Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." ~Winston Churchill
In this blog, I would like to take the opportunity to offer information, which I hope will offer perspective and clarity, regarding growing disparities between Republican and Democratic voters, whose socio/political views seem to have lost almost all common ground between them. A lot of the loss, in my opinion, appears to be a lack of understanding of terms that spawned, and got tossed around, often without having offered definition or meaning, creating confusion.
One of the most common terms which gets tossed around, seeming to spark tension, is the word, socialism. Not always defined clearly, the term can inspire tension. Traditionally, socialism has been defined as: “any of the various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. A system of society or group living in which there is no private property and the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.”
The term's definition has also morphed, to include a broader meaning. According to historians, Nathan Connolly and Ed Ayers, the term of socialism has evolved from the Depression years. When the federal government, initiated trying to salvage the American economy, by stepping into helping landowners, presuming upon private sectors, they found many did not want help from the government. landowners feared the government was only looking to take advantage of the land, creating a mistrust for many of the landowners. But, on the other hand, there were other citizens who welcomed the government subsidies.
Socialism has evolved in many ways, and still is. Particularly, there is an effort in trying to find the relationship between being a good American and being conversant in the principles of reform.
For the purposes of our current dilemma with socialism, and what culture is experiencing, the difficulty, seems to be, not so much about the government vs. the people, but being exposed to understanding, and integrating, what is referred to as Identity Socialism.
What many of us grew up with and learned about Socialism, was invented by Karl Marx. It was about the working class, the "blue collar" worker and voters of a president, much like President Trump.
Today's socialism appears to be about race, gender and transgender rights. Class is an after thought - which might explain the left's dominance on college campuses and the "ills" that have spawned, including; Me Too. Black Lives Matter. Girls competing against biological boys. And now, campus culture has seemingly metastasized to all of society.
In addition to the groups that have spawned on college campuses, we can also point to the support for a value system that may have been accepted without considering the consequences. We now see a focused validation, wherein, blacks and latinos are considered "in" and whites are "out". Women are "in", men are "out". Heterosexuals are "out" and gays, bisexuals, transgenders and transsexuals are "in", illegals are "in" and native born citizens are "out".
While it seems liberal politics may play a significant role in recognizing all of the above groups, history reveals a bigger picture.
His name was Herbert Marcuse. Born in Berlin in 1898, he fled Germany at the dawn of the Nazi era. He became an intellectual, having attended the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, further developing the concept on his own. Later, he came to America in the 1930s. Pursuing more education, he attended Columbia, Harvard and Brandois. In 1965, he moved to California, joining the University of California at San Diego.
And it appears that it was his educational immersion in Critical Theory, rooted in a belief in Marxism, that persuaded him to want to bring down Capitalism.
But living in The USA, he was confronted with the awareness that Socialism did not work in America - because "life was good" in the United States. The working class did not aspire to overthrow the government. The citizens valued "order" and the goal of most citizens was, to own a home.
Since the working class was not interested in being revolutionaries or promoting a revolution, it became apparent to Marcuse, that he would need to find a different audience, one of revolutionaries, who would be fueled for promoting a revolution. And the best recruiting venue match, in his mind, appeared to be ... college students.
Marcuse felt the match was perfect, since the students of the '60s were already living in, what was in effect - a socialist commune, otherwise known as a University Campus. And rather than being grateful for the opportunity to learn and study, they were restless and bored. They were looking for meaning and self fulfillment, apart from material gratification. And it seemed natural to Marcuse, that they would have an interest in becoming recruits of "The Great Refusal" or Repudiation, to overthrow Free Market Capitalism.
And what we seem to be experiencing in recent times, is a change from our historic foundation, along with Capitalism, based on need, to a platter of Socialism, being served to us, catering to our human greed. And this Socialism platform, has in many ways, taken the reins, of our foundational and cultural values as well as, informational resources, compromising our socio-economic-spiritual-political values, trapping them in a Socialistic web, bringing ruinous erosion to individuals, races, previous morality, respected and trusted resources of, news, media, entertainment, business, life and faith.
In closing, I would like to bring a reminder to what our country was founded on, and is still offering; freedom and hope, for those who are takers.
American Ways: An Introduction to American Culture:
This description of American Ways explains the value system that has allowed the United States to assimilate millions of people from diverse cultures all over the world and create a unique, enduring American identity. There are three pairs of values consisting of three reasons why immigrants have come (and still do) to the United States and three prices that are paid for these benefits.
- The first is for Individual Freedom and the price for that is Self-Reliance. We cannot be truly free if we cannot take care of ourselves and be independent.
- The second is for Equality of Opportunity, and the price for that is Competition. If everyone has an equal chance for success, then we have to compete.
- The third is for The American Dream, the opportunity for a better life and a higher standard of living. The price for the American Dream has traditionally been Hard Work.
The relationship among these values—the rights and the responsibilities—creates the fabric of the American society. It is this fabric that defines the American Dream—the belief that if people take responsibility for their lives and work hard, they will have the individual freedom to pursue their personal goals and a good opportunity to compete for success. ~Maryanne Datesman. (vintageamericanways.com)
May we be diligent in honoring our one, precious life, seeking truth and remembering our Creator. And may we remember to learn from history.
For the Support of Your Life
For the Many Sides of Life
The thoughts and intentions expressed in The Conversant counselor's Blog are those belonging to Paulette Jackson lpc-mhsp and do not necessarily reflect those of any other professional or individual.
What is Identity Socialism: Dinesh D'Souza/ Prager U
flag photo: publicdomainpictures.net
Vintage American Way/Marianne Datesman