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Oct 10 2015

Open Thread

Nazi-Gas-Chamber

Via Ammoland, on a tip from Torcer.



  • Bill T
  • Bill T
  • Alphamail

    Almost two years to the day in 2013, the lunatic governor of a once great state allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
    .
    Sadly, batshit crazy progressive Governor Moonbeam has outdone himself: Now anyone applying for a driver’s license in California will automatically be registered to vote.
    .
    Come here illegally for a weekend from Ecuador, Rwanda, North Vietnam, or Mecca, apply for a driver’s license, and vote for Barry or Biden and a lifetime of free government shit – maybe not a full lifetime, but at least until the hard-working American worker wakes up, is fed up, and the revolution begins.

  • Bill T

    Recommendation on Bergdahl desertion case kept secret
    http://www.ksat.com/news/recommendation-on-bergdahl-desertion-case-kept-secret_

    Army officer recommends no jail time for Bergdahl
    Lt. Col. Mark Visger says civilian system should handle case
    http://www.ksat.com/news/army-officer-recommends-no-jail-time-for-bergdahl

  • Alphamail

    Almost two years to the day in 2013, the lunatic governor of a once great state allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
    .
    Sadly, batshit crazy progressive Governor Moonbeam has outdone himself: Now anyone applying for a driver’s license in California will automatically be registered to vote.
    .
    Come here illegally for a weekend from Ecuador, Rwanda, North Vietnam, or Mecca, apply for a driver’s license, and vote for Barry or Biden and a lifetime of free government shit – maybe not a full lifetime, but at least until the hard-working American worker wakes up, is fed up, and the revolution begins.

  • Bill T

    Recommendation on Bergdahl desertion case kept secret
    http://www.ksat.com/news/recommendation-on-bergdahl-desertion-case-kept-secret_

    Army officer recommends no jail time for Bergdahl
    Lt. Col. Mark Visger says civilian system should handle case
    http://www.ksat.com/news/army-officer-recommends-no-jail-time-for-bergdahl

  • MAS

    That is one heart breaking pic…and a reminder of just how ugly human sin nature really is. They were just following orders after all.

  • MAS

    That is one heart breaking pic…and a reminder of just how ugly human sin nature really is. They were just following orders after all.

  • Senate Democrats Are Preparing a Legislative Package on Gun Control — Here’s a Preview of What’s Coming

    They said they would propose making it harder for people to buy guns if their background check is not completed.

    Currently, if a background check is still not complete after three days – often because the FBI is awaiting information from local law enforcement agencies – the sale is allowed. Democrats said they would extend that period but hadn’t decided yet for how long.

    They also said they would seek to add all domestic abusers to the list of those prohibited from purchasing firearms, and make it a federal offense to be a straw purchaser, or someone who buys a firearm for somebody else.

  • Senate Democrats Are Preparing a Legislative Package on Gun Control — Here’s a Preview of What’s Coming

    They said they would propose making it harder for people to buy guns if their background check is not completed.

    Currently, if a background check is still not complete after three days – often because the FBI is awaiting information from local law enforcement agencies – the sale is allowed. Democrats said they would extend that period but hadn’t decided yet for how long.

    They also said they would seek to add all domestic abusers to the list of those prohibited from purchasing firearms, and make it a federal offense to be a straw purchaser, or someone who buys a firearm for somebody else.

  • Saxon Warrior

    Let him fall into civilian hands then. People died trying to find him and rescue him. I expect there are enough citizens willing to lynch the traitor.
    As for his Dad, the bearded Muslim convert… well he should be hit with the stick of justice too.
    As for that lanky streak of manure, the one who smiled when Bergdahl’s dad spoke in Arabic, you know the streak of manure that I’m talking about, that sodomite who claims to be POTUS… well justice is already being prepared for him. The thing is…. will it be justice dished out by the people, justice which involves a noose? Or is it justice in the eternal hot fires below?
    Either way, it’s justice…. and it’s coming pretty soon!

  • Saxon Warrior

    Let him fall into civilian hands then. People died trying to find him and rescue him. I expect there are enough citizens willing to lynch the traitor.
    As for his Dad, the bearded Muslim convert… well he should be hit with the stick of justice too.
    As for that lanky streak of manure, the one who smiled when Bergdahl’s dad spoke in Arabic, you know the streak of manure that I’m talking about, that sodomite who claims to be POTUS… well justice is already being prepared for him. The thing is…. will it be justice dished out by the people, justice which involves a noose? Or is it justice in the eternal hot fires below?
    Either way, it’s justice…. and it’s coming pretty soon!

  • Obama continues to build personal army.
    WE aren’t allowed to have military style weapons… unless we’re a member of Obama’s EPA!

    Federal law contains strict prohibitions against the use of the military within U.S. borders, so Obama is militarizing various federal agents and agencies under his control.

    The Environmental Protection Agencyhas spent millions of dollars over the last decade on military-style weapons.

    Among the weapons purchased are guns, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities, according to a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books.

    The EPA’s military weapons spending is just one example of the agency’s questionable purchases highlighted in the 40-page report.

    Open the Books, a nonpartisan and nonprofit group based in Illinois, scanned tens of thousands of theagency’s spending contracts totaling more than $93 billion from 2000 to 2014.

    Among the findings were hundreds of millions of dollars on high-end office furnishings, sports equipment and “environmental justice” grants to raise awareness of global warming.

    The report also reveals that seven of 10EPA employees make more than $100,000 a year and more than 12,000 of its 16,000 employees were given bonuses last year despite budget cuts.

    The EPA also employs more than 1,000 attorneys, making it one of the largest law firms in the country.

    The agency also sent over $50 million since 2000 to international organizations, including groups in Mexico and China.

  • Obama continues to build personal army.
    WE aren’t allowed to have military style weapons… unless we’re a member of Obama’s EPA!

    Federal law contains strict prohibitions against the use of the military within U.S. borders, so Obama is militarizing various federal agents and agencies under his control.

    The Environmental Protection Agencyhas spent millions of dollars over the last decade on military-style weapons.

    Among the weapons purchased are guns, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities, according to a new report by the watchdog group Open the Books.

    The EPA’s military weapons spending is just one example of the agency’s questionable purchases highlighted in the 40-page report.

    Open the Books, a nonpartisan and nonprofit group based in Illinois, scanned tens of thousands of theagency’s spending contracts totaling more than $93 billion from 2000 to 2014.

    Among the findings were hundreds of millions of dollars on high-end office furnishings, sports equipment and “environmental justice” grants to raise awareness of global warming.

    The report also reveals that seven of 10EPA employees make more than $100,000 a year and more than 12,000 of its 16,000 employees were given bonuses last year despite budget cuts.

    The EPA also employs more than 1,000 attorneys, making it one of the largest law firms in the country.

    The agency also sent over $50 million since 2000 to international organizations, including groups in Mexico and China.

  • Obama releasing major drug sellers.

    “These men and women were not hardened criminals” claims Obama.

    Really?

  • Obama releasing major drug sellers.

    “These men and women were not hardened criminals” claims Obama.

    Really?

  • AnalogMan

    That’s BS. An actual gas chamber would have blue stains on the walls from the cyanide, also known as Prussian Blue. These stains can be seen in the genuine “gas chambers”, which were small chambers used to fumigate clothing, in an attempt to prevent the spread of typhus.

    Do the research. And don’t come calling me gullible because I don’t believe in this hoax.

  • AnalogMan

    That’s BS. An actual gas chamber would have blue stains on the walls from the cyanide, also known as Prussian Blue. These stains can be seen in the genuine “gas chambers”, which were small chambers used to fumigate clothing, in an attempt to prevent the spread of typhus.

    Do the research. And don’t come calling me gullible because I don’t believe in this hoax.

  • Saxon Warrior

    No, they weren’t hardened criminals.
    In Obamaworld hardened criminals are Conservatives and Christians.

    Terrorists are just freedom fighters and lovers of liberty are terrorists. Radical Muslim jihadis are cuddly Santa Claus-bearded people, they are oppressed but lovable deep down.
    Lesbians and gay men make great parents and really, really want kids and love kids unlike straight married couples who just give their kids away for adoption (so that LGBT parents can have them).
    Transsexuals are misunderstood, oppressed, and their unusual cross-genderism is a gift from God.
    Black is White, White is Black and Blacks are the new black.
    Anybody who is three-quarters White and one-quarter Black is Black.
    Anybody who is seven-eighths White European, and one-eight Native American is Native American.
    Anybody who is White is evil and is responsible for every terrible thing that their ancestors may have or have not done.

    So major drug dealers are not hardened criminals. They may sell drugs but really they are just undocumented pharmacists!

  • Saxon Warrior

    No, they weren’t hardened criminals.
    In Obamaworld hardened criminals are Conservatives and Christians.

    Terrorists are just freedom fighters and lovers of liberty are terrorists. Radical Muslim jihadis are cuddly Santa Claus-bearded people, they are oppressed but lovable deep down.
    Lesbians and gay men make great parents and really, really want kids and love kids unlike straight married couples who just give their kids away for adoption (so that LGBT parents can have them).
    Transsexuals are misunderstood, oppressed, and their unusual cross-genderism is a gift from God.
    Black is White, White is Black and Blacks are the new black.
    Anybody who is three-quarters White and one-quarter Black is Black.
    Anybody who is seven-eighths White European, and one-eight Native American is Native American.
    Anybody who is White is evil and is responsible for every terrible thing that their ancestors may have or have not done.

    So major drug dealers are not hardened criminals. They may sell drugs but really they are just undocumented pharmacists!

  • Saxon Warrior

    Prussian blue was not found on every wall. It tended to collect around the chimneys where the poison was admitted and also on the wall nearest to that.
    Also, prussian blue appeared after a period of time when the cyanide compounds had time to break down and react with the iron compounds present in the stone walls. Due to the varying composition of the walls prussian blue was not found everywhere in the gas chambers.

    You do the research, monkey…

    oh, and learn some chemistry………

  • Saxon Warrior

    Prussian blue was not found on every wall. It tended to collect around the chimneys where the poison was admitted and also on the wall nearest to that.
    Also, prussian blue appeared after a period of time when the cyanide compounds had time to break down and react with the iron compounds present in the stone walls. Due to the varying composition of the walls prussian blue was not found everywhere in the gas chambers.

    You do the research, monkey…

    oh, and learn some chemistry………

  • Jean Hargis

    my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning 18,512$,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h…..Learn More right Here.
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  • Daniel

    You will never get people to accept the realities of the holocaust completely. Not ever. There is definitely a lot wrong with the evidence and testimony offered at the Nuremberg trials, from which all of the holocaust stories came, but take heart in knowing that there is gradual progress in that the official holocaust historical museums and their historians are dialing things back. For example, the stories about “human hair pillows and human skin lamp shades” have been removed from the list of horrors among others.

    But never forget one thing: Some horrors were true and these are horrors we would not have inflicted upon us and therefore we know they were wrong to do:

    1) Disarming the people
    2) Taking away their property
    3) Shipping people off to work camps
    4) The brown shirts and everything they did

    All for the crime of being who and what they were and not for any specific offenses.

    For the sins of the ‘Jewish elites’ all Jews were persecuted… except, of course, for the Jewish elites. (But we know it was more than Jews. It was Gypsies and more ‘undesirables’)

    There were supposedly twelve million Jews exterminated between the events surrounding the first and second world wars (six million each!). That is a purported fact that no one can hide and yet no one talks about. To make progress against the exposure of the lies told, deal with the easy and obvious ones. I find an ever-awakening flow of people who become interested in learning for themselves when they first discover that there were TWO claims of Jewish Holocaust tragedies, each claiming a toll of six million dead.

  • Daniel

    You will never get people to accept the realities of the holocaust completely. Not ever. There is definitely a lot wrong with the evidence and testimony offered at the Nuremberg trials, from which all of the holocaust stories came, but take heart in knowing that there is gradual progress in that the official holocaust historical museums and their historians are dialing things back. For example, the stories about “human hair pillows and human skin lamp shades” have been removed from the list of horrors among others.

    But never forget one thing: Some horrors were true and these are horrors we would not have inflicted upon us and therefore we know they were wrong to do:

    1) Disarming the people
    2) Taking away their property
    3) Shipping people off to work camps
    4) The brown shirts and everything they did

    All for the crime of being who and what they were and not for any specific offenses.

    For the sins of the ‘Jewish elites’ all Jews were persecuted… except, of course, for the Jewish elites. (But we know it was more than Jews. It was Gypsies and more ‘undesirables’)

    There were supposedly twelve million Jews exterminated between the events surrounding the first and second world wars (six million each!). That is a purported fact that no one can hide and yet no one talks about. To make progress against the exposure of the lies told, deal with the easy and obvious ones. I find an ever-awakening flow of people who become interested in learning for themselves when they first discover that there were TWO claims of Jewish Holocaust tragedies, each claiming a toll of six million dead.

  • DJ

    Re the Holocau$t:
    .
    My grandmother luckily escaped being made into a lampshade because they ran out of gas. 😉
    http://i.imgur.com/BX9hDSE.gif

  • DJ

    Re the Holocau$t:
    .
    My grandmother luckily escaped being made into a lampshade because they ran out of gas. 😉
    http://i.imgur.com/BX9hDSE.gif

  • seaoh
  • seaoh
  • Jodie

    When reached for comment, Obama asserted that, “We must punish those enemies who seek to vandalize and destroy walls”.

  • Jodie

    When reached for comment, Obama asserted that, “We must punish those enemies who seek to vandalize and deface walls”.

  • Henry

  • Henry

  • SNuss

    I think of this becoming normal, when I hear about gun control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTy1QstL5jQ

  • SNuss

    I think of this becoming normal, when I hear about gun control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTy1QstL5jQ

  • Wilberforce

    That, and it never occurs to them that the photo may have been taken with black & white film…

  • Wilberforce

    That, and it never occurs to them that the photo may have been taken with black & white film…

  • Beezelbubba

    I have been there, that is Crema I at Auschwitz, its in the main camp and was decommissioned as they could only kill a couple of hundred at a time and lacked the capacity to burn the bodies efficiently the large ones down the road at Berkinau were destroyed by the SS when they abandoned the camp.

  • Beezelbubba

    I have been there, that is Crema I at Auschwitz, its in the main camp and was decommissioned as they could only kill a couple of hundred at a time and lacked the capacity to burn the bodies efficiently the large ones down the road at Berkinau were destroyed by the SS when they abandoned the camp.

  • MAS

    Who you going to believe, AnalogMan or our thousands of lying fathers/grandfathers/great grandfathers who just happened to be there? His is the same logic the 9-11 truther types use…bet he is one of those too.

  • Fiberal

    What are talking about? There’s blue tint in that photo.

    And what are trying to imply? That a bunch of lying Jews scratched some walls and circulated the photo as a punk?

    Even if there isn’t enough requisite blue, so what? There are an infinite number of possible light castings, saturation levels, hues and filters to go through by the time a digitized photo gets to a blog site to the settings on your computer screen.

    I don’t think you’re gullible; just obtuse.

    Interesting, how skepticism about every possible detail of the holocaust seems to be increasing, almost maniacally, as its survivors die off.

    Whatever. A lot of people wouldn’t be convinced even if hemoglobin and keratin were found in the scratches.

    Of course, there are also a lot of people who don’t believe we went to the moon, 9-11 was carried out by Al Qaeda or humans have an evolutionary history.

  • MAS

    Who you going to believe, AnalogMan or our thousands of lying fathers/grandfathers/great grandfathers who just happened to be there (one way or another)? His is the same logic the 9-11 truther types use…bet he is one of those too.

  • Fiberal

    What are talking about? There’s blue tint in that photo.

    And what are trying to imply? That a bunch of lying Jews scratched some walls and circulated the photo as a punk?

    Even if there isn’t enough requisite blue, so what? There are an infinite number of possible light castings, saturation levels, hues and filters to go through by the time a digitized photo gets to a blog site to the settings on your computer screen.

    I don’t think you’re gullible; just obtuse.

    Interesting, how skepticism about every possible detail of the holocaust seems to be increasing, almost maniacally, as its survivors die off.

    Whatever. A lot of people wouldn’t be convinced even if hemoglobin and keratin were found in the scratches.

    Of course, there are also a lot of people who don’t believe we went to the moon, 9-11 was carried out by Al Qaeda or humans have an evolutionary history.

  • Fiberal

    There’s red and blue in the pic.

    Not that that really matters.

  • Fiberal

    There’s red and blue in the pic.

    Not that that really matters.

  • DJ

    I pretty much believe the “official narrative” vis-a-vis the Holocaust sans the gas chambers. I think Daniel (below) has it about right: there is a lot wrong with the evidence and testimony offered at the Nuremberg trials. That said it IS a fact an estimated 11 million died whilst held captive in the work camps (roughly 50% Jews/50% non-Jews). The vast majority succumbed to disease and or starvation, not the mythical gas chambers.
    .
    Secondly the notion that the Jews would have faired any better against the Nazis had they been armed is one of delusion. An armed Jewish citizenry would have been no match against the Nazi military machine. The Jews are with me on that one:
    .
    Why Ben Carson’s Rant About Gun Control and the Holocaust Is So Dangerous

    Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/national/322394/why-we-shouldnt-ignore-ben-carsons-rant-about-gun-control-and-the-holocaust/#ixzz3oH7Ji4y7

  • Xavier

    I show blue tint too. Not all monitors are capable of true color reproduction.

  • DJ

    I pretty much believe the “official narrative” vis-a-vis the Holocaust sans the gas chambers. I think Daniel (below) has it about right: there is a lot wrong with the evidence and testimony offered at the Nuremberg trials. That said it IS a fact an estimated 11 million died whilst held captive in the work camps (roughly 50% Jews/50% non-Jews). The vast majority succumbed to disease and or starvation, not the mythical gas chambers.
    .
    Secondly the notion that the Jews would have faired any better against the Nazis had they been armed is one of delusion. An armed Jewish citizenry would have been no match against the Nazi military machine. The Jews are with me on that one:
    .
    Why Ben Carson’s Rant About Gun Control and the Holocaust Is So Dangerous

    Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/national/322394/why-we-shouldnt-ignore-ben-carsons-rant-about-gun-control-and-the-holocaust/#ixzz3oH7Ji4y7

  • Xavier

    I show blue tint too. Not all monitors are capable of true color reproduction.

  • MAS

    The criminals are the County Supervisors and the Sheriff who ran the budget dry and forced this poor dispatcher to work with no deputies to send. Instead of creatively scheduling and drawing much needed cash form somewhere else they chose to pretend all would be OK. I’m sure they hoped a call like this would never come in but it did. More proof that, ultimately, we are on our own when it comes to protecting ourselves.

  • MAS

    The criminals are the County Supervisors and the Sheriff who ran the budget dry and forced this poor dispatcher to work with no deputies to send. Instead of creatively scheduling and drawing much needed cash form somewhere else they chose to pretend all would be OK. I’m sure they hoped a call like this would never come in but it did. More proof that, ultimately, we are on our own when it comes to protecting ourselves.

  • Jester
  • Jester
  • Jester
  • Jester
  • Jester
  • Jester
  • Jester
  • Jester
  • jarhead

    The numbers don’t matter but the truth is many who were unarmed were murdered!
    To forget history is to repeat it!

  • jarhead

    The numbers don’t matter but the truth is many who were unarmed were murdered!
    To forget history is to repeat it!

  • Fiberal

    Let’s be clear about this: the left wants guns removed from citizens for exactly the same reason that every dictatorial government has taken guns away from its citizens (at the point of a gun): to remove independence.

    This is why the left’s leadership will always support the criminal,
    immigrant or bureauocracies and its intellectually-deficient
    constituencies, over the nation.

    The left requires dependence. It is why they support socialism, the disruption and redefinition of traditional marriage – (when government disrupts the family, personal independence both financially and morally is degraded) – why the left has no problem with millions of third-world entitlement-sucking immigrants and why unemployment and massive numbers of business-destroying regulations are desirable to them.

    This was the left’s motive for the failed Community Reinvestment Act and why they are doing it again.

    Leftist-government dependency is what gun-free zones are all about – which has to be enforced at the point of a gun.

    What redistribution of wealth is all about – which has to be reinforced at the point of a gun.

    And what filling up your neighborhood with foreigners is all about – also done at the point of a gun (once the new neighbors move in).

    And why the democrat mantra has changed from “Ask not what your country can do for you…” .. to “Ask what your country can do for you…”

  • Fiberal

    Let’s be clear about this: the left wants guns removed from citizens for exactly the same reason that every dictatorial government has taken guns away from its citizens (at the point of a gun): to remove independence.

    This is why the left’s leadership will always support the criminal,
    immigrant or bureauocracies and its intellectually-deficient
    constituencies, over the nation.

    The left requires dependence. It is why they support socialism, the disruption and redefinition of traditional marriage – (when government disrupts the family, personal independence both financially and morally is degraded) – why the left has no problem with millions of third-world entitlement-sucking immigrants and why unemployment and massive numbers of business-destroying regulations are desirable to them.

    This was the left’s motive for the failed Community Reinvestment Act and why they are doing it again.

    Leftist-government dependency is what gun-free zones are all about – which has to be enforced at the point of a gun.

    What redistribution of wealth is all about – which has to be reinforced at the point of a gun.

    And what filling up your neighborhood with foreigners is all about – also done at the point of a gun (once the new neighbors move in).

    And why the democrat mantra has changed from “Ask not what your country can do for you…” .. to “Ask what your country can do for you…”

  • MAS

    Having operated a 911 station (light duty assignment) I know the requirements. This dispassionate tone is what they are trained to do because amping up the adrenaline that already exists from the victim does not help. Inside baseball stuff but most would be shocked at how emergency personnel operate because of the job requirements and for their own mental survival. The emotion can take days to kick in and, believe me, it is not a pleasant time.

  • MAS

    Having operated a 911 station (light duty assignment) I know the requirements. This dispassionate tone is what they are trained to do because amping up the adrenaline that already exists from the victim does not help. Inside baseball stuff but most would be shocked at how emergency personnel operate because of the job requirements and for their own mental survival. The emotion can take days to kick in and, believe me, it is not a pleasant time.

  • Fiberal

    “… the Nuremberg trials, from which all of the holocaust stories came…”

    Not even close.

    Try “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, by William Shirer who documents Nazi atrocities consistent with Nuremberg and other documented sources.

  • Fiberal

    “… the Nuremberg trials, from which all of the holocaust stories came…”

    Not even close.

    Try “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, by William Shirer who documents Nazi atrocities consistent with Nuremberg and other documented sources.

  • Fiberal

    Perhaps even better, was Polish government-in-exile’s foreign minister, Count Edward Raczynski, who in 1942 published accounts of the Polish holocaust in a pamphlet entitled, “The Mass Extermination of Jews in German-occupied Poland.

    His account was taken from the first-hand information gathered by Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski. Karski was Catholic but disguised himself as a Jewish peasant to bear witness to Nazi atrocities in Poland.

    As then, as now, these accounts were ignored or disbelieved.

    FDR, with the true measure of a liberal, when briefed of Karski’s accounts, only asked about the condition of Polish horses.

  • Fiberal

    Perhaps even better, was Polish government-in-exile’s foreign minister, Count Edward Raczynski, who in 1942 published accounts of the Polish holocaust in a pamphlet entitled, “The Mass Extermination of Jews in German-occupied Poland.

    His account was taken from the first-hand information gathered by Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski. Karski was Catholic but disguised himself as a Jewish peasant to bear witness to Nazi atrocities in Poland.

    As then, as now, these accounts were ignored or disbelieved.

    FDR, with the true measure of a liberal, when briefed of Karski’s accounts, only asked about the condition of Polish horses.

  • Daniel

    Way to “circular conclusion.”

    The major source of that book is documentation from the Kangaroo Court known as the Nuremberg trials.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_the_Third_Reich

    The standards of evidence were beyond ridiculous. There was more evidence and justice in the Salem witch trials.

  • Daniel

    Way to “circular conclusion.”

    The major source of that book is documentation from the Kangaroo Court known as the Nuremberg trials.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_and_Fall_of_the_Third_Reich

    The standards of evidence were beyond ridiculous. There was more evidence and justice in the Salem witch trials.

  • Fiberal

    True, but its a good bet that Anal log’s monitor was set to B&W for purposes so exhibited.

    Not all posters are capable of rational thought.

  • Fiberal

    True, but its a good bet that Anal log’s monitor was set to B&W for purposes so exhibited.

    Not all posters are capable of rational thought.

  • dabney

    Neo-Nazi bastard.

  • dabney

    Neo-Nazi bastard.

  • Daniel

    Okay. Read the translated version of that. There are clearly problems with all of that.

    Among them is the lack of corroborating documentation on the subject. He says German orders were made for this and that but no such orders have been found and LOTS of research has been conducted on the subject as the Russians captured a ridiculous amount of documentation including details of MANY things which were considered above top secret at the time.

    The Germans documented EVERYTHING whether considered war crimes or not. All manner of German sponsored horrors were found documented within German records EXCEPT for extermination.

    A lot of people find this weird and suspicious. I’m glad you’re okay with it though.

    One of my favorite bits is this one:

    “15. According to all available information, of the 250,000 Jews
    deported from Warsaw ghetto up to September 1st, 1942, only two small
    transports, numbering about 4,000 people, are known to have been sent
    eastwords in the direction of Brest-Litovsk and Malachowicze, allegedly
    to be employed on work behind the front line. It has not been possible
    to ascertain whether any of the other Jews deported from the Warsaw
    ghetto still survive, and it must be feared that they have been all put
    to death.”

    Really? A letter with little more than speculation and “reliable reports” without citation? No wonder nobody did anything about it.

  • Daniel

    Okay. Read the translated version of that. There are clearly problems with all of that.

    Among them is the lack of corroborating documentation on the subject. He says German orders were made for this and that but no such orders have been found and LOTS of research has been conducted on the subject as the Russians captured a ridiculous amount of documentation including details of MANY things which were considered above top secret at the time.

    The Germans documented EVERYTHING whether considered war crimes or not. All manner of German sponsored horrors were found documented within German records EXCEPT for extermination.

    A lot of people find this weird and suspicious. I’m glad you’re okay with it though.

    One of my favorite bits is this one:

    “15. According to all available information, of the 250,000 Jews
    deported from Warsaw ghetto up to September 1st, 1942, only two small
    transports, numbering about 4,000 people, are known to have been sent
    eastwords in the direction of Brest-Litovsk and Malachowicze, allegedly
    to be employed on work behind the front line. It has not been possible
    to ascertain whether any of the other Jews deported from the Warsaw
    ghetto still survive, and it must be feared that they have been all put
    to death.”

    Really? A letter with little more than speculation and “reliable reports” without citation? No wonder nobody did anything about it.

    As far as quick checking on this Jan Karski fellow goes:

    “In actuality, it seems that Karski only managed to get close enough to witness a Durchgangslager (“sorting and transit point”) for Bełżec in the town of Izbica Lubelska, located midway between Lublin and Bełżec.[7] Many historians have accepted this theory, as did Karski himself.”

    He may have been in many places but he had not done anything more than witness people being moved around and offer speculation.

  • Fiberal

    Yes… I knew that was coming because Shirer used Nuremberg documents.

    Of course he did.

    He also used a variety of other court documents such as those from “The Doctors Trial” and from the British Court at Lueneberg.

    Shirer’s documentation also came from eye witnesses and survivors.

    BTW I’ve provided an independent source below.

    But skeptics are in an unenviable position, given that records are scanty, (the Nazis destroyed incriminating documents) and eyewitnesses are impeachable; i.e., not being alive.

    And as all liberals in academia are aware: claiming inaccuracies in history based on the weakest threads, is a glittering lure to the ignominious.

  • Fiberal

    Yes… I knew that was coming because Shirer used Nuremberg documents.

    Of course he did.

    He also used a variety of other court documents such as those from “The Doctors Trial” and from the British Court at Lueneberg.

    Shirer’s documentation also came from eye witnesses and survivors.

    BTW I’ve provided an independent source below.

    But skeptics are in an unenviable position, given that records are scanty, (the Nazis destroyed incriminating documents) and eyewitnesses are impeachable; i.e., not being alive.

    And as all liberals in academia are aware: claiming inaccuracies in history based on the weakest threads, is a glittering lure to the ignominious.

  • Daniel

    The enormous cache of records kept by the third reich captured by the Russians would beg to differ about destruction of records. What’s more, when records of orders are kept, they are kept in several places as the technology of the day consisted almost entirely of paper. Electronic information recording doesn’t really begin to happen until the latter half of the 20th century.

  • Fiberal

    And BTW isn’t it interesting that in almost 1600 pages of Shirer’s tome,
    his account of the Jewish extermination is the piece that has undergone
    the most extreme scrutiny?

  • Daniel

    The enormous cache of records kept by the third reich captured by the Russians would beg to differ about destruction of records. What’s more, when records of orders are kept, they are kept in several places as the technology of the day consisted almost entirely of paper. Electronic information recording doesn’t really begin to happen until the latter half of the 20th century.

  • Fiberal

    And BTW isn’t it interesting that in almost 1600 pages of Shirer’s tome,
    his account of the Jewish extermination is the piece that has undergone
    the most extreme scrutiny?

  • Fiberal

    Of course there were surviving documents. You are correct; the Nazis documented everything.

    But they also destroyed documents and it would be absurd to think that death camp commandants would burn the ones about yoga and weddings and keep the ones describing scratches in the gas chambers for their autobiographies.

    And the documents were kept on paper? Really. You don’t say. Well listen, I’m not going to suppose that you are suggesting that had they been kept electronically that they might be recoverable today.

  • Fiberal

    Of course there were surviving documents. You are correct; the Nazis documented everything.

    But they also destroyed documents and it would be absurd to think that death camp commandants would burn the ones about yoga and weddings and keep the ones describing scratches in the gas chambers for their autobiographies.

    And the documents were kept on paper? Really. You don’t say. Well listen, I’m not going to suppose that you are suggesting that had they been kept electronically that they might be recoverable today.

  • Daniel

    Considering the only places on Earth where real hard evidence of anything is presently under laws which criminally forbid any research which may be critical of the official accounts, that assertion is “tainted” to say the very least.

    Until outright bans against research questioning the truth are lifted, ALL accounts are suspect. All of them.

  • Daniel

    Considering the only places on Earth where real hard evidence of anything is presently under laws which criminally forbid any research which may be critical of the official accounts, that assertion is “tainted” to say the very least.

    Until outright bans against research questioning the truth are lifted, ALL accounts are suspect. All of them.

  • Daniel

    No, the fact that paper was used means numerous copies distributed everywhere and along the transport paths as a matter of procedure. Germany would never rely on single copies of records of any sort nor the recording of such documents in transition.

  • Daniel

    No, the fact that paper was used means numerous copies distributed everywhere and along the transport paths as a matter of procedure. Germany would never rely on single copies of records of any sort nor the recording of such documents in transition.

  • Daniel

    Considering the massive amount of false claims against boyfriends and husbands in effort to retain custody in separation disputes, that’s simply more government sponsored destruction of the family.

    Frankly, I think we need legislation which holds men completely absolved of any assertion of parental responsibility including assertions of child support outside of marriage. THIS would, of course, completely reverse a huge portion of the whole mess we are seeing today.

    When women can simply issue claims to have the rights of a person stripped without proper due process like that is flatly unconstitutional.

    Writing and enacting unconstitutional law happens far too often.

  • Daniel

    Considering the massive amount of false claims against boyfriends and husbands in effort to retain custody in separation disputes, that’s simply more government sponsored destruction of the family.

    Frankly, I think we need legislation which holds men completely absolved of any assertion of parental responsibility including assertions of child support outside of marriage. THIS would, of course, completely reverse a huge portion of the whole mess we are seeing today.

    When women can simply issue claims to have the rights of a person stripped without proper due process like that is flatly unconstitutional.

    Writing and enacting unconstitutional law happens far too often.

  • Xavier

    The reason they want to abolish 2A is the reason we have 2A.

  • Xavier

    The reason they want to abolish 2A is the reason we have 2A.

  • Fiberal

    And by “one of your favorite bits” you are saying that while the Nazis documented everything, the records weren’t worth much?

    As far as one or two documents that can be cited here or there, well-referenced or not, it constitutes cherry picking.

    Are you seriously saying without smoking gun documents, i.e., a framed, swastika-embedded parchment document with Hitler’s verified signature, that the extermination of millions of Jews, and others, is in doubt?

    And that there was not an institutionalized effort by the Third Reich to do so?

    Or are you just quibbling around the numbers and a few of the artifacts?

  • Fiberal

    And by “one of your favorite bits” you are saying that while the Nazis documented everything, the records weren’t worth much?

    As far as one or two documents that can be cited here or there, well-referenced or not, it constitutes cherry picking.

    Are you seriously saying without smoking gun documents, i.e., a framed, swastika-embedded parchment document with Hitler’s verified signature, that the extermination of millions of Jews, and others, is in doubt?

    And that there was not an institutionalized effort by the Third Reich to do so?

    Or are you just quibbling around the numbers and a few of the artifacts?

  • MAS

    And so we are back to the Sheriff and Board of Supervisors making the conditions the dispatcher is forced to operate under…unless you are saying the dispatcher is happy with not being able to help the caller in any way.

  • MAS

    And so we are back to the Sheriff and Board of Supervisors making the conditions the dispatcher is forced to operate under…unless you are saying the dispatcher is happy with not being able to help the caller in any way.

  • MAS

    Right to the point in as concise a way as possible. Well said!

  • MAS

    Right to the point in as concise a way as possible. Well said!

  • Bill T
  • Bill T
  • Fiberal

    As I’m sure you know, the web is replete with copies of testimonies and photos of the extermination.

    Here is one documented report by SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Gricksch for von Herff and Himmler 1943, under Auschwitz – Nazi testimony regarding gassing
    at the camp:
    https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/resource/document/document.htm

    So while you may desire to dwell on modern definitions of “legal documentation”, “Proper Authorization”, circumstantial evidence or hearsay”, the last sentence of the testimony is telling. Namely that the job of moving bodies out of the gas chambers is left to Jewish prisoners, not expected to ever leave the camp.

    In other words, the testimony speaks directly to the cover up that was every bit as systematized and carefully implemented by a criminal regime that knew exactly that institutionalized genocide may someday, come with a penalty.

    Under these circumstances, the modern standards we use for admissible evidence to be able to convict in a court of law, that could satisfy well-heeled and well-paid attorneys, is not patently applicable.

    Minutes of the Wannsee protocol speak to the Final Solution, and even if you grant that the Nazis weren’t speaking in code about mass murder when they discussed “Jewish relocation”, they were indeed planning an exercise that would have no other foreseeable outcome.

    It takes nothing to find thousands of testimonies on the web about the death camps. That is admissible.

    As for a smoking gun document outlining, planning and implementing a holocaust, I mean, c’mon….what would you expect?

  • Fiberal

    As I’m sure you know, the web is replete with copies of testimonies and photos of the extermination.

    Here is one documented report by SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Gricksch for von Herff and Himmler 1943, under Auschwitz – Nazi testimony regarding gassing
    at the camp:
    https://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/resource/document/document.htm

    So while you may desire to dwell on modern definitions of “legal documentation”, “Proper Authorization”, circumstantial evidence or hearsay”, the last sentence of the testimony is telling. Namely that the job of moving bodies out of the gas chambers is left to Jewish prisoners, not expected to ever leave the camp.

    In other words, the testimony speaks directly to the cover up that was every bit as systematized and carefully implemented by a criminal regime that knew exactly that institutionalized genocide may someday, come with a penalty.

    Under these circumstances, the modern standards we use for admissible evidence to be able to convict in a court of law, that could satisfy well-heeled and well-paid attorneys, is not patently applicable.

    Minutes of the Wannsee protocol speak to the Final Solution, and even if you grant that the Nazis weren’t speaking in code about mass murder when they discussed “Jewish relocation”, they were indeed planning an exercise that would have no other foreseeable outcome.

    It takes nothing to find thousands of testimonies on the web about the death camps. That is admissible.

    As for a smoking gun document outlining, planning and implementing a holocaust, I mean, c’mon….what would you expect?

  • AnalogMan

    Whether or not there were any gas chambers, and whether or not anybody clawed, kicked or screamed, I definitely believe it’s BS that any of them managed to scratch grooves in cement plaster with their fingernails. Try it yourself.

    If the plaster were weak enough to be scratched by fingernails, it would crumble. It would not retain such clean scratches.

    You people are funny. You pride yourselves on being hardheaded, rational thinkers because you don’t believe in global warming. But you swallow any Hollywood myth about the Holocaust™, and then you brand every skeptic – guess what? – gullible. Come on, people, the evidence is on the internet. If you’re too scared of the truth to do a little research, then for Pete’s sake use your common sense. Just think of the logistics of that “Project”. The whole idea is preposterous.

    And those of you relying on “eyewitness” accounts: There are plenty of reasons why people would lie, from money and power to just a good after-dinner story. Believe it or not, a lot of people lie, even when there seems to be no reason to. Some people are just liars.

    I count in that category the witness in Steven Spielberg’s documentary, the woman who claims to have escaped from inside a gas chamber – twice. Can you suspend your delusion at least long enough to agree, or are you too brainwashed?

    I used to live next door to a German man. No, we never discussed the war, Nazis or the Holocaust™. But the last time I saw him, after I sold my property and was saying goodbye, he mentioned that his mother, who was over 90, received an old-age pension from Germany. This had previously been tax-free, but the German government had recently announced that it was to be taxed – back-dated for about six years. They demanded several thousand Euros in back taxes, which, of course, she didn’t have. The interesting thing was, German Jews were exempt.

    They’re still milking it. Of course they’ll lie to keep the gravy train rolling.

  • AnalogMan

    Whether or not there were any gas chambers, and whether or not anybody clawed, kicked or screamed, I definitely believe it’s BS that any of them managed to scratch grooves in cement plaster with their fingernails. Try it yourself.

    If the plaster were weak enough to be scratched by fingernails, it would crumble. It would not retain such clean scratches.

    You people are funny. You pride yourselves on being hardheaded, rational thinkers because you don’t believe in global warming. But you swallow any Hollywood myth about the Holocaust™, and then you brand every skeptic – guess what? – gullible. Come on, people, the evidence is on the internet. If you’re too scared of the truth to do a little research, then for Pete’s sake use your common sense. Just think of the logistics of that “Project”. The whole idea is preposterous.

    And those of you relying on “eyewitness” accounts: There are plenty of reasons why people would lie, from money and power to just a good after-dinner story. Believe it or not, a lot of people lie, even when there seems to be no reason to. Some people are just liars.

    I count in that category the witness in Steven Spielberg’s documentary, the woman who claims to have escaped from inside a gas chamber – twice. Can you suspend your delusion at least long enough to agree, or are you too brainwashed?

    I used to live next door to a German man. No, we never discussed the war, Nazis or the Holocaust™. But the last time I saw him, after I sold my property and was saying goodbye, he mentioned that his mother, who was over 90, received an old-age pension from Germany. This had previously been tax-free, but the German government had recently announced that it was to be taxed – back-dated for about six years. They demanded several thousand Euros in back taxes, which, of course, she didn’t have. The interesting thing was, German Jews were exempt.

    They’re still milking it. Of course they’ll lie to keep the gravy train rolling.

  • AnalogMan

    The unanswerable argument. Who needs facts or logic, when we have name-calling.

  • AnalogMan

    The unanswerable argument. Who needs facts or logic, when we have name-calling.

  • FACT: Climate alarmists claimed natural disasters would become worse and more frequent.

    FACT: From earthquakes to cold waves: in 2014 there were fewer disasters and fewer victims. Actually, good news.

    Yet climate alarmists continue to wring their hands and yell that the sky is falling!

    Here is the actual source page for the story, but it’s in German so you have to either understand German or be able to translate:

    http://www.bild.de/ratgeber/wissenschaft/katastrophen/forderten-2014-weniger-opfer-42692112.bild.html

    2014 Global Natural Disasters Down Massively! …No Trend In Tornado/Cyclones Since 1950!

  • FACT: Climate alarmists claimed natural disasters would become worse and more frequent.

    FACT: From earthquakes to cold waves: in 2014 there were fewer disasters and fewer victims. Actually, good news.

    Yet climate alarmists continue to wring their hands and yell that the sky is falling!

    Here is the actual source page for the story, but it’s in German so you have to either understand German or be able to translate:

    http://www.bild.de/ratgeber/wissenschaft/katastrophen/forderten-2014-weniger-opfer-42692112.bild.html

    2014 Global Natural Disasters Down Massively! …No Trend In Tornado/Cyclones Since 1950!

  • It’s important to their reputation, since Obama traded 5 high value terrorists for him, that he be vindicated in the end. They think enough time has passed they can pull this off without it causing too big a fuss.

  • It’s important to their reputation, since Obama traded 5 high value terrorists for him, that he be vindicated in the end. They think enough time has passed they can pull this off without it causing too big a fuss.

  • AnalogMan

    Even the Holocaust™ Museum doesn’t claim that lampshade myth is true any more. Or the soap. But for many years it was part of the official narrative, and people believed it. Of course, it doesn’t stand up to modern DNA testing, so they had to abandon it.

    Now, think: if that was a lie, what else was?

  • AnalogMan

    Even the Holocaust™ Museum doesn’t claim that lampshade myth is true any more. Or the soap. But for many years it was part of the official narrative, and people believed it. Of course, it doesn’t stand up to modern DNA testing, so they had to abandon it.

    Now, think: if that was a lie, what else was?

  • AnalogMan

    Use your own brain. Read the evidence. Decide what is credible.

    Here, I’ll give you a start. This is a commentary on Steven Spielberg’s documentary The Last Days. Decide for yourself if you want to believe all those “eyewitness (one way or another)” reports.

    But you know what? I somehow doubt that you’ll even watch a piece of it. Because you earnest seekers after truth fear nothing more than actually being exposed to the truth.

  • AnalogMan

    Use your own brain. Read the evidence. Decide what is credible.

    Here, I’ll give you a start. This is a commentary on Steven Spielberg’s documentary The Last Days. Decide for yourself if you want to believe all those “eyewitness (one way or another)” reports.

    But you know what? I somehow doubt that you’ll even watch a piece of it. Because you earnest seekers after truth fear nothing more than actually being exposed to the truth.

  • DJ

    Oh I just hate those inconvenient truths!
    .
    Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom refutes Auschwitz ‘gas chambers’
    .
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=8139

  • DJ

    Oh I just hate those inconvenient truths!
    .
    Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom refutes Auschwitz ‘gas chambers’
    .
    https://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?t=8139

  • DJ

    The gas chambers for starters….

  • DJ

    The gas chambers for starters….

  • AnalogMan

    And BTW, isn’t it interesting that Winston Churchill, in his six-volume history The Second World War. never mentioned the “death camps” once? Charles de Gaulle, in his memoir, also managed to overlook that most momentous event in modern history.

  • DJ

    Hey, and I’m saying that as a Polock…. and we all know Hilter’s plan for Polocks! Thus I’m hardly a fan of the Nazis. Anything but!

  • AnalogMan

    And BTW, isn’t it interesting that Winston Churchill, in his six-volume history The Second World War. never mentioned the “death camps” once? Charles de Gaulle, in his memoir, also managed to overlook that most momentous event in modern history.

  • DJ

    Hey, and I’m saying that as a Polock…. and we all know Hilter’s plan for Polocks! Thus I’m hardly a fan of the Nazis. Anything but!

  • DJ
  • DJ
  • AnalogMan

    Smarter chemists than you or I have already done the analysis. But all you can do is parrot the propaganda and call me names. That doesn’t really make for a strong argument.

    Here, you read the report.
    An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz ‘Gas Chambers’

  • AnalogMan

    Smarter chemists than you or I have already done the analysis. But all you can do is parrot the propaganda and call me names. That doesn’t really make for a strong argument.

    Here, you read the report.
    An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz ‘Gas Chambers’

  • AnalogMan

    This guy is also a better chemist than you – and he’s actually examined the evidence:

    The
    Rudolf Report

    Expert Report on Chemical and Technical Aspects

    of the ‘Gas Chambers’ of Auschwitz

  • AnalogMan

    This guy is also a better chemist than you – and he’s actually examined the evidence:

    The
    Rudolf Report

    Expert Report on Chemical and Technical Aspects

    of the ‘Gas Chambers’ of Auschwitz

  • Daniel

    Everything from Jan and from the exiled leadership would be classified as hearsay. No one had direct experience or knowledge.

  • Daniel

    Everything from Jan and from the exiled leadership would be classified as hearsay. No one had direct experience or knowledge.

  • Saxon Warrior

    Listen, Prussian blue is an iron compound. It is not cyanide. The molecule contains a cyanide radical but it is NOT the cyanide used to kill Jews. Prussian blue is not even toxic. It has found uses in medicine as an antidote to heavy metal poisoning.
    I’m a chemist so I’m not really interested in the Polish report. The fact that Prussian blue is not found in all the gas chambers has been used by holocaust-deniers to discredit the validity of the death chambers. It’s a theory that has been thoroughly debunked.
    Prussian blue would definitely exist for years but would only be formed in the first place under certain conditions. If you don’t believe me I can show you some detailed analyses of the chemistry involved, but I’ll start you off with something simple.
    Here’s a link to the well-known online children’s encyclopedia Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_blue

  • Saxon Warrior

    Listen, Prussian blue is an iron compound. It is not cyanide. The molecule contains a cyanide radical but it is NOT the cyanide used to kill Jews. Prussian blue is not even toxic. It has found uses in medicine as an antidote to heavy metal poisoning.
    I’m a chemist so I’m not really interested in the Polish report. The fact that Prussian blue is not found in all the gas chambers has been used by holocaust-deniers to discredit the validity of the death chambers. It’s a theory that has been thoroughly debunked.
    Prussian blue would definitely exist for years but would only be formed in the first place under certain conditions. If you don’t believe me I can show you some detailed analyses of the chemistry involved, but I’ll start you off with something simple.
    Here’s a link to the well-known online children’s encyclopedia Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_blue

  • dabney

    What, precisely, is the “argument” that needs an “answer”, oh benevolent soul? That my parents and grandparents are liars? That they fed me a load of crap, which I naively bought – hook line and sinker? That the most meticulously documented crime – (documented by the perpetrators, mind you) – has been all in my family’s and my people’s collective imagination?

    You should be ashamed of yourself. But, of course, there’s no shaming the shameless. You are despicable.

  • dabney

    What, precisely, is the “argument” that needs an “answer”, oh benevolent soul? That my parents and grandparents are liars? That they fed me a load of crap, which I naively bought – hook line and sinker? That the most meticulously documented crime – (documented by the perpetrators, mind you) – has been all in my family’s and my people’s collective imagination?

    You should be ashamed of yourself. But, of course, there’s no shaming the shameless. You are despicable.

  • AnalogMan

    You talking about me? You have no idea.

    Who’s the one swallowing the camel?

    Have you seen the myth of the Six Million in the news reports, going back to the 19th century?

    Have you considered the logistics of transporting six million people by rail across Europe, for the purpose of killing them on arrival? Across a rail system that has been bombed into scrap? Does that even make sense to you?

    Do you even have any idea how much fuel, and time, it would take to cremate six million corpses? In a country at war, whose tanks were running out of fuel, whose citizens were freezing and starving?

    When this myth was first mooted, the story was that four million people, most of them Jews, died at Auschwitz. That number has been officially revised to one – to one-and-a-half million. But the total of Jews is still six million. Question: where are the missing millions?

    Where is the photographic evidence for the 24-hour cremations from the aerial photo-reconnaissance?

    The fact that I offered you a gnat to whet your appetite by no means means that I have swallowed the camel, or that there is no camel. But you are the people who have swallowed it.

    As for a leftard… You have no idea. Believe me you people here are the leftards, and I’m not just talking about the Holohoax. Not me. I’m a genuine right-wing racist from Apartheid South Africa. You guys are liberal pussies.

  • AnalogMan

    You talking about me? You have no idea.

    Who’s the one swallowing the camel?

    Have you seen the myth of the Six Million in the news reports, going back to the 19th century?

    Have you considered the logistics of transporting six million people by rail across Europe, for the purpose of killing them on arrival? Across a rail system that has been bombed into scrap? Does that even make sense to you?

    Do you even have any idea how much fuel, and time, it would take to cremate six million corpses? In a country at war, whose tanks were running out of fuel, whose citizens were freezing and starving?

    When this myth was first mooted, the story was that four million people, most of them Jews, died at Auschwitz. That number has been officially revised to one – to one-and-a-half million. But the total of Jews is still six million. Question: where are the missing millions?

    Where is the photographic evidence for the 24-hour cremations from the aerial photo-reconnaissance?

    The fact that I offered you a gnat to whet your appetite by no means means that I have swallowed the camel, or that there is no camel. But you are the people who have swallowed it.

    As for a leftard… You have no idea. Believe me you people here are the leftards, and I’m not just talking about the Holohoax. Not me. I’m a genuine right-wing racist from Apartheid South Africa. You guys are liberal pussies.

  • AnalogMan

    Oh, I believe you. I also note that you refuse to read the evidence or to consider the implications of what you do know. I’m not going to argue any further with you. “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.

  • AnalogMan

    Oh, I believe you. I also note that you refuse to read the evidence or to consider the implications of what you do know. I’m not going to argue any further with you. “There are none so blind as those who will not see”.

  • Saw it up close at Dachau. The stench of death was burned into the walls.

  • Saw it up close at Dachau. The stench of death was burned into the walls.

  • Try taking a trip to Dachau, that is, if you can get off of your fat ass long enough. The nail marks are deep into the wall, there is the tint of Prussian blue and the stench of death is burned into the concrete.

  • Try taking a trip to Dachau, that is, if you can get off of your fat ass long enough. The nail marks are deep into the wall, there is the tint of Prussian blue and the stench of death is burned into the concrete.

  • AnalogMan

    From which I gather that you’re also a “survivor”. As were your parents and grandparents. Who were fed the same propaganda as you were, with your mother’s milk. I understand, you believe it, they believed it.

    Hell, look at all the goyim here who believe it. We get it at school, at college, in the movies, on TV. My daughter actually majored in the history of that period. But you people get the mythology all day, every day, and for you, it’s personal. It’s your folk myth, your religion, your culture. And, as I mentioned elsewhere, it has been for a long time, even before the First World War. It’s no wonder you’re invested in it.

    But the thing is, I ask my daughter for that meticulous documentation you mentioned, and there just isn’t any. All she can show me is the minutes of a conference where the crime was planned, but never mentioned in the minutes. Yes, she says, it’s there, but it’s in code, between the lines.

    The Nuremberg trials? Please. Those confessions were all obtained under torture. The films of the trial show broken men agreeing with every accusation put to them. I read somewhere, and it’s just hearsay, that medical examination of the witnesses after the trial showed only two of about 130 men whose testicles were not crushed beyond repair. However, I find that more believable than your Holohoax.

    The only meticulous documentation that I have seen of deaths in the concentration camps were the reports of the International Red Cross. Total: some 271000 deaths, mostly from typhus or starvation.

    Yes, I’m despicable. I’m also a man without a homeland. I got wise too late, as to who was working to destroy my country. But I know you now. You’re the same people who are now destroying America and Europe with mass third-world immigration. You won’t stop until the last White man is extinct. Or until somebody stops you.

  • AnalogMan

    From which I gather that you’re also a “survivor”. As were your parents and grandparents. Who were fed the same propaganda as you were, with your mother’s milk. I understand, you believe it, they believed it.

    Hell, look at all the goyim here who believe it. We get it at school, at college, in the movies, on TV. My daughter actually majored in the history of that period. But you people get the mythology all day, every day, and for you, it’s personal. It’s your folk myth, your religion, your culture. And, as I mentioned elsewhere, it has been for a long time, even before the First World War. It’s no wonder you’re invested in it.

    But the thing is, I ask my daughter for that meticulous documentation you mentioned, and there just isn’t any. All she can show me is the minutes of a conference where the crime was planned, but never mentioned in the minutes. Yes, she says, it’s there, but it’s in code, between the lines.

    The Nuremberg trials? Please. Those confessions were all obtained under torture. The films of the trial show broken men agreeing with every accusation put to them. I read somewhere, and it’s just hearsay, that medical examination of the witnesses after the trial showed only two of about 130 men whose testicles were not crushed beyond repair. However, I find that more believable than your Holohoax.

    The only meticulous documentation that I have seen of deaths in the concentration camps were the reports of the International Red Cross. Total: some 271000 deaths, mostly from typhus or starvation.

    Yes, I’m despicable. I’m also a man without a homeland. I got wise too late, as to who was working to destroy my country. But I know you now. You’re the same people who are now destroying America and Europe with mass third-world immigration. You won’t stop until the last White man is extinct. Or until somebody stops you.

  • AnalogMan

    So… where’s the extermination order? Or any reference to it?

  • AnalogMan

    So… where’s the extermination order? Or any reference to it?

  • AnalogMan

    I hate to say this, man, but that was your imagination – suitably primed by your indoctrination.

  • AnalogMan

    I hate to say this, man, but that was your imagination – suitably primed by your indoctrination.

  • Saxon Warrior

    “None so blind as those who refuse to see?” That obviously applies to you then.
    I gave you the facts – you chose to ignore them. You’re the blind man.
    But I don’t care. You’re an idiot. You lost the argument. I’m a chemist – you’re not. You lost the argument. I know that you lost the argument and you know that you did. it’s a shame that you are too much or a coward to admit it, but it’s no skin off my nose.
    A loser who can’t even admit that he has lost is incredibly sad.

  • AnalogMan

    Interesting, too, how the survivors keep on keeping on.

    Did you see the reports of a ninety-something-year-old former camp guard was found guilty of something or other, and sentenced to prison? Just the other day. The reports of the trial included the testimony of a Survivor who was born in the camp. She testified how Dr Mengele performed sterilization experiments on her mother while she was pregnant. For some reason, Dr Mengele failed to notice that the mother was pregnant, so the child was born without his knowledge, which is why she survived. Anyway, since she was indubitably present, albeit in utero, during the period of the alleged crimes, she gave evidence in the trial. Hearsay evidence, of course, would have been inadmissible.

    Those trials were, and are, a complete travesty.

    ** Wait, here’s the link. Read it yourself. Good for a laugh.

    Woman born in Auschwitz gives harrowing testimony at trial of death camp ‘bookkeeper’

  • Saxon Warrior

    I did read it actually. It kind of agrees with what I have already said. Prussian blue is persistent but the article never states the conditions in which it is formed.

    “None so blind as those who refuse to see?” That obviously applies to you then.
    I gave you the facts – you chose to ignore them. You’re the blind man.
    But I don’t care. You’re an idiot. You lost the argument. I’m a chemist – you’re not.
    You lost the argument. I know that you lost the argument and you know that you did. it’s a shame that you are too much of a coward to admit it, but it’s no skin off my nose.
    A loser who can’t even admit that he has lost is incredibly sad.

  • AnalogMan

    Interesting, too, how the survivors keep on keeping on.

    Did you see the reports of a ninety-something-year-old former camp guard was found guilty of something or other, and sentenced to prison? Just the other day. The reports of the trial included the testimony of a Survivor who was born in the camp. She testified how Dr Mengele performed sterilization experiments on her mother while she was pregnant. For some reason, Dr Mengele failed to notice that the mother was pregnant, so the child was born without his knowledge, which is why she survived. Anyway, since she was indubitably present, albeit in utero, during the period of the alleged crimes, she gave evidence in the trial. Hearsay evidence, of course, would have been inadmissible.

    Those trials were, and are, a complete travesty.

    ** Wait, here’s the link. Read it yourself. Good for a laugh.

    Woman born in Auschwitz gives harrowing testimony at trial of death camp ‘bookkeeper’

  • AnalogMan

    OK, that was funny! Thanks.

  • AnalogMan

    OK, that was funny! Thanks.

  • Saxon Warrior

    Oh dear, the subject of Prussian blue is not even complex chemistry -it’s schoolboy stuff. There’s no more evidence to examine.
    I’ll spell it out to you:
    IT DIDN’T ALWAYS FORM IN THE GAS CHAMBERS – simple really.

    Even an idiot could grasp it but some idiots love to read conspiracy theories. It makes their worthless lives seem important.
    Yawn!

  • Saxon Warrior

    Don’t thank me. I love to educate ignorant people for free.

  • Saxon Warrior

    Oh dear, the subject of Prussian blue is not even complex chemistry -it’s schoolboy stuff. There’s no more evidence to examine.
    I’ll spell it out to you:
    IT DIDN’T ALWAYS FORM IN THE GAS CHAMBERS – simple really.

    Even an idiot could grasp it but some idiots love to read conspiracy theories. It makes their worthless lives seem important.
    Yawn!

  • Saxon Warrior

    Don’t thank me. I love to educate ignorant people for free.

  • Fiberal

    No, not when they’re all dead. Easy targets, huh?

    I don’t see much substance to this.

    I told you why meticulous record-keeping of murder would be ludicrous and I included a website with documentation; and pointed out that there are thousands of testimonies.

    And of course there are copious photos and videos of the victims which I’m sure you’re aware of.

    I would just add that you will not see from me any happy accolades about the virtuousness of our wretched species; either Jew or Gentile.

    But when there are thousands of witnesses to a crime, from those injured, from the perpetrators and from those who had nothing to gain, a reasonable person would not cherry pick at pieces or demand extraordinary evidence in a transparent attempt to find evidence of fraud or dismiss a major historical event as a mass conspiracy.

    In other words, the Nuremberg court hung the right guys.

    But hey. I appreciated the comments. The web is overloaded with holocaust deniers and all walks of conspiracy theorists, and I’ve been just a little curious about the thinking behind the bedlam.

  • Fiberal

    No, not when they’re all dead. Easy targets, huh?

    I don’t see much substance to this.

    I told you why meticulous record-keeping of murder would be ludicrous and I included a website with documentation; and pointed out that there are thousands of testimonies.

    And of course there are copious photos and videos of the victims which I’m sure you’re aware of.

    I would just add that you will not see from me any happy accolades about the virtuousness of our wretched species; either Jew or Gentile.

    But when there are thousands of witnesses to a crime, from those injured, from the perpetrators and from those who had nothing to gain, a reasonable person would not cherry pick at pieces or demand extraordinary evidence in a transparent attempt to find evidence of fraud or dismiss a major historical event as a mass conspiracy.

    In other words, the Nuremberg court hung the right guys.

    But hey. I appreciated the comments. The web is overloaded with holocaust deniers and all walks of conspiracy theorists, and I’ve been just a little curious about the thinking behind the bedlam.

  • AnalogMan

    Wait – it just occurred to me to wonder: That was a joke, right? I mean, you were just pretending to be a small child?

  • AnalogMan

    Wait – it just occurred to me to wonder: That was a joke, right? I mean, you were just pretending to be a small child?

  • AnalogMan

    Come on, you did everything but say “Nyaa, nyaa”.

    Damn, and here I was giving you credit for a sense of humour. Silly me.

  • AnalogMan

    Come on, you did everything but say “Nyaa, nyaa”.

    Damn, and here I was giving you credit for a sense of humour. Silly me.

  • MAS

    Maybe your right…that the holocaust never happened and Hitler pus pals were just victims of an entire generation of liars. Liars like personal family that were at the camps liberating them.

  • MAS

    Maybe your right…that the holocaust never happened and Hitler pus pals were just victims of an entire generation of liars. Liars like personal family that were at the camps liberating them.

  • MAS

    Picking fly poop out of pepper at the least. Programmed starving millions of people to death OK then?

  • MAS

    Picking fly poop out of pepper at the least. Programmed starving millions of people to death OK then?

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    How come the walls aren’t stained blue? Cyanide gas leaves a blue residue.
    http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndgcger.html
    http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/dth/Image2.jpg

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    How come the walls aren’t stained blue? Cyanide gas leaves a blue residue.
    http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/dth/fndgcger.html
    http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/dth/Image2.jpg

  • My Question is with the wooden doors…..
    How can gassing be done in a safe manner with wooden doors?

  • My Question is with the wooden doors…..
    How can gassing be done in a safe manner with wooden doors?

  • DJ

    The starvation was not programed nor planned. The disease and starvation came at the end of the war due to the Nazis not being able to provide medical and food supplies to the camps. The allegation that gas chambers were used for mass killings is propaganda designed to push political and ideological agendas on a naïve populace. Consider this: The fact that it’s illegal in many countries to critically examine the official narrative regarding the holocaust should to tip you off that there is much truth to hide; hence it’s being guarded and forced down peoples’ throats via tyranny.

  • DJ

    The starvation was not programed nor planned. The disease and starvation came at the end of the war due to the Nazis not being able to provide medical and food supplies to the camps. The allegation that gas chambers were used for mass killings is propaganda designed to push political and ideological agendas on a naïve populace. Consider this: The fact that it’s illegal in many countries to critically examine the official narrative regarding the holocaust should to tip you off that there is much truth to hide; hence it’s being guarded and forced down peoples’ throats via tyranny.

  • Alphamail

    Are you agreeing and being facetious, or are you disputing what I wrote?

  • Alphamail

    Are you agreeing and being facetious, or are you disputing what I wrote?

  • Alphamail

    Bueno amigo

  • Alphamail

    Bueno amigo

  • Torcer

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
    exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves
    largess out of the public treasury.
    Alexander Tytler

  • Torcer

    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
    exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves
    largess out of the public treasury.
    Alexander Tytler

  • Torcer

    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    George Orwell

  • Torcer

    When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can
    imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. – F. Douglass

  • Torcer

    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell

  • Torcer

    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    George Orwell

    Remarks by the President in Q&A with David Karp, CEO of Tumblr
    June 10, 2014
    State Dining Room
    4:15 P.M. EDT[…]
    A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well, that’s it — we’re not seeing that again. And basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws. And they haven’t had a mass shooting since.
    [..]5:10 P.M. EDT
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/10/remarks-president-qa-david-karp-ceo-tumblr

  • Torcer

    In Congress, July 4, 1776

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. — The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.

    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

    For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offences:

    For abolishing the free system of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our Governments:

    For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

    Nor have we been wanting in attention to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

    We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.

    And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

  • Torcer

    …………………………………………………..

  • Torcer

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”—John F. Kennedy

  • Torcer

    “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”—John F. Kennedy

    The Terrorists Among Us
    Forget Syria. The most dangerous religious extremists are migrants from North and South Carolina.
    Another terrorist attack. Another grim tally of the dead and wounded. Another killer full of hate, from a land that breeds such men. Like millions of migrants before him, the perpetrator crossed the border unchallenged. And like others, he struck our country without warning.

    Our politicians say they’ll stop these killers. They talk about building walls and vetting refugees. If we were serious, we would do it. We would seal our borders against North Carolina.

    North Carolina? It sounds absurd. When we think about immigration and terrorism, we think of Syria. But that’s not where our casualties are coming from. On Friday, a gunman killed three people and wounded nine more at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.
    […]
    Among dozens of avowedly Christian, anti-Semitic, and right-wing terrorists cataloged by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center, you’ll find many from these two states: Charles Robert Barefoot Jr., a North Carolina Klan leader who was convicted in 2012 on charges involving firearms, explosives, and violent conspiracy. Kody Brittingham, a Marine at Camp Lejeune who confessed to plotting the assassination of President Obama. Paul Chastain, a South Carolina militiaman who tried to acquire plastic explosives and threatened to kill federal officials. Steve Bixby, a violent activist from an anti-Semitic household, who gunned down two police officers in Abbeville, South Carolina. Daniel Schertz, a Klansman arrested in Greenville, South Carolina, and later convicted, on weapons charges involving racist bomb plots.
    […]
    And then there’s Dylann Roof. After allegedly murdering nine black people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church this summer, Roof drove more than three hours north, to Shelby, North Carolina. Nobody stopped him at the state border. The boundary between North and South Carolina, like the boundary between Syria and Iraq, is a joke.

    Today, Republican presidential candidates are climbing over one another in a race to block the entry of Syrian refugees. They’re doing this even though, among the nearly 800,000 refugees we’ve accepted since 9/11, not one has been convicted of—or has even been arrested for—plotting a terror attack in this country. (A few have been arrested for links to terrorism elsewhere.) Why do refugees have such a clean record? Because they have to go through an elaborate process: screening by U.N. evaluators, “biometric and biographic checks,” consultations with U.S. counterterrorism agencies, and an in-person interview with the Department of Homeland Security. On average, the process takes about a year and a half—or, in the case of Syrian refugees, about two years.

    Terrorists from North Carolina encounter no such scrutiny. They just climb into their cars, cross the border, and proceed to Georgia, Kansas, or Colorado. They’re protected by Article IV of the Constitution, which, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, guarantees citizens “the right of free ingress into other States.” That’s why, among the 27 fatal terror attacks inflicted in this country since 9/11, 20 were committed by domestic right-wing extremists. (The other seven attacks were committed by domestic jihadists, not by foreign terrorist organizations.) Of the 77 people killed in these 27 incidents, two-thirds died at the hands of anti-abortion fanatics, “Christian Identity” zealots, white anti-Semites, or other right-wing militants.

    This week’s carnage in Colorado brings the death toll from North Carolinian terrorists, including Eric Rudolph, to eight. That’s just one shy of the nine people murdered in Charleston. Throw in the work of a few lesser miscreants, and you’re looking at roughly 20 casualties inflicted by Carolina extremists.

    That doesn’t make the Christian states of North and South Carolina anywhere near as dangerous as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But it does make you wonder why, as we close our doors to refugees who have done us no harm, we pay so little attention to our enemies within.
    Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/11/robert_lewis_dear_is_one_of_many_religious_extremists_bred_in_north_carolina.single.html#

  • Torcer

    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. – Thomas Paine

  • Torcer

    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. – Thomas Paine

    For Hillary Clinton, “Thoughtcrime” Is Good Presidential Politics
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/27/for-hillary-clinton-thoughtcrime-is-good-presidential-politics/

    For Hillary Clinton, “Thoughtcrime” Is Good Presidential Politics
    08/27/2014
    For all the careful staging and coaching politicians use to maintain their public images, sometimes they still slip up and say what they really think. Who can forget President Obama’s infamous remark to wealthy donors in San Francisco that rural Americans who feel abandoned by the economy “get bitter and they cling to guns or religion”?
    […]
    Speaking at a televised “town hall” meeting in June, Clinton responded at length to a question about the effectiveness of so-called “assault weapon” and “high-capacity” magazine bans. Her response told us perhaps more than she intended about her true opinion of the Second Amendment and its supporters.

    Clinton insisted the nation needed a more “thoughtful conversation” about gun control and continued, “We cannot let a minority of people, and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people, hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”

    In the days following that remark, a number of commentators rightly emphasized the irony of America’s former secretary of state—one whose tenure was marked by controversies over real terrorists—using that term to describe ordinary Americans. Yet the true significance of her remarks was even more fundamental and chilling.

