Soft selling socialism and communism

The soft selling of socialism and communism was truly the only way that American society would even consider Marxism. In the twenty-first century, having dominated higher education and public education since the mid 1980s, there are now at least two generations of Americans that have been indoctrinated to accept views that just one hundred years ago would have been seen as Marxist and a direct threat to the American way of life.  The concept of the government ownership of corporations, cell phone companies, cable and satellite television companies, and even local hospitals no longer bother many Americans.  In fact, I actually have an acquaintance that actually told me that she had a solution to make the United States Postal Service more productive – force UPS and FedEx to merge with the USPS, force all email services under the USPS umbrella, and limit competition for services provided by the USPS. Can anyone imagine a United States where Hotmail, Yahoo!, and your local cable provider must shed their email services to the USPS?  Can you imagine how high user fees would become if the postal service had the exclusive rights to email services without any free market competition?  

For the critics who are ready to claim that I am ignoring the racism and bigotry of the past, I am not.  The civil rights movement was not the work of socialists or communists, but of Americans that were being denied opportunities and rights based on race. What I am objecting to is the lies that even I, as a high school student, was taught about our national history.  Yes, there are various socio-economic classes within our nation; however, within the United States, people have been able to move from one class to another.  There are stories of people who start as immigrants or in the working class with nothing to becoming business tycoons. The idea that it is just too difficult for the small business owner or citizen to become wealthy or to succeed is not only taught by the materials and textbooks used by our nation’s schools, but is echoed by the educators. Gone from the history books are the statistical facts that all classes of American society benefited from the economic boom of the 1870s, the 1920s, and the 1950s. During all three eras, the standard of living for the poor in the United States was much higher than its European, Asian, African, or South American counterparts.  Even today, while our nation does claim to have a large percentage of our population in poverty, the poorest Americans still have a higher standard of living as does the poorest in Africa.

Socialism and communism have been soft-sold to our nation through the entertainment industry. In movies and television shows, capitalist ideas, personal liberty, or even personal success is scorned; instead of celebrating these things that have made America great, they are discouraged, to be avoided, or even hailed as being ridiculous or unrealistic. Our entertainment – children’s programming included – that support a Marxist/socialist world view.  Collectivism as a political and social theory is taught as a way to alleviate poverty, reduce carbon dioxide, and create sustainable communities where one could rely on mass public transportation to easily commute to work within the urban landscape. Some of these same television shows support the idea of multi-generational households, condominiums or apartments instead of a home in the suburbs, and the list continues.  Arguments, such as the mis-distribution of purchasing power, fail to focus on facts and statistics that show consumer debt has increased over 1,200% since 1954.  No where are the supporters of socialism and communism discussing the role of consumer debt, student loan debt, or any other cause for the decrease in spending power by the middle class and working poor.  To put it simply, the nation’s population has most of its disposable income tied into debt repayment than did previous generations.  If Americans really wanted to build real wealth, personal consumer debt must be avoided. However, instead of teaching fiduciary responsibility, the American Progressive movement focuses on the wealthy have more financial opportunities than the middle class or working poor without any serious consideration as to what actually contributes to the differences.

It is rather disturbing that a social, economic, and political theory as enslaving as Marxism would ever be implemented in the United States.  Truth is, the citizenry of this nation would have objected even fifty years ago if the economy and society of our nation had been replaced with the Marxist model. However, over time, and through the manipulation of the national education system, the slow introduction of socialism and collectivism, the United States stands on the precipice of becoming another socialist state where the citizenry will be forever separated from the politico-class, where the children of the American revolution will be imprisoned by the equality under a Marxist economic system.  We will become a nation resembling the Soviet Union rather than the nation where personal liberty, individuality, and potential were considered an essential part of what being an American was.  Only through education and a thorough explanation of the benefits of capitalism and free-markets will we be able to reclaim what has been lost.

Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons is an adjunct instructor of history at Henderson Community College. He has been teaching at the college/university level since 2004. Within the scope of his degrees, his areas of emphasis are U.S. foreign policy, public policy history, political history, and U.S. history.

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