The Evolution of Socialism

Socialism in its purest form is the oldest method of human organization. Its basic premise was that all members of the tribe were entitled to share equally in everything from a kill or the discovery of a patch of wild rice to the communal use of primitive stone tools and sex. When the encroaching glaciers forced Neanderthal man to band together in nomadic tribes 35,000 years ago, the threat of extinction was an ever-present reality that overrode any considerations of individual needs. Whatever tribal property they were capable of carrying with them belonged to the whole tribe, and the only reasonable division of labor in such an environment was men hunt and fight and women provide sex and care for offspring.
About 10,000 years ago, man invented agriculture. Grain provided a form of food that could be stored for long periods without spoiling, thus setting neolithic man free from the incessant need to follow game and scrounge for edible plants. This allowed formerly nomadic man to settle in one place, and the security provided by this arrangement expanded human aspirations from day-to-day survival to an appreciation for comfort and leisure. Furthermore, with the extra time afforded by not having to follow herds of wooly mammoths across trackless landscapes, early man used his survival-honed intellect to invent and develop pottery and chipped stone tools and weapons.
This development in human evolution introduced the concept of wealth, and the idea of wealth inevitably involved the idea of individual wealth. If I claim a piece of land and I plant, tend, and harvest rice on that land, it’s my rice. If I gather clay and mold and fire a cooking pot, it’s my cooking pot. It does not belong to the communal tribe! Furthermore, the development of primitive manufacturing implemented something that further eroded the socialistic structure of the paleolithic tribe – a division of labor. The person who was particularly good at throwing and firing clay pots or at chipping stone spearheads could trade their skills for grain and for other products increasingly available in a budding industrial society.
The downside of wealth was that it was accumulable. Some people, through exceptional skill, could amass more wealth then others, leading to the human inventions of envy, greed, robbery, theft, and war. These developments led to further divisions of labor into farmer (serf), wealth manufacturer (craftsman), wealth distributor (tradesman), wealth accumulator (lord), and wealth protector (knight). This situation pertained for the next 10,000 years, and the primitive institutions of socialism were essentially forgotten.
Then, roughly 250 years ago, humans invented a method of accelerated wealth production using machines to replace people. The results were astounding. Wealth was lavished on the common man. No longer could only the ruling classes afford fine clothing; the power loom and then the sewing machine provided clothes of an even higher quality than ever before and at a price that everyone could afford. Products that had never even been possible before, like plastics and automobiles and computers and millions of miles of steel rails were invented and made cheaply available to the poorest man through the magic cycle of investment, mass production, profit, and investment known as capitalism.
The industrial revolution created a new accumulator of wealth, the entrepreneur (capitalist), – and in accordance with Newton’s Second Law, almost immediately spawned the reactionary anti-industrialist (anti-capitalist). From the Luddites and Malthusians to Michael Moore and Al Gore, industrial society has been continually plagued by misfit malcontents who preach that the production of untold wealth is evil.
In the mid-1800s, a disgruntled, pathetic failure named Karl Marx resurrected the defunct, atavistic, and mouldering corpse of socialism and presented it to an ill-educated world as a shining new religion. It would be beneficent for us to assume that Marx was ignorant of the Pilgrim’s disastrous Free Safety Powerpoint Templates experiment in socialism in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620 or of Robert Owen’s dismal socialistic debacle at New Harmony Indiana in 1825, but it is probable that he was aware of these practical failures of his fantasies. We can only assume, therefore, that he deliberately chose to ignore them.
Marx’s philosophy, which he named communism, was as much utopian as it was socialistic. He envisioned a society in which the wealth created by industrialism was equally and forcibly distributed among all of its inhabitants. Implicit in this scheme was the visible hand of the philosopher king (the state), but tragically absent from his delusion was a realization of the source of industrial wealth – the entrepreneur, who risks investment for profit. By removing the profit link from the magic cycle of capitalism, utopian socialism was doomed to sink inexorably back into the dismal miasma of pre-industrial feudalism.
Marx’s atavistic social structure has actually been tried, first in Russia then in China, and later in such diverse places as Germany, Italy, Cuba and North Korea, all with predictable results. It turns out that communism cannot exist except through its imposition by a totalitarian government using propaganda, xenophobia, and cultural isolation to quench the natural human desire for personal betterment. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the cultural bankruptcy of communism had become universally apparent, although vestiges of it linger in some political and philosophical backwaters such as the American propaganda media and the US Democratic party that are apparently fascinated by its ability to subjugate large numbers of people.
In the United States in the early twentieth century, communistic socialism was adopted by Hamiltonians such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, (the latter of whose aristocratic illusions was enhanced by the noblesse oblige theories of the British socialist John Maynard Keynes). The methods employed by these self-styled philosopher kings were attempts to micromanage the economy and to control the news media through force-fed government propaganda; the predictable results were industrial stagnation and economic depression. In the mid-twentieth century, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) developed and documented a method of inciting civil discontent as a means of achieving redistribution of wealth, a tool that is still central to the machinations of communist-socialists such as Frances Fox Piven, Stephen Lerner, and Barack Obama.
So we have seen socialism evolve from a natural and necessary social organization employed by man’s ice age ancestors through an uninformed reaction to the industrial revolution to a political method of enforcing human slavery using propaganda, suppression of opposition and criticism, and “community organizing” (ie. rabble rousing and class warfare) to achieve the enrichment of self-appointed aristocrats at the expense of what they consider to be the “plebian class.” The problem with this bastardization of socialism, of course, is that the “plebian” class (ie. the producers of wealth) Industry Environment Analysis produce their wealth for their own profit, not for the entitlement of others, and as they are not only the most intelligent but also the most industrious people in any society, they will take their skills elsewhere rather than submit willingly to slavery. The purveyors of the communist-socialist dream, therefore, are destined to be left dependent on the ever-expanding dregs of society, who produce nothing but burgeoning demands on the increasingly declining public wealth, thus ultimately dooming the entire society to the level of abject poverty observable today in North Korea.

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