
This is nothing new.
Around the same time Karl Marx was writing The Communist Manifesto, Lysander Spooner was doing something productive with his time.
Spooner started the American Letter Mail Company to compete with the U.S. Postal Service. He undercut their prices and provided better customer service, but was fined and cited for breaking laws which protected the government monopoly. He was forced out of business in 1851.
The government doesn’t quite have control over the internet, but they did create the conditions to allow a handful of companies to control access to the internet.
The NSA monitors every communication. Customs and Border Protection performs unconstitutional searches at the border, whether you are an American or foreign.
There is even a bill in Congress that would outlaw encrypted communications, so the government could know absolutely everything you communicate via text, call, or online messaging.
And of course, you can’t go out in public without running the risk of being harassed by local, state, and federal police. You don’t have the right to travel without justifying every action to a police officer.
The state has certainly dabbled in factory ownership, like the GM bailout. They control utilities like water and power. And they have certainly subsidized their fair share of business from oil and solar panels to sugar and corn.
We can refer back to #1 to see how much land the government controls, often under the auspices of improving soil and protecting wastelands.
Then there are plenty of government contractors which are basically the same thing as a government-owned company. If 100% of their revenue comes from the government, they are not a private company. This is especially prominent in the defense industry, which is where the term military-industrial-complex comes from.
The government spends about 34% of the GDP every year— in 2020 it will be closer to 50%. That is a significant percentage of the economy which the government owns or controls.
And let’s not forget about everyone’s favorite socialist, Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose New Deal programs like the Tennessee Valley Authority did just this.
Of course this power means sometimes the government poisons an entire river for thousands of miles, like the EPA did to the Colorado River in 2015.
Yes, the Communist Manifesto proposes enslaving all those unwilling to work.
Now, it might not seem like the U.S. government forces people to work. But you have to make money just to park your ass on a plot of land. Local governments want property taxes, which means you must make a certain amount of money just to have a place to live.
People bitch about landlords, but at least they are providing a place to live. Try building yourself a little cottage on government land and they’ll throw you in prison. (So in that sense, they will provide a home to anyone.)
Without the socialist government, you could settle an unused a piece of land, and make your own way in the world.
And the fact that the government claims the authority to tax you on everything you earn basically means you have a liability to labor for the government if you want to labor at all.
This is the antithesis of right to the pursuit of happiness the founders of the USA talked about. That was synonymous with property rights, because working, building, and creating is how most people pursue a fulfilled life.
In fact, they are required for life itself. You can’t stay alive without someone working to feed you, for example.
Therefore, most of us cannot go through life without earning something to pay for necessities. But we can’t just earn what we need, we must earn way more than we need because the government will take a huge chunk of our income.
We tend to think about taxes as a percentage of our income. But what about as a percentage of our time?
The government forces you to work as its slave from about January through April every year. In a typical career, you will spend in total more than 14 full years working as a slave for the government.
The government helped create factory farming by regulating all the small-scale producers out of business.
Reason reports that USDA regulations have forced small slaughterhouses to close in favor of large factory-style slaughterhouses. This might sound like a good idea at first. But consider that when one infected animal makes its way to a slaughterhouse, it can contaminate so much more meat.
Having many slaughterhouses distributed across the U.S. meant that any infections were localized, and affected far fewer people. Plus when the slaughterhouse is local, it is easier to know the owners and see the conditions for yourself.
The animals are raised closer to home, requiring less logistics and a more secure supply chain from farm to table.
The U.S. government has long subsidized large crop producers centralizing them, and making it that much harder for small farms to compete.
It started with the Farm Bill in 1933 and continues to this day.
What we get is cheap, but unhealthy products. And even though the products on the shelf look cheap, we already paid for them with our tax dollars through subsidies.
You may not want to buy unhealthy foods loaded with high fructose corn syrup. But your money will pay for that crap whether you like it or not.
As for the second part, the US federal government does all it can to destroy the autonomy of towns and states across the USA. It does this with the carrot– giving money to governments that do its bidding; and the stick– using federal money and agents to enforce its laws, however unjust.
This may be tenth on the list, but it is number one in ensuring all the rest fall into place.
American communists got this goal in place just four years after the Communist Manifesto was published, with Massachusetts enacting the first compulsory public education law in 1852. After that, it was only a matter of time until the population was indoctrinated to believe whatever the government taught them.
The book Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence delves in depth into the history and injustice of compulsory schooling.
It was designed so that the state and corporations could work together to train an obedient workforce, with the public footing the bill.
The point was not open minds and a desire to learn. The aim of the education was setting students up for whatever mediocre to low paying jobs the industrialists wanted them to fill.
The communists succeeded in getting exactly what they wanted out of American schools. And today we see the growing gap between what people learn in school, and what skills they actually need for good jobs. The communists have got the American education system stuck in a stagnant philosophy of industrial labor.
Of course, they did it with supposedly the best intentions. Sounds like a good idea to save kids from dangerous work. But in the process, they also robbed children and young adults of their autonomy and choice. They forced kids against their will into a government institution and set the course for their entire lives.
With childhood education infiltrated by the communists, it was only a matter of time until the US became a socialist country.
And I’d say we are basically there.
That’s why it is so absurd that people think “socialism” would be a radical change for the US. It would be more of the same, a doubling down on every failure you can think of from the last century.
What the socialists being arrested in Portland by other socialists might not realize is that Obama signed the NDAA which is now being used by Trump/ federal troops to kidnap protesters in Portland.
The Republicans and Democrats are different heads of the same beast, just like Socialists versus the National Socialists. The labels hardly matter.
They are authoritarians first, and then break down into factions of communist, socialist, fascist, etc. Each grows the power of the federal government, and hands that power off to the next faction when the tides turn.
A truly radical experiment would actually be trying a real free market for once.