When the topic of socialism arises, I proceed with caution, because it has so many definitions and subtleties. Very few Americans really understand what it is.
Most Americans who support socialism aren’t thinking communism-lite, which is pretty much what real socialism is; instead they are thinking of socialism-lite. Why? Because socialism-lite seems to work … in countries that happen to have a small but overwhelmingly homogenous population, a shared culture, a shared language, protected borders and immigration laws, high taxes, no bill of rights, and someone else to pay for their national defense.
Where could such a place be? Who do American liberals view as the model for “doing socialism right?” The countries of Europe? And maybe Australia and New Zealand?
Odd. Those are the whitest places in the world. American liberals view whites to be the root of most evil in the world, yet they want their government to be based on the political philosophies and policies of these lily-white places?
However, one must concede that Europe and the Down-Under are, in fact, the socialism-lite most liberals want: The government has its nose in all of your business, but doesn’t have a gun up your ass. They pay your bills if you get injured, but aren’t the ones actually injuring you. So it’s Sweden, yea! Brazil, boo! Norway, yea! Argentina, boo! France, yea! Venezuela, boo! England, yea! China, boo!
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But, let’s be honest — the “boo” nations, aren’t really socialist countries at all … they call themselves socialist, but most are dictatorships, authoritarian regimes, or under para-military rule … they just got to there by starting with socialism-lite promises, then played a little political chess.
Why do socialism-lite promises lead to authoritarian leadership? I’d say it’s because there’s a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
If I was trying to gain governmental control over the American people, the first thing I’d want to take over is health care. In the hands of bureaucrats looking to exercise their newfound power and personal lifestyle choices, a single payer healthcare system could tell fat people they must lose weight or give up their health benefits, as diabetes treatment is too expensive. They could tell smokers, drinkers, drug users, people who get speeding tickets, and those who engage in risky sex, “Sorry. We aren’t taking care of you, because your illnesses are self-inflicted.”
They could inform those who participate in injurious sports like motorcycling, snow skiing, or running, “We’ll keep you on the roles for basic stuff, but any sports injuries are your problem.” They could tell old people, “It just doesn’t make financial sense to provide you with expensive drugs/surgeries, because, well, you know.”
Not possible? As a veteran, I’d recommend you do a little research on the VA single-payer hospital system … simple short-staffing has resulted in death panels at the local level in VA hospitals across the nation.
My next step would be gathering information on every citizen. The Soviets used the KGB, but that couldn’t happen here because bullying American citizens — well, our unbiased press would never put up with it.
But, I think I could still pull it off — someday there will be giant tech companies who will keep tabs on your interests, your opinions, and your purchases. It sounds crazy, but one day I think there will be phones that can pinpoint your exact location 24/7/365. Cars will have computers that law enforcement can plug into that disclose every data point about your driving, and even turn your car off remotely. Bear with me — I know you think I’ve gone over the edge, but I also predict people will pay to put listening devices in their home, and agree that their mobile phone provider may listen to their conversations to detect key “ad words,” even when the phone is not in use.
There is, of course, the problem of actually gathering all this information, but there’s a tiny chance the FBI could be weaponized, and arrest the company CEOs who refuse to turn over the info on trumped up charges. It would also be possible to double the size of the IRS, and rain lawsuit hellfire on the companies who don’t fork over their data. There’s even the chance the DOJ might get involved and — okay, never mind. The Department of Justice is above reproach.
But … what if the tech companies were working hand-in-glove to achieve the same goals as the government? Held the same political views, and the same desire to guide the thinking of the proles? Is it possible these companies might be awarded governmental contracts for “cooperating?”
Thinking long-term, I’d want to control the public education system. Consider how many conservative kids attend college, only to come home as liberals — calling their parents racist deplorables. If I could slither into grades one thru twelve, I could teach (or reteach) those little minds my opinions and views on anything — history, science, civics, race relations, sexuality, and more. Math would be tough, because it just lies there with one correct answer … but I could just declare math as racist.
I’d certainly want to get rid of Christianity, because those people believe there is a power higher than the government, and that true justice is applied to all humans upon their death. If I could remove the idea of justice-upon-death, I could instill the idea “this is all there is,” and judicial revenge must be doled out today. Are we going to let the people we disagree with just exist, without judging and punishing them? If we don’t, no one ever will.