    Clinton didn’t just condemn the ownership and use of “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines. Instead, she claimed that what “terrorizes” America is a “viewpoint” that diverges from hers. This “minority” viewpoint is not just ill-advised or misinformed, in her estimation. Rather, it “cannot” be tolerated at all. This is the Orwellian realm of “thoughtcrime,” where simple beliefs or opinions are deemed as unacceptable and blameworthy as criminal behavior itself.

    Clinton’s outlook mirrors that of other gun-banning extremists. Their scorn targets not just, or even primarily, behavior. Instead, they seem more determined to stamp out pro-gun thoughts than violent crimes committed with guns.
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/27/for-hillary-clinton-thoughtcrime-is-good-presidential-politics/

  • Torcer

    “A hand from Washington will be stretched out and placed upon every man’s business; the eye of the Federal inspector will be in every man’s counting house… The law will of necessity have inquisitorial features, it will provide penalties, it will create complicated machinery. Under it men will be hailed into courts distant from their homes. Heavy fines imposed by distant and unfamiliar tribunals will constantly menace the tax payer. An army of Federal inspectors, spies and detectives will descend upon the state… Who of us who have had knowledge of the doings of the Federal officials in the Internal Revenue Service can be blind to what will follow?” – Richard E. Byrd, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, arguing against the 16th Amendment which authorized the Federal Income Tax

  • Torcer

    “A hand from Washington will be stretched out and placed upon every man’s business; the eye of the Federal inspector will be in every man’s counting house… The law will of necessity have inquisitorial features, it will provide penalties, it will create complicated machinery. Under it men will be hailed into courts distant from their homes. Heavy fines imposed by distant and unfamiliar tribunals will constantly menace the tax payer. An army of Federal inspectors, spies and detectives will descend upon the state… Who of us who have had knowledge of the doings of the Federal officials in the Internal Revenue Service can be blind to what will follow?” – Richard E. Byrd, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, arguing against the 16th Amendment which authorized the Federal Income Tax

    The Assault Weapons Ban the NRA Couldn’t Stop
    The Supreme Court has declined to take up one of the toughest gun-control laws in the country — a major blow to the NRA
    By Tim Dickinson December 9, 2015
    In a major defeat for the National Rifle Association, the Supreme Court decided this week not to take up a challenge to one of the toughest gun-control statutes in America, a law on the books in Highland Park, Illinois.

    Through this inaction, the Supreme Court has cleared a path for other communities across the nation to:

    —outlaw assault weapons and high capacity magazines,

    —declare these arms contraband and confiscate them,

    —and hit violators with jail time and/or a sizable fine.

    “The Supreme Court has now signaled that this is consistent with Second Amendment,” Mike McLively, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, tells Rolling Stone. “This could become a national model.”

    The Supreme Court let stand an earlier ruling by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals that found a community’s right to protect itself from gun violence trumps a fundamentalist reading of the Second Amendment. In short, the circuit court ruled that the individual right to bear arms — discovered by the Supreme Court in its 2008 Heller decision — is not nearly as absolute as the NRA would have America believe.

    With respect to the individual right to bear arms, circuit judge Frank Easterbrook wrote that “some categorical limits on the kinds of weapons that can be possessed are proper.” Communities concerned about the dangers of gun violence are justified, he reasoned, in taking action to limit the impact of that violence. “A ban on assault weapons won’t eliminate gun violence in Highland Park,” Easterbrook wrote, “but it may reduce the overall dangerousness of crime that does occur.”

    The assault weapons ban in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago, is sweeping. Passed in 2013, the gun-control ordinance reads, “No person shall manufacture, sell, offer for display for sale, give, lend, transfer ownership of, acquire or possess any Assault Weapon or Large Capacity Magazine…”

    The ordinance defines a large-capacity magazine as holding more than ten rounds. Its definition of assault weapons includes AR-15s, AK-47s and Uzis by name, as well as broad categories of semi-automatic pistols and rifles with a single militarized feature such as “a protruding grip that can be held by the non-trigger hand.”

    Upon passage, the Highland Park law required prohibited magazines and guns to be moved outside of city limits or surrendered to its chief of police. The law declared remaining assault weapons and high-capacity magazines “contraband” that “shall be seized and destroyed.” Violators of the statute now face misdemeanor charges punishable by six months in jail and/or a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000.

    In choosing not to review what the NRA decried as an unconstitutional “error,” a 7-2 Supreme Court majority turned a deaf ear to the gun lobby. In its friend of the court brief, the NRA’s legal team had insisted, “Because the Second Amendment right applies to the common semi-automatic firearms and magazines the City targets, they cannot be banned.”

    These fundamentalist gun-rights arguments only found sympathy with Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia. Thomas, in a fiery dissent joined by Scalia, wrote that the court had upheld a decision “relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”

    Inaction by the Supreme Court is not as definitive as a new ruling on guns, of course. And it remains possible that the Court is waiting for a split among the appellate courts to trigger a new intervention on gun rights.

    But McLively of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence says the fact that only Thomas and Scalia signed onto a dissent “sends a pretty strong message that there’s not five justices who think this is a violation of the Second Amendment.”

    “We hope that this emboldens communities to take action,” McLively says. “There is not the constitutional issue the gun lobby would have them believe.”
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-assault-weapons-ban-the-nra-couldnt-stop-20151209

  • Torcer

    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    George Orwell

  • Torcer

    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    George Orwell

    Page A29 at the NYT, With a Dull Headline: Cuomo Says Gun ‘Confiscatio http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2012/12/22/page-a29-nyt-dull-headline-cuomo-says-gun-confiscation-could-be-option#.Vk-U_ZpV4zY.twitter

    Cuomo: ‘Confiscation Could Be An Option’

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/336373/cuomo-confiscation-could-be-option-eliana-johnson

    Here’s the Audio of the NY Gov. Talking Gun Control: ‘Confiscation Could Be an … http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/12/21/heres-the-audio-of-ny-gov-talking-gun-control-confiscation-could-be-an-option/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=ShareButtons via @theblaze

    1:30

    NY Governor Cuomo on guns: ‘Confiscation could be an option’
    http://www.bizpacreview.com/2012/12/22/ny-governor-cuomo-on-guns-confiscation-could-be-an-option-12029

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo On Gun Control: ‘Confiscation Could Be An Option’ http://www.mediaite.com/online/new-york-gov-andrew-cuomo-on-gun-control-confiscation-could-be-an-option/ via @mediaite

    Clinton: Australian-Style Gun Control ‘Worth Considering’ for U.S.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JctBYrIaKvY

  • Torcer

    “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
    Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005), was an American pastor, conservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-1980 and 1986-1988).

  • Torcer

    The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons
    By C. J. CHIVERS

    A controlled detonation of recovered mustard shells near Taji, Iraq, on Aug. 17, 2008. John Paul Williams

    Published: October 14, 2014

    The soldiers at the blast crater sensed something was wrong.

    It was August 2008 near Taji, Iraq. They had just exploded a stack of old Iraqi artillery shells buried beside a murky lake. The blast, part of an effort to destroy munitions that could be used in makeshift bombs, uncovered more shells.

    Two technicians assigned to dispose of munitions stepped into the hole. Lake water seeped in. One of them, Specialist Andrew T. Goldman, noticed a pungent odor, something, he said, he had never smelled before.

    He lifted a shell. Oily paste oozed from a crack. “That doesn’t look like pond water,” said his team leader, Staff Sgt. Eric J. Duling.

    The specialist swabbed the shell with chemical detection paper. It turned red — indicating sulfur mustard, the chemical warfare agent designed to burn a victim’s airway, skin and eyes.

    All three men recall an awkward pause. Then Sergeant Duling gave an order: “Get the hell out.”

    Five years after President George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq, these soldiers had entered an expansive but largely secret chapter of America’s long and bitter involvement in Iraq.

    From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

    In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.

    The New York Times found 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers who were exposed to nerve or mustard agents after 2003. American officials said that the actual tally of exposed troops was slightly higher, but that the government’s official count was classified.

    Andrew T. Goldman in North Topsail Beach, N.C. In August 2008, Mr. Goldman was part of a team near Taji, Iraq, that was trying to destroy munitions that could be used in makeshift bombs. While holding a cracked shell, he noticed a strange smell. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    The secrecy fit a pattern. Since the outset of the war, the scale of the United States’ encounters with chemical weapons in Iraq was neither publicly shared nor widely circulated within the military. These encounters carry worrisome implications now that the Islamic State, a Qaeda splinter group, controls much of the territory where the weapons were found.

    The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors. The government’s secrecy, victims and participants said, prevented troops in some of the war’s most dangerous jobs from receiving proper medical care and official recognition of their wounds.

    Eric J. Duling at his home in Niceville, Fla. The cache that contaminated his explosive ordnance disposal team in 2008 was not the first discovery of chemical weapons in the war. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    “I felt more like a guinea pig than a wounded soldier,” said a former Army sergeant who suffered mustard burns in 2007 and was denied hospital treatment and medical evacuation to the United States despite requests from his commander.

    Congress, too, was only partly informed, while troops and officers were instructed to be silent or give deceptive accounts of what they had found. “ ’Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say,” said Jarrod Lampier, a recently retired Army major who was present for the largest chemical weapons discovery of the war: more than 2,400 nerve-agent rockets unearthed in 2006 at a former Republican Guard compound.

    Jarrod L. Taylor, a former Army sergeant on hand for the destruction of mustard shells that burned two soldiers in his infantry company, joked of “wounds that never happened” from “that stuff that didn’t exist.” The public, he said, was misled for a decade. “I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq,’ ” he said. “There were plenty.”
    Chemical Weapons Found by American Forces in Iraq

    Between 2004 and 2011, American forces in Iraq encountered thousands of chemical munitions. In several cases, troops were exposed to chemical agents.

    Rear Adm. John Kirby, spokesman for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, declined to address specific incidents detailed in the Times investigation, or to discuss the medical care and denial of medals for troops who were exposed. But he said that the military’s health care system and awards practices were under review, and that Mr. Hagel expected the services to address any shortcomings.

    “The secretary believes all service members deserve the best medical and administrative support possible,” he said. “He is, of course, concerned by any indication or allegation they have not received such support. His expectation is that leaders at all levels will strive to correct errors made, when and where they are made.”

    The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale.

    After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Bush insisted that Mr. Hussein was hiding an active weapons of mass destruction program, in defiance of international will and at the world’s risk. United Nations inspectors said they could not find evidence for these claims.

    Then, during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.

    All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.

    In case after case, participants said, analysis of these warheads and shells reaffirmed intelligence failures. First, the American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war’s outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find.

    As Iraq has been shaken anew by violence, and past security gains have collapsed amid Sunni-Shiite bloodletting and the rise of the Islamic State, this long-hidden chronicle illuminates the persistent risks of the country’s abandoned chemical weapons.

    Many chemical weapons incidents clustered around the ruins of the Muthanna State Establishment, the center of Iraqi chemical agent production in the 1980s.

    Since June, the compound has been held by the Islamic State, the world’s most radical and violent jihadist group. In a letter sent to the United Nations this summer, the Iraqi government said that about 2,500 corroded chemical rockets remained on the grounds, and that Iraqi officials had witnessed intruders looting equipment before militants shut down the surveillance cameras.

    Soldiers in chemical protection gear, including Sgt. Eric J. Duling and Specialist Andrew T. Goldman, examining suspected chemical munitions at a site near Camp Taji, Iraq, on Aug. 16, 2008. The New York Times

    The United States government says the abandoned weapons no longer pose a threat. But nearly a decade of wartime experience showed that old Iraqi chemical munitions often remained dangerous when repurposed for local attacks in makeshift bombs, as insurgents did starting by 2004.

    Participants in the chemical weapons discoveries said the United States suppressed knowledge of finds for multiple reasons, including that the government bristled at further acknowledgment it had been wrong. “They needed something to say that after Sept. 11 Saddam used chemical rounds,” Mr. Lampier said. “And all of this was from the pre-1991 era.”

    Others pointed to another embarrassment. In five of six incidents in which troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies.

    Staff Sgt. Eric J. Duling, left, Specialist Andrew T. Goldman, far right, and another member of an ordnance disposal team being treated for exposure to a chemical agent in August 2008. via Andrew T. Goldman

    Nonproliferation officials said the Pentagon’s handling of many of the recovered warheads and shells appeared to violate the Convention on Chemical Weapons. According to this convention, chemical weapons must be secured, reported and destroyed in an exacting and time-consuming fashion.

    The Pentagon did not follow the steps, but says that it adhered to the convention’s spirit. “These suspect weapons were recovered under circumstances in which prompt destruction was dictated by the need to ensure that the chemical weapons could not threaten the Iraqi people, neighboring states, coalition forces, or the environment,” said Jennifer Elzea, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

    The convention, she added, “did not envisage the conditions found in Iraq.”

    Nonetheless, several participants said the United States lost track of chemical weapons that its troops found, left large caches unsecured, and did not warn people — Iraqis and foreign troops alike — as it hastily exploded chemical ordnance in the open air.

    This was the secret world Sergeant Duling and his soldiers entered in August 2008 as they stood above the leaking chemical shell. The sergeant spoke into a radio, warning everyone back.

    “This is mustard agent,” he said, announcing the beginning of a journey of inadequate medical care and honors denied. “We’ve all been exposed.”
    Part 2
    Expecting Explosives, Finding Chemical Arms

    The cache that contaminated Sergeant Duling’s team was not the first discovery of chemical weapons in the war. American troops had already found thousands of similar warheads and shells.

    These repeated encounters sprang from a basic feature of the occupation: After the invasion, Iraq became a battlefield laced with hidden, lethal traps — most tied to the country’s protracted history in the global arms trade.

    Iraq had attacked Iran in late 1980, expecting quick victory against a military sapped of officers by Iran’s revolutionary purges. Mr. Hussein also thought Iranians might rise against their new religious leaders.

    He miscalculated. By June 1981, as Iran blunted Iraq’s incursions and unleashed its air force against Iraqi cities, Mr. Hussein was seeking new weapons. He created a secret program — known as Project 922 — that produced blister and nerve agents by the hundreds of tons, according to Iraq’s confidential declarations in the 1990s to the United Nations.

    Iranian soldiers wearing gas masks southeast of Basra, Iraq, in 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war. In the 1980s, while at war with Iran, Saddam Hussein created a secret program that produced blister and nerve agents by the hundreds of tons. Associated Press

    War provided urgency; Mr. Hussein added the cash. Western nations, some eager to contain Iran’s Islamic revolutionary state after the American hostage crisis from 1979 to 1981, lent Iraq support.

    With remarkable speed, Iraq built a program with equipment and precursor purchases from companies in an extraordinary array of countries, eventually including the United States, according to its confidential declarations.

    German construction firms helped create a sprawling manufacturing complex in the desert south of Samarra and three plants in Falluja that made precursor ingredients for chemical weapons. The complex near Samarra, later renamed Al Muthanna State Establishment, included research labs, production lines, testing areas and storage bunkers.

    Iraq produced 10 metric tons of mustard blister agent in 1981; by 1987 its production had grown 90-fold, with late-war output aided by two American companies that provided hundreds of tons of thiodiglycol, a mustard agent precursor. Production of nerve agents also took off.

    Rising production created another need. Mr. Hussein’s military did not possess the munitions for dispersing chemical agents. So it embarked on another buying spree, purchasing empty ordnance — aviation bombs from a Spanish manufacturer, American-designed artillery shells from European companies, and Egyptian and Italian ground-to-ground rockets — to be filled in Iraq.

    As these strands of a chemical weapons program came together, Iraq simultaneously accumulated enormous stores of conventional munitions.

    Much of the chemical stockpile was expended in the Iran-Iraq war or destroyed when the weapons programs were dismantled after the Persian Gulf war of 1991. But thousands of chemical shells and warheads remained, spicing the stockpile of conventional ordnance left unsecured in 2003 after Iraq’s military collapsed as the United States invaded.

    Chemical munitions can resemble conventional munitions — a problem compounded by Iraq’s practice of mislabeling ordnance to confuse foreign inspectors and, with time, by rust, pitting and dirt.

    These were the circumstances that combined against ordnance disposal teams as they pursued their primary duty in the war: defeating makeshift bombs.

    Almost all of the bombs were made with conventional ordnance or homemade explosives. Here and there, among the others, were bombs made from chemical arms.
    Part 3
    On a Routine Mission, ‘Bit’ by Sarin

    Staff Sgt. James F. Burns, a team leader in the 752nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, peered into a video screen at a bomb’s cracked remains.

    It was an unusual device. A short while before, it had been detonated beside an American patrol in southwest Baghdad. The blast had been small. No one had been wounded.

    Two ordnance disposal techs, Sergeant Burns (since promoted to first lieutenant) and Pfc. Michael S. Yandell, manipulated a robot toward the device to examine it via video feed. They expected to find a high-explosive shell.

    The video showed a damaged shell rigged to a telephone cable. It was May 15, 2004. Weeks before, Sergeant Burns had found a similar bomb made with an illumination shell — a pyrotechnic round that lacked explosive power. It, too, had been rigged with an identical telephone cable.

    Staff Sgt. James F. Burns in Baghdad in 2004. A week after this image was taken, he and another technician put what they thought were the remains of a familiar makeshift bomb into their truck. Soon the symptoms began: headache, nausea, disorientation and pinpointed pupils. Mohammed Uraibi/Associated Press

    This shell, the sergeant thought, was a duplicate. The bomb maker had goofed again.

    To prevent militants from reusing materials, disposal teams often destroyed any warheads and shells they found on the spot. But snipers stalked this neighborhood. Sergeant Burns understood that risks grew the longer the soldiers remained. He decided he would destroy the shell near their base.

    Private Yandell carried the shell to their truck bed.

    The drive back passed through a bazaar. Sergeant Burns noticed a bitter smell and thought, he said later, that “it was rotten vegetables.”

    Then he felt the onset of a headache. He told Private Yandell, who was driving, that he did not feel right.

    Nauseated and disoriented, Private Yandell had quietly been struggling to drive. His vision was blurring. His head pounded. “I feel like crap, too,” he replied.

    Dread passed over Sergeant Burns. Maybe, he wondered aloud, they had picked up a nerve agent shell.

    The chemical shell Sergeant Burns and Pfc. Michael S. Yandell found that day was on the highway to Baghdad’s international airport, called “Death Street” at the time because of frequent insurgent attacks.

    Neither man remembers the drive’s last minutes. At the base entrance, they did not clear the ammunition from their rifles and pistols — forgetting habits and rules.

    As they arrived at their building, Sergeant Burns was sure. In the back of the truck, the shell had leaked liquid. Illumination rounds, he knew, do not do that.

    “I thought: ‘I’ve gotten Mike killed, and maybe everyone else around here, driving a chem round onto the FOB,’” he said, using the acronym for forward operating base.

    Disposal teams kept bleach for decontamination. Sergeant Burns found a jug and poured it onto the shell before stumbling to the showers, where he found Private Yandell at a mirror, transfixed by his own image.

    “It was just pinpointed pupils,” Mr. Yandell later recalled. “And that is like the classic sign of sarin exposure.”

    He faced the sergeant. “I don’t want to freak you out,” he said. “But look.”

    Private Yandell’s irises were so constricted they seemed solid. “I didn’t see pinpointed pupils,” Lieutenant Burns said recently. “I didn’t see his pupils at all.”

    James F. Burns with his dog Koda, at his home in Yakima, Wash. After his team found the chemical shell in 2004, “They put a gag order on all of us – the security detail, us, the clinic, everyone,” he said of higher-ups. “We were briefed to tell family members that we were exposed to ‘industrial chemicals,’ because our case was classified Top Secret.” Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    The soldiers lived with three sailors, who told them to rush to the clinic.

    The soldiers staggered in claiming exposure to a nerve agent. The staff, Mr. Yandell said, acted as if he and Sergeant Burns were lying. “They suspected we were doing drugs or something,” he recalled.

    A medic who had been with them vouched that they had just handled an artillery shell. The staff changed its stance. “They stripped us down and helped us shower,” Mr. Yandell said.

    “Pt being admitted for possible chemical contamination,” his record reads, noting the pinpointed pupils, headache and dizziness. “Wheezing audible.”

    The two techs were given oxygen, then Tylenol. At 3:20 p.m., medics irrigated their eyes with atropine gel.

    By then the Navy techs had examined the shell. Word was circulating. Sergeant Burns’s team had picked up an exceedingly rare weapon: a 152-millimeter binary sarin shell.
    152mm Binary Sarin Round

    The chemical precursors are kept in two separate canisters, which break after launch. The precursors then mix together, forming liquid sarin.

    In 1988, late in the war against Iran, Iraq had tested a batch of prototype 152-millimeter shells containing segregated containers for sarin precursors, according to its confidential declarations.

    Very few were thought to have been assembled, fewer still to have survived. But this one found its way into a makeshift bomb. Sergeant Burns and Private Yandell mistook it for an illumination round in part, several techs said, because it was so rare it was not in the military’s standard ordnance recognition guides.

    Its canisters had ruptured during the roadside bomb’s detonation, mixing precursors to create sarin with a purity of 43 percent — more than enough to be lethal.

    Private Yandell had handled the shell without gloves. Both men inhaled sarin vapors. Their cases, said Col. Jonathan Newmark, a retired Army neurologist, became “the only documented battlefield exposure to nerve agent in the history of the United States.”

    As the two soldiers were afflicted by symptoms of this unlucky distinction, their supervisors initially pressed for a cover-up.

    “They put a gag order on all of us — the security detail, us, the clinic, everyone,” Lieutenant Burns said. “We were briefed to tell family members that we were exposed to ‘industrial chemicals,’ because our case was classified top secret.”

    Two days later, the military released an account of their sarin exposure, without revealing names or units involved. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, a spokesman, offered a prescient warning: “There may be more out there.”

    A Navy explosive ordnance disposal team in 2004, sealing the sarin shell that had wounded Sergeant Burns and Private Yandell. Christopher Jewett/United States Navy

    For nearly a decade this would be the only time the military released details of a chemical incident in Iraq in which troops were exposed.

    Ten days after the incident, both soldiers were awarded Purple Hearts. Both men said their company commander urged them to rest.

    Explosive ordnance disposal technicians are part of a small field with a code that encourages selflessness: Any call one team does not take, another team must.

    In June the two soldiers, still suffering symptoms, including intense headaches and difficulties with balance, asked to return to duty. Soon they were ordered to a site hit by 60-millimeter mortar fire.

    Two shells had been duds. They were stuck, fins up, in the sand. Sergeant Burns freed them with rope and then set off carrying them to a disposal pit.

    “I was walking with one in each hand, and I just fell,” he said. “I remember falling and trying to keep the fuzes from hitting the ground.”

    He wondered why the Army had not sent the two of them home. “We really should not have been operating out there,” he said.
    Part 4
    Playing Down Dangers, Withholding Evidence

    In September 2004, months after Sergeant Burns and Private Yandell picked up the leaking sarin shell, the American government issued a detailed analysis of Iraq’s weapons programs. The widely heralded report, by the multinational Iraq Survey Group, concluded that Iraq had not had an active chemical warfare program for more than a decade.

    The group, led by Charles A. Duelfer, a former United Nations official working for the Central Intelligence Agency, acknowledged that the American military had found old chemical ordnance: 12 artillery shells and 41 rocket warheads. It predicted that troops would find more.

    The report also played down the dangers of the lingering weapons, stating that because their contents would have deteriorated, “any remaining chemical munitions in Iraq do not pose a militarily significant threat.”

    Army and Navy technicians prepare unexploded ordnance for demolition in 2003 near Baghdad. American troops destroyed thousands of arms caches in Iraq, some of which contained chemical weapons, including chemical weapons the troops did not report. Erica Gardner/United States Navy, via Getty Images

    By then the Pentagon had test results showing that the sarin shell could have been deadly. American chemical warfare specialists also knew, disposal technicians and analysts said, that in the 1980s Iraq had mastered mustard agent production in its Western-built plant. Its output had been as pure as 95 percent and stable, meaning that the remaining stock was dangerous.

    Reached recently, Mr. Duelfer agreed that the weapons were still a menace, but said the report strove to make it clear that they were not “a secret cache of weapons of mass destruction.”

    “What I was trying to convey is that these were not militarily significant because they not used as W.M.D.,” he said. “It wasn’t that they weren’t dangerous.”

    The Duelfer report also claimed that the United States had cleared more than 10,000 arms caches but found no other chemical ordnance. Several disposal technicians said this claim was false, though the report’s authors did not know it.

    One reason that government tallies were low, and that Mr. Duelfer’s team was not aware of all the chemical weapons recoveries, the techs said, was that by 2004 the military’s procedures for handling Iraq’s chemical weapons had created disincentives for troops to report what they found.

    During 2003 and 2004, the United States hunted for unconventional weapons and evidence that might support the rationale for the invasion. But as the insurgency grew and makeshift bombs became the prevailing cause of troops’ wounds, the search became a lower priority for the rank-and-file. Some saw it as a distraction.

    One tech who served three tours in Iraq said his team twice encountered chemical weapons, but did not report one of them.

    That was in 2004, he said, when his team found a mustard shell in a conventional ordnance cache. Reporting it, he said, would have required summoning chemical warfare specialists, known as a technical escort unit, and adding 12 to 24 hours to the job. The team decided to put the mustard shell with the high-explosive shells and, he said, “get rid of it.”

    In the difficult calculus of war, competing missions had created tensions. If documenting chemical weapons delayed the destruction of explosive weapons that were killing people each week, or left troops vulnerable while waiting for chemical warfare specialists to arrive, then reporting chemical weapons endangered lives.

    Many techs said the teams chose common sense. “I could wait all day for tech escort to show up and make a chem round disappear, or I could just make it disappear myself,” another tech said.

    The tech who exploded a mustard shell in 2004 said the disposal teams had little time to register and report each item they found in Iraq’s stockpiles. Everything, he said, went into demolition piles.

    “You set up these huge shots day after day and you don’t research every single round because you would just use up all of your time doing research,” he said. “There were more chem rounds that were discovered and just blown in place.”

    Late in 2004, roughly simultaneous to the release of the Duelfer report, the Army signaled internally that it was concerned about the risks of chemical weapons by distributing detailed new instructions for treating troops exposed to warfare agents.

    One of the memorandums, by the Medical Command, stated that “exposure to chemical weapons is a continuing and significant risk to our deployed forces.” The instructions required blood and urine tests for patients and follow-up tracking of the exposed — for life.

    In the years ahead, these steps would often not be followed.

    By then the soldiers wounded by sarin had returned home. They still suffered symptoms. Private Yandell complained of severe headaches. Sergeant Burns, in a note for his medical record in late 2004, described memory lapses, reading difficulties, problems with balance and tingling in his legs.

    “I have been dropping items such as tools, soda cans, cups of water, pens and pencils,” he wrote. “I will stumble or nearly fall while standing up from a chair. While speaking, I will stutter or stammer and lose my thought.”

    Michael Yandell at Fort Worth Botanic Garden in Texas. After he and another soldier staggered into a clinic claiming exposure to a nerve agent in Iraq in 2004, the staff, he said, acted as if they were lying. “They suspected we were doing drugs or something,” he recalled. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    Nonetheless, the Pentagon continued to withhold data, leaving the public misinformed as discoveries of chemical weapons accelerated sharply.

    In late 2005 and early 2006, soldiers collected more than 440 Borak 122-millimeter chemical rockets near Amara, in southeastern Iraq. And in the first nine months of 2006, the American military recovered roughly 700 chemical warheads and shells, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

    British forces also destroyed 21 Borak rockets in early 2006, including some that contained nerve agent, according to a public statement to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2010.

    The Pentagon did not provide this information to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as it worked in the summer of 2006 examining intelligence claims about Iraq’s weapons programs.

    Even as the Senate committee worked, the American Army made its largest chemical weapons find of the war: more than 2,400 Borak rockets.

    The rockets were discovered at Camp Taji, a former Republican Guard compound, when Americans “running a refueling point for helicopters saw some shady activity on the other side of a fence,” said Mr. Lampier, who lived at the camp at the time.

    An Iraqi digging with a front-end loader ran away when an American patrol approached, leaving behind partly unearthed rockets.

    Mr. Lampier, then a captain commanding the 756th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, was with the first to arrive. “At first we saw three,” he said. “Then it wasn’t three. It was 30. Then it wasn’t 30. It was 300. It went up from there.”

    The rockets appeared to have been buried before American airstrikes in 1991, he said. Many were empty. Others still contained sarin. “Full-up sloshers,” he said.

    At least 38 techs worked for weeks, excavating rockets, crushing many of them and then reburying them and covering them with concrete. Mr. Lampier said he was told to describe the work in blandly bureaucratic terms: “Nothing of significance.”

    With this discovery, the American military had found more than 3,000 pieces of chemical ordnance and knew that many were still dangerous. The military did not disclose this as the Senate worked; instead, it stood by data from the Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center that it had declassified in late June, leading the Senate to publish an inaccurate report.

    The report, released in September 2006, claimed “another 500 filled and unfilled degraded pre-1991 chemical munitions” had been found — about one-sixth of the Pentagon’s internal tallies.

    This tally, obsolete as it was published, was not updated in the ensuing years, as more chemical weapons were found and as more troops were exposed.

    The publicly released information also skirted the fact that most of the chemical artillery shells were traceable to the West, some tied to the United States.

    These shells, which the American military calls M110s, had been developed decades ago in the United States. Roughly two feet long and weighing more than 90 pounds, each is an aerodynamic steel vessel with a burster tube in its center.

    The United States has long manufactured M110s, filling them with smoke compounds, white phosphorus or, in earlier years, mustard agent. American ordnance documents explicitly describe the purpose of an M110 filled with blister agent: “to produce a toxic effect on personnel and to contaminate habitable areas.”

    The United States also exported the shells and the technology behind them. When Iraq went arms shopping in the 1980s, it found manufacturers in Italy and Spain willing to deal their copies. By 1988, these two countries alone had sold Iraq 85,000 empty M110-type shells, according to confidential United Nations documents. Iraq also obtained shells from Belgium.

    By 2006, the American military had found dozens of these blister-agent shells in Iraq, and had reports of others circulating on black markets, several techs said. Tests determined that many still contained mustard agent, some at a purity level of 84 percent, officials said.

    Had these results been publicly disclosed, they would have shown that American assertions about Iraq’s chemical weapons posing no militarily significant threat could be misread, and that these dangerous chemical weapons had Western roots.

    Public disclosure might also have helped spur the military’s medical system to convert its memorandums into action, and to ready itself for wounds its troops were bound to suffer.
    Part 5
    ‘Bit’ by Blister Agent in Roadside Bombs

    Once American forces began finding large numbers of M110 shells, it was all but inevitable that disposal teams would be exposed to blister agent.

    This happened for the first time, several techs said, on Sept. 25, 2006, after militants detonated two roadside bombs near an American patrol in southern Baghdad.

    Two Navy techs — Chief Petty Officer Ted Pickett and Petty Officer Third Class Jeremiah M. Foxwell — arrived at the blast site.

    They found three damaged shells, decided against destroying them in a populated area, and drove them to a demolition range beside their base, according to Mr. Foxwell, who left the Navy in 2008.

    There they discovered that one 155-millimeter shell had leaked a noxious liquid. As he inhaled its vapors, Petty Officer Foxwell was instantly alarmed. “It smelled overbearingly like extreme toxicity,” he said recently. “The hair stood up on the back of my neck.”

    The shell contained a brown crystalline substance they had thought was a homemade explosive. A swab with detection paper tested positive for sulfur mustard.

    The sailors radioed for a technical escort unit, then put on gloves and gas masks and wrapped the shell in plastic and duct tape. They waited. Hours passed. No chemical specialists arrived.

    Mustard agent acts slowly on victims. Symptoms of exposure often do not appear for hours, and intensify for days.

    Late that afternoon, with the sailors worried about the effects of mustard inhalation, they destroyed the shell with an explosive charge and entered the Army clinic on their base.

    Jeremiah M. Foxwell at his home in Washington. In 2006 while a Navy petty officer, he and another technician handled a leaking sulfur-mustard shell. “It smelled overbearingly like extreme toxicity,” Mr. Foxwell said. “The hair stood up on the back of my neck.” Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

    Within two days lesions formed in Petty Officer Foxwell’s nasal passages and upper airway, according to his medical records, which noted exposure to “chemical vapors — mustard gas” from a “terrorist chemical weapon.”

    But the care he would receive proved to be much less than that mandated under the Army’s treatment order.

    The clinic did not perform the required blood and urine tests on Petty Officer Foxwell, according to his medical records. (His former team chief did not reply to written questions.)

    Both men were returned to duty within days, though Mr. Foxwell said his breathing remained labored and his chest hurt.

    Dr. Dave Edmond Lounsbury, a former Army colonel who helped prepare for the chemical warfare victims expected at the war’s start in 2003, said in an interview that Petty Officer Foxwell’s care was inadequate.

    “When you first meet the patient it is impossible to tell how he is going to do,” he said. “You have to get the blood work, monitor him and follow him over time.”

    “To return them soon to duty?” he said. “I would be uncomfortable with that.”

    Dr. Dave Edmond Lounsbury, a former Army colonel who helped prepare for the chemical-warfare victims expected at the war’s start in 2003, says that secrecy about troops later wounded by chemical weapons was extensive. Mac William Bishop/The New York Times

    The Army opened an investigation into why the chemical specialists were delayed in arriving. An officer taking statements from participants forbade Petty Officer Foxwell from discussing the incident with his peers, restricting him from issuing a warning.

    “I couldn’t walk outside and tell the next route-clearance team that this was out there,” he said. “It was just not natural, the idea of not sharing. If you experience a new battlefield weapon, it is your responsibility to share that actionable information with other teams.”

    Mr. Foxwell said his Navy officer-in-charge did not visit them in the clinic or submit them for Purple Hearts. The insurgents’ use of a mustard shell faded from view. “No one in my chain of command, outside of Ted, discussed the incident with me again,” he said.

    After Mr. Foxwell was honorably discharged, the Veterans Administration awarded him a partial medical disability in 2008, noting chronic respiratory infections and the development of asthma.

    The incident was a foreboding sign. Several months later, on March 11, 2007, two Army techs were burned.

    This second exposure occurred when a team from the 756th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company was summoned to a roadside bomb made with a rusty artillery shell.

    The team remotely detonated the shell and continued to the usual steps: checking to ensure the bomb was rendered harmless, and collecting evidence.

    Specialist Richard T. Beasley, one of the techs, picked up the broken shell, not knowing it contained mustard agent, and stowed it in a bin on their truck beside a fresh-air intake.
    Challenges Identifying Chemical Weapons in Makeshift Bombs

    Improvised bombs were often built from Iraq’s stockpile of old artillery rounds. Dirty and corroded exteriors made it difficult to tell whether shells were chemical or conventional.

    An X-ray of internal features was sometimes the only way to tell chemical from conventional shells. But X-rays are often impractical in a war zone.

    A foul smell filled the truck and irritated the soldiers’ eyes. Suspecting the shell was the odor’s source, they stopped and heaved it into a deep canal.

    The next day Specialist Beasley noticed his pant leg was wet. Mustard exposure symptoms had set in. “I undid my pants,” he said, “and felt the bubble.”

    His fingers were tracing a seeping blister nearly the size of his hand.

    His team leader, a former sergeant who asked that his name be withheld to protect his medical privacy, discovered a similar blister on his own left leg.

    At first the soldiers were confused. Then, remembering the odorous shell, the sergeant felt a rising fear. If that was mustard, he thought, and was burning their skin, what might be happening in their lungs?

    The patrol sped to an Army clinic at Camp Taji.

    Had the techs been burned a few years earlier, the military medical system, which had prepared before the invasion for chemical warfare casualties, might have recognized their wounds. But in 2007, with blast and gunshot wounds the predominant causes of casualties, the doctors were not ready.

    The Army’s medical orders were not followed. The staff rinsed the soldiers’ eyes, put cream on Specialist Beasley’s blister, and turned them away.

    “I don’t know how to describe it, except to say: confusion,” the former sergeant said. “They really didn’t know what to do. The general feel was a whole lot of people shrugging their shoulders nonstop.”

    The soldiers returned to Balad Air Base, where they were stationed, and visited another clinic.

    A doctor ordered treatment with painkillers, antibiotics, burn cream and cleaning of the blisters — a sensation, the former sergeant said, “like a having a wire dog brush being rubbed across your leg.”

    Specialist Beasley’s medical record shows that blood and urine specimens confirmed the mustard agent exposure. But the patients were not admitted to a hospital.

    Mr. Lampier, then the soldiers’ commander, said he argued that they should be evacuated to the United States. “They were raw meat trying to heal in the worst environment imaginable,” he said. “There was dust and ash and smoke from the burn pits, and they had these wounds that shouldn’t have been exposed to that.”

    The soldiers remained outpatients at a clinic.

    All the while secrecy prevailed. The military determined the soldiers had been burned by an M110 shell. Both victims said word of their exposure was purposefully squelched.

    “We were absolutely told not to talk about it” by a colonel, the former sergeant said. The order, he added, included prohibitions against mentioning mustard agent when writing home.

    The secrecy was so extensive that Dr. Lounsbury said he suspected officials hid the cases even from him and two other Army doctors assigned to prepare an official textbook on treating battlefield wounds.

    Their book, “War Surgery in Afghanistan and Iraq: A Series of Cases, 2003-2007,” published in 2008, provided an inventory of traumas and treatments.

    “We would have certainly included this case if we had known about it,” he said, “and not just for obvious medical reasons but because here was exactly the kind of wounds at the very heart of the reason the government sent our nation to war.”

    The exposed soldiers’ objections to how their cases were handled grew after their commander submitted them for Purple Hearts.

    The medals were disapproved by the headquarters of the American-led coalition “because the incident was deemed to have occurred after the I.E.D. was destroyed, and therefore was no longer considered to have been in contact with the enemy,” Tatjana Christian, an Army spokeswoman, said, using the abbreviation for an improvised explosive device.

    In March 2007, Specialist Richard T. Beasley picked up a broken shell, not knowing it contained mustard agent. The next day, while on another call, he noticed his pant leg was wet. Chemical blisters erupted on his leg. Via Richard T. Beasley

    Purple Hearts, awarded for “wounds received in action,” according to their certificates, are a respected martial decoration. They are also contentious, given the subjectivity in defining “action.”

    This is particularly true in the ordnance disposal field, because improvised bombs are dangerous before and after a foe sets them out. Bombs made with chemical ordnance pose more questions, because unlike explosives, chemical agents do not pass from dangerous to harmless in a flash.

    Several techs pointed out that chemical munitions found in explosive devices were a result of conscious enemy action. But troops wounded by chemical devices were treated inconsistently: Some received the medal, others did not.

    Under presidential order, Purple Hearts are awarded by each military service, which follow separate rules.

    The Army regulation, another spokesman said, excludes soldiers wounded by chemical agents not released by an enemy. And because this exposure was caused when the soldiers destroyed the chemical device, he said, it did not qualify for Purple Hearts.

    Mr. Beasley, who was honorably discharged in 2008, said the Army’s position was dismissive. “I remember it being, basically, that we wounded ourselves,” he said, which he called “baloney.”

    “I didn’t put that shell in that hole,” he said. “And I did exactly what we were supposed to do when we dealt with an I.E.D.”

    In the years since he returned to the United States and left the Army, he said, the Army has never contacted him again. His follow-up care amounted to one unsatisfying visit to a doctor near his last base.

    “I went to a civilian doctor who didn’t actually believe I had been exposed to mustard agent,” he said. “That was the extent of my follow up.”
    Part 6
    On the Old Chemical Warfare Complex, Marines Find Mustard

    By mid-2008, as incidents with mustard shells accumulated, ordnance disposal techs suspected one area had become a principal source of the weapons: Al Muthanna State Establishment, the former nexus of Iraq’s chemical warfare program.

    Although incidents with chemical arms were scattered across Iraq, many were clustered near the ruined complex, which this June was overrun by the Islamic State.

    United Nations disarmament inspectors at the Muthanna State Establishment, the former nexus of Iraq’s chemical-warfare program, in 2002. After the American-led invasion of 2003, many incidents with chemical arms were clustered near the ruined complex. Karim Sahib/Agence France-Presse-Getty Images

    During the occupation, little remained of Al Muthanna. The United States had destroyed much of it from the air in the 1991 gulf war. United Nations demilitarization in the 1990s had made the grounds a boneyard.

    But one bunker, a massive, cruciform structure, still contained a menacing dud — a 2,000-pound airdropped bomb among a stockpile of sarin-filled rockets, according to people familiar with the complex.

    On July 11, 2008, a platoon of Marines unwittingly discovered that another bunker still held mustard shells, too.

    The shells were found after about 15 Marines from the Second Tank Battalion’s scout platoon noticed a freshly cut hole in a small bunker, according to three Marines who participated.

    A peek inside, said one of them, Jace M. Klibenski, then a corporal, showed “there were just rounds everywhere.”

    As the Marines were carrying the shells out, another corporal swore. Mustard agent had spilled on his upper body. Corporal Klibenski helped him pull off his fire-retardant shirt.

    “We climbed out,” he said, “and high-tailed it” to their base, Combat Outpost Hawas, from which they were moved by helicopter to Balad Air Base.

    Six Marines had been exposed: five lightly, and the corporal who had lifted the leaking shell, the participants said. Doctors sedated him ahead of the expected symptoms.

    “He was pretty much just laying flat as the blisters started popping up,” said another participant, Jonathan Martin, then a private first class.

    The exposed corporal’s skin erupted on his right arm, left hand, right side and feet, according to the victim, who asked for anonymity to protect his medical privacy.

    The military evacuated the corporal to the United States. Five days after being burned, he was awarded a Purple Heart. He later returned to duty.

    Mr. Klibenski said an officer visited the other five exposed Marines at Balad and urged them not to talk about what had happened. “They told us that this was something that was going to be kept confidential for a long time,” he said.

    The incident remained out of public view, and with it knowledge that mustard shells remained on Al Muthanna — long after two wars and an international demilitarization effort to remove them.
    Part 7
    The Shells Beside the Lake

    The military’s handling of mustard exposure cases — combining reflexive secrecy, substandard medical care and an inconsistent awards system — reached a low point after Sergeant Duling’s team was exposed on Aug. 16, 2008.

    The exposures followed the discovery of a seemingly small batch of artillery shells by Bushmaster Company, First Battalion, 14th Regiment, a mechanized Army infantry unit searching an area from which American forces had taken fire.

    Specialist Andrew T. Goldman examining leaking chemical rounds at a site near Camp Taji, Iraq, on Aug. 16, 2008. The New York Times

    Sergeant Duling, of the 710th E.O.D. Company, arrived and relieved another disposal team. The first team leader was in a chemical protection suit.

    “He was shot,” Sergeant Duling recalled. “It was like 115 degrees. He was throwing up in his mask.”

    “I said, ‘Roy, we can take it from here.’ ”

    Sergeant Duling and his team put on protective suits, approached the crater from upwind and found a pile of rusty 155-millimeter shells. They tested negative for chemical agents.

    Relieved, the techs removed their chemical suits and detonated the pile from afar. The blast unearthed still more munitions.

    Soldiers from Bushmaster Company formed a human chain to stack shells for another blast, said one participant, Philip Dukett, a former sergeant. “I would pick one up,” he said, “put it on my thigh, and pass it on.”

    In the blast crater, Specialist Goldman noticed one of the shells was leaking; soon it tested positive for sulfur mustard. He swore.

    Sergeant Duling ordered everyone to decontaminate with bleach, but the team was not fully prepared. “Then I was out of bleach, so I just used baby wipes and hand sanitizer and whatever else I could find to clean myself up,” he said.

    Mr. Goldman says he still suffers headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath from his exposure. Mac William Bishop/The New York Times

    The chemical specialists did not arrive until after midnight.

    Shortly after dawn on Aug. 17 the disposal techs and the chemical specialists detonated the pile, including many M110 mustard shells. An orange blast shook the desert.

    Weary soldiers laughed as the breeze caught the blast’s gray-brown plume. They had been told the explosion’s heat would destroy the agent. “Ahhh!” one shouted, mockingly. “It’s mustard gas!”

    When the cloud reached them, they coughed. “Everything smelled really funky,” Mr. Taylor said recently. “The smoke really irritated our eyes and kind of burned more than smoke from a usual controlled det.”

    The blast had uncovered still more shells.

    Sergeant Duling and his soldiers were spent, and had a more pressing priority — finding medical care.

    They undressed, set their contaminated clothes afire with a thermite grenade, and left, leaving the shells unsecured. The Army did not return for two months, when it destroyed more than 20 remaining mustard shells, a participant said.

    The team entered a clinic at Camp Taji. The staff, all three victims said, was unhelpful. “They said, ‘Well, you’re not showing any signs or symptoms, so you weren’t exposed,’ ” said Mr. Goldman, who was honorably discharged in 2012.

    In the shower a short while later, he felt a blister on his buttock. Sergeant Duling struggled to breathe.

    The soldiers slept a few hours, woke feeling worse, and returned. By then, Mr. Goldman said, he too was short of breath. Blisters were forming around his eyelids.

    The medical staff remained unmoved. On Aug. 18, two days after the exposure, an optometrist prescribed drops for Specialist Goldman’s eyes.

    Their company commander, Capt. Patrick Chavez, who retired as a major in 2013, said that rather than help the patients, the clinic seemed intent on proving them wrong. “They were trying to come up with other causes for the symptoms — heat exhaustion, things like that,” he said.

    He gave the team a week off.

    As the techs went untreated, burns and blisters broke out on two soldiers from Bushmaster Company, who lived at another outpost.

    One, Staff Sgt. Adam Hulett, noticed a large blister on his left foot, which turned bright yellow. Medics told him to put cream on it, he said.

    “I went to the Internet feeling something was not right with their assessment and did a search on ‘mustard gas exposure,’ ” he said. The search results showed “the same symptoms I was having.”

    Blisters also rose on Sergeant Dukett’s right thigh, as if someone had pressed a hot iron against his skin.

    Both sergeants were evacuated to Germany, while the more heavily exposed victims were still denied treatment.

    On Aug. 23, the Camp Taji clinic informed Specialist Goldman that he was fine. “Discontinue treatment O.K. to resume normal mission,” his records read.

    The team returned to duty. The first day out, when Sergeant Duling was examining an exploded device, he quickly gasped for air.

    “I literally got back to the truck and took off all the body armor, poured a bottle of water on my head and sat on the steps,” he said. “I pulled us off mission and we went back to medical.”

    Still the doctors resisted. It was as if, Sergeant Duling said, the staff suspected the soldiers were malingerers. “We came in, we’re not bleeding, we’re not missing body parts,” he said. “So they were kind of like, ‘What’s your problem? ‘Are’ — you know, typical response – ‘are you trying to get out of duty?’

    “It was sheer stupidity on their part.”

    The clinic’s attitude changed, the techs said, only after a platoon leader broke the chain of command, sending photographs of Specialist Goldman’s blisters to a supervisor in the United States.

    Medical records show the shift. On Sept. 1, a physician dropped the line that Specialist Goldman could return to duty. He reclassified the case: “poisoning by mustard gas.”

    The team was flown to Germany and then to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. A colonel visited from the Aberdeen Proving Ground, an Army chemical warfare center, to discuss lab results.

    “He said we would probably never see the paperwork, but our blood showed that we had all been exposed to mustard agent, and that my exposure was the highest,” Mr. Goldman said.

    These lab results were not put in his medical records, Mr. Goldman said.

    Why such vital information was withheld is not clear. The Army Medical Command, in a written statement, said it was unsure.

    Next the Army took up the question of Purple Hearts. Captain Chavez submitted the soldiers for the medals. In late October, the hospital staff told them the secretary of the Army, Pete Geren, would present awards and they needed soldiers for the photographs.

    Sergeant Duling said he was told his medal had been approved first and the others’ would follow.

    Mr. Geren pinned the medal on Sergeant Duling’s uniform on Oct. 23, and the Army announced he had been wounded by “blister agent while conducting operations in North Taji.”

    The turnabout came weeks later. The team was told their Purple Hearts had been denied and that Sergeant Duling could not wear the medal — no matter the Army secretary’s role in presenting it.

    Tatjana Christian, an Army spokeswoman, said Purple Hearts “were denied because the mustard agent that affected them was not caused by enemy actions.”

    Staff Sgt. Eric J. Duling speaking at his home in Florida, on June 27, 2013. Mac William Bishop/The New York Times

    Another Army spokesman, who asked that his name be withheld so he could speak candidly, said it appeared the ceremony’s organizers had erroneously reissued Sergeant Duling a Purple Heart he had previously received for wounds from a bomb blast in 2006.

    The rejection was a bitter turn. “They said, ‘You blew a cache and got bit, but it wasn’t enemy action,’ ” Sergeant Duling said. “I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, who put them rounds there? And why were we in this country in the first place?’ ”

    The mustard exposure left him in permanently poor respiratory health; in 2013 he had surgery to keep his airway open.

    Mr. Goldman said he still suffered headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath. The Army, he said, has not tracked him to see how he has fared — part of what he described as a pattern of indifferent leadership and lackluster care, and secrecy to protect the bungling.

    “Our doctors screwed up our treatment so much,” he said, “they didn’t want it public because it would have ruined their careers.”

    Prompted by the Times reporting, the Army acknowledged that it had not provided the medical care and long-term tracking required by its chemical exposure treatment guidelines. It said it would identify all troops and veterans who had been exposed and update and follow their cases.

    “We’re at the point of wanting to make this right,” Col. Bill Rice, director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine of the Army Public Health Command said last Friday. “We can’t change the past, but we can make sure they are pointed in the right direction from this point forward.”
    Part 8
    Unfinished Business: An Unspoken Legacy of Chemical Arms

    At American prodding, Iraq entered the Convention on Chemical Weapons in early 2009. From that moment, its fledgling government assumed primary responsibility for securing and destroying any chemical munitions remaining from Mr. Hussein’s time.

    The difficulties this posed for Iraq’s troops became clear in April 2010 when an Iraqi police patrol found about a dozen M110 mustard shells near the Tigris River.

    One of the police officers involved, Farhan Hachel, said he and others were ordered to gather the shells and take them to Awenat, a village south of Tikrit.

    Officer Hachel picked up one the shells and carried it across his chest. He woke the next morning with “small bubbles” on his upper body, blisters, he said that “were growing really fast.”

    The next day, he said, “I received a phone call from my colleagues asking me if I was doing O.K., as two others were suffering the same thing.”

    His friends told him then that they had carried leaking chemical shells.

    In all, seven Iraqi police officers were burned, Officer Hachel and officials said. The American military secretly destroyed the shells, and photographed and briefly treated the burned police officers. The care was cursory.

    “They gave us some creams and sent us home,” Officer Hachel said.

    And still more mustard shells were found.

    The last large discovery of chemical rounds widely known among ordnance techs occurred at a surprising place — a security compound known as Spider, beside a highway south of Tikrit.

    During the occupation, both American and Iraqi units had worked from the compound. The presence of mustard shells there, soldiers said, appeared a result of negligence.

    The discovery, described by different sources as in 2010 or early 2011, was made when an Iraqi security officer visited Contingency Operating Base Speicher, and told the ordnance disposal troops there that Iraqi troops had opened a shipping container and found it packed with chemical shells.

    The report led to Operation Guardian, when an American soldier from a technical escort unit, wearing a protective suit and mask and carrying a detector, reopened the shipping container.

    A detector’s alarm immediately rang, warning of mustard agent, said Staff Sgt. Paul Yungandreas, one of the American techs assigned to recover the shells.

    Inside were stacks of M110-style shells. “We carried out the rounds, one by one, and put them on plastic tarps,” he said.

    The operation’s planners had expected 150 to 200 shells. The disposal technicians found nearly 400.

    Many of the shells were empty. Others still contained mustard agent. Most showed signs of age and decay.

    Many had been wrapped in plastic — a powerful indicator, several techs said, that they had been collected elsewhere by an American or an Iraqi unit, which then failed to secure them properly.

    Like most incidents in which American troops encountered chemical weapons in Iraq, Operation Guardian was not publicly disclosed.

    By then adherence to the international convention, and the security of the stock, was not much longer a Pentagon concern.

    The United States had invaded Iraq to reduce the risk of the weapons of mass destruction that it presumed Mr. Hussein still possessed. And after years of encountering and handling Iraq’s old chemical arms, it had retroactively informed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2009 that it had recovered more than 4,500 chemical weapons.

    But it had not shared this data publicly. And as it prepared to withdraw, old stocks set loose after the invasion were still circulating. Al Muthanna had still not been cleaned up.

    Finding, safeguarding and destroying these weapons was to be the responsibility of Iraq’s government.

    Iraq took initial steps to fulfill its obligations. It drafted a plan to entomb the contaminated bunkers on Al Muthanna, which still held remnant chemical stocks, in concrete.

    When three journalists from The Times visited Al Muthanna in 2013, a knot of Iraqi police officers and soldiers guarded the entrance. Two contaminated bunkers — one containing cyanide precursors and old sarin rockets — loomed behind. The area where Marines had found mustard shells in 2008 was out of sight, shielded by scrub and shimmering heat.

    The Iraqi troops who stood at that entrance are no longer there. The compound, never entombed, is now controlled by the Islamic State.
    Documentary
    Chemical Secrets of the Iraq War

    Participants and victims of this secret chapter of the Iraq war discuss exposure to chemical weapons.
    Documents

    Medical Records of U.S. Casualties of Iraq’s Chemical Weapons
    U.S. Intelligence Documents on Chemical Weapons Found in Iraq
    Iraq’s Disclosure of Chemical Weapons Findings to U.N.
    Duelfer Report on Chemical Weapons in Iraq
    Army Report Says Only 500 Munitions Found in Iraq
    Senate Committee Report Understated The Scale Of Chemical Weapons Recovered in Iraq
    American Firms’ Supplying Iraq’s Chemical Weapons Production
    United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission Report on Iraq
    U.S. Army Regulations For Treating Chemical Warfare Casualties
    U.S. Navy Technical Manual on Chemical Munitions
    Iran Spars with the U.S. and Britain Over the Countries’ Handling of Chemical Weapons
    Iraq’s Plan To Entomb Remnant Chemical Weapons In Bunker Complex

    Produced by Craig Allen, David Furst, Alicia DeSantis, Sergio Peçanha, Shreeya Sinha, Frank O’Connell, Derek Watkins and Josh Williams.

    Reporting was contributed by John Ismay, Duraid Ahmed, Omar Al-Jawoshy, Mac William Bishop and Eric Schmitt. Alain Delaquérière contributed research.
    Related Multimedia
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html?emc=edit_na_20141014&nlid=58569598&_r=2

  • Torcer

    “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. W. C. Fields”

  • Torcer

    “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. W. C. Fields”

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CzwXEG8VIAAsNhW.jpg

  • Torcer

    “A Statist system — whether of a communist, fascist, Nazi, socialist or
    ‘welfare’ type — is based on the … government’s unlimited power,
    which means: on the rule of brute force. … Under Statism, the
    government is not a policeman, but a legalized criminal that holds the
    power to use physical force in any manner and for any purpose it pleases
    against legally disarmed, defenseless victims.” Ayn Rand

  • Torcer

    Liberals believe in bigger government, higher taxes and less freedom and personal responsibility.
    Conservatives believe in smaller government, lower taxes, more personal responsibility and more freedom. Herman Cain

  • Torcer

    http://www.documentarchiv.de/wr/1920/nsdap-programm.html

    Das 25-Punkte-Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei

    [vom 24. Februar 1920]

    Das Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei ist ein Zeitprogramm. Die Führer lehnen es ab, nach Erreichung der im Programm aufgestellten Ziele neue aufzustellen, nur zu dem Zweck, um durch künstlich gesteigerte Unzufriedenheit der Massen das Fortbestehen der Partei zu ermöglichen.

    1. Wir fordern den Zusammenschluß aller Deutschen auf Grund des Selbstbestimmungsrechtes der Völker zu einem Groß-Deutschland.

    2. Wir fordern die Gleichberechtigung des deutschen Volkes gegenüber den anderen Nationen, Aufhebung der Friedensverträge von Versailles und St. Germain.

    3. Wir fordern Land und Boden (Kolonien) zur Ernährung unseres Volkes und Ansiedlung unseres Bevölkerungsüberschusses.

    4. Staatsbürger kann nur sein, wer Volksgenosse ist. Volksgenosse kann nur sein, wer deutschen Blutes ist, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession. Kein Jude kann daher Volksgenosse sein.

    5. Wer nicht Staatsbürger ist, soll nur als Gast in Deutschland leben können und muß unter Fremden-Gesetzgebung stehen.

    6. Das Recht, über Führung und Gesetze des Staates zu bestimmen, darf nur dem Staatsbürger zustehen. Daher fordern wir, daß jedes öffentliche Amt, gleichgültig welcher Art, gleich ob im Reich, Land oder Gemeinde nur durch Staatsbürger bekleidet werden darf.
    Wir bekämpfen die korrumpierende Parlamentswirtschaft einer Stellenbesetzung nur nach Parteigesichtspunkten ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Charakter und Fähigkeiten.

    7. Wir fordern, daß sich der Staat verpflichtet, in erster Linie für die Erwerbs- und Lebensmöglichkeit der Bürger zu sorgen. Wenn es nicht möglich ist, die Gesamtbevölkerung des Staates zu ernähren, so sind die Angehörigen fremden Nationen (Nicht-Staatsbürger) aus dem Reiche auszuweisen.

    8. Jede weitere Einwanderung Nicht-Deutscher ist zu verhindern. Wir fordern, daß alle Nicht-Deutschen, die seit 2. August 1914 in Deutschland eingewandert sind, sofort zum Verlassen des Reiches gezwungen werden.

    9. Alle Staatsbürger müssen gleiche Rechte und Pflichten besitzen.

    10. Erste Pflicht jeden Staatsbürgers muß sein, geistig oder körperlich zu schaffen. Die Tätigkeit des Einzelnen darf nicht gegen die Interessen der Allgemeinheit verstoßen, sondern muß im Rahmen des gesamten und zum Nutzen aller erfolgen.

    Daher fordern wir:

    11. Abschaffung des arbeits- und mühelosen Einkommens.

    Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft!

    12. Im Hinblick auf die ungeheuren Opfer an Gut und Blut, die jeder Krieg vom Volke fordert, muß die persönliche Bereicherung durch den Krieg als Verbrechen am Volke bezeichnet werden. Wir fordern daher restlose Einziehung aller Kriegsgewinne.

    13. Wir fordern die Verstaatlichung aller (bisher) bereits vergesellschafteten (Trust) Betriebe.

    14. Wir fordern die Gewinnbeteiligung an Großbetrieben.

    15. Wir fordern einen großzügigen Ausbau der Alters-Versorgung.

    16. Wir fordern die Schaffung eines gesunden Mittelstandes und seiner Erhaltung, sofortige Kommunalisierung der Groß-Warenhäuser und ihre Vermietung zu billigen Preisen an kleine Gewerbetreibende, schärfste Berücksichtigung aller kleinen Gewerbetreibenden bei Lieferung an den Staat, die Länder oder Gemeinden.

    17. Wir fordern eine unseren nationalen Bedürfnissen angepaßte Bodenreform, Schaffung eines Gesetzes zur unentgeltlichen Enteignung von Boden für gemeinnützige Zwecke. Abschaffung des Bodenzinses und Verhinderung jeder Bodenspekulation.

    18. Wir fordern den rücksichtslosen Kampf gegen diejenigen, die durch ihre Tätigkeit das Gemein-Interesse schädigen. Gemeine Volksverbrecher, Wucherer, Schieber usw. sind mit dem Tode zu bestrafen, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession und Rasse.

    19. Wir fordern Ersatz für das der materialistischen Weltordnung dienende römische Recht durch ein deutsches Gemein-Recht.

    20. Um jeden fähigen und fleißigen Deutschen das Erreichen höherer Bildung und damit das Einrücken in führende Stellungen zu ermöglichen, hat der Staat für einen gründlichen Ausbau unseres gesamten Volksbildungswesens Sorge zu tragen. Die Lehrpläne aller Bildungsanstalten sind den Erfordernissen des praktischen Lebens anzupassen. Das Erfassen des Staatsgedankens muß bereits mit dem Beginn des Verständnisses durch die Schule (Staatsbürgerkunde) erzielt werden. Wir fordern die Ausbildung geistig besonders veranlagter Kinder armer Eltern ohne Rücksicht auf deren Stand oder Beruf auf Staatskosten.

    21. Der Staat hat für die Hebung der Volksgesundheit zu sorgen und durch den Schutz der Mutter und des Kindes, durch Verbot der Jugendarbeit, durch Herbeiführung der körperlichen Ertüchtigung mittels gesetzlicher Festlegung einer Turn- und Sportpflicht durch größte Unterstützung aller sich mit körperlicher Jugend-Ausbildung beschäftigenden Vereine.

    22. Wir fordern die Abschaffung der Söldnertruppe und die Bildung eines Volksheeres.
    23. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen die bewußte politische Lüge und ihre Verbreitung durch die Presse. Um die Schaffung einer deutschen Presse zu ermöglichen, fordern wir, daß
    a) sämtliche Schriftleiter und Mitarbeiter von Zeitungen, die in deutscher Sprache erscheinen, Volksgenossen sein müssen.
    b) Nichtdeutsche Zeitungen zu ihrem Erscheinen der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Staates bedürfen. Sie dürfen nicht in deutscher Sprache gedruckt werden.
    c) Jede finanzielle Beteiligung an deutschen Zeitungen oder deren Beeinflussung durch Nicht-Deutsche gesetzliche verboten wird und fordern als Strafe für Uebertretungen die Schließung einer solchen Zeitung sowie die sofortige Ausweisung der daran beteiligten Nicht-Deutschen aus dem Reich.
    d) Zeitungen, die gegen das Gemeinwohl verstoßen, sind zu verbieten. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen eine Kunst- und Literaturrichtung, die einen zersetzenden Einfluß auf unser Volksleben ausübt und die Schließung von Veranstaltungen, die gegen vorstehende Forderungen verstoßen.

    24. Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen.
    Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage:

    Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz

    25. Zur Durchführung alles dessen fordern wir die Schaffung einer starken Zentralgewalt des Reiches. Unbedingte Autorität des politischen Zentralparlaments über das gesamte Reich und seine Organisationen im allgemeinen.
    Die Bildung von Stände- und Berufskammern zur Durchführung der vom Reich erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten.

    Gegenüber den verlogenen Auslegungen des Punktes 17 durch Gegner der Partei ist noch folgende Feststellung notwendig:[1]
    Da die NSDAP. auf dem Boden des Privateigentums steht, ergibt sich von selbst, daß der Passus “Unentgeltliche Enteignung” nur auf die Schaffung gesetzlicher Möglichkeiten Bezug hat, Boden, der auf unrechtmäßige Weise erworben wurde oder nicht nach den Gesichtspunkten des Volkswohls verwaltet wird, wenn nötig zu enteignen. Dies richtet sich demgemäß in erster Linie gegen die jüdische Grundstücksspekulations-Gesellschaften.

    ===============================================

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    Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property
    of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they
    put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon
    absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge
    which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” -John
    Locke

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    General Cleburne’s Radical Plan
    By Phil Leigh January 3, 2014
    On Jan. 2, 1864, Gen. Joseph Johnston, the commander of the largest Confederate army outside Virginia, called an evening meeting of his subordinate generals in his headquarters in northwest Georgia. The purpose of the meeting was kept secret from all but a few. When they arrived, they found Gen. Patrick Cleburne, an Irish immigrant and one of Johnston’s best division commanders, who presented a radical proposal: to enlist slaves as rebel soldiers in exchange for their freedom.

    Cleburne, who did not own slaves, focused on three points. First, the North had an insurmountable three-to-one manpower advantage among whites. Second, since the Union started enlisting African-Americans the previous year, blacks would increasingly be fighting against the Confederacy if they did not fight for it. Third, slave liberation would remove the chief obstacle to diplomatic recognition.

    Thirteen fellow officers from Cleburne’s division, including three generals, had already endorsed the plan, which came to be known as “Cleburne’s Memorial.” Still, for obvious reasons, the proposal met with resistance – defending slavery was, after all, the chief reason the Confederate had been formed; most of the seven original rebel states cited protection of slavery as a prime motivation for secession. But there was another, less well-appreciated reason: Fear of slave uprisings was endemic in the South, particularly in the cotton-growing regions, where slaves might outnumber whites by two to one, or more.
    Photo
    Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne
    Gen. Patrick R. CleburneCredit Library of Congress

    Slave uprisings were no abstraction: In 1831 Nat Turner led about 50 fellow slaves in a rebellion in Tidewater, Va., during which they killed 55 whites, mostly women and children. And Southerners watched anxiously as more than 80 slave insurrections exploded across the Caribbean from 1790 to 1850, including the Haitian Revolution, which was followed by four months of ethnic cleansing, resulting in the massacre of the few thousand remaining whites. Even after more than a quarter-century of freedom, Jamaica endured an uprising in the last year of the American Civil War owing to impoverished conditions among its black majority and continued racial discrimination.

    The idea of enlisting Southern blacks had been around almost as long as the war. Shortly after the opening shots at Fort Sumter in April 1861, a regiment of free blacks in New Orleans offered their services. The same month in Nashville, a similar black company presented itself for service, and a recruiting office was opened in Memphis.

    Three months later a resident of Helena, Ark., where Cleburne lived, wrote to the Confederate secretary of war, Leroy Walker, offering to organize black regiments. And on Sept. 3, 1861, the Tennessee Legislature authorized the governor to accept free African-Americans between the ages of 15 and 50 into military service. All these early offers were politely declined in Richmond. After its home city was captured a year later, the New Orleans regiment enlisted into the Union Army (although up to 90 percent of its original members were replaced by former slaves who more readily supported Lincoln’s government).

    The debate over enlisting slaves then went silent, until after the disasters at Vicksburg and Gettysburg in July 1863. The following month the Alabama Legislature petitioned President Jefferson Davis to consider enlisting slaves, and W. C. Micon of Florida suggested drafting them. Although no action was taken, by December Davis asked for, and received, congressional authority to impress African-Americans as military cooks, teamsters and other noncombatants.

    Next came Cleburne’s proposal. The men of his division were mostly from states west of the Mississippi River; they were anxious about reports of harsh conditions at home. Yet when Cleburne asked them, they re-enlisted almost to a man. The general later said he felt obliged to honor their devotion with an extraordinary effort to win the war, even if it required radical social changes.

