By Robert T. Smith
In general, the mostly red rural areas of our country view socialism in its classic style, as government control of the individual, the economy and means of production, a derogatory term. While the mostly blue urban areas of our country generally view socialism in positive terms, as government provision of services. The historic notion of equal opportunity for all transitioned to an equal outcome for all.
Past presidents like Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt lead the way as American progressives. Woodrow Wilson set forth the mind-set of the progressives in his writings. The types of notions he set forth included the right of the community to take precedence over the right of the individual, and that socialism and democracy are not inconsistent concepts.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s idea that the social order could be formed through an approach that consisted of transferring from each according to their ability to each according to their need. These and associated thoughts were and are the antithesis of our country's founding premise. In the progressives' view, the intellectual capital of our country resides in their hands, wisely elected progressive government officials, the ruling elites.
Today, progressivism is alive and well as the Democrat Party. Having now sufficiently abused the liberal label of the 1960's to 1990's, the Democrats seek a new identity in the generationally forgotten term of progressivism. Just slightly further down the scale are some, like Bernie Sanders, his fellow political travelers, and the tens of millions of those who have voted for them, where there is at least the intellectual honesty to identify as full-on socialists.
There is an inherent desire for charity in the human psyche, the desire to give, in this instance, social benefits to those in need. The general difference between the two approaches is one of communal charity or individual charity.
Communal charity relies on the controlling authority to dictate who shall give, who shall receive, and how much. Communal charity is mandated participation by the controlling authority. History has shown that having this power over others can be abused, winners and loser chosen to gain or maintain power, influence, or financial benefit. Communal charity is the basic ingredient for the heavy-handed tyranny by the majority or the rich and powerful, a road historically well-traveled.
Individual charity is provided based on each person’s desire to help his fellow man. A voluntary participation. Volunteer social organizations, like meals on wheels that delivers food to the elderly or needy, the innumerable charitable organizations, like food banks, the salvation army and the like, churches, or even businesses that employ people to provide them a means for their own self-help. Individual charity is the basis of the Judeo-Christian religious beginnings of our country, the great American experiment of self-government, the road historically less traveled. A light touch by the controlling authority to ensure only a social safety net.
The Democrat Party now conforms to the current collectivist, socialism of the majority of Europe and the multitude of failed collectivist country’s that have come and gone before. No longer the party of John F. Kennedy, whose vision of America provided that a rising tide lifts all boats. Now it is the party of an equal outcome, where all boats are established by government dictate to be floating at the same level and all the same small size. It is easier to remove to achieve an equal level, than it is to build up, especially when individual abilities and efforts are not equal.
As an add-on to the current crossroads dilemma, an influx of millions more in need of social charity from other country’s pours across our southern border, or are flown into our country at our expense. It appears to be a planned influx of an overwhelming number of additional needy to achieve the collectivist, central planner’s desires.
Our country stands at the crossroads, deciding which road to take. The well-traveled road to collectivism with its historically certain destination, endowed by a government with certain rights of the collective, taken by force of government from one and given to another. Alternatively, the less traveled road of American individualism, with its historically certain destination, endowed by a creator with individual rights and attendant individual responsibilities.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference (Robert Frost).
Robert T. Smith is an environmental scientist who spends his days enjoying life and the pursuit of happiness with his family. He confesses to cling to his liberty, guns and religion, with antipathy toward the arrogant ruling elites throughout the country.