Class is in Session

obamaprofessorA couple of days ago, I was having an online debate with a young friend and two of his friends – him, I know – he is the son of one of my good friends but I don’t really know the other two other than they are his good friends and we have exchanged ideas a few times. Any time they think they need the perspective of a crusty, grumpy old guy, I usually get the call.

They have all had Ivy League or northeastern corridor college educations, all are in graduate school right now. Apparently for their entire college careers, they have been spoon fed a diet of collectivism, socialism and Marxism. Of course, it has been cloaked as legitimate debate, but they are solidly on the left.

For the purpose of this discussion, let’s call them Peter, Paul and Mary.

They were trying to sell me on the idea that capitalism just didn’t make sense as a economic theory in this modern world and that some sort of communism was going to be necessary if mankind was going to continue to prosper.

I asked them what they thought this communist system would provide in liberty, freedom and self-determination. Of course, the stated that economic systems have nothing to do with those things, those are social constructs. My reply was that, as a classical liberal, I cannot differentiate between social and economic systems because both are intertwined and to have liberty in one requires liberty in the other.

Oh, no, I was told. Under a communist system no one has to worry about an income or any social need because all the wealth of the nation would be divvied up equally and we would have time to pursue all of our dreams. We all get an equal share and an equal vote about what happens.

After I finished biting my tongue, I said, “Do you know that you guys are really demi-communists?”

“What is a demi-communist?” they asked.

Well, I said, “The prefix “demi” as two meanings, it means half or half-sized and it also means something that is slightly inferior. The second describes President Obama…a demigod…

You guys are demi-communists because you only ever look at half the picture, I guess you could more accurately be called “output” or “outcome” communists because you are only concerned about dividing up the output of any state, you are never concerned about the input.”

“Please explain…”

“Take Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats getting behind raising the minimum wage or these progressive city governments like Seattle that are mandating a “living wage” that is substantially higher than the prevailing minimum wage. They never address where that money is coming from, as Obama says, to “give America a raise” – they just assume that businesses will just increase the wages out of their profits, if they are actually making any. The Dems are only concerned with the output side of the equation, not the input – that’s what I mean.”

Silence.

“Let’s talk a little about the input side,” I said, “What is it that you want to do for jobs to help pay for this redistribution?”

Peter said he was going to law school, Paul was in accounting and Mary wanted to be a doctor.

“OK,” I replied, “In a true communist economy, you do realize that what you want to do and where you want to do it is not your decision, right?”

“What do you mean?” asked Mary.

“I mean that if there is an oversupply of doctors in a certain area, you will either have to give that dream up or be sent to a place where there is a shortage of doctors. You are not free to choose.”

“That doesn’t happen”, said Paul.

“Paul, if the government owns all the means of production, who do you expect to work for? The only job you will be able to do is to count bushels of wheat at some little farm collective in North Dakota…and who cares if you want to work in New York City because it won’t matter. Marx’s idiom of “From those according to their ability to those according to their needs” is not just about money or grain, it is about people, too. In a communist economy, central planning means that people are the property of the government and are treated as assets to be planned and used just like domestic cattle.”

Peter was quiet because he was beginning to get it.

“Lady and gentlemen, this is what I mean by calling you ‘demi-commies’. Paul, as an accounting student, you should know about double entry accounting – the old T accounts – when you debit something, something else has to be credited to maintain the accounts in a balanced state. You guys want to focus on “giving” people things, what people are “owed” and that forcing the “haves” to share their wealth with the “have-nots” but you never look at what such a system would mean to you and what you want to do.

Most demi-commies think that their lives, dreams and desires would never change, that you could just keep on doing what you want to do. That is simply wrong. Every attempt at communism at a national level has brought everybody down and brought no one up. Sure, everybody is equal but they are equal in misery, not prosperity. Every communist country in history has been plagued with food shortages and mismanaged national assets to the point that productive industries are ground into the dirt.

Given, you are too young to really know what the USSR or East Germany was like but if you want to see the ripening fruits of communism, just look to Venezuela.”

And with that, the online discussion went dead.

16 thoughts on “Class is in Session

  1. Please allow me to piggy-back onto Utah’s post.

    I have a disabled man in my Sunday school class. He survives off the State and has a ‘typical’ entitlement mentality. He thinks he is owed and that the reason he does not have more is because businesses and other people with money are ‘greedy.’ He and I once had a rather heated discussion in class because he knows I own my own business and he thinks I am rich and one of the greedy.

    Well, the people just bought this guy about $50,000 worth of equipment so he could start his own business. Even then, he keeps expecting others to do the work. Not once did he show gratitude, or even acknowledge that people were forced to give their money to him by the government. Anyway, shortly after he was given his business, he started complaining about slow sales and not having enough money. This went on for a few weeks until I had enough of him and told him to shut up, no one wanted to hear his excuses for his greed now that he was rich. Well, he went into a rage about how he was not rich and not greedy. That is when I reminded him about the time he got on to me about being rich and greedy. He remembered that conversation.

    Now for the sad part: the light bulb never went off in his head. To him, he is different. I am still rich and greedy, and the reason his business is not doing well is because of other people being greedy with their money or time. I guess, when you feel entitled, nothing is ever enough…

    Now for the point: the people who think like this are the ones who are truly greedy and self-centered, and their depravity descends to a level so deep that other people can NEVER reach them. Unless God reaches down and lifts up their hearts, they are doomed to perdition.

