Includes thoughts and comments about energy needs, resources, conservation and their relationship to politics at home and around the world.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Independents, Liberals, Libertarians, Progressives, Collectivists, Communists, Conservatives, Socialists, Fascists, Democrats and Republicans

While most elections in this country are fought between people registered as Democrats and Republicans, the actual political philosophies of members of both parties vary widely. The full political spectrum runs from the extreme Left to the extreme Right. Left of center are found communists, socialists, liberals and progressives. Right of center are found conservatives. libertarians and fascists. Spreading over the middle of the spectrum are found independents and collectivists.

On the Left

Communism sprung from Marx and Engells and got its first major foothold in Russia as a result of the 1917 Revolution. In the communist system, there are no private property rights. Everyone works for the state and the state owns everything. Agricultural and manufactured goods are rationed to the people. In my opinion, communism is a very harsh system that offers very little incentive for the majority of its citizens except the elite few at the top of the pecking order. It was a very dismal life for the vast majority of people who lived in the Soviet Union prior to the changes that began under Gorbachev and the breakup of the USSR.

Socialism ostensibly derives from the Judao-Christian concept of "to each ording to his needs; from each according to his ability". It is a softer version of communism in that limited private enterprise is allowed so long as it remains within the concept noted above. Socialism is the end result of the creation of dependence on the government and the collateral distruction of individualism. Much of Europe has travelled the road to that end by creating a majority class dependent on government for health care, education, government subsidized housing and food programs, and other welfare schemes. Heavy taxation is required to pay for such programs, again tending to stifle the incentive to succeed in life. The USA has been moving in that direction and that must be stopped.

The distinction between liberal and progressive has so far escaped me except that liberals no longer like to be called by that title, preferring instead the term progressive. No matter, these folks base a lot of their rhetoric and actions on what "feels" good to them which tends toward a reliance on government to solve all social problems, thus socialism. There are many dangerous tentacles associated with modern-day liberalism. Take feminism, for example. The feminist movement came close to destroying the masculinity of America, leaving behind a generation of wimps. Anyone in their right mind supports equal pay for equal work and the rise of competent women in the corporate and political world, but a huge price has been paid in terms of family values. Some are hellbent on further distruction of the traditional family by supporting same-sex marriages and legalized marijuana. Right in the middle of all of it is the ACLU and its endless list of causes they want to force down our throats ranging from removal of God from public schools, courthouses and other public venues to affirmative action and all manner of equal employment opportunity issues. Many if not most liberals hate the U.S. Military and refuse to accept the fact that freedom is not free and must be defended by each new generation of Americans else it will be lost.


The Right Side

Over on the right side of the spectrum, conservatives generally believe in minimal government and reliance on the private sector to solve social problems. Libertarians believe in as little government as possible and oppose taxes for anything beyond those that are needed for law enforcement, fire protection and our common defense. Fascism and totalitarianism walk together, and are based in a belief in absolute government control of people and their lives.

Independents present themselves as above the fray, not interested in down and dirty politics. They say they vote based on the persons and issues involved and what seems fair and reasonable. I suspect that some independents are simply fence sitters who have difficulty making up their minds.

Collectivists are power hungry people who believe they are best equipped to lead and control the masses. They are elitist and are present in every political party known to man.

Happy Chandler, a very estute Kentucky Democrat politician and former Commissioner of Major League Baseball, was asked one time how the nation would vote if one morning we woke to find there no longer existed a Democrat or Republican Party. Without hesitation, he said "2 to 1 conservative." Conservatives believe the best government is one that governs least, a government that adheres to the meaning and intent of the Constitution of the United States of America. In that sense, conservatives can be likened to their cousins, the libertarians. The essential difference between conservatives and libertarians is one of attitude. Conservatives are politically pragmatic, willing to compromise on issues of great importance. Libertarians stick hard and fast to conservative principles and resist compromise with a passion. To them, compromise is a weakness. Both groups abhor government waste and excessive taxation. They would prefer a flat tax or consumption tax compared to the current "rob the rich to give to the poor" system. In either case, there is an underlying belief in self-reliance and personal responsibility for one's actions.

We got our bellies full of fascists in World War II in the form of the Nazis in Germany and the party ruled by Mussolini in Italy. We are still fighting that ilk in places like Venezuela and a number of African nations. Totalitarianism in any form is evil and certainly counter-productive for all but the small minority of people at the top of the order. Virtually any form of government can evolve into totalitarianism once elitists are allowed to take command, even in a democratic republic like ours.

With all of the above in mind, a look at the upcoming general election takes on a very serious tone. Both Obama and Clinton concern me greatly because they would take us ever closer to socialism at best, to outright collectivism at worst. Moreover, I honestly believe Obama could be a "Manchurian" candidate, his handlers including Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Minister Farakhan. Hillary is an angry hater of men and the U.S. Military and could very well destroy the latter just as her husband treid to do in the 90's. McCain clearly demonstrated his love of America throughout his Naval career and realizes we must continue to be willing to defend and pay for our freedom. He will stand by our military and become an outstanding President in the process.



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