    The proposal created a sensation, and the meeting dissolved amid wide opinion differences. General Johnston declined to forward the plan to Richmond, although one of his enraged subordinates disobediently did so on his own. Secretary of War Seddon responded to Johnston for Davis, “While no doubt … is entertained of the patriotic intents of the gallant author,” he should suppress “all discussion … growing out of it.”

    Although all copies of Cleburne’s plan save one were destroyed, the dramatic proposition could not remain a secret. Over the following weeks, Southern leaders and soldiers became obsessed, anew, with the question. Letters from the trenches in Petersburg, Va., and the front lines in Georgia poured forth.

    The discussion seemed to have an effect on Davis and other leaders. In July 1864 he told Northern peace emissaries, “We are not fighting for slavery. We are fighting for independence.” In September 1864 Gov. Henry Allen of the Confederate-held portions of Louisiana urged that every able-bodied black male be made a free soldier. Allen was previously a rebel general and believed blacks would be “better soldiers with us than against us.” In October 1864 the governors of the two Carolinas, Georgia and Mississippi, together with an Alabama representative, met at Augusta, Ga., where they passed a resolution similar to Cleburne’s, although Alabama’s governor later condemned it.

    Finally, on Nov. 7, 1864, Davis addressed the Confederate Congress, where he asked for 40,000 additional African-Americans to serve in noncombatant roles. Although stating that blacks were not yet needed as soldiers, he concluded with a trial balloon, “But should the alternative … be presented of subjugation or the employment of the slaves as soldiers, there seems no reason to doubt … our decision.” Essentially, Davis threw a hot potato to a Congress that was 80 percent slaveholders.
    Related
    Disunion Highlights

    Fort Sumter

    Explore multimedia from the series and navigate through past posts, as well as photos and articles from the Times archive.

    See the Highlights »

    The body would not respond favorably without external pressure. Among the first to apply such pressure were Secretary of State Judah Benjamin and Gov. William Smith of Virginia, a former general known as Extra Billy. By December Benjamin sensed a ripening public sentiment, and wrote that enlisting slaves was necessary to save the Confederacy. Smith focused on the increasingly pivotal point of whether “the enemy shall use our slaves against us or we them against him.”

    Robert E. Lee officially withheld his opinion until invited to express it in a January 1865 letter from a Virginia legislator. He removed any doubt by replying that it was a military necessity: “My own opinion is that we should employ [blacks] without delay.”

    The same month, Davis sent the Louisiana congressman Duncan Kenner to Europe to ask whether a Confederate version of emancipation might win diplomatic recognition. But Congress remained resistant, and there were even diversionary attempts to induce Lee to become a dictator, which he rejected.

    About three weeks before Richmond was evacuated in early April 1865, the Confederate Congress passed an act to enroll up to 300,000 African-Americans as soldiers. Unlike in the Union Army, they were to be paid the same as whites. Recruiting officers were appointed in each state. A War Department clerk, John B. Jones, recorded in his famous diary on March 17, 1865: “We shall have a Negro army. Letters are pouring into the department from men of military skill and character, asking authority to raise companies, battalions, and regimens of Negro troops.”

    Although the act did not explicitly grant freedom to the volunteers, President Davis recognized that he could not expect slaves to fight for their own captivity. Therefore, after Congress adjourned he stipulated that any enslaved black accepted into service must be accompanied by manumission papers from his former owner. Thus, any owner could block a slave from joining, but all who joined would no longer be slaves.

    Neither the actions of the Confederate Congress nor Kenner’s mission to Europe accomplished much. General Lee surrendered a week after the fall of Richmond, effectively bringing the war to an end with slavery still intact.

    Follow Disunion at twitter.com/NYTcivilwar or join us on Facebook.

    Sources: Craig Symonds, “Stonewall of the West”; John B. Jones, “A Rebel War Clerks Diary”; Herman Hattaway and Richard Beringer, “Jefferson Davis: Confederate President”; Gen. Patrick Cleburne’s Memorandum, accessed Sept. 3, 2013; J.G. Randall and David Donald, “The Civil War and Reconstruction”; Charles H. Wesley, “The Employment of Negroes as Soldiers in the Confederate Army,” The Journal of Negro History Vol. 4, No. 3, July 1919; Charles Adams, “When in the Course of Human Events”; Philippe R. Girard, “The Slaves Who Defeated Napoleon”; Thomas R. Hay, “The South and the Arming of Slaves,” The Mississippi Valley Historical Review Volume 6, Number 1 (June 1919); Correspondence to Gen. Joseph Johnston from Secretary of War James Seddon, Jan. 24, 1864, Official Records of the War of Rebellion; David Donald, “Lincoln”; Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, “Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men”; William C. Davis, “Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour”; Frank Owsley, “King Cotton Diplomacy.”
    Phil Leigh

    Phil Leigh is an independent Civil War historian and author. He is writing a book about wartime intersectional trade between North and South, “Trading With the Enemy.”
    https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/general-cleburnes-radical-plan/

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    “There are two potential violators of man’s rights: the criminals and the government.” – Ayn Rand

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    I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men
    have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years.
    I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when
    the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest
    qualities of man can flourish only in free air – that progress made
    under the shadow of the policeman’s club is false progress, and of no
    permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another
    into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who
    yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become
    a slave. — H.L. Mencken

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    Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. Winston Churchill

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    The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. H.L. Menkin

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    Eduard Bernstein
    Evolutionary Socialism
    Preface
    The present work is substantially devoted to the establishment of ideas which the writer unfolded in a letter to the German Social Democratic Party assembled at Stuttgart from October 3rd to October 8th, 1898.

    This letter reads:

    The views laid down by me in the series Problems of Socialism have lately been discussed in Socialist papers and meetings, and a request has been made that the Party of German Social Democrats should state its position in regard to them. In case this happens and the Party agrees to the request, I am induced to make the following explanation.

    The vote of an assembly, however significant it may be, naturally cannot disconcert me in my views, which have been gained from an examination of social phenomena. What I wrote in the Neue Zeit is the expression of a conviction from which I do not find myself induced to depart in any important particular.

    But it is just as natural that a vote of the party should find me anything but indifferent. And, therefore, it will be understood if I feel the paramount necessity of guarding myself against misconstruction of my conclusions and false deductions from them. As I am prevented from attending the Congress I send this written communication.

    It has been maintained in a certain quarter that the practical deductions from my treatises would be the abandonment of the conquest of political power by the proletariat organised politically and economically. That is quite an arbitrary deduction, the accuracy of which I altogether deny.

    I set myself against the notion that we have to expect shortly a collapse of the bourgeois economy, and that social democracy should be induced by the prospect of such an imminent, great, social catastrophe to adapt its tactics to that assumption. That I maintain most emphatically.

    The adherents of this theory of a catastrophe base it especially on the conclusions of the Communist Manifesto. This is a mistake in every respect.

    The theory which the Communist Manifesto sets forth of the evolution of modern society was correct as far as it characterised the general tendencies of that evolution. But it was mistaken in several special deductions, above all in the estimate of the time the evolution would take. The last has been unreservedly acknowledged by Friedrich Engels, the joint author with Marx of the Manifesto, in his preface to the Class War in France. But it is evident that if social evolution takes a much greater period of time than was assumed, it must also take upon itself forms and lead to forms that were not foreseen and could not be foreseen then.

    Social conditions have not developed to such an acute opposition of things and classes as is depicted in the Manifesto. It is not only useless, it is the greatest folly to attempt to conceal this from ourselves. The number of members of the possessing classes is to-day not smaller but larger. The enormous increase of social wealth is not accompanied by a decreasing number of large capitalists but by an increasing number of capitalists of all degrees. The middle classes change their character but they do not disappear from the social scale.

    The concentration in productive industry is not being accomplished even to day in all its departments with equal thoroughness and at an equal rate. In a great many branches of production it certainly justifies the forecasts of the socialist critic of society; but in other branches it lags even to-day behind them. The process of concentration in agriculture proceeds still more slowly. Trade statistics show an extraordinarily elaborated graduation of enterprises in regard to size. No rung of the ladder is disappearing from it. The significant changes in the inner structure of these enterprises and their inter-relationship cannot do away with this fact.

    In all advanced countries we see the privileges of the capitalist bourgeoisie yielding step by step to democratic organisations. Under the influence of this, and driven by the movement of the working classes which is daily becoming stronger, a social reaction has set in against the exploiting tendencies of capital, a counteraction which, although it still proceeds timidly and feebly, yet does exist, and is always drawing more departments of economic life under its influence. Factory legislation, the democratising of local government, and the extension of its area of work, the freeing of trade unions and systems of co-operative trading from legal restrictions, the consideration of standard conditions of labour in the work undertaken by public authorities – all these characterise this phase of the evolution.

    But the more the political organisations of modern nations are democratised the more the needs and opportunities of great political catastrophes are diminished. He who holds firmly to the catastrophic theory of evolution must, with all his power, withstand and hinder the evolution described above, which, indeed, the logical defenders of that theory formerly did. But is the conquest of political power by the proletariat simply to be by a political catastrophe? Is it to be the appropriation and utilisation of the power of the State by the proletariat exclusively against the whole non-proletarian world?

    He who replies in the affirmative must be reminded of two things. In 1872 Marx and Engels announced in the preface to the new edition of the Communist Manifesto that the Paris Commune had exhibited a proof that “the working classes cannot simply take possession of the ready-made State machine and set it in motion for their own aims.” And in 1895 Friedrich Engels stated in detail in the preface to War of the Classes that the time of political surprises, of the “revolutions of small conscious minorities at the head of unconscious masses” was to-day at an end, that a collision on a large scale with the military would be the means of checking the steady growth of social democracy and of even throwing it back for a time in short; that social democracy would flourish far better by lawful than by unlawful means and by violent revolution. And, he points out in conformity with this opinion that the next task of the party should be “to work for an uninterrupted increase of its votes” or to carry on a slow propaganda of parliamentary activity.

    Thus Engels, who, nevertheless, as his numerical examples show, still somewhat overestimated the rate of process of the evolution! Shall we be told that he abandoned the conquest of political power by the working classes, because he wished to avoid the steady growth of social democracy secured by lawful means being interrupted by a political revolution?

    If not, and if one subscribes to his conclusions, one cannot reasonably take any offence if it is declared that for a long time yet the task of social democracy is, instead of speculating on a great economic crash, “to organise the working classes politically and develop them as a democracy and to fight for all reforms in the State which are adapted to raise the working classes and transform the State in the direction of democracy.”

    That is what I have said in my impugned article and what I still maintain in its full import. As far as concerns the question propounded above it is equivalent to Engel’s dictum, for democracy is, at any given time, as much government by the working classes as these are capable of practising according to their intellectual ripeness and the degree of social development they have attained. Engels, indeed, refers at the place just mentioned to the fact that the Communist Manifesto has “proclaimed the conquest of the democracy as one of the first and important tasks of the fighting proletariat.”

    In short, Engels is so thoroughly convinced that the tactics based on the presumption of a catastrophe have had their day, that he even considers a revision of them necessary in the Latin countries where tradition is much more favourable to them than in Germany. “If the conditions of war between nations have altered,” he writes, “no less have those for the war between classes.” Has this already been forgotten?

    No one has questioned the necessity for the working classes to gain the control of government. The point at issue is between the theory of a social cataclysm and the question whether with the given social development in Germany and the present advanced state of its working classes in the towns and the country, a sudden catastrophe would be desirable in the interest of the social democracy. I have denied it and deny it again, because in my judgment a greater security for lasting success lies in a steady advance than in the possibilities offered by a catastrophic crash.

    And as I am firmly convinced that important periods in the development of nations cannot be leapt over I lay the greatest value on the next tasks of social democracy, on the struggle for the political rights of the working man, on the political activity of working men in town and country for the interests of their class, as well as on the work of the industrial organisation of the workers.

    In this sense I wrote the sentence that the movement means everything for me and that what is usually called “the final aim of socialism” is nothing; and in this sense I write it down again to-day. Even if the word “usually” had rot shown that the proposition was only to be understood conditionally, it was obvious that it could not express indifference concerning the final carrying out of socialist principles, but only indifference – or, as it would be better expressed, carelessness – as to the form of the final arrangement of things. I have at no time had an excessive interest in the future, beyond general principles; I have not been able to read to the end any picture of the future. My thoughts and efforts are concerned with the duties of the present and the nearest future, and I only busy myself with the perspectives beyond so far as they give me a line of conduct for suitable action now.

    The conquest of political power by the working classes, the expropriation of capitalists, are no ends in themselves but only means for the accomplishment of certain aims and endeavours. As such they are demands in the programme of social democracy and are not attacked by me. Nothing can be said beforehand as to the circumstances of their accomplishment; we can only fight for their realisation. But the conquest of political power necessitates the possession of political rights; and the most important problem of tactics which German social democracy has at the present time to solve, appears to me to be to devise the best ways for the extension of the political and economic rights of the German working classes.

    The following work has been composed in the sense of these conclusions.

    I am fully conscious that it differs in several important points from the ideas to be found in the theory of Karl Marx and Engels – men whose writings have exercised the greatest influence on my socialist line of thought, and one of whom – Engels – honoured me with his personal friendship not only till his death but who showed beyond the grave, in his testamentary arrangements, a proof of his confidence in me.

    This deviation in the manner of looking at things certainly is not of recent date; it is the product of an inner struggle of years and I hold in my hand a proof that this was no secret to Friedrich Engels, and moreover I must guard Engels from the suspicion that he was so narrow-minded as to exact from his friends an unconditional adherence to his views. Nevertheless, it will be understood from the foregoing why I have till now avoided as much as possible giving to my deviating points of view the form of a systematic and detailed criticism of the Marx-Engels doctrine. This could the more easily be avoided up till now because as regards the practical questions with which we were concerned Marx and Engels in the course of time considerably modified their views.

    All that is now altered. I have now a controversy with socialists who, like me, have sprung from the Marx-Engels school; and I am obliged, if I am to maintain my opinions, to show them the points where the Marx-Engels theory appears to me especially mistaken or to be self-contradictory.

    I have not shirked this task, but, owing to the personal grounds already mentioned, it has not been easy to me. I acknowledge this openly so that the reader may not deduce uncertainty in the subject matter from the hesitating, clumsy form of the first chapters. I stand by what I have written with firm conviction; but I have not always succeeded in choosing the form and the arguments by means of which my thoughts would have gained the clearest expression. In this respect my work is far behind many a work published by others on the same subject. I have rectified in the last chapter some omissions in the first chapters. Further, as the publication of the work was somewhat delayed, the chapter on “Co-operation” has undergone some additions in which repetitions could not wholly be avoided.

    For the rest, the work may speak for itself. I am not so ingenuous as to expect that it will forthwith convert those who have disagreed with my previous essays, nor am I foolish enough to wish that those who agree with me in principle should subscribe to everything I have said in it. In fact, the most doubtful side of the work is that it embraces too much. When I came to speak of the tasks of the present time I was obliged, unless I wished to flounder into generalities, to enter on all kinds of isolated questions over which differences of opinion are unavoidable even among those who otherwise think alike. And yet the want of space compelled me to lay stress on some principal points by implication rather than by establishing them. But I repeat I am not concerned that others should agree with me in every single question. That which concerns me, that which forms the chief aim of this work, is, by opposing what is left of the utopian mode of thought in the socialist theory, to strengthen equally the realistic and the idealistic element in the socialist movement.

    Ed. Bernstein

    London, January, 1899.
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bernstein/works/1899/evsoc/preface.htm

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    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    George Orwell

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    Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny. – Robert Heinlein

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    “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey, he is obligated to do so.” – Thomas Jefferson

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    Socialism or your money back

    Who We Are
    The Socialist Party http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb is like no other political party in Britain. It is made up of people who have joined together because we want to get rid of the profit system and establish real socialism.
    Our aim is to persuade others to become socialist and act for themselves, organising democratically and without leaders, to bring about the kind of society that we advocate.
    We are solely concerned with building a movement of socialists for socialism. We are not a reformist party with a programme of policies to patch up capitalism.
    What We Do
    Our aim is to build a movement working towards a socialist society. We publish literature, we hold meetings and debates throughout the country, we write to the press and state our case wherever possible on the media. We run weekend educational conferences, we sell tapes and pamphlets, we hand out leaflets, we contest elections, and we discuss our ideas with people wherever we can.
    We are unique
    The Socialist Party has been unique in Britain throughout the twentieth century for:

    Consistently advocating world socialism – a fully democratic society based upon co-operation and production for use.
    Opposing every single war
    Opposing every single government
    Being a democratic and leaderless organization

    The Next Step
    The more of you who join the Socialist Party the more we will be able to get our ideas across, the more experiences we will be able to draw on and greater will be the new ideas for building the movement which you will be able to bring to us.
    The Socialist Party is an organization of equals. There is no leader and there are no followers. So, if you are going to join we want you to be sure that you agree fully with what we stand for and that we are satisfied that you understand the case for socialism.
    If you want to know more about the Socialist Party, its ideas and activities, please contact us. spgb@worldsocialism.org
    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.ch/p/about.html

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    …………………………………….

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    The Pilgrims Were … Socialists?
    By KATE ZERNIKENOV. 20, 2010
    [..]
    Historians say that the settlers in Plymouth, and their supporters in England, did indeed agree to hold their property in common — William Bradford, the governor, referred to it in his writings as the “common course.” But the plan was in the interest of realizing a profit sooner, and was only intended for the short term; historians say the Pilgrims were more like shareholders in an early corporation than subjects of socialism.

    “It was directed ultimately to private profit,” said Richard Pickering, a historian of early America and the deputy director of Plimoth Plantation, a museum devoted to keeping the Pilgrims’ story alive.

    The arrangement did not produce famine. If it had, Bradford would not have declared the three days of sport and feasting in 1621 that became known as the first Thanksgiving. “The celebration would never have happened if the harvest was going to be less than enough to get them by,” Mr. Pickering said. “They would have saved it and rationed it to get by.”

    The competing versions of the story note Bradford’s writings about “confusion and discontent” and accusations of “laziness” among the colonists. But Mr. Pickering said this grumbling had more to do with the fact that the Plymouth colony was bringing together settlers from all over England, at a time when most people never moved more than 10 miles from home. They spoke different dialects and had different methods of farming, and looked upon each other with great wariness.

    “One man’s laziness is another man’s industry, based on the agricultural methods they’ve learned as young people,” he said.

    Bradford did get rid of the common course — but it was in 1623, after the first Thanksgiving, and not because the system wasn’t working. The Pilgrims just didn’t like it. In the accounts of colonists, Mr. Pickering said, “there was griping and groaning.”

    “Bachelors didn’t want to feed the wives of married men, and women don’t want to do the laundry of the bachelors,” he said.

    The real reason agriculture became more profitable over the years, Mr. Pickering said, is that the Pilgrims were getting better at farming crops like corn that had been unknown to them in England.

    As for Jamestown, there was famine. But historians dispute the characterization of the colony as a collectivist society. “To call it socialism is wildly inaccurate,” said Karen Ordahl Kupperman, a historian at New York University and the author of “The Jamestown Project.” “It was a contracted company, and everybody worked for the company. I mean, is Halliburton a socialist scheme?”

    The widespread deaths resulted mostly from malaria. Tree ring studies suggest that the settlement was also plagued by drought.

    But the biggest problem, Professor Kupperman said, was the lack of planning. The Virginia settlers came to the New World thinking that they could find gold or a route to the Pacific Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay, and make a quick buck by setting up a trading station like others were establishing in the East Indies.

    “It was just wishful thinking,” she said, “a failure to recognize that these things are really, really difficult.”

    The Tea Party’s take on Thanksgiving may have its roots in the cold war.

    Samuel Eliot Morison, the admiral and historian who edited Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation,” titled the chapter about Bradford ending the common course “Indian Conspiracy; Communism; Gorges.”

    But it is important to note that he was writing in 1952, amid great American suspicion of the Soviets. “The challenges of the cold war and dealing with Russia are reflected in the text,” Mr. Pickering said.

    Likewise, Cleon Skousen, the author of the “Making of America” textbook, was an anticommunist crusader in the 1960s. (His term for Jamestown was not socialism but “secular communism.”)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/weekinreview/21zernike.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. – Mark Twain

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    “The only reason for not tarring and feathering any government official for effrontery when they tell us what to do is that their power to do so is somehow legitimate. But that legitimacy comes from the exercise of constitutional power. If the Constitution doesn’t mean anything, well, then, maybe it’s time to go long on pitchforks. Because without the Constitution the angry mob is just as legitimate as the perfumed princes of the state.”
    Josh Blackman

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    See Hitler’s Horrifying 1920 Political Platform
    Kenneth W. Rendell,Samantha Heywood
    Apr 11, 2016
    Hitler had joined one of the many small right wing political groups in Munich, the German Workers’ Party, in September 1919. Germany was a country in considerable turmoil and there were many such groups forming, disbanding, forging or breaking alliances, and fighting each other on the streets. The city of Munich was a center of political activity where meetings at its beer halls drew large crowds of people some of whom were attracted by the prospect of violence. By February 1920, Hitler had drawn up this party program together with the original founder of the party, Anton Drexler. It was introduced at a meeting at the Hofbräuhaus on 24 February to which nearly 2,000 people turned up. Hitler was not the main speaker, but when he spoke, some of the crowd became vociferous and violence broke out. However, he managed to overcome the noise and confusion to speak in its favor, and the program was adopted.

    This document clearly identifies three fundamental principles that were to underpin Nazi ideology and policy for the next twenty-five years;

    ‘We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St Germain [between the Allies and Austria].

    We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.

    Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.’

    Thirty-two nations had been involved in the peace talks in Paris in 1919, but representatives of the German government were not invited to attend until it was time for them to receive the peace terms that the Allied nations had agreed on. They were given three weeks to comply, with the understanding that if they did not, war would re-commence. 1919 had been a year filled with revolutionary violence and instability in Germany and in other countries too. The Spartacist Uprising in Berlin, and the Bavarian Soviet Republic had both been suppressed by the summer, but fears of further unrest were still high. The Social Democratic government accepted the terms under protest. Germany was stripped of all its overseas colonies, nearly half of its iron industry, a quarter of its coal industry, 12% of its population and 10% of its European territory. It was forced to accept the clause stating that Germany was guilty of starting the war, to undertake to pay reparations and to severely limit the size of its armed forces.

    These terms are not as severe as those Germany had imposed on Russia in 1917 by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. But Hitler was not alone in his view that Versailles had been an utter betrayal of the German people by politicians – a ‘stab in the back’– and that the terms were far too punitive. Along with many other right wing and antisemitic Germans, he laid the blame on Jews. Such a betrayal was inexplicable, in Hitler’s mind, without there being a substantial and deliberate conspiracy to destroy Germany. What is particularly interesting is the emphasis that this program of 1920 places on the other two principles – demands for land, which would later be referred to as ‘Lebensraum’, and for German citizenship to be based on a definition of race which excluded Jews, and that Jews would, therefore, have to leave Germany.
    Antisemitism_cvr.indd Museum of World War II Boston

    Excerpted from the Museum of World War II Boston’s The Power of Anti-Semitism: The March to the Holocaust 1919–1939 by Kenneth W. Rendell and Samantha Heywood, published in conjunction with the exhibition Anti-Semitism 1919–1939 at the New-York Historical Society.
    http://time.com/4282048/1920-hitler-political-platform/

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    There are two classes in America today: those who pay for the government
    and those who are paid by the government. – Will Spencer

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    All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. Mao Zedung

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    The Race
    Transcribed by The NewsGuy(Mike) – with help from Dave(ratboy)

    CAST
    ======

    Todd Kimsey [ Ned ] Renee Props [ Lois ]

    Don R. McManus [ Duncan ] Vicki Lewis [ Ada ]

    Claude Earl Jones [ Mr. Bevilaqua ] Mark Christopher Lawrence [ Store Manager]

    Michael Sorich [ Castro ] Denise Poirier [ Arlene ]

    Spencer Klein [ Kid ] Martin Chow [ Lew ]

    Eva Svensson [ Woman ]

    Monologue

    The Christmas tree certainly seems to inspire a love/hate relationship. All that time is spent selecting it and decorating it, and then a week after it’s just thrown somewhere, you see it by the side of the road, it looks like a mob hit. A car slows down, a door opens and this tree just rolls out. People snap out of that Christmas spirit like it was a drunken stupor, they just wake up one morning and go, “Oh my god, there’s a tree inside the house! Just throw it anywhere!

    [Lois’s office]

    JERRY: Ready to go Lois?

    LOIS: You really like to say my name? Don’t you?

    JERRY: Excuse me Lois. Stand back Lois. Jimmy’s in trouble Lois.

    LOIS: Oh, Mr. Meyers this is my friend, Jerry.

    DUNCAN: Jerry Seinfeld!

    JERRY: Duncan Meyers!

    LOIS: You two know each other?

    DUNCAN: Yeah! We uh, went to High School together. Didn’t we

    Jerry? Gee I hope you’re not leaving now. We still have a lot of work left to do.

    LOIS: Would you be able to come all the way downtown again in rush

    hour to pick me up?

    JERRY: Well, I’d have to be Superman to do that Lois.

    [Elaine’s Apartment]

    ELAINE: No, no This is all wrong. Where’s the Chicken Cashew?

    LEW: You no order Chicken Cashew.

    ELAINE: I didn’t order any of this. I’m not paying for this.

    LEW: Fine Benes. We are putting you on our list.

    ELAINE: What list?

    LEW: The “do not deliver” list.

    ELAINE: MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU! Well, I guess we’ll just go out.

    GEORGE: Yeah. What are you doing with the Daily Worker?

    ELAINE: Ned must have left it here.

    GEORGE: Your boyfriend reads the Daily Worker? What is he? A

    communist?

    ELAINE: HE reads everything, you know, Ned’s very well read.

    GEORGE: Maybe he’s just “very well RED”?

    ELAINE: Communist? Don’t you think he probably would have told

    me?

    GEORGE: Well, does he wear bland, drab, olive colored clothing?

    ELAINE: Yes, . . . yes he does dress a little drab.

    GEORGE: Huh, he’s a communist. . . . Look at this. “Exciting

    uninhibited woman seeks forward thinking comrade and appearance not important.” . . . Appearance Not Important! This is unbelievable. Finally this is an ideology I can embrace.

    [Jerry enters]

    JERRY: Hi oh.

    ELAINE: and GEORGE: Hey.

    ELAINE: Where’s Lois?

    JERRY: She couldn’t make it.

    ===========break ========

    GEORGE: I can’t believe you’re really going out with a woman named

    Lois.

    JERRY: I know, finally. But George, guess who her boss is. Duncan Meyers.

    GEORGE: Duncan Meyers?

    ELAINE: Who’s he?

    JERRY: Elaine, only one other person in the world knows what I am about to tell you and that’s George. When we were in the ninth grade they had us all line up at one end of the school yard for this big race to see who was going to represent the school in this track meet.

    ELAINE: Uh uh

    JERRY: I was the last one on the end. George was next to me. And Mr. Bevilacqua, the gym . . .

    ELAINE: What’s that?

    JERRY: Mr. Bevilacqua, the gym teacher.

    ELAINE: Oh, of course.

    JERRY: He was down at the other end. So he yells out, “Ready, On your mark, Get set, ” and I was so keyed up I just took off. By the time he said go I was ten yards ahead of everybody.

    ELAINE: No.

    GEORGE: I looked up. I couldn’t believe it.

    JERRY: By the time the race was over I had won. I was shocked nobody had noticed the head start.

    ELAINE: Really?

    JERRY: And I had won by so much a myth began to grow about my

    speed. Only Duncan suspected something was a miss. He’s hated me

    ever since. Now he’s back.

    ELAINE: Well what happened when you raced him again?

    JERRY: I never did. In four years of high school I would never race anyone again. Not even to the end of the block to catch a bus. And so the legend grew. Everyone wanted me to race. They begged me. The track coach called my parents. Pleading. Telling them it was a sin to waste my god given talent. But I answered him in the same way I answered everyone. I chose not to run.

    ELAINE: So now Duncan is back?

    JERRY: He’s back. And I knew he would be someday. (drinks) Man

    that’s some tart cider!

    [In Jerry’s Car – Lois gets in]

    LOIS:Hi.

    JERRY: Hi.

    LOIS: Sorry I missed the Chinese food.

    JERRY: Oh, so am I . Uh, how’s Duncan?

    LOIS: He’s okay.

    JERRY: He say anything?

    LOIS: About what?

    JERRY: Oh, nothing in particular.

    LOIS: . . . Why did you cheat in that race?

    JERRY: I did not cheat.

    LOIS: He said that you got a head start.

    JERRY: Oh, he’s just jealous because he came in second.

    LOIS: Really?

    JERRY: Yes

    LOIS: So you WERE the fastest kid in school.

    JERRY: Faster than a speeding bullet Lois.

    [Elaine’s Apartment]

    ELAINE: So how was work? Another day, another dollar?

    NED: I guess.

    ELAINE: Oh well nothing wrong with that. Gotta make those big bucks. . . . money money money money money money money . . . ha ha ha ha ah . . . are you a communist?

    NED: Yes, as a matter of fact I am.

    ELAINE: OH, AH! OH! WOW! WHOA! A COMMIE! Wow, gee, man it must be a bummer for you guys what with the fall of the soviet empire and everything .

    NED: Yeah, well, we still got China, and Cuba,

    ELAINE: Yeah, but come on . . .

    NED: I know it’s not the same.

    ELAINE: Well, you had a good run, what was it 75, 80 years? Wreaking havoc, making everybody nervous.

    NED: Yeah, we had a good run.

    ELAINE: Well, so enjoy yourself. (clink glasses) ha ha uh ha

    [Jerry’s apartment]

    GEORGE: So you lied to her?

    JERRY: I couldn’t tell her the truth. I don’t know what’s going to happen between us. What if we have a bad breakup. She’ll go straight to Duncan. And I want him to go to his grave never being certain I got that

    head start.

    [Elaine enters]

    ELAINE: Well, I’m dating a communist.

    JERRY: Wow, a communist. That’s something.

    ELAINE: Yeah, that’s pretty cool isn’t it?

    GEORGE: Hey, did I tell you I called one of those girls from the personal ads in The Daily Worker?

    JERRY: The Daily Worker has personal ads?

    GEORGE: And they say appearance is not important.

    ELAINE: Yours or hers?

    [Kramer enters dressed as Santa]

    KRAMER: Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas everyone. Merry Christmas.

    JERRY: Wow, look at you. So you got the job.

    KRAMER: Yeah, you’re looking at the new Santa at Coleman’s Department store.

    ELAINE: Oh, congratulations

    [Mickey enters]

    MICKEY: Come on get your bead on. We’re going to be late.

    KRAMER: On Prancer on Dasher, on Donna.

    MICKEY: Not Donna, it’s Donner.

    KRAMER: Donna!

    MICKEY: Yeah, right!. On Prancer, on Dancer, on Donna, on Ethyl, on Harriet.

    JERRY: Hello, Oh hi Lois, you want to get together, what for? I don’t know about that, I’ll have to think about it. I’ll let you know. Okay, bye.

    GEORGE: What’s up?

    JERRY: Duncan wants to get together with her and me for lunch tomorrow. He obviously wants me to admit I got a head start. And I don’t think she believes me.

    GEORGE: He wants to meet you? I’ll tell you what. I’ll show up. He doesn’t know we’re friends. I’ll pretend I haven’t seen you since High School. I’ll back up the story.

    JERRY: That’s not bad.

    GEORGE: Not bad? It’s gorgeous!

    [Coleman’s Department Store]

    KRAMER: Ho ho ho Well come on little Princess, tell Santa what you want. Don’t be shy.

    MoMICKEY: She doesn’t speak English (with a Swedish accent).

    KRAMER: Santa speaks the language of all children. A notchie watchie dotchie do.

    [Child cries and reaches for her mom]

    KRAMER: A dotchie cotchie dochie,

    KRAMER: Het, Mickey when do we get a break? My lap is killing me.

    MICKEY: There is no break.

    KRAMER: A sweat shop.

    [Elaine and commie enter]

    KRAMER: Hey, hey, hey.

    [Kid sits on Kramer’s lap and they both slide to the floor]

    [Yankee Stadium]

    ADA: Natalie on line 2.

    GEORGE: Natalie?

    ADA: From the Daily Worker.

    GEORGE: Thank you.

    [ADA leaves but listens at the door]

    GEORGE: Hello, it’s Natalie? Yeah, this is a business office but I’m not a business man per se. I’m here working for the people. Yes, I’m causing dissent. Stirring the pot. Getting people to question the whole rotten system.

    [Coleman’s Department Store]

    ILENE: Elaine.

    ELAINE: Ilene.

    ILENE: Hi.

    ELAINE: Hello.

    ILENE: Doing a little Christmas shopping?

    ELAINE: Yeah, yeah. Oh, this is Ned. He’s a communist.

    ILENE: Oh, really?

    ELAINE: Yep . . . a big communist, a big big communist.

    ILENE: Oh, well, it’s awfully nice to see you. See you later.

    ELAINE: Bye bye

    ELAINE: Hey, listen while we’re here why don’t we do a little shirt shopping?

    NED: Out of the question.

    ELAINE: Um. Kramer!

    KRAMER: Hi

    ELAINE: Hi, oh hi Mickey, this is Ned

    KRAMER: Oh, hey, hi buddy.

    ELAINE: You guys stay here, I’ll be right back.

    KRAMER: Eight hours of jingle belling and ho ho hoing. Boy, I am ho’d out.

    NED: Anyone who works here is a sap.

    [Mickey attacks Ned]

    MICKEY: Watch it!

    KRAMER: Woah, woah, come on.

    NED: You understand the Santa’s at Bloomfields are making double what you are?

    KRAMER: Double?

    NED: I bet the beard itches doesn’t it?

    KRAMER: You got that straight.

    NED: So when you get a rash all over your face in January do you think Coleman’s will be there with a

    medical plan?

    MICKEY: Look, you take that commie crap out into the street.

    NED: Kramer, I’ve got some literature in my car that will change your whole way of thinking.

    KRAMER: Talk to me baby.

    MICKEY: Don’t listen to him Kramer, you’ve got a good job here.

    [Monks]

    DUNCAN: But there’s no way you could have beaten me by that much. I already beaten you in Junior High School three times.

    JERRY: I didn’t hit puberty til the 9th grade. That’s what gave me my speed. Besides, if I got a head start why didn’t Mr. Bevilacqua stop the race?

    [George enters]

    DUNCAN: That’s what I’ve always wondered about.

    JERRY: Well, I . . . [sees George]

    GEORGE: Oh, my God, No, oh my God, . . . Jerry!

    JERRY: I’m sorry, uh,

    GEORGE: George, George Costanza!

    JERRY: Oh, George Costanza , Kennedy High.

    GEORGE: Yes yes yes This is unbelievable.

    DUNCAN: Hi, George

    GEORGE: Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute, don’t tell me, don’t tell me. It starts with a . . . Duncan Meyers. Oh, wow, this is something. I haven’t seen you guys in what, twenty years?

    JERRY: This is Lois.

    LOIS: Hello.

    GEORGE: So what have you been doing with yourself?

    JERRY: I’m I’m a comedian.

    GEORGE: Ah ha, well, I really wouldn’t know about that. I don’t watch much TV. I like to read. So what do you do, a lot of that “did you ever notice?” this kind of stuff.

    JERRY: Yeah, yeah

    GEORGE: It strikes me a lot of guys are doing that kind of humor now.

    JERRY: Yeah, yeah, Well, you really got bald there, didn’t you?

    GEORGE: Yeah, yeah.

    JERRY: You really used to have a think full head of hair.

    GEORGE: Yeah, yeah. Well, I guess I started losing it when I was about twenty-eight right around the time I made my first million. You know what they say. The first million is the hardest one.

    JERRY: yeah, yeah.

    LOIS: What do you do?

    GEORGE: I’m an architect.

    LOIS: Have you designed any buildings in New York?

    GEORGE: Have you seen the new addition to the Guggenheim?

    LOIS: You did that?

    GEORGE: Yep. And it didn’t take very long either.

    JERRY: Well you’ve really built yourself up into something.

    GEORGE: Well, well, I had a dream, Jerry.

    JERRY: Well, one cannot help[ but wonder what brings you into a crummy little coffee shop like this.

    GEORGE: Well, I like to stay in touch with the people.

    JERRY: Ah, you know you have a hole in your sneaker there. What is that canvas?

    GEORGE: You know my driver’s waiting, I really should get running. Good to see you guys again.

    JERRY: George, George, hang on. I haven’t seen you in so long.

    GEORGE: Ha, uh,

    JERRY: I thought we might reminisce a little more. You know Duncan and I were just taking about the big race.

    GEORGE: Oh, the big race.

    JERRY: Yeah.

    GEORGE: Yes, yes,.

    LOIS: You were there?

    GEORGE: Yes, sure, surely was. Yeah, I’ll remember that day. Well I’ll never forget it because that was the day that I uh, lost my virginity to Miss. Stafford, the uh, voluptuous home room teacher.

    DUNCAN: Miss Stafford?

    GEORGE: Yes, yes, you know I was in detention and she came up behind me while I was erasing the blackboard . . .

    JERRY: George!

    GEORGE: But I digress. Let me see, now. You were standing at one end of the line and I was right next to you. And I remember we were even for like, the first five yards and then , BOOM,…You were gone.

    JERRY: Did I get a head start?

    GEORGE: Head start, oh no absolutely not.

    JERRY: You satisfied? So you see?

    DUNCAN: No, I’m still not convinced and I never will be.

    LOIS:Why don’t the two of you just race again?

    DUNCAN: That’s a good idea.

    JERRY: No, no, no, another race – out of the question.

    DUNCAN: I know, you’ve been saying that for twenty years because you know you can’t beat me. You couldn’t beat me then and you can’t beat me now.

    LOIS: Race him Jerry. Race him.

    JERRY: All right! I’ll do it. The race is on.

    [Jerry’s apartment]

    ELAINE: . . . shut up! (?)

    JERRY: And he’s calling all these people from High School to come and watch. I knew this day would come. I can’t do it. I can’t go through with it. I’m calling it off. I can’t let the legend die. It’s like a kid finding out there’s no Santa Claus

    [Street]

    KRAMER: Each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

    MICKEY: What does that mean?

    KRAMER: Well, if you’ve got needs and abilities that’s a pretty good combination.

    MICKEY: So what if I want to open up a delicatessen?

    KRAMER: There are no delicatessens under Communism.

    MICKEY: Why not?

    KRAMER: Well, because the meats are divided into a class system. You got Pastrami and Corned Beef in one class and Salami and Bologna in another. That’s not right.

    MICKEY: So you can’t get Corned Beef?

    KRAMER: Well, you know, if you’re in the Politburo, maybe.

    [Jerry’s Apartment]

    GEORGE: (on phone) . It’s George Costanza. . are there any messages for me? Why does Mr. Steinbrenner want to see me in his office? . . . Communist? I’m not a Communist . . . . All right, all right. All right, I’ll be there. – ( hangs up ) My secretary Ada, told Mr Steinbrenner I’m a Communist Now he wants to see me

    in his office.

    JERRY: So you’ll just explain to him you’re not a Communist.

    You just called the woman for a date.

    [Phone rings]

    JERRY: Hello, oh hi Duncan, 4:00 o’clock tomorrow? That is not

    going to work. . . . Why? I’ll tell you why. Because I chose not to run!

    [Elaine’s Apartment]

    NED: I’m sorry Elaine. The shirt’s too fancy.

    ELAINE: Just because you’re a communist, does that mean you can’t wear anything nice? You look like Trotsky. It’s gorgeous. Fine, you want to be a Communist, be a Communist. Can’t you at least look like a successful Communist?

    NED: All right, I’ll try it on.

    ELAINE: I’m going to order Chinese Food.

    NED: You’re ordering from Hop Sing’s, right?

    ELAINE: Ugh, does it have to be Hop Sing’s. I kind of had a fight with him.

    NED: Elaine, when my father was black listed he couldn’t work for years. He and his friends used to sit at Hop Sing’s every day figuring out how to survive.

    ELAINE: You’re father was blacklisted?

    NED: Yes he was, and you know why? Because he was betrayed by people he trusted. They “named names”.

    ELAINE: Okay, okay. (phones) Um, yeah, hi, I’d like delivery please to 16 West 75th St. apartment 2G.

    LEW: I know that address. You’re Benes, right. You’re on our list. No more delivery.

    ELAINE: No. no, she doesn’t live here anymore. This is someone else.

    LEW: Oh, yeah. What’s the name?

    ELAINE: Why do you need the name? You already have the address.

    LEW: We need a name. Give us a name.

    ELAINE: Okay, okay, Ned Isakoff.

    [Coleman’s Department Store]

    KID: I want a racing car set.

    KRAMER: Ho ho ho ho A racing car set! Those are assembled in Tai Wan by kids like you. And these Coleman pigs, they sell it at triple the cost.

    KID: But I want a racing car set.

    KRAMER: You see kid, you’re being bamboozaled. These capatalist fat cats are inflating the profit margin and reducing your total number of toys.

    KID: Hey, this guy’s a COMMIE!

    MICKEY: Hey, kid, quiet. Were did a nice little boy like you learn such a bad word like that? Huh?

    KID: Commie, Commie, Commie . . . (unknown) .

    MICKEY: Santa is not a Commie. He just forgot how his good friend stuck his neck out for him to get him a good job like this. Didn’t he Santa!

    STORE MANAGER: Is there a problem here?

    KRAMER: ho ho ho ho.

    KID: This guy’s a Commie. He’s spreading propoganda.

    STORE MANAGER: Oh yeah? Well that’s enough pinko! You’re through. The both of ya’

    MICKEY: I got two kids in college.

    KRAMER: You can’t fire me, I’m Santa Claus.

    STORE MANAGER: Not anymore. Get your skinny ass out of here.

    [Jerry’s Car]

    JERRY: Hi how are you?

    LOIS: . . . Fine.

    JERRY: What’s the matter?

    LOIS: I just spoke to Duncan. He said if you don’t race, he’s going to fire me.

    JERRY: What? He can’t do that.

    LOIS: Yes he can. He controls the means of production. What are you going to do Jerry?

    JERRY: Don’t worry Lois. I’ll think of something.

    [Elaine’s Apartment]

    LEW: Ah, I knew it was you! You tried to trick Hop Sing! You are onour list; Elaine Benes! And now you are on our list; Ned Isakoff.

    Ned: You got me blacklisted from Hop Sing’s?

    LEW: She named name!

    [Steinbrenner’s Office]

    GEORGE: You, uh, wanted to see me, Mr. Steinbrenner?

    STEINBRENNER: Yes George, I did. Come in, come in. George, the wordaround the office is that you’re a Communist.

    GEORGE: C-Communist? I am a Yankee, sir, first and foremost.

    STEINBRENNER: You know George, it struck me today me that a Communistpipeline into the vast reservoir of Cuban baseball talent could be thegreatest thing ever to happen to this organization.

    GEORGE: Sir?

    STEINBRENNER: You could be invaluable to this franchise. George,

    there’s a southpaw down there nobody’s been able to get a look at;

    something Rodriguez, I don’t really know his name. You get yourselfdown to Havana right away.

    GEORGE: Yes, sir. Yes sir, do my best.

    STEINBRENNER: Good, Merry Christmas George. And bring me back some of those cigars in the cedar boxes, you know the ones with the fancy rings? I love those fancy rings. They kind of distract you while you’re smoking. The red and yellow are nice. It looks good against the brown of the cigar. The Maduro, I like the Maduro wrapper. The darker the better, that’s what I say. Of course, the Claro’s good too. That’s more of a pale brown, almost like a milky coffee. (George exits) I find the ring size very confusing. They have it in centimeters which I don’t really understand that well…

    [On the Street]

    MICKEY: That was quick! Nice job, Santa!

    KRAMER: Yeah,

    MICKEY: I knew that Commie stuff was going to get us in trouble.

    KRAMER: Yeah, well I didn’t realize that was such a sensitive issue.

    MICKEY: Communism, You didn’t realize Communism was a sensitive issue? What do you think has been going on in the world for the past 60 years? Wake up and smell the coffee.

    K I guess I screwed up!

    MICKEY: You sure did. Big time.

    [Street – race begins]

    ELAINE: How do you feel?

    JERRY: I need a miracle.

    DUNCAN: Now you’re going to see what kind of liar you’re mixed up with.

    LOIS: If he beats you I want a big raise.

    DUNCAN: If he beats me, I’ll not only give you a raise, I’ll send you to Hawaii for two weeks.

    KRAMER: I parked in front of that restaurant . As soon as this race is over I got to go to the airport.

    GEORGE: Okay, all right, all right.

    MR. BEVILACQUA: You ready boys?

    JERRY: Yes, Mr. Beviacqua

    MR. BEVILACQUA: Okay, this is hoiw it works. You take your marks, I say, READY – ON YOUR MARK – GET SET – and then fire. You got it?

    DUNCAN: and JERRY: Yes Mr. Bevilacqua.

    [Kramer enters his car]

    [Mr. Bevilacqua raises gun]

    MR. BEVILACQUA: READY – ON YOUR MARK

    [Kramer’s car backfires]

    [Jerry is off early and wins the race – the crowd goes crazy – ]

    LOIS:So will you come to Hawaii with me Jerry?

    JERRY: Maybe I will , Lois. Maybe I will.

    [Jerry winks at camera like in the Superman movie]

    [Havana]

    [George enters Castro’s office (like Steinbrenner]

    GEORGE: You wanted to see me, El Presidente?

    CASTRO: Si, si. (a Spanish word I can’t figure out) Come here.

    I understand you are very interested in one of our players, eh?

    GEORGE: Si, si.

    CASTRO: Ordinarily I would not grant such a request but I’ve heard you

    are, uh, how you say, Communista simpatico, eh?

    GEORGE: Muy sumpatico. Muy muy muy.

    CASTRO: Well good, then you can have your pick.

    GEORGE: Oh, oh!

    CASTRO: They will play for your Yankees.

    GEORGE: Oh well, gracias El Commandante, gracias. Muy muy.

    CASTRO: And I would be honored if you would be my guest for dinner tonight at the Presidential palace. There will be girls there and, I hear, some pretty good food. Of course the problem with parties is you invariably have to eat standing up which I don’t care for but on the other hand I don’t like to balance a plate on my lap either. Once when I was at a party, I put my plate on someone’s piano. I assure you, if I had not been a dictator, I would not have been able to get away with that one.
    [END]
    http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheRace.html

  • Torcer

    Limiting government is the single most important instrument for guaranteeing liberty.
    – Dr. Walter Williams

  • Torcer

    Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed. – Robert Heinlein

  • Torcer

    socialist international

    Adopted by the XVIII Congress, Stockholm, June 1989

    I. Global Change and Future Prospects

    1. The idea of Socialism has caught the imagination of people across the world, promoted successful political movements, decisively improved the lives of working men and women, and contributed to shaping the 20th century.

    However, justified satisfaction about the realisation of many of our goals should not prevent us from clearly recognising present dangers and problems. We are aware that essential tasks still lie ahead which we can master only through common action, since human survival increasingly depends upon the joint efforts of people around the world.

    2. Current economic, technological, political and social changes reflect a profound transformation of our world. The fundamental issue we now face is not whether there will be change in future years, but rather who is going to control it and how. The socialist answer is unequivocal. It is the people of the world who should exercise control by means of a more advanced democracy in all aspects of life: political, social, and economic. Political democracy, for socialists, is the necessary framework and precondition for other rights and liberties.

    3. All the peoples of the world should be involved in the process of transforming our societies and promoting new hope for humankind. The Socialist International calls on all men and women committed to peace and progress to work together in order to translate this hope into reality.

    4. The challenge of global change opens up enormous possibilities:

    – The internationalisation of the economy and wide-spread access to information and new technologies can, if brought under democratic control, provide a basis for a world society better suited to cooperation. It is obvious that a world family is no longer a utopian dream, but, increasingly, a practical necessity.

    – The technological revolution can and should be used to preserve the environment, create new employment and provide the means to liberate people from routine work rather than ruthlessly impose unwanted idleness.

    – On the basis of suitable and humane democratic structures, freedom, equality, security and prosperity can be achieved within the framework of a democratic world society.

    5. However, many current trends also give rise to unprecedented threats:

    – Proliferation of the technologies of destruction promote a precarious balance of terror where there are inadequate guarantees for the security of humankind.

    – The physical conditions for life on the planet are threatened by an uncontrolled urban and industrial expansion, the degradation of the biosphere, and the irrational exploitation of vital resources.

    – Hunger, famine and death threaten whole regions and communities in the South, even though the world has enough natural and technical resources to feed itself.

    6. This transformation of social and economic structures is at least as dramatic and far-reaching as the transition from laissez-faire to the corporate capitalism and colonialism of pre-World War I days. The social cost of these transformations – unemployment, regional decline, destruction of communities – has affected not only the very poor but also working people in general.

    7. The rapid process of internationalisation and interdependence in the world economy has given rise to contradictions within existing political, social and national institutions. This growing gap between an international economy and inadequate international political structures has been a contributory factor to the poverty and underdevelopment of the South, as well as to mass unemployment and new forms of poverty in many areas of the North.

    8. Real progress has been made since World War II in vital areas such as decolonisation, the growth of the Welfare State and, more recently, disarmament, where the first hopeful steps have been taken. However, age-old injustices remain. Human rights are still violated, racial and sex discrimination are rife, and individual opportunities in life are still determined by the region and class in which people are born.

    9. Faced with such crucial issues, the Socialist International reaffirms its fundamental beliefs. It is committed, as ever, to the democratisation on a global scale of economic, social and political power structures. The same principles and political commitments which socialism has always held have to be attained in a world that has changed radically since the Frankfurt Declaration of 1951.

    10. The Socialist International was founded a hundred years ago in order to coordinate the worldwide struggle of democratic socialist movements for social justice, human dignity and democracy. It brought together parties and organisations from different traditions which shared a common goal: democratic socialism. Throughout their history, socialist, social democratic and labour parties have stood for the same values and principles.

    11. Today the Socialist International combines its traditional struggle for freedom, justice and solidarity with a deep commitment to peace, the protection of the environment, and the development of the South. All these issues require common answers. To this end, the Socialist International seeks the support of all those who share its values and commitment.

    II. Principles

    Freedom, Justice and Solidarity

    12. Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.

    13. Freedom is the product of both individual and cooperative efforts – the two aspects are parts of a single process. Each person has the right to be free of political coercion and also to the greatest chance to act in pursuit of individual goals and to fulfil personal potential. But that is only possible if humanity as a whole succeeds in its long-standing struggle to master its history and to ensure that no person, class, sex, religion or race becomes the servant of another.

    14. Justice and Equality. Justice means the end of all discrimination against individuals, and the equality of rights and opportunities. It demands compensation for physical, mental and social inequalities, and freedom from dependence on either the owners of the means of production or the holders of political power.

    Equality is the expression of the equal value of all human beings and the precondition for the free development of the human personality. Basic economic, social and cultural equality is essential for individual diversity and social progress.

    Freedom and equality are not contradictory. Equality is the condition for the development of individual personality. Equality and personal freedom are indivisible.

    15. Solidarity is all-encompassing and global. It is the practical expression of common humanity and of the sense of compassion with the victims of injustice. Solidarity is rightly stressed and celebrated by all major humanist traditions. In the present era of unprecedented interdependence between individuals and nations, solidarity gains an enhanced significance since it is imperative for human survival.

    16. Democratic socialists attach equal importance to these fundamental principles. They are interdependent. Each is a prerequisite of the other. As opposed to this position, Liberals and Conservatives have placed the main emphasis on individual liberty at the expense of justice and solidarity while Communists have claimed to achieve equality and solidarity, but at the expense of freedom.

    Democracy and Human Rights

    17. The idea of democracy is based on the principles of freedom and equality. Therefore, equal rights for men and women – not only in theory, but also in practice, at work, in the family and in all areas of social life – are part of the socialist concept of society.

    18. Democratic socialists strive to achieve equal rights for all races, ethnic groups, nations and denominations. These rights are seriously in question in many regions of the world today.

    19. Forms of democracy of course may vary. However, it is only possible to speak of democracy if people have a free choice between various political alternatives in the framework of free elections; if there is a possibility for a change of government by peaceful means based on the free will of the people; if individual and minority rights are guaranteed; and, if there is an independent judicial system based on the rule of law impartially applied to all citizens. Political democracy is an indispensable element of a socialist society. Democratic socialism is a continuing process of social and economic democratisation and of increasing social justice.

    20. Individual rights are fundamental to the values of socialism. Democracy and human rights are also the substance of popular power, and the indispensable mechanism whereby people can control the economic structures which have so long dominated them. Without democracy, social policies cannot disguise the dictatorial character of a government.

    21. There can be no doubt that different cultures will develop their own institutional forms of democracy. But whatever form democracy assumes – nationally or internationally – it must provide full rights for individuals and for organised minority opinions. For socialists, democracy is of its very nature pluralist, and this pluralism provides the best guarantee of its vitality and creativity.

    22. Freedom from arbitrary and dictatorial government is essential. It constitutes the precondition whereby peoples and societies can create a new and better world of peace and international cooperation – a world in which political, economic and social destinies will be democratically determined.

    The Nature of Socialism

    23. Democratic socialists have arrived at the definition of these values in many different ways. They originate in the labour movement, popular liberation movements, cultural traditions of mutual assistance, and communal solidarity in many parts of the world. They have also gained from the various humanist traditions of the world.

    But although there are differences in their cultures and ideologies, all socialists are united in their vision of a peaceful and democratic world society combining freedom, justice and solidarity.

    24. The national struggles for democratic socialism in the years to come will show differences in policy and divergences on legislative provisions. These will reflect different histories and the pluralism of varied societies. Socialists do not claim to possess the blueprint for some final and fixed society which cannot be changed, reformed or further developed. In a movement committed to democratic self-determination there will always be room for creativity since each people and every generation must set its own goals.

    25. In addition to the principles which guide all democratic socialists, there is a clear consensus among socialists on fundamental values. Despite all diversity, it is common ground that democracy and human rights are not simply political means to socialist ends but the very substance of those ends – a democratic economy and society.

    26. Individual freedom and basic rights in society are the preconditions of human dignity for all. These rights cannot replace one another, nor can they be played off against each other. Socialists protect the inalienable right to life and to physical safety, to freedom of belief and free expression of opinion, to freedom of association and to protection from torture and degradation. Socialists are committed to achieve freedom from hunger and want, genuine social security, and the right to work.

    27. Democratic socialism also means cultural democracy. There must be equal rights and opportunities for the different cultures within each society as well as equal access for everyone to the national and global cultural heritage.

    III. Peace

    Peace – A Basic Value

    28. Peace is the precondition of all our hopes. It is a basic value of common interest to all political systems and necessary for human society. War destroys human life and the basis for social development. A nuclear holocaust could spell the end of human life as we know it.

    29. A lasting peace cannot be guaranteed through nuclear deterrence nor through an arms race with conventional forces. Therefore disarmament and new models of common security are imperative.

    30. What is now essential is the achievement, not merely of military stability at the lowest possible level of defensive weapon systems, but also a climate of mutual political confidence. This can be developed through cooperation on projects for our common future and a new emphasis on peaceful competition between societies with different political, economic and social structures.

    31. Peace is more than the absence of war. It cannot be based on fear or on ephemeral goodwill between the Superpowers. The fundamental economic and social causes of international conflict must be abolished by the achievement of global justice and by the creation of new institutions for the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world.

    32. The establishment of a New International Economic and Political Order is an essential contribution to peace. This should involve respect for national sovereignty and the right to national self-government, negotiated settlement of conflict, and suspension of arms supplies to the parties in conflict. There must be both global and regional systems for cooperation and peaceful conflict resolution in all parts of the world. These could be brought about through the action of the UN, complementing agreements between the Superpowers.

    33. Peace is equally a necessity within nations. Violent ways of handling conflicts destroy opportunities for development and human rights. Education for peace and disarmament must be intensified.

    34. The militarisation of relations between nations of the South has become a serious threat to the future of humanity, as are the tensions between East and West. In some cases the major powers, with their tendency to globalise conflict, have engaged in proxy struggles in countries of the South. In others, the arms merchants of both East and West have contributed to raising the level of violence in the South as they sought political advantage or profit. It is undeniable that every war in the past four decades has been fought in those regions of the world. Social, economic and other causes of conflict in the South must be eliminated.

    Initiatives for Peace

    35. Democratic socialists reject a world order in which there is an armed peace between East and West but constant bloodshed in developing countries. Peacekeeping efforts must focus upon putting an end to these confrontations. Europe has a unique role in this process. For decades it has been the most likely battlefield for armed conflict between East and West. Europe can now become the area in which a new climate of mutual trust and restraint can develop and grow.

    36. Initiatives for peace require that different socio-economic systems and nations cooperate with one another on projects for confidence building and disarmament, justice in the South and protection of the planet’s biosphere. At the same time, they should engage in peaceful competition in the fields of wealth creation, welfare and solidarity. Societies should be prepared to learn from one another. It must become the norm for the different systems to trade, negotiate and work together. There should also be a place for frank and open exchange of views, in particular where issues of human rights and peace are at stake.

    37. East-West cooperation in the common struggle to close the gap between North and South and for the protection of the environment are perhaps the areas of greatest potential for fruitful action to build human solidarity regardless of frontiers and blocs.

    IV. North and South

    Globalisation

    38. Recent decades have been characterised by an accelerating internationalisation of world affairs, or globalisation. Oil shocks, exchange rate fluctuations and stock market crashes are directly transmitted between the world’s economies, North and South. New information technologies disseminate a mass culture to every corner of the world. Financial decisions by multinational corporations can have far-reaching effects overnight. National and international conflicts are generating huge and growing refugee movements of continental and intercontinental dimensions.

    39. Further, globalisation of the international economy has shattered the bipolar division of the world which dominated the era of the Cold War. New industrial powers have emerged in the Pacific rim and, until recent setbacks, the rapidly developing Latin American nations. There are also new international forces such as China and the Non-Aligned Movement. Interdependence is a reality. It is more important than ever to establish multilateral institutions with a more equal role for the South under the aegis of the UN.

    40. At a global level, economic crisis and conservative deflationary policies have brought the return of mass unemployment to many of the advanced economies. They have also had a destructive effect on poor countries. They have wiped out export markets, sharpened the debt crisis and undone progress already made. At the same time, such regress in the South, combined with the necessity to service enormous debts, closed huge potential markets to the North. Thus the declining living standards of the debtor nations became a factor promoting unemployment in the creditor nations.

    41. A transformed global economy must involve the growth centres of the South in a radically new way if it is to advance the development of either South or North. Programmes to stimulate economic and social development in the South can and must become a vehicle for stimulating the world economy as a whole. Such issues must feature as integral parts of global macro-economic strategies.

    42. In Africa, the continuation of the apartheid regime in South Africa is not only a crime against the majority of the people of that nation but has subverted the economic efforts of the Front Line States and had a negative impact throughout the entire continent. There, as elsewhere, the fight for human rights and democracy goes hand in hand with the battle for economic and social justice.

    43. Africa and Latin America are in particular faced with an intolerable debt problem which precludes the investments and imports which are needed to ensure development and provide jobs for rapidly growing populations. Global action to alleviate the debt burden is a precondition for progress. It must be a central goal of East-West cooperation in the common search for North-South justice.

    The Environmental Challenge

    44. A critical and fundamental challenge of worldwide dimensions is the crisis of the environment. ln both the North and the South, the ecological balance is jeopardised. Every year, animal and plant species are being exterminated while there is increasing evidence of a depletion of the ozone layer. In the North, irresponsible industrialism destroys forest areas; in the South, the rain forests which are vital to the survival of the whole world are shrinking with alarming speed. In the rich countries, soil pollution is increasing. In the poor countries, deserts are encroaching upon civilisation. Everywhere clean water is in short supply.

    45. Since environmental destruction extends across national frontiers, environmental protection must be international. It is, above all, a question of maintaining the relations between natural cycles, since ecological protection is always more economical and more responsible than environmental renovation. The best and cheapest solutions to the crisis are those that change the basic framework of production and consumption so that environmental damage does not occur in the first place.

    46. We advocate joint international efforts to replace all environmentally damaging products and processes by alternatives which enhance nature. The transfer of technology from North to South must not be allowed to become a matter of exporting ecologically unacceptable systems, or the toxic wastes of rich economies. Renewable energy sources and decentralised supply structures should be encouraged in both North and South. Moreover, there must be an international early warning system to identify environmental threats and catastrophes which cross national frontiers.

    47. These environmental problems affect the whole world community as well as doing harm to the developing countries. Without multilateral assistance and cooperation, poor nations cannot solve them. For these reasons it is crucial to achieve a substantial transfer of resources through development aid.

    48. Such policies are compatible with qualitative economic growth, in the North and South, in order to meet the social and economic responsibilities of the future. Social investment in ecological reconstruction – which many experts count as an expenditure without benefits and which is not computed as part of the Gross National Product – is one of the most positive investments a society can possibly make.

    Social Control of Technological Development

    49. The technological revolution which has already begun in the advanced industrial economies will profoundly change the conditions of the environment and resource management within the life-time of the present generation. Moreover, the impact of this change will be experienced worldwide. Micro-electronics, robotics, weapons technology, bio-engineering – plus innovations which are not yet dreamed of – will transform the circumstances of both individuals and the structures of society in the world as a whole.

    50. Technology is not simply a matter of objective science or inanimate machines. It is always guided by particular interests and designed according to human values, whether implicit or explicit. It has to be brought under social control in order to use the positive opportunities offered by new technologies for humankind, to minimise the risks and the dangers of uncontrolled developments and to prevent socially unacceptable technologies.

    51. Social progress requires, and inspires, technological progress. What is needed is technology appropriate to the different conditions, experiences and levels of development prevailing in the North and in the South. There must be a substantial transfer of suitable technology – and of basic technological know-how – between North and South. The North has much to learn from the experience of the South, especially its use of low-waste technologies. There should be social dialogue, and democratic political control of the context in which new technologies are introduced. This should ensure that their availability:

    – contributes to autonomous development in the countries of the South, mobilising their resources rather than wasting them, and creating new jobs rather than increasing unemployment;

    – humanises labour, promotes human health, and enhances safety in the workplace;

    – facilitates economic rights and increases the scope for popular decision-making in working life.

    52. In order to ensure that these standards are met throughout the world there must be institutions and procedures for assessment of technology. Innovation should be introduced in accordance with social needs and priorities as expressed through democratic debate and decision-making.

    53. Manipulation of human genetic material and exploitation of women through new reproductive technologies must be prevented. Likewise ways must be found to protect humanity from nuclear danger and chemical risk.

    Disarmament and Development

    54. Disarmament agreements between the Superpowers will do more than remove the threat of annihilation from the planet. With such agreements in place, many of the resources now wasted on thermonuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons could be released for investment in economic and social development programmes in the South. Disarmament between the East and West should be linked with programmes for justice between the North and South.

    55. A proportion of the substantial funds which the highly industrialised countries of the West and the East would save as a result of negotiated disarmament should be utilised to create a multinational fund to promote a secure and sustainable development in the countries of the South.

    V. Shaping the Twenty- First Century

    Political and Economic Democracy

    56. Recent events have made the achievement of political, economic and social democracy on a world scale more feasible than ever before. Democracy represents the prime means for popular control and humanisation of the otherwise uncontrolled forces which are re-shaping our planet without regard for its survival.

    57. Human rights include economic and social rights; the right to form trade unions and to strike; the right to social security and welfare for all, including the protection of mothers and children; the right to education, training and leisure; the right to decent housing in a liveable environment, and the right to economic security. Crucially, there is the right to both full and useful employment in an adequately rewarded job. Unemployment undermines human dignity, threatens social stability and wastes the world’s most valuable resource.

    58. Economic rights must not be considered as benefits paid to passive individuals lacking in initiative, but as a necessary base from which to secure the active participation of all citizens in a project for society. This is not a matter of subsidising those on the fringe of society, but of creating the conditions for an integrated society with social welfare for all people.

    59. Democratic socialism today is based on the same values on which it was founded. But they must be formulated critically, both assimilating past experience and looking ahead to the future. For instance, experience has shown that while nationalisation in some circumstances may be necessary, it is not by itself a sovereign remedy for social ills. Likewise, economic growth can often be destructive and divisive, especially where private interests evade their social and ecological responsibility. Neither private nor State ownership by themselves guarantee either economic efficiency or social justice.

    60. The democratic socialist movement continues to advocate both socialisation and public property within the framework of a mixed economy. It is clear that the internationalisation of the economy and the global technological revolution make democratic control more important than ever. But social control of the economy is a goal that can be achieved through a wide range of economic means according to time and place, including:

    – democratic, participative and decentralised production policies; public supervision of investment; protection of the public and social interest; and socialisation of the costs and benefits of economic change;

    – worker participation and joint decision-making at company and workplace level as well as union involvement in the determination of national economic policy;

    – self-managed cooperatives of workers and farmers;

    – public enterprises, with democratic forms of control and decision-making where this is necessary to enable governments to realise social and economic priorities;

    – democratisation of the institutions of the world financial and economic system to allow full participation by all countries;

    – international control and monitoring of the activities of transnational corporations, including cross-frontier trade union rights within such corporations.

    61. There is no single or fixed model for economic democracy and there is room for bold experimentation in different countries. But the underlying principle is clear – not simply formal, legal control by the State, but substantial involvement by workers themselves and by their communities in economic decision-making. This principle must apply both nationally and internationally.

    62. In societies structured in this fashion, and committed to genuine economic and social equality, markets can and must function as a dynamic way of promoting innovation and signalling the desires of consumers through the economy as a whole. Markets should not be dominated by big business power, and manipulated by misinformation.

    63. The concentration of economic power in few private hands must be replaced by a different order in which each person is entitled – as citizen, consumer or wage-earner – to influence the direction and distribution of production, the shaping of the means of production, and the conditions of working life. This will come about by involvement of the citizen in economic policies, by guaranteeing wage earners an influence in their workplace, by fostering open and accountable competition both domestically and internationally and by strengthening the position of consumers relative to producers.

    64. A democratic society must compensate for the defects of even the most responsible market systems. Government must not function simply as the repair shop for the damage brought about by market inadequacies or the uncontrolled application of new technologies. Rather the State must regulate the market in the interests of the people and obtain for all workers the benefits of technology, both in work experience and through the growth of leisure time and meaningful possibilities for individual development.

    Culture and Society

    65. Education is crucial for the development of a modern, democratic and tolerant society. The goals of education which we advocate, are:

    – information, learning and knowledge;

    – the passing of a spiritual and cultural heritage from generation to generation;

    – the preparation of the individual for life within society on the basis of equal opportunity for all;

    – helping each individual to develop his full personal potential.

    66. The values of freedom, social justice, solidarity and tolerance must be central messages in the process of education.