    • Please allow me to Piggy-back on your comment with a non sequiturious ( is that a word) bit of info.

      Barry Hussein IS a muslim !!! Watch the video below and please add to your ( everyone) evidence list ! His mother was a muslim and he is a muslim. Which is why he said “the most beautiful sound in the world is the decapitation of Christians and Kuffir …..errr the morning muslim prayers”

        • Correct.

          This is for those who claim we lie. And for those who use the excuse…”He’s Confused” etc. If your mother is a muslim, you are a muslim according to islam.

          • Don,

            Not to sound too harsh, but Islam could care less about women. If your FATHER is Muslim, you are a Muslim — until death. Still, I have no doubt Obama’s true father was a Muslim.

            • Well we know ONE of his fathers was a muslim and to use Obama’s own phrase “typical white person” Grand Pa was a Commie.

  2. Capitalism isn’t really an “economic system”. Capitalism is a lot more like gravity in that it just is. Even where capitalism is restricted it is heavily used by the governments and the elite. But capitalism for the people, the common man is merely the inevitable result of freedom. In free countries people are free to be capitalist, to buy and sell to manufacture something for sale or to sell services. Even animals have been known to practice capitalism. Communism and socialism merely put the right to practice capitalism in the hands of the government and the elite who are approved by the government.

    • GoneWithTheWind,

      I know you will most likely disagree with this, as many on the RNL have disagreed with me in the past. However, I think you have confused capitalism with the free market. It’s OK, I did, myself — for many years. Then I read the original definition of capitalism. By its very nature, it is ‘collectivist.’ The free market is not. I think this is part of the problem those who are trying to defend liberty and the free market have today: they do not realize just how much of their adversary’s ideology and language has invaded their own.

      Anyway, just a thought.

      • Capitalism is simply selling or trading something to get something in return. No more no less. We might think it is big business or banks or “free market” and it is at least to the extent that they sell or trade something of value for something of value. When I was young pretty girls would sell their good looks and more for compliments and friendship. Animals sell sex for food (monkeys usually). Families sell thei junk in garage sales for pieces of paper that stores accept for the goods they sell. It is capitalism. It isn’t an economic system and exists even when economic systems do not exist or attempt to prevent capitalism. It exists because it must, arguably humans could not exist without the ability to trade and sell things to get things. Everything else that seems to be conected to it in any way is merely a human construct created to facillitate what is natural; capitalism. Excuse me now as I’m going to get myself and my wife a cup of coffee. Hoping to keep her in a good mood for a mutualy beneficial exchange when the grandkids go to school…

        • See, you start by changing the definition of Capitalism. I pointed to the original definition — according tot he person who coined the term — so I thought I was clear (my bad).

          Look, we are not enemies in our goals, only in how we understand the issues. So long as we are all talking to each other (left/right) while using definitions for the words we use, then nothing will or can happen but more deterioration in our society.

          Case in point: capitalism is not and cannot be the natural state of things because it requires a government to exist. you are describing, where individuals can trade by mutual contract between themselves. But capitalism implies borrowing from investors, and that requires government which – by definition – means it cannot be the natural state.

          See what I am trying to get you to understand? It won’t change your point argument, just the words you use. But changing your words can make a world of difference. Why do you think the left/Progressives do it so much?

  3. Joe,
    Have been reading the ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CAPITAL AND LABOR (1878-1903) and
    am intrigued by the attitude and honesty of Pope Leo XIII.

    I think Pope Leo XIII has defined the subject of this current debate on Capitalism?

    Am interested to read your opinion of Pope Leo XIII and his ENCYCLICAL.
    EdwardS

    • EdwardS,

      I will be honest: I have not read that work. And in reading a synopsis just now, I have to say I am extremely wary of it. I wonder, is this the origin of what is now known in the Catholic Church as ‘social justice?’ If so, it is just the precursor to a similar but much more open invasion of the Protestant Church by Communist interest. Either way, if the synopsis I read is correct, then I would break with the Pope where he says the State has any duty in attending to the needs of the poor, and I would do so on the grounds of Scripture. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that it is the State’s duty to tend to the poor. However, it does say it is the States duty NOT to treat the poor better than anyone else in court simply because they are poor. Still, I could be wrong about the it for myself — yet.

      I’ll try to find time to read it, but I have been VERY busy with prophecy the past few months, and I anticipate I will remain so for some time. You might find what I will be sharing interesting. Follow me on theoyl.com.

      God bless,

      Joe

  4. Joe,
    Sorry I didn’t mention that the first few items are “General Ideas” and getting to Items # 8 through #14
    explains much of Pope Leo XIII regarding his views on Capitalism. The ENCYCLICAL (as are all) quite
    wordy and consists of numerous pages, which is difficult to distill without a thorough reading.

    At first I discounted (as you probably did) the first few paragraphs, but after reading the entire ENCYCLICAL, was able to relate to the Pope’s ideas on Capitalism, which greatly differ from
    succeeding Popes and gained my interest.

    After reading “Class In Session,” was reminded of Pope Leo XIII ENCYCLICAL and entered it
    into the discussion as an affirmative component to Utah’s argument.
    EdwardS

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