Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Socialism

The New Republic Magazine: New Format, Same Old Socialism

English: Chris Hughes Website

Chris Hughes, The New Republic’s new owner

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, December 9, 2014: 

 

The announcement late last week by top staffers at The New Republic (TNR) magazine that they were resigning to protest its “new direction” was met with rejoicing on the Right and consternation and anger on the Left.

In his subscription newsletter, Gary North called it “great news,” noting that the magazine had “always been a mouthpiece of the American left.” Wrote North:

The disappearance of The New Republic is part of a trend. Part of the trend is the shift from printed to digital communications. The Left has not made the transition. The other part is the shift away from traditional American liberalism.

On the Left, establishment journalist Dana Milbank, a graduate of Yale University (where he was a member of Skull and Bones), and later the author of a polemic biography of Glenn Beck, took it personally. He attacked TNR’s new owner, Chris Hughes, calling him “a dilettante and a fraud.” He explained the reason for the mass exodus: 

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The Great Thanksgiving Hoax

This article was written by Richard J. Maybury and appeared a the Mises Institute’s website, Mises Daily this morning, November 27, 2014:

"The Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Del...

“The Embarkation of the Pilgrims from Delfthaven in Holland” (1844) by Robert Walter Weir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each year at this time, schoolchildren all over America are taught the official Thanksgiving story, and newspapers, radio, TV, and magazines devote vast amounts of time and space to it. It is all very colorful and fascinating.

It is also very deceiving. This official story is nothing like what really happened. It is a fairy tale, a whitewashed and sanitized collection of half-truths which divert attention away from Thanksgiving’s real meaning.

The official story has the Pilgrims boarding the Mayflower, coming to America, and establishing the Plymouth colony in the winter of 1620–21. This first winter is hard, and half the colonists die. But the survivors are hard-working and tenacious, and they learn new farming techniques from the Indians. The harvest of 1621 is bountiful. The pilgrims hold a celebration, and give thanks to God. They are grateful for the wonderful new abundant land He has given them.

The official story then has the Pilgrims living more or less happily ever after, each year repeating the first Thanksgiving. Other early colonies also have hard times at first, but they soon prosper and adopt the annual tradition of giving thanks for this prosperous new land called America.

The problem with this official story is that the harvest of 1621 was not bountiful, nor were the colonists hard-working or tenacious. 1621 was a famine year and many of the colonists were lazy thieves.

In his History of Plymouth Plantation, the governor of the colony, William Bradford, reported that the colonists went hungry for years because they refused to work in the field. They preferred instead to steal food. He says the colony was riddled with “corruption,” and with “confusion and discontent.” The crops were small because “much was stolen both by night and day, before it became scarce eatable.” 

In the harvest feasts of 1621 and 1622, “all had their hungry bellies filled,” but only briefly. The prevailing condition during those years was not the abundance the official story claims, it was famine and death. The first “Thanksgiving” was not so much a celebration as it was the last meal of condemned men.

But in subsequent years something changes. The harvest of 1623 was different. Suddenly, “instead of famine now God gave them plenty,” Bradford wrote, “and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God.” Thereafter, he wrote, “any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day.” In fact, in 1624, so much food was produced that the colonists were able to begin exporting corn.

What happened? After the poor harvest of 1622, writes Bradford, “they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop.” They began to question their form of economic organization.

This had required that “all profits & benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means” were to be placed in the common stock of the colony, and that, “all such persons as are of this colony, are to have their meat, drink, apparel, and all provisions out of the common stock.” A person was to put into the common stock all he could, and take only what he needed.

This “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was an early form of socialism, and it is why the Pilgrims were starving. Bradford writes that “young men that were most able and fit for labor and service” complained about being forced to “spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children.” Also, “the strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak.” So the young and strong refused to work and the total amount of food produced was never adequate.

To rectify this situation, in 1623 Bradford abolished socialism. He gave each household a parcel of land and told them they could keep what they produced, or trade it away as they saw fit. In other words, he replaced socialism with a free market, and that was the end of the famines. 

