All it takes for socialism to conquer a country, is for intelligent people to do nothing. That is how Venezuela fell from being the wealthiest nation in Latin America to a runaway economic, social and moral disaster.
With the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress, America has decided to glance through the door, to the long walk from prosperity to totalitarianism and chaos.
Smart people can laugh at this woman, but laughs won't stop her and her cohorts from gaining power. The most dangerous moment in the transformation of a free, prosperous country into a socialist hell hole is when people with influence to save liberty choose to under-estimate their enemy.
Ocasio-Cortez presents America with an ideological challenge. So far, Republicans in Congress have been conspicuously absent, abstaining from taking her on. The only exception so far has been a brief and rhetorically not very effective counter from Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the newly elected conference chair of the House Republicans.
It will take much, much more than that for the forces of good and the defenders of liberty to win this battle against socialism. Americans have been lucky enough not to live under tyranny, so lucky that they have sat idly by while the concept has been watered down to nothing by destructive verbal shoot-outs in social media. Politically naive Americans have called the last four presidents, Trump included, tyrants and oppressors, while Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Hugo Chavez and North Korea's Kim dynasty tortured their peoples to the bones.
It is high time for America to wake up and realize that countering socialism will take real work. That real work begins with three steps:
a) Recognize that the threat is real. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her cohorts have just gotten their first taste of power. They will use it mercilessly to spread their ideological venom throughout the country. Every time it goes unanswered, they score another victory.
b) Recognize the depth of the threat. The brand of socialism that Ocasio-Cortez represents is entirely uninterested in preserving the U.S. Constitution. Her comments about the three "chambers" of government may make us laugh, and they may suggest that we can dismiss her as an ignorant fool. But that is to - again - under-estimate her and her movement. They are not ignorant about the constitution; they are indifferent to it. When they think they have enough power, they will try to replace the constitution with a form of government of their own desire, and they will do it with whatever means they think they need.
c) Understand what it takes to win. Calling Ocasio-Cortez and her cohorts "socialists" is like throwing rocks into the ocean. It won't make the slightest difference. It will be another sermon for the choir. The battle field spans across the vast majority of people who are immune to the term and may or may not fall for the perks that the socialists offer.
In other words: to defeat socialism - and this is the real socialist deal - the Republicans and all their fellow travelers in defense of America, need to:
1) understand that there is a continuum from the beginning of the War on Poverty in 1964 to the election of Ocasio-Cortez in 2018; and
2) learn to explain to a family making $30,000 a year why economic and individual freedom is a better alternative for them.
Anything short of this goal will yield the country to the socialists of the Millennial generation. That means, literally, allowing the Venezuelan disaster to unfold right here, in the United States of America.
That would mean the end of freedom and prosperity as we know it. Neither we nor the world will ever recover from that experience.
As a very first step toward understanding the nature of this the latest ideological threat to our country, let us listen in to what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has to say:
New York City’s incoming socialist congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says there will only be benefits, and no costs, to passing a raft of new climate change laws. In particular, she said, a new system of global warming governance will usher in “economic, social, and racial justice.”
It is disastrous to dismiss this talk about "new governance" as the brainchild of political madness. It is not. It is a real, thoughtful and widely discussed idea. As it happens, just the other day Torbjörn Tännsjö, a well respected Swedish professor of philosophy and my old instructor from the University of Stockholm, voiced a similar idea (my translation):
The creation of a global government must happen through a coup, a kind of existential leap, by means of which sovereign nations are forced to cease to exist. A global government in the form of global despotism takes over.
According to Torbjörn Tännsjö, referred to as the 'most well-known living Swedish philosopher', the only way to prevent the looming 'climate disaster' is to establish a global government through a 'coup', effectively abolishing all nation states.
This may seem like pure lunacy, but it is not. It is an entirely rational idea partly brought to life by the United Nations in their Global Sustainable Development Report for 2019. In it, the UN advocates a global economic dictatorship in the name of the environment.
The idea of an "eco-dictatorship" is not new; a NASA scientist voiced it several years ago. Nor is it a novelty that socialists advocate dictatorships. While Ocasio-Cortez has not explicitly expressed interest in totalitarianism here in America, her comments about how climate-related laws will solve all the world's problems is precisely the same totalitarian world view that has led humankind down the path of social, economic and moral destruction so many times in the past.
What is new is that these ugly ideas, wrapped in climate-panic paper, target a new audience, American Millennials, where six out of ten individuals have a favorable view of socialism. Another novelty is the level of rhetoric that Ocasio-Cortez puts out. Back to the GrabieNews.com article:
[Ocasio-Cortez suggests] the federal government should nationalize technology the automaker Tesla developed following its receipt of tax subsidies. “As a matter of fact, it's not just possible that we will create jobs and economic activity by transitioning to renewable energy, but it's inevitable that we are going to create jobs,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It's inevitable that we're going to create industry, and it's inevitable that we can use the transition to a hundred percent renewable energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America.”
What matters here is not primarily the rhetoric about "economic, social and racial justice", but the idea of nationalization of a business. She throws this out not as a major point, but matter-of-factly mentions it as an instrument in a bigger political strategy. This tells us that the idea of nationalizing businesses is neither new nor dramatic to someone of Ocasio-Cortez's caliber. It also tells us that she is not alone among American socialists in harboring such thoughts.
The fact that nationalization of businesses has reached such depths in American socialism tells us that their movement has pushed its boundaries farther than even Senator Bernie Sanders did. It marks a milestone on the path of ideological evolution, where private property is not only attenuated - as it is under the Scandinavian welfare state we created with the War on Poverty - but eliminated as an institution. Once government begins to socialize businesses, any ownership of any property of any economic significance is entirely conditional.
Private property and private wealth are instruments of government policy.
To underscore her determination to turn the entire economy into an instrument for her ideology, Ocasio-Cortez also explained:
“I believe that the progressive movement is the only movement that has answers right now,” she said. “We're the only ones that are drawing from the lessons of history, from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, from some of the most ambitious projects that we have pursued in American history. And that truly again is the scale that it's going to take.”
Last but not least, she gives away her view of the relationship between the individual and government - a relationship that demotes the individual to an instrument of government ideology:
“I think that there's so much work that has been done and there are some outlying questions, especially when it comes to investment in technologies ... when we as a public choose to invest in new technologies, we deserve a return on that investment,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “And for far too long we gave money to Tesla, we gave money to a ton of people, and we got no return on our investment that the public made in creating technologies. And it's about time that we get our due, because it's the public that funded and financed a lot of innovative technologies and that's another, you know, way to go."
We can argue all day long about the legal aspects of this change in the terms of economic development and other forms of corporate welfare. What matters here is the ideological principle that once government gives money to someone, has the right to that individual. This is another boundary breach, from
- the traditional welfare state under which government provides entitlements with no strings attached except conditions for eligibility, to
- the overtly totalitarian version of socialism where individual freedom and integrity are restricted by the extent to which government permits it.
In socialism, government provides for practically every need a man could have. According to the principle that government has the right to demand something in return, every citizen therefore owes government something back. Government has the right to present the citizen with a list of demands.
One of them is always going to be the citizen's undivided, unlimited loyalty.
It is high time that intelligent Americans - included the Republican party - start fighting back against the ideological onslaught from this new crop of socialists. If they don't; if they choose to ignore their enemy and not fight; the enemy will walk over them to victory.