Tom Lester provides another guest post. Mr. Lester points out some commonalities of history that many on the left would rather forget. These commonalities are inconvenient for them and were deadly for millions:
The government which our Founding Fathers bestowed on us through the Constitution had several checks and balances but perhaps the most prevalent was that the Federal government was limited on the laws it could impose on its citizens. And throughout history we have had attempts to devise a government that was fairer that the one created in the one written in 1787, subsequently ratified by eleven states, and thus established in 1789.
There has always been yet another voice proclaiming they have the best idea for a better form of government, several times in ancient history but more recently on our radar screen during the last 100 years. The former Soviet Union comes to mind with its revolution against the Tsar and subsequent adoption utilizing the theory of Karl Marx. As the Soviet Union was emerging with its communal farms and government-directed industrial production, there were many in our own government at the time applauding the efforts of Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.
After the First World War the German Weimar Republic came into existence as a parliamentary representative democracy to replace the imperial form of government with a new constitution for the German Reich. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremists, and hostility from the victors of World War I. However, the ensuing period of liberal democracy lapsed in the early 1930s, leading to the ascent of the Nazi Party and Adolf Hitler in 1933.
The legal measures taken by the Nazi government beginning in 1933 meant that the government could legislate contrary to the German Reich constitution, rendering it irrelevant. Again, many in our own government and in the West were singing the praises of Hitler and his efforts for “peace” and national unity. Under the “leader principle”, the Führer’s word was the last word above any other earlier duly-legislated laws. Top German officials acquiesced to Hitler’s policies without question. The government, however, was not a coordinated, cooperating body, but rather a collection of factions struggling to amass power and gain favor with the Führer. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazi government restored its economy and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy of free-market and central-planning practices.
China, ravaged by a century of foreign invasion and civil wars, saw the establishment of the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of Mao Zedong. A model mimicking the Soviet, this new political and economic order was continually in a state of flux relative to the whims of Mao but finally in the early ’50s, the PRC undertook a massive economic and social reconstruction which was generally welcomed by a population desperately longing for stability. These new leaders won popular support by curbing inflation, rebuilding many industrial installations that were damaged in war, and restoring the economy. Land reform was the major policy focus as a result of China’s 90% farming population; it manifested itself by wiping out the old landlord class as their land was confiscated by the government and redistributed to the lower-class of farmers. As a result the wealth gap was gradually equalized as property owners and businesspeople were labeled as “rightists” and purged.
The jury is still out on China. Pure communism, its leaders realized, could not indefinitely sustain their economy. A bastion of entrepreneurship was sitting on China’s front door, the result of a 99-year lease held by the United Kingdom. “The Handover”, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China took place in 1997, and although it marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong, it did not mark the end of capitalism. The Chinese allowed the British system to co-exist with communism, hard currency for China’s emerging economy played significantly in this decision.
Much of Europe since WWII has adopted quasi-socialist forms of government with what we today term as social democracies. The emphasis has repeatedly been on expanded governments with a dramatic intrusion and regulation in the daily lives of the citizen, and with the private sector continually being asked to pay for that expansion. Most notable in the failure of these governments is Greece, but over the horizon looms France whose debt could sink the economic and political conglomeration of the 27 member states of the European Union.
If we look to find the commonalities prevalent in Germany, Russia or the Soviet Union and China, all had charismatic leaders who professed they had the answer to bring their countries a fairer form of government. When words were no longer adequate they engaged in intimidation of their opponents. When intimidation failed, they initiated massive purges of their detractors.
We cannot turn back the clock but of course if we could, I’ve often wondered if the citizens of Germany would again allow Hitler to achieve such power? Would the Russian people be as supportive of Lenin and Stalin? Would Mao be truly remembered in high esteem? When taking over a nation Socialists and Communists rely on gaining the consent of those who are clueless to the historical significance of government. Anyone with any degree of intelligence and an education are seen by Socialists and Communists as a danger to their ideology. If propagandists cannot carry the day, they attempt extortion. If that doesn’t work then execution of the intelligentsia follows.
The numbers are staggering but it’s estimated that Hitler was responsible for the execution of 34 million people. Stalin – it’s estimated he ordered 20 million to their deaths. Mao – some 10 million. But the tyrant deaths of these three dictators account for about 94 million! For whom would these lost souls have cast their votes had they the ability to foresee the future?
There has been a prevailing belief that Divine Providence was at work in guiding the Founding Fathers as they worked and fought to establish a new nation. Whether you give credence to this belief or not, it cannot be denied that the Founders, despite any disagreements they may have had in the process, were enlightened individuals who sacrificed their lives and fortunes to the cause. This, in spite of Colonists about equally divided on separation from the British throne and the taxes being levied against the Colonies.
Is our situation any different? Are we now at a point when the same complaints and concerns of half our U.S. citizens who see the government acting as if it is imperialistic and entitled to confiscate the properties of others as if these assets were its own? I have little doubt that those in our Administration truly believe they, like those who led Germany, the Soviet Union and China, have the answer to a fairer government. History tells me they are, like so many before them, deadly wrong. If there was Divine Providence in the founding of this Republic, we need it again to forestall the end of Constitutional rule. If there wasn’t Divine Providence, we need to have the fortitude of our ancestors in standing up against the transformation of America.
When we throw in the towel the outcome is guaranteed.