Many early groups of colonists set up socialist states, all with the same terrible results. At Jamestown, established in 1607, out of every shipload of settlers that arrived, less than half would survive their first twelve months in America. Most of the work was being done by only one-fifth of the men, the other four-fifths choosing to be parasites. In the winter of 1609–10, called “The Starving Time,” the population fell from five-hundred to sixty. Then the Jamestown colony was converted to a free market, and the results were every bit as dramatic as those at Plymouth. In 1614 Colony Secretary Ralph Hamor wrote that after the switch there was “plenty of food, which every man by his own industry may easily and doth procure.” He said that when the socialist system had prevailed, “we reaped not so much corn from the labors of thirty men as three men have done for themselves now.”

Before these free markets were established, the colonists had nothing for which to be thankful. They were in the same situation as Ethiopians are today, and for the same reasons. But after free markets were established, the resulting abundance was so dramatic that annual Thanksgiving celebrations became common throughout the colonies, and in 1863 Thanksgiving became a national holiday.

Thus, the real meaning of Thanksgiving, deleted from the official story, is: Socialism does not work; the one and only source of abundance is free markets, and we thank God we live in a country where we can have them.

America’s Welfare State is Thriving

Margaret Thatcher

Cover of Margaret Thatcher

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 30, 2014:

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum, “The only trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money” isn’t factually correct, nor is it complete. Lazy thinkers assume from this that eventually the welfare state will just fade away like a bad cold or a nightmare, and that everything will be okay in the morning.

Here is what Thatcher actually said during an interview in 1976:

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Is the Dingell Dynasty in the House Over?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, March 7, 2014:

The encomiums poured in following the announcement by John Dingell (D-Mich.) last week that he wouldn’t be seeking a 30th term in the House. Tweeted Gary Peters (D-Mich.): “Today we honor the service and legacy of Michigan’s greatest Congressman. His accomplishments will never be forgotten.” Such praise would reasonably be expected from a hard-left progressive like Peters who

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Age and Acrimony End Dingell Dynasty in the House

Born in Colorado Springs in 1926, John Dingell (D-Mich.) took over from his father as a Representative from Michigan in 1955 and has never stopped promoting his father’s progressive agenda. On Monday, February 24th, Dingell announced that he would not seek a 30th term partly due to

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Establishment Republicans cave, give the President Unlimited Spending Power

Following Tuesday’s passage of a “clean” debt ceiling bill in the House of Representatives, the Senate approved it on Wednesday and sent it on to the president who is expected to sign it without delay. The bill allows the president unlimited spending authority until well after the November elections so that Republicans can focus instead on the failings of Obamacare to leverage their chances in that election. It also neatly

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WTO celebrates its first global agreement in 12 years

With tears in his eyes, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Roberto Azevêdo announced on Saturday the successful culmination of days of difficult negotiations to arrive at the

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Tracking America’s Decline

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 30th, 2013:

For years, both the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have published studies purporting to measure just how much freedom countries around the world enjoy, based on a number of indices. Heritage tracks how closely countries hew to the rule of law, how they apply principles of limited government, how onerous the regulatory state is, and how extensively open and free markets are embraced.

Cato, on the other hand, looks at how much personal choice each country’s citizens enjoy, how free they are to engage in voluntary exchange, and how secure their rights in private property are.

Both have recently published their results for 2013, based on the latest available data. The news isn’t good. In some cases, it is

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Why are Republicans Leaving the GOP?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 12th, 2013:

 

The Frontier Lab just published a study entitled “Switching Behavior” based on in-depth interviews with some former Republicans that explored why they left the party. Their conclusions are revealing:

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The Modern German Economic Model is a Myth

Dessau, a small and steadily shrinking town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt in what used to be East Germany, is doing the best it can. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the anticipated “miracle” enjoyed by West Germany following World War II failed to materialize for Dessau and so it is in the process of

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Our Anti-Capitalist-in-Chief has another brilliant idea

If I were a socialist and was the president (but I repeat myself) and was looking around for money to fund wasteful schemes that benefits my friends and discourages capital accumulation, where would I look? How about

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The Best of the “Iron Lady”

I’ve had a most pleasant time reviewing, sorting, reflecting on, and selecting the best of Margaret Thatcher’s pithy quotes, including perhaps her most famous one:

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More unintended consequences from Colorado’s gun laws: hunters taking their money elsewhere

I’m sure the gun-haters never thought about this. They really don’t think about anything much anymore except fulfilling and completing their agenda: turning the entire state of Colorado into a

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Down in flames: French official enforcing tax evasion laws accused of tax evasion

It’s easy to be cynical. This fellow, Jérôme Cahuzac, appointed by French President Francois Hollande to tackle the problem of tax evasion, has been accused of tax evasion himself. Ironies abound. Hollande is a socialist, and a

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I’m not on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list, again. Dang it.

