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Bertil Olsson

America’s Slippery Slope

Karl Marx, was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement.

What is socialism? If you study social development and political science, you will know about the theory developed around the turn of the last century by thinkers like Marx and Engels – we own our collective resources as a nation; the state will control the resources and distribute those in a fair and equitable way. In those days, there were great social inequities in the European monarchies; a small ruling class controlled and owned everything and the rest of the population lived in poverty, as they were completely dependent on the good will of those with education, “breeding”, and resources. There was little upward mobility. The social status of your parents set the parameters for what level of success you could expect to have. Socialism would equal things out and be a method to redistribute the national wealth.

Times have changed and in our society the vast majority of people now have the opportunity to be educated, get a decent paying job, own their own home, car and, in essence, create their own fortune. If that’s the case, then who needs socialism? The answer is no one – except the new ruling class. That ruling class consists of government functionaries.

Let’s take a look at Europe. Most countries have some form of socialist party in control. Social Democrats, Christian Socialists, Pasok, Labor. Etc. Socialism today is not about redistribution of income. Modern free economies take care of that by themselves. Jobs are created, wages are earned, cars, iPhones, flat screen TV’s, etc., are bought and if those jobs don’t pay enough, the workers move to another job…. I know I may sound cynical as the current recession and government politics have combined to eliminate many good job opportunities but as a general statement, I know I am right.

Socialism today is ONLY about power. I can guarantee you that the folks in our current government are not stupid (led by a former “professor” at the world’s leading university, no less). If that’s the case, then why do they want to emulate the economic systems of Europe? We can all read about how well things are going there, and by the way, it’s not only about Greece and Spain. Take a look at the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy and so on. Virtually every country except Germany and perhaps the small Nordic countries are having severe problems. These are problems that are completely self-imposed and for which there is an easily identifiable cause: excessive government spending. Tax and Spend governments spend. To fund the spending policies, taxes are raised until at the end of the day, there is no more blood to squeeze out of the stone. Then they borrow – and the loans eventually become, and there is no one to pay. Greece is a text book example – in recent times, only 50% of the population worked and of that half worked for the government. This means 25% of the population have paid for it all; this model simply will not work in the long run.

So why then would the United States rush into an operating model that looks more and more like Europe? The Obama administration is promoting universal health care, draconian financial regulation, cap & trade, and forcing a green economy where it is not wanted or necessary. The President seeks to “stimulate” the economy with increased government spending and fund it by hitting “the rich” with higher taxes. The list goes on.

These policies have been tried since the recorded annals of man. They have never worked. There are countless times when they have been proven to be the downfall of great societies.

There is only one reason why this is still going on – power. These policies are the easiest way to obtain and retain political power. The message is simple – you vote for me and I will take from someone else and give it to you. This appeals to special interest groups and union activists, as well as the uninformed voter. The hard way to get elected is to tell the truth – we are facing financial ruin and need to cut back on spending.

I came to this great country because it is the bastion of freedom, hope, and free enterprise. I believe the United States can still be the beacon of hope. But if the American people do not wake up and smell the roses, the United States will sink into the same economic quagmire that now stagnates Europe. What a shame. I am proud of my adopted country. I only ask this of my new countrymen: be informed, make the right decision in the November elections and give America a fighting chance.

  • Richard

    Can’t be any more concisely put than that. Thank you Mr. Olsson.

    • Opine Needles

      I will pass your comment on to him..thanks for commenting..

      From: Disqus
      Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 9:10 AM
      Subject: [opineneedles] Re: America’s Slippery Slope

  • Henry Eustace McCulloch


    Good thoughts from Mr. Olsson. Thank you for sharing them.

    Thomas Sowell’s column today ( explores an interesting and related question: is Barack Hussein Obama in fact a socialist or a fascist? There is no doubt that Obama is a Leftist, so the question becomes whether fascism is a social plague from the far Right or from the Left. Sowell says something that makes a lot of sense to me: that Obama’s centralizing is based less on a Soviet model of state ownership of the means of production – and everything else – but on a corporatist, i.e., fascist, model of the sort Mussolini introduced in Italy in the 1920s and that the Nazi Party replicated in Germany in the 1930s. (No, that does not mean I am accusing BHO of being a 21st century Nazi, in case anyone is wondering.)

    Sowell’s point is that corporatism – nominal private ownership of means of production that are in fact subject to state direction and control, a key element of fascism – is very convenient for authoritarian governments (and do we doubt any longer that Obama and his advisors seek an authoritarian federal government for America?). With corporate ownership at least nominally in private hands, failing governments always have a convenient scapegoat at hand. In the case of the social transformations Obama and friends intend for America, it is also much easier to slide those changes by the people without going through the upheaval of explicitly nationalizing corporations, banks and the like.

    On the larger question of whether fascism is a creature of the Right or the Left, I vote for the Left. Just as with Communism and other forms of socialism, fascism seizes control of a polity by denigrating and destroying its core, traditional institutions and social structure. Fascists do not act from conservative or traditionalist impulses. Witness the hostility of the Nazis and, to a lesser extent, Italian fascists to Europe’s traditional Christianity, especially the Catholic Church – the traditional institution par excellence of Western civilization. These “regimes of the Right”, as we have been led to think of them, shared this social animosity and the urge to program and re-make society with their not-really-opposite numbers on the overt Left. Strong evidence to me that both Bolsheviks and Nazis realized that theirs was an ideological kinship under the skin is the fact that Stalin and Hitler were willing to enter into the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, opening the way for the Soviet-Nazi invasion of Poland and ultimately the Second World War. The two totalitarian regimes eventually fell out (rather like two scorpions in a bottle), but I think my basic point holds.

    The counter-example Leftists love to offer to prove that fascism is an evil of the Right is Franco’s Spain. Having studied the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, I disagree. Falangist Spain was not the same as Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. The latter were – like the Bolsheviks – driven ideologically to transform their societies into socialist collectives, differing from the Bolsheviks in having a national rather than an international focus. The Franco government’s main purpose was to prevent a Communist takeover of Spain; it was in fact a regime with traditionalist motives; not something one can say of a truly fascist regime.

    • Opine Needles

      Thanks very much for this thoughtful comment. At the end of the day, Bertil Olsson correctly sums up the situation by concluding that this is all about a redistributionist quest for POWER.

      From: Disqus
      Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:21 AM
      Subject: [opineneedles] Re: America’s Slippery Slope

  • Dougmalbrough

    yea Pierce you have just described the Republican policies,no regulations,big companies have no regard for the workers that make them rich,banks and big companies buying up the competition so that it elliminates any competition for free interprize to exist. one such commodity is oil,in the 1973 the oil could only be sold for 7 dollars a barrel.they wanted more we created our own shortage by plugging good producing wells up. In the 80′s Super Walmart’s started popping up all across the country shutting down hundreds of small businesses.Government needs to regulate. greed is just too much for people to handle,they can’t and won’t do it on their own. the republicans put us in the mess we are in and you can’t prove otherwise