    We advocate tolerance and cooperation between different groups in multicultural societies. Cultural diversity enriches rather than endangers our societies. Cultural uniformity is a threat to freedom and democracy.

    67. Special attention must be given to the relations between different generations. Elderly people in particular need the respect and support of the young. They need a guaranteed income through social security and public pension, homes and nursing in the community, room for cultural and social activities, and the right to live their old age in dignity.

    The Role of Men and Women in Modern Society

    68. Inequality between men and women is the most pervasive form of oppression in human history. It may be traced almost to the origin of the species itself and has persisted in almost every socio-economic order to the present time.

    69. Recent years have seen a new surge of feminist consciousness, both within and outside the socialist movement, leading to the emergence of one of the most important social movements of our time. In part, the renewal of feminism occurred as the women of the most advanced welfare States came to realise that, despite the progress made in many fields, they were still often relegated to subordinate positions in occupational and political structures.

    70. The social costs of economic crises, at national and international levels, have been borne to a disproportionate degree by women. Poverty, unemployment, homelessness and low-wage exploitation have all contributed to this effect. In some areas of the South, the overcoming of patriarchal attitudes is a fundamental precondition for both the vindication of the rights of women and the achievement of sustainable economic development.

    71. The Socialist International supports the struggle of women for equal rights and opportunities everywhere in the world. In some countries there has been progress, while in others the struggle for equality is only beginning. Equality and justice for women is a crucial element of a just and peaceful world. The UN has played an important role in facilitating the emergence of a global feminist consciousness which links the women of the South and the North.

    72. The Socialist International specifically endorses the following measures:

    – legislation and positive action programmes which guarantee full equality between men and women;

    – support for programmes to promote education, vocational training and professional integration for girls and women;

    – legislation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value;

    – dissemination of information and practical assistance for family planning;

    – good facilities for child care;

    – public backing for full and equal participation of women in the social and political activities of every country by positive steps which ensure women’s representation at all levels of decision making.

    73. Women constitute slightly more than half of the population on our planet. Justice and equality for them is a sine qua non of international justice and equality.

    A New International Culture for Political Dialogue

    74. The increasing interdependence of the world leaves little space for fundamentalist controversies and hostilities. Common survival and development demand both cooperation and civilised forms of dispute even between antagonistic political forces and ideas. We therefore reject and condemn any form of religious or political fundamentalism.

    75. Communism has lost the appeal that it once had to parts of the labour movement or to some intellectuals after the October Revolution or during the struggle against fascism.

    The crimes of stalinism, mass persecution and the violation of human rights, as well as unsolved economic problems, have undermined the idea of communism as an alternative to democratic socialism or as a model for the future.

    76. The Socialist International supports all efforts aimed at the transformation of communist societies through liberalisation and democratisation. The same support must apply to the development of decentralised market mechanisms, struggles against bureaucratisation and corruption and, above all, the realisation that human rights and political openness are important elements of a dynamic and progressive society.

    77. Detente, international cooperation and peaceful competition create an atmosphere in which the most promising of the present initiatives may prosper. The Socialist International wants to promote a culture of international dialogue. All sides must cooperate in mutual trust where there are basic common interests, and argue openly and frankly where the commitment to human rights, democracy and pluralism is at stake. Socialists want to play a prominent role in that dialogue.

    A New Model for Growth

    78. In order to generate employment and prosperity all across the world, there is a need for ecologically balanced development. Growth which is not designed to meet ecological and social imperatives runs counter to progress, since it will cause environmental damage and destroy jobs. The market system alone can never ensure the attainment of the social goals of economic growth. It is the legitimate function of democratic economic policy to promote development which opens up future opportunities while improving the quality of life.

    79. To achieve these objectives on a global basis, it is imperative to establish a genuinely new international economic order. This must reconcile the interests of both industrialised and developing countries. A fundamental reform of financial relations must create the conditions for international economic cooperation. A more equitable international economic order is necessary not only for reasons of solidarity, but also in order to create a more efficient, productive and balanced world economy.

    80. The priority in the case of international debt must be to write down, write off or capitalise the debts of the poorer countries. Institutional arrangements are needed to stabilise both the terms of trade and the export earnings of the countries of the South by establishing internationally supported commodity funds. The North must open its markets to the products of the South, and end its policy of subsidising exports from the North.

    81. As productivity rapidly increases due to new technologies, it is also necessary to redefine working life. The aim must be to humanise working conditions by both appropriate production technologies and workers’ participation. Employment should be created by investment in social services and in environmental reconstruction, as well as by public spending on the development of new technologies and on improving infrastructure. By contrast, conservative economic policies in many industrialised countries have allowed for mass unemployment, thus jeopardising social justice and security, and giving rise to new manifestations of poverty in the rich world. It is of paramount importance that governments take on in practice their overall responsibility to provide for full employment.

    82. In many cases, a reduction of working hours can help achieve a fair distribution of both paid jobs and work at home between men and women. It also increases the leisure time of workers, farmers and employees, thus giving them more time for other activities.

    Solidarity between North and South

    83. Economic development is unquestionably a priority for the South. This is not to say that there is a simple formula for ending poverty in the developing countries, be it socialist in origin or not. Economies need a reduction in trade barriers, improved access to markets and the transfer of technology. They need the opportunity to develop their own scientific resources – for example, in the area of biotechnology – and to end dependence on second-hand technologies.

    84. Where the poorer countries are concerned, traditional development assistance remains vital. Many of them, in different regions of the world, need land reforms, incentives to farmers to achieve a sustained food supply, and support for cooperative traditions within their rural cultures. But, increased food production alone will not end hunger and famine. Sadly, in some cases, an increase in export agriculture can destroy traditional patterns of food supply, at one and the same time adding to farm output and hunger. It must be the task of the political system to guarantee both the right to food and employment.

    85. The debt crisis has led to a net financial flow away from developing countries to industrialised ones. The UN development target of 0.7% of GNP in official development assistance, which is twice the current rate, must be achieved without delay. Internationally coordinated efforts are urgently needed to alleviate the burden of the external debt of developing countries.

    86. Programmes of cooperation with the South must support development goals which relate to economic growth as well as a fair distribution of income. Aid programmes must focus on the development of the poorest groups. They should help to transform stultifying social structures and improve the situation of women in society. Specific programmes for children are of the greatest importance. Assistance through cooperatives and popular movements serves to promote democratic development.

    87. A broadly based approach to development is also an important factor in stemming the massive tide of migration to the big cities of the South, many of which are threatened by uncontrollable population growth and are becoming huge megapolitan slums.

    88. Enhanced South-South relations form an important path for economic progress. A substantial growth in trade between the nations of the South will contribute to their well-being and will enhance their prospects of dealing with the crises which arise from dramatic changes in production and occupational structures. Close economic links and rapidly growing markets in the developing world are a vital prerequisite of any positive development of the world economy.

    89. An open world economy can stimulate development in the South. But it can also bring vulnerability. Thus, the North should not pursue economic and trade policies which impose drastic reductions in living standards and erode the bases of stable democracy.

    90. Inequality and dictatorship are the enemies not only of human rights, but also of genuine development. Social and economic democracy cannot be regarded as luxuries which only the rich countries can afford. Rather, they are necessary for any country to make progress on the road of development. That is why the strengthening of democratic socialism in the South is so crucial. In this context the recent expansion of the Socialist International in the South, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, is a good omen for both North and South alike.

    91. Ending poverty in the South is also a common project for the North. It can promote disarmament, and create both wealth and jobs in the advanced as well as the developing countries. This is central to the strategy of socialists in dealing with wide-ranging economic change during a period of crisis and transition at world level. It is also an integral part of democratic socialist proposals for new economic and social structures which can bring the world peacefully and prosperously into the 21st century.

    VI. With the Socialist International Towards a Democratic World Society

    The Unity of International Socialism

    92. At a time of rapid internationalisation, the goals of democratic socialism cannot be attained in just a few countries. The fate of people living in many different parts of the world is more interlinked than ever before. The various socialist parties of the world must therefore work together, both in their individual national interest and in their common international interest. The Socialist International, whose history dates back to 1864, was re-established in 1951 to serve this purpose.

    93. Although it unites movements with long-standing national histories, the Socialist International is not a supranational, centralised organisation. It is an association of independent parties with common principles whose representatives want to learn from one another, jointly promote socialist ideas and work towards this objective at international level.

    94. The purpose of the International is to facilitate this work of solidarity and cooperation, while being aware of the fact that there are different ways of promoting the basic values of a pluralist democratic socialism in different societies. Each member party is itself responsible for the manner in which it puts the decisions of the Socialist International into effect in its own country.

    95. In recent years, the membership of the Socialist International has become more genuinely international, with very marked growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, and new members in other continents. It is the goal of the Socialist International to cooperate with all democratic socialist movements throughout the world.

    96. Since the Frankfurt Declaration of the Socialist International in 1951, the world has become closer in economic and social terms, but not in terms of democratic community and solidarity. It is now clear that the socialist movement – as it looks towards the 21st century – is becoming more truly internationalist in outlook and in practice.

    A New Democratic Order

    97. The international challenge is nothing less than the beginning of a new, democratic world society. We cannot allow blocs, nations and private corporations to shape the political structure of the planet as a mere by-product of their own self-interest.

    98. Strengthening the United Nations is an important step in the creation of this new, democratic world society. Where there is a consensus among the major nations, significant peace-making and peace-keeping initiatives are possible. The UN specialised agencies, like the WHO, and UN organs like UNDP and UNICEF, have demonstrated that the governments and citizens of various nations can work effectively together in pursuit of common international goals.

    99. It is unrealistic to assume that justice and peace can be legislated in a world of fundamental inequality where many millions barely cling to life while a favoured few enjoy a standard beyond the dreams of most of their fellow human beings. Socialist struggles in the original capitalist nations made gains in welfare and solidarity, which in turn made the extension of democracy possible in individual countries. Likewise the work of abolishing international inequality will be a crucial step forward on the road to a democratic world society.

    100. There is no illusion that this ideal can be quickly accomplished. However, the creation of a pluralist and democratic world, based on consensus and cooperation, is a necessary condition for the advance of humankind. This is both a challenge and an enormous opportunity. The Socialist International is ready to meet the challenge and to strive for a world in which our children can live and work in peace, in freedom, in solidarity and humanity.

    We are confident that the strength of our principles, the force of our arguments and the idealism of our supporters will contribute to shaping a democratic socialist future into the 21st century. We invite all men and women to join us in this endeavour.
    http://www.socialistinternational.org/viewArticle.cfm?ArticleID=31

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    Statement of Principles of the Socialist Party USA
    THE SOCIALIST PARTY strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control — a non-racist, classless, feminist, socialist society in which people cooperate at work, at home, and in the community.

    Socialism is not mere government ownership, a welfare state, or a repressive bureaucracy. Socialism is a new social and economic order in which workers and consumers control production and community residents control their neighborhoods, homes, and schools. The production of society is used for the benefit of all humanity, not for the private profit of a few. Socialism produces a constantly renewed future by not plundering the resources of the earth.

    Under both capitalist and authoritarian statist systems, people have little control over fundamental areas of their lives. The capitalist system forces workers to sell their abilities and skills to the few who own the workplaces, profit from these workers’ labor, and use the government to maintain their privileged position, while further impelling the drain of society’s productive wealth and goods into military purposes, the despoliation of the environment and natural resources, and perpetual war in which workers are compelled to fight other workers. Under authoritarian statist regimes, decisions are made by ruling party officials, the bureaucracy and the military. The inevitable product of each system is a highly stratified society with gross inequality of resources, privileges, and substantive participation in political life.

    People across the world need to cast off the systems which oppress them, and build a new world fit for all humanity. Democratic revolutions are needed to dissolve the power now exercised by the few who control great wealth and the government. By revolution we mean a radical and fundamental change in the structure and quality of economic, political, and personal relations. The building of socialism requires widespread understanding and participation, and will not be achieved by an elite working “on behalf of” the people. The working class is in a key and central position to fight back against the ruling capitalist class and its power. The working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future – to a real radical democracy from below.
    Radical democracy is the cornerstone not only of our socialism, but also of our strategy. Here are the main features of each:

    Socialist Society
    Freedom & Equality
    Democratic socialism is a political and economic system with freedom and equality for all, so that people may develop to their fullest potential in harmony with others. The Socialist Party is committed to full freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion, and to a multi-party system. We are dedicated to the abolition of male supremacy and class society, and to the elimination of all forms of oppression, including those based on race, national origin, age, sexual preferences, and disabling conditions.

    Production For Use, Not For Profit
    In a socialist system the people own and control the means of production and distribution through democratically controlled public agencies, cooperatives, or other collective groups. The primary goal of economic activity is to provide the necessities of life, including food, shelter, health care, education, child care, cultural opportunities, and social services.

    These social services include care for the chronically ill, persons with mental disabilities, the infirm and the aging. Planning takes place at the community, regional, and national levels, and is determined democratically with the input of workers, consumers, and the public to be served.

    Full Employment
    Under welfare capitalism, a reserve pool of people is kept undereducated, under-skilled and unemployed, largely along racial and gender lines, to exert pressure on those who are employed and on organized labor. The employed pay for this knife that capitalism holds to their throats by being taxed to fund welfare programs to maintain the unemployed and their children. In this way the working class is divided against itself; those with jobs and those without are separated by resentment and fear. In socialism, full employment is realized for everyone who wants to work.

    Worker & Community Control
    Democracy in daily life is the core of our socialism. Public ownership becomes a fraud if decisions are made by distant bureaucrats or authoritarian managers. In socialist society power resides in worker-managed and cooperative enterprises. Community-based cooperatives help provide the flexibility and innovation required in a dynamic socialist economy. Workers have the right to form unions freely, and to strike and engage in other forms of job actions. Worker and community control make it possible to combine life at work, home and in the community into a meaningful whole for adults and children. Girls and boys are encouraged to grow up able to choose freely the shape of their lives and work without gender and racial stereotyping. Children are provided with the care, goods and services, and support that they need, and are protected from abuse.

    Ecological Harmony
    A socialist society carefully plans its way of life and technology to be a harmonious part of our natural environment. This planning takes place on regional, national, and international levels and covers the production of energy, the use of scarce resources, land-use planning, the prevention of pollution and the preservation of wildlife. The cleanup of the contaminated environment and the creation of a nuclear-free world are among the first tasks of a socialist society.

    Socialist Strategy
    Socialist Feminism and Women’s Liberation
    Socialist feminism confronts the common root of sexism, racism and classism: the determination of a life of oppression or privilege based on accidents of birth or circumstances. Socialist feminism is an inclusive way of creating social change. We value synthesis and cooperation rather than conflict and competition.

    We work against the exploitation and oppression of women who live with lower wages, inferior working conditions and subordination in the home, in society and in politics. Socialists struggle for the full freedom of women and men to control their own bodies and reproductive systems and to determine their own sexual orientation.

    We stand for the right of women to choose to have a safe and legal abortion, at no cost, regardless of age, race, or circumstance.
    Women’s independent organizations and caucuses are essential to full liberation, both before and after the transformation to socialism. Women will define their own liberation.

    Liberation of Oppressed People
    Bigotry and discrimination help the ruling class divide, exploit, and abuse workers here and in the Third World. The Socialist Party works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination in all its forms. We recognize the right of self-defense in the face of attacks; we also support non-violent direct action in combating oppression. We fully support strong and expanded affirmative action programs to help combat the entrenched inertia of a racist and sexist system which profits from discrimination and social division.

    People of color, lesbians and gays, and other oppressed groups need independent organization to fight oppression. Racism will not be eliminated merely by eliminating capitalism.

    International Solidarity & Peace
    People around the world have more in common with each other than with their rulers. We condemn war, preparation for war, and the militaristic culture because they play havoc with people’s lives and divert resources from constructive social projects. Militarism also concentrates even greater power in the hands of the few, the powerful and the violent. We align with no nation, but only with working people throughout the world.

    Internal Democracy
    Socialism and democracy are one and indivisible. The Socialist Party is democratic, with its structure and practices visible and accessible to all members. We reject dogma and promote internal debate. The Socialist Party is a “multi-tendency” organization. We orient ourselves around our principles and develop a common program, but our members have various underlying philosophies and views of the world. Solidarity within the party comes from the ability of those with divergent views on some issues to engage in a collective struggle towards social revolution. We strive to develop feminist practice within the party.

    Cultural Freedom
    Art is an integral part of daily life. It should not be treated as just a commodity. Socialists work to create opportunities for participation in art and cultural activities. We work for the restoration and preservation of the history and culture of working people, women, and oppressed minorities.

    The Personal as Political
    Living under domination and struggling against it exact a personal toll. Socialists regard the distortion of personal life and interpersonal relations under capitalism as a political matter. Socialism must ultimately improve life; this cannot be accomplished by demanding that personal lives be sacrificed for the movement. We cherish the right of personal privacy and the enrichment of culture through diversity.

    Electoral Action
    Socialists participate in the electoral process to present socialist alternatives. The Socialist Party does not divorce electoral politics from other strategies for basic change. While a minority, we fight for progressive changes compatible with a socialist future. When a majority we will rapidly introduce those changes, which constitute socialism, with priority to the elimination of the power of big business through public ownership and workers’ control.

    By participating in local government, socialists can support movements of working people and make improvements that illustrate the potential of public ownership. We advocate electoral action independent of the capitalist-controlled two-party system.

    Democratic Revolution From Below
    No oppressed group has ever been liberated except by its own organized efforts to overthrow its oppressors. A society based on radical democracy, with power exercised through people’s organizations, requires a socialist transformation from below. People’s organizations cannot be created by legislation, nor can they spring into being only on the eve of a revolution.

    They can grow only in the course of popular struggles, especially those of women, labor, and minority groups. The Socialist Party works to build these organizations democratically.

    The process of struggle profoundly shapes the ends achieved. Our tactics in the struggle for radical democratic change reflect our ultimate goal of a society founded on principles of egalitarian, non-exploitative and non-violent relations among all people and between all peoples.

    To be free we must create new patterns for our lives and live in new ways in the midst of a society that does not understand and is often hostile to new, better modes of life. Our aim is the creation of a new social order, a society in which the commanding value is the infinite preciousness of every woman, man and child.
    http://socialistparty-usa.net/principles.html

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    Hillary Clinton: Gun Ban and Confiscation Plot “Worth Considering” – Bearing Arms – Gun Confiscation, Hillary Clinton, Video http://bearingarms.com/hillary-clinton-gun-ban-confiscation-plot-worth-considering/

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    Hillary Clinton: Gun Ban and Confiscation Plot “Worth Considering” – Bearing Arms – Gun Confiscation, Hillary Clinton, Video http://bearingarms.com/hillary-clinton-gun-ban-confiscation-plot-worth-considering/

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    It is impossible to introduce into society a greater Change and a greater Evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.
    Frédéric Bastiat

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    Smoking Gun10.16.14
    Insiders Blame Rove for Covering Up Iraq’s Real WMD
    There’s one man, some Republicans say, who kept the public from learning about the chemical shells littered around Iraq. He was Bush’s most important political adviser.

    Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to “let these sleeping dogs lie.”

    The issue of Iraq’s WMD remnants was suddenly thrust back into the fore this week, with a blockbuster New York Times report accusing the Bush administration of covering up American troops’ chemically induced wounds.

    To people familiar with the issue, both inside that administration and outside, the blame for the coverup falls on one particular set of shoulders: Rove’s.

    From the perspective of Rick Santorum, a Republican senator from Pennsylvania who lost his seat in 2006, some of the weapons of mass destruction President Bush promised would be in Iraq before the 2003 invasion of the country began turning up as early as 2004.

    In an interview with The Daily Beast, Santorum said he and his staff began receiving photographs of discarded sarin and mustard-gas shells from U.S. soldiers in 2004. Two years later, when he was up for re-election, Santorum even went public with some of this information in a press conference disclosing a Pentagon report that found 500 chemical-weapons shells had been found in Iraq.

    One might think a politically vulnerable Bush White House would’ve seized on Santorum’s discovery. After all, Bush and his subordinates famously accused Iraq of having active weapons of mass destruction programs.

    But at least in 2005 and 2006, the Bush White House wasn’t interested. “We don’t want to look back,” Santorum recalled Rove as saying (though Santorum stressed he was not quoting verbatim conversations he had more than eight years ago). “I will say that the gist of the comments from the president’s senior people was ‘We don’t want to look back, we want to look forward.’”

    Dave Wurmser—who served at the time as a senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on national-security issues—remembers receiving a similar message from Rove.

    According to Wurmser, “in 2005-6, Karl Rove and his team blocked public disclosure of these (findings) and said ‘Let these sleeping dogs lie; we have lost that fight so better not to remind anyone of it.’”

    Rove declined to comment for this story.

    At least part of the Bush administration’s case against Saddam Hussein was based on the fact that he never properly accounted for the chemical-weapons stockpile he had built up in the 1980s. As Santorum himself said during his 2006 press conference, the Pentagon’s report at the time “proves that weapons of mass destruction are, in fact, in Iraq.”

    Santorum on Thursday stood by that claim. “There was no active chemical-weapons operation in Iraq—that doesn’t mean there were no chemical weapons,” he said. “That was the point we were making. It’s clear from The New York Times’ article that the military as well as the administration didn’t want to have that conversation because they missed it.”

    Santorum said that in 2005 he began raising the issue with the White House himself. “I had discussions over a period of a year or two. Why aren’t we mentioning this? Why aren’t we doing anything on this?” he recalled. But Santorum later became so frustrated that by 2006, his message to the White House was: “I am going to do this [go public] whether you do it or not.”

    One former senior White House official who requested anonymity confirmed that the White House had no interest in 2006 in re-engaging the public debate over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He said that other lawmakers had recommended Bush give a press conference with some of the discarded weapons wearing a protective suit.

    “We killed that idea at the time,” the former official said. “It’s not a good idea to have the president near this stuff, it’s very dangerous.” This former official said that there were attempts from the White House in 2004 to get some in the media to write about the issue, but the narrative about Iraq and the weapons of mass destruction was already fixed in the mind of the public and the press. “There was not much we could do on this,” this official said.

    Nonetheless, Santorum and others continued to press the White House. In the House, Pete Hoekstra, who was then the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, conducted his own investigation into the older chemical weapons that were showing up in Iraq.

    In an interview Thursday, Hoekstra declined to name Bush administration officials with whom he spoke. But he said he felt stonewalled during his own investigation in 2005 and 2006 into the issue. “This was an active investigation by the intelligence committee and they chose not to answer our questions truthfully and fully,” Hoekstra said.

    Indeed, when Hoekstra teamed up with Santorum in 2006 to present the Pentagon finding about 500 chemical-weapons warheads, he said the Pentagon was much more critical of the information than the media or the Democrats.

    “They came out and said these were not the weapons we were looking for,” Hoekstra said. “Somewhere along the line we were talking to people who were lying to us. This has to reach fairly far and fairly high. I am absolutely furious about it.” At the time, David Kay, the first head of the team of weapons inspectors in post-invasion Iraq, said the munitions publicized by Hoekstra and Santorum in 2006 were “less toxic than most things that Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point.”

    One explanation for why the White House was not interested was so as not to tip off Sunni insurgents in Iraq. As The New York Times reported this week, some of the main areas in Iraq used to store chemical weapons are in areas now controlled by ISIS.

    Wurmser said that in 2004 and 2005 “chemical-weapons shells began turning up in arms markets in Iraq in small numbers, but eventually in batches of 100 or so.” He said that when he asked the U.S. intelligence community to go public with the information, they “quite properly asked it be kept quiet until they track down the source of the weapons so that they can secure it and not tip off Sunni insurgents to go and retrieve them themselves.”

    Eventually, Wurmser said, Sunni insurgent groups did gain access to the shells in 2005. “There were to my memory at least two attacks on our soldiers using chemical weapons-rigged shells as [improvised explosive devices]. Fortunately, they were ineffectively weaponized and soldiers were wounded but not killed.”

    Wurmser, however, grew more frustrated over time. “After waiting a year—during which we asked that the source of the batches be traced and followed to the location where the shells were being retrieved—we continued to see the trickle, but then discovered nobody was making any effort to track the source to the location of retrieval,” he said. “Instead, we were continuing to try to buy up some of the stuff in the market.”

    After the U.S. found thousands of the old chemical-weapons shells, Wurmser and others at one point argued that they had an obligation to declare the stocks of chemical weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroy them. The United States was, after all, the occupier of Iraq and had assumed the country’s sovereign responsibilities as a signatory to the convention.

    “It was all for nothing; Rove wanted the issue buried,” Wurmser said.

    At the end of the day, Santorum said he would not call the White House behavior at the time a coverup, as was implied in The New York Times story. “I don’t know if I would use the term coverup,” he said. “I would just say they simply didn’t want to discuss it.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/16/insiders-blame-rove-for-covering-up-iraq-s-real-wmd.html

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    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.
    Alexander Tytler

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    The History Place
    The Triumph of Hitler
    The Gestapo is Born

    Although the Gestapo is generally associated with SS Leader Heinrich Himmler, it was actually founded by Hermann Göring in April 1933.

    Upon becoming Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler had appointed Göring as Minister of the Interior for the State of Prussia, Germany’s biggest and most important state, which controlled two thirds of the country, including the capital, Berlin, and the big industrial centers. As Minister of the Interior, Göring thereby had control of the police.

    The first thing he did was to prohibit regular uniformed police from interfering with Nazi Brownshirts out in the streets. This meant that innocent German citizens had no one to turn to as they were being beaten up by rowdy young storm troopers drunk with their newfound power and quite often drunk on beer. These young Nazi toughs took full advantage of police leniency to loot shops at will and terrorize Jews or anyone else unfortunate enough to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Next, Göring purged the Berlin police department of politically unreliable cops and had 50,000 storm troopers sworn in as special police auxiliaries (Hilfspolizei). Now the storm troopers had actual power of arrest and they relished its use. Jails were soon overflowing with people taken into “protective custody” resulting in the need for large outside prison camps, the birth of the concentration camp system.

    Having compromised the uniformed divisions, Göring next turned his attention to the plain-clothes police. On April 26, 1933, a decree was issued creating the Secret Police Office (Geheime Polizei Amt) which quickly became known as the GPA. But this abbreviation was far too similar to the GPU abbreviation used by the Soviet Political Police in Russia. Thus, the name was changed to Secret State Police (Geheime Staats Polizei). The actual term ‘Gestapo’ was supposedly created by a Berlin postal official who wanted a name that would fit on a regulation-sized postal rubber stamp. Gestapo was derived from seven letters within the full name Geheime Staats Polizei. Unknowingly, the postal official had invented one of the most notorious names in history.

    Göring promptly began using the Gestapo to silence Hitler’s political opponents in Berlin and surrounding areas and also to enhance his own personal power. Much to his delight, Göring discovered that the old Prussian state police had kept many secret files on the private lives of top Nazis, which he studied with delight.

    Göring appointed Rudolf Diels as the first Gestapo chief. Although Diels was not a Party member, he had been a member of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior since 1930 and had served as a senior adviser in the police. Göring took full advantage of Diels’ knowledge on how to operate a political police force. He also encouraged Diels to maintain and expand the secret files on Nazi leaders. The cunning and ambitious Göring would use that information to help solidify his own position within the Nazi Party.

    Another ambitious Nazi, SS-Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, soon set his sights on the Gestapo. A fierce rivalry then developed between Himmler and Göring, with both men working against each other to curry favor with Hitler as to who would actually run the Gestapo. On April 20, 1934, after much infighting, Göring decided to cede the Gestapo to Himmler and his associate, Reinhard Heydrich, who took over as Gestapo chief two days later.

    The ever-ambitious Göring had set his sights on something much bigger than being a policeman. The former World War I flying ace and recipient of the prestigious Pour le Mérite medal fancied himself as a military leader. He wanted to take charge of a rejuvenated German Air Force. His interest in police matters and the Gestapo had diminished as Hitler’s plans for a huge military buildup became apparent.

    Within a few years, Himmler became Chief of the German Police in addition to his duties as SS leader. Heydrich, his number two man, proved to be something of a genius in creating a hugely efficient national intelligence system that kept tabs on everyone. No one was exempt from Gestapo snooping, no matter how high up in the Nazi hierarchy.

    On February 10, 1936, the Nazi Reichstag passed the ‘Gestapo Law’ which included the following paragraph: “Neither the instructions nor the affairs of the Gestapo will be open to review by the administrative courts.” This meant the Gestapo was now above the law and there could be no legal appeal regarding anything it did.

    Indeed, the Gestapo became a law unto itself. It was entirely possible for someone to be arrested, interrogated and sent to a concentration camp for incarceration or summary execution, without any outside legal procedure.

    Justice in Hitler’s Germany was completely arbitrary, depending on the whim of the man in power, the man who had you in his grip. The legal policy as proclaimed by Hitler in 1938 was: “All means, even if they are not in conformity with existing laws and precedents, are legal if they subserve the will of the Führer.”

    Surprisingly, the Gestapo was never actually a very big organization. At its peak it employed only about 40,000 individuals, including office personnel and the plain-clothes agents. But each Gestapo agent operated at the center of a large web of spies and informants. The problem for the average citizen was that no one ever knew for sure just who those informants were. It could be anyone, your milkman, the old lady across the street, a quiet co-worker, even a schoolboy. As a result, fear ruled the day. Most people realized the necessity of self-censorship and generally kept their mouths shut politically, unless they had something positive to say.

    Anyone foolish enough to say something risky or tell an anti-Nazi joke in mixed company might get a knock on the door in the middle of the night or a tap on the shoulder while walking along the street. Letters were also sent out demanding an appearance at No. 8 Prinz Albrecht Strasse, the Gestapo headquarters in Berlin, to answer a few questions. The Gestapo prison center in Berlin (the Columbia-Haus) became notorious as a place where pedestrians strolling outside the building could hear screaming coming from inside.

    Gestapo interrogation methods included: repeated near drownings of a prisoner in a bathtub filled with ice-cold water; electric shocks by attaching wires to hands, feet, ears and genitalia; crushing a man’s testicles in a special vice; securing a prisoner’s wrists behind his back then hanging him by the arms causing shoulder dislocation; beatings with rubber nightsticks and cow-hide whips; and burning flesh with matches or a soldering iron.

    As the SS organization rapidly expanded in the late 1930s, the super-ambitious Heydrich acquired immense powers and responsibilities. One of his main accomplishments was the reorganization and bureaucratic streamlining of the entire Nazi police state. In September 1939, just after the outbreak of war, he created the Reich Main Security Office (RSHA). This new organization had seven main branches. The Gestapo was designated as the fourth branch and was now headed by Heinrich Müller (nicknamed as Gestapo Müller). Back in 1931, as a member of the Munich police, Müller had successfully hushed-up the scandal surrounding the suicide of Hitler’s niece Geli Raubal. Thus he had proven himself to be a very dependable man.

    Section B4 of the Gestapo dealt exclusively with the “Jewish question” and came under the permanent control of Adolf Eichmann. This energetic and efficient organizer would keep the trains running on time from all over Europe to Nazi death camps located in occupied Poland during the Final Solution of the Jewish question.

    The Gestapo followed Hitler’s armies into every country during the conquest of Europe. By pitting neighbor against neighbor, Gestapo agents established the same kind of terror mechanism in each occupied country that had worked so well back in Germany.

    In 1942, the Gestapo took things a step further via Hitler’s Night and Fog Decree. Suspected anti-Nazis would now vanish without a trace into the misty night never to be seen again. The desired effect as stated by Himmler was to “leave the family and the population uncertain as to the fate of the offender.” The victims were mostly from France, Belgium and Holland. They were usually arrested in the middle of the night and whisked off to far away prisons for torture-interrogation, eventually arriving at a concentration camp in Germany if they survived.

    From the very beginning of Hitler’s regime, the ever-present threat of arrest and indefinite confinement in a concentration camp robbed the German people of their personal freedom and left them as inhibited, dutifully obedient subjects.

    But even this was not enough. The Nazis wanted to change people’s thinking. And so, just as they had purged their hated political enemies, they began a campaign to purge hated “unGerman” ideas. That effort started in May 1933 with the worst of all crimes against human thought and culture – the burning of books.

    Copyright © 2001 The History Place™ All Rights Reserved
    http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/triumph/tr-gestapo.htm

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    “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.” Frederic Bastiat

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    Dig a well before you are thirsty. Chinese Proverb

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    “One thing at a time. Most important thing first. Start now.”

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    An army marches on its stomach.
    Napoleon Bonaparte

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    “One thing at a time. Most important thing first. Start now.”

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    http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/triumph/stop-search.jpg
    German citizens are stopped and searched by plain-clothes and uniformed police in March 1933 under the pretext they might be concealing weapons.

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    “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke

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    Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: Thomas Jefferson

    1791 Dec. 23. (to Archibald Stuart) “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”[6] Thomas Jefferson
    1811 Mar. 28. (to William Duane) “The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. We ought, for so dear a state to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity.”[7]
    This is actually a translation of a Latin phrase that Thomas Jefferson used: Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. It has also been translated as, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.”
    Here is the sentence in context:
    “Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” – Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787[1]

  • Torcer

    Das 25-Punkte-Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei
    [vom 24. Februar 1920]

    Das Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei ist ein Zeitprogramm. Die Führer lehnen es ab, nach Erreichung der im Programm aufgestellten Ziele neue aufzustellen, nur zu dem Zweck, um durch künstlich gesteigerte Unzufriedenheit der Massen das Fortbestehen der Partei zu ermöglichen.

    [..]
    24. Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen.
    Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage:

    Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz

    25. Zur Durchführung alles dessen fordern wir die Schaffung einer starken Zentralgewalt des Reiches. Unbedingte Autorität des politischen Zentralparlaments über das gesamte Reich und seine Organisationen im allgemeinen.
    Die Bildung von Stände- und Berufskammern zur Durchführung der vom Reich erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten.

    Gegenüber den verlogenen Auslegungen des Punktes 17 durch Gegner der Partei ist noch folgende Feststellung notwendig:[1]
    Da die NSDAP. auf dem Boden des Privateigentums steht, ergibt sich von selbst, daß der Passus “Unentgeltliche Enteignung” nur auf die Schaffung gesetzlicher Möglichkeiten Bezug hat, Boden, der auf unrechtmäßige Weise erworben wurde oder nicht nach den Gesichtspunkten des Volkswohls verwaltet wird, wenn nötig zu enteignen. Dies richtet sich demgemäß in erster Linie gegen die jüdische Grundstücksspekulations-Gesellschaften.

    gez. Adolf Hitler.
    http://www.documentarchiv.de/wr/1920/nsdap-programm.html

    =====================================================================

    Das 25-Punkte-Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei
    [vom 24. Februar 1920]

    Das Programm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei ist ein Zeitprogramm. Die Führer lehnen es ab, nach Erreichung der im Programm aufgestellten Ziele neue aufzustellen, nur zu dem Zweck, um durch künstlich gesteigerte Unzufriedenheit der Massen das Fortbestehen der Partei zu ermöglichen.

    1. Wir fordern den Zusammenschluß aller Deutschen auf Grund des Selbstbestimmungsrechtes der Völker zu einem Groß-Deutschland.

    2. Wir fordern die Gleichberechtigung des deutschen Volkes gegenüber den anderen Nationen, Aufhebung der Friedensverträge von Versailles und St. Germain.

    3. Wir fordern Land und Boden (Kolonien) zur Ernährung unseres Volkes und Ansiedlung unseres Bevölkerungsüberschusses.

    4. Staatsbürger kann nur sein, wer Volksgenosse ist. Volksgenosse kann nur sein, wer deutschen Blutes ist, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession. Kein Jude kann daher Volksgenosse sein.

    5. Wer nicht Staatsbürger ist, soll nur als Gast in Deutschland leben können und muß unter Fremden-Gesetzgebung stehen.

    6. Das Recht, über Führung und Gesetze des Staates zu bestimmen, darf nur dem Staatsbürger zustehen. Daher fordern wir, daß jedes öffentliche Amt, gleichgültig welcher Art, gleich ob im Reich, Land oder Gemeinde nur durch Staatsbürger bekleidet werden darf.
    Wir bekämpfen die korrumpierende Parlamentswirtschaft einer Stellenbesetzung nur nach Parteigesichtspunkten ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Charakter und Fähigkeiten.

    7. Wir fordern, daß sich der Staat verpflichtet, in erster Linie für die Erwerbs- und Lebensmöglichkeit der Bürger zu sorgen. Wenn es nicht möglich ist, die Gesamtbevölkerung des Staates zu ernähren, so sind die Angehörigen fremden Nationen (Nicht-Staatsbürger) aus dem Reiche auszuweisen.

    8. Jede weitere Einwanderung Nicht-Deutscher ist zu verhindern. Wir fordern, daß alle Nicht-Deutschen, die seit 2. August 1914 in Deutschland eingewandert sind, sofort zum Verlassen des Reiches gezwungen werden.

    9. Alle Staatsbürger müssen gleiche Rechte und Pflichten besitzen.

    10. Erste Pflicht jeden Staatsbürgers muß sein, geistig oder körperlich zu schaffen. Die Tätigkeit des Einzelnen darf nicht gegen die Interessen der Allgemeinheit verstoßen, sondern muß im Rahmen des gesamten und zum Nutzen aller erfolgen.

    Daher fordern wir:

    11. Abschaffung des arbeits- und mühelosen Einkommens.

    Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft!

    12. Im Hinblick auf die ungeheuren Opfer an Gut und Blut, die jeder Krieg vom Volke fordert, muß die persönliche Bereicherung durch den Krieg als Verbrechen am Volke bezeichnet werden. Wir fordern daher restlose Einziehung aller Kriegsgewinne.

    13. Wir fordern die Verstaatlichung aller (bisher) bereits vergesellschafteten (Trust) Betriebe.

    14. Wir fordern die Gewinnbeteiligung an Großbetrieben.

    15. Wir fordern einen großzügigen Ausbau der Alters-Versorgung.

    16. Wir fordern die Schaffung eines gesunden Mittelstandes und seiner Erhaltung, sofortige Kommunalisierung der Groß-Warenhäuser und ihre Vermietung zu billigen Preisen an kleine Gewerbetreibende, schärfste Berücksichtigung aller kleinen Gewerbetreibenden bei Lieferung an den Staat, die Länder oder Gemeinden.

    17. Wir fordern eine unseren nationalen Bedürfnissen angepaßte Bodenreform, Schaffung eines Gesetzes zur unentgeltlichen Enteignung von Boden für gemeinnützige Zwecke. Abschaffung des Bodenzinses und Verhinderung jeder Bodenspekulation.

    18. Wir fordern den rücksichtslosen Kampf gegen diejenigen, die durch ihre Tätigkeit das Gemein-Interesse schädigen. Gemeine Volksverbrecher, Wucherer, Schieber usw. sind mit dem Tode zu bestrafen, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession und Rasse.

    19. Wir fordern Ersatz für das der materialistischen Weltordnung dienende römische Recht durch ein deutsches Gemein-Recht.

    20. Um jeden fähigen und fleißigen Deutschen das Erreichen höherer Bildung und damit das Einrücken in führende Stellungen zu ermöglichen, hat der Staat für einen gründlichen Ausbau unseres gesamten Volksbildungswesens Sorge zu tragen. Die Lehrpläne aller Bildungsanstalten sind den Erfordernissen des praktischen Lebens anzupassen. Das Erfassen des Staatsgedankens muß bereits mit dem Beginn des Verständnisses durch die Schule (Staatsbürgerkunde) erzielt werden. Wir fordern die Ausbildung geistig besonders veranlagter Kinder armer Eltern ohne Rücksicht auf deren Stand oder Beruf auf Staatskosten.

    21. Der Staat hat für die Hebung der Volksgesundheit zu sorgen und durch den Schutz der Mutter und des Kindes, durch Verbot der Jugendarbeit, durch Herbeiführung der körperlichen Ertüchtigung mittels gesetzlicher Festlegung einer Turn- und Sportpflicht durch größte Unterstützung aller sich mit körperlicher Jugend-Ausbildung beschäftigenden Vereine.

    22. Wir fordern die Abschaffung der Söldnertruppe und die Bildung eines Volksheeres.
    23. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen die bewußte politische Lüge und ihre Verbreitung durch die Presse. Um die Schaffung einer deutschen Presse zu ermöglichen, fordern wir, daß
    a) sämtliche Schriftleiter und Mitarbeiter von Zeitungen, die in deutscher Sprache erscheinen, Volksgenossen sein müssen.
    b) Nichtdeutsche Zeitungen zu ihrem Erscheinen der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Staates bedürfen. Sie dürfen nicht in deutscher Sprache gedruckt werden.
    c) Jede finanzielle Beteiligung an deutschen Zeitungen oder deren Beeinflussung durch Nicht-Deutsche gesetzliche verboten wird und fordern als Strafe für Uebertretungen die Schließung einer solchen Zeitung sowie die sofortige Ausweisung der daran beteiligten Nicht-Deutschen aus dem Reich.
    d) Zeitungen, die gegen das Gemeinwohl verstoßen, sind zu verbieten. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen eine Kunst- und Literaturrichtung, die einen zersetzenden Einfluß auf unser Volksleben ausübt und die Schließung von Veranstaltungen, die gegen vorstehende Forderungen verstoßen.

    24. Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen.
    Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage:

    Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz

    25. Zur Durchführung alles dessen fordern wir die Schaffung einer starken Zentralgewalt des Reiches. Unbedingte Autorität des politischen Zentralparlaments über das gesamte Reich und seine Organisationen im allgemeinen.
    Die Bildung von Stände- und Berufskammern zur Durchführung der vom Reich erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten.

    Gegenüber den verlogenen Auslegungen des Punktes 17 durch Gegner der Partei ist noch folgende Feststellung notwendig:[1]
    Da die NSDAP. auf dem Boden des Privateigentums steht, ergibt sich von selbst, daß der Passus “Unentgeltliche Enteignung” nur auf die Schaffung gesetzlicher Möglichkeiten Bezug hat, Boden, der auf unrechtmäßige Weise erworben wurde oder nicht nach den Gesichtspunkten des Volkswohls verwaltet wird, wenn nötig zu enteignen. Dies richtet sich demgemäß in erster Linie gegen die jüdische Grundstücksspekulations-Gesellschaften.

    gez. Adolf Hitler.
    http://www.documentarchiv.de/wr/1920/nsdap-programm.html

  • Torcer

    Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: Thomas Jefferson

    1791 Dec. 23. (to Archibald Stuart) “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”[6] Thomas Jefferson
    1811 Mar. 28. (to William Duane) “The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. We ought, for so dear a state to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity.”[7]
    This is actually a translation of a Latin phrase that Thomas Jefferson used: Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. It has also been translated as, “I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.”
    Here is the sentence in context:
    “Societies exist under three forms sufficiently distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under governments wherein the will of every one has a just influence, as is the case in England in a slight degree, and in our states in a great one. 3. Under governments of force: as is the case in all other monarchies and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my mind, that the 1st. condition is not the best. But I believe it to be inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has it’s evils too: the principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem. Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” – Jefferson to James Madison, January 30, 1787[1]

  • Torcer

    “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers(administrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.”
    Thomas Jefferson

  • Torcer

    Socialism
    Socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.

    This conviction puts socialism in opposition to capitalism, which is based on private ownership of the means of production and allows individual choices in a free market to determine how goods and services are distributed. Socialists complain that capitalism necessarily leads to unfair and exploitative concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of the relative few who emerge victorious from free-market competition—people who then use their wealth and power to reinforce their dominance in society. Because such people are rich, they may choose where and how to live, and their choices in turn limit the options of the poor. As a result, terms such as individual freedom and equality of opportunity may be meaningful for capitalists but can only ring hollow for working people, who must do the capitalists’ bidding if they are to survive. As socialists see it, true freedom and true equality require social control of the resources that provide the basis for prosperity in any society. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels made this point in Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848) when they proclaimed that in a socialist society “the condition for the free development of each is the free development of all.”

    This fundamental conviction nevertheless leaves room for socialists to disagree among themselves with regard to two key points. The first concerns the extent and the kind of property that society should own or control. Some socialists have thought that almost everything except personal items such as clothing should be public property; this is true, for example, of the society envisioned by the English humanist Sir Thomas More in his Utopia (1516). Other socialists, however, have been willing to accept or even welcome private ownership of farms, shops, and other small or medium-sized businesses.

    The second disagreement concerns the way in which society is to exercise its control of property and other resources. In this case the main camps consist of loosely defined groups of centralists and decentralists. On the centralist side are socialists who want to invest public control of property in some central authority, such as the state—or the state under the guidance of a political party, as was the case in the Soviet Union. Those in the decentralist camp believe that decisions about the use of public property and resources should be made at the local, or lowest-possible, level by the people who will be most directly affected by those decisions. This conflict has persisted throughout the history of socialism as a political movement.

    Origins

    The origins of socialism as a political movement lie in the Industrial Revolution. Its intellectual roots, however, reach back almost as far as recorded thought—even as far as Moses, according to one history of the subject. Socialist or communist ideas certainly play an important part in the ideas of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, whose Republic depicts an austere society in which men and women of the “guardian” class share with each other not only their few material goods but also their spouses and children. Early Christian communities also practiced the sharing of goods and labour, a simple form of socialism subsequently followed in certain forms of monasticism. Several monastic orders continue these practices today.

    Christianity and Platonism were combined in More’s Utopia, which apparently recommends communal ownership as a way of controlling the sins of pride, envy, and greed. Land and houses are common property on More’s imaginary island of Utopia, where everyone works for at least two years on the communal farms and people change houses every 10 years so that no one develops pride of possession. Money has been abolished, and people are free to take what they need from common storehouses. All the Utopians live simply, moreover, so that they are able to meet their needs with only a few hours of work a day, leaving the rest for leisure.

    More’s Utopia is not so much a blueprint for a socialist society as it is a commentary on the failings he perceived in the supposedly Christian societies of his day. Religious and political turmoil, however, soon inspired others to try to put utopian ideas into practice. Common ownership was one of the aims of the brief Anabaptist regime in the Westphalian city of Münster during the Protestant Reformation, and several communist or socialist sects sprang up in England in the wake of the Civil Wars (1642–51). Chief among them was the Diggers, whose members claimed that God had created the world for people to share, not to divide and exploit for private profit. When they acted on this belief by digging and planting on land that was not legally theirs, they ran afoul of Oliver Cromwell’s Protectorate, which forcibly disbanded them.

    Whether utopian or practical, these early visions of socialism were largely agrarian. This remained true as late as the French Revolution, when the journalist François-Noël Babeuf and other radicals complained that the Revolution had failed to fulfill the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Adherence to “the precious principle of equality,” Babeuf argued, requires the abolition of private property and common enjoyment of the land and its fruits. Such beliefs led to his execution for conspiring to overthrow the government. The publicity that followed his trial and death, however, made him a hero to many in the 19th century who reacted against the emergence of industrial capitalism.

    Utopian socialism

    Conservatives who saw the settled life of agricultural society disrupted by the insistent demands of industrialism were as likely as their radical counterparts to be outraged by the self-interested competition of capitalists and the squalor of industrial cities. The radicals distinguished themselves, however, by their commitment to equality and their willingness to envision a future in which industrial power and capitalism were divorced. To their moral outrage at the conditions that were reducing many workers to pauperism, the radical critics of industrial capitalism added a faith in the power of people to put science and an understanding of history to work in the creation of a new and glorious society. The term socialist came into use about 1830 to describe these radicals, some of the most important of whom subsequently acquired the title of “utopian” socialists.

    One of the first utopian socialists was the French aristocrat Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon. Saint-Simon did not call for public ownership of productive property, but he did advocate public control of property through central planning, in which scientists, industrialists, and engineers would anticipate social needs and direct the energies of society to meet them. Such a system would be more efficient than capitalism, according to Saint-Simon, and it even has the endorsement of history itself. Saint-Simon believed that history moves through a series of stages, each of which is marked by a particular arrangement of social classes and a set of dominant beliefs. Thus, feudalism, with its landed nobility and monotheistic religion, was giving way to industrialism, a complex form of society characterized by its reliance on science, reason, and the division of labour. In such circumstances, Saint-Simon argued, it makes sense to put the economic arrangements of society in the hands of its most knowledgeable and productive members, so that they may direct economic production for the benefit of all.

    Another early socialist, Robert Owen, was himself an industrialist. Owen first attracted attention by operating textile mills in New Lanark, Scot., that were both highly profitable and, by the standards of the day, remarkably humane: no children under age 10 were employed. Owen’s fundamental belief was that human nature is not fixed but formed. If people are selfish, depraved, or vicious, it is because social conditions have made them so. Change the conditions, he argued, and people will change; teach them to live and work together in harmony, and they will do so. Thus, Owen set out in 1825 to establish a model of social organization, New Harmony, on land he had purchased in the U.S. state of Indiana. This was to be a self-sufficient, cooperative community in which property was commonly owned. New Harmony failed within a few years, taking most of Owen’s fortune with it, but he soon turned his attention to other efforts to promote social cooperation—trade unions and cooperative businesses, in particular.

    Similar themes mark the writings of François-Marie-Charles Fourier, a French clerk whose imagination, if not his fortune, was as extravagant as Owen’s. Modern society breeds selfishness, deception, and other evils, Fourier charged, because institutions such as marriage, the male-dominated family, and the competitive market confine people to repetitive labour or a limited role in life and thus frustrate the need for variety. By setting people at odds with each other in the competition for profits, moreover, the market in particular frustrates the desire for harmony. Accordingly, Fourier envisioned a form of society that would be more in keeping with human needs and desires. Such a “phalanstery,” as he called it, would be a largely self-sufficient community of about 1,600 people organized according to the principle of “attractive labour,” which holds that people will work voluntarily and happily if their work engages their talents and interests. All tasks become tiresome at some point, however, so each member of the phalanstery would have several occupations, moving from one to another as his interest waned and waxed. Fourier left room for private investment in his utopian community, but every member was to share in ownership, and inequality of wealth, though permitted, was to be limited.

    The ideas of common ownership, equality, and a simple life were taken up in the visionary novel Voyage en Icarie (1840; Travels in Icaria), by the French socialist Étienne Cabet. Icaria was to be a self-sufficient community, combining industry with farming, of about one million people. In practice, however, the Icaria that Cabet founded in Illinois in the 1850s was about the size of a Fourierist phalanstery, and dissension among the Icarians prompted Cabet to depart in 1856.

    Other early socialists

    Other socialists in France began to agitate and organize in the 1830s and ’40s; they included Louis Blanc, Louis-Auguste Blanqui, and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Blanc, the author of L’Organisation du travail (1839; The Organization of Labour), promoted a scheme of state-financed but worker-controlled “social workshops” that would guarantee work for everyone and lead gradually to a socialist society. Blanqui, by contrast, was a revolutionary who spent more than 33 years in prison for his insurrectionary activities. Socialism cannot be achieved without the conquest of state power, he argued, and this conquest must be the work of a small group of conspirators. Once in power, the revolutionaries would form a temporary dictatorship that would confiscate the property of the wealthy and establish state control of major industries.

    In Qu’est-ce que la propriété? (1840; What Is Property?), Proudhon memorably declared, “Property is theft!” This assertion was not quite as bold as it appears, however, since Proudhon had in mind not property in general but property that is worked by anyone other than its owner. In contrast to a society dominated by capitalists and absentee landlords, Proudhon’s ideal was a society in which everyone had an equal claim, either alone or as part of a small cooperative, to possess and use land and other resources as needed to make a living. Such a society would operate on the principle of mutualism, according to which individuals and groups would exchange products with one another on the basis of mutually satisfactory contracts. All this would be accomplished, ideally, without the interference of the state, for Proudhon was an anarchist who regarded the state as an essentially coercive institution. Yet his anarchism did not prevent him from urging Napoleon III to make free bank credit available to workers for the establishment of mutualist cooperatives—a proposal the emperor declined to adopt.

    Marxian socialism
    Despite their imagination and dedication to the cause of the workers, none of the early socialists met with the full approval of Karl Marx, who is unquestionably the most important theorist of socialism. In fact, Marx and his longtime friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels were largely responsible for attaching the label “utopian,” which they intended to be derogatory, to Saint-Simon, Fourier, and Owen, whose “fantastic pictures of future society” they contrasted to their own “scientific” approach to socialism. The path to socialism proceeds not through the establishment of model communities that set examples of harmonious cooperation to the world, according to Marx and Engels, but through the clash of social classes. “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” they proclaimed in the Manifesto of the Communist Party. A scientific understanding of history shows that these struggles will culminate in the triumph of the working class and the establishment of socialism.

    According to Engels, the basic elements of Marx’s theory are to be found in German philosophy, French socialism, and British economics. Of these, German philosophy was surely the formative influence on Marx’s thinking. Born in Trier in the German Rhineland, Marx was a philosophy student at the University of Berlin when the idealism of G.W.F. Hegel dominated German philosophy. Hegel maintained that history is the story of the unfolding or realization of “spirit”—a process that requires struggle, agony, and the overcoming of obstacles to the attainment of self-knowledge. Just as individual persons cannot realize their potential—especially the potential for freedom—if they remain forever in a childish or adolescent condition, so spirit must develop throughout history in a dialectical fashion. That is, individuals and even nations are characters in a drama that proceeds through the clash of opposing ideas and interests to a greater self-awareness and appreciation of freedom. Slavery, for example, was long taken for granted as a natural and acceptable practice, but the slave’s struggle to be recognized as a person was bringing an end to slavery as master and slave came to recognize their common humanity—and thus to liberate themselves, and spirit, from a false sense of the master’s superiority.

    Like Hegel, Marx understood history as the story of human labour and struggle. However, whereas for Hegel history was the story of spirit’s self-realization through human conflict, for Marx it was the story of struggles between classes over material or economic interests and resources. In place of Hegel’s philosophical idealism, in other words, Marx developed a materialist or economic theory of history. Before people can do anything else, he held, they must first produce what they need to survive, which is to say that they are subject to necessity. Freedom for Marx is largely a matter of overcoming necessity. Necessity compels people to labour so that they may survive, and only those who are free from this compulsion will be free to develop their talents and potential. This is why, throughout history, freedom has usually been restricted to members of the ruling class, who use their control of the land and other means of production to exploit the labour of the poor and subservient. The masters in slaveholding societies, the landowning aristocracy in feudal times, and the bourgeoisie who control the wealth in capitalist societies have all enjoyed various degrees of freedom, but they have done so at the expense of the slaves, serfs, and industrial workers, or proletarians, who have provided the necessary labour.

    For Marx, capitalism is both a progressive force in history and an exploitative system that alienates capitalists and workers alike from their true humanity. It is progressive because it has made possible the industrial transformation of the world, thereby unleashing the productive power to free everyone from necessity. Yet it is exploitative in that capitalism condemns the proletarians, who own nothing but their labour power, to lives of grinding labour while enabling the capitalists to reap the profits. This is a volatile situation, according to Marx, and its inevitable result will be a war that will end all class divisions. Under the pressure of depressions, recessions, and competition for jobs, the workers will become conscious that they form a class, the proletariat, that is oppressed and exploited by their class enemy, the bourgeoisie. Armed with this awareness, they will overthrow the bourgeoisie in a series of spontaneous uprisings, seizing control of factories, mines, railroads, and other means of production, until they have gained control of the government and converted it into a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. Under socialism or communism—Marx and Engels drew no clear or consistent distinction between the two—government itself will eventually wither away as people gradually lose the selfish attitudes inculcated by private ownership of the means of production. Freed from necessity and exploitation, people will finally live in a true community that gives “each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions.”

    Marx maintained that the revolution by which socialism would be achieved was ordained by the logic of capitalism itself, as the capitalists’ competition for profits led them to create their own “grave diggers” in the proletariat. Even the role of the revolutionary, such as Marx, was confined to that of “midwife,” for revolutionaries could do no more than speed along the inevitable revolution and ease its birth pangs.

    This, at least, was Marx’s more or less “official” doctrine. In his writings and political activities, however, he added several qualifications. He acknowledged, for example, that socialism might supplant capitalism peacefully in England, the United States, and other countries where the proletariat was gaining the franchise; he also said that it might be possible for a semifeudal country such as Russia to become socialist without first passing through capitalist industrialism. Moreover, Marx played an important part in the International Working Men’s Association, or First International, formed in 1864 by a group of labour leaders who were neither exclusively revolutionary nor even entirely committed to socialism. In short, Marx was not the inflexible economic determinist he is sometimes taken to be. But he was convinced that history was on the side of socialism and that the equal development of all people to be achieved under socialism would be the fulfillment of history.

    Socialism after Marx
    By the time of Marx’s death in 1883, many socialists had begun to call themselves “Marxists.” His influence was particularly strong within the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), which was formed in 1875 by the merger of a Marxist party and a party created by Marx’s German rival, Ferdinand Lassalle. According to Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Programme (1891), Lassalle had “conceived the workers’ movement from the narrowest national standpoint”; that is, Lassalle had concentrated on converting Germany to socialism, whereas Marx thought that socialism had to be an international movement. Even worse, Lassalle and his followers had sought to gain control of the state through elections in hopes of using “state aid” to establish producers’ cooperatives. Marx’s belief in the revolutionary transformation of society soon prevailed in the SPD, but his controversy with Lassalle and the Lassalleans testifies to the existence of other important currents in socialist thought in the late 19th century.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/socialism

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    “A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves against those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” –Ibid.

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    FAQ
    Why are the answers in this FAQ so long?
    Socialism is almost globally misunderstood and misrepresented. Socialism will be a basic structural change to society, and many of the things that most people take for granted, as “just the way things have to be”, can and must be changed to establish socialism.
    People tend to accept as true the things they hear over and over again. But repetition doesn’t make things true. Because the truth and the facts often contradict “common knowledge”, socialists have to show that “common knowledge” is wrong. That takes more words than just accepting the status quo.
    What is the World Socialist Movement (WSM)?
    The World Socialist Movement is an organization which began with the founding of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. The Companion Parties of Socialism, which make up the World Socialist Movement, are those parties sharing an understanding of what socialism means, how to establish socialism, and a scientific analysis of past and current society. For more information about the WSM, see Introducing the World Socialist Movement on the World Socialist Movement web site.
    Why doesn’t the World Socialist Movement get involved in social activism?
    By “social activism” most people mean demonstrating, protesting, or otherwise attempting to influence immediate events in society, and still under capitalism. These attempts to reform capitalism have a very long history: as long as capitalism itself. We call these actions “reformism”.
    Organizations which claim to want socialism, and which also promote reforms, ignore socialism and spend their time working for reforms.
    The Companion Parties of Socialism, in the World Socialist Movement, are socialist parties. They promote socialism because that is all a socialist party can promote.
    If you find a “socialist” party promoting “social activism,” you’ll have found a non-socialist party.
    Who is your leader?
    The World Socialist Movement doesn’t have a leader, and nor do any of the Companion Parties, because leadership is undemocratic. If there are leaders, there must be followers: people who just do what they are told.
    In the World Socialist Movement, every individual member has an equal say, and nobody tells the rest what to do. Decisions are made democratically by the whole membership, and by representatives or delegates. If the membership doesn’t like the decisions of those it elects, those administrators can be removed from office and their decisions overridden.
    Only when people have real, democratic control over their own lives will they have the freedom that is socialism.

    Isn’t socialism what they had in Russia, or in China or Cuba, or in Sweden?
    No. Socialism, as understood by the World Socialist Movement, was never established in any country. A short definition of what we understand to be socialism: a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole.

    If there are wages and salaries, it is not socialism.
    State ownership is not socialism.
    Social programs are not socialism.
    Socialism means democracy at all levels of society, including the workplace.
    Socialism means a wageless, moneyless society.
    Socialism means voluntary labour.
    Socialism means free access to the goods produced by society.

    With this understanding of socialism, the Socialist Party of Great Britain noted in its journal, the Socialist Standard (August 1918, page 87), that the supposedly “Marxist” Russian Revolution of November 1917 was not socialist.
    Wouldn’t everyone have to be altruistic for socialism to work?
    No. Socialism isn’t based upon altruism. Socialism will work even if everyone suddenly decides that they dislike everyone else. Supporting socialism involves recognizing the fact that the current system just doesn’t work for most people. Socialism will be a society in which satisfying an individual’s self interest is the result of satisfying everyone’s needs. It is enlightened self-interest that will work for the majority.

    How will socialism be established?
    Socialism can only be established by a vast majority of people deciding it wants to establish socialism. Therefore, the World Socialist Movement puts forward the socialist case so that people can decide for themselves. Once the vast majority makes the decision in favour of socialism, then it will elect socialist representatives or delegates to prove its majority, and to serve as a temporary focal point to administer the elimination of capitalism and the creation of socialism. But it won’t be, and could not be, the elected representatives or delegates who create socialism, it will be the people of the world as a whole. The vast majority of the people of the world are working class, so socialism will be established by the working class. It also means that ordinary people will have to do all of the work required. The capitalist class isn’t going to do it, and professional socialists (whatever they might be) aren’t going to do it. The only way to establish socialism is for people to work for it.

    What if one country establishes socialism and others don’t?
    One country cannot establish socialism. No country is completely self-sufficient in the resources people need to satisfy their needs. No country can really isolate itself from the rest of the world in a peaceful manner, so a peaceful “socialist nation” would be easy prey for the outside capitalist world. Just as capitalism is a world system, socialism will have to be a world system. Socialism will be a world without countries. Borders are just artificial barriers that belong to a past and present that is best left behind.

    What will socialism be like, how will it be administered?
    The World Socialist Movement does not offer a blueprint for administering a socialist society. For a small group of socialists to do so would be undemocratic. It would also be dumb. Socialists don’t have crystal balls to determine what the conditions will be when socialism is established. As the socialist majority grows, when socialism is within the grasp of the working class, then will be the proper time for making such important decisions. The only thing socialists can say now, about administration, is that socialism is only socialism if it is democratic.

    The World Socialist Movement talks of a moneyless society; does that mean we’ll use the barter system?
    In a socialist society, there will be no money and no barter. Goods will be voluntarily produced, and services voluntarily supplied to meet people’s needs. People will freely take the things they need.

    What about human nature?
    Humans behave differently depending upon the conditions that they live in. Even very short term changes in those conditions can change the way people behave. Most of what people refer to as “human nature” is actually human behaviour: reactions to the world around them. Human behaviour reflects society. In a society such as capitalism, people’s needs are not met and reasonable people feel insecure. People tend to acquire and hoard goods because possession provides some security. People have a tendency to distrust others because the world is organized in such a dog-eat-dog manner. Under capitalism, and the previous systems, people have good reason to worry about tomorrow—they can lose their jobs, or be injured, or grow old, and need a cushion of wealth to fall back on. In a socialist society, everyone is entitled to have their needs met. They won’t be kicked out onto the street, or forced to give up the pleasures of life. There will be no poverty. The “cushion” will be cooperatively provided by all.

    But why will people work if they don’t have to?
    People will have to work, but it will be voluntary. If people didn’t work society would obviously fall apart. To establish socialism the vast majority must consciously decide that they want socialism and that they are prepared to work in socialist society.

    Work is part of human life. Today rich people work when they don’t have to, because they, like many of the rest of us, enjoy working. Many people work harder at their hobbies than they do at work. It is the nature of employment that makes it “work” instead of pleasure. Work needn’t be a part of the day that we wish would end.
    People enjoy creating useful things. Instead of producing junk that people only buy because they can’t afford quality, every worker will be able to produce quality products for themselves and others, and know that other workers will be doing the same.

    The workday will be shortened. Many jobs (such as those dealing with money, or war, or poverty) will not be required at all. The people doing those jobs now, will perform work that actually produces goods and services that people want.
    People will gain respect for doing jobs that others might find unpleasant, or the unpleasant jobs might be shared around. Many of the unpleasant jobs could be made more pleasant and some could be done away with.

    Does socialism mean equal shares for everyone?
    No. People are different and have different needs. Some needs will be more expensive (in terms of resources and labour needed to satisfy them) than others.

    What if people want too much?
    In a socialist society “too much” can only mean “more than is sustainably produced.” If people decide that they (individually and as a society) need to over-consume then socialism cannot possibly work. Under capitalism, there is a very large industry devoted to creating needs. It tells us we need toilet seat warmers, nifty gadgets (that don’t work), new this and that, and attempts to convince us that our human worth is dependent upon our material wealth. Capitalism requires consumption, whether it improves our lives or not, and drives us to consume up to, and past, our ability to pay for that consumption. On top of that, goods are not built to last because that would interfere with profit making. Socialism will be a very different society. Goods will be built to last. The buy-buy-buy advertising industry will no longer exist. People may decide that they have better things to do rather than produce goods that are widely seen to be extravagances. And people may discover that more material goods don’t make them happier. Society already has the knowledge and technology to satisfy all of our basic needs sustainably. There is every reason to believe that socialist society will supply every human being with all the material goods that they need for a comfortable, pleasant, enjoyable life.

    What about the environment?
    The environment that is pleasant for human beings is being destroyed because of economic factors inherent in capitalism. At best, with the best intentions of everybody, capitalism can only do too little, too late. Government cannot stop the destruction, it can only slow down the worst of it for a while. If environmental protection rules make production less profitable, then production may move out, the economy will take a nosedive and the environmental rules will be relaxed. The solution is to change the economic system. In a socialist world, there will be no profit. Production will be democratically decided. The human need for a livable eco-system will be considered as a normal part of all decision making.

    How will people who disagree be treated in socialism?
    Those who disagree will be treated like anyone else. If a person or group decided to start promoting a return to capitalism, or some other class-divided social form, they would be free to do so. If however, a person or group, was damaging society (beating people up, or blowing up buildings, etc.) then society will take appropriate action against them. Freedom must include allowing disagreement with the status quo and spreading unpopular ideas, but freedom does not include hurting people or destroying the common wealth of humanity. Exactly what methods a future socialist society will democratically choose to use, if people need to protect themselves, are beyond the ability of the World Socialist Movement to predict, but one can expect that those methods will be more humane and less dictated by blanket policies than the methods used today.

    How will problems be handled in socialism?
    Many of today’s problems, such as poverty, will not even exist in a socialist society. Of course, no human society will ever be without problems. A socialist society will have to deal, democratically and cooperatively, with the problems as they arise. An example of a major problem: even under capitalism, natural disasters generate tremendous volunteer effort and people donate huge amounts of goods, services, and money to help those who are suffering. It is not conceivable that this human response will decrease in socialism. Without the profit constraints of capitalism, such major problems can be dealt with quickly and satisfactorily.
    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.ch/p/faq.html

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    “Brevity is the soul of wit.” William Shakespeare

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    ”Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. “ H. L. Mencken

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    “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 46, 1788

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    Do people even know how old socialism truly is?
    From the 1949 publication:

    The Communist Manifesto after 100 years
    The Communist Manifesto, the most famous document in the history of the socialist movement, was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels during the latter part of 1847 and the first month of 1848. It was published in February 1848. This appreciation of the Manifesto at the end of its first century is thus more than a year late. This is a case, however, in which we hope our readers will agree with us: better late than never.
    […]
    The first theoretical expression of a genuinely socialist position came in Thomas More’s Utopia, written in the early years of the 16th Century — in other words, at the very threshold of what we call the modern period. But Utopia was the work of an individual genius and not the reflection of a social movement. It was not until the English Civil War, in the middle of the 17th Century, that socialism first began to assume the shape of a social movement.

