– by Tibor Machan
When someone on the American political landscape is accused of being a socialist, the claim has little directly to do with Stalinism and a lot more with the kind of system they had in Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and other Soviet colonies, namely the phony promise of cradle-to-grave security and relentless government meddling in people's lives (goulash communism). Call it Norman Thomas style socialism, the kind that so many academic socialists in the West champion.
The brutality known as Soviet style socialism comes later. It is not the first step. But we get a good clue about its approach in America when one understands the meaning of a term like "mandate." It means coerce, plain and simple!
In socialism, mandates are everywhere − all must be forced to live the same way, pay for the same
There is variety in the different types of socialism proposed and implemented but there is a recognizable unifying central theme in every version of it that Mr. Obama and his ideological cohorts share: People are viewed as belonging to society, as part of a hive or herd that needs to be driven in one proper direction. One size fits all!
The major obstacle to it all being individualism and the free market that is its economic corollary. If you are bent on moving the country toward any kind of bona fide socialism, start with chipping away at its individualist elements, like the liberty of a citizen to purchase the
Sure, the idea can be driven home more or less forcefully − in America it is government nudging and the oxymoronically named libertarian paternalism, that's embraced by Mr Obama and his lieutenants, e.g., professors Cass Sunstein and Stephen Holmes. Theirs are the prudent, gentle approaches to socialism preferred by the likes of American socialists such as the late Norma Thomas and Michael Harrington, not the gulags or concentration camps of Stalin's communism and Hitler's Nazism (e.g., national socialism).