Monday, April 19, 2010

Are we all Communists?

I'm trying not to make this a "political" blog, but I do think about politics (more than a little). My brother-in-law sent this diatribe to my wife. It’s floating around the internet on Libertarian and some religious web sites, so it's not something that he thought up. I used to think he was intelligent, but then it gets harder and harder when you get stuff like this. Since Laura told me not to respond, I’m posting it on this blog. Nobody reads this anyway, so what the heck. I can vent a little and feel better. My comments are in bold.

ARE Americans practicing Communism?

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it's clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Take that George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Mitch McConnell!!!

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.
Since they are not “all” in effect and “in force” then we’re not.
The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are...

The American “counterparts” are pretty well stretched beyond any reasonable recognition.

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes. Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

Regulation is not ownership. The constitution originally did not enumerate any “rights” of citizens and constitutions in general are a “social contract”, which enumerates both rights and responsibilities. The Federal Government IS allowed to tax its citizens and regulate interstate commerce. There was no thought by the founders that States would not tax their citizens and regulate commercial activity and property as well as adjudicating disputes.

Quite obviously, private property has not been abolished in this country and “ALL” rents have not been diverted to public purposes. We wouldn’t be talking about the deficit or Wall Street Bonuses if they were. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Bob Rubin et al would laugh in your face if you made this claim to them.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State "income" taxes. We call it "paying your fair share".

So, if we had a 95% Flat Tax you’d be happy with it? The top tax rate was about 90% in 1960. Kennedy cut it to 70%. Reagan cut it to 50% and then to 36%. Clinton raised the top rate to 39.6% and Bush cut it again. So, by historical measures, current progressive income taxes are not that “heavy”. If you look at all taxes (local and federal, including sales and payroll taxes) the US Tax rates are essentially flat and are substantially lower than the rest of the industrialized world. There is no prohibition in the Constitution for States and Local Governments enacting pretty much any tax they want.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance. Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

“ALL” means all. Libertarians might consider the current estate taxes confiscatory, but we have not abolished rights of inheritance by any reasonable measure. The current laws impact less than 2% of the population, and there are legal remedies for most of them to mitigate the damage. Four or Five of the wealthiest Americans on the recent Forbes tally were heirs of Sam Walton. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Rockefellers and Kennedys are also doing pretty well.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public "law" 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of "terrorists" and those who speak out or write against the "government" (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc...).

Again, “ALL” means all. People leaving this country voluntarily don’t have their property confiscated. Should “terrorists” receive due process? What constitutes “terrorism”? Most Americans have to say or do quite a bit to antagonize the government into confiscating their property and putting them in jail, unless they are poor and black. Should the DEA NOT raid and shut down crystal meth operations?

The government does have a long, sordid history of putting down people's rebellions and censoring thought and speech from the Whiskey Rebellion and the Alien and Sedition Acts of the 1790's, union busting in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, during and after World War I (anti-immigrant, anti-socialist), the McCarthy era, FBI and other agency surveillance and infiltration of the Anti-War and Civil Rights Movements in the 1960's. Are militias being unfairly targeted today? Perhaps, but they have a lot more guns than many other protesters in the past and have taken explicitly violent, almost apocalyptic positions towards the government and society.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately [SIC public]-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

Hamilton, one of the revered founding fathers, believed in Central Banking and established the First Bank of the U.S well before Marx was born. A second bank was also established and was abolished by Jackson. There are certainly problems with our financial system and one might want to rail against either the Fed or the Big Banks. But it could as easily be said that the Banks own the government rather than the reverse. The Fed and the government clearly don’t have an “exclusive” monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State. Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver's licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

The Internet is in the hands of the State? TV? Radio? Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck work for Obama? There is a clear difference between regulations and a framework of law and “centralization of the means of communication and transportation”. We certainly have a problem with corporate concentration of wealth and power and the homogeneity of “corporate” media, but again you’re railing at the wrong target. It’s not the government that controls it.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read "controlled or subsidized" rather than "owned"… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

Massey Energy is a good example of how the Government does not control Coal mining (and every other private business), despite environmental and safety regulations. The US certainly has a lot of public land, which it manages and leases to the Energy industry, Timber interests, Agricultural companies (grazing rights), mining companies, etc. Whether these activities fairly benefit all of the people is a question that can and should be debated. The same with agricultural subsidies. “The improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan,” is a bad thing?

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two "income" family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920's, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

You’re against women working? You’re against women voting? You’re for discrimination against black people? Basically this “plank” means that labor is King in the communist society. This is as far from the current situation in the U.S. as possible. If you read The Manifesto as a “historical” document (ie, “in context”), this makes more sense. Poor people were essentially thrown off the land by the enclosure laws of the late 18th and early 19th century and had nowhere to go but the urban slums and, if they were lucky, factory jobs. Women started working in factories in Europe early in the Industrial Revolution. My great-great grandmother worked in the cotton mills in Manchester. Creating industrial armies for agriculture would have been a way to get people back to the land, back to “fresh” air, give them work and food to eat. In any event, we’re not creating “industrial armies”.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country. Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public "law" 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

Forced relocations and sterilization? Pretty paranoid shit (and by the way, not advocated by Marx). You realize that this “explanation” is tied in to Christian end-times bullshit about Armageddon and the coming of the Antichrist (orchestrated by FEMA)? To the extent that we are abolishing the distinction between town and country, it is because of growth and sprawl, not the result of “government control”.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production. Americans are being taxed to support what we call 'public' schools, but are actually "government force-tax-funded schools" Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based "Education” . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like "majority rules", and "pay your fair share". WHERE are the words "fair share" in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is "fair share" even suggested!! The philosophical concept of "fair share" comes from the Communist maxim, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. ... America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC ... Teaching ourselves and others how to "fish" to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be "needy"... Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

So, you’re against public education? You’re for child factory labor? Public schools teach “societal” norms. Corporate-run schools would promote corporate values. Religious schools would promote religious values (and maybe pedophilia as a side benefit). And yes, one prominent function of schools is to “socialize” children (pun intended). In this country, we have public schools, private schools, and religious schools. We allow home schooling, where presumably, children will be indoctrinated by their parents and limited to the views of their parents. Public education has been generally a good thing, but becomes problematic when State Governments (Texas, most recently) try to censor and rewrite the history curriculum, or when Creationists in Kansas try to push Intelligent Design.

“Fair Share” – Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. We’re supposed to be a Christian nation (at least that’s what the so-called Christians keep telling us). “All men are created equal”. Declaration of Independence. Socialist nonsense. Sharing goes back much further than Marx. Loaves and fishes (damned Socialist Jesus!). Think about it for a moment. When do we NOT want to get “our fair share,” our piece of the pie, etc? From the point of view of the individual and our desires, we WANT what’s ours, right? But giving someone else THEIR fair share? Heck no. We’re greedy little bastards down to the core.

Whether or not it is true that “Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet,” is somewhat beside the point. To the extent that it’s true, it’s a good thing. But it hardly negates the need for government.

Great House Concert

I have to thank everyone for making the House Concert a great event. We had about 25 people come out to listen to the music. Good food, good conversation, good beer, good wine, good food. My only disappointment was that I taped the event but had the mike set too hot, so the resulting recordings were all distorted. Too bad. However, there's some interesting chatter between songs that I'll be posting to my web site when I have a chance to go through it all and clean it up.