    Gerrard Winstanley (born 1609, died sometime after 1660) was probably the greatest socialist thinker that the English-speaking countries have yet produced, and the Digger movement which he led was certainly the first practical expression of socialism. But it lasted only a very short time, and the same was true of the movement led by Babeuf during the French Revolution a century and a half later. Meanwhile, quite a number of writers had formulated views of a more or less definitely socialist character.

    But it was not until the 19th Century that socialism became an important public issue and socialists began to play a significant role in the political life of the most advanced European countries. The Utopian socialists (Owen, Fourier, St. Simon) were key figures in this period of emergence; and the Chartist movement in Britain, which flourished during the late 1880s and early 1840s, showed that the new factory working class formed a potentially powerful base for a socialist political party.
    […]
    Marx and Engels began their work of transforming socialism “from Utopia to science” in the early 1840s. In the next few years of profound study and intense discussion they worked out their own new socialist synthesis.
    http://archive.monthlyreview.org/index.php/mr/article/view/MR-001-04-1949-08_2/0

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    ”Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. “ H. L. Mencken

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    The Communist Manifesto after 100 years
    It is now 150 years since the Communist Manifesto was first published. Much has happened in the almost 150 years since this article* was written but its analysis remains valid today. Capitalism remains capitalism and Marxism and socialism are as valid as ever.

    The Communist Manifesto, the most famous document in the history of the socialist movement, was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels during the latter part of 1847 and the first month of 1848. It was published in February 1848. This appreciation of the Manifesto at the end of its first century is thus more than a year late. This is a case, however, in which we hope our readers will agree with us: better late than never.
    Historical importance of the Manifesto

    What gives the Manifesto its unique importance? In order to answer this question it is necessary to see clearly its place in the history of socialism.

    Despite a frequently encountered opinion to the contrary, there was no socialism in ancient or medieval times. There were movements and doctrines of social reform which were radical in the sense that they sought greater equality or even complete community of consumer goods, but none even approached the modern socialist conception of a society in which the means of production are publicly owned and managed. This is, of course, not surprising. Production actually took place on a primitive level in scattered workshops and agricultural strips — conditions under which public ownership and management were not only impossible but even unthinkable.

    The first theoretical expression of a genuinely socialist position came in Thomas More’s Utopia, written in the early years of the 16th Century — in other words, at the very threshold of what we call the modern period. But Utopia was the work of an individual genius and not the reflection of a social movement. It was not until the English Civil War, in the middle of the 17th Century, that socialism first began to assume the shape of a social movement.

    Gerrard Winstanley (born 1609, died sometime after 1660) was probably the greatest socialist thinker that the English-speaking countries have yet produced, and the Digger movement which he led was certainly the first practical expression of socialism. But it lasted only a very short time, and the same was true of the movement led by Babeuf during the French Revolution a century and a half later. Meanwhile, quite a number of writers had formulated views of a more or less definitely socialist character.

    But it was not until the 19th Century that socialism became an important public issue and socialists began to play a significant role in the political life of the most advanced European countries. The Utopian socialists (Owen, Fourier, St. Simon) were key figures in this period of emergence; and the Chartist movement in Britain, which flourished during the late 1880s and early 1840s, showed that the new factory working class formed a potentially powerful base for a socialist political party.

    Thus we see that socialism is strictly a modern phenomenon, a child of the industrial revolution which got under way in England in the 17th Century and decisively altered the economic and social structure of all of western Europe during the 18th and early 19th Centuries. By 1840 or so, socialism had arrived in the sense that it was already widely discussed and politically promising.

    But socialism was still shapeless and inchoate — a collection of brilliant insights and perceptions, of more or less fanciful projects, of passionate beliefs and hopes. There was an urgent need for systematisation; for a careful review picking out what was sound, dropping what was unsound, integrating into the socialist outlook the most progressive elements of bourgeois philosophy and social science.

    It was the historical mission of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to perform this task. They appeared on the scene at just the right time; they were admirably prepared by background and training; they seized upon their opportunity with a remarkably clear estimate of its crucial importance to the future of mankind.

    Marx and Engels began their work of transforming socialism “from Utopia to science” in the early 1840s. In the next few years of profound study and intense discussion they worked out their own new socialist synthesis. The Manifesto for the first time broadcast this new synthesis to the world — in briefest compass and in arrestingly brilliant prose.

    The Manifesto thus marks a decisive watershed in the history of socialism. Previous thought and experience lead up to it; subsequent developments start from it. It is this fact which stamps the Manifesto as the most important document in the history of socialism. And the steady growth of socialism as a world force since 1848 has raised the Manifesto to the status of one of the most important documents in the entire history of the human race.
    How should we evaluate the Manifesto today?

    How has the Manifesto stood up during its first 100 years? The answer we give to this question will depend largely on the criteria by which — consciously or unconsciously — we form our judgments.

    Some who consider themselves Marxists approach the Manifesto in the spirit of a religious fundamentalist approaching the Bible — every word and every proposition were literally true when written and remain sacrosanct and untouchable after the most eventful century in world history. It is, of course, not difficult to demonstrate to the satisfaction of any reasonable person that this is an untenable position. For this very reason, no doubt, a favorite procedure of enemies of Marxism is to assume that all Marxists take this view of the Manifesto. If the Manifesto is judged by the criterion of 100 per cent infallibility it can be readily disposed of by any second-rate hack who thus convinces himself that he is a greater man than the founders of scientific socialism. The American academic community, it may be noted in passing, is full of such great men today. But theirs is a hollow victory which, though repeated thousands of times every year, leaves the Manifesto untouched and the stature of its authors undiminished.

    Much more relevant and significant are the criteria which Marx and Engels themselves, in later years, used in judging the Manifesto. For this reason the prefaces which they wrote to various reprints and translations are both revealing and important (especially the prefaces to the German edition of 1872, the Russian edition of 1882, the German edition of 1883, and the English edition of 1888). Let us sum up what seem to us to be the main points which emerge from a study of these prefaces:

    In certain respects, Marx and Engels regarded the Manifesto as clearly dated. This is particularly the case as regards the programmatic section and the section dealing with socialist literature (end of Part II and all of Part III).
    The general principles set forth in the Manifesto were, in their view, “on the whole as correct today as ever” (first written in 1872, repeated in 1888).
    The experience of the Paris Commune caused them to add a principle of great importance which was absent from the original, namely, that “the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes.” In other words, the “ready-made state machinery” had been created by and for the existing ruling classes and would have to be replaced by new state machinery after the conquest of power by the working class.
    Finally — and this is perhaps the most important point of all — in their last joint preface (to the Russian edition of 1882), Marx and Engels brought out clearly the fact that the Manifesto was based on the historical experience of western and central Europe. But by 1882 Russia, in their opinion, formed “the vanguard of revolutionary action in Europe,” and this development inevitably gave rise to new questions and problems which did not and could not arise within the framework of the original Manifesto.

    It is thus quite obvious from these later prefaces that Marx and Engels never for a moment entertained the notion that they were blueprinting the future course of history or laying down a set of dogmas which would be binding on future generations of socialists. In particular, they implicitly recognised that as capitalism spread and drew new countries and regions into the mainstream of modern history, problems and forms of development not considered in the Manifesto must necessarily be encountered.

    On the other hand, Marx and Engels never wavered in their conviction that the general principles set forth in the Manifesto were sound and valid. Neither the events of the succeeding decades nor their own subsequent studies, profound and wide-ranging as they were, caused them to alter or question its central theoretical framework.

    It seems clear to us that in judging the Manifesto today, a century after its publication, we should be guided by the same criteria that the authors themselves used 25, 30, and 40 years after its publication. We should not concern ourselves with details but should go straight to the general principles and examine them in the light of the changed conditions of the mid-20th Century.
    The general principles of the Manifesto

    The general principles of the Manifesto can be grouped under the following headings: (a) historical materialism, (b) class struggle, (c) the nature of capitalism, (d) the inevitability of socialism, and (e) the road to socialism. Let us review these principles as briefly and concisely as we can.

    HISTORICAL MATERIALISM: This is the theory of history which runs through the Manifesto as it does through all the mature writings of Marx and Engels. It holds that the way people act and think is determined in the final analysis by the way they get their living; hence the foundation of any society is its economic system; and therefore economic change is the driving force history. Part I of the Manifesto is essentially a brilliant and amazingly compact application of this theory to the rise and development of capitalism from its earliest beginnings in the Middle Ages to its full-fledged mid-19th Century form. Part II contains a passage which puts the case for historical materialism as against historical idealism with unexampled clarity:

    Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conceptions, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

    What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.

    When people speak of ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express the fact, that within the old society, the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

    CLASS STRUGGLE: The Manifesto opens with the famous sentence: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” This is in no sense a contradiction of the theory of historical materialism hut rather an essential part of it. “Hitherto existing society” (Engels explained in a footnote to the 1888 edition that this term should not be interpreted to include preliterate societies) had always been based on an economic system in which some people did the work and others appropriated the social surplus. Fundamental differences in the method of securing a livelihood — some by working, some by owning — must, according to historical materialism, create groups with fundamentally different and in many respects antagonistic interests, attitudes, aspirations. These groups are the classes of Marxian theory. They, and not individuals, are the chief actors on the stage of history. Their activities and strivings — above all, their conflicts — underlie the social movements, the wars and revolutions, which trace out the pattern of human progress.

    THE NATURE OF CAPITALISM: The Manifesto contains the bold outlines of the theory of capitalism which Marx was to spend most of the remainder of his life perfecting and elaborating. (It is interesting to note that the term “capitalism” does not occur in the Manifesto; instead, Marx and Engels use a variety of expressions, such as “existing society,”, “bourgeois society,”, “the rule of the bourgeoisie”, and so forth.) Capitalism is pre-eminently a market, or commodity-producing, economy, which “has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment’.” Even the laborer is a commodity and must sell himself piecemeal to the capitalist. The capitalist purchases labor (later Marx would have substituted “labor power” for “labor” in this context) in order to make profits, and he makes profits in order to expand his capital. Thus the laborers form a class “who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital.”

    It follows that capitalism, in contrast to all earlier forms of society, is a restlessly expanding system which “cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society.” Moreover, “the need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.” Thanks to these qualities, “the bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together.” But, by a peculiar irony, its enormous productivity turns out to be the nemesis of capitalism. In one of the great passages of the Manifesto, which is worth quoting in full, Marx and Engels lay bare the inner contradictions which are driving capitalism to certain shipwreck:

    Modern bourgeois society with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeoisie and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of overproduction. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed. And why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand, by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

    THE INEVITABILITY OF SOCIALISM: The mere fact that capitalism is doomed is not enough to ensure the triumph of socialism. History is full of examples which show that the dissolution of a society can lead to chaos and retrogression as well as to a new and more progressive system. Hence it is of greatest importance that capitalism by its very nature creates and trains the force which at a certain stage of development must overthrow it and replace it by socialism. The reasoning is concisely summed up in the last paragraph of Part I:

    The essential condition for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class, is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage labor. Wage labor rests exclusively on competition between the laborers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the laborers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of modern industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

    THE ROAD TO SOCIALISM: There are two aspects to this question as it appears in the Manifesto: first, the general character of the socialist revolution; and, second, the course of the revolution on an international scale.

    The socialist revolution must be essentially a working-class revolution, though Marx and Engels were far from denying a role to elements of other classes. As pointed out above, the development of capitalism itself requires more and more wage workers; moreover, as industry grows and the transport network is extended and improved, the workers are increasingly unified and trained for collective action. At a certain stage this results in the “organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party.” The contradictions of capitalism will sooner or later give rise to a situation from which there is no escape except through revolution. What Marx and Engels call the “first step” in this revolution is the conquest of power, “to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.” It is important to note — because it has been so often overlooked — that basic social changes come only after the working class has acquired power:

    The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e. of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive powers as rapidly as possible.

    This will be a transition period during which the working class “sweeps away by force the old conditions of production.” (In view of present-day misrepresentations of Marxism, it may be as well to point out that “sweeping away by force” in this connection implies the orderly use of state power and not the indiscriminate use of violence.) Finally, along with these conditions, the working class will have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.

    In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

    So much for the general character of the socialist revolution. There remains the question of the international course of the revolution. Here it was clear to Marx and Engels that though the modern working-class movement is essentially an international movement directed against a system which knows no national boundaries, “yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle.” And from this it follows that “the proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.” At the same time, Marx and Engels were well aware of the international character of the counter-revolutionary forces which would certainly attempt to crush an isolated workers’ revolution. Hence, “united action of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.” Thus the various national revolutions must reinforce and protect one another and eventually merge into a new society from which international exploitation and hostility will have vanished. For, as Marx and Engels point out:

    In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another is put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.

    As to the actual geography of the revolution, Marx and Engels took it for granted that it would start and spread from the most advanced capitalist countries of western and central Europe. At the time of writing the Manifesto, they correctly judged that Europe was on the verge of a new revolutionary upheaval, and they expected that Germany would be the cockpit:

    The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation and with a much more developed proletariat than that of England was in the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.

    This prediction, of course, turned out to be over-optimistic. Not the revolution but the counter-revolution won the day in Germany, and indeed in all of Europe. But at no time in their later lives did Marx and Engels revise the view of the Manifesto that the proletarian, or socialist, revolution would come first in one or more of the most advanced capitalist countries of western and central Europe. In the 1870s and 1880s they became increasingly interested in Russia, convinced that that country must soon be the scene of a revolution similar in scope and character to the great French Revolution of 100 years earlier. No small part of their interest in Russia derived from a conviction that the Russian revolution, though it would be essentially a bourgeois revolution, would flash the signal for the final showdown in the West. As Gustav Mayer says in his biography of Engels, speaking of the later years, “his speculations about the future always centered on the approaching Russian revolution, the revolution which was to clear the way for the proletarian revolution in the West.” (English translation, p. 278) But “he never imagined that his ideas might triumph, in that Empire lying on the very edge of European civilisation, before capitalism was overthrown in western Europe.” (p. 286)
    The general principles of the Manifesto a hundred years later

    What are we to say of the theoretical framework of the Manifesto after 100 years? Can we say, as Marx and Engels said, that the general principles are “on the whole as correct today as ever”? Or have the events of the last five or six decades been such as to force us to abandon or revise these principles? Let us review our list item by item.

    HISTORICAL MATERIALISM: The last half century has certainly provided no grounds whatever to question the validity of historical materialism. Rather the contrary. There has probably never been a period in which it was more obvious that the prime mover of history is economic change; and certainly the thesis has never been so widely recognised as at present. This recognition is by no means confined to Marxists or socialists; one can even say that it provides the starting point for an increasingly large proportion of all serious historical scholarship. Moreover, the point of view of historical materialism — that “man’s ideas, views, and conceptions, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life” — has been taken over (ordinarily without acknowledgment, and perhaps frequently without even knowledge, of its source) by nearly all social scientists worthy of the name. It is, of course, true that the world-wide crisis of the capitalist system, along with the wars and depressions and catastrophes to which it has given rise, has produced a vast outpouring of mystical, irrational theories in recent years, and that such theories are increasingly characteristic of bourgeois thought as a whole. But wherever sanity and reason prevail, both inside and outside the socialist movement, there the truth of historical materialism is ever more clearly perceived as a beacon lighting up the path to an understanding of human society and its history.

    CLASS STRUGGLE: The theory of class struggle, like the theory of historical materialism, has been strengthened rather than weakened by the events of the last half century. Not only is it increasingly clear that internal events in the leading nations of the world are dominated by class conflicts, but also the crucial role of class conflict in international affairs is much nearer the surface and hence more easily visible today than ever before. Above all, the rise and spread of fascism in the inter-war period did more than anything else possibly could have done to educate millions of people all over the world to the class character of capitalism and the lengths to which the ruling class will go to preserve its privileges against any threat from below. Moreover, here, as in the case of historical materialism, serious social scientists have been forced to pay Marx and Engels the compliment of imitation. The study of such diverse phenomena as social psychology, the development of Chinese society, the caste system in India, and racial discrimination in the United States South, is being transformed by a recognition of the central role of class and class struggle. Honest enemies of Marxism are no longer able to pooh-pooh the theory of class struggle as they once did; they now leave the pooh-poohing to the dupes and paid propagandists of the ruling class. They must admit, with H. G. Wells, that “Marx, who did not so much advocate the class war, the war of the expropriated mass against the appropriating few, as foretell it, is being more and more justified by events” (The Outline of History, Vol. II, p. 399); or, with Professor Talcott Parsons, Chairman of the Social Relations Department at Harvard, that “the Marxian view of the importance of class structure has in a broad way been vindicated.” (Papers and Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, May 1949, p. 26)

    THE NATURE OF CAPITALISM: In political economy, bourgeois social science has borrowed less from, and made fewer concessions to, the Marxian position than in historiography and sociology. The reason is not far to seek. Historical materialism and class struggle are general theories which apply to many different societies and epochs. It is not difficult, with the help of circumlocutions and evasions, to make use of them in relatively “safe” ways and at the same time to obtain results incomparably more valuable than anything yielded by the traditional bourgeois idealist and individualist approaches. When it comes to political economy, however, the case is very different. Marxian political economy applies specifically to capitalism, to the system under which the bourgeois social scientist lives (and makes his living) here and now; its conclusions are clear-cut, difficult to evade, and absolutely unacceptable to the ruling class. The result is that for bourgeois economists Marxian political economy scarcely exists, and it is rare to find in their writings an admission of Marx’s greatness as an economist stated so specifically as in the following: “He was the first economist of top rank to see and to teach systematically how economic theory may be turned into historical analysis and how the historical narrative may be turned into histoire raisonnee.” (J. A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, 1st edition, p. 44)

    Does the neglect of Marx as an economist indicate the failure of the ideas of the Manifesto? On the contrary; the correlation is an inverse one. What idea has been more completely confirmed by the last century than the conception of capitalism’s restless need to expand, of the capitalist’s irresistible urge to “nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere”? Who can deny today that the periodical return of crises is a fact which puts the “existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly”? Who can fail to see that “the conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them”? In short, who can any longer be blind to the fact that capitalism is riddled with contradictions which make its continued existence — at least in anything like its traditional form — impossible and unthinkable?

    THE INEVITABILITY OF SOCIALISM: There are, of course, many who, recognising the dire straits to which the capitalist world has come, believe that it is possible to patch up and reform the system in such a way as to make it serve the real interests of society. But their number is diminishing every day, and conversely the great international army of socialism is growing in strength and confidence. Its members have every reason for confidence.

    When the Manifesto was written, socialism was composed of “little sects,” as Engels told the Zurich Congress of the Second International in 1893; by that time, two years before his death, it “had developed into a powerful party before which the world of officialdom trembles.”

    Twenty-five years later, after World War I, one sixth of the land surface of the globe had passed through a proletarian revolution and was, as subsequent events showed, securely on the path to socialism.

    Three decades later, after World War II, more than a quarter of the human race, in eastern Europe and China, had followed suit.

    If capitalism could not prevent the growth of socialism when it was healthy and in sole possession of the field, what reason is there to suppose that it can now perform the feat when it is sick to death and challenged by an actually functioning socialist system which grows in strength and vigor with every year that passes? The central message of the Manifesto was the impending doom of capitalism and its replacement by a new, socialist order. Has anything else in the whole document been more brilliantly verified by the intervening 100 years? (This statement calls for revision following following the defeat of socialism in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. However, in the present period, working-class struggles, the socialist movement and particularly struggles in the under-developed countries are on the increase again)

    THE ROAD TO SOCIALISM: Much of what Marx and Engels said in the Manifesto about the general character of the socialist revolution has been amply confirmed by the experience of Russia. The working class did lead the way and play the decisive role. The first step was “to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class.” The proletariat did “use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, … and to increase the total of productive powers as rapidly as possible.” The conditions for the existence of class antagonisms have been “swept away.” On the other hand, the relative backwardness of Russia and the aggravation of class and international conflicts on a world scale have combined to bring about the intensification rather than the dismantling of state power in the USSR. The achievement of “an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” remains what it was a century ago, a goal for the future. It is also true that an important part of what is said in the Manifesto about the international course of the revolution has been corroborated by subsequent experience. The socialist revolution has not taken the form of a simultaneous international uprising; rather it has taken, and gives every prospect of continuing to take, the form of a series of national revolutions which differ from one another in many respects. Such differences, however, do not alter the fact that in content all these socialist revolutions, like the bourgeois revolutions of an earlier period, are international in character and are contributing to the building of a new world order. We cannot yet state as a fact that this new world order will be one from which international enmity will have vanished, and the quarrel between Yugoslavia and the other socialist countries of eastern Europe may seem to point to an opposite conclusion. The present status of international relations, however, is so dominated by the division of the world into two systems and the preparation of both sides for a possible “final” conflict, and the existence of more than one socialist country is such a recent phenomenon, that we shall do well to reserve judgment on the import of the Yugoslav case. In the meantime, the reasons for expecting the gradual disappearance of international exploitation and hostility from a predominantly socialist world are just as strong as they were 100 years ago.

    We now come to our last topic, the geography of the socialist revolution. Here there can be no question that Marx and Engels were mistaken, not only when they wrote the Manifesto but in their later writings as well. The socialist revolution did not come first in the most advanced capitalist countries of Europe; nor did it come first in America after the United States had displaced Great Britain as the world’s leading capitalist country. Further, the socialist revolution is not spreading first to these regions from its country of origin; on the contrary, it is spreading first to comparatively backward countries which are relatively inaccessible to the economic and military power of the most advanced capitalist countries. The first country to pass through a successful socialist revolution was Russia, and this was not only not anticipated by Marx and Engels but would have been impossible under conditions which existed during the lifetime of their generation.

    Why were Marx and Engels mistaken on this issue? We must examine this question carefully, both because it is an important issue in its own right and because it is the source of many misconceptions.

    At first sight, it might appear that the mistake of Marx and Engels consisted in not providing explanatory principles adequate to account for the Russian Revolution. But we do not believe that this reaches the heart of the problem. It is, of course, true, as we pointed out above, that during the 1870s and 1880s Marx and Engels denied the possibility of a socialist revolution in Russia. But at that time they were perfectly right, and it is not inconsistent to record this fact and at the same time to assert that the pattern and timing of the Russian Revolution were in accord with the principles of the Manifesto. What is too often forgotten is that between 1880 and World War I, capitalism developed extremely rapidly in the empire of the tsars. In 1917 Russia was still, on the whole, a relatively backward country; but she also possessed some of the largest factories in Europe and a working class which, in terms of numbers, degree of organisation, and quality of leadership, was almost entirely a product of the preceding three decades. Capitalism was certainly more highly developed in Russia in 1917 than it had been in Germany in 1848. Bearing this in mind, let us substitute “Russia” for “Germany” in a passage from the Manifesto already quoted above:

    The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Russia, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation and with a more developed proletariat than that of England was in the seventeenth, and of France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Russia will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.

    Clearly, what Marx and Engels had over-optimistically predicted for Germany in 1848 actually occurred in Russia 70 years later. What this means is that, given the fact that the socialist revolution had failed to materialise in the West, Russia was, even according to the theory of the Manifesto, a logical starting point.

    Furthermore, there is no contradiction between Marxian theory and the fact that the socialist revolution, having once taken place in Russia, spread first to relatively backward countries. For Marx and Engels fully recognised what might be called the possibility of historical borrowing. One consequence of the triumph of socialism anywhere would be the opening up of new paths to socialism elsewhere. Or, to put the matter differently, not all countries need go through the same stages of development; once one country has achieved socialism, other countries will have the possibility of abbreviating or skipping certain stages which the pioneer country had to pass through. There was obviously no occasion to discuss this question in the Manifesto, but it arose later on in connection with the debate among Russian socialists as to whether Russia would necessarily have to pass through capitalism on the way to socialism. In 1877 Marx sharply criticised a Russian writer who

    felt obliged to metamorphose my historical sketch (in Capital) of the genesis of capitalism in Western Europe into an historico-philosophical theory of the marche generale imposed by fate upon every people, whatever the historic circumstances in which it finds itself, in order that it may ultimately arrive at the form of economy which will ensure, together with the greatest expansion of the productive powers of social labour, the most complete development of man.
    Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, p. 354

    And Engels, in 1893, dealt with the specific point at issue in the Russian debate in the following terms:

    … no more in Russia than anywhere elswould it have been possible to develop a higher social form out of primitive agrarian communism unless — that higher form was already in existence in another country, so as to serve as a model. That higher form being, wherever it is historically possible, the necessary consequence of the capitalistic form of production and of the social dualistic antagonism created by it, it could not be developed directly out of the agrarian commune, unless in imitation of an example already in existence somewhere else. Had the West of Europe been ripe, 1860-70, for such a transformation, had that transformation then been taken in hand in England, France, etc., then the Russians would have been called upon to show what could have been made out of their commune, which was then more or less intact.
    Selected Correspondence, p. 515

    While this argument is developed in a particular context, it is clear that the general principle involved — the possibility of historical borrowing — applies to, say, China today. Unless both the theory and the actual practice of socialism had been developed elsewhere it is hardly likely that China would now be actually tackling the problem of transforming itself into a socialist society. But given the experience of western Europe (in theory) and of Russia (in both theory and practice), this is a logical and feasible course for the Chinese Revolution to take.

    Thus we must conclude that while of course Marx and Engels did not expect Russia to be the scene of the first socialist revolution, and still less could they look beyond and foretell that the next countries would be relatively backward ones, nevertheless both of these developments, coming as and when they did, are consistent with Marxian theory as worked out by the founders themselves. What, then, was the nature of their mistake?

    The answer, clearly, is that Marx and Engels were wrong in expecting an early socialist revolution in western Europe. What needs explaining is why the advanced capitalist countries did not go ahead, so to speak, “on schedule” but stubbornly remained capitalist until, and indeed long after, Russia, a latecomer to the family of capitalist nations, had passed through its own socialist revolution. In other words, how are we to explain the apparent paradox that, though in a broad historical sense socialism is undeniably the product o{ capitalism, nevertheless the most fully developed capitalist countries not only were not the first to go socialist but, as it now seems, may turn out to be the last? The Manifesto does not help us to answer this question; never in their own lifetime did Marx and Engels imagine that such a question might arise.
    The problem of the advanced capitalist countries

    To explain why the advanced capitalist countries have failed to go socialist in the 100 years since the publication of the Manifesto is certainly not easy, and we know of no satisfactory analysis which is specifically concerned with this problem. But it would be a poor compliment to the authors of the Manifesto, who have given us all the basic tools for an understanding of the nature of capitalism and hence for an understanding of our own epoch, to evade a problem because they themselves did not pose and solve it. Let us therefore indicate — as a stimulus to study and discussion rather than as an attempt at a definitive answer — what seem to us to be the main factors which have to be taken into account.

    If we consider the chief countries of Europe, certain things seem clear. First, even under conditions prevailing in the middle of the 19th Century, Marx and Engels underestimated the extent to which capitalism could still continue to expand in these countries.

    Second, and much more important, this “margin of expansibility” was vastly extended in the three or four decades preceding World War I by the development of a new pattern of imperialism which enabled the advanced countries to exploit the resources and manpower of the backward regions of the world to a previously unheard-of degree. As Lenin concisely put it in 1920: “Capitalism has grown into a world system of colonial oppression and of the financial strangulation of the overwhelming majority of the people of the world by a handful of ‘advanced’ countries.” (Collected Works, Vol. XIX, p. 87) (This development only began to take place toward the end of Marx’s and Engels’ lives, and it would have been little short of a miracle if they had been able to foresee all its momentous consequences.)

    Third, it was this new system of imperialism which brought western Europe out of the long depression of the 1870s and 1880s, gave capitalism a new lease on life, and enabled the ruling class to secure — by means of an astute policy of social reforms and concessions to the working class — widespread support from all sections of society.

    The other side of the imperialist coin was the awakening of the backward peoples, the putting into their hands of the moral, psychological, and material means by which they could begin the struggle for their political independence and their economic advancement.

    In all this development, it should be noted, Russia occupied a special place. The Russian bourgeoisie, or at least certain sections of it, participated in the expansion of imperialism, especially in the Middle and Far East. But on balance Russia was more an object than a beneficiary of imperialism. Hence few, if any, of the effects which imperialism produced in the West — amelioration of internal social conflicts, widespread class collaboration, and the like — appeared in Russia.

    To sum up: imperialism prolonged the life of capitalism in the West and turned what was a revolutionary working-class movement (as in Germany) or what might have become one (as in England) into reformist and collaborationist channels. It intensified the contradictions of capitalism in Russia. And it laid the foundations of a revolutionary movement in the exploited colonial and semi-colonial countries. Here, it seems to us, is the basic reason why the advanced capitalist countries of western Europe failed to fulfill the revolutionary expectations of the Manifesto. Here also is to be found an important part of the explanation of the role which Russia and the backward regions of the world have played and are playing in the world transition from capitalism to socialism.

    But, it may be objected, by the beginning of the 20th Century the United States was already the most advanced capitalist country, and the United States did not really become enmeshed in the imperialist system until World War I. Why did the United States not lead the way to socialism?

    Generally speaking, the answer to this question is well known. North America offered unique opportunities for the development of capitalism; the “margin of expansibility” in the late 19th Century was much greater than that enjoyed by the European countries even when account is taken of the new system of imperialism which was only then beginning to be put into operation. There is no space to enumerate and analyse the advantages enjoyed by this continent; the following list, compiled and commented upon by William Z. Foster in a recent article (“Marxism and American Exceptionalism”, Political Affairs, September 1947), certainly includes the most important: (1) absence of a feudal political national past, (2) tremendous natural resources, (3) a vast unified land area, (4) insatiable demand for labour power, (5) highly strategic location, and (6) freedom from the ravages of war.

    American capitalism, making the most of these advantages, developed a degree of productivity and wealth far surpassing that of any other capitalist country or region; and it offered opportunities for advancement to members of the working class which — at least up until the Great Depression of the 1930s — were without parallel in the history of capitalism or, for that matter, of any class society that ever existed. (On this point, see the article on “Socialism and American Labor”, by Leo Huberman, in the May 1949 issue of Monthly Review.) This does not mean, of course, that the United States economy was at any time free from the contradictions of capitalism; it merely means that American capitalism, in spite of these contradictions, has been able to reach a much higher level than the capitalist system of other countries. It also means that capitalism in this country could go — and actually has gone — further than in the European imperialist countries toward winning support for the system from all sections of the population, including the working class. It is thus not surprising that the United States, far from taking the place of western Europe as the leader of the world socialist revolution, has actually had a weaker socialist movement than any other developed capitalist country.

    We see that, for reasons which could hardly have been uncovered 100 years ago, capitalism has been able to dig in deep in the advanced countries of western Europe and America and to resist the rising tide of socialism much longer than Marx and Engels ever thought possible.

    Before we leave the problem of the advanced countries, however, a word of caution seems necessary. It ought to be obvious, though it often seems to be anything but, that to say that capitalism has enjoyed an unexpectedly long life in the most advanced countries is very different from saying that it will live forever. Similarly, to say that the western European and American working classes have so far failed to fulfill the role of “grave-diggers” of capitalism is not equivalent to asserting that they never will do so. Marx and Engels were certainly wrong in their timing, but we believe that their basic theory of capitalism and of the manner of its transformation into socialism remains valid and is no less applicable to western Europe and America than to other parts of the world.

    Present-day indications all point to this conclusion. Two world wars and the growth of the revolutionary movement in the backward areas have irrevocably undermined the system of imperialism which formerly pumped lifeblood into western European capitalism. The ruling class of the United States, threatened as never before by the peculiar capitalist disease of overproduction, is struggling, Atlas-like, to carry the whole capitalist world on its shoulders — and is showing more clearly every day that it has no idea how the miracle is to be accomplished.

    Are we to assume that the western European and American working classes are so thoroughly bemused by the past that they will never learn the lessons of the present and turn their eyes to the future? Are we to assume that, because capitalism was able to offer them concessions in its period of good fortune, they will be content to sink (or be blown up) with a doomed system?

    We refuse to make any such assumptions. We believe that the time is not distant when the working man of the most advanced, as well as of the most backward, countries will be compelled, in the words of the Manifesto, “to face with sober senses his real conditions of life and his relations with his kind.” And when he does, we have no doubt that he will choose to live under socialism rather than die under capitalism.
    Conclusion

    On the whole, the Manifesto has stood up amazingly well during its first 100 years. The theory of history, the analysis of capitalism, the prognosis of socialism, have all been brilliantly confirmed. Only in one respect — the view that socialism would come first in the most advanced capitalist countries — has the Manifesto been proved mistaken by experience. This mistake, moreover, is one which could hardly have been avoided in the conditions of 100 years ago. It is in no sense a reflection on the authors; it only shows that Engels was right when he insisted in his celebrated critique of Duhring that “each mental image of the world system is and remains in actual fact limited, objectively through the historical stage and subjectively through the physical and mental constitution of its maker.”

    How fortunate it would have been for mankind if the world socialist revolution had proceeded in accordance with the expectations of the authors of the Manifesto! How much more rapid and less painful the crossing would be if Britain or Germany or — best of all — the United States had been the first to set foot on the road! Only imagine what we in this country could do to lead the world into the promised land of peace and abundance if we could but control, instead of being dominated by, our vast powers of production!

    But, as Engels once remarked, “history is about the most cruel of all goddesses.” She has decreed that the world transition from capitalism to socialism, instead of being relatively quick and smooth, as it might have been if the most productive and civilised nations had led the way, is to be a long drawn-out period of intense suffering and bitter conflict.

    There is even a danger that in the heat of the struggle some of the finest fruits of the bourgeois epoch will be temporarily lost to mankind, instead of being extended and universalised by the spread of the socialist revolution. Intellectual freedom and personal security guaranteed by law — to name only the most precious — have been virtually unknown to the peoples who are now blazing the trail to socialism; in the advanced countries, they are seriously jeopardised by the fierce onslaughts of reaction and counter-revolution.

    No one can say whether they will survive the period of tension and strife through which we are now passing, or whether they will have to be rediscovered and recaptured in a more rational world of the future.

    The passage is dangerous and difficult, the worst may be yet to come. But there is no escape for the disillusioned, the timid, or the weary.

    Those who have mastered the message of the Manifesto and caught the spirit of its authors will understand that the clock cannot be turned back, that capitalism is surely doomed, and that the only hope of mankind lies in completing the journey to socialism with maximum speed and minimum violence.

    * This essay was written by Paul Sweezy in collaboration with his fellow editor of Monthly Review, Leo Huberman, and was first published as an editorial in the issue of August 1949.

    http://www.cpa.org.au/amr/38/amr38-06-communist-manifesto.html

  • Torcer

    Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” – Thomas Paine, Common Sense 1776

  • Torcer

    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

  • Torcer

    Red Terror
    The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as officially announced on September 2, 1918, by Yakov Sverdlov and ended in about October 1918.

    According to the Bolsheviks, the Red Terror was introduced in reply to White Terror. The stated purpose of this campaign was struggle with counter-revolutionaries considered to be enemies of the people. Many Russian communists openly proclaimed that Red Terror was needed for extermination of entire social groups or former “ruling classes.”

    Whatever the theoretical reason, the campaign was initiated after the assassination of Cheka leader, Moisei Uritsky and the attempted assassination of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.

    Later historians use the term to refer to the whole period of the Russian Civil War, initiating the use of terror as an important instrument of Soviet power. During this period the Gulag system came into existence. By the end of the Stalin regime, millions of Soviet citizens would be imprisoned or perish as a result.
    Purpose of the Soviet Red Terror

    Lenin had announced in advance that he would use terror to accomplish his revolutionary ends. In 1908 he had written of “real, nation-wide terror, which reinvigorates the country.”[1] Marxism-Leninism, Lenin’s revolutionary revision of Marx’s class struggle, made clear that they were in an all-out war with the “forces of reaction.”

    Bolshevik leader Grigory Zinoviev seemed to be advocating genocide when he declared in mid-September of 1918:

    To overcome of our enemies we must have our own socialist militarism. We must carry along with us 90 million out of the 100 million of Soviet Russia’s population. As for the rest, we have nothing to say to them. They must be annihilated.[2]

    For Marxism-Leninism, the major evidence of guilt was social class rather than actual deeds. Martin Latsis, chief of the Ukrainian Cheka, explained in newspaper “Red Terror:”

    Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused. That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror.[3]
    History

    The campaign of mass repressions was officially initiated as retribution for the assassination of Petrograd Cheka leader, Moisei Uritsky, and attempted assassination of Vladimir Lenin by Fanya Kaplan on August 30, 1918. While recovering from his wounds, Lenin instructed: “It is necessary—secretly and urgently to prepare the terror” [4] Even before the assassinations, Lenin was sending telegrams “to introduce mass terror” in Nizhny Novgorod in response to a suspected civilian uprising there, and “crush” landowners in Penza who protested, sometimes violently, to requisition of their grain by military detachments:[5]

    Comrades!… You must make example of these people. (1) Hang (I mean hang publicly, so that people see it) at least 100 kulaks, rich bastards, and known bloodsuckers. (2) Publish their names. (3) Seize all their grain. (4) Single out the hostages per my instructions in yesterday’s telegram.

    Five hundred “representatives of overthrown classes” were executed immediately by the Bolshevik communist government after the assassination of Uritsky.[6] The first official announcement of Red Terror, published in Izvestiya, “Appeal to the Working Class” on September 3, 1918, called for the workers to “crush the hydra of counterrevolution with massive terror! … anyone who dares to spread the slightest rumor against the Soviet regime will be arrested immediately and sent to concentration camp.”[5] This was followed by the decree “On Red Terror,” issued September 5, 1918, by the Cheka.

    On October 15, Chekist Gleb Bokiy, summing up the officially ended Red Terror, reported that in Petrograd 800 alleged enemies had been shot and another 6,229 imprisoned.[4] Casualties in the first two months were between 10,000 and 15,000 based on lists of summarily executed people published in newspaper “Cheka Weekly” and other official press.

    On March 16, 1919, all military detachments of the Cheka were combined in a single body, the Troops for the Internal Defense of the Republic which numbered 200,000 in 1921. These troops policed labor camps, ran the Gulag system, conducted requisitions of food, put down peasant rebellions, riots by workers, and mutinies in the Red Army, which was plagued by desertions.[5]

    One of the main organizers of the Red Terror for the Bolshevik government was 2nd Grade Army Commissar Yan Karlovich Berzin (1889-1938), whose real name was Kyuzis Peteris. He took part in the October Revolution and afterwards worked in the central apparatus of the Cheka. During the Red Terror, Berzin initiated the system of taking and shooting hostages to stop desertions and other “acts of disloyalty and sabotage.”[7] Chief of a special department of the Latvian Red Army (later the 15th Army), Berzin played a part in the suppression of the Russian sailors’ mutiny at Kronstadt in March 1921. He particularly distinguished himself in the course of the pursuit, capture, and liquidation of captured sailors.[7]
    Repressions against peasants

    The Internal Troops of Cheka and the Red Army practiced the terror tactics of taking and executing numerous hostages, often in connection with desertions of forcefully mobilized peasants. It is believed that more than 3 million deserters escaped from the Red Army in 1919 and 1920. Around 500,000 deserters were arrested in 1919 and close to 800,000 in 1920 by Cheka troops and special divisions created to combat desertions.[5] Thousands of deserters were killed, and their families were often taken hostage. According to Lenin’s instructions,

    After the expiration of the seven-day deadline for deserters to turn themselves in, punishment must be increased for these incorrigible traitors to the cause of the people. Families and anyone found to be assisting them in any way whatsoever are to be considered as hostages and treated accordingly.[5]

    In September 1918, only in twelve provinces of Russia, 48,735 deserters and 7,325 bandits were arrested, 1,826 were killed and 2,230 were executed. A typical report from a Cheka department stated:

    Yaroslavl Province, June 23, 1919. The uprising of deserters in the Petropavlovskaya volost has been put down. The families of the deserters have been taken as hostages. When we started to shoot one person from each family, the Greens began to come out of the woods and surrender. Thirty-four deserters were shot as an example.[5]

    During the suppression of the Tambov Rebellion, estimates suggest that around 100,000 peasant rebels and their families were imprisoned or deported and perhaps 15,000 executed.[8]

    This campaign marked the beginning of the Gulag, and some scholars have estimated that 70,000 were imprisoned by September, 1921. Conditions in these camps led to high mortality rates, and there were “repeated massacres.” The Cheka at the Kholmogory camp adopted the practice of drowning bound prisoners in the nearby Dvina river.[8] Occasionally, entire prisons were “emptied” of inmates via mass shootings prior to abandoning a town to White forces.[8]
    Repressions against Russian industrial workers

    On March 16, 1919, Cheka stormed the Putilov factory. More than 900 workers who went to a strike were arrested. More than 200 of them were executed without trial during the next few days. Numerous strikes took place in the spring of 1919 in cities of Tula, Orel, Tver, Ivanovo, and Astrakhan. The starving workers sought to obtain food rations matching those of Red Army soldiers. They also demanded the elimination of privileges for Communists, freedom of press, and free elections. All strikes were mercilessly suppressed by Cheka using arrests and executions.[5]

    In the city of Astrakhan, the strikers and Red Army soldiers who joined them were loaded onto barges and then thrown by the hundreds into the Volga with stones around their necks. Between 2,000 and 4,000 were shot or drowned from 12 to 14 of March 1919. In addition, the repression also claimed the lives of some 600 to 1,000 bourgeoisie. Recently published archival documents indicate this was the largest massacre of workers by the Bolsheviks before the suppression of the Kronstadt rebellion.[5]

    However, strikes continued. On January 1920, Lenin sent a telegram to a city of Izhevsk telling that “I am surprised that … you are not immediately executing large numbers of strikers for the crime of sabotage.”[5] On 6 June 1920, female workers in Tula who refused to work on Sunday were arrested and sent to labor camps. The refusal to work during the weekend was claimed to be a “counter-revolutionary conspiracy fomented by Polish spies.” The strikes were eventually stopped after a series of arrests, executions, and the taking of hostages.
    Atrocities of the Red Terror

    At these times, there were numerous reports that Cheka interrogators employed tortures of “scarcely believable barbarity.” Allegedly, people were tied to planks and slowly fed into furnaces; the skin was peeled off victims’ hands to produce “gloves”; naked people were rolled around in barrels studded with nails; “in Kiev, cages of rats were fixed to prisoners’ bodies and heated until the rats gnawed their way into the victims’ intestines.”[9]

    Executions took place in prison cellars or courtyards, or occasionally on the outskirts of town, during the Red Terror and Russian civil war. After the condemned were stripped of their clothing and other belongings, which were shared among the Cheka executioners, they were either machine-gunned in batches or dispatched individually with a revolver. Those killed in prison were usually shot in the back of the neck as they entered the execution cellar, which became littered with corpses and soaked with blood. Victims killed outside the town were conveyed bound and gagged by lorry to their place of execution, where they sometimes were made to dig their own graves.[10]

    According to Edvard Radzinsky, “it became a common practice to take a husband hostage and wait for his wife to come and purchase his life with her body.”[6] The Pyatigorsk Cheka organized a “day of Red Terror” to execute 300 people in one day. They ordered local Communist Party organizations to draw up execution lists. According to one of the Chekists, “this rather unsatisfactory method led to a great deal of private settling of old scores… In Kislovodsk, for lack of a better idea, it was decided to kill people who were in the hospital.”[5]

    Members of the clergy were subjected to particularly brutal abuse. According to documents cited by the late Alexander Yakovlev, then head of the Presidential Committee for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression, priests, monks and nuns were crucified, thrown into cauldrons of boiling tar, scalped, strangled, given Communion with melted lead and drowned in holes in the ice.[11] An estimated 3,000 were put to death in 1918 alone.[11]
    Interpretations by historians

    Some historians believe that Red Terror was necessary for Bolsheviks to stay in power because they had no popular support.[5][12] Bolsheviks received less than one quarter of the vote in elections for the Constituent Assembly held soon after the October Revolution.[13] Massive strikes by Russian workers were “mercilessly” suppressed during the Red Terror.

    Robert Conquest concluded that “unprecedented terror must seem necessary to ideologically motivated attempts to transform society massively and speedily, against its natural possibilities.”[13]

    Richard Pipes said that despotism and violence were the intrinsic properties of every Communist regime in the world.[12] He also argued that Communist terror follows from Marxism teaching that considers human lives as expendable material for construction of the brighter future society. He cited Marx who once wrote that “The present generation resembles the Jews whom Moses led through the wilderness. It must not only conquer a new world, it must also perish in order to make a room for the people who are fit for a new world.”[12]

    Edvard Radzinsky noted that Joseph Stalin himself wrote a nota bene, “Terror is the quickest way to new society” beside the following passage in a book by Marx: “There is only one way to shorten and ease the convulsions of the old society and the bloody birth pangs of the new—revolutionary terror.”[6]

    Marxist Karl Kautsky recognized that the Red Terror represented a variety of terrorism, because it was indiscriminate, intended to frighten the civilian population, and included taking and executing hostages. He said: “Among the phenomena for which Bolshevism has been responsible, Terrorism, which begins with the abolition of every form of freedom of the Press, and ends in a system of wholesale execution, is certainly the most striking and the most repellent of all.”[14]
    Historical significance of the Red Terror

    Initially referring to a period in September and October of 1918 during the Russian Civil War, many historians, beginning with Sergei Melgunov, apply this term to repressions for the whole period of the Civil War, 1918-1922.[15][5] The mass repressions were conducted without judicial process by the secret police, the Cheka,[6], together with elements of the Bolshevik military intelligence agency, the GRU.[7]

    The term “Red Terror” came from French Revolution[16] and was used to describe the last six weeks of the “Reign of Terror,” ending on July 28, 1794 (execution of Robespierre), to distinguish it from the subsequent period of the White Terror[17] (historically this period has been known as the Great Terror).

    The Red Terror was significant as the first of numerous Communist terror campaigns which followed in Russia and many other countries.[18] It also unleashed Russian Civil War according to historian Richard Pipes [12]. Menshevik Julius Martov wrote about Red Terror:

    The beast has licked hot human blood. The man-killing machine is brought into motion… But blood breeds blood… We witness the growth of the bitterness of the civil war, the growing bestiality of men engaged in it.[5]

    The term Red Terror came to refer to other campaigns of violence carried out by communist or communist-affiliated groups. Often, such acts were carried out in response to (and/or followed by) similar measures taken by the anti-communist side in the conflict.

    Examples of the usage of the term “Red Terrors” include

    Red Terror (Hungary) The executions of 590 people accused of involvement in the counterrevolutionary coup against the Hungarian Soviet Republic on June 24, 1919.
    Red Terror (Spain) during the Spanish Civil War.
    Red Terror (Ethiopia) during Mengistu Haile Mariam’s rule.
    In China, Mao Zedong wrote: “Red terror ought to be our reply to these counter-revolutionaries. We must, especially in the war zones and in the border areas, deal immediately, swiftly with every kind of counter-revolutionary activity.”[19]
    The Nandigram violence in Nandigram, West Bengal in November 2007 was called “Red Terror” by critics of the actions by the local administration alluding at the Communist Party of India ruling in West Bengal.[20] The situation was described as one of “Red Terror” by media.[21]

    See also

    Great Purges
    Khmer Rouge

    Notes

    ↑ Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (New York: Norton, 2000, ISBN 0393048187), 98.
    ↑ George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police (Oxford University Press, 1986, ISBN 0198228627), 114.
    ↑ Yevgenia Albats, The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia – Past, Present, and Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994, ISBN 0374527385).
    ↑ 4.0 4.1 Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West (Gardners Books, 2000, ISBN 0140284877), 34.
    ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Nicolas Werth, Karel Bartošek, Jean-Louis Panné, Jean-Louis Margolin, Andrzej Paczkowski, Stéphane Courtois, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (Harvard University Press, 1999, ISBN 0674076087).
    ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Edvard Radzinsky, Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia’s Secret Archives (Anchor, 1997, ISBN 0385479549), 152-155.
    ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Viktor Suvorov, Inside Soviet Military Intelligence (New York: Macmillan, 1984).
    ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Robert Gellately, Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe (Knopf, 2007, ISBN 1400040051).
    ↑ The KGB in Europe, 38.
    ↑ George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police (Oxford University Press, 1986, ISBN 0198228627), 199.
    ↑ 11.0 11.1 Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev, A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia (Yale University Press, 2002, ISBN 0300087608).
    ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Richard Pipes, Communism: A History (2001, ISBN 0812968646), 39.
    ↑ 13.0 13.1 Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century (2000, ISBN 0393048187), 101.
    ↑ Karl Kautsky, Terrorism and Communism, Chapter VIII, The Communists at Work, The Terror. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
    ↑ Serge Petrovich Melgunov, Red Terror in Russia (Hyperion, 1975, ISBN 088355187X).
    ↑ Jan ten Brink, J. Hedeman (trans.), “Robespierre and the Red Terror.” Retrieved February 19, 2009.
    ↑ Victorian Web, French Revolution Retrieved February 19, 2009.
    ↑ Andrew Christopher and Vasili Mitrokhin, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World (Basic Books, 2005, ISBN 0465003117).
    ↑ John K. Fairbank and Albert Feuerwerker (eds.), The Cambridge History of China (Cambridge University Press, 1986, ISBN 0521243386).
    ↑ BBC, BBC Article. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
    ↑ Times of India, Red terror continues Nandigram’s bylanes. Retrieved February 19, 2009.

    References

    Albats, Yevgenia. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia – Past, Present, and Future. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994. ISBN 0374527385
    Andrew, Christopher, and Vasili Mitrokhin. The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West. Gardners Books, 2000. ISBN 0140284877
    Conquest, Robert. Reflections on a Ravaged Century. New York: Norton, 2000. ISBN 0393048187
    Figes, Orlando. A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution: 1891–1924. Penguin, 1998. ISBN 014024364X
    Gellately, Robert. Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. Knopf, 2007. ISBN 1400040051
    Leggett, George. The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police. Oxford University Press, 1987, ISBN 0198228627
    Melgounov, Sergey Petrovich. The Red Terror in Russia. Westport, CT: Hyperion Press, 1975. ISBN 978-0883551875
    Pipes, Richard. Communism: A History. New York: Modern Library, 2001. ISBN 0812968646
    Radzinsky, Edvard. Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia’s Secret Archives. Anchor, 1997. ISBN 0385479549
    Suvurov, Viktor. Inside Soviet Military Intelligence. Macmillan, 1984. ISBN 0026155109
    Fairbank, John K., and Albert Feuerwerker (eds.). The Cambridge History of China. Cambridge University Press, 1986. ISBN 0521243386
    Werth, Nicolas, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Panne, Jean-Louis Margolin, Andrzej Paczkowski, Stephane Courtois. Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press, 1999. ISBN 0674076087
    Yakovlev, Alexander Nikolaevich. A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia. Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 0300087608

    External links

    All links retrieved July 6, 2015.

    Terrorism or Communism book by Leon Trotsky on the use of Red Terror.
    Down with the Death Penalty! by Yuliy Osipovich Martov, June/July 1918
    The Record of the Red Terror by Sergei Melgunov

    Credits

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    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Red_Terror

  • Torcer

    Gerrard Winstanley
    English social reformer
    Gerrard Winstanley, (baptized Oct. 10, 1609, Wigan, Lancashire, Eng.—died 1676) leader and theoretician of the group of English agrarian communists known as the Diggers, who in 1649–50 cultivated common land on St. George’s Hill, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, and at nearby Cobham until they were dispersed by force and legal harassment. They believed that land should be made available to the very poor.

    Of Lancashire origin, Winstanley was a cloth merchant in London until his business failed. In April 1649, in the revolutionary atmosphere of the Commonwealth period, he and William Everard took the lead in establishing the Digger colony, a timely project because of the unprecedented height of food prices in England. Although the colony ceased to exist in March 1650, Winstanley remained prominent as a pamphleteer, foreshadowing later communist and materialist ideas in his vigorous and racy prose.

    The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652), his sketch of a communist society, was dedicated to Oliver Cromwell. Winstanley believed that the English Civil War had been fought against the king, landlords, lawyers, and all who bought and sold, these being enemies of the landless and labouring poor, and against priests, whose preaching of heaven and hell diverted men from asserting their rights on Earth and who were an instrument of class rule. He was an advocate of universal religious toleration, and he would have replaced sermons by lectures on the natural sciences and on the English constitution. He died a Quaker in 1676.
    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gerrard-Winstanley

  • Torcer

    “Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.”

  • Torcer

    A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin

  • Torcer

    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill

  • Torcer

    “Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.”

    Utopian Socialism
    Links to the writings and biographies of Utopians and Marxist commentaries on them, and material on 20th century utopian movements and the use of utopian and dystopian visions in literature and political polemics.
    New Lanark

    Utopia – literally “nowheresville” – was the name of an imaginary republic described by Thomas More in which all social conflict and distress has been overcome. There have been many versions of Utopia over the years, many of them visions of socialist society. Although Marx and Engels defined their own socialism in opposition to Utopian Socialism (which had many advocates in the early nineteenth century), they had immense respect for the great Utopian socialists like Charles Fourier and Robert Owen.
    Part of street map of utopian idea

    By describing how people would live if everyone adhered to the socialist ethic, utopian socialism does three things: it inspires the oppressed to struggle and sacrifice for a better life, it gives a clear meaning to the aim of socialism, and it demonstrates how socialism is ethical, that is, that the precepts of socialism can be applied without excluding or exploiting anyone.
    Charles Fourier

    The problem with Utopian socialism is that it does not concern itself with how to get there, presuming that the power of its own vision is sufficient, or with who the agent of the struggle for socialism may be, and, instead of deriving its ideal from criticism of existing conditions, it plucks its vision readymade from the creator’s own mind. Over 40 versions of Utopia were published between 1700 and 1850. Engels makes special mention of Morelly’s Code of Nature

    See also Utopia in the Encyclopedia of Marxism.

    The Development of Utopian Socialism, Engels 1880
    The Utopists (1886) William Morris
    Early Utopian Imaginings
    Plato

    Plato (428-347 BCE) wrote The Republic in 360 BCE, an idealisation of a slave society with a rigid class system, divided between philosophers, warriors and commoners. Justice and social stability were ensured because everyone was assigned to a station in life appropriate to their interests and virtues. The structure of the Republic was an image of Plato’s conception of the structure of the human being: Reason, Spirit and Desire.

    Full text of The Republic from M.I.T. (360 BCE)
    Thomas More

    Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1515, looking forward to a world of individual freedom and equality governed by Reason, at a time when such a vision was almost inconceivable.

    “in Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full, no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that no man is poor, none in necessity, and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene and cheerful life, free from anxieties;”

    Full text of Thomas More’s Utopia (1515)

    See Thomas More and his Utopia, Karl Kautsky 1927
    Forward to Thomas More‘s Utopia William Morris 1893.
    Francesco Patrizi

    With the Reformation in Germany and numerous independent republics enjoying freedom in Northern Italy, modern, egalitarian ideas were spreading, and a number of Utopian ideas were published in the sixteenth century: – Antonio Doni’s humanist I mondi (1552), Francesco Patrizi’s La città felice (1553) and Tommaso Campanella’s La città del sole (1602)
    Fransic Bacon

    Francis Bacon’s scientific New Atlantis (1627) tells of a “lost civilisation” that lives in perfect harmony and peace. Their society is dedicated to the accumulation of knowledge and the study of science and nature, their division of labour being akin to that of a modern research institute, a social embodiment of the ideal of Reason.

    Full text of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis (1626)

    Every Utopia is in fact an expression, in the language of social institutions, of the creator’s own conception of Reason.

    A number of Christian writers expressed their vision of the Christian ethos in opposition to the Church of their time in the form of Christian Utopias. These include Antangil of “I.D.M.” (1616), Christianopolis of Johann Valentin Andrae (1619), and the Novae Solymae libri sex of Samuel Gott (1648).

    The Digger, Gerrard Winstanley outlined in detail an egalitarian utopia in which a Parliament elected by universal suffrage decides the law, and the law is enforced by unpaid officers of the state; everyone must work and egalitarianism is strictly enforced.

    Full text of Gerrard Winstanley’s The Law of Freedom (1652)

    James Harrington’s Common-Wealth of Oceana (1656) was based on universal land-ownership and was a militant republic dedicated to spreading its democratic system to the rest of the world. Harrington’s well-meaning vision almost landed him in prison and Cromwell banned it.

    Full text of James Harrington’s Oceana (1656)

    With the approach of the French Revolution, such works as Gabriel de Foigny’s Terre australe conue (1676) demonstrated the virtues of liberty. Francois Fénelon’s Télémaque (1699) extolled the simple life, somewhat in the spirit of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s state of nature, before private property introduced inequality and greed into human life. L’An 2440 by Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1770) anticipated the revolutionary ideas of the approaching Revolution.

    Comte Claude Henri Saint-Simon’s (1760-1825) Letters from an Inhabitant of Geneva to His Contemporaries (1803) proposes that the most eminent mathematicians and scientists be given responsibility for government.

    Charles Fourier’s vision of Utopia is based on the absolute suppression of individualism in favour of an all-pervasive collectivism. Fourier was probably responsible for more Utopian projects aimed at implementing his ideas than any other writer. See the Charles Fourier Archive.
    The French Revolution

    There is a strong sense in which The French Revolution was a Utopian experiment. The Decree establishing the Republican Calendar, beginning like Pol Pot from Year Zero and dividing the day into 10 hours, 1000 minutes, 100,000 seconds etc., gives a flavour of this utopianism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Among Men and The Social Contract (1762) provided the principles of Reason on which the constitution could be founded. The Terror which was the outcome of such a utopian project has been taken by many thinkers (Hegel, for example, in The Phenomenology of Spirit) as a warning against all forms of utopianism. Similar observations have been made about the Russian Revolution, but it would be more true to say that Utopianism is an element of every progressive social change and every revolution.
    Étienne Cabet

    G.A. Ellis’ New Britain (1820) and Étienne Cabet’s Voyage en Icarie (1840) expressed the vision of the experimental secular communities in the United States.
    Utopia as Satire

    Likewise, imaginary republics were used for the purpose of making a political point in a back-handed way. Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver’s Travels (1726) satirising the incompetence, hypocrisy and greed of the ruling elite of his day.
    Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), a member of the ruling elite in Victorian England and a high-ranking colonial official, wrote The Coming Race (1871) as a satirical parody on the American utopian movement. Samuel Butler (1835-1902) wrote the futuristic Erewhon (1872) in response, satirising the injustices of Victorian England by describing a society in which all the laws, moral prejuduces and conceptions of science are turned into their opposite.

    Full text of Edward Bulwer’s The Coming Race (1871).

    Full text of Samuel Butler’s Erewhon (1872).
    Socialist Utopias
    William Morris

    News from Nowhere, tells of a society which has in some sense reverted to an agricultural and handicraft one. The special interest of Morris’s story is that he lays out a scenario for the class struggle in which the working class breaks from “State Socialism” and the social-democratic conception of a “minimum program” of gradual reforms and a “maxiumum program” consigned to an indefinite future. News from Nowhere offers a solution for attaining genuine workers democracy.

    Full text of News from Nowhere, William Morris (1890).
    Edward Beallamy

    Edward Bellamy tells of a Rip van Winkle who wakes in the year 2000 to discover that Socialism has been establised. Bellamy’s description of socialist society is probably the most developed expression of the social-democratic vision of social progress. By means of the futuristic device Bellamy does not present an isolated republic to the imagination, but a modern industrial world which has been transformed by socialist cooperation.

    Looking Backward, 2000-1887, Edward Bellamy (1888).
    H G Wells

    In the 20th century, H.G. Wells extended the Utopian idea through the new medium of Science Fiction.

    A Modern Utopia (1905) not only presents the virtues of socialism, but is a reflection on the tradition of Utopian socialism.

    Full text of A Modern Utopia, H.G. Wells (1905)

    Utopian writing has also been used to promote other emancipatory visions, such as feminism.

    See Herland, Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman (1935)

    Socialist Utopian Experiments
    Robert Owen

    Robert Owen (1771-1851) set about putting Utopian ideas into practice by building a model township called New Lanark based on his own mills. Owen persuaded a group on the way to America to abandon their journey and come to work in his mill instead. The environs, the wages and conditions and the education provided for the children was more than a century ahead of his time. (New Lanark is preserved as a tourist site.)

    A New View of Society, Robert Owen (1816)

    Robert Owen’s New Harmony, founded in the U.S. in 1825 was a cooperative rather than communist society, sponsored the first kindergarten, the first trade school, the first free library, and the first community-supported public school in the US. Engels described Harmony Hall in the Chartist papers in 1844:

    Description of Recently Founded Communist Colonies

    Between 1841 and 1859, about 28 colonies were established in the United States by followers of Charles Fourier (Le nouveau monde industriel, 1829).

    The Icarians, followers of Étienne Cabet, established ill-fated communities in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and California. After the American Civil War the enthusiasm for secular utopian experiments waned.

    “New Australia” was created in the 1890s, when 500 Australian socialists led by William Lane went into the Paraguayan jungle to found a commune based on socialist principles, and their descendants live in Paraguay to this day.
    See the report of this experience by William Lane’s brother, Ernest Lane: The Cosme Experience.

    There were other such settlements in the 1890s, inspired by Laurence Gronlund’s The Cooperative Commonwealth (1884) and Bellamy’s Looking Backward, but with the rapid expansion of the Second International in late 1880s, Utopianism gave way to political, social-democratic socialism.

    Utopian religious communities continue to this day, usually short-lived, invariably centred around one powerful personality and his disciples, declining after his death.
    Twentieth Century Communes

    The Great Depression (1930-1939) put millions of workers on to the scrap heap. Many became itinerant bums, others turned to petty crime, but many took the opportunity to build an alternative. In Australia and other countries where land was available, hundreds of Communes were set up, based on Communist ideals and a subsistence economy. Despite personality clashes between their often head-strong leaders, many were successful. The police broke up those which could not be crushed economically, and the onset of the Second World War brought the movement to a close.

    During the 1960s and 70s, Hippy communes (“intentional communities”) were set up in many parts of the world. The majority of these were not serious social experiments, and most fell victim to personality clashes or exaggerated dependence on one individual, but some were successful and survive in good health to this day. The younger generation, educated in the “new social movements” has been brought up with sophisticated techniques for conflict resolution and consensus decision-making and work well.

    Most “intentional communities” in existence today are based on variations of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon’s political economy, varying from little more than gated villages to LETS (Local Employment Trading Schemes) barter systems to worker-cooperatives like Mondragon. The principal difference between these projects and communism, is that they pre-suppose an “opting-out” from the problems of modern society, rather than any attempt to challenge the power of multi-national capitalism. Nevertheless, those which are successful continue to provide a counter-example to capitalist society.
    Dystopia

    The opposite of “Utopia” is “Dystopia” (as in “dysfunction”). Dystopian visions are used to issue warnings about dangers within society or to demonstrate the absurdity of the dominant ideology of the day by following the idea through to its “logical conclusion.”
    George Orwell

    H. G. Wells’ Time Machine (1895) warned of the dangers of growing inequality and demonstrated the dangers of class society by projecting class divisions forward to their limit.
    Jack London

    Dystopian novels appeared throughout the twentieth century. Among these are The Iron Heel (1907) by Jack London, My (1924) and We (1925) by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley, and Nineteen Eighty-four (1949) by George Orwell. The concept of Dystopia is a frequent theme for movies such as Matrix, Mad Max, etc.

    Aldous Huxley

    It is said people today find it easier to imagine a global disaster than any real improvement in social conditions, let alone Utopia. So, Dystopia is an effective ideological weapon, while the postmodern distrust of progress makes Utopias unconvincing to most people in modern capitalist societies. This was not always the case however, and Utopian visions have been powerful levers for action in the past.

    See Ernst Bloch Archive

    See Minimum Utopia: Ten Theses, Normas Geras (2000)
    https://www.marxists.org/subject/utopian/

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    A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin

    Utopian Socialism
    Links to the writings and biographies of Utopians and Marxist commentaries on them, and material on 20th century utopian movements and the use of utopian and dystopian visions in literature and political polemics.

    Utopia – literally “nowheresville” – was the name of an imaginary republic described by Thomas More in which all social conflict and distress has been overcome. There have been many versions of Utopia over the years, many of them visions of socialist society. Although Marx and Engels defined their own socialism in opposition to Utopian Socialism (which had many advocates in the early nineteenth century), they had immense respect for the great Utopian socialists like Charles Fourier and Robert Owen.
    Part of street map of utopian idea

    By describing how people would live if everyone adhered to the socialist ethic, utopian socialism does three things: it inspires the oppressed to struggle and sacrifice for a better life, it gives a clear meaning to the aim of socialism, and it demonstrates how socialism is ethical, that is, that the precepts of socialism can be applied without excluding or exploiting anyone.
    Charles Fourier

    The problem with Utopian socialism is that it does not concern itself with how to get there, presuming that the power of its own vision is sufficient, or with who the agent of the struggle for socialism may be, and, instead of deriving its ideal from criticism of existing conditions, it plucks its vision readymade from the creator’s own mind. Over 40 versions of Utopia were published between 1700 and 1850. Engels makes special mention of Morelly’s Code of Nature

    See also Utopia in the Encyclopedia of Marxism.

    The Development of Utopian Socialism, Engels 1880
    The Utopists (1886) William Morris

    Early Utopian Imaginings

    https://www.marxists.org/glossary/people/m/o.htm#more-thomas

    Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1515, looking forward to a world of individual freedom and equality governed by Reason, at a time when such a vision was almost inconceivable.

    “in Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full, no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that no man is poor, none in necessity, and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene and cheerful life, free from anxieties;”

    Full text of Thomas More’s Utopia (1515)
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/more/works/utopia/index.html

    See Thomas More and his Utopia, Karl Kautsky 1927
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1888/more/index.htm

    Forward to Thomas More‘s Utopia William Morris 1893.
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/works/1893/utopia.htm

    With the Reformation in Germany and numerous independent republics enjoying freedom in Northern Italy, modern, egalitarian ideas were spreading, and a number of Utopian ideas were published in the sixteenth century: – Antonio Doni’s humanist I mondi (1552), Francesco Patrizi’s La città felice (1553) and Tommaso Campanella’s La città del sole (1602)
    Fransic Bacon

    Francis Bacon’s scientific New Atlantis (1627) tells of a “lost civilisation” that lives in perfect harmony and peace. Their society is dedicated to the accumulation of knowledge and the study of science and nature, their division of labour being akin to that of a modern research institute, a social embodiment of the ideal of Reason.

