Socialism Wars

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America’s socialism wars began in full force with the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president.

By the time I was born, 1941, the socialists occupied virtually all the enemy territory: the Supreme Court had endorsed the New Deal. It had killed the U.S. Constitution by re-interpretation.

The commerce clause justified any Congressional act. Substantive due process was dead. The contracts clause was dead. The general welfare clause became, not a restraint, but a justification for any and all legislative enactments. The Bill of Rights was on its way to emasculation.

Legislation triumphed over rights, militarism over peace, foreign entanglements over neutrality, war over peace, slavery over freedom, the State over the family, coercive collectivism over private property, and Keynes over Hayek.

Socialism was victorious over liberty, laissez-faire, private property, freedom of association, and free markets. Socialism cleared the ideological battlefield.

From then until now, the soldiers of socialism have deepened and widened their victories. The American eagle is now socialist. Socialism has its talons in every part of a person’s life and every major institution in America.

But wars go on for surprisingly long periods of time. Justice, truth, and right cannot be extinguished, no matter how severely they are suppressed. The socialism wars have not ended. They will go on until socialism is completely defeated, which it will be, eventually.

The ideological poles of the battling sides are evident to those who look into the wars. But who are the persons fighting in the socialism wars? Everyone. Every person on earth. Every person chooses up sides.

Where are the battlefields? Ultimately, they are in the hearts and minds of every person on earth. While the ideological battle lines are clearly drawn, the physical battle lines are not. The same person may be on either side at various times and with varying degrees of strength and commitment.

This is not a classic military battle. As a society, the enemy is within us, around us, and over us. The enemy pervades our every action. The enemy is entrenched in the system and in our minds. We are now deeply dependent on the enemy. Our every plan involves its survival. We count on it. We fear its demise. We are trapped in it by ourselves. We are trapped in it by powers beyond our apparent control. But the trap is of our own making. We have recruited ourselves into the socialist wars on the side of socialism.

Someone asked me "what makes a healthy economy?" A simple but profound question, if by "healthy" is meant "good." Ethics are of supreme importance. But whose ethics? Where shall they come from? To the libertarian, an economy without aggression is a good economy. To the socialist, only an economy with aggression can be good. To some libertarians, non-aggression is an element of natural law. To others, natural law is untenable. To some, praxeology is a hope: non-aggression has to be rooted in an as yet unelaborated science of ethics. Yet others look to the Greeks and eudaemonic ethics. I am in none of these schools of thought, all of which are looking within man or to man for ethical guidance. I believe in revealed (biblical) ethics. It is sometimes the case that the recommended ethics of the various schools of thought overlap, even if their foundations and rationales do not.

As a society, we have made the satanic enemy our God. To vanquish that enemy, throw down that idol in one’s heart and mind. Hate its evil. Hate its wickedness. Do not tolerate its deceits and lies. "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4:10.)

Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York.

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