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Which "ism" do you want?

By Henry Lamb
web posted August 14, 2006

Before making a choice, the terms should be defined:

Socialism: government ownership and control of the means of production and distribution of goods; grants or denies rights to individuals.

Communism: government ownership of all property, in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed; grants or denies rights to individuals.

Fascism: centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, who exalts nation, and often race, above the individual, and who uses severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition; grants or denies rights to individuals.

Terrorism: violent or destructive acts (such as bombing) committed by groups, in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands.

Americanism: government empowered by the consent of the governed to protect the unalienable rights of individuals.

Even a cursory review of these "isms" reveals that America is a mixture of all of them. Truth be told, we apparently like it this way. We continue to elect, and un-elect, the people who represent us on the basis of how well they advance the particular "ism" that we like.

Government is full of people who insist that government own the land - more than 42 percent of the total land area - and control the use of the land it does not own. Every year, millions of dollars are taken from private citizens, expressly to buy more land for the government.

Government is full of people who insist that government control the means of production by granting, or denying, permits to mine, or drill for oil, or harvest trees. Using subsidies and regulations, the government controls what crops may be raised. Using taxes and regulations, government controls which businesses may operate, and where they may set up shop.

Who can deny that these realities are more consistent with Socialism and Communism than with Americanism? We must want it this way, because we continue to elect the people who made it so.

There are those who contend that the President exercises Fascist tendencies, operating "above the law" by ordering "wire taps," and "secret prisons," and "torturing" detainees. Most presidents produce this kind of response from a small segment of the political opposition, but to them, it is a real concern, and a part of the current system.

Terrorism is also present. It is not limited to the likes of bin Laden and his crew, or Timothy McVeigh. Many people who wish to express their right to free speech, have no reluctance to resort to "destructive acts" in order to intimidate, and prevent others from expressing their right to free speech. Ann Coulter’s "pie in the face" episode comes to mind, and many other examples of speakers being shouted down by Americans who use terrorist tactics to get others to acquiesce to their demands.

Americanism, as envisioned by our Founders, and set forth in the U.S. Constitution, may be the least visible system of government in America. "Unalienable rights," as defined in our Declaration of Independence, are limited to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." There is no "right" to housing, a minimum wage, clean water, or a free debit card after a hurricane.

Our Creator-endowed "unalienable rights" come with the attendant individual responsibility to stay alive, to defend liberty, and to pursue - not be given - happiness.

All the "isms" here defined, are powerful forces in the world, each vying for dominance. Fascism, wearing the mask of Islam, is the currently emerging global threat. Of all the other "isms," Americanism is the greatest obstacle this new Fascism must overcome. The forces of Socialism and Communism would benefit by the defeat of Americanism. Note the condemnation of the U.S. by Socialist, Communist, and Fascist leaders around the world.

It is no coincidence that the loudest voices of opposition to the war against terrorism, in this country, arise from political forces that promote elements of Socialism and Communism, such as expanded welfare programs, and more land acquisition and land use control regulations. The more extreme of these voices use terrorism to one degree or another, ranging from shouting matches at public rallies, to burning ski lodges, and destroying medical labs.

So far, voters have elected a majority of representatives who want Americanism, more than the other options. Every election, however, is an opportunity for advocates of another "ism" to prevail. This year, there are plenty of candidates who advocate the elements of Socialism and Communism. There are also candidates who advocate Americanism; they are often distinguished by their willingness to defend it.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.


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