    Full text of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis (1626)

    Every Utopia is in fact an expression, in the language of social institutions, of the creator’s own conception of Reason.

    A number of Christian writers expressed their vision of the Christian ethos in opposition to the Church of their time in the form of Christian Utopias. These include Antangil of “I.D.M.” (1616), Christianopolis of Johann Valentin Andrae (1619), and the Novae Solymae libri sex of Samuel Gott (1648).

    The Digger, Gerrard Winstanley outlined in detail an egalitarian utopia in which a Parliament elected by universal suffrage decides the law, and the law is enforced by unpaid officers of the state; everyone must work and egalitarianism is strictly enforced.

    Full text of Gerrard Winstanley’s The Law of Freedom (1652)

    James Harrington’s Common-Wealth of Oceana (1656) was based on universal land-ownership and was a militant republic dedicated to spreading its democratic system to the rest of the world. Harrington’s well-meaning vision almost landed him in prison and Cromwell banned it.

    Full text of James Harrington’s Oceana (1656)

    With the approach of the French Revolution, such works as Gabriel de Foigny’s Terre australe conue (1676) demonstrated the virtues of liberty. Francois Fénelon’s Télémaque (1699) extolled the simple life, somewhat in the spirit of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s state of nature, before private property introduced inequality and greed into human life. L’An 2440 by Louis-Sébastien Mercier (1770) anticipated the revolutionary ideas of the approaching Revolution.

    Comte Claude Henri Saint-Simon’s (1760-1825) Letters from an Inhabitant of Geneva to His Contemporaries (1803) proposes that the most eminent mathematicians and scientists be given responsibility for government.

    Charles Fourier’s vision of Utopia is based on the absolute suppression of individualism in favour of an all-pervasive collectivism. Fourier was probably responsible for more Utopian projects aimed at implementing his ideas than any other writer. See the Charles Fourier Archive.
    The French Revolution

    There is a strong sense in which The French Revolution was a Utopian experiment. The Decree establishing the Republican Calendar, beginning like Pol Pot from Year Zero and dividing the day into 10 hours, 1000 minutes, 100,000 seconds etc., gives a flavour of this utopianism. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin of Inequality Among Men and The Social Contract (1762) provided the principles of Reason on which the constitution could be founded. The Terror which was the outcome of such a utopian project has been taken by many thinkers (Hegel, for example, in The Phenomenology of Spirit) as a warning against all forms of utopianism. Similar observations have been made about the Russian Revolution, but it would be more true to say that Utopianism is an element of every progressive social change and every revolution.
    Étienne Cabet

    G.A. Ellis’ New Britain (1820) and Étienne Cabet’s Voyage en Icarie (1840) expressed the vision of the experimental secular communities in the United States.

    Socialist Utopias

    News from Nowhere, tells of a society which has in some sense reverted to an agricultural and handicraft one. The special interest of Morris’s story is that he lays out a scenario for the class struggle in which the working class breaks from “State Socialism” and the social-democratic conception of a “minimum program” of gradual reforms and a “maxiumum program” consigned to an indefinite future. News from Nowhere offers a solution for attaining genuine workers democracy.

    Full text of News from Nowhere, William Morris (1890).
    Edward Beallamy

    Edward Bellamy tells of a Rip van Winkle who wakes in the year 2000 to discover that Socialism has been establised. Bellamy’s description of socialist society is probably the most developed expression of the social-democratic vision of social progress. By means of the futuristic device Bellamy does not present an isolated republic to the imagination, but a modern industrial world which has been transformed by socialist cooperation.

    Looking Backward, 2000-1887, Edward Bellamy (1888).
    H G Wells

    In the 20th century, H.G. Wells extended the Utopian idea through the new medium of Science Fiction.

    A Modern Utopia (1905) not only presents the virtues of socialism, but is a reflection on the tradition of Utopian socialism.

    Full text of A Modern Utopia, H.G. Wells (1905)

    Utopian writing has also been used to promote other emancipatory visions, such as feminism.

    See Herland, Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman (1935)

    Socialist Utopian Experiments
    Robert Owen (1771-1851) set about putting Utopian ideas into practice by building a model township called New Lanark based on his own mills. Owen persuaded a group on the way to America to abandon their journey and come to work in his mill instead. The environs, the wages and conditions and the education provided for the children was more than a century ahead of his time. (New Lanark is preserved as a tourist site.)

    A New View of Society, Robert Owen (1816)
    https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/owen/index.htm

    Robert Owen’s New Harmony, founded in the U.S. in 1825 was a cooperative rather than communist society, sponsored the first kindergarten, the first trade school, the first free library, and the first community-supported public school in the US. Engels described Harmony Hall in the Chartist papers in 1844:

    Description of Recently Founded Communist Colonies
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/10/15.htm

    Between 1841 and 1859, about 28 colonies were established in the United States by followers of Charles Fourier (Le nouveau monde industriel, 1829).

    The Icarians, followers of Étienne Cabet, established ill-fated communities in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and California. After the American Civil War the enthusiasm for secular utopian experiments waned.
    https://www.marxists.org/subject/utopian/

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    NEW HARMONY
    Robert Owen was the preeminent utopian thinker of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A factory owner, he was influenced by industrialization in his native Scotland and the utilitarian philosophy of his friend and business partner, Jeremy Bentham. He purchased the Harmony land and buildings from the Rappites to establish the first socialist commune organized on the principle of rational ethics and not religion.

    Owen rebelled against the “trinity of evils:” private property, irrational systems of religion, and marriage founded on property and religion. He developed a plan of progressive paternalism in his commune at “New” Harmony– curfews, house inspections, and fines for drunkenness and illegitimate children. He equated happiness with docility, and as a result was criticized for condescending to the working class.

    Owen introduced the trade school to the US, stressing practical training and character building rather than classical education. But Owen’s character indoctrination irked many parents who rarely saw their children during their years of schooling when Owen would “shield children from the unwanted negative influence of their parents and families.” And although Owen stressed gender equality, girls only studied home economics and had little influence in the politics of New Harmony.

    Owen’s naïve belief in the power of rational humanism was eventually denigrated by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels; but Engels once wrote of Owen that, in the early 18th century, all social movements and all real advance made in England in the interest of the working class were associated with Robert Owen’s name.
    http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/exhibitions/utopia/uc07.html

    Indiana’s attempt at utopia: New Harmony
    Through hard work and clean living, George Rapp promised his followers the keys to the kingdom of heaven.

    Arriving in June 1814, they toiled tirelessly, turning trees into lumber and clay from the banks of the Wabash River into bricks with which to build Harmonie, a commune of nearly 800 devoutly religious souls.

    To please God, they abstained from sex. But the greatly anticipated second coming of Christ never came.

    Following a particular Bible passage from Revelation, Rapp and his flock left southwest Indiana in 1824, selling the town site and its 180 buildings to Robert Owen, who changed the name to New Harmony. A progressive and secular Scotsman, Owen based his communal concept not on religious ideology but on education for the masses.

    Both Owen and Rapp were trying to create a utopian society. By scholarly standards, both failed. Still, fast-forwarding 200 years, visitors often get a unique vibe that’s a bit difficult to describe.

    “They’ll say, ‘I got a feeling when I drove into town. Time stood still. Pressure was suspended,'” said Connie Weinzapfel, director of Historic New Harmony. “I hear that all the time.”

    “They say the veil between heaven and earth is very thin here,” added Linda Warrum, a Town Council member who doubles as a tour guide. “You can’t see it and you can’t touch it, but you can feel it.”

    Even people who pooh-pooh such concepts are likely to have an affinity for this town, whose population still hovers around 800. With a bevy of bicentennial celebrations planned, this summer is an ideal time to visit New Harmony, where roughly 30 of the original buildings remain. Many can be visited on organized tours, while others, including the Epple and Lauple houses, provide uncommon lodging opportunities.

    Walking tours begin at the Atheneum visitor center, a marvel of modern architecture considerately sited a couple of blocks away from the historic structures. Another good way to explore is by golf cart. Weinzapfel enthusiastically encourages visitors to get out of their cars and onto the carts. In fact, she’s among about 120 locals who use such vehicles on a regular basis.

    “It changes your whole dynamic of how you interact with people,” she said.

    Regardless of how you get around, the Harmonist Labyrinth on the south edge of town is an important stop.

    Made of concentric circles of privet hedge, the labyrinth replicates one planted in the early 1800s.

    “It symbolized life’s journey (was) not easy,” said Amanda Bryden, who manages the property as a state historic site.

    It takes about an hour to reach the small stone temple in the center. Those in a hurry can use wooden gates that provide shortcuts. Inside the temple, built as a place of meditation, several Harmonie Society quotations are shared.

    “We endure and suffer, labor and toil, sow and reap, with and for each other.”

    Inside the David Lenz House, built in about 1820, visitors can see the comfortable yet simple conditions in which Harmonists lived not as husbands, wives and children but as “brothers and sisters.”

    “They were millennialists. They thought they were the chosen people,” Weinzapfel explained. “They were trying to perfect themselves for the second coming of Christ, when they would be taken to the New Jerusalem.”

    Neither of the two Harmonist churches remains. In the center of town, on the site at which both stood, is Church Park. Visitors enter via a replica of the Door of Promise, through which Rapp’s believers entered a large brick house of worship.

    Their strict interpretation of the Bible went out the proverbial window with the arrival of Robert Owen and his followers, many of whom traveled down the Ohio River and then up the Wabash aboard a flatboat known as the Boatload of Knowledge. They erected four large dormitories in which all single people 14 and older lived.

    Two of the four structures remain. The three-story Community House No. 2 contains exhibits and artifacts detailing life during Rapp’s and Owen’s experiments to take life to a higher plane.

    Owen and colleague Robert Maclure were attempting to achieve what they called a Community of Equality. Some of their beliefs were, at the time, considered radical. They denounced slavery and supported equal rights for women.

    To help inform residents and promote his values, Maclure founded the Working Men’s Institute in 1838. In a mission statement, it was described as “the disseminator of useful knowledge to working men and their families.”

    The same mission still applies. The institute, now housed in a hulking brick building erected in 1894, includes the public library and a museum. The climate-controlled archives document what Weinzapfel described as “intentional communities,” those early efforts to create an earthly Eden.

    “That desire for community is universal and timeless,” Weinzapfel mused. “I think that is the thing that connects New Harmony today to this history of intentional communities.”

    ctc-travel@tribune.com

    If you go

    Getting there: New Harmony is roughly a five-hour drive south of Chicago. Unlike most of Indiana, this corner of the state is in the Central time zone.

    Visiting there: The Atheneum visitor center (401 N. Arthur St.; 800-231-2168; visitnewharmony.com) is open daily year-round. A short film details New Harmony’s history; a large diorama on the second floor depicts the original town of Harmonie. This is also where to arrange a guided tour or golf cart rental.

    A summer of bicentennial events climax in August. A full calendar can be found online: newharmony-in.gov/map-calendar.php.

    Staying there: Most overnight visitors opt for the New Harmony Inn (504 North St.; 800-782-8605; newharmonyinn.com). Information regarding stays in historic homes can be obtained from the visitor center.

    Eating there: Hearty casual meals can be found at Sara’s Harmony Way (500 Church St.; 812-682-3611; sarasharmonyway.com). Quality fine dining is available at the Inn’s Red Geranium restaurant (812-682-4431).
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-trav-0629-new-harmony-indiana-20140627-22-story.html

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    President Obama Isn’t Taking People’s Guns—But Maybe He Should (D-luisinal)
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3380881/posts

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    President Obama Isn’t Taking People’s Guns—But Maybe He Should (D-luisinal)
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3380881/posts

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    Media offers “helpful” suggestions for next gun-control actions http://hotair.com/archives/2016/01/07/media-offers-helpful-suggestions-for-next-gun-control-actions/

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    Media offers “helpful” suggestions for next gun-control actions http://hotair.com/archives/2016/01/07/media-offers-helpful-suggestions-for-next-gun-control-actions/

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    Second Amendment Racist, Says Daily Beast | Truth Revolt: http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/second-amendment-racist-says-daily-beast

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    Newspaper Editor Wants Law Abiding Gun Owners TREATED LIKE SEX OFFENDERS https://shar.es/16eZwl via @sharethis

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    Second Amendment Racist, Says Daily Beast | Truth Revolt: http://www.truthrevolt.org/news/second-amendment-racist-says-daily-beast

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    Newspaper Editor Wants Law Abiding Gun Owners TREATED LIKE SEX OFFENDERS https://shar.es/16eZwl via @sharethis

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    The Real Reason Americans Oppose Gun Control – http://thefederalist.com/2016/01/06/the-real-reason-americans-oppose-gun-control/ via @FDRLST

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    The Real Reason Americans Oppose Gun Control – http://thefederalist.com/2016/01/06/the-real-reason-americans-oppose-gun-control/ via @FDRLST

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    Progressive Rag: “Forget The 2nd Amendment” https://shar.es/16ZZCs via @gatewaypundit

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    Progressive Rag: “Forget The 2nd Amendment” https://shar.es/16ZZCs via @gatewaypundit

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    ‘For reals!’ New Republic applauds Obama for ‘changing the debate on guns’ http://twitchy.com/2016/01/09/for-reals-new-republic-applauds-obama-for-changing-the-debate-on-guns/

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    ‘For reals!’ New Republic applauds Obama for ‘changing the debate on guns’ http://twitchy.com/2016/01/09/for-reals-new-republic-applauds-obama-for-changing-the-debate-on-guns/

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    Senator Hubert H. Humphrey,
    Comm.: Foreign Relations Minnesota
    Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be very carefully used, and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.

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    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.“
    Ronald Reagan

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    “If representatives betray their constituents, there is no recourse left
    but in the exertion of that right of self-defense”…
    – Hamilton

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    Robert Owen and New Harmony
    Robert Owen and New Harmony

    Robert Owen has been called the ‘father of English Socialism’ and was the product of self-help; a paternalist. A very practical man, he concentrated on the means to the end. He believed that if the working man ever was to achieve equality, then the man must change first – in attitude. Also, the working man had to know of, believe in and be equipped to fight for the cause, according to Owen. This is very much the self-help ethic.

    Owen’s was a very individualistic socialism: he advocated social changes because he was trying to create a changed working man. This differs from philanthropy, which ‘gives’ things to the working man. Owen became convinced that the advancement of humankind could be furthered by the improvement of every individual’s personal environment. He reasoned that since character was moulded by circumstances, then improved circumstances would lead to goodness. The environment at New Lanark, where he tried out his ideas, reflected this philosophy, as did his work at New Harmony. However, Owen was more devoted to his ideals than to any human being and had a greater love for mankind in the mass than for any individual. Owen forgot, at times, that ‘mankind’ was made up of individuals and so he failed.

    In 1824 Owen heard from an Englishman in America who had visited the 30,000 acre estate of Braxfield on the Wabash river in Illinois and Indiana. It belonged to a German colony which had emigrated from Würtemberg in 1804 under the guidance of a Lutheran teacher called Rapp. They combined business energy with their religious views and had prospered at the place they called ‘Harmony’ from which they now wished to move. Owen sailed for America in the autumn of 1824; in April 1825 he bought the village and 20,000 acres of land for £30,000. On his way to Harmony, Owen was invited to give two addresses in the Hall of Representatives in Washington, which were attended by the president and other officials. Owen then went on to Harmony, where nine hundred people soon assembled and a provisional committee of management was appointed.

    Owen returned to England in 1825 but made further journeys to New Harmony at the end of the same year, and again in the winters of 1826-7 and 1827-8. A ‘communist’ constitution was framed on 5 February 1826 and Owen was asked to manage the affairs for a year, although he had intended a longer period of probation. Communities sprang up in imitation at various places, and several were grouped round New Harmony. A Mr. Maclure founded a school system on a large scale. Difficulties, however, soon arose. In the community, inexperienced Zealots mingled in uneasy partnership with experienced rascals and the collection of colonists gradually gave up their communism. On his visits Owen did his best to patch things up and gave large sums of money even though he found that the communities had deserted his principles. Iin 1828 he finally broke off his connection with the place, leaving the communities to do as they pleased.

    Owen spent over £40,000 on this experiment: he had given his sons – Robert and William – two shares in the New Lanark propertybut they turned these over to him when his funds ran low. Eventually, he willed them the New Harmony property, keeping an annuity of £300 for himself, which for many years was his only means of support. since the rest had been spent on his various philanthropical enterprises and publications. By 1827 New Harmony was a failure in all respects and the world took note.

    While in England in the summer of 1828, Owen received a request for help in setting up a community from some people who had been granted land in Texas by the Mexican government. Owen sailed on 22 November 1828 with introductions to the Mexican authorities, and was received with high honours by President Victoria. He was told that congress would grant him land that was 150 miles wide that stretched through 13¾° of latitude – it was only necessary to change the law which made profession of catholicism necessary in Mexican territory. In the winter of 1828 a new party came into power and no more was heard of the grant to Owen who returned by the United States. Owen held a public discussion at Cincinnati on 1 April 1829, dined with President Jackson and the secretary of state, Van Buren and brought back pacific messages from them to the English foreign secretary, Lord Aberdeen, who gave him an interview.
    http://www.historyhome.co.uk/peel/social/owennewh.htm

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    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.“
    Ronald Reagan

    Santa Claus & the Soviet Empire – Communism in Seinfeld.wmv
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6PdecBn2no
    ===================================
    ===============================================================

    The Race
    Transcribed by The NewsGuy(Mike) – with help from Dave(ratboy)
    CAST
    ======
    Todd Kimsey [ Ned ] Renee Props [ Lois ]
    [Elaine’s Apartment]
    ELAINE: So how was work? Another day, another dollar?
    NED: I guess.
    ELAINE: Oh well nothing wrong with that. Gotta make those big bucks. . . . money money money money money money money . . . ha ha ha ha ah . . . are you a communist?
    NED: Yes, as a matter of fact I am.
    ELAINE: OH, AH! OH! WOW! WHOA! A COMMIE! Wow, gee, man it must be a bummer for you guys what with the fall of the soviet empire and everything .
    NED: Yeah, well, we still got China, and Cuba,
    ELAINE: Yeah, but come on . . .
    NED: I know it’s not the same.
    ELAINE: Well, you had a good run, what was it 75, 80 years? Wreaking havoc, making everybody nervous.

    NED: Yeah, we had a good run.
    ELAINE: Well, so enjoy yourself. (clink glasses) ha ha uh ha
    http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheRace.html

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    Definition of oxymoronic
    adjective
    See oxymoron
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/oxymoronic

    ———————————————————-

    Definition of oxymoronically
    adverb
    In an oxymoronic manner; incongruously.
    Origin
    Early 20th century; earliest use found in Max Beerbohm (1872–1956), caricaturist and writer. From oxymoron + -ically.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/oxymoronically

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    Datos, ne quisquam seruiat, enses. (The sword was given for this, that none need live a slave.) – Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

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    One man with a gun can control 100 without one. Vladimir Lenin

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    Datos, ne quisquam seruiat, enses. (The sword was given for this, that none need live a slave.) – Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

    paradise
    noun. land, feeling of great pleasure; absence of evil

    Arcadia
    Eden
    Promised Land
    Shangri-la

    Zion
    ballpark
    bliss
    cloud nine

    delight
    divine abode
    felicity
    happy hunting ground

    heaven
    heavenly kingdom
    kingdom come
    next world

    pearly gates
    utopia
    wonderland
    http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/utopia

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    Chomsky’s Economics
    01/06/2003James Ostrowski
    Aside from Noam Chomsky’s work as a linguist, he is a great critic of US foreign policy, the corporate state, and the media establishment. There is much to criticize in these spheres and Chomsky does so prolifically. He is so prolific a critic that we are inevitably drawn to the question, “What is Noam Chomsky for?” It is difficult to discern this from his essays and remarks which are overfilled with analysis and criticism.

    Why should we care what Chomsky, or any critic, is for? Simply because if we get rid of that which the critic criticizes, and install the critic’s favored form of regime, it just might be worse! To so conclude does not and would not justify the status quo; it would merely point us away from a particular alternative to the status quo.

    It turns out that figuring out what Chomsky is for is not easy. He just doesn’t say much about it. He doesn’t like what we have now. He disfavors Stalinism and fascism. He despises the libertarian alternative to the present regime, which he calls American libertarianism. So he is not for a minimal state, anarcho-capitalism, or a free market.

    He describes Murray Rothbard’s vision of a libertarian society as “so full of hate that no human being would want to live in it.” (I will not attempt to dissect this insane remark here except to note how the “anti-authoritarian” Chomsky purports to speak for all human beings.) He is against any form of capitalism. It goes without saying that he is not a political conservative. But he has repeatedly denounced “Marxism”1 and fiscal Keynesianism and protectionism as well2.

    What is left? Not much. Chomsky uses the following terms to define himself: libertarian, libertarian socialist, anarchist, and anarcho-syndicalist. It is not clear what any of this means, which is just as well for Chomsky. If it isn’t clear what he is for, it is difficult to criticize it. But I will try anyway.

    Chomsky follows Marx in opposing the private ownership of the means of production, which he believes permits “elite groups” to :”command resources, based ultimately on their control of the private economy,” and ends up excluding the public from “basic decisions concerning production and work.”3

    Let’s stop right there. As Ayn Rand so eloquently argued, the ultimate means of production is the human mind. Chomsky of course doesn’t want to abolish the private ownership of our minds (I hope.) What he means is hard capital: machines, buildings and so on. One would think that if private persons and business concerns cannot own these things, the state will do so. We call that state socialism. Chomsky apparently is against that too.

    So, if the state isn’t going to own income-producing property, and private concerns are not going to own it, who is going to own it? Apparently, and this all very fuzzy, the means of production will somehow be collectively owned by the workers themselves, wherein we arrive at the silly concept of anarcho-syndicalism. Instead of greedy capitalists owning the corporation, the workers themselves will own it. But it will not be ownership in the form of individual shares that can be sold. That’s capitalism.

    No, he favors a vague and ill-defined form of collective ownership that the workers will figure out as they bumble and stumble along towards bankruptcy. As Mises writes in Socialism, “as an aim, Syndicalism is so absurd, that speaking generally, it has not found any advocates who dared to write openly and clearly in its favor.”

    Details aside, imagine how this syndicalism idea would have worked out recently in America. Let’s say the workers had the privilege of owning Enron. Giddy syndicalists seem to view ownership of business concerns as always and everywhere a good thing.

    But ownership also implies risk and liability, liability for debts and lawsuits. After Enron collapsed into a pile of incomprehensible derivatives, how many workers there wished they co-owned Enron? Under current law, employers are responsible for the torts and contract breaches of employees. How many workers would want to bear that risk?

    Syndicalists love to dream about what to do with “existing” businesses and how the workers will take control in a putsch. However, that factory was only there in the first place because some greedy capitalist thought he could make a profit selling widgets, and he invested capital he derived from prior savings. How about starting new businesses? How many workers have the capital to contribute? How many would risk that capital even if they had it, on a business “run democratically by the workers”?

    Chomsky is apparently against the division of labor: “In its early stages, the industrial system required the kind of specialized labor… Now this is no longer true.”4 Here again he follows Marx. We won’t have accountants, doctors, carpenters, etc. Rather, (former) carpenters will take their turn at brain surgery; (former) lawyers will build skyscrapers; airplanes will be driven by (former) dental hygienists and so on. Everyone will take turns. There will be plenty of opportunities to work at a mortuary as well.

    Chomsky apparently holds to the labor theory of value, another Marxist concept. According to this theory, all the value of a business is contributed by the “workers”. That worker we call the owner, apparently contributes nothing. Only someone who never owned a business could believe this preposterous theory. Since the owner contributed nothing to the business, why did the workers show up there in the first place?

    According to the labor theory of value, the workers could have gone to a vacant lot, and produced the same amount of wealth by replicating the same physical actions they undertook working for the greedy capitalist, this time without a building and without any equipment, management, customers or business plan. If we take away the greedy capitalist, these little details must go as well. Just think of Marcel Marceau pretending to work. That’s right. You syndicalists pretend to work and we capitalists will pretend to pay you.

    Chomsky is apparently against mass production because of its dehumanizing effects on workers. (Does this not also follow Marx? Make a note of that.) He apparently thinks each worker should spend an inordinate amount of time placing his or her own personal and artistic stamp on those widgets. (How do you do that with a hammer?) Chomsky is oblivious to the fact that such workers would then live in miserable poverty because of their drastically reduced productivity. Right now, people are free to live a Chomskyesque fantasy life. Few do, outside of Bohemia, where they are known as starving artists. Not even Chomsky is Chomskyesque, ensconced as he has been at non-syndicalist MIT, specializing in linguistics, for forty-seven years.

    Critical to understanding Chomsky and the syndicalists is the fact that their favored mode of production—worker-owned cooperatives—can lawfully exist in a free market system. They are inefficient of course—dilettantes cannot compete with specialists. They will be limited to those who have an ideological or philosophical commitment to them. Even then, the adherents will be mostly students who, like those who worked for the co-op restaurant I frequented in college, will eventually burn-out from the long hours, the low pay and the hassles of co-owning a business with thirty other amateurs while competing with professional managers and entrepreneurs.

    Will the syndicalists do likewise and tolerate capitalists? They rarely talk about this, which is one of the problems with syndicalism and Chomsky. Yet, a reasonable conclusion can be reached. First, if syndicalists will respect private property and capitalism and merely try to compete by setting up their own co-ops, then they might as well be “American libertarians”, which they most definitely are not.

    Second, Chomsky denies he is a pacifist. Thus, it must be assumed that he would approve the use of force to establish fundamental justice.

    Third, it is obvious from his over-heated anti-capitalist rhetoric such as “wage slavery” that he considers capitalism extremely unjust. Fourth, the historical example he cites as best exemplifying his own views—the anarchists in and around Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War—involved the use of a great deal of force to collectivize firms and farms.

    Historian Burnett Bolloten, in The Spanish Civil War (1991), quotes a prominent anarchist from the Barcelona region (Catalonia), Diego Abad de Santillan:

    “We do not wish to deny that the nineteenth of July [1936] brought with it an overflowing of passions and abuses, a natural phenomenon of the transfer of power from the hands of the privileged to the hands of the people. It is possible that our victory resulted in the death by violence of four or five thousand inhabitants of Catalonia who were listed as rightists and were linked to political or ecclesiastical reaction. But this shedding of blood is the inevitable consequence of a revolution, which, in spite of all barriers, sweeps on like a flood and devastates everything in its path, until it gradually loses its momentum.” [pages 52–53]

    Thus, based on all the evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that Chomsky and the gang are not satisfied with the opportunity to practice syndicalism. No, what they really want is to prevent others who disagree with them from engaging in forms of production based on private property. And, though they rarely say as much, they apparently intend to put their rivals out of business by brute force, deadly if necessary.

    That is why, Chomsky’s protests notwithstanding, the syndicalists are like their state socialist and Bolshevik cousins after all. Both believe that a worker-run utopia can and must be brought to fruition, by violence if necessary, against the bourgeoisie and anyone else who stands in their way. Is there anything in Mr. Santillan’s remarks that Lenin could not have uttered?

    Syndicalists are under the delusion that workers’ lives will be idyllic once they get rid of their bosses. However, as Mises informs us, the real bosses of the workers, the ones who ultimately determine wages, working conditions and whether the workers are employed at all, are the cold-hearted, greedy and merciless consumers who purchase the workers’ output, or choose not to. Thus, the new workers’ co-ops will soon experience what any Maalox-chewing business owner already knows—the absolute tyranny that customers in a free market exercise over business firms and their owners.

    Silly syndicalism has never gotten far enough to experience that dilemma. Yet, we can well imagine that, faced with this new and harsh reality—inefficient syndicalist firms producing shoddy and over-priced goods that the employees of other such firms do not want—there will be a demand for our old friend, the state, to be brought back into the equation to make sure all these syndicalist products are sold—at gunpoint. These left-wing “libertarians” may call themselves “anarchists” to shock bourgeois society and their parents, but it’s all a fraud.

    Anarcho-Syndicalism, as seen in action during the Spanish Civil War, is yet another dangerous leftist utopian fantasy. There, the syndicalists tried to abolish money, but ended up using “coupons” (money) instead. They promised to abolish the state, but instead created a bunch of mini-states—”committees.” They promised that a new individual freedom would blossom, but what emerged was a frightening new totalitarian control by the committee, over every aspect of life. As noted by testimonials reported by Burnett Bolloten:

    “The committee is the paterfamilias. It owns everything; it directs everything. Every special desire has to be submitted to it for consideration; it alone has the final say.”

    “If someone has a girl outside the village, can he get money to pay her a visit? The peasants assure me that he can.”

    “I tried in vain to get a drink, either of coffee or wine or lemonade. The village bar had been closed as nefarious commerce.”

    “With the abolition of money, the collective held the upper hand since anyone wishing to travel had to get ‘republican’ money from the committee.”

    Bolloten further notes that “Puritanism was a characteristic of the libertarian movement. . . excessive drinking, smoking and other practices that were perceived as middle-class attributes were nearly always censured.” [pages 68–69] All in all, an inmate at a maximum security prison in New York State today has somewhat more personal freedom than those who lived in Chomsky’s “libertarian” paradise.

    One of Noam Chomsky’s favorite journals when he was young was called Living Marxism. Marxism is dead but Chomsky is still living Marxism. Noam said once, “There are supposed to be laws of economics. I can’t understand them.” You are correct, Sir! I have an offer that Noam should not refuse. If you stay away from economics and political theory, I will stay away from linguistics.

    None of this is to take away from Chomsky’s contribution to understanding US foreign policy. Chomsky is right to insist that the US be held to strict standards of morality in the conduct of foreign policy, and ought not to be permitted to get away with a double standard.

    But standards of morality are no substitute for economic logic. Economics requires study and systematic thinking about the implications of action, choice, and ownership in a world of scarcity. It is a science that delineates the limits of how far the human mind can wander when thinking about what society can and should be. This is one reason that intellectuals, even great ones, take such pains to avoid studying economics, and instead latch on to fantasies like socialism and syndicalism.

    Chomsky has said the social scientist has two main tasks: “imagine a future society that conforms to the exigencies of human nature, as best we understand them. The other, to analyze the nature of power and oppression in our present societies.” We might add a third: to be open to the possibility that the results of one’s investigations could contradict deeply held ideological biases.
    https://mises.org/library/chomskys-economics

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    Datos, ne quisquam seruiat, enses. (The sword was given for this, that none need live a slave.) – Marcus Annaeus Lucanus

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    One man with a gun can control 100 without one. Vladimir Lenin

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    Character is destiny. – Heraclitus

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    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill

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    Profile
    Richard Wolff
    Founder & Contributor

    Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Wolff has also taught economics at Yale University, City University of New York, and the University of Paris I (Sorbonne).

    Wolff has published many books and articles, both scholarly and popular. Most recently, in 2012, he published the books Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism (Haymarket Books) and Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian, with Stephen Resnick (Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT University Press). He writes regularly for Truthout.org.

    He has been interviewed on The Charlie Rose Show, Up With Chris Hayes, Bill Maher’s Real Time, RT-TV, Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera English, Thom Hartman, National Public Radio, Alternative Radio, and many other radio and TV programs in the United States and abroad. The New York Times Magazine named him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.”

    His work can be accessed at rdwolff.com and democracyatwork.info. Wolff lives in Manhattan with his wife and frequent collaborator, Dr. Harriet Fraad, a practicing mental health counsellor.
    http://www.democracyatwork.info/profwolff

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    One man with a gun can control 100 without one. Vladimir Lenin

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    The Political Spectrum Explained The greatest challenge to the left/right paradigm
    Dec 6, 2015
    If you’ve read my writings you’ve probably noticed one thing, I challenge the notion of there being only two sides to any given issue. The terms left and right, liberal and conservative, even republican and democrat are ultimately meaningless, and yet, political junkies and political science professors alike seem to think that the entire gambit of political philosophy can fit squarely on a two dimensional line, and that politics is all about “balancing” the two sides. However, this is a woefully dangerous position to take as it cannot measure the amount of government that exists in any given political system as well as how economic theory plays with that government intervention. The consequences that result from thinking two dimensionally about the political spectrum is that we can’t see our march towards maximum government, and so the political spectrum needs to be explained.

    Libertarians are known for trying to blow away this fallacy, but I think it’s still not accurate. You may have taken the World’s Smallest Political Quiz or the Political Compass which try to map your place on a quadrant. This is an improvement certainly, but often we look at it wondering, again, where the increase in government is especially when you have terms like “left” and “right” libertarian. The Heritage foundation also seemed to be on to something when they showed the two dimensional spectrum as a measure of the percentage of government, but it doesn’t account for the many nuanced political theories out there, and we were still left believing that moving “right” was the answer.
    The Political Spectrum Explained

    After wracking my brain over this, wondering how best to visualize the spectrum, I realized that both the quadrant and wedge were correct, but needed to be joined together in order to be understood with clarity. What I ended up doing was taking the wedge created by the Heritage Foundation and extending it outward with the quadrant. It helps to see how you can have a left and right that are both authoritarian in nature (and yet still different), and how a corporatist society is not only not capitalist, but is on par with communism, just with a focus on corporate-run industry rather than government-run industry – the point being that you still have elitist rulers pulling the strings.

    This visualization also explains how left and right libertarianism can both advocate for smaller government while viewing the economy differently. It’s important to note here that libertarianism tolerates both communitarian ideas (like communism and socialism) and the variety of free market systems equally, when they are both based on voluntarism. (When they’re not based on voluntarism, they are based on force, legal force, which means more government which results in communism). With the decrease in government intervention, comes an increase in the requirement of voluntary action and mutual respect, whereas the increase in government intervention brings about tension between government and corporations, both of which leave the individual left hanging high and dry.
    The political spectrum explained America

    I’ve arbitrarily placed a red line as to where I think “we are at.” This is completely subjective of course, but is probably close to the truth. We can see that both major parties on the left and right of the quadrant are on a march towards their respective authoritarian ideologies (communism on the left and fundamentalism on the far right), neither of which are good. In fact, it also explains why some have drawn similarities between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims. This also shows why libertarians seem all across the board on ideas sometimes; not only are we nowhere near the status quo, but there is very clearly a spectrum of libertarianism that stretches between the extremes of economic theory – anarcho-capitalism – a free market free from government intervention, and anarcho-communism – a voluntarist form of communism, again free from government intervention.

    Now, there is plenty of room for debate about the merits and demerits of each political theory mentioned, AND the labels don’t necessarily match up with some of our terms, like “neo-conservative” which is absent from the chart. Certainly improvements could be made to this, but I think this four dimensional model provides a much clearer understanding of the relationship between government intervention and economic theory. It also takes away this notion of, or temptation to say that we just need to move further to the left or right in order to solve our problems. In fact, viewing the spectrum this way allows us to figure out where the millennial generation sits and why we seem to be “confused” according to some pundits. But if we understand the political spectrum, we can see that Millennials aren’t confused.
    Where do Millennials fall on the spectrum?

    In my Rio Rancho Observer column, I candidly took on a charge from a Baby Boomer who suggests that our political and economic plight is the fault of the Millennials (or will be) if we “don’t stop it.” (Apparently the “it” are the boomers themselves and their unsustainable policies of warfare and welfare that may be as addictive as heroin). The argument was interesting because it echoes what the media says about the millennial generation (of which I am one of the first in that generation having been born in 1981). Again, I read of millennials being self-absorbed and either uninterested or hoodwinked by politicians promising to give us our heart’s desires.

    The media seems to be confused about us just as much as they say we’re confused about politics, but I’m increasingly convinced that we aren’t as screwed up politically as everyone seems to think. So let’s look at some stats: The Millennial generation is larger than the Baby Boomers by about 1 million people. We’re the most diverse generation with many “new” Americans, and we can of age at a huge turning point in world history namely at the time of 9/11, ballooning government spending, two unpopular wars, and the great recession. We’re also one of the most “schooled” generation in history, but those of us who know anything educated ourselves using the Internet.

    Millennials are three times more likely than gen-Xers and boomers to be independent. By and large we despise the two party system, and refuse to be party loyalists even if we’re registered to vote with a party. In spite of our moderate view on economics and favorable view towards the free market (no really, we prefer the free market to socialism once we figure out that socialism means taking our money), we loathe the GOP’s positions of social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and immigration as well as their positions on foreign policy and warfare. This is likely due to the demographic makeup of our generation, and the fact the Internet makes it possible for us to reach out to and learn from people all across the world to provide us with new perspectives that American media doesn’t show us.

    We have friends who were born outside the US, whether Muslim or Mexican (or whatever else, I don’t think we really even keep track of races of our friends), we have friends who are gay (and no, they’re not pedophiles), and we have friends who’ve had abortions for a plethora of reasons, ranging from fear of their conservative parents and churches to being financially unfit to care for a baby. (And no, adoption isn’t really an option when it costs thousands of dollars for prospective parents to adopt compared to the hundreds it costs to have an abortion).

    We increasingly distrust government to manage spending, strive for international peace, or even take care of our own. Yes, we like social welfare programs where the poor are cared for, but we hate the taxes needed to pay for it, and we believe that private enterprise is better equipped to handle it. So where does all this put the millennial generation on the political spectrum?
    The political spectrum explained millennials

    Again, this red line is an arbitrary placement and as such is probably a broader range. But these polls seem to indicate that millennial lean towards smaller government spanning the depth of the spectrum between communitarian economics (voluntary socialism/communism) and free market economics (voluntary capitalism without corporate intervention in government). What does this mean? Millennials still need to figure out economics and so there will still be tension between a “left” and a “right” so to speak, but when we understand that bigger government means taking away our hard earned money, hands down we favor smaller government.

    What does this mean for the two party system? Adapt or get off the boat. Unless the GOP let’s go of its social values as being something that government has authority over, it is going to die. The Democrats will stay afloat only until our generation fully understands that there is nothing voluntary about their platform. So they will have to adapt or get off the boat. And in many ways this is already happening as one study found that millennials are increasingly looking, “outside of government, forging individual pathways as entrepreneurs rather than invest collectively as citizens.” But more likely will be a move towards independent and third party politics, with a de-emphasis on party loyalties.
    The Left/Right Paradigm does not exist in any meaningful way

    Suffice it to say, I think the left/right political paradigm has been thoroughly debunked. And though I’ve still used terms “left” and “right” to explain various places on the spectrum, those terms are meaningless without the context of government intervention in our lives. There is already a mass exodus of voters from the two parties to registered independent status. There are now more independents in America than there are registered voters in either party – in fact, neither party can win without independents. And we’re still told the same old lie … that you have to work within the party and the system in order to make changes. Bullocks!
    https://mereliberty.com/challenge-your-mind/the-political-spectrum-explained-2/

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    “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill

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    “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey, he is obligated to do so.” – Thomas Jefferson

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    https://volksberichtshof.wordpress.com/25-punkte-programm-der-nsdap/

    Das 25-Punkte-Programm war das Parteiprogramm der Nationalsozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei.
    Adolf Hitler verkündete es am 24. Februar 1920 vor etwa 2.000 Personen im Münchner Hofbräuhaus. Am selben Tag wurde die 1919 gegründete Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (DAP), der Adolf Hitler 1920 beigetreten war, in Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) umbenannt. Verfasser des Programmes waren Hitler, Anton Drexler (Gründer der DAP) und der Wirtschaftstheoretiker Gottfried Feder. In diesem Programm wurde ein
    Großdeutsches Reich angestrebt, eine Aufhebung des Versailler Vertrages gefordert, die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft nur für Volksangehörige gefordert und der Aufbau eines autoritären Staates mit einer politisch gelenkten Presse und Literatur angekündigt. Die drei Führer der Partei „versprachen“, für die 25 Programmpunkte, „wenn nötig unter Einsatz ihres Lebens rücksichtslos einzutreten.“

    Bedeutung

    Obwohl das Parteiprogramm bei seiner Verkündung für „ewig“ und „unabänderbar“ erklärt worden war, blieben Änderungen nicht aus.

    Nach seiner Entlassung aus der Festungshaft 1924, ein Jahr nach dem mißlungenen Putsch , brauchte Hitler zum Wiederaufbau der NSDAP Geld und versuchte, Spender in Unternehmerkreisen zu gewinnen. Forderungen nach
    Verstaatlichung, Gewinnbeteiligung und einer „Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft“ (Feder) waren hierbei nicht förderlich, weshalb er ab 1928 öffentlich bekundete, seine Partei stehe auf dem Boden des Privateigentums.

    Vorausgegangen waren 1926 heftige innerparteiliche Auseinandersetzungen mit dem linken Parteiflügel um die Brüder Otto Strasser und Gregor Strasser. Mit dem Ausscheiden des letzteren aus der Parteileitung im Herbst 1932 verlor auch Feder, von dem die sozialistischen Teile des Programmes stammten, jeglichen Einfluß innerhalb der NSDAP. Einige Historiker gehen dagegen davon aus, daß die sozialistischen Forderungen im Programm für Hitler von vornherein „nur demagogischer Natur“ gewesen seien.

    Für die konkrete Politik, die in Deutschland nach der Machtübernahme in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus betrieben wurde, war die Bedeutung des Parteiprogrammes im Vergleich zu Hitlers Mein Kampf gering, obwohl das Programm nicht zurückgenommen wurde und der Verweis auf „Sozialismus“ im Parteinamen bestehen blieb.

    Das 25-Punkte-Programm
    Programm der NATIONALSOZIALISTISCHEN DEUTSCHEN ARBEITERPARTEIDas Programm der Deutschen Arbeiter Partei ist ein Zeit-Programm. Die Führer lehnen es ab, nach Erreichung der im Programm aufgestellten Ziele neue aufzustellen, nur zu dem Zwecke, um durch künstlich gesteigerte
    Unzufriedenheit der Massen das Fortbestehen der Partei zu ermöglichen.

    Wir fordern den Zusammenschluß aller Deutschen auf Grund des Selbstbestimmungsrechtes der Völker zu einem Groß-Deutschland.
    Wir fordern die Gleichberechtigung des deutschen Volkes gegenüber den anderen Nationen, Aufhebung der Friedensverträge von Versailles und St. Germain.
    Wir fordern Land und Boden (Kolonien) zur Ernährung unseres Volkes und Ansiedlung unseres Bevölkerungs-Überschusses.
    Staatsbürger kann nur sein, wer Volksgenosse ist. Volksgenosse kann nur sein, wer deutschen Blutes ist, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession. Kein Jude kann daher Volksgenosse sein.
    Wer nicht Staatsbürger ist, soll nur als Gast in Deutschland leben können und muß unter Fremdengesetzgebung stehen.
    Das Recht, über Führung und Gesetze des Staates zu bestimmen, darf nur dem Staatsbürger zustehen. Daher fordern wir, daß jedes öffentliche Amt, gleichgültig welcher Art, gleich ob im Reich, Land oder Gemeinde, nur durch Staatsbürger bekleidet werden darf. Wir bekämpfen die korrumpierende Parlamentswirtschaft einer Stellenbesetzung nur nach Parteigesichtspunkten ohne Rücksichten auf Charakter und Fähigkeiten.
    Wir fordern, daß sich der Staat verpflichtet, in erster Linie für die Erwerbs- und Lebensmöglichkeit der Staatsbürger zu sorgen. Wenn es nicht möglich ist, die Gesamtbevölkerung des Staates zu ernähren, so sind die Angehörigen fremder Nationen (Nicht-Staatsbürger) aus dem Reiche auszuweisen.
    Jede weitere Einwanderung Nicht-Deutscher ist zu verhindern. Wir fordern, daß alle Nicht-Deutschen, die seit 2. August 1914 in Deutschland eingewandert sind, sofort zum Verlassen des Reiches gezwungen werden.
    Alle Staatsbürger müssen gleiche Rechte und Pflichten besitzen.
    Erste Pflicht jedes Staatsbürgers muß sein, geistig oder körperlich zu schaffen. Die Tätigkeit des einzelnen darf nicht gegen die Interessen der Allgemeinheit verstoßen, sondern muß im Rahmen des Gesamten und zum Nutzen aller erfolgen. Daher fordern wir:
    Abschaffung des arbeits- und mühelosen Einkommens. Brechung der Zinsknechtschaft.
    Im Hinblick auf die ungeheuren Opfer an Gut und Blut, die jeder Krieg vom Volke fordert, muß die persönliche Bereicherung durch den Krieg als Verbrechen am Volke bezeichnet werden. Wir fordern daher restlose Einziehung aller Kriegsgewinne.
    Wir fordern die Verstaatlichung aller (bisher) bereits vergesellschafteten (Trusts) Betriebe.
    Wir fordern Gewinnbeteiligung an Großbetrieben.
    Wir fordern einen großzügigen Ausbau der Alters-Versorgung.
    Wir fordern die Schaffung eines gesunden Mittelstandes und seine Erhaltung, sofortige Kommunalisierung der Groß-Warenhäuser und ihre Vermietung zu billigen Preisen an kleine Gewerbetreibende, schärfste Berücksichtigung aller kleinen Gewerbetreibenden bei Lieferung an den Staat, die Länder und die Gemeinden.
    Wir fordern eine unseren nationalen Bedürfnissen angepaßte Bodenreform, Schaffung eines Gesetzes zur unentgeltlichen Enteignung von Boden für gemeinnützige Zwecke. Abschaffung des Bodenzinses und Verhinderung jeder Bodenspekulation.
    Wir fordern den rücksichtslosen Kampf gegen diejenigen, die durch ihre Tätigkeit das Gemeininteresse schädigen. Gemeine Volksverbrecher, Wucherer, Schieber usw. sind mit dem Tode zu bestrafen, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession und Rasse.
    Wir fordern Ersatz für das der materialistischen Weltordnung dienende römische Recht durch ein deutsches Gemeinrecht.
    Um jedem fähigen und fleißigen Deutschen das Erreichen höherer Bildung und damit das Einrücken in führende Stellung zu ermöglichen, hat der Staat für einen gründlichen Ausbau unseres gesamten Volksbildungswesens Sorge zu tragen. Die Lehrpläne aller Bildungsanstalten sind den Erfordernissen des
    praktischen Lebens anzupassen. Das Erfassen des Staatsgedankens muß
    bereits mit dem Beginn des Verständnisses durch die Schule (Staatsbürgerkunde) erzielt werden; Wir fordern die Ausbildung besonders veranlagter Kinder armer Eltern ohne Rücksicht auf deren Stand oder Beruf auf Staatskosten.
    Der Staat hat für die Hebung der Volksgesundheit zu sorgen durch das Programm der Schutz der Mutter und des Kindes, durch Verbot der Jugendarbeit, durch Herbeiführung der körperlichen Ertüchtigung mittels gesetzlicher Festlegung einer Turn- und Sportpflicht, durch größte Unterstützung aller sich mit körperlicher Jugend- Ausbildung beschäftigenden Vereine.
    Wir fordern die Abschaffung der Söldnertruppe und die Bildung eines Volksheeres.
    Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen die bewußte politische Lüge und ihre Verbreitung durch die Presse. Um die Schaffung einer deutschen Presse zu ermöglichen, fordern wir, daß a) sämtliche Schriftleiter und Mitarbeiter von Zeitungen, die in deutscher Sprache erscheinen, Volksgenossen sein müssen, b) nichtdeutsche Zeitungen zu ihrem Erscheinen der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Staates bedürfen. Sie dürfen nicht in deutscher Sprache gedruckt werden, c) jede finanzielle Beteiligung an deutschen Zeitungen oder deren Beeinflussung durch Nicht-Deutsche gesetzlich verboten wird und fordern als Strafe für Übertretungen die Schließung eines solchen Zeitungsbetriebes, sowie die sofortige Ausweisung der daran beteiligten Nicht-Deutschen aus dem Reich. Zeitungen, die gegen das Gemeinwohl verstoßen, sind zu verbieten. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen eine Kunst- und Literaturrichtung, die einen zersetzenden Einfluß auf unser Volksleben ausübt und die Schließung von Veranstaltungen, die gegen vorstehende Forderungen verstoßen.
    Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen. Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage: Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz.
    Zur Durchführung alles dessen fordern wir: Die Schaffung einer starken Zentralgewalt des Reiches. Unbedingte Autorität des politischen Zentralparlaments über das gesamte Reich und seine Organisationen im allgemeinen. Die Bildung von Stände- und Berufskammern zur Durchführung der vom Reich erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten. Die Führer der Partei versprechen, wenn nötig unter Einsatz des eigenen Lebens für die Durchführung der vorstehenden Punkte rücksichtslos einzutreten.

    München, den 24. Februar 1920

    Gegenüber den verlogenen Auslegungen des Punktes 17
    des Programms der N.S.D.A.P. von seiten unserer Gegner ist folgende
    Feststellung notwendig: Da die N.S.D.A.P. auf dem Boden des
    Privateigentums steht, ergibt sich von selbst, daß der Passus
    „Unentgeltliche Enteignung“ nur auf die Schaffung gesetzlicher
    Möglichkeiten Bezug hat, Boden, der auf unrechtmäßige Weise erworben
    wurde oder nicht nach den Gesichtspunkten des Volkswohls verwaltet wird,
    wenn nötig, zu enteignen. Dies richtet sich demgemäß in erster Linie
    gegen die jüdischen Grundspekulationsgesellschaften.

    München, den 13. April 1928.

    gez. Adolf Hitler
    Kommentare deaktiviert

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    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. -Thomas Jefferson

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    2016 Washington State Bill Would Ban ALMOST ALL Modern Firearms https://shar.es/16BRmt via @sharethis

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    “Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.” Joseph Stalin

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    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. -Thomas Jefferson

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    2016 Washington State Bill Would Ban ALMOST ALL Modern Firearms https://shar.es/16BRmt via @sharethis

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    General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves
    Posted on June 16, 2014
    Marker Time Period: 19th Century
    Marker Subject: African-American History, Civil War, Military History, Politics and Government
    Marker Program: Georgia Historical Society
    Region: Mountain
    County: Whitfield

    Year Erected: 2011

    General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm SlavesMarker Text: Here on January 2, 1864, Gen. Patrick Cleburne proposed arming slaves in exchange for their freedom to alleviate the manpower shortage facing the Confederacy. Almost all the other generals present opposed the idea of black Confederate soldiers because it violated the principles upon which the Confederacy was founded. Gen. Patton Anderson said the proposal “would shake our governments, both state and Confederate, to their very foundations,” and Gen. A.P. Stewart said it was “at war with my social, moral and political principles.” Considering the proposal treasonous, Gen. W.H.T. Walker informed President Jefferson Davis, who ordered any mention of it to be suppressed. In March 1865, with defeat looming, the Confederate Congress approved enlisting slaves, but few did and none saw combat. Conversely, nearly 200,000 free African Americans served in the U.S. armed forces.

    Erected for the Civil War 150 commemoration by the Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia Battlefields Association and the Georgia Department of Economic Development in 2011.
    http://georgiahistory.com/ghmi_marker_updated/general-cleburnes-proposal-to-arm-slaves/

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    “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

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    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. – Thomas Paine

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    Georgia lawmaker introduces bill banning ‘assault weapons’
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/georgia-lawmaker-introduces-bill-banning-assault-r/np5PZ/

    Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016

    Georgia lawmaker introduces bill banning ‘assault weapons’
    ATLANTA —A bill banning certain guns described as assault weapons by the bill’s author is sparking controversy in Georgia.

    The new bill was introduced by State Representative Mary Oliver, from Decatur, and it has the support of 15 Democrats who signed the bill.

    Hear from gun rights advocates who say there is no room to compromise with the Second Amendment in our live report on Channel 2 Action News at 6.

    Not only does this ban the sale of certain guns, but people who own the guns banned by this bill would have to turn them over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
    http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/georgia-lawmaker-introduces-bill-banning-assault-r/np5PZ/

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    ……………………………………..

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    If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. – Thomas Paine

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    24. Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen.
    Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage:

    Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz

    25. Zur Durchführung alles dessen fordern wir die Schaffung einer starken Zentralgewalt des Reiches. Unbedingte Autorität des politischen Zentralparlaments über das gesamte Reich und seine Organisationen im allgemeinen.
    Die Bildung von Stände- und Berufskammern zur Durchführung der vom Reich erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten.

    http://www.documentarchiv.de/wr/1920/nsdap-programm.html

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    #BS #Biden
    #Colorado
    #ComradeClinton #ComradeClinton Scandals
    #Confiscation #CommonsenseCivilRightofArmedSelfDefense
    #Destruction of Liberty via the TWL scam
    #Flashback
    #GlobalCooling
    #illegal Invasion
    #insanity
    #Islamic Invasion
    #Loss of Liberty
    #Muslim – Taqiyya
    #national Socialist Left # National Socialist Media
    #Obama #Obamacare
    #ObamasAbuGhraib
    #Socialism=FAILURE
    #Reference
    #RefugeesWelcome
    #Surrender Acquiescing Party
    #Reference
    #Technology
    #Terrorism
    #Venezuela

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    Never waste a good crisis Hillary Clinton

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    Georgia Democrats File Bill To Outlaw, Confiscate Common Guns http://bearingarms.com/georgia-democrats-file-bill-outlaw-confiscate-guns/

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    In this excerpt published in the independent

    Hitler and the socialist dream
    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/hitler-and-the-socialist-dream-1186455.html

    It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too. The title of National Socialism was not hypocritical. The evidence before 1945 was more private than public, which is perhaps significant in itself. In public Hitler was always anti-Marxist, and in an age in which the Soviet Union was the only socialist state on earth, and with anti-Bolshevism a large part of his popular appeal, he may have been understandably reluctant to speak openly of his sources. His megalomania, in any case, would have prevented him from calling himself anyone’s disciple. That led to an odd and paradoxical alliance between modern historians and the mind of a dead dictator. Many recent analysts have fastidiously refused to study the mind of Hitler; and they accept, as unquestioningly as many Nazis did in the 1930s, the slogan “Crusade against Marxism” as a summary of his views. An age in which fascism has become a term of abuse is unlikely to analyse it profoundly.

    His private conversations, however, though they do not overturn his reputation as an anti-Communist, qualify it heavily. Hermann Rauschning, for example, a Danzig Nazi who knew Hitler before and after his accession to power in 1933, tells how in private Hitler acknowledged his profound debt to the Marxian tradition. “I have learned a great deal from Marxism” he once remarked, “as I do not hesitate to admit”. He was proud of a knowledge of Marxist texts acquired in his student days before the First World War and later in a Bavarian prison, in 1924, after the failure of the Munich putsch. The trouble with Weimar Republic politicians, he told Otto Wagener at much the same time, was that “they had never even read Marx”, implying that no one who had failed to read so important an author could even begin to understand the modern world; in consequence, he went on, they imagined that the October revolution in 1917 had been “a private Russian affair”, whereas in fact it had changed the whole course of human history! His differences with the communists, he explained, were less ideological than tactical. German communists he had known before he took power, he told Rauschning, thought politics meant talking and writing. They were mere pamphleteers, whereas “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun”, adding revealingly that “the whole of National Socialism” was based on Marx.

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    Never waste a good crisis Hillary Clinton
    =====================================================

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    Georgia Democrats File Bill To Outlaw, Confiscate Common Guns http://bearingarms.com/georgia-democrats-file-bill-outlaw-confiscate-guns/

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell

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    Yes, Democrats Want To Ban Your Guns. Here’s The Law They’ve Proposed. http://bearingarms.com/yes-democrats-want-ban-guns-heres-law-theyve-proposed/

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    I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery – Thomas Jefferson

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    A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin
    …………………………….

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    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein

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    A lie told often enough becomes the truth. Lenin
    …………………………….

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    Definition of incongruous
    adjective
    Not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something.
    ‘the duffel coat looked incongruous with the black dress she wore underneath’
    Origin
    Early 17th century: from Latin incongruus (from in- ‘not’ + congruus ‘agreeing, suitable’, from the verb congruere) + -ous.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/incongruous

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    Yes, Democrats Want To Ban Your Guns. Here’s The Law They’ve Proposed. http://bearingarms.com/yes-democrats-want-ban-guns-heres-law-theyve-proposed/

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    FAQ
    Why are the answers in this FAQ so long?
    Socialism is almost globally misunderstood and misrepresented. Socialism will be a basic structural change to society, and many of the things that most people take for granted, as “just the way things have to be”, can and must be changed to establish socialism.
    People tend to accept as true the things they hear over and over again. But repetition doesn’t make things true. Because the truth and the facts often contradict “common knowledge”, socialists have to show that “common knowledge” is wrong. That takes more words than just accepting the status quo.
    What is the World Socialist Movement (WSM)?
    The World Socialist Movement is an organization which began with the founding of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. The Companion Parties of Socialism, which make up the World Socialist Movement, are those parties sharing an understanding of what socialism means, how to establish socialism, and a scientific analysis of past and current society. For more information about the WSM, see Introducing the World Socialist Movement on the World Socialist Movement web site.
    Why doesn’t the World Socialist Movement get involved in social activism?
    By “social activism” most people mean demonstrating, protesting, or otherwise attempting to influence immediate events in society, and still under capitalism. These attempts to reform capitalism have a very long history: as long as capitalism itself. We call these actions “reformism”.
    Organizations which claim to want socialism, and which also promote reforms, ignore socialism and spend their time working for reforms.
    The Companion Parties of Socialism, in the World Socialist Movement, are socialist parties. They promote socialism because that is all a socialist party can promote.
    If you find a “socialist” party promoting “social activism,” you’ll have found a non-socialist party.

    Isn’t socialism what they had in Russia, or in China or Cuba, or in Sweden?
    No. Socialism, as understood by the World Socialist Movement, was never established in any country. A short definition of what we understand to be socialism: a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole.

    If there are wages and salaries, it is not socialism.
    State ownership is not socialism.
    Social programs are not socialism.
    Socialism means democracy at all levels of society, including the workplace.
    Socialism means a wageless, moneyless society.
    Socialism means voluntary labour.
    Socialism means free access to the goods produced by society.

    With this understanding of socialism, the Socialist Party of Great Britain noted in its journal, the Socialist Standard (August 1918, page 87), that the supposedly “Marxist” Russian Revolution of November 1917 was not socialist.
    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.ch/p/faq.html

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    Berlin Wall
    On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.

    The Berlin Wall: The Partitioning of Berlin

    As World War II came to an end in 1945, a pair of Allied peace conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the fate of Germany’s territories. They split the defeated nation into four “allied occupation zones”: The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and (eventually) France.
    Did You Know?

    On October 22, 1961, a quarrel between an East German border guard and an American official on his way to the opera in East Berlin very nearly led to what one observer called “a nuclear-age equivalent of the Wild West Showdown at the O.K. Corral.” That day, American and Soviet tanks faced off at Checkpoint Charlie for 16 hours. Photographs of the confrontation are some of the most familiar and memorable images of the Cold War.

    Even though Berlin was located entirely within the Soviet part of the country (it sat about 100 miles from the border between the eastern and western occupation zones), the Yalta and Potsdam agreements split the city into similar sectors. The Soviets took the eastern half, while the other Allies took the western. This four-way occupation of Berlin began in June 1945.
    The Berlin Wall: Blockade and Crisis

    The existence of West Berlin, a conspicuously capitalist city deep within communist East Germany, “stuck like a bone in the Soviet throat,” as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev put it. The Russians began maneuvering to drive the United States, Britain and France out of the city for good. In 1948, a Soviet blockade of West Berlin aimed to starve the western Allies out of the city. Instead of retreating, however, the United States and its allies supplied their sectors of the city from the air. This effort, known as the Berlin Airlift, lasted for more than a year and delivered more than 2.3 million tons of food, fuel and other goods to West Berlin. The Soviets called off the blockade in 1949.

    After a decade of relative calm, tensions flared again in 1958. For the next three years, the Soviets–emboldened by the successful launch of the Sputnik satellite the year before and embarrassed by the seemingly endless flow of refugees from east to west (nearly 3 million since the end of the blockade, many of them young skilled workers such as doctors, teachers and engineers)–blustered and made threats, while the Allies resisted. Summits, conferences and other negotiations came and went without resolution. Meanwhile, the flood of refugees continued. In June 1961, some 19,000 people left the GDR through Berlin. The following month, 30,000 fled. In the first 11 days of August, 16,000 East Germans crossed the border into West Berlin, and on August 12 some 2,400 followed—the largest number of defectors ever to leave East Germany in a single day.
    The Berlin Wall: Building the Wall

    That night, Premier Khrushchev gave the East German government permission to stop the flow of emigrants by closing its border for good. In just two weeks, the East German army, police force and volunteer construction workers had completed a makeshift barbed wire and concrete block wall–the Berlin Wall–that divided one side of the city from the other.

    Before the wall was built, Berliners on both sides of the city could move around fairly freely: They crossed the East-West border to work, to shop, to go to the theater and the movies. Trains and subway lines carried passengers back and forth. After the wall was built, it became impossible to get from East to West Berlin except through one of three checkpoints: at Helmstedt (“Checkpoint Alpha” in American military parlance), at Dreilinden (“Checkpoint Bravo”) and in the center of Berlin at Friedrichstrasse (“Checkpoint Charlie”). (Eventually, the GDR built 12 checkpoints along the wall.) At each of the checkpoints, East German soldiers screened diplomats and other officials before they were allowed to enter or leave. Except under special circumstances, travelers from East and West Berlin were rarely allowed across the border.
    The Berlin Wall: 1961-1989

    The construction of the Berlin Wall did stop the flood of refugees from East to West, and it did defuse the crisis over Berlin. (Though he was not happy about it, President Kennedy conceded that “a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.”) Over time, East German officials replaced the makeshift wall with one that was sturdier and more difficult to scale. A 12-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide mass of reinforced concrete was topped with an enormous pipe that made climbing over nearly impossible. Behind the wall on the East German side was a so-called “Death Strip”: a gauntlet of soft sand (to show footprints), floodlights, vicious dogs, trip-wire machine guns and patrolling soldiers with orders to shoot escapees on sight.

    In all, at least 171 people were killed trying to get over, under or around the Berlin Wall. Escape from East Germany was not impossible, however: From 1961 until the wall came down in 1989, more than 5,000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the barbed wire, flying in hot air balloons, crawling through the sewers and driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds.
    The Berlin Wall: The Fall of the Wall

    On November 9, 1989, as the Cold War began to thaw across Eastern Europe, the spokesman for East Berlin’s Communist Party announced a change in his city’s relations with the West. Starting at midnight that day, he said, citizens of the GDR were free to cross the country’s borders. East and West Berliners flocked to the wall, drinking beer and champagne and chanting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”). At midnight, they flooded through the checkpoints.

    More than 2 million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin that weekend to participate in a celebration that was, one journalist wrote, “the greatest street party in the history of the world.” People used hammers and picks to knock away chunks of the wall–they became known as “mauerspechte,” or “wall woodpeckers”—while cranes and bulldozers pulled down section after section. Soon the wall was gone and Berlin was united for the first time since 1945. “Only today,” one Berliner spray-painted on a piece of the wall, “is the war really over.”

    The reunification of East and West Germany was made official on October 3, 1990, almost one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
    http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall#

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    “We want them registered” – Nancy Pelosi
    …………………………….

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    One man with a gun can control 100 without one. Vladimir Lenin
    …………………………….

    http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2354.pdf

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    U.S. Constitution – Article 1 Section 8
    Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
    Section 8 – Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
    https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html

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    One man with a gun can control 100 without one. Vladimir Lenin
    …………………………….

    http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/2354.pdf

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    Washington State Dem Introduces Bill to Ban Possession of ‘Assault Weapons’
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3384486/posts

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    Washington State Dem Introduces Bill to Ban Possession of ‘Assault Weapons’ – Breitbart http://bit.ly/1RUYOJt via @BreitbartNews

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    “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” Thomas Jefferson

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    Washington State Dem Introduces Bill to Ban Possession of ‘Assault Weapons’
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3384486/posts

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    Washington State Dem Introduces Bill to Ban Possession of ‘Assault Weapons’ – Breitbart http://bit.ly/1RUYOJt via @BreitbartNews

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    “Detachable Magazines Cost Lives!” Gun Controllers Rage In California http://bearingarms.com/detachable-magazines-cost-lives-gun-controllers-rage-california/

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    “Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.”

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    “Detachable Magazines Cost Lives!” Gun Controllers Rage In California http://bearingarms.com/detachable-magazines-cost-lives-gun-controllers-rage-california/

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    Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)
    political party, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    Written By:
    The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica
    Last Updated:
    8-23-2002 See Article History
    Alternative Titles: All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), CPSU, Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza, KPSS, Russian Communist Party, Vsesoyuznaya Kommunisticheskaya Partiya (Bolshevikov)
    Related Topics

    communism
    Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev
    Workers’ Opposition
    Vladimir Lenin
    Leon Trotsky on Lenin
    Leningrad Affair
    political party
    Third International
    Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    Joseph Stalin

    Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), also called (1925–52) All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Russian Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza, or Vsesoyuznaya Kommunisticheskaya Partiya (Bolshevikov), the major political party of Russia and the Soviet Union from the Russian Revolution of October 1917 to 1991.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Communist-Party-of-the-Soviet-Union

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    “You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean
    and paltry; for whatever a man’s actions are, such must be his spirit.”
    Demosthenes, Third Olynthiac

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    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty, than those attending too small a degree of it. -Thomas Jefferson

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    Soviet Style Gun Bill Surfaces In Oregon https://shar.es/1h025V via @gatewaypundit

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    WA State Patrol Investigating DEATH THREAT On Pro Gun Legislator https://shar.es/1h024O via @gatewaypundit

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    “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” Vladimir Lenin

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    “Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.”

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    ………………………………………………..

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    United Socialist Party of Venezuela
    political party, Venezuela
    Alternative Titles: Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela, PSUV

    Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR)
    political party, Venezuela

    Alternative Titles: Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200, MBR-200, Movimiento Bolivariano Revolucionario–200, Movimiento de la Quinta República, Movimiento V República, MVR

    Movement of the Fifth Republic (MVR), Spanish Movimiento de la Quinta República, formerly Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200 (Movimiento Bolivariano Revolucionario–200; MBR-200), nationalist Venezuelan political party established to support the presidential candidacy of Hugo Chávez in 1998.

    MBR-200 was secretly established within the Venezuelan military in the 1980s by Chávez and his fellow military officers. The movement rejected democracy, endorsed policies based on Chávez’s interpretation of the philosophy of Simón Bolívar (who led the revolutions of independence against Spain in South America in the 19th century), and sometimes advocated violence to overthrow the existing political order.