I always look to see, though. It must mean that I’m not doing enough in the fight for freedom to warrant even a mention.  But some of my close friends are, though, so that counts for something.

The Southern Poverty Law Center monitors alleged hate groups, all on the right side of the political spectrum. Here’s how their report starts out. You’ll get their drift immediately:

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Another Lesson for Politicians: Raising Taxes Drives the Wealthy Away

It’s too bad that French President Francoise Hollande is so committed to his socialist ideology that the inevitable consequences of his actions are incomprehensible to him. He raised taxes on the wealthy even further, and now those wealthy are leaving France. He can’t believe it. The economy is

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Moody’s Downgrades Britain’s Credit, Expects Little Improvement for Years

Last Friday Moody’s Investors Service announced its downgrade of the United Kingdom’s government bond ratings by one notch, from AAA to Aa1, a move that was anticipated a year ago when the credit rating agency moved its rating on UK bonds from

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Obama reveals his agenda, again

An average soul perusing the headlines from yesterday would most likely miss Obama’s use of words to indicate where he wants to take us. Listen to what he said about the negotiations over the fiscal cliff:

Everybody’s got to give a little bit in a sensible  way. We move forward  together, or we don’t move forward at all.

Uh huh. We have to “move forward.” What’s that all about?

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Good News for Conservatives!

Volunteer Welcome Center, Obama Campaign - Col...

Volunteer Welcome Center, Obama Campaign – Columbus, Ohio (Photo credit: ChrisGoldNY)

I’m generally an optimistic person. I’m always looking to see what’s happening that’s good and positive. I continue to see (or try to) the glass as half full.

I have lots of company. John Hawkins thinks there are a lot of things going right, if we just take the time to look. He says:

Although studies show that we conservatives are usually happier and more optimistic than most about our personal lives, we also tend to be a bit more pessimistic than the average person about the country. We look at our unsustainable level of spending, the dramatically expanding, increasingly lawless welfare state, encouragement of tribalism and class hatred as a political tactic, hostility towards Christianity, schools that teach socialism and liberalism, the morally bankrupt entertainment industry and the reelection of a man who may have had the single worst performance as President of anyone in our nation’s history and we quite naturally fear for the future of our country.

This is appropriate and anyone who tells you that our nation isn’t in serious jeopardy right now is either ignorant or lying to you. Yet and still, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this country’s future.

Of the seven he chooses to talk about, I think the first is

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What Liberties are We Actually Losing?

Washington DC - West Potomac Park: Thomas Jeff...

Washington DC – West Potomac Park: Thomas Jefferson Memorial (Photo credit: wallyg)

Russ Roberts received an interesting email that asks some important questions about the freedom fight:

You guys have been forecasting the arrival of universal serfdom for about as long as the left has been predicting the collapse of capitalism. Is the Road to Serfdom gridlocked? Did someone forget to gas the car? Has our dashboard GPS unit failed? Or our we just moving really slowly, the better to take in the scenery?

I mean, come on. I’m guessing that you, the readers of this blog are among the freest people in human history. You are free to go pretty much anywhere in the world you wish to go, free to buy pretty much anything that’s available for sale anywhere, free to think anything you want, say anything you want, read anything you want, watch anything you want on TV. And even after you’ve paid for all those dinners in nice restaurants, vacations in nice places, and homes in nice subdivisions, you still have enough left over to own shares of Apple or Google. You’re paying less in taxes than you have in decades. If you get really sick, or suffer a serious injury, you will receive top quality medical care than will not leave you penniless even though you might never be able to pay the full cost of your care yourself– thanks largely to the pre-eminently socialist institution known as “insurance.” And even if you’ve not made or saved lot of money in your lifetime, you will not be destitute in your old age, and you will not be allowed to die like a dog in the street. And so on.

Maybe I’ve missed something. But an itemized list of liberties of which you have been deprived, or that you are at risk of losing, might help me get up to speed.

What might such an “itemized list of liberties” look like if you got an email like this? Or if a skeptic asked you face-to-face?

Roberts fumbles around with

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.