David Hines
Dangerous talk
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By David Hines
August 28, 2010

A guy I've known for decades is freaking out about communists. I'm not at all fond of communism, nor other forms of socialism, but socialists are nice enough people, I suppose. They embrace a goofy and unworkable political/economic paradigm, but that doesn't make them devils. That is, until they get power. Then they tell you how much money you may have, how you must spend it, how your kids will be raised, how you will retire, and a host of other intimate decisions.

This guy lives in the past. All he needs to know, he figures, he learned forty years ago. As a criminology student he infiltrated the campus communists as a class project.

"They tried to recruit me!" he says. Yeah, if you're pretending to be buying what they're selling, I imagine they're going to try to recruit. So does AARP. So do the Republican Party, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Mensa.

"They have a newsletter!" Them sons a britches! How dare they!

What is it about the exercise by others of free speech that drives people insane? This guy was not at all pleased that I pointed out how many of the things he supports, notably the so-called "drug war," proceed from Marxist doctrine as well — in this case the corporatist, or fascist, model. They set the precedent for more socialistic depredations and restrictions of God-given rights.

Of course, he doesn't buy this, because "drugs are bad." But examine the collectivist assumptions. We must protect us from our own foolishness. So we must pay guys to dress up like Darth Vader, bust down doors, shoot people and pets, confiscate private property turning it into our property, and incarcerate for decades to prevent us from consuming illicit vegetable matter. Were it not for them, we would all instantly become heroin addicts. We are to be inculcated by government officials into the approved way of thinking so that we can be free. Without such re-education, how could we make the electoral decisions we deserve?

Once one has accepted and promoted this specious reasoning, what convincing objections could be raised when it is applied to health care, salt intake, energy consumption, or anything else?

The more logical my assertions, the less logical and more frantic his became. He went so far as to declare me a Marxist. Anyone who has followed my columns even casually must be aware of what a stretch this is.

This is the key to understanding the love of suppressing others. The would-be suppressors fear that their positions don't stand upon firm footing. Thus objections must be censored, or barring the power to censor, shouted down. This is tantamount to an admission that there are flaws in the thinking.

What have I to fear from a rational discussion of communism? It's an unrealistic system that relies upon a denial of natural economic laws. Lacking firm footing, it must couch its premises in pseudo intellectual claptrap — jargon designed to cloud concepts rather than to clarify. In an open discussion with participants even slightly knowledgeable and not gulled by esoteric argot, they are dead meat.

Congress is considering restraints on the Internet. Many liberals have called for censorship of radio personalities such as Limbaugh and Beck. President Bush didn't want to allow pictures of coffins returning from Iraq. A privacy issue, he said, for the troops. But how does a photo of a bunch of identical boxes infringe on the privacy of those concealed within?

All this pursuit of censorship is a telling indication of how little logic there is in the public dialogue these days. It's been said that truth is the first casualty of war. Our politics have been couched in the rhetoric of armed conflict — war on drugs, on poverty, etc. It should not surprise, therefore, that the belligerents want to control and subdue speech. Unlike a democratic republic, an army is a hierarchical structure. The commander's opinions are not to be questioned. And in politics everyone, including the lowliest voter, imagines himself to be the commander.

My acquaintance is far less interested in a war on communists than he is in a war on communication. If it were the former, he would consider the logic, if only to figure out how best to counter it. The primary socialist postulate is the use of force to dictate what people would not voluntarily do, in a futile attempt to repeal natural law. Hence, socialism always leads to increasing application of force and constraint of liberty. Once that force is accepted as necessary and beneficial, the promises of extreme socialism are intrinsically more seductive than those of milder socialism. Thus the current corporatism can be only a temporary phase, and those embracing it must ever yield ground. The current administration seems to be dead-set on proving it.

What we have in our political dialogue is an argument between socialists about which model of incipient Marxism is best. Any deviation from the party line is considered to be fraternization with the enemy at the least, and tantamount to treason. With only two major viewpoints getting much of a hearing, and a paradigm of war — them against us — what else can we expect?

Let the commies communicate. And Beck. And Limbaugh. And all other comers who wish to do so. If they can't, then neither can I. Who cares about the sons a britches' newsletter? If you don't like it, don't read it

© David Hines

 

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David Hines

Born in a mill town, David Hines has seen work as a furniture mover, computer programmer/analyst, and professional musician... (more)

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