    In 1992 the Bolivarian Movement 200, led by Chávez, who was then a lieutenant colonel, attempted to engineer a coup, justifying its intervention on the basis of charges of governmental corruption and various economic grievances. Chávez was subsequently imprisoned, but he won sympathy from large segments of the Venezuelan population. In 1994 Chávez was released from prison in a goodwill gesture by Venezuela’s newly elected president, Rafael Caldera Rodríguez.

    Although the movement had previously called on its supporters to abstain from voting, in 1998 Chávez established the MVR to serve as a vehicle for his successful bid for the presidency. The MVR’s criticisms of social inequalities won it broad support among the country’s impoverished. In the 1998 legislative elections, the party became the second largest in the National Assembly. In 2002 opponents of Chávez engineered his brief ouster from the presidency, but protests and threats of violence from his supporters resulted in his return to power less than three days later. In the 2005 legislative elections, Chávez’s MVR won the majority of seats in the National Assembly (and other pro-Chávez parties gained the remainder) after several opposition parties boycotted the elections to protest what they saw as corruption in the Chávez-dominated National Election Council, the institution that oversees elections.

    The MVR was dissolved in 2007 to become part of Chávez’s new political party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela; PSUV), which was created by a merger of some of his coalition partners. The PSUV held its inaugural congress in January 2008.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Movement-of-the-Fifth-Republic#ref1064202

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    Soviet Style Gun Bill Surfaces In Oregon https://shar.es/1h025V via @gatewaypundit

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    WA State Patrol Investigating DEATH THREAT On Pro Gun Legislator https://shar.es/1h024O via @gatewaypundit

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    Berlin wall in New York
    On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West.
    http://www.bigapplesecrets.com/2013/04/berlin-wall-in-new-york.html

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    “Inside Every Progressive Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out.”

    Kramer is a Communist – The Race – YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxuBhemD3nk

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    #Confiscation
    Anti-Gun Lawmakers Introduce Gun Confiscation Bill In Georgia http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/18/anti-gun-lawmakers-introduce-gun-confiscation-bill-in-georgia/ via @dailycaller

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    “The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.” – James Burgh, 1774

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    Codrea: ‘Most Dangerous’ Oregon Gun Bill Creates New Threat to Freedom http://wp.me/p1zsyr-b5i via @wordpressdotcom

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    #Confiscation
    Anti-Gun Lawmakers Introduce Gun Confiscation Bill In Georgia http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/18/anti-gun-lawmakers-introduce-gun-confiscation-bill-in-georgia/ via @dailycaller

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    “The possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave.” – James Burgh, 1774

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    Codrea: ‘Most Dangerous’ Oregon Gun Bill Creates New Threat to Freedom http://wp.me/p1zsyr-b5i via @wordpressdotcom

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    ‘Most Dangerous’ Oregon Gun Bill Creates New Threat to Freedom https://www.oathkeepers.org/most-dangerous-oregon-gun-bill-creates-new-threat-to-freedom/ via @https://twitter.com/Oathkeepers

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    “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” Vladimir Lenin
    …………………………….

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    ‘Most Dangerous’ Oregon Gun Bill Creates New Threat to Freedom https://www.oathkeepers.org/most-dangerous-oregon-gun-bill-creates-new-threat-to-freedom/ via @https://twitter.com/Oathkeepers

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    Santa Claus & the Soviet Empire – Communism in Seinfeld.wmv
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6PdecBn2no

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    All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party. Mao Zedung

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    Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a
    well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all,
    enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy John Derbyshire

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    History of an Idea
    History of an Idea
    Roderick Long | @RoderickTLong | Support this author on Patreon | January 13th, 2012

    “ready to print!”

    Or, How An Argument Against the Workability of Authoritarian Socialism
    Became An Argument Against the Workability of Authoritarian Capitalism

    By Roderick T. Long (Originally posted 2 October 2008 for the Art of the Possible blog)

    In 1920, Ludwig von Mises published an argument against the workability of “socialism” (by which he meant state ownership of the means of production), an argument subsequently elaborated by himself and his student Friedrich Hayek.

    The idea in a nutshell: the value of a producers’ good depends on the value of the consumers’ goods to which it contributes. Hence in deciding among alternative production methods, the most efficient choice is the one that economises on those producers’ goods that are needed for the most highly valued consumer’s goods.

    But there’s a difference between technical efficiency and economic efficiency. (The following way of explaining the difference is indebted to David Ramsay Steele’s From Marx to Mises.)

    Suppose we’re comparing two ways of making widgets; method A uses three grams of rubber per widget produced while method B uses four grams of rubber per widget produced (with everything else being the same). In that case method A is clearly more efficient than method B; that’s a case of technical efficiency, because we can figure out which is more efficient just by looking at quantities expended without concerning ourselves with any economic concepts like demand.

    But now compare method C, which uses three grams of rubber and four grams of steel per widget, with method D, which uses four grams of rubber and three of steel (with all else remaining the same). In this case neither C nor D is more technically efficient than the other. To figure out which is more economically efficient, we have to figure out the comparative value of rubber vs. steel – i.e., which forgoes a more highly demanded alternative use, a gram of steel or a gram of rubber? As per Mises and Hayek, that’s something there’s no clear way to figure out except through market competition and a price system, whereby consumer valuations of first-order goods get translated, by means of prices, into varying demand for their factors of production (as reflected in, say, a higher price for steel than for rubber, thus prompting producers to economise on steel). State ownership of the means of production means no market in, and thus no prices for, producers’ goods, and so no way to transmit this information.

    But why couldn’t a state-socialist central planner have access to this information? Well, first, most of the relevant information about preferences is local, inarticulate, and constantly changing; it can be expressed through the actual consumer choices that embody it, but there’s no easy way to collect it otherwise. (This is the aspect of the problem stressed by Hayek – who also included other kinds of local, inarticulate, and constantly changing information – besides that concerning preferences – in his focus.) Second, even if you could get this information, it would all be in the form of ordinal rankings, and without translation into cardinal prices there’s no way to combine the ordinal rankings of different people. (This is the aspect of the problem stressed by Mises.) Finally, even if you could get the information into cardinal form, in order to use it to plan the economy you’d have to solve millions of simultaneous equations at rapid speed. (Critics of Mises and Hayek often write as though this third problem is supposed to be the main problem – and thus have supposed, for example, that fast enough computers could substitute for the price system – but from the Mises-Hayek perspective it’s a relatively minor afterthought.)

    If central planning is as hopeless an endeavour as the calculation argument claims, then why haven’t state-socialist regimes like the Soviet Union been even less successful than their actual record (which, while lousy, was not as completely chaotic as one might expect the Mises-Hayek argument to imply)? The reply is that the Soviet state, like similar regimes, was never completely insulated from the price system, since it had access to international prices (to say nothing of its own internal black market). Hence the information transmission mechanism, while seriously hampered, was able to function to some extent. (Most forms of governmental intervention merely distort the price system rather than suppressing it entirely. Of course the effects of these distortions can be serious enough – as when, per the Austrian theory of the business cycle, state manipulation of the money supply artificially lowers interest rates, sending investors the signal that consumers are more willing to defer consumption than they actually are, thereby directing resources into longer-term projects (boom!) that prove unsustainable (bust!), as in 1929 – or 2008. But the application of Austrian price theory to the current financial crisis is a story for my next post.)

    The Mises-Hayek account of the limits of state centralisation was subsequently extended, by Mises’s student Murray Rothbard, to cover the limits of private cartelisation as well. In his 1962 work Man, Economy, and State (see especially here and here):

    In order to calculate the profits and losses of each branch, a firm must be able to refer its internal operations to external markets for each of the various factors and intermediate products. When any of these external markets disappears, because all are absorbed within the province of a single firm, calculability disappears, and there is no way for the firm rationally to allocate factors to that specific area. The more these limits are encroached upon, the greater and greater will be the sphere of irrationality, and the more difficult it will be to avoid losses. …

    [I]f there were no market for a product, and all of its exchanges were internal, there would be no way for a firm or for anyone else to determine a price for the good. A firm can estimate an implicit price when an external market exists; but when a market is absent, the good can have no price, whether implicit or explicit. Any figure could be only an arbitrary symbol. Not being able to calculate a price, the firm could not rationally allocate factors and resources from one stage to another. … For every capital good, there must be a definite market in which firms buy and sell that good. It is obvious that this economic law sets a definite maximum to the relative size of any particular firm on the free market. Because of this law, firms cannot merge or cartelize for complete vertical integration of stages or products. Because of this law, there can never be One Big Cartel over the whole economy or mergers until One Big Firm owns all the productive assets in the economy. The force of this law multiplies as the area of the economy increases and as islands of noncalculable chaos swell to the proportions of masses and continents. As the area of incalculability increases, the degrees of irrationality, misallocation, loss, impoverishment, etc., become greater. Under one owner or one cartel for the whole productive system, there would be no possible areas of calculation at all, and therefore complete economic chaos would prevail.

    Everyone knows about economies of scale; after all, that’s why we have firms in the first place. What Rothbard’s analysis shows is that there are also diseconomies of scale, and that these grow more severe as vertical integration increases.

    What happens when a firm grows so large, its internal operations so insulated from the price system, that the diseconomies of scale begin to outweigh the economies? Well, that depends on the institutional context. In a free market, if the firm doesn’t catch wise and start scaling back, it will grow increasingly inefficient and so will lose customers to competitors; markets thus serve as an automatic check on the size of the firm.

    But what if friendly politicians rig the game so that favoured companies can reap the benefits associated with economies of scale while socialising the costs associated with diseconomies of scale? Then we might just possibly end up with an economy dominated by those bloated, bureaucratic, hierarchical corporate behemoths we all know and love. (For some of the ways that state intervention contributes to the Dilbertesque nature of today’s business world, see Kevin Carson’s article “Economic Calculation in the Corporate Commonwealth” – and for more detail, his online books Studies in Mutualist Political Economy and Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective.)

    The good news, then, is that the unlovely features of the economy that often get blamed on the free market (or on something called “capitalism,” which means either the free market, or plutocracy, or somehow magically both) are in fact the product of government intervention. We can embrace the free market without embracing big business.

    But it’s not just opponents of the free market that get markets and business interests mixed up. All too many libertarians still rush to defend giant corporations like Microsoft and Wal-Mart (two firms whose whole business model in fact depends heavily on government intervention – via, e.g., IP protectionism for Microsoft, eminent domain plus socialised transportation costs for Wal-Mart, and general suppression of competition from the less affluent for both) as though such a defense were part and parcel of a commitment to markets. As libertarians we can hardly complain when we’re accused of being apologists for corporate plutocracy, so long as we’re actually contributing to that perception ourselves by allowing ourselves to lose track of the basic facts about the price system that we of all people should remember.

    So long as the confusion between free markets and plutocracy persists – so long as libertarians allow their laudable attraction to free markets to fool them into defending plutocracy, and so long as those on the left allow their laudable opposition to plutocracy to fool them into opposing free markets – neither libertarians nor the left will achieve their goals, and the state-corporate partnership will continue to dominate the political scene.

    That’s why we need a left-libertarian alliance.
    https://c4ss.org/content/9482

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    There is no such dichotomy as “human rights” versus “property rights.”
    No human rights can exist without property rights. – Ayn Rand

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    The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. H.L. Menkin

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    A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders. – Larry Elder

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    “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our
    inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the
    state of facts and evidence.”
    John Adams

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    Frankfurt School
    German research group
    Written By:The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica
    Last Updated:7-20-1998

    Frankfurt School, group of researchers associated with the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Ger., who applied Marxism to a radical interdisciplinary social theory. The Institute for Social Research (Institut für Sozialforschung) was founded by Carl Grünberg in 1923 as an adjunct of the University of Frankfurt; it was the first Marxist-oriented research centre affiliated with a major German university. Max Horkheimer took over as director in 1930 and recruited many talented theorists, including T.W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, Herbert Marcuse, and Walter Benjamin.
    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Frankfurt-School

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    The German Workers Party
    Citation: C N Trueman “The German Workers Party”
    historylearningsite.co.uk. The History Learning Site, 22 May 2015.

    Immediately at the end of World War One, a small political group started its life in Munich – the German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei). It was an off-shoot of the previously very influential Pan-German Fatherland Party. The German Workers’ Party was founded by Anton Drexler, a toolmaker, and Dietrich Eckhart, a journalist. On September 19th, 1919, Adolf Hitler became the party’s seventh member. The German Workers’ Party held its first public meeting on February 24th 1920 in a Munich beer hall. It was at this meeting that Hitler stated that the party had to adopt his ‘25 Points’, which later became known as the ‘Twenty Five Points Programme’. In April 1920, the name of the party was changed to National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP).

    “The program of the German Workers’ Party is limited as to period. The leaders have no intention, once the aims announced in it have been achieved, of setting up fresh ones, merely in order to increase the discontent of the masses artificially, and so ensure the continued existence of the party.

    1. We demand the union of all Germans to form a Great Germany on the basis of the right of self-determination enjoyed by nations.

    2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and abolition of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain.

    3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the nourishment of our people and for settling our excess population.

    4. None but members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation.

    5. Anyone who is not a citizen of the state may live in Germany only as a guest and must be regarded as being subject to foreign laws.

    6. The right of voting on the leadership and legislation is to be enjoyed by the state alone. We demand therefore that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, in the country, or in the small localities, shall be granted to citizens of the state alone. We oppose the corrupting custom of Parliament of filling posts merely with a view to party considerations, and without reference to character or capacity.

    7. We demand that the state shall make it its first duty to promote the industry and livelihood of citizens of the state. If it is not possible to nourish the entire population of the state, foreign nationals (non-citizens of the state) must be excluded from the Reich.

    8. All non-German immigration must be prevented.

    9. All citizens of the state shall be equal as regards to rights and duties.

    10. It must be the duty of each citizen of the state to work with his mind and his body. The activities of the individual may not clash with the interests of the whole, but must proceed within the frame of the community and be for the general good. We demand therefore:

    11. Abolition of incomes unearned by work.

    12. In view of the enormous sacrifice of life and property demanded of a nation by war, personal enrichment due to a war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand therefore ruthless confiscation of all war gains.

    13. We demand nationalisation of all businesses.

    14. We demand that the profits from wholesale trade shall be shared.

    15. We demand extensive development of provision for old age.

    16. We demand creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, immediate communalisation of wholesale business premises, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that extreme consideration shall be shown to all small purveyors to the state, district authorities, and smaller localities.

    17. We demand land reform suitable to our national requirements.

    18. We demand ruthless prosecution of those whose activities are injurious to the common interest. Sordid criminals against the nation, usurers, profiteers, etc. must be punished with death, whatever their creed or race.

    19. We demand that the Roman Law, which serves the materialistic world order, shall be replaced by a legal system for all Germany.

    20. With the aim of opening to every capable and industrious German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement, the state must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education.

    21. The state must see to raising the standards of health in the nation by protecting mothers and infants, prohibiting child labour, increasing bodily efficiency by obligatory gymnastics and sports laid down by law, and by extensive support of clubs engaged in the bodily development of the young.

    22. We demand abolition of a paid army and formation of the national army.

    23. We demand legal warfare against conscious political lying and its dissemination in the press. In order to facilitate creation of a national press we demand: a) that all editors of newspapers and their assistants, employing the German language, must be members of the nation b) that special permission from the state shall be necessary before non-German newspapers may appear. These are not necessarily printed in the German language c) that non-Germans shall be prohibited by law from participation financially in or influencing German newspapers. It must be forbidden to publish papers which do not conduce to the national welfare. We demand legal prosecution of all tendencies in art and literature of a kind likely to disintegrate our life as a nation, and the suppression of institutions which militate against the requirements above-mentioned.

    24. We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the state, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the moral feelings of the German race. The party as such stands for Positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within us and without us.

    25. That all the foregoing may be realised we demand the creation of a strong central power of the state; unquestioned authority of the politically centralised Parliament over the entire Reich and its organisations; and formation of chambers for classes and occupations for the purpose of carrying out the general laws promulgated by the Reich in various states of the confederation.

    The leaders of the party swear to go straight forward – if necessary to sacrifice their lives – in securing fulfilment of the foregoing points.”
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/weimar-germany/the-german-workers-party/

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    Berlin Wall
    On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War.
    http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-wall#

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell

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    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property
    of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they
    put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon
    absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge
    which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” -John
    Locke

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    Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised. – Niccolò Machiavelli

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    Troops of the Uniform Unite! The Military Is a Socialist Paradise!
    It may come as an unwelcome surprise to conservatives, but America’s military has one of the only working models of collective living and social welfare the country has ever known.
    Every day before dawn, brave men and women of different races and backgrounds rise as one, united by a common cause. They march together in formation, kept in step by their voices joined in song. These workers leave their communal housing arrangements and go toil together “in the field.” While they are out doing their day’s labor, their young are cared for in subsidized childcare programs. If they hurt themselves on the job, they can count on universal health care. Right under your nose, on the fenced-in bases you drive past on your way to work or see on the TV news, a successful experiment in collectivization has been going on for years.

    In an era defined by 13 years of continuous war, most Americans still seem to regard the U.S. military as a mysterious and remote way of life. Then a tragedy involving a soldier or veteran happens, and reliably experts come forward to explain the strange customs of the folkloric troop in its native habitat. Shame that so many of the experts seem to have barely a clue what the military is really like. They’ve studied it from a distance without getting a real feel for the customs and characteristics of the culture they’re eager to explain.

    It probably comes as a surprise to many, but the army may have more in common with Norway than Sparta.

    The U.S. military is a socialist paradise. Imagine a testing ground where every signature liberal program of the past century has been applied, from racial integration to single-payer health care—then add personal honor, strict hierarchy, and more guns. Like all socialist paradises, the military has been responsible for its share of bloodshed, but it has developed one of the only working models of collective living and social welfare that this country has ever known.

    Not that the leadership always gets things right and protects those who serve. Over and over again, the military has betrayed its own best principles and traditions, from the practical exclusion of non-white veterans from the World War II G.I. Bill to the massive lapses and failures in the VA system and today’s rising dependence on food stamps in military homes. The military suffers from the same problems that all mammoth bureaucracies do but less so, because its membership largely believes in its core values and has seen those values upheld often enough to expect action when they are betrayed.

    So what’s life like for those in uniform living in the socialist paradise?

    The military is an enormous jobs program. There are more than 2 million active duty and reserve members of the armed forces spread out between bases in more than 150 countries. As with any employer of that size, you’ll get a range of answers about working conditions depending on who you ask and how much they got screwed by the bureaucracy, let down by their leaders, or punished by circumstance.

    Across the thousands of bases where soldiers, marines, and airmen live with their families, a few common features shape military life. It’s the commonness of the life, actually, that makes it unique. From Fort Bragg to Camp Pendleton, there is a shared experience on a scale that exists almost nowhere else in America.

    Millions of people on military bases live in communal arrangements. They participate in centrally run programs that govern the most basic and fundamental aspects of their lives, from their housing and children’s educations to where and how they shop for food.

    Service members and their families live for free on base. People living off base are given a stipend to cover their housing costs. They shop in commissaries and post exchanges where prices for food and basic goods are considerably lower than at civilian stores. Troops and their families count on high-quality education and responsive universal health care. They expect to be safe at home, as bases, on average, have less violence than American cities of comparable size. And residents enjoy a wide range of amenities—not just restaurants and movie theaters but fishing ponds, camp sites, and golf courses built for their use.

    Of course, some bases are better than others. But even the most austere provides a comprehensive network of social welfare provisions and a safety net that does not differentiate between a junior employee and an executive. (Though with budget cuts now looming, Congress is trying to gut some of those benefits while wasteful programs go untouched.)

    The pay difference, and thus the lifestyle difference, between a junior troop and a senior general is a small fraction of the disparity that separates the salary of an average worker from that of a top CEO in the private sector.
    Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

    And speaking of management and floor workers, as stratified as the military’s rank system is, it is also one of the country’s last engines of social mobility. A young enlistee from a poor background with no higher education can rise through the ranks. The military is one of the only institutions in America, maybe the only one, where the mailroom-to-boardroom scenario still happens often enough to be more than just a self-serving myth.

    On social issues, the military has consistently been ahead of the country at large. President Truman ordered the armed forces desegregated in 1948, shamefully late but two decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And since the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010, gay service members have been getting married and collecting the same benefits as their straight peers, while the issue still works its way through the states.

    Yes, the military is a machine that is engineered to kill. It is also one of America’s most meritocratic institutions, and one of its most progressive and generous in terms of workers’ benefits.

    No one will be more infuriated by the comparison to socialism than the conservative-leaning members of the military. And there are, of course, innumerable and essential ways in which the military isn’t socialist at all. It’s a volunteer force that works as well as it does because the organization fulfills its obligations to the people who sign up. Most people sign up because they’re looking to better themselves and get more opportunities than they had back home. They stay if they believe that the rules are applied fairly and they can get ahead on their merits.

    Upholding the contract that underwrites the service of the volunteer military requires more than just providing resources and distributing benefits. To maintain the loyalty of the foot soldiers the military brass depends on, the leadership needs to show that it can hold itself accountable. It fails often at that task but succeeds enough to be one of the few national institutions left where people take each other at their word.

    Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to reflect that most military childcare programs are subsidized but not free.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/21/troops-of-the-uniform-unite-the-military-is-a-socialist-paradise

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    The Pilgrims Were … Socialists?
    By KATE ZERNIKENOV. 20, 2010
    [..]
    Historians say that the settlers in Plymouth, and their supporters in England, did indeed agree to hold their property in common — William Bradford, the governor, referred to it in his writings as the “common course.” But the plan was in the interest of realizing a profit sooner, and was only intended for the short term; historians say the Pilgrims were more like shareholders in an early corporation than subjects of socialism.

    “It was directed ultimately to private profit,” said Richard Pickering, a historian of early America and the deputy director of Plimoth Plantation, a museum devoted to keeping the Pilgrims’ story alive.

    The arrangement did not produce famine. If it had, Bradford would not have declared the three days of sport and feasting in 1621 that became known as the first Thanksgiving. “The celebration would never have happened if the harvest was going to be less than enough to get them by,” Mr. Pickering said. “They would have saved it and rationed it to get by.”

    The competing versions of the story note Bradford’s writings about “confusion and discontent” and accusations of “laziness” among the colonists. But Mr. Pickering said this grumbling had more to do with the fact that the Plymouth colony was bringing together settlers from all over England, at a time when most people never moved more than 10 miles from home. They spoke different dialects and had different methods of farming, and looked upon each other with great wariness.

    “One man’s laziness is another man’s industry, based on the agricultural methods they’ve learned as young people,” he said.

    Bradford did get rid of the common course — but it was in 1623, after the first Thanksgiving, and not because the system wasn’t working. The Pilgrims just didn’t like it. In the accounts of colonists, Mr. Pickering said, “there was griping and groaning.”

    “Bachelors didn’t want to feed the wives of married men, and women don’t want to do the laundry of the bachelors,” he said.

    The real reason agriculture became more profitable over the years, Mr. Pickering said, is that the Pilgrims were getting better at farming crops like corn that had been unknown to them in England.

    As for Jamestown, there was famine. But historians dispute the characterization of the colony as a collectivist society. “To call it socialism is wildly inaccurate,” said Karen Ordahl Kupperman, a historian at New York University and the author of “The Jamestown Project.” “It was a contracted company, and everybody worked for the company. I mean, is Halliburton a socialist scheme?”

    The widespread deaths resulted mostly from malaria. Tree ring studies suggest that the settlement was also plagued by drought.

    But the biggest problem, Professor Kupperman said, was the lack of planning. The Virginia settlers came to the New World thinking that they could find gold or a route to the Pacific Ocean via the Chesapeake Bay, and make a quick buck by setting up a trading station like others were establishing in the East Indies.

    “It was just wishful thinking,” she said, “a failure to recognize that these things are really, really difficult.”

    The Tea Party’s take on Thanksgiving may have its roots in the cold war.

    Samuel Eliot Morison, the admiral and historian who edited Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation,” titled the chapter about Bradford ending the common course “Indian Conspiracy; Communism; Gorges.”

    But it is important to note that he was writing in 1952, amid great American suspicion of the Soviets. “The challenges of the cold war and dealing with Russia are reflected in the text,” Mr. Pickering said.

    Likewise, Cleon Skousen, the author of the “Making of America” textbook, was an anticommunist crusader in the 1960s. (His term for Jamestown was not socialism but “secular communism.”)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/weekinreview/21zernike.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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    The Road to Serfdom
    by
    Friedrich A. Hayek

    FUTURECASTS online magazine
    http://www.futurecasts.com
    Vol. 5, No. 6, 6/1/03.

    Homepage

    This classic attack on the fuzzy minded dogma of socialism is now ripe for objective evaluation. The verdict is that this book played a vital role in undermining the intellectual validity of socialist dogma and slowing its disastrous spread, but ultimately missed the reasons for – and thus played no role in – the ultimate demise of socialism as an intellectually legitimate option for economic organization.

    In defense of 19th century liberalism:

    Individual liberty is viewed as one of the greatest achievements of Western civilization.
    Hayek wrote this book in 1944 as a defense of 19th century liberal ideals, which were far different from the liberal ideals of the 20th century. The ideal of individual liberty – the belief that each individual should be free to pursue his own destiny within his own narrow sphere – is viewed and defended as one of the greatest achievements of Western civilization. This great accomplishment, Hayek warned, is incompatible with socialism. Individual liberty must be destroyed wherever socialism exists.
    &
    He believed that the Anglo Saxon democracies, by pursuing the chimera of economic security and equality that socialism promised, were treading the same path to serfdom as had Germany and Italy after WW-I.
    &

    Fascism and communism both promise “social welfare,” “social justice,” and “fairness” to justify authoritarian means and extensive arbitrary and discretionary governmental powers.
    In place of individual liberty, socialism offers security. It promises protection from personal economic necessities and restraints, and an equality of economic well being.
    &
    From his perspective, as a native of Central Europe who had experienced the rise of fascism and communism throughout Europe, Hayek concluded that fascism and communism were not opposites, but very similar creeds based on autocratic socialism. Their goals of “social welfare,” “the good of the community,” “social justice,” and “fairness,” are open ended and provide no real guidance as to what is and is not desirable or required of the system. Their ideological goals justify authoritarian means, and the practical requirements of complex central planning require extensive arbitrary and discretionary powers.
    &
    Ultimately, with all freedoms compromised, socialism offers only “the security of the barracks.”
    &

    Justification for horrific means:
    Collectivism justifies any means to achieve its great ends. Any expediency is justified, no matter how it may affect individuals or small groups, for the benefit of the whole. The “greater goal” justifies even horrific means.
    &

    Collectivist principles justify the rise of totally unprincipled apparatchiks.
    Once collectivist goals are accepted, the way is open for demagogues and ruthless men to gather the “strength” needed to impose the needed measures. To rise in such a system, only totally callous apparatchiks are desired. They must be “unreservably committed to the person of the leader; but next to this the most important thing is that they should be completely unprincipled and literally capable of everything.”

    Ideologues on both the left and right typically become so committed to their noble goals that they easily justify any means to accomplish them. Even today, both leftist and rightist ideologues express frustration with the democratic checks and balances that inhibit government action – frequently enmesh ideological agendas in legislative gridlock – and protect our freedoms.

    Socialism destroys language – and thought:
    Ultimately, even the language is perverted. All the most treasured virtues, such as “freedom,” “justice,” “law,” “right,” “equality,” etc., are redefined for collectivist purposes, so that even thought can be controlled.
    &
    Hayek quotes Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    &

    Socialism destroys the “rule of law:”
    Thus, under socialism, the “rule of law” must be replaced so that the central planners can have the arbitrary and discretionary powers that they must have to have any chance to make socialism work. Discretionary powers, he points out, will inevitably be used for discretionary purposes.
    &

    Socialism destroys the right to hold property:

    “It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us.”
    Socialism must eliminate the private property rights that diffuse power and allow people a larger measure of freedom.

    “[T]he system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us. If all the means of production were vested in a single hand, whether it be nominally that of ‘society’ as a whole or that of a dictator, whoever exercises this control has complete power over us.”

    Socialism destroys opportunity:
    Socialism must eliminate the opportunity for private wealth that capitalism offers the ordinary citizen.

    “[A] world in which the wealthy are powerful is still a better world than one in which only the powerful are wealthy.”

    Socialism destroys choice:
    Socialism must eliminate free choice of occupation, production and consumption.
    &
    If the planners are to control production, we must be content to consume what they think we should consume, when and where they think proper.
    &

    Socialism destroys democracy:
    Democratic government will fail as a check on the abuse of power as the central planners acquire the degree of arbitrary and discretionary powers that they need.
    &

    Ultimately, socialism dissolves into factions squabbling over which group will reap the lions share of the benefits, a competition in which those who resort to compulsion have obvious advantages.
    Even partial socialism is a threat to democratic liberties.
    &
    When the state controls more than half the economy (as it did in Germany in the late 1920s), just about all economic entities become dependent on government.
    &
    Socialism will breed vicious factionalism as everyone chooses up sides to influence the authorities who have control over their lives.
    &
    Socialism promises only greater equality, not exact equality, leaving open the question of who gets what. Ultimately, socialism dissolves into factions squabbling over which group will reap the lions share of the benefits, a competition in which those who resort to compulsion have obvious advantages.

    Factionalism is an inevitable result of all expansions of government economic powers. It is not mere coincidence that the modern growth of government involvement in economic matters has been accompanied by the growth of “vested interests” and their massive monetary contributions to the political parties.

    Rejection of the “laissez faire” propaganda myth:
    The mythological laissez faire alternative is readily rejected by Hayek.
    &
    “Planning for competition” (planning to facilitate competitive commerce) has always been a necessary government function, requiring such things as an appropriate legal framework, infrastructure, and social regulation applied generally to all commerce to achieve such societal objectives as environmental and safety goals.
    &

    All administrative substitutes for market prices are arbitrary and capricious.
    It is “planning against competition” that threatens us all. Even as early as 1944, Hayek is aware that technological progress and complexity make automatic market mechanisms and decentralized decision making more imperative, and central planning more hopeless. The rational allocation of rewards – and efficient decisions about supply and demand – are both impossible without the pricing mechanism.
    &
    All administrative substitutes for market prices are arbitrary and capricious. Protection and subsidies for favored economic entities he labels “restrictionism,” and points out that this always causes greater volatility and diminished performance for the rest of the economy.
    &

    Socialists love big business:

    Socialists love monopolies and oligopolies, Hayek notes. Large, dominant economic entities support the clearest arguments and provide the easiest opportunities for socialist nationalization.

    John K. Galbraith, in “A Journey Through Economic Time,” provides an example of socialist love for large economic entities and oligopolistic industry.

    Advantages of federal political systems:

    The American model of a federal union, with local government empowered as much as possible, is the political system favored by Hayek. International organizations should be limited to facilitating international commerce and competition by establishing rules of conduct against restrictionist practices.

    A federal system with strong national governments is, in fact, the way Europe chooses to proceed, although restrictionist practices are still an important part of the European scene.
    &

    Hayek made two fundamental errors in this analysis, both of which are much easier to see from the perspective of the 1990s than they were during the 1940s when he wrote.

    Democracy and liberty:
    First, the popular commitment to democracy and liberty in the Anglo Saxon nations was not understood by Hayek.
    &

    In Anglo Saxon nations, the people will abandon socialism rather than surrender political freedom and individual liberty.
    Democratic traditions had been sorely tested by the Great Depression and the economic troubles that preceded it during the 1920s. Democracy had failed in many places after WW I, but had survived in the Anglo Saxon nations.
    &
    Hayek failed to acknowledge the comparative weakness of democratic institutions in Germany, Italy and Russia. As events proved, if socialism were tried and failed in an Anglo Saxon nation, the people would abandon socialism rather than surrender their democratic powers and individual liberties.
    &

    Ineptness is inherent in government management:
    Second, the inherent ineptness of government management was not understood by Hayek.
    &
    Socialism was doomed to failure even where the central planners were given absolute power and were permitted to act in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
    &

    Withdrawal of individual liberty must stifle economic advance and ultimately cause the widespread failure of autocratic socialist systems.
    Hayek understood the connection between individual liberty and the explosion of energy and inventiveness that drove the Western economic advance in the 19th century. Individual liberty set the individual free to pursue his own economic destiny. Economic advance was propelled by the advances of numerous enterprising individuals. However, he failed to suspect – or even just to hope – that withdrawal of individual liberty must stifle economic advance and ultimately cause the widespread failure of autocratic socialist systems.
    &
    Lacking guidance from market prices – meaningful sales charts – objective accounting systems – and the profit and loss statement – and encumbered by political and bureaucratic imperatives and due process decision making procedures – even the best managers must fail.
    &
    Indeed, central planning must inevitably fail even where it is given autocratic power to remove the constraints of due process decision making requirements and democratic checks and balances. Corruption grows unchecked where power is autocratic, and creates far greater obstacles to progress than the procedural obstacles of due process and democratic politics.
    http://www.futurecasts.com/Hayek,%20Road%20to%20serfdom.html

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    When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. Thomas Jefferson

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    “When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded.”

    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

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    German Democratic Republic
    historical nation, Germany
    Alternative Titles: DDR, Deutsche Demokratische Republik, East Germany, Ostdeutschland

    German Democratic Republic, byname East Germany, German Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or Ostdeutschland, former country (1949–90) that constitutes the northeastern section of present-day Germany.
    https://www.britannica.com/place/German-Democratic-Republic

    East German Communist Party.

    DDR created 1949

    The ruling Communist party, known as the “Socialist Unity Party” (SED), was formed in April 1946 out of the forced merger between the German Communist Party (KPD) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). As Walter Ulbricht noted, everything was made to look democratic while in realty Communists retained control in the background. They were totally loyal to Stalin, and realized their regime would collapse if it lost the backing of the Soviet army—as indeed happened in 1989. Historians debate whether the decision to form a separate country was initiated by Stalin or by the SED.[2]
    http://www.conservapedia.com/German_Democratic_Republic

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    Definition of oxymoron
    plural oxymora ˌäk-si-ˈmȯr-ə, -sē-

    : a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness); broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxymoron

    ——————————————

    Definition of oxymoron
    plural oxymora

    : a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness); broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements

    oxymoronic ˌäk-si-mə-ˈrä-nik, -mȯ-, -sē- adjective
    oxymoronically ˌäk-si-mə-ˈrä-ni-k(ə-)lē, -mȯ-, -sē- adverb
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxymoronically

    same with oxymoronic

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxymoronic

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    The Gettysburg Address
    November 19, 1863

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Abraham Lincoln

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    “You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
    Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005), was an American pastor, conservative, author, and a three-term president of the Southern Baptist Convention (1979-1980 and 1986-1988).

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    “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.”

    Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

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    Marx & Critical Theory
    Spring 2014
    Description

    A “critical theory” has a distinctive aim: to unmask the ideology falsely justifying some form of social or economic oppression—to reveal it as ideology—and, in so doing, to contribute to the task of ending that oppression. And so, a critical theory aims to provide a kind of enlightenment about social and economic life that is itself emancipatory: persons come to recognize the oppression they are suffering as oppression and are thereby partly freed from it.

    Marx’s critique of capitalist economic relations is arguably just this kind of critical theory. As participants in a capitalist market economy, we fall into thinking of the economy in terms of private property rights, free exchange, the laws of supply and demand, etc., and, in so doing, we fall into thinking of capitalist economic relations as justified, as how things should be. Marx argues that this way of thinking is nothing but ideology: it obscures, even from those persons who suffer them, the pervasive and destructive forms of alienation, powerlessness, and exploitation that, in Marx’s view, define capitalist economic relations. Any prospects for change, reform, or for Marx, revolution requires first that people come to see capitalism for what it is, for they must first see the ways in which they themselves are alienated, powerless and exploited before they can try to free themselves from it. Later social theorists in what came to be called the Frankfurt School—Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, and Habermas—develop and refine this Marxian project of providing a critical theory of capitalist economic and social relations. In particular, they argue that the forms of oppression distinctive of “late” capitalism are importantly different than the forms Marx found in the early capitalism of the Industrial Revolution, and so a critical theory about them must also be different.

    Readings will be made up mostly of (somewhat difficult but very rich) primary sources, with some secondary readings to aid in the tasks of understanding and interpretation.

    Requisite: One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Koltonski.

    If Overenrolled: Allow everyone to register. Preference to majors, then by class and to those who attend first class.
    https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/courses/1314S/PHIL/PHIL-366-1314S

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    “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” George Santayana

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    “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy
    without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to
    do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.“
    Ronald Reagan

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    If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull. W. C. Fields
    …………………………………………….

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    “A nation can survive its fools, even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves against those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” –Ibid.

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    It is impossible to introduce into society a greater Change and a greater Evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.
    Frédéric Bastiat

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    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

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    critical theory
    noun

    a theoretical approach developed by the “Frankfurt School” of social thinkers, which stresses that all knowledge is historical and biased and thus claims to “objective” knowledge are illusory
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/critical-theory

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    “Collectivism doesn’t work because it’s based on a faulty economic
    premise. There is no such thing as a person’s “fair share” of wealth.
    The gross national product is not a pizza that must be carefully divided
    because if I get too many slices, you have to eat the box. The economy
    is expandable and, in any practical sense, limitless.” – P.J. O’Rourke

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    Understanding Critical Theory
    Definition and Overview
    by Ashley Crossman
    Updated March 02, 2017

    Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole, in contrast to traditional theory oriented only to understanding or explaining it. Critical theories aim to dig beneath the surface of social life and uncover the assumptions that keep us from a full and true understanding of how the world works.

    Critical theory emerged out of the Marxist tradition and it was developed by a group of sociologists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany who referred to themselves as The Frankfurt School.
    History and Overview

    Critical theory as it is known today can be traced to Marx’s critique of economy and society put forth in his many works. It is inspired greatly by Marx’s theoretical formulation of the relationship between economic base and ideological superstructure, and tends to focus on how power and domination operate, in particular, in the realm of the superstructure.

    Following in Marx’s critical footsteps, Hungarian György Lukács and Italian Antonio Gramsci developed theories that explored the cultural and ideological sides of power and domination. Both Lukács and Gramsci focused their critique on the social forces that prevent people from seeing and understanding the forms of power and domination that exist in society and affect their lives.

    Shortly following the period when Lukács and Gramsci developed and published their ideas, The Institute for Social Research was founded at the University of Frankfurt, and the Frankfurt School of critical theorists took shape.

    It is the work of those associated with the Frankfurt School—including Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Erich Fromm, Walter Benjamin, Jürgen Habermas, and Herbert Marcuse—that is considered the definition and heart of critical theory.

    Like Lukács and Gramsci, these theorists focused on ideology and cultural forces as facilitators of domination and barriers to true freedom.

    The contemporary politics and economic structures of the time greatly influenced their thought and writing, as they existed within the rise of national socialism—including the rise of the Nazi regime, state capitalism, and the rise and spread of mass-produced culture.

    Max Horkheimer defined critical theory in the book Traditional and Critical Theory. In this work Horkheimer asserted that a critical theory must do two important things: it must account for the whole of society within historical context, and it should seek to offer a robust and holistic critique by incorporating insights from all social sciences.

    Further, Horkheimer stated that a theory can only be considered a true critical theory if it is explanatory, practical, and normative, meaning that the theory must adequately explain the social problems that exist, it must offer practical solutions for how to respond to them and make change, and it must clearly abide the norms of criticism established by the field.

    With this formulation Horkheimer condemned “traditional” theorists for producing works that fail to question power, domination, and the status quo, thus building on Gramsci’s critique of the role of intellectuals in processes of domination.
    Key Texts

    Those associated with the Frankfurt School focused their critique on the centralization of economic, social, and political control that was transpiring around them. Key texts from this period include:

    Critical and Traditional Theory (Horkheimer)
    Dialectic of the Enlightenment (Adorno and Horkheimer)
    Knowledge and Human Interests (Habermas)
    The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (Habermas)
    One-Dimensional Man (Marcuse)
    The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Benjamin)

    Critical Theory Today

    Over the years the goals and tenets of critical theory have been adopted by many social scientists and philosophers who have come after the Frankfurt School. We can recognize critical theory today in many feminist theories and feminist approaches to conducting social science, in critical race theory, cultural theory, in gender and queer theory, and in media theory and media studies.

    Updated by Nicki Lisa Cole, Ph.D.
    https://www.thoughtco.com/critical-theory-3026623

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    “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”
    George Orwell

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    “The only reason for not tarring and feathering any government official for effrontery when they tell us what to do is that their power to do so is somehow legitimate. But that legitimacy comes from the exercise of constitutional power. If the Constitution doesn’t mean anything, well, then, maybe it’s time to go long on pitchforks. Because without the Constitution the angry mob is just as legitimate as the perfumed princes of the state.”
    Josh Blackman

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    What is the difference between Communism and Socialism?
    Communism and socialism are umbrella terms referring to left-wing schools of economic thought that oppose capitalism. These two ideas have inspired various social and political movements since the 19th century. Several countries have been or are currently governed by parties calling themselves communist or socialist, though these parties’ policies and rhetoric vary widely.

    As an ideology, communism is generally regarded as hard-left, making fewer concessions to market capitalism and electoral democracy than do most forms of socialism. As a system of government, communism tends to center on a one-party state that bans most forms of political dissent. These two usages of the term “communism” – one referring to theory, the other to politics as they are practiced – need not overlap: China’s ruling Communist Party has an explicitly pro-market capitalist orientation and pays only lip service to the Maoist ideology whose purist adherents (Peru’s Shining Path in its heyday, for example) regard Chinese authorities as bourgeois counterrevolutionaries. (See also, Why Populist Leaders Are Great for Stocks.)

    Socialism can refer to a vast swath of the political spectrum, in theory and in practice. Its intellectual history is more varied than that of communism: the Communist Manifesto devotes a chapter to criticizing the half-dozen forms of socialism already in existence at the time, and proponents have taken just about every left-of-center stance on the ideal (or best achievable) structure of economic and political systems.

    Socialists can be pro- or anti-market. They may consider the ultimate goal to be revolution and the abolition of social classes, or they may seek more pragmatic outcomes: universal healthcare, for example, or a universal pension scheme. Social Security is a socialist policy that has been adopted in the unabashedly capitalist U.S. (as are the eight-hour working day, free public education and arguably universal suffrage). Socialists may run for election, forming coalitions with non-socialist parties, as they do in Europe, or they may govern as authoritarians, as the Chavista regime does in Venezuela.
    Defining Communism and Socialism

    To better understand the slippery distinctions between communism and socialism requires defining both terms. (See also, The History of Economic Thought.)

    Communism

    Communism traces its roots to “The Communist Manifesto,” an 1848 pamphlet by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The document laid out a theory of history as a struggle between economic classes, which will inevitably come to a head through a violent overthrow of capitalist society just as feudal society was violently overthrown during the French Revolution, paving the way for bourgeois hegemony (the bourgeoisie is the class that controls the means of economic production).

    Following the communist revolution, Marx argued, workers (the proletariat) would take control of the means of production. Following a period of transition, the government would fade away, as workers built a classless society and an economy based on common ownership. Production and consumption would reach an equilibrium: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Religion and the family, institutions of social control that were used to subjugate the working class, would go the way of the government and private ownership. (See also, 3 Lessons Karl Marx Teaches Us.)

    Marx’s revolutionary ideology inspired 20th-century movements that fought for and in some cases won control of governments. The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 overthrew the Russian czar and following a civil war established the Soviet Union, a nominally communist empire that collapsed in 1991. The Soviet Union was only “nominally” communist because, while ruled by the Communist Party, it did not achieve a classless, stateless society in which the population collectively owned the means of production. (See also, Command Economy.)

    In fact, for the first four decades of the Soviet Union’s existence, the Party explicitly acknowledged that it had not created a communist society. Until 1961, the Party’s official stance was that the Soviet Union was governed by the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” an intermediate stage along the inevitable progression towards the final stage of human evolution: true communism. In 1961, Premier Nikita Krushchev declared that the Soviet state had begun “withering away,” though it would persist for another three decades. When it did collapse in 1991, it was supplanted by a nominally democratic, capitalist system.

    No 20th- or 21st-century communist state has created the post-scarcity economy Marx promised in the 19th century. More often the result has been acute scarcity: tens of millions of people died as a result of famine and political violence in Mao’s China. Rather than eliminating class, China’s and Russia’s communist revolutions created small, enormously wealthy Party cliques that profited from connections to state-owned enterprises. Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam, the world’s only remaining communist states (with the exception of de facto capitalist China), have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) roughly the size of Tennessee’s.

    Socialism

    Socialism predates the Communist Manifesto by a few decades. Early versions of socialist thought were articulated by Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825), who was himself an admirer of ur-capitalist Adam Smith, but whose followers developed utopian socialism; Robert Owen (1771-1858); Charles Fourier (1772-1837); Pierre Leroux (1797-1871); and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865), who is famous for declaring that “property is theft.”

    These thinkers put forward ideas such as a more egalitarian distribution of wealth, a sense of solidarity among the working class, better working conditions, and common ownership of productive resources such as land and manufacturing equipment. Some called for the state to take a central role in production and distribution. They were contemporary with early workers’ movements such as the Chartists, who pushed for universal male suffrage in Britain in the 1840s and 1850s. A number of experimental communities were founded based on the early socialists’ utopian ideals; most were short-lived. (See also, What Exactly Is a Socialist Economy?)

    Marxism emerged in this milieu. Engels called it “scientific socialism” to distinguish it from the “feudal,” “petty-bourgeois,” “German,” “conservative” and “critical-utopian” strains the Communist Manifesto singled out for criticism. Socialism was a diffuse bundle of competing ideologies in its early days, and it stayed that way. Part of the reason is that the first chancellor of newly unified Germany, Otto von Bismarck, stole the socialists’ thunder when he implemented a number of their policies. Bismarck was no friend to socialist ideologues, whom he called “enemies of the Reich,” but he created the West’s first welfare state and implemented universal male suffrage in order to head off the left’s ideological challenge.

    Since the 19th century, a hard-left brand of socialism has advocated radical societal overhaul – if not an outright proletarian revolution – that would redistribute power and wealth along more equitable lines. Strains of anarchism have also been present in this more radical wing of the socialist intellectual tradition. Perhaps as a result of Bismarck’s grand bargain, however, many socialists have seen gradual political change as the means to improving society. Such “reformists,” as hardliners call them, were often aligned with “social gospel” Christian movements in the early 20th century. They logged a number of policy victories: regulations mandating workplace safety, minimum wages, pension schemes, social insurance, universal healthcare and a range of other public services, which are generally funded by relatively high taxes.

    After the world wars, socialist parties became a dominant political force in much of Western Europe. Along with communism, various forms of socialism were heavily influential in the newly decolonized countries of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where leaders and intellectuals recast socialist ideas in a local mold – or vice-versa. Islamic socialism, for example, centers on zakat, the requirement that pious Muslims give away a portion of their accumulated wealth. Meanwhile socialists across the rich world aligned themselves with a range of liberation movements. In the U.S., many, though by no means all, feminist and civil rights leaders have espoused aspects of socialism.

    On the other hand, socialism has acted as an incubator for movements that are generally labeled far-right. European fascists in the 1920s and 1930s adopted socialist ideas, though they phrased them in nationalist terms: economic redistribution to the workers meant Italian or German workers and then only a certain, narrow type of Italian or German. In today’s political contests, echoes of socialism – or economic populism, to critics – are easily discernible on the both the right and left.
    http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/100214/what-difference-between-communism-and-socialism.asp

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    Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarians, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.

    The Communist Manifesto
    II. BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS Page 18.
    http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-tools/the-communist-manifesto-original-text-t3022.html

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    Polish United Workers’ Party
    The Polish United Workers’ Party (PUhttp://hungary-1956.wikia.com/wiki/Polish_United_Workers%27_PartyWP; Polish: Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, PZPR) was the Communist party which governed the People’s Republic of Poland from 1948 to 1989. Ideologically it was based on the theories of Marxism-Leninism.
    http://hungary-1956.wikia.com/wiki/Polish_United_Workers%27_Party

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    Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. – Thomas Sowell

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    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property
    of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they
    put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon
    absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge
    which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” -John
    Locke

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    In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?

    Ronald Reagan First Inaugural Address 20 January 1981

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    Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel. – Ayn Rand

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    Socialism or your money back

    Who We Are
    The Socialist Party http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb is like no other political party in Britain. It is made up of people who have joined together because we want to get rid of the profit system and establish real socialism.
    Our aim is to persuade others to become socialist and act for themselves, organising democratically and without leaders, to bring about the kind of society that we advocate.
    We are solely concerned with building a movement of socialists for socialism. We are not a reformist party with a programme of policies to patch up capitalism.
    What We Do
    Our aim is to build a movement working towards a socialist society. We publish literature, we hold meetings and debates throughout the country, we write to the press and state our case wherever possible on the media. We run weekend educational conferences, we sell tapes and pamphlets, we hand out leaflets, we contest elections, and we discuss our ideas with people wherever we can.
    We are unique
    The Socialist Party has been unique in Britain throughout the twentieth century for:

    Consistently advocating world socialism – a fully democratic society based upon co-operation and production for use.
    Opposing every single war
    Opposing every single government
    Being a democratic and leaderless organization

    The Next Step
    The more of you who join the Socialist Party the more we will be able to get our ideas across, the more experiences we will be able to draw on and greater will be the new ideas for building the movement which you will be able to bring to us.
    The Socialist Party is an organization of equals. There is no leader and there are no followers. So, if you are going to join we want you to be sure that you agree fully with what we stand for and that we are satisfied that you understand the case for socialism.
    If you want to know more about the Socialist Party, its ideas and activities, please contact us. spgb@worldsocialism.org
    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.ch/p/about.html

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    FAQ
    Why are the answers in this FAQ so long?
    Socialism is almost globally misunderstood and misrepresented. Socialism will be a basic structural change to society, and many of the things that most people take for granted, as “just the way things have to be”, can and must be changed to establish socialism.
    People tend to accept as true the things they hear over and over again. But repetition doesn’t make things true. Because the truth and the facts often contradict “common knowledge”, socialists have to show that “common knowledge” is wrong. That takes more words than just accepting the status quo.
    What is the World Socialist Movement (WSM)?
    The World Socialist Movement is an organization which began with the founding of the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1904. The Companion Parties of Socialism, which make up the World Socialist Movement, are those parties sharing an understanding of what socialism means, how to establish socialism, and a scientific analysis of past and current society. For more information about the WSM, see Introducing the World Socialist Movement on the World Socialist Movement web site.
    Why doesn’t the World Socialist Movement get involved in social activism?
    By “social activism” most people mean demonstrating, protesting, or otherwise attempting to influence immediate events in society, and still under capitalism. These attempts to reform capitalism have a very long history: as long as capitalism itself. We call these actions “reformism”.
    Organizations which claim to want socialism, and which also promote reforms, ignore socialism and spend their time working for reforms.
    The Companion Parties of Socialism, in the World Socialist Movement, are socialist parties. They promote socialism because that is all a socialist party can promote.
    If you find a “socialist” party promoting “social activism,” you’ll have found a non-socialist party.

    Isn’t socialism what they had in Russia, or in China or Cuba, or in Sweden?
    No. Socialism, as understood by the World Socialist Movement, was never established in any country. A short definition of what we understand to be socialism: a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of society as a whole.

    If there are wages and salaries, it is not socialism.
    State ownership is not socialism.
    Social programs are not socialism.
    Socialism means democracy at all levels of society, including the workplace.
    Socialism means a wageless, moneyless society.
    Socialism means voluntary labour.
    Socialism means free access to the goods produced by society.

    With this understanding of socialism, the Socialist Party of Great Britain noted in its journal, the Socialist Standard (August 1918, page 87), that the supposedly “Marxist” Russian Revolution of November 1917 was not socialist.
    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.ch/p/faq.html

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    ……………………………………

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    ……………………………………………….

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    “The only reason for not tarring and feathering any government official for effrontery when they tell us what to do is that their power to do so is somehow legitimate. But that legitimacy comes from the exercise of constitutional power. If the Constitution doesn’t mean anything, well, then, maybe it’s time to go long on pitchforks. Because without the Constitution the angry mob is just as legitimate as the perfumed princes of the state.”
    Josh Blackman

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    What is Socialism?
    Central to the meaning of socialism is common ownership. This means the resources of the world being owned in common by the entire global population.

    But does it really make sense for everybody to own everything in common? Of course, some goods tend to be for personal consumption, rather than to share—clothes, for example. People ‘owning’ certain personal possessions does not contradict the principle of a society based upon common ownership.

    In practice, common ownership will mean everybody having the right to participate in decisions on how global resources will be used. It means nobody being able to take personal control of resources, beyond their own personal possessions.

    Democratic control is therefore also essential to the meaning of socialism. Socialism will be a society in which everybody will have the right to participate in the social decisions that affect them. These decisions could be on a wide range of issues—one of the most important kinds of decision, for example, would be how to organise the production of goods and services.

    Production under socialism would be directly and solely for use. With the natural and technical resources of the world held in common and controlled democratically, the sole object of production would be to meet human needs. This would entail an end to buying, selling and money. Instead, we would take freely what we had communally produced. The old slogan of “from each according to ability, to each according to needs” would apply.

    So how would we decide what human needs are? This question takes us back to the concept of democracy, for the choices of society will reflect their needs. These needs will, of course, vary among different cultures and with individual preferences—but the democratic system could easily be designed to provide for this variety.

    We cannot, of course, predict the exact form that would be taken by this future global democracy. The democratic system will itself be the outcome of future democratic decisions. We can however say that it is likely that decisions will need to be taken at a number of different levels—from local to global. This would help to streamline the democratic participation of every individual towards the issues that concern them.

    In socialism, everybody would have free access to the goods and services designed to directly meet their needs and there need be no system of payment for the work that each individual contributes to producing them. All work would be on a voluntary basis. Producing for needs means that people would engage in work that has a direct usefulness. The satisfaction that this would provide, along with the increased opportunity to shape working patterns and conditions, would bring about new attitudes to work.

    For more information visit: WhatIsSocialism.net
    http://www.worldsocialism.org/english/what-socialism

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    “Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property
    of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they
    put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon
    absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge
    which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” -John
    Locke

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    A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders. – Larry Elder

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    Though dialogical approaches to argument assume a different theoretical structure than fallacy theory, they invite a very similar analysis of this example. According to Van Eemeren and Grootendorst [1992], an instance of ad hominem is a violation of the first rule for critical discussion, which maintains that “Parties [to a dispute] must not prevent each other from advancing standpoints or casting doubts on arguments.” Different kinds of ad hominem (abusive, tu quoque, and circumstantial ad hominem) are different violations of this rule. In this case, it suffices to say that the debater’s attack on his opponent can be seen as an illegitimate attempt to deny him his right to make a case for his position.

    Other approaches to informal logic are characterized by a more sympathetic attitude to ad hominem arguments which accepts that criticisms of an arguer (as opposed to their position) can be appropriate. One may, for example, reasonably cast doubt on an arguer’s reasoning by pointing out that the arguer lacks the requisite knowledge to make appropriate judgments in the area in question, or by pointing out that the arguer has a vested interest. Such appeals play an important role in ordinary language reasoning, which typically occurs in contexts in which time constraints make it impossible to analyse carefully all the arguments presented, forcing us to decide which ones we pay attention to, often by relying on an assessment of the arguer.

    Though this approach to ad hominem (which does not reject ad hominem arguments outright) makes ad hominem a form of reasoning which is acceptable in principle, it does not save the example in question, for this is a case in which the ad hominem is not founded on a credible criticism of the arguer. Instead, it relies on little more than insult. At best, one could claim that it forwards a heavy-handed and unsubstantiated charge of vested interest against the debater who advocates the separation of the Danish church and state. This is a charge which is particularly inappropriate in a debate which is designed as an opportunity to discuss the merits and demerits of the separation (and not the character of the debaters).

    Another approach to ad hominem arguments which allows for ad hominem reasoning analyzes them from a rhetorical point of view, understanding them in terms of Aristotle’s suggestion that the ethos of a speaker plays a crucial role in determining whether an argument is persuasive or not. According to this account, an ad hominem argument may be an effective (and from a rhetorical point of view, acceptable) attack on the ethos of an arguer, but not in the case in question, for it is not a credible attack. Indeed, one might argue that the intemperate nature of this particular ad hominem undermines, not the ethos of the person attacked, but the ethos of the speaker who has presented it.
    10. Example: A Visual Argument

    An example which can illustrate how the techniques of informal logic apply to visual images is found in the glossy advertisement for vodka reproduced below (it is a concocted example but one which has close affinities to actual advertisements). Under the title “Just Add Vodka” it features a bottle of vodka pouring its contents onto a sleepy hamlet. The time of day (dusk), the lack of activity, and the isolated lights at the borders of the image suggest a humdrum hamlet where there is nothing to do. This inactivity is further highlighted by the sharp contrast between the hamlet and the bustling city scape that has sprung up where the vodka splashes to the ground below. Unlike the hamlet, the latter boasts skyscrapers, lights, nightclubs, restaurants and an exciting nightlife.
    vodka print ad

    Understood literally, the image in question makes no sense. Bottles of vodka are not so absurdly large, and do not pour their contents on to sleepy villages. If they did the result would not be a Manhattan-like street scape.

    The image must, in view of such considerations, not be understood literally, but as a visual metaphor. In this case, the message is clearly one of transformation, the vodka acting as the catalyst for the change. The message of the advertisement might be summarized as a visual proposition which can be paraphrased as the claim that “Vodka can transform a sleepy life into one full of cosmopolitan excitement.” In the context of argumentation, one might usefully express this proposition as the conditional “If you add vodka to your life, your sleepy life will be transformed into a life of cosmopolitan excitement.” It is appropriate to understand the proposition argumentatively, for in the context of an advertisement, this conditional is being offered as a reason (premise) for the implicit conclusion that “You should add vodka to your life (i.e. you should purchase vodka).”

    This interpretation of the images suggests that it forwards a visual argument which contains a premise and conclusion that can be paraphrased as follows:

    Premise 1: If you add vodka to your life, your sleepy life will be transformed into a life of cosmopolitan excitement.

    Implicit Premise 2: A life of cosmopolitan excitement is desirable.

    Conclusion: You should add vodka to your life (i.e. purchase vodka).

    Once this implicit argument is recognized, it can be assessed in the way that we assess verbal arguments. An analysis of the argument may also wish to analyse its use of colours, its aesthetic qualities, etc., but not in a way that denies this core argument.

    This approach to the image allows a more critical assessment of the image because it provides a basis for a critical rejection of the argument it presents. To begin with, it is obvious that premise 1 can be questioned, for one might question the claim that the consumption of vodka produces an exciting cosmopolitan life (it may instead produce alcohol-related problems).

    Having recognized premises 1 and 2 and the conclusion, we can go further, and recognize the argument as an instance of a variant of the affirming the consequent fallacy, though a normative variant which points out that “If X then Y” and “Y is desirable” do not allow one to conclude that “X is desirable.” The unacceptability of such arguments might be demonstrated with many examples, as with the argument “If all sex acts were eliminated, we would eliminate sexually transmitted diseases. The elimination of sexually transmitted disease is desirable. Therefore the elimination of all sex acts is desirable.”

    Insofar as the visual argument in the image can be recognized in this way as an analogue of verbal arguments, it can be understood as a visual argument which can be assessed and evaluated using the concepts and the tools of informal logic. In this way, the evaluation of the meaning of an image can be made a matter of systematic examination and critical inquiry which goes beyond aesthetic assessment. One might, therefore, argue that the image is an impressive one from an aesthetic point of view, but still criticize it as an image which conveys a fallacious argument with questionable premises and debatable assumptions. It is in this way that analyses of visual argument allow informal logic to promote a more critical approach to visual as well as verbal argument.
    11. Informal Logic and Philosophy

    Philosophy and philosophers continue to play the defining role in the evolution of informal logic, though they have increasingly incorporated developments in cognate disciplines such as Communication Studies, Rhetoric and Artificial Intelligence. Within writings on informal logic, one may distinguish two distinct attitudes to philosophical considerations. On the one hand, the work of some commentators suggests that philosophy is the core element of informal logic. The paradigm example of such a view is found in Johnson [2000], who argues that a comprehensive account of argument must be built upon a philosophical account of rationality.

    An alternative view suggests that informal logic’s relationship to philosophy is more comparable to the relationship that exists between formal logic and the philosophy of logic. According to this view, informal logic may (at least in many instances) be developed independently of philosophical considerations. According to this approach, the development of the means to analyse and assess ordinary argument can take place independently of a consideration of many of the philosophical questions which might be raised about its ultimate justification and its philosophical implications (see Groarke [2001]). Such a view suggests that we should distinguish between informal logic and the philosophy of informal logic, separating the development of our understanding of day-to-day reasoning from the attempt to provide a philosophical account of it.

    However one understands the role of philosophy within informal logic, informal logic has ties to a variety of other philosophical endeavours which extend beyond its immediate concerns. The natural connections between informal logic and epistemology are evident in Goldman [1999], who attempts to defend an account of knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge which situates knowledge within social interactions that take place within interpersonal exchange and knowledge institutions. This allows him to evaluate social practices in terms of their veritistic value (i.e., their tendency to produce states like knowledge, error and ignorance). In the process, his account devotes considerable attention to the practice of argumentation, and the constraints which make it a practice which is to be valued because it produces positive veritistic results. In doing so, he draws on work in informal logic and reflects its interest in both monological and dialogical argumentation, and in a broad understanding of argument that incorporates rhetorical and dialectical responsibilities.

    In this and other ways, informal logic’s attempt to model informal reasoning reflects, and has important implications for, philosophical concerns about the nature of rationality, the nature of the mind and its processes, the standards of good reasoning, the value of logic and rhetoric, and the social, political and epistemological role of reasoning and argument. In many ways, the discussion of informal logic’s ties to philosophy of mind, ethics and epistemology, has just begun. A more extensive exploration of these ties is likely to be one significant aspect of research in informal logic in the future.
    Bibliography

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    Ruggiero, Vincent Ryan, 2003. BThinking Critically About Ethical Issues 6th 3d. New York: McGraw-Hill
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    Sobocan, Jan and Leo Groarke, eds.(with Ralph H. Johnson and Fred S. Ellett, Jr.), 2007. Critical Thinking, Education and Assessment: Can Critical Thinking Be Tested? London, Ontario: Althouse Press, University of Western Ontario.
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    Walton, Douglas N. 2004. Abductive Reasoning. Tuscaloosa, University of Alabama Press.
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    Walton, Douglas N., 1992. Slippery Slope Arguments. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Clarendon Library of Logic and Philosophy)
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    Woods, John, Andrew Irvine and Douglas Walton, 2004. Argument: Critical Thinking, Logic and the Fallacies. Toronto: Prentice Hall
    Woods, John, 1995. “Appeal to Force,” in Hansen and Pinto 1995.
    Woods, John and Douglas Walton, 1989. Fallacies: Selected Papers 1972-1982. Dordrecht, Holland & Providence, RI: Foris

    Other Internet Resources

    ARGTHRY Listserv: Hosted by York University, the listserv ARGTHRY provides a forum for announcements, queries, and discussion within the academic discipline of Argumentation Theory. To subscribe, send the message: “Subscribe ARGTHRY Yourfirstname Yourlastname” to listserv@yorku.ca, using your first and last name.
    Automated Argument Assistance (Bart Verheij, Law and Informatics, Universiteit Maastricht)
    Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking (AILACT)
    Argumentation and Advocacy
    Foundation for Critical Thinking
    Critical Thinking Community
    Critical Thinking on the Web
    Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric
    Informal Logic
    Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines
    International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA)
    Institute for Critical Thinking
    The Nizkor Project: Fallacies
    Stephen’s Guide to the Logical Fallacies
    Logical Fallacies, maintained by Tim Holt, Cirencester College.
    http://stanford.library.sydney.edu.au/archives/spr2010/entries/logic-informal/

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    Other authors do
    not go this far, but most approaches to informal logic have placed less
    emphasis on the traditional fallacies, and more emphasis on the
    identification of good appeals to authority, good arguments by analogy,
    on other argument schema, and on the construction of good arguments.
    4. Rhetoric

    Informal
    logic’s attempt to identify general criteria for good reasoning, and
    its attempt to define positive argument schema that specify particular
    forms of good reasoning, can in some ways be compared to the approach to
    argument implicit in classical formal logic. The latter emphasizes
    general criteria for good argument (validity, soundness) and deductive
    argument schema which are usually encapsulated in rules of inference
    like modus ponens (“Affirming the Antecedent”), double negation, modus
    tollens (“Denying the Consequent”), etc.

    The comparison between
    formal and informal logic is particularly apt when one considers
    non-fallacy approaches to ordinary reasoning, though there are ways in
    which even these approaches set an agenda different from that of
    classical formal logic. Because the goal of informal is an understanding
    of the dynamics of ordinary argument, informal logicians are interested
    in any aspects of it that contribute to its success (measured in terms
    of true, plausible or persuasive conclusions). In many cases, this has
    meant that informal logicians emphasize aspects of argument that have
    not traditionally been recognized by classical logic.

    Classical
    logic understands a good argument as a “sound” argument: as a valid
    argument with true premises. This is a conception of good argument which
    can be applied to many instances of ordinary argument. Informal
    logicians have debated the extent to which everyday arguments can be
    understood as deductive arguments, but even if one ignores this issue,
    there are problems with the notion that good arguments are arguments
    which have true premises. Truth is a notion which seems ill suited to
    many informal contexts, which are characterized by hypothetical and
    uncertain beliefs, by deep disagreements about what is true and false,
    by ethical and aesthetic claims which are not easily categorized as true
    or false, and by variable contexts in which particular assumptions may
    be accepted, rejected or reversed.

    Rhetoric has traditionally
    paid more attention to this aspect of argument than logic, recognizing
    that an arguer who hopes to persuade an audience of a conclusion must
    recognize and respect the attitudes of the audience he or she addresses.
    Even if premises are true, they will not convince an audience who
    (wrong headedly) rejects them. This is a tremendously important aspect
    of ordinary reasoning and debate, where successful arguers pick premises
    that match the pathos of their audience.

    Because the goal of
    ordinary argument is persuasion, these aspects of argument must play a
    crucial role in any attempt to understand it. Tindale [1999, 2004] has
    developed an approach to informal logic which therefore borrows from
    traditional rhetoric, considering and evaluating arguments from this
    point of view. Such an approach emphasizes the three components of
    persuasive argument proposed in Aristotelean rhetoric: pathos (the
    convictions of the audience to whom an argument is addressed), logos
    (the logic of the argument), and ethos (the character of the arguer).