Remember, communist nations always outlaw religion, and those nations become true utopian societies.
Next, I’d want to frighten our citizens, and put forth scary issues that only the government can solve. Perhaps I could get involved in the study of viruses, and when it leaks out of a bat sandwich and into our country, I could make radical demands of the population. If I scared them enough, I could get them to stay inside, and bankrupt tens of thousands of businesses. When things got really bad, I’d send the proles some money… not enough to actually help, but enough to make them grateful for my selfless generosity.
Because I’m a smart person, I know that at some point citizens would start to get angry — perhaps so angry they’d lash out. Protest en masse. There’s nothing I could do about that short-term, but thinking ahead to when I’ll transfer the reins of power to my son, I’d want to make sure these cretins could never mount a huge demonstration in D.C.
I know! I’d control the means of travel — and make sure they couldn’t even get to D.C. Keep them close to their homes. Hmmm … what to do?
Wait, I have an idea! I’d take the fact the planet is warming due to the same warming/cooling cycle it’s gone through for tens of millions of years, and I’d say it’s man-made! In fact, it’s made by the very stuff we use to generate power!
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Once they bought into that, I could control capitalistic companies at virtually every level, and push the population into electric cars that run 250 miles, then require hours to recharge. Safe to say DC won’t be seeing any Texans, rebels from the Deep South, or cowboys flooding in from the Big Sky country anytime soon. Even if they tried, how are tens of thousands of vehicles going to find recharging outlets if they traveled to the same place at the same time?
I probably wouldn’t publicize the fact that the Second Law of Thermodynamics ensures electric cars will always be less efficient, and will result in a larger carbon footprint via coal-fired power plants than cars powered by drilled gas, diesel, or natural gas. And if people did read this reality, which is based on the laws of physics, they’d never bother to educate themselves. For those who did, I’d simply say, “Ignore that man behind the curtain! Wind and solar power are … are … in the future will be pretty good!”
What would I do when my subjects noticed more than half the world wasn’t lifting a finger to stop “man-made global warming?” I’d tell them, “We must set an example for the world. We are, after all, the smartest nation, and China, India, Russia, and the developing world will follow suit. Someday.”
Perhaps the biggest tool of all — even bigger than healthcare — is food. If I could restrict the amount of food making it out to Americans, I’d have them literally groveling to me, begging for help.
America’s pretty big, and much of it is farmed, so causing problems with the food supply would be tough; I’d have to be patient. For starters, I’d need one of the richest men in the world who believes overpopulation is the second greatest threat to mother earth, and get him to buy up hundreds of millions of acres of farmland. However, even he couldn’t buy enough to truly disrupt the overall supply, so maybe I could find the nation most hostile to us, who would love to see Americans suffer, and get them to buy a few hundred million acres of farmland … now we’re getting traction.
But there are still crop and cattle farmers out there. Lots of them. What do I need to do?
Whoa, Nelly! I’d declare the very food Americans are eating is contributing to global warming, and thus destroying the earth and mankind. I could … I could say cow farts are a huge contributor, and eventually outlaw the industry that cultivates that kind of protein. And I could proclaim the fertilizers being used for crops aren’t enviro-friendly, and cut back the crop farmers yield.
If I wanted to go really big, I could have 98 food plants destroyed or badly damaged by fire in a two-year period …. but perhaps not. That would be pretty obvious and hard to hide, and the serfs would notice and complain.
I might also push for a cashless society, so every Americans’ wealth is simply 1s and 0s in a cloud I have access to. I’m no fool — I watched as the Canadian prime minister not only shut off the bank accounts of their protesting truckers, but seized the money raised to help support them while engaged in peaceful protest. The biggest lesson? The Canadian population was too lazy or frightened to support them. How easy can total control get?
Finally, I’d do everything I could to fragment American society; the smaller the groups, the better. If the populace came together like they did after 9/11, there’d be no way to control them. The last thing I’d need is Americans working together, feeling a shared pride in the concept of E pluribus unum, and ready to take on all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Yes, yes — I know these things could never happen … but if I could manage to pull them off in a short period of time, the power of the government would become absolute. The fear and anger of the American people brought on by these changes would control their every decision. Their faith in the very foundations of American would be shaken.
And as the man in charge, I’d be a god.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile.
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