    One
    aspect of this tripartite conception which has been acknowledged but
    remains unexplored is the role that character (ethos) plays in
    determining whether an argument is convincing. From this point of view,
    one of the goals of argument must be a style of argument which convinces
    an audience that one is credible and trustworthy. It is possible that
    this criterion for convincing argument may to some extent bridge the
    traditional gap between logic and argument, for arguers who indulge in
    frequent insult, exaggeration and other questionable tactics may be
    likely to undermine their own credibility.

    The influence of
    rhetoric on the development of argumentation theory is also seen in
    recent discussions of “strategic maneouvring,” understood as the attempt
    to rhetorically influence the outcome of a dispute (see Tindale [2004],
    ch. 1; and Eemeren & Houtlosser [2002]). In discussions of
    strategic maneouvring, rhetorical considerations are brought to bear in
    three ways: (i) through topical potential (the way the topic is framed
    and presented); (ii) through audience demands (creating communion with
    the audience); and (iii) through presentational devices (the best figure
    or scheme to achieve one’s ends).
    5. Dialectics

    Another
    aspect of ordinary argument which extends the scope of informal logic
    beyond that of classical logic is dialectical. Traditionally, dialectics
    understands argument as a kind of exchange — the exchange of
    propositions (theses) and counter-propositions. This approach
    understands argument in the broader context of debate and dispute. In
    contemporary argumentation theory, the most influential school of
    dialectics is “pragma-dialectics,” sometimes known as “the Amsterdam
    School.” It understands argumentation as a means of resolving a
    difference of opinion.

    One of the outcomes of work in Dialectics
    has been a better understanding of the distinction between different
    kinds of “dialogue” in which reasoning may be embedded. This is a key
    component of ordinary exchange because different argumentative norms and
    expectations are tied to contexts of negotiation, debate, critical
    discussion, persuasion, inquiry, command, and so on. Dialogue systems
    attempt to provide models for and rules to guide rational discourse in
    these types of interactive reasoning.

    Such an approach shows that
    rationality (and good reasoning) has a broader range of application
    than persuasion or argument narrowly conceived. And that the study of
    its application can play an important role in understanding question and
    response reasoning, and command and response reasoning. The former is
    highly relevant to the analysis of fallacies such as the loaded question
    fallacy (see Walton 1997).

    Question and response reasoning is,
    it turns out, highly relevant to persuasive dialogue and to the analysis
    of fallacies such as the loaded question fallacy.

    I think it
    very important to mention work concerning questions, and maybe
    concerning commands and promises.The point is that critical thinking and
    informal logic in some forms take account of non-argumentative but good
    reasoning.

    Within informal logic, Johnson [2000] has argued that
    dialectical obligations are a key component of ordinary argument. They
    encompass an arguer’s obligation to respond to (and anticipate)
    objections that might be raised by others engaged in the dispute in
    which the arguer participates. To emphasize this point, Johnson
    distinguishes between the “illative” core of an argument and its
    “dialectical” tier. The illative core is the set of premises offered in
    support of the conclusion, the dialectical tier consists of alternative
    points of view, likely objections to the conclusion and the premises and
    whatever assumptions characterize debate about the conclusion.
    According to Johnson, traditional logic has focused too much on the
    illative core, though a rational arguer must pay as much attention to
    its dialectical tier.

    In his account, Johnson claims that all
    genuine arguments are dialectical and must discharge dialectical
    obligations. On this account, a simple giving of reasons for some
    conclusion can be classified only as a “proto-argument.” Other authors
    (e.g., Govier [1999] and Hitchcock [2003]) have taken issue with the
    extent of the emphasis this places on dialectical obligations, though
    they agree that some accounting of the dialectical aspects of argument
    must play a role in the attempt to establish a broad understanding of
    informal argument, and must, therefore, be included within informal
    logic.
    6. The Components of Informal Logic

    As a field of study
    and research, informal logic now embraces a complex attempt to
    understand the nature and assessment of informal arguments. Though any
    list of informal logic issues cannot be definitive, the present state of
    the discipline suggests that a comprehensive theory of informal logic
    will have to include:

    an explanation of the rules of communication which argumentative exchange depends upon;

    a distinction between different kinds of dialogue in which argument
    may occur, and the ways in which they determine appropriate and
    inappropriate moves in argument (e.g. the difference between scientific
    discussion and the negotiation that characterizes collective
    bargaining);
    an account of logical consequence, which explains
    when it can be said (and what it means to say) that one sentence is a
    logical consequence of another;
    general criteria for good
    argument, which may be associated with a theory of logical consequence,
    and which specify general criteria for deductive, inductive, and
    conductive arguments;
    definitions of positive argument schema
    which define good patterns of reasoning (reasonable appeals to
    authority, reasonable attacks against the person; etc.);
    some
    theoretical account of fallacies and the role they can (and cannot) play
    in understanding and assessing informal arguments;
    an account of
    the role that audience (pathos) and ethos and other rhetorical notions
    should play in analysing and assessing argument;
    an explanation of the dialectical obligations that attach to arguments in particular kinds of contexts.

    The
    issues and debates which now characterize research in informal logic
    can be understood in terms of these components of a theory of argument.
    Some of them have been the focus of extensive discussion. Others have
    received less attention. Often these discussions are informed by case
    studies of particular examples of informal reasoning (presidential
    debates, advertising campaigns, political controversies, and so on).
    Some authors emphasize the dialectical aspects of argument, others
    emphasize traditional logical components, and others emphasize
    rhetorical concerns.
    7. Extending “Argument”

    In keeping with
    informal logic’s willingness to extend the study of argument, one
    feature of current work in informal logic is an attempt to broaden the
    traditonal definition of argument. One significant move in this
    direction is Gilbert [1997], which propounds a theory of “coalescent
    argument.” According to his account, arguments encapsulate clusters of
    attitudes, beliefs, feelings and intuitions which characterize an
    arguer. Argumentative exchange aims to identify the points of agreement
    that characterize different (and possibly opposed) arguers, thereby
    bringing about the “coalescence” of their points of view.

    The
    coalescence Gilbert makes the goal of argument can be brought about, not
    only by reasons in the traditional sense, but also by emotional or
    physical means (and sometimes more effectively in this way). Gilbert
    therefore countenances forms of argument that are essentially emotional,
    intuitive (“kisceral”) and physical (“visceral”) rather than logical.
    According to his account, a hug, a forlorn look, or tears may count as
    argument.

    Gilbert’s many examples convincingly show that actions
    of this sort can play a decisive role convincing an audience of a
    particular conclusion. It is less clear that this requires the radical
    re-conception of argument his analysis proposes. Instead of moving in
    this direction, one might account for many of the moves that he
    classifies as arguments as non-verbal means of communicating
    propositions which function as premises in a relatively standard sense.

    When
    a student (to take one of Gilbert’s examples) cries in a professor’s
    office in order to convey the importance he attaches to an A grade in a
    course, this might be understood as a non-verbal way of communicating
    the enthymematic argument “I will be terribly upset if I do not receive
    an A in this course; you should act in a way that doesn’t leave me
    terribly upset; so you should give me an A grade.” While it must be
    granted that this must be classified as an “emotional argument,” it is
    not clear that it needs to be assessed by fundamentally different
    criteria than those that apply to other arguments. One might instead
    proceed in the standard way, by judging whether the premises are
    plausible or not, and whether they entail or make probable the
    conclusion.

    Whatever criteria for assessment one applies,
    Gilbert’s examples show that realms of argument exist outside the verbal
    (typically written) arguments that were the initial focus of studies in
    informal logic. One finds another attempt to recognize such arguments
    is studies of “visual argument.” In a manner that might be compared to
    the attempt, by some authors, to expand formal logic to allow for
    non-verbal visual deductions (see Barwise and Etchemendy [1998]), they
    analyze and assess visual persuasion in a manner similar to the way in
    which informal logic understands and assesses verbal arguments (see
    Birdsell and Groarke [1996, 2007], Collins and Schmid [1999], Lunsford,
    Ruszkiewicz and Walters [2001], Groarke [2002], Shelley [2003]).

    Such
    studies suggest that many images function as a means of conveying
    premises and conclusions which can be understood and evaluated as visual
    arguments. A growing interest in such images is motivated by the
    prevalence of visual images in contemporary advertising, art, design,
    television, the world wide web, political commentary, and so on. Looked
    at from this point of view, the study of visual arguments is motivated
    by the same desire that has motivated the development of informal logic:
    i.e. the desire to have some means for understanding and assessing the
    informal argument which surrounds us.

    Theoretical debates about
    visual arguments revolve around the question whether and to what extent
    it is possible to understand visual statements in a manner that treats
    them as a visual analogue of verbal propositions. While many examples
    seem to show that some visuals can be usefully understood and analyzed
    as arguments, a more detailed account of visual argument must be built
    upon a more detailed account of visual meaning and visual propositions.

    Though
    it does not involve a redefinition of argument, a third attempt to
    extend the reach of informal logic is found in computational modeling.
    Its study of interactions between agents in multi-agent systems and its
    attempt to mimic or assist human reasoning initiatives is now informed
    by informal logic models of argument. Computational applications include
    systems that reason about medical decisions, the law, chemical
    properties and complex systems (see, e.g., Carbogim et al. [2000];
    Prakken and Vreeswijk [2001];Reed [1997]; Reed and Long [1998]; Reed and
    Walton [2001]). Verheij [1999] has developed systems of automated
    argument assistance which function as computational aids that can assist
    in the generation of an argument (see his Automated Argument Assistance
    web site in Other Internet Resources below). Reed and Norman [2003]
    have published a pioneering collection of essays which attempt to look
    at “argument machines” and how they can be conceptualized and developed.

    Insofar
    as informal logic remains an attempt to develop a logic that can be
    used in everyday reasoning, it and computational modelling will remain
    separate theoretical endeavours. That said, both depend on an
    understanding of the way that informal reasoning works and should be
    assessed. This makes collaboration fruitful. In the long run, it may be
    the formal modelling this inspires which may reestablish stronger links
    between formal and informal logic (links that will depend on more
    sophisticated logics than classical logic, which are more sensitive to
    the different facets of ordinary reasoning). The results may foster the
    development of informal logic within a more integrated logic (or
    argumentation theory) that recognizes the differences between formal and
    informal logic, but recognizes an overarching model of reasoning that
    can explain both endeavours.
    8. New Horizons: Assessing Informal Logic

    As
    informal logic has matured as a discipline, sceptics have raised
    questions about the fundamental assumptions it depends on. Some
    commentators have asked what empirical evidence there is to show that
    the teaching of informal logic actually improves reasoning skills. In
    answer to this question, others have begun to empirically study the
    effects of teaching informal logic, and the effects that accrue from
    competing approaches to the discipline is most effective in this
    context. Empirical studies of this sort have been hampered by questions
    raised about the adequacy of the tests standardly used to measure
    informal reasoning skills, but are currently underway (see Sobocan &
    Groarke [2007] for a collection of articles on this topic).

    The
    assumptions of informal logic are being emprically tested in another way
    by commentators who study argument “corpora” — very large collections
    of argument drawn from natural language discourse. Jorgenson, Kock and
    Rorbech [1991] studied a series of 37 one-hour televised debates from
    Danish public TV which featured well-known public figures arguing for
    and against current policy proposal. A representative audience of 100
    voters voted before and after the debate, in an attempt to statistically
    establish what moves and properties are likely to win votes in a
    representative audience. These conclusions were then compared with
    commonly held notions about “proper” or “valid” argumentation. Other
    studies of much larger corpora (very large data bases, randomly selected
    written texts, whole libraries, etc.) are in the works.
    9. Example: Ad Hominem

    As
    informal logic emphasizes the analysis and assessment of real
    arguments, the issues and approaches it encompasses can best be
    illustrated with examples. Consider, as a first instance, a comment
    taken from a Danish television debate over the question whether the
    Danish church should be separate from the Danish state (Jorgensen
    [1995], 369). At one point in this debate, the debater arguing against
    the separation of church and state declares to the audience that “My
    opponent wants to sever the Danish church from the state for his own
    personal sake. His motion is an attempt to take over the church and
    further his ecumenical theology by his usual mafia methods.”

    We
    can plausibly understand this remark as a simple argument that contains
    one premise and an implicit (sometimes called a “missing” or “hidden”)
    conclusion. The premise (P) is the claim that “My opponent wishes to
    sever the Danish church from the state for the sake of his personal
    interests (in order to take it over and further his ecumenical theology
    by his usual mafia methods).” The implied conclusion (C) is the implicit
    claim that “We should (therefore) reject his motion to separate the
    Danish church and state.”

    Looked at from the point of view of the
    fallacy approach to informal logic, this is a classic case of ad
    hominem. Kahane [1995, 65], for example, describes ad hominem as a
    fallacy that occurs when an arguer is guilty “of attacking his opponent
    rather than his opponent’s evidence and arguments.” In this case, the
    debater in question attacks the motivation and the character of the
    person promoting a separate Danish church instead of showing what is
    wrong with his evidence for the claim that this is a good idea. On these
    grounds, the proposed reasoning is fallacious.

  • Torcer

    Informal Logic

    Informal logic is the attempt to develop a logic to assess, analyse and
    improve ordinary language (or “everyday”) reasoning. It intersects with
    attempts to understand such reasoning from the point of view of
    philosophy, formal logic, cognitive psychology, and a range of other
    disciplines. Most of the work in informal logic focuses on the reasoning
    and argument (in the premise-conclusion sense) one finds in personal
    exchange, advertising, political debate, legal argument, and the social
    commentary that characterizes newspapers, television, the World Wide Web
    and other forms of mass media.

    The development of informal logic
    is tied to educational goals: by the desire to develop ways of
    analysing ordinary reasoning which can inform general education. To this
    extent, the goals of informal logic intersect with those of the
    Critical Thinking Movement, which aims to inform and improve public
    reasoning, discussion and debate by promoting models of education which
    emphasize critical inquiry.

    Informal logic is sometimes presented
    as a theoretical alternative to formal logic. This kind of
    characterization may reflect early battles in philosophy departments
    which debated, sometimes with acrimony, whether informal logic should be
    considered “real” logic. Today, informal logic enjoys a more
    conciliatory relationship with formal logic. Its attempt to understand
    informal reasoning is usually (but not always) couched in natural
    language, but research in informal logic sometimes employs formal
    methods and it remains an open question whether the accounts of argument
    in which informal logic specializes can in principle be formalized.

    Some
    recent work in computational modelling attempts to implement informal
    logic models of natural-language reasoning. It suggests that defeasible
    (non-monotonic) logic, probability theory and other non-classical formal
    frameworks may be well suited to this task.

    1. History
    2. Deductivism and Beyond
    3. Fallacy Theory
    4. Rhetoric
    5. Dialectics
    6. The Components of Informal Logic
    7. Extending “Argument”
    8. New Horizons: Assessing Informal Logic
    9. Example One: Ad Hominem
    10. Example Two: A Visual Argument
    11. Informal Logic and Philosophy
    Bibliography
    Other Internet Resources
    Related Entries

    1. History

    Informal
    logic is a recent discipline. It has some precedents in those
    nineteenth century works on Logic and Rhetoric which aim to raise
    general standards of reasoning through public education (see, e.g.,
    Whatley [1830], [1844]). But informal logic is a child of the 1960s. It
    is ultimately rooted in its social and political movements, which were
    characterized by a call for an education more “relevant” to the issues
    of the day.

    In logic, and especially the teaching of logic, this
    fostered the attempt to replace the artificial examples of good and bad
    argument that tended to characterize earlier logic texts (e.g., Copi
    [1957]) with instances of reasoning, argument and debate taken from
    newspapers, the mass media, advertisements and political campaigns
    (Kahane [1971] is a good example of this trend).

    One significant
    impetus in the development of the informal logic and critical thinking
    movements was a 1980 California State University Executive Order that
    required that post secondary education include formal instruction in
    critical thinking. According to the order: “Instruction in critical
    thinking is to be designed to achieve an understanding of the
    relationship of language to logic, which should lead to the ability to
    analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas, to reason inductively and
    deductively and to reach factual or judgmental conclusions based on
    sound inferences drawn from unambiguous statements of knowledge or
    belief” (Dumke [1980], Executive Order 338).

    In keeping with
    educational interests of this sort, the development of informal logic
    has been intertwined with pedagogical discussions of the ways in which
    students can best be taught to reason. These discussions are reflected
    in hundreds (perhaps thousands) of textbooks which have been used to
    teach informal logic to university and college students in Canada, the
    United States, the United Kingdom, and a constantly growing number of
    other countries.

    The texts currently in use adopt a great variety
    of (sometimes conflicting) theoretical approaches. In some cases they
    are notable for their theoretical as well as their pedagogical
    innovations. Currently popular texts include Woods, Irvine and Walton
    [2004], Govier [2006], Groarke & Tindale [2004], Fisher [2001],
    Ruggiero [2003], Browne & Keeley [2003], and Richard & Elder
    [2002].

    The theoretical interests that motivate informal logic
    are anticipated in Hamblin’s Fallacies (Hamblin [1970]) and Toulmin’s
    The Uses of Argument (Toulmin [1964]), but the discipline itself
    originated in North America in the 1970s. In many ways the work of
    Johnson and Blair led the way. Their Logical Self-Defense (Johnson and
    Blair [1977]) was an early attempt to teach the logic of informal
    reasoning, and their Informal Logic Newsletter (now the journal Informal
    Logic) established the discipline as a field for discussion,
    development and research.

    Two signs of informal logic’s
    development are the progress of the journal Informal Logic, which
    published its 25th volume in 2005, and the 2003 conference, “Informal
    Logic @ 25,” which marked the 25th anniversary of the “First
    International Symposium on Informal Logic.” The scholarly journals which
    have played a significant role in the rise of informal logic include
    Argumentation, Philosophy and Rhetoric, Argumentation and Advocacy
    (formerly the Journal of the American Forensic Association) and Teaching
    Philosophy. ProtoSociology published an important related volume on
    “Reasoning and Argumentation” in 1999.

    Informal Logic is more
    than a quarter of a century old, but it can still be described as a
    discipline in its formative stages of development. One can point to a
    well recognized body of literature that informs discussions in the
    field, but there is no predominant approach that characterizes textbooks
    or the research literature. Instead, contributions to informal logic
    are frequently characterized by contrary assumptions about the goals and
    methods of informal logic; about the usefulness of fallacies and formal
    logic as a way to conceptualize ordinary argument; about the proper
    understanding of the relationship between inductive and “conductive”
    arguments (which offer a number of independent non-conclusive premises
    for a conclusion); about the usefulness of diagramming techniques; and
    about the appropriate role of theories of communication, and dialectical
    and dialogical considerations, in assessing arguments.

    In a way
    that complicates the situation further, research in informal logic
    increasingly incorporates the approaches to argumentation found in
    cognate disciplines and fields like Speech Communication, Rhetoric,
    Linguistics, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology and
    Computational Modelling. Looked at from this perspective, informal logic
    as a discipline is an integral part of a much broader
    multi-disciplinary attempt to develop an “argumentation theory” that can
    account for informal reasoning.

    Informal logic’s ties to
    argumentation theory broadly understood have been highlighted and
    nurtured in conferences and publications, most notably in six
    multi-disciplinary Amsterdam conferences (which have occurred at regular
    four-year intervals since 1986, coinciding with the last stages of the
    World Cup of soccer on each occasion: 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002,
    2006). All were hosted by the International Society for the Study of
    Argumentation (“ISSA”). Other important initiatives include the First
    and Second Tokyo Conferences on Argumentation, held in 2000 and 2004,
    and the “Symposium on Argument and Computation” held in Perthshire,
    Scotland in 2000.
    2. Deductivism and Beyond

    The premises of a
    valid deductive argument guarantee the truth of the conclusion. If the
    premises are true, the conclusion cannot be false. Informal logic tends
    to categorize arguments in terms of a consequent distinction between
    “deductive” and “inductive” arguments (a distinction that Govier [1987]
    aptly calls “the great divide”). In contrast with valid deductive
    arguments, the premises of a good inductive argument render a conclusion
    only probable, leaving it possible that the premises are true and the
    conclusion false (identifying poor arguments as deductive or inductive
    is inherently problematic: perhaps it can best be said that poor
    deductive and inductive arguments are arguments that in some way
    approximate good deductive and inductive forms).

    This does not
    mean that the conclusion of a deductive argument is necessarily or
    certainly true, as is often suggested. The conclusion of a deductive
    argument is certain only in circumstances in which the premises are
    certain. In informal reasoning, in which premises are usually probable
    or plausible rather than certain, deductive arguments often yield
    probable or plausible conclusions (as in: “Global warming is inevitable,
    and there is no point trying to prevent anything inevitable so there is
    no point trying to prevent global warming.”) This means that one cannot
    render the deductive/inductive distinction as a simple distinction
    between arguments which have certain and probable conclusions.

    Once
    one eliminates this confusion, the claim that many natural language
    arguments are deductive is relatively uncontroversial, but some informal
    logicians go even further. “Deductivism” is the view that all informal
    arguments should be understood as deductive arguments. Because they are
    not explicitly so, deductivism in informal logic manifests itself as
    “reconstructive deductivism,” a theoretical approach which reconstructs
    natural language arguments in deductive forms. In cases where such
    arguments are not explicitly deductive, this is done by treating their
    assumptions as implicit premises which render the inference deductive.

    Even
    paradigm cases of inductive generalization can in this way be
    interpreted as deductive arguments. The inductive generalization “This
    apple from the bowl was excellent, so all the apples in the bowl are
    excellent” can, for example, be treated as a deductive argument by
    assigning it the implicit premise “All the apples in the bowl are like
    this apple.” Because every argument depends on an assumption of the form
    “If these premises are true, the conclusion is true,” there is an
    “associated conditional” which can be added to any argument for the
    purposes of deductivist reconstruction.

    Those who propound the
    deductivist stance argue that it eliminates the need to make the
    sometimes difficult decision whether a particular argument should be
    classified as deductive or inductive, that it greatly simplifies the
    structure of informal logic, and that it is useful to reconstruct the
    assumptions it recognizes as implicit premises (see Groarke [1999]).
    Those who argue against deductivism maintain that it artificially forces
    informal arguments to adhere to an overly restrictive model of argument
    that cannot capture the richness of ordinary reasoning (see Johnson
    [2000] and Godden [2004]).

    Deductivists want a theory of argument
    that reduces the deductive/inductive distinction so that it assumes
    only one kind of argument. Most informal logicians (in part because they
    react against the deductive models in formal logic) adopt a model of
    argument which countenances deductive and inductive arguments. Some
    argue for a basic typology of argument which countenances other kinds of
    argument that need to be distinguished from inductive genralizations:
    most frequently, “conductive” and “abductive” arguments.

    Conductive
    arguments provide an accumulation of non-decisive reasons in favour of a
    conclusion. Different pieces of evidence may each suggest (but not
    conclusively prove) that a defendant charged with murder is guilty.
    Taken summatively (the witness said he pulled the trigger, the
    ballistics report shows that the bullet came from a gun he owned, he was
    overheard saying he would “get” the victim, etc.) these different
    reasons may provide a strong (but not conclusive) conductive argument
    for this conclusion.

    Abductive arguments are “inferences to the
    best explanation.” They typically recognize some facts, point out that
    it is entailed by a certain hypothesis, and conclude that the hypothesis
    is true. Taken at face value, abductive arguments seem to be instances
    of the fallacy “affirming the consequence,” but they still play a
    central role in medical, scientific and legal reasoning (see Walton
    [2004]).
    3. Fallacy Theory

    Early work in informal logic does
    not favour a systematic attempt to assess the strength and properties of
    good deductive, inductive, conductive, etc. arguments. Instead, it
    favours fallacies as a tool in the analysis of informal reasoning.
    According to traditional accounts, a fallacy is a pattern of poor
    reasoning which appears to be (and in this sense mimics) a pattern of
    good reasoning (see Hansen [2002]). Such accounts are problematic,
    especially because it is difficult to identify when poor reasoning
    “appears” to be good. What “appears good” to one person may not appear
    so to another. In assessing ordinary arguments, most contemporary
    commentators avoid such issues by understanding fallacies more simply,
    as common patterns of poor reasoning which can usefully be identified in
    the evaluation of informal reasoning.

    In its treatment of
    fallacies, informal logic has revived a tradition which can be traced to
    Aristotle. In the history of logic and philosophy, the significance of
    the fallacy tradition is reflected in the writings of figures as
    important as Locke, Whately, and Mill. Today, this tradition manifests
    itself in textbooks and websites which attempt to teach good informal
    reasoning by teaching students how to detect the standard fallacies.

    Theoretical
    discussions of fallacies have failed to produce an agreed upon taxonomy
    of fallacies, but the set of fallacies discussed in informal logic
    contexts typically includes formal fallacies like affirming the
    consequent and denying the antecedent; and informal fallacies like ad
    hominem (“against the person”), slippery slope, “ad bacculum” (“appeal
    to force”), “ad misericordiam” (“appeal to pity”), “hasty
    generalization,” and “two wrongs” (from “two wrongs make a right”). Some
    textbook authors use nomenclature designed to highlight the properties
    of particular kinds of fallacious arguments (“misleading vividness”
    designates vivid anecdotal evidence used as the basis of hasty
    generalizations, and so on.)

    In the research literature, Woods
    and Walton have discussed the definition, analysis and assessment of a
    variety of fallacies in a series of articles and books, first as
    co-authors and then individually (see, e.g., Woods and Walton [1989];
    Walton [1989]; Woods [1995]; Walton [1992; Walton [2000]). In a major
    contribution to argumentation theory, Van Eemeren and Grootendorst
    [1992] proposed a “pragma-dialectical” theory of fallacies which
    analyses fallacies as violations of the rules of critical discussion
    (discussion which aims to critically resolve a difference of opinion). A
    good representative collection of classical and contemporary essays on
    the fallacies is found in Hansen and Pinto [1995].

    Some research
    in informal logic continues to focus on fallacies, and on the
    appropriate understanding of particular fallacies, but the field has
    evolved in different directions which place less emphasis on this kind
    of research. In some cases this has been because work on fallacies has
    led the way to other kinds of concerns. Informal logicians influenced by
    communication theory have, for example, construed fallacies as
    deviations from the implicit rules that govern various kinds of
    dialogical exchange, an approach which has ultimately made the study of
    these implicit rules, not fallacies, the basis of their account of
    argument.

    In other contexts, fallacy theory has been criticized
    both because traditional fallacies are imprecise tools for understanding
    argument, and because a focus on them inevitably emphasizes poor
    reasoning rather than good argument. Hitchcock ([1995], 324) has
    suggested that the claim that we should teach good reasoning by
    fallacies is “like saying that the best way to teach somebody to play
    tennis without making the common mistakes … is to demonstrate these
    faults in action and get him to label and respond to them.”

    The
    problems with fallacy theory have been compounded by research which has
    identified many instances of traditional fallacies which appear to be
    reasonable patterns of interence in day to day contexts of argument. In
    such discussions, commentators point to examples like the following:

    Martin Luther King Jr., influenced by Gandhi, argued that we can
    justifiably break laws in a democratic country if our goal is change
    which has been unjustly obstructed. Such arguments play a central role
    in the American civil rights movement. They are not obviously
    fallacious, though they are a case of “two wrongs make a right,”
    suggesting, as they do, that we can justifiably do something wrong
    (break a law) if we are responding to another wrong (i.e. some law,
    decision or policy that unjustly obstructs change).
    The argument
    that “The attempt to use military might to put an end to terrorism is
    wrong because it will take us down a slippery slope that will end in
    improper interference in the affairs of independent states” cannot be
    dismissed as a bad argument simply by saying that it is an instance of
    the fallacy slippery slope. If such a slippery slope is plausible, then
    the argument has some merit.
    The argument “No one with a history
    of heart disease should take up running, for running is a strenuous form
    of exercise, and no one with a history of heart disease should engage
    in strenuous exercise” is, like many informal arguments, deductively
    valid. In such cases, it is impossible for the conclusion of the
    argument to be false if the premises are true. Sometimes this
    relationship is described by saying that the premises of the argument
    already contain the conclusion; but this suggests that all deductive
    arguments commit the fallacy begging the question, which is usually said
    to occur when an argument assumes what it attempts to prove.
    The
    argument that we should not listen to the metaphysical arguments of
    someone who has accosted us, on the grounds that he is psychotically
    disturbed and doesn’t know what he is taking about, is an instance of ad
    hominem, but it is not fallacious. Assuming these premises are true,
    this is eminently reasonable practical advice.

    In the wake of
    examples of this sort, attempts to retain fallacies as the focus of
    informal logic have, at the very least, been forced to note that there
    are in which arguments have the form of traditional fallacies, but
    cannot be rejected as fallacious.

    Most informal logicians still
    maintain that some fallacies (such as equivocation and false dilemma)
    merit pedagogical and theoretical attention. At the same time, the
    problems with fallacy theory have convinced many that theories of
    informal logic should focus, not on fallacies, but on general criteria
    for good reasoning (premise acceptability and relevance, etc.). The
    latter is often manifest in the study of forms of good argument (usually
    termed “argument schema”) which set standards for particular kinds of
    good reasoning.

    Grennan [1997]has proposed an approach to
    informal reasoning which proposes logical adequacy and pragmatic
    adequacy as the key criteria for judging and evaluating everyday
    inferences. He attempts to build an account of informal logic that
    extends beyond fallacies and deductive forms of reasoning by identifying
    good patterns of reasoning used in successful everyday contexts.
    Groarke & Tindale [2003] attempt to use traditional fallacies as a
    way to define good argument schema by treating ad hominem, guilt by
    association, appeals to ignorance, two wrongs reasoning, etc. as
    inherently good arguments — and by treating fallacious instances of them
    as deviations from an (essentially good) form.

  • Torcer

    Fallacies of Argument
    A fallacy is a flaw in logic that occurs when making an argument. These happen frequently and can not only destroy an argument, but harm the credibility of the person making the argument.
    Non Sequitor (also known as Guilt by Association):

    In this type of reasoning, the conclusion does not follow from the premises set out in the argument.
    Ex. Americans love ranch dressing. Aziz loves ranch dressing. Therefore, Aziz is an American.
    https://cstudies.ubc.ca/student-information/services/self-directed-writing-resources/argument/fallacies-argument

  • Torcer

    Fallacies of Argument
    A fallacy is a flaw in logic that occurs when making an argument. These happen frequently and can not only destroy an argument, but harm the credibility of the person making the argument.
    Ad Verecundiam (“to authority”):

    This is appealing to weak (inappropriate) authority, or arguing that we should continue doing something because it’s tradition. Like ad misericordiam and others are illegitimate uses of emotional appeal, this is an illegitimate appeal to tradition.

    Ex. We should get completely drunk on Canada Day because we’ve done it since we were teenagers.

    Ex. My English teacher says that Stephen Hawking’s writing contain everything a person could want to know about astrophysics, so his books should form the basis for the curriculum in astrophysics courses at universities.
    https://cstudies.ubc.ca/student-information/services/self-directed-writing-resources/argument/fallacies-argument

  • Torcer

    loaded question
    Collins English Dictionary
    noun
    a question containing a hidden trap or implication
    http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/loaded-question

    What is a loaded question?
    A loaded question implies some fact that has not been previously established. In answering this kind of question (with its negative implication), the witness is put in a dilemma.

    “Do you still beat your wife?”
    (Loaded question because it implies that you used to beat your wife.)

    “Do you beat your wife?” (Neutral question)
    http://grammar.ucsd.edu/courses/lign105/student-powerpoint/Loaded%20questions.pdf

  • Torcer

    ‘Gun Control Fails,’ Say Statistics from … Gun-Control Advocates

    Below are eight fictions about gun control.
    Do note: all data cited below are from sources supportive of gun control.

    Fiction 1: Armed Resistance Does Not Stop Mass Murders

    Ron Borsch, manager of the SEALE Academy and longtime police trainer and member of the Bedford, Ohio Police Department, has been compiling mass murder data for over a decade. He has found that the most likely outcome in a mass murder situation where the murderer is confronted with armed resistance is the murderer committing suicide.

    What if an armed defender had been present at Sandy Hook Elementary School?

    Fiction 3: “Gun Violence”

    “Gun violence” is a crafted phrase to induce people into associating guns with violence. Using Ezra Klein’s logic, Brady’s “A”-graded, low-gun states should be the safest. But when collated with CDC firearms murder rates, an inconvenient correlation appears: more gun control, higher black homicide, lower Caucasian homicide.

    Fiction 4: Gun Control Will Make You Safer

    Before their bans, both countries had lower violent crime and murder rates than the United States. Ten years later, all U.S. violent crime categories have decreased, yet they have been increasing in the UK and Australia. The biggest tragedy: by 2007, UK women were raped twice as often as American women, who were able to partake of their civil right of self-defense. Australian women were raped three times as often.

    Fiction 8: Gun-Control Advocates Care About Other People, Gun-Rights Activists Are Selfish

    Do gun banners want a serious discussion about making children safer? President Obama’s daughters attend a school with armed security, so having responsible, trained adults on-site is a reasonable consideration.

    Based on the crime data presented in this article — again, all the data com
    http://pjmedia.com/blog/gun-control-fails-say-statistics-from-gun-control-advocates/?singlepage=true

  • Torcer

    Gun crime has plunged, but Americans think it’s up, says study
    Gun crime has plunged in the United States since its peak in the middle of the 1990s, including gun killings, assaults, robberies and other crimes, two new studies of government data show.

    Yet few Americans are aware of the dramatic drop, and more than half believe gun crime has risen, according to a newly released survey by the Pew Research Center.

    In less than two decades, the gun murder rate has been nearly cut in half. Other gun crimes fell even more sharply, paralleling a broader drop in violent crimes committed with or without guns. Violent crime dropped steeply during the 1990s and has fallen less dramatically since the turn of the millennium.

    The number of gun killings dropped 39% between 1993 and 2011, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in a separate report released Wednesday. Gun crimes that weren’t fatal fell by 69%. However, guns still remain the most common murder weapon in the United States, the report noted. Between 1993 and 2011, more than two out of three murders in the U.S. were carried out with guns, the Bureau of Justice Statistics found. http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gun-crimes-pew-report-20130507,0,3022693.story

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    5 Things the Gun Grabbers Apparently Don’t Understand
    This is really what the debate on gun control in America comes down to in the end: people who lose nothing if guns are banned because they don’t use them demanding that everyone else be disarmed.

    Meanwhile, trying to reason with gun control advocates is like arguing with a four year old about whether her imaginary friend is real or not.


    1) A “gun free zone” won’t keep bad people with guns away:
    The basic problem with a “gun free zone” is that anyone you can’t trust with a gun will bring it in anyway while it will cause the people you’d want armed in a dangerous situation to leave their weapons behind.


    2) Criminals and lunatics don’t obey gun laws:
    Yet, the gun grabbers in the Democrat Party operate on the assumption that nut jobs like Adam Lanza or a gangbanger who sells crack for a living is going to get rid of a high-capacity magazine if Congress says he can’t have it.


    3) We already have somewhere between 200-300 million guns in this country
    : If there were no already existing guns in America, gun control could conceivably help keep weaponry out of the hands of criminals and mass murderers. However, in a nation that’s already armed to the teeth, the next Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, Tookie Williams or Mumia Abu-Jamal has already got his gun and new laws will only disarm law abiding Americans.


    4) Gun owners aren’t required to explain a “need” for our Second Amendment rights:
    Why do gun owners “need” their guns? The same reason that Rosa Parks “needed” her seat at the front of the bus. In other words, it’s our constitutional right; so kiss off! Ann Coulter said:

    “Free people are not in the habit of providing reasons why they ‘need’ something simply because the government wants to ban it. That’s true of anything — but especially something the government is constitutionally prohibited from banning, like guns.”


    5) You’re not fooling us:
    Liberals like to think they’re smarter than everyone else, but they’re as transparent as glass to anyone who’s paying attention. If Barack Obama, Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the rest of the Democrat gun grabbers in Congress could get away with it, they would ban and confiscate every gun in America tomorrow — and people know it.
    And that’s why they always seem so ghoulishly pleased after tragedies like the Gabrielle Giffords shooting or the Newtown massacre. Everybody else is thinking of the victims, while they’re twirling their mustaches Snidely-Whiplash-style and repeating, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” to each other.
    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2013/03/05/5-things-the-gun-grabbers-apparently-dont-understand-n1525945/page/full/

  • Torcer

    Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

    Fact:It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to
    identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.380
    Fact: It did in Germany. The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition (before the Nazis
    came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.
    Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000
    previously legal weapons from their citizens.
    Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms arenow being confiscated by the California government.
    Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a
    citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In
    1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi automatic rifles and
    shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered,
    rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.
    Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.
    http://www.gunfacts.info/

  • Torcer

    Gun Registration is Gun Confiscation
    The holy grail of the anti self defense and anti rights special interest groups is gun registration. This is because once your gun is required to be registered, it is in effect, already confiscated. Only a little thought will reveal to you why this is so. The Government will know who has legal possession of each firearm. They will know where the firearm is stored. When physical possession of the gun is desired, they can order you to turn it in. This has happened repeatedly. The historical examples include NAZI Germany, Soviet Russia, Red China, and Cambodia. Recent examples include Kosovo, Great Britian, Australia, New York, and California. Not having possession of the firearm registered to you can be grounds for criminal action. If you have reported the gun stolen, and it is then found in your possession, you can be charged with obstruction of justice.

    It is a truism that once all guns are required to be registered, the only people who will legally possess guns will be those who have registered them. If you choose to follow the course of civil disobedience, and not register your firearms, mere possession of an unregistered gun can put you at grave legal risk. Civil disobedience has been the most common course of action in California and Canada, where it has proven impossible to enforce the laws requiring registration.

    The common practice, once guns are required to be registered, is to gradually tighten the requirements of registration to reduce the number of gun owners. When the number is low enough to limit effective political action by the members of the gun culture affected, the remaining guns can be confiscated with little effort.

    Gun registration has proven to be universally ineffective in reducing crime. In fact, crime is likely to increase because of the transfer of police resources from crime fighting to administer and police the political requirements of the gun registration scheme, and because of the reduced number of people willing or able to use their firearms for self defense. Self defense is never acknowledged by the anti rights special interest groups because it trumps their arguments for disarming the people. The primary purpose of gun registration has always been to reduce the political power of the people rather than reduce the crime rate.

    The current attempt at requiring gun registration started in 1968, when congress required gun dealers to obtain a federal license, and purchasers of guns from federally licensed dealers were required to fill out a form 4473 to take possession. Congress forbid the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from constructing any national gun registration list from this data, although a registration scheme of purchasers of more than one handgun within a week has been kept on the grounds that it was started before the congressional action forbidding such, and is therefore “grandfathered”. In 1994, Congress passed the Brady bill, which required handgun purchasers to undergo an instant check or a five day wait to purchase a handgun. While parts of this act were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, a little known part of the bill went into effect in 1998, requiring all purchasers of firearms from licensed dealers to undergo an “instant check” before taking possession. Two safeguards had been built into the bill to insure that it would not be used to develop a national registration of firearms. First, the FBI was forbidden to keep any records of instant checks that allow purchase. Second, the instant checks only applied to dealers, not to private sales. Since any gun owner could sell their firearm whenever they wished, without government permission, no registration list could effectively be developed, and effective gun confiscation was prevented.

    The only purpose of gun registration is gun confiscation, whether it is done individually and piecemeal, as the legal requirements to own a gun become more and more difficult, or en mass, when the government feels the necessity to disarm its citizens in order to further its control.

    Governments that push for gun registration distrust their people, and have earned the people’s distrust.
    http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2012/12/gun-registration-is-gun-confiscation.html

  • Torcer

    About Monthly Review
    “At a time when many people have fallen into despair, when our opponents seem invulnerable, it’s critical to have a magazine that challenges us to think, inspires us to action, and makes us realize that the impossible is only difficult, not insurmountable. That magazine is Monthly Review.”
    —Danny Glover

    HISTORY — Monthly Review began publication in New York City in May 1949. The first issue featured the lead article “Why Socialism?” by Albert Einstein. From the beginning, Monthly Review spoke for a critical but spirited socialism, independent of any political organization. In an era of Cold War repression, the magazine published pioneering analyses of political economy, imperialism, and Third World struggles, drawing on the rich legacy of Marxist thought without being bound to any narrow view or party line. The McCarthy-led inquisition targeted MR‘s original editors, economists Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman, who fought back successfully. Against these odds, the magazine’s readership and influence grew steadily, and in 1952, Monthly Review Press published its first title, I. F. Stone’s Hidden History of the Korean War.

    In the subsequent 1960s upsurge against capitalism, imperialism, and inequality, MR played a global role. A generation of activists received no small part of their education as subscribers to the magazine and readers of Monthly Review Press books. In the decades since, which have seen the rise of neoliberalism and successive capitalist crises, MR has kept its commitment both to radical critique and to the building of a just economy and society.

    For a more detailed look at MR‘s long history, please consult this essay, published in 1999 on the occasion of the magazine’s fiftieth anniversary.

    “Monthly Review can show an impressive record of committed left publishing. Through the thick and thin of American politics it has continued to carry the standard of thoughtful and critical radicalism. International in scope, it has combined the best of the old left with creative insights of new social movements.”

    —Sheila Rowbotham

    In its more than sixty-five-year history, Monthly Review has had only six editors. The original editors were Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman. After Huberman’s death in 1968, Harry Magdoff joined Sweezy as coeditor, and together they led the magazine for the next thirty years. Ellen Meiksins Wood served as editor from 1997 to 2000, and in May 2000, John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney took over primary editorial duties. Founding editor Paul Sweezy died in 2004, and later that year, Robert W. McChesney ceased to be formally designated as an editor, while continuing as a contributor and a Director of the Monthly Review Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports both MR and Monthly Review Press. Harry Magdoff died in 2006, and a special issue focusing on his contribution to the understanding of capitalism and imperialism appeared in October 2006.

    TODAY — Under the current editorial committee, led by John Bellamy Foster, the magazine continues its long tradition of analyzing what is new with the equally vital task of seeing the longer process. That tradition, as summarized by Paul Sweezy, is to see “the present as history.” In 2006, MR began a daily web magazine, MRzine, featuring a broad range of articles, reviews, and commentary.

    Revenues from subscriptions and the book sales have always fallen short of the demands on MR‘s resources. The contributions and gifts of a global community of several thousand people sustain MR. Today the magazine makes most of its articles available for free online, and our daily web magazine has attracted a substantial and growing readership. If you have found our website of value, please consider subscribing to the magazine or, better yet, becoming an Associate.
    http://monthlyreview.org/about/

  • Torcer

    1966, 1917, and 1818:
    ‘Let a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend’
    by Bernard D’Mello

    This year marks 50 years since Mao and his close comrades launched the Cultural Revolution in China. Next year, 2017, will be 100 years since the February and October revolutions in Russia. And, 2018 will mark the 200th birth anniversary of Karl Marx (1818-1883), whose works were a compelling source of inspiration for the Russian and Chinese revolutionaries. The three anniversaries will doubtless be occasions when, illuminated by their vision of a decent human society, the works of Marx and his close comrade and friend Friedrich Engels will be re-interrogated. Surely questions will be asked as to why subsequent socialist revolutionaries inspired by that vision — most of all, Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik comrades in Russia, and Mao Zedong and his close comrades in China — despite their best efforts, could not lay the basis for a socialist society — a society of equality, cooperation, community and solidarity.1

    ‘Bombard the Headquarters’

    The March 1966 issue of Red Flag, the theoretical political journal of the then Chinese Communist Party (CCP), carried an article on “The Great Lessons of the Paris Commune” of 1871, explaining how one can learn from the communards as to how to prevent the party-state bureaucracy from repudiating their assigned role of “serving the people” and instead becoming the masters of the people. This theme of the Paris Commune was picked up and communicated on 25 May with a big character poster (BCP) from Beijing University that boldly declared the need for a “Chinese Paris Commune,” the significance of which, the poster claimed, “surpasses” that of the original Paris Commune. Indeed, this BCP won Mao’s applause, and on 5 August, he released his own BCP, titled “Bombard the Headquarters.” Then, three days later, on 8 August, the Central Committee of the CCP adopted a “Decision . . . Concerning the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,” which, in its view, was “A New Stage in the Socialist Revolution,” “to struggle against and overthrow those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road.” The Cultural Revolution also intended to “transform education, literature and art and all other parts of the superstructure not in correspondence with the socialist economic base.”

    Indeed, if one goes by this Central Committee decision, which came to be known as “the 16 points,” there was an expression of the intention “to institute a system of general elections [my emphasis], like that of the Paris Commune, for electing members to the Cultural Revolution groups and committees and delegates to the Cultural Revolutionary congresses,” which were to be “permanent, standing mass organisations.” Indeed, the Central Committee even intended to give the people the right to recall, a principle of the Paris Commune. The “boldly aroused masses” that it hailed were, of course, the student-intellectual Red Guards and the workers. The workers very soon rose up in early 1967 in China’s main industrial-heartland city, Shanghai, in what came to be known as the “January Storm,” which overthrew the Shanghai municipal government, and, on 5 February at a million-strong rally, proclaimed the formation of the “Shanghai Commune.” Here was the first time that a post-revolutionary society was seriously confronting bureaucratism and elitism, or, at least, initiating radical trial runs in direct democracy to find a viable solution to these problems.2

    Sadly, though, this time Mao did not applaud. Indeed, he summoned the main leaders of the Shanghai Commune, Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, to Beijing, called them “anarchists,” and ordered them to disband the commune. Tragically, all the other Paris-type communes in the making also met with premature extinction. Mao’s alternative to the commune was the tripartite “revolutionary committee,” composed of unelected People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel, CCP cadres, and representatives of the “revolutionary masses.” Those who held on steadfastly to the Paris Commune-like original ways of the Cultural Revolution were now deprecated and dismissed as the “ultra-left,” to be dealt with harshly by PLA personnel in alliance with rival Red Guard groups.

    Clearly, the fresh shoots of radical democracy were nipped in the bud, and as for those “communards” who persisted, worse was in store. The so-called ultra-left’s time was up. Unprincipled factional strife, excessive violence, personal tragedies, a lot of ugly features, and the cult of “Mao’s thought” — this last being ridiculous and harmful to scientific temper — had muddied the waters. Of course, the context was that of a protracted political struggle between the “capitalist roaders,” headed by Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, and the “proletarian roaders” headed by Mao. But, even as Mao seemed to be in the lead politically, the Liu-Deng faction dominated organisationally, and tactically it even paid lip service to Mao’s thought and ideals. Very soon, the struggle was no longer about what it was meant to be: the student-intellectual Red Guards and workers (both guided by Maoist intellectuals) taking on the elites of the party, the state, and the PLA. The Maoist principles of handling contradictions among the people and those of the “mass line” (the leadership norm, “from the masses, to the masses”) went for a toss.

    Had the voyage through the rough and stormy seas of the Cultural Revolution brought the vessel of the party-state perilously close to shipwreck? Mao retreated. At the Party Congress in April 1969, he justified the pulling back from the Paris Commune-inspired agenda he had himself applauded and decided upon in the 8 August 1966 Central Committee meeting. The Cultural Revolution, in its original form, was over, but Mao promised that the future would bring more cultural revolutions. He probably did not think a “People’s Commune of China” with a commune state was, theoretically and practically, a coherent proposition. So, the powerful and privileged stratum that had emerged in the party, the government, the PLA, the enterprises, the communes, and the educational system, which had developed a stake in maintaining its favoured position and passing it on to its progeny, won the day. But, some of the measures taken to reduce the differences arising from the division of labour between city and countryside, manual and intellectual labour, and management and employees were persisted with, until, of course, the capitalist roaders decisively took over and stymied them.

    Nevertheless, the Cultural Revolution’s central idea that political, managerial, and bureaucratic power-holders entrench themselves as a ruling elite and, over a period of time, assume the position of a ruling class, and that the people have to be constantly mobilised to struggle against this tendency should never be forgotten. Even otherwise, and more generally, given the existence of class, patriarchy, racism and caste over millennia, power and compulsion are deeply rooted in social reality. Indeed, they have almost become a part of the basic inherited (but not unchangeable) “human condition,” which leads one to make a very strong case for civil liberties and democratic rights (gained through historic struggles waged by the underdogs) that should not be allowed to be abrogated, come what may.

    At this point, I need to mention that part of the problem faced by the Chinese Maoists existed because the earlier New Democratic Revolution had failed to dismantle the central bureaucratic state. This state had been inherited from Chinese history and had thrived under Chiang Kaishek, whose hierarchical apparatus — administered from the top down and predicated on separation from the people — was taken apart but reconstructed in another bureaucratic form after 1949. Like in any other central bureaucratic state, conformity and loyalty brought promotions, personal well-being, power, prestige and privileges. Even the Cultural Revolution with its attacks on Confucian culture had failed to usher in a modern state, let alone one that could have been a democratic role model as far as the Chinese people were concerned. The earlier agrarian revolution demolished merely the local institutions of semi-feudalism without doing away with the central bureaucratic state, leaving the consolidation of power by the forces of New Democracy incomplete.

    ‘All Power to the Soviets’?

    What about the 1917 revolutions? In the first, the February Revolution, the popular masses overthrew the monarchy and its totalitarian regime, and allowed liberals representing the capitalists and the nobility to form a Provisional Government. The second, the October Revolution, came on the anvil when the workers and soldiers (the latter, mainly peasants) were convinced that their February demands of a democratic republic, radical agrarian reform, renunciation of Russia’s imperialist war aims, taking the country out of World War I, and an eight-hour workday will not see the light of day with the propertied classes in power. In the face of growing counter-revolutionary manoeuvring by those classes, the workers and peasant-soldiers demanded a transfer of power to a government of the Soviets (councils) of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies who were elected in the course of the February Revolution. It was the Bolsheviks who, from April-end onwards, repeatedly called for and worked towards the replacement of the Provisional Government with Soviet power, which turned them into a major force that was able to lead the masses to victory in October (November by the Western Julian calendar).

    The “Transition Period” (the period between the political overthrow of capitalism and the consolidation of socialism) that followed was a very difficult one: bloody civil war over four years, imperialist blockades and interventions, massive United States, British, and French military aid to the White armies up to late 1919, lack of food, complete disarray, the workers scattered and decimated. In the face of such circumstances, the Bolsheviks adopted emergency measures — political repression, complete suppression of civil liberties and democratic rights, centralisation and monopoly of power, reliance on the conservative bureaucracy and specialists of the old regime, Taylorism and one-man management of the enterprises — that turned the commune state with the Soviets of 1917 into an authoritarian party-state (dictatorship of the party and the state over the whole people) in late 1918.

    Rosa Luxemburg in Germany, though enthusiastically supportive of October, was among the first of the revolutionary socialists to write that the Russian Revolution — in its suppression of what should have been a democratic role model as far as the masses were concerned — would not lead to socialism. But, she still hoped that October would help ignite social revolutions in the developed capitalist nations, especially in Germany, though tragically, these revolutions were nipped in the bud, leaving the Russian Revolution desperately isolated in an impoverished, war-ridden country. Lenin, in his last writings — he died in 1924, seven years after October — expressed the need to create the basis for popular self-governance, for which, he felt, there must be a genuine revolution, where culture flowers among the people.

    A cultural revolution, so that ultimately an educated, cultured, and enlightened working class might democratically take control of the intended workers’ state? But, this was not to be. The year 1921 had already witnessed the suppression of the Kronstadt rebellion and the banning of factions in the Bolshevik party; 1927, the defeat of the left opposition; 1929-30, the forced collectivisation that broke the worker-peasant alliance; and the 1930s saw political trials and purges, especially the Great Purge of 1937-38 — all of which paved the way for the defeat of the socialist project.

    At this point, I think I need to add something. Bourgeois revolutions are, comparatively speaking, less difficult compared to socialist revolutions. The former simply put in place a capitalist “superstructure” — institutions of the capitalist state, law, education, culture and ideology — to match an already existing capitalist economic base. Moreover, the original (“primitive”) accumulation of capital has already taken place. The socialist revolution, in sharp contrast, not only has to dismantle the capitalist superstructure and put in place a socialist superstructure, but it has no prior developing socialist economic base already in place, and therefore has to create this too, de novo. All this makes the transition period in the aftermath of the seizure of power more complex and difficult to successfully carry through.

    Moreover, in Russia, the February Revolution was not followed by the institutionalisation of a capitalist superstructure, for it was rapidly surpassed by October. The subsequent immediate superstructure of the transition period was, thus, not a capitalist-socialist hybrid, with the former being rapidly superseded. In fact, when the transition project following October suffered severe setbacks, what was left was much of the previous tsarist superstructure. The envisaged democratic role model as far as the masses were concerned was a far cry. Much of what happened was perhaps against the will and intentions of most of the original Bolsheviks, including Lenin.

    ‘Revolutionary Practice’

    About 1818, in desperate brevity, regarding Marx’s revolutionary ideas, we need to articulate the essence of the last and the third of the “Theses on Feuerbach,” penned by the young Marx in 1845.3 The purpose of struggling to gain a thorough understanding of the world — which is what Marx spent his whole working life doing, and which was a deep struggle, this through “learning truth from practice” — was to lay the basis for revolutionary change. Learning truth from practice, of course, means, as Paul M Sweezy once wrote, learning truth “from history, from economics and politics, from culture in the broadest sense — in a word, from the real world of social relations and class struggle, as distinct from the imaginary worlds of revelation and pure thought.”

    The creation of a decent human society might ultimately come about, after many defeats and setbacks, but only in a process of struggle by people, ordinary people, who may not as yet be ready to emancipate themselves, but who can become capable of emancipating themselves by repeatedly launching and sustaining revolutionary struggles. Marx expected that the transitional period between capitalism and socialism would witness a negation of capitalism, which would develop its own positive identity through a revolutionary struggle in which ordinary people would remake society and in the process remake themselves.

    It must, however, be remembered that the workers, more generally, the masses (the majority), the ones who Marx and Engels expected would emancipate themselves in the course of remaking society, are society’s foremost productive force, but the advance of their capabilities is hindered by the relations of production (exploitative relations at work, and ownership relations that bestow capitalist control over the forces of production and the product) and corresponding educational, health, and cultural deprivations they are made to suffer. In the circumstances, the guiding and leading role of middle-class revolutionaries in the vanguard party is indispensable until an enlightened working class emerges, of course, with the proviso that the middle-class educators must themselves be educated by “learning truth from practice.”

    ‘Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom’

    The anniversaries of 1966, 1917, and 1818 call for hard questioning. For instance, why did Lenin and his close Bolshevik comrades, when the harsh conditions of civil war and imperialist intervention had abated, not bring back the Soviets to fulfil the role Lenin had assigned to the commune in his State and Revolution? Why did Mao desert the “communards” in the course of the Cultural Revolution, after, at first, applauding them? Was the view of Marx and Engels of the Paris Commune really an embryonic form of a coherent workers’ state? Perhaps it is time we discard the halo around these three “prophetic” intellectuals once and for all. Marx, Lenin and Mao would never have claimed that they had said the last word on anything. Did Marx not write, in part, unadulterated twaddle about the Chinese Taipings (in Die Presse, Vienna, 7 July 1862) influenced as he seemed to be by official British propaganda?

    But, on a more serious note, though he was light-heartedly responding to his daughters Laura and Jenny Marx’s questions, Marx once “confessed” that it was his “favourite motto” to “doubt everything.” Clearly, in approaching all the serious questions that the anniversaries throw up, we should ask how Marx himself would have reacted if he were alive, for here was a brilliant intellectual, passionate about making a contribution to a worldwide struggle to liberate humanity from the miseries of capitalist exploitation, domination, and oppression. In the spirit of mutual learning, the best approach to the three commemorations would be to “let a hundred flowers bloom” and “a hundred schools of thought contend.” I, however, do not want to hide the unacceptable under the carpet. Given the vast divide between Leninist political theory and the reformist political practice of the Indian communist parties wedded to parliamentarianism, the necessity of smashing the rotten bourgeois state is being paid no heed to. Lenin in theory, Kautsky in practice! “Bombard the headquarters” might indeed be the need of the hour.

    Notes

    1 This piece first took shape in the form of what would have been an unsigned editorial to mark the 50 years of the Cultural Revolution in China, but I had to rewrite it as a “Commentary.” I have retained part of the editorial form and eschewed “References,” but need to add that I draw from essays in What Is Maoism and Other Essays (edited and with an Introduction by me; Kharagpur: Cornerstone Publications, 2010), by Paul M Sweezy, Ralph Miliband, William Hinton, and my own essay. The other pieces that I draw from are my “Did Lenin and Mao Forsake Marx?” (Economic & Political Weekly, 29 May 2010), Hugh Deane’s “Mao: A Lamentation” (Science & Society, Spring 1995), and William Hinton’s “The Chinese Revolution: Was It Necessary? Was It Successful? Is It Still Going On?” (Monthly Review, November 1991). More generally, the influence of Paul M Sweezy’s and William Hinton’s works is perhaps the most marked.

    2 Of course, the leaders of the Shanghai Commune were neither democratically elected, nor were mechanisms put in place for the people to control them, nor did the people have the “right to recall” them, all three of which were basic democratic principles of the Paris Commune.

    3 The last, the 11th thesis, the famous one, reads: “The philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point however is to change it.” And, the third, not that famous but equally important, thesis, in part, reads: “The materialist doctrine that men are products of circumstances and upbringing and that, therefore, changed men are products of other circumstances and changed upbringing, forgets that circumstances are changed precisely by men and that the educator must himself be educated. . . . The coincidence of the changing of circumstances and of human activity can only be conceived and rationally understood as revolutionary practice.”
    Bernard D’Mello (bernard@epw.in) is on the editorial staff of the Economic & Political Weekly and is a member of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai. This article first appeared in Economic & Political Weekly 51.33 (August 13, 2016).

  • Torcer

    Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever-expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarians, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.

    The Communist Manifesto
    II. BOURGEOIS AND PROLETARIANS Page 18.
    http://thepeoplescube.com/peoples-tools/the-communist-manifesto-original-text-t3022.html

  • Torcer

    loaded question
    Collins English Dictionary
    noun
    a question containing a hidden trap or implication
    http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/loaded-question

    What is a loaded question?
    A loaded question implies some fact that has not been previously established. In answering this kind of question (with its negative implication), the witness is put in a dilemma.

    “Do you still beat your wife?”
    (Loaded question because it implies that you used to beat your wife.)

    “Do you beat your wife?” (Neutral question)
    http://grammar.ucsd.edu/courses/lign105/student-powerpoint/Loaded%20questions.pdf

  • Torcer

    Free love or genocide? The trouble with Utopias

    Ever since Thomas More wrote Utopia 500 years ago, visionaries from William Morris to Ursula K Le Guin have dreamed of ideal worlds. But beneath the fig-leaf of fiction, the results are often bland – or bloody
    A quarter of a century ago, the whole idea of utopia seemed irredeemably sullied. At the start of the 1990s, the largest social experiment in human history – the USSR – imploded, and with it went the notion that imagining a radically different society was a serious activity. It seemed that the rewards of such experiments were always so enticing that genocide inevitably ensued.

    That was the lesson drawn from any totalitarian regime informed by the highest (or lowest) idealism: the Khmer Rouge, the Videla regime in Argentina, Nazi Germany, you name it. Back then, it was thought best not to fantasise too much about a better world, but to learn to live in this one. The academic and political atmosphere in the 1990s was decidedly pragmatic, rather than optimistic. It was an era in which the liberal democracies celebrated (prematurely, of course) “the end of history”. The story of humanity was a march to freedom, we were told, and we had arrived. This was as good as it got, and the idealists and unrealists should stop fantasising, because it was a dangerous hobby.
    [..]
    Genocide has always been there in these otherworldly narratives: in Gulliver’s Travels, the Houyhnhnms wanted to wipe out the Yahoos; Gerrard Winstanley, founder of the True Levellers, recommended the execution of all lawyers. There are few utopias that don’t blithely eradicate unwanted elements, and while sometimes the author’s sympathies are clear (Winstanley was pretty black-and-white) others have satirical immunity, presenting their fiction not as a window on to a better future, but as a mirror held up to bleak humanity. It was often hard to tell whether the fiction was an aspiration or a warning.
    Utopia by Thomas More
    Utopia by Thomas More

    That, perhaps, is why the genre remains so appealing: it has always been slightly smoke-and-mirrors, a bit of a guessing game about how serious the proposition actually was. Many understandably believe that “utopian” is shorthand for dreamy impracticality. Take the notion that humans might one day be so good that lies are despised (imagined in Edward Bellamy’s 1888 science-fiction novel Looking Backward) or taxes willingly overpaid, as in Louis-Sebastien Mercier’s Memoirs of the Year 2500: “I saw several people, with easy, cheerful, contented looks, throw sealed packets into the chest, as in our day they threw letters into the post office.” Some of Mercier’s imaginings, which were published in 1770, appear all too removed from human avarice and from what policy wonks call “deliverability”.
    Utopias, past and present: why Thomas More remains astonishingly radical
    Read more

    But utopianism is an academic parlour game precisely because it can be divisive, entertaining and challenging. And with the quincentenary of Thomas More’s Utopia falling this year, the parlour game is again being dusted off. On 25 January, London’s Somerset House begins 12 months of exhibitions, installations and commissions to investigate the renewed allure of utopianism. One of the most eye-catching events is the opportunity to see the view from Anarres, the anarchic planet in one of the last century’s greatest novels, Ursula K Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. In that interplanetary book, the arch-anarchist Shevek travels to a new planet, and struggles to understand the “propertarian” anxieties: “Was it because, no matter how much money they had, they always had to worry about making more, lest they died poor?”

    It feels as if the year’s events are planned to make people ponder seriously what it means, in our confused age, to be countercultural. What would utopian dreaming, in 2016, look like? Would our concerns be the same as those of More, or very different? Presumably the impossible dream of many is now the redemption of a scarred and suffocating planet; or maybe global peace or the eradication of religion. That interface between politics and utopianism is where the game gets interesting. Utopianism is like the manifesto we would write if no one were watching, if all the rules could be rewritten by just one, benevolent dicatator.
    Banned … HG Wells’s In the Days of the Comet proposed free love.
    Banned … HG Wells’s In the Days of the Comet proposed free love. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

    And it’s surprising how, over the centuries, all those literary dictators have raised very comparable issues. One constant has been the vexed question of the family. From Plato onwards, writers have fantasised about a universal brotherhood in which blood allegiances are replaced by infinite goodwill. Sometimes the renunciation of family isn’t selfless, but simply about freedom and, specifically, free love. HG Wells’s In the Days of the Comet suggested that sex with whoever you wanted was the future of a reasoning society (and it duly got banned from public libraries).

    Since utopianism is the fantasist’s literary genre of choice, it’s not surprising that so many utopias were given over to fantasies about orgiastic rituals, like this from Charles Fourier’s Harmony: “When the Head Fairy waves her wand a semi–bacchanalia gets under way. The members of both groups rush into each other’s arms, and in the ensuing scramble caresses are liberally given and received. Everyone strokes and investigates whatever comes to hand and surrenders himself or herself to the unfettered impulses of simple nature. Each participant flits from one person to another, bestowing kisses everywhere with as much eagerness as rapidity.”

    But it’s in the eradication of money and private property that utopianism most clearly intrigues the orphans of radical politics. Those who still devoutly believe in common ownership can’t get enough of utopianism that promises equality, from Henry George’s Progress and Poverty (extolling the notion of a single land tax) to Gracchus Babeuf’s egalitarianism in all things (“education is a monstrosity when it is unequally shared”). Both were working in that fertile ground shared by utopians and politicians, where radical dreams might just germinate in the soil of the real world.
    Embroiderers in the 1930s at the workshop begun by William Morris half a century before in Merton Abbey Mills, London.
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    Embroiderers in the 1930s at the workshop begun by William Morris half a century before in Merton Abbey Mills, London. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

    Many writers, of course, have gone on to be – in major and minor ways – utopian pioneers. Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of the founders of a Fourier-inspired Brook Farm (and wrote The Blithedale Romance as a result); Robert Owen had published seven books by the time he set up New Harmony in Indiana. William Morris was forever dreaming up, and putting into practice, better ways of living, as well as writing News From Nowhere, another utopian fantasy.

    But when the game moves from something on paper to a reality put on land with non-fiction human beings, there are often disasters. The Brixton cult where the Maoist cult leader Aravindan Balakrishnan raped and abused followers is just the most recent and glaringly horrible example of what happens when a dictator gets going. News stories have forever reiterated the pitfalls of utopianism. Whether it was Jim Jones in Guyana or David Koresh in Waco, it has seemed pretty plain that intentional communities of idealists often go fatally berserk. Books like My Life In Orange, or Frances Fitzgerald’s magisterial dismantling of Rajneeshpuram in Cities on a Hill, have underlined the point that experimentation with the norms of society is like putting machine-guns in a nursery.
    Waco, Texas, where 76 people died following the siege of a religious cult led by David Koresh.
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    Waco, Texas, where 76 people died following the siege of a religious cult led by David Koresh. Photograph: Bob Daemmrich/AFP/Getty Images

    But often the results are merely chaotic or eccentric. The 20,000 acres of Owen’s Harmony lacked the leadership and direction of its Lutheran predecessors and slowly petered out. The Shakers, in contrast, didn’t lack leadership but progeny: their response to the gospel was to ban all sexual intercourse. The Fruitlands Community, where Louisa May Alcott of Little Women fame grew up, was troubled not just by sex but also, honestly, by vegetables that grew downwards.

    But for all our sniggering about communal weirdness, many of the great advances in human compassion have come about because of utopian experimentation. Whether or not you like what they stand for, monasteries have lived out the core utopian ideals for centuries: swap celibacy for free love, and you’ve got all the classic ingredients – no family, no private property, no punishment (because of forgiveness).

    Or take The Farm, the Tennessee community founded in 1971 by my hero, Stephen Gaskin. Early pioneers took vows of poverty, enjoyed sex but only within monogamous relationships, and thought cannabis a sacrament (while prohibiting hard drugs). It might sound old-school hippie, but Gaskin was a devout man who created a charitable arm called Plenty, which became a relief organisation working in Guatemala, New Orleans and so on.
    Fruitlands, Massachusetts, where Little Women author Louisa May Alcott lived in the 1840s.

    One naturally assumes that mega-riches are needed to start one of these communities, but actually the reverse is often true. There was a beautiful book published years ago called Sweet Earth. It was a series of photographs by Joel Sternfeld subtitled Utopian Experiments in America. What emerged from the stunning images of ploughs, compost loos and earth-ships was the fact that such spaces often grow not on rich soil, but on barren, impoverished places like Slab City.

    It’s an old truism that if you want generosity, go to the person who has nothing. The same message emerges clearly from the pages of Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell: the greatest, anarchic solidarity emerges in the most desperate and dam