Breitbart | Endre Balogh | Feb. 19, 2009
When it comes to the wit and wisdom of Karl Marx, it’s likely that his most quoted statement is, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” The perverse irony in that quote is that all of Marx’s pseudo-scientific philosophical and sociological musings are so antithetical to common sense and basic human nature, that in order to believe them one must take a leap of faith far greater than any required for belief in a religious dogma. Certainly, George Orwell had Marx in mind when he famously quipped, “There are some ideas so preposterous that only an intellectual could believe them.”
Marx wasn’t stupid, though, and surely recognized that in order to get his magical notions widely embraced, people would have to give up their traditional ideas of religiosity, since it is difficult if not impossible to maintain a belief in two, utterly conflicting religious faiths at the same time. Tragically, the true believers who swallowed the toxic claptrap Marx advanced have brought far more misery and brutality into the world than all the fundamentalist religious faiths of history combined. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot (to name a few of the most egregious examples), all held at their sociopolitical core the same pseudo-religious tenets that Marx proposed, and the staggering amount of death and torture those monsters precipitate dwarf, by several orders of magnitude, the suffering resultant from any religious beliefs. ( I know, some who are ignorant of history will object and say that Nazism and Fascism were Right-Wing movements. To them, I suggest they read Jonah Goldberg’s seminal book “Liberal Fascism” to learn the truth. The word Nazi was an acronym stemming from the German name for the National Socialist Party!)
Most people (with the exception of many Political Science professors that still inhabit our Universities) have finally come to regard Nazism, Fascism, and Communism as the evils they inherently are, but Socialism is still widely viewed by vast numbers of otherwise intelligent people as a societal good. “Just think,” they say, “how nice life could be if only more people would recognize that individuality and private property are contrary to the greater Socialist good? Let’s just spread the wealth around.” Indeed, throughout 20th Century history, one of the principal distinctions between Nazism, Fascism, Communism, and Socialism has been how thuggishly the fanatical believers in a utopian vision of radical egalitarianism have tried to impose it.
Though implementing Socialism is a lot less vicious, its adherents are equally devoted to totalitarianism – witness just one of myriad examples: the recent rumblings about imposing the Fairness Doctrine on Talk Radio. Consequently, it may actually be more insidious, since over a long period of time people gradually get used to its spirit-crushing effects until, like the proverbial frog in the pot of gradually boiling water, all their freedoms are lost.
Recently, I found a marvelous quote from Margaret Thatcher who wryly observed,
“The trouble with Socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
When I read that, it suddenly hit me that the pseudo-religion of Socialism is fast becoming the very real opiate of the masses. Big Government radicals like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are obsessed with redistributing “other people’s money” and are among the principal “pushers”, addicting enormous swaths of American society to the public dole. The very phrase, “other people’s money,” when made into the acronym OPM and said fast becomes “opium.” In modern Socialist societies it isn’t religion that narcotizes people, but rather OPM that renders people weak, helpless, and dependent on the State for their every need.
Now, our duly elected President Obama, whose ideological roots are deeply watered by Socialist faith, is working to transform American society into one closely resembling the failed Socialist societies of Western Europe. Taking on a new role as Used Car Salesman-In-Chief, he has seized upon our financial mess (largely caused by disastrous Leftist policies – thank you Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, et al.) to ram through the costliest Big-Government giveaway/restructuring bill in human history, without anyone in Congress even having had time to read it. In his few short weeks in office, President Obama has injected far more OPM into the lifeblood of America than did Roosevelt’s awful, Depression-prolonging “New Deal” policies. Just to give it a little context, until just a few weeks ago, former President Bush was roundly excoriated for having raised the deficit under his watch. Now, less than a month into his term, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have quadrupled the deficit in one fell swoop – all with OPM.
The fact that the Socialist Western European countries are in moral and economic ruin makes no difference to the fanatics who concoct our policies. Sadly, thanks to them, the long era of American exceptionalism and personal freedom will come to an abrupt end unless large segments of the populace awaken to the danger posed by the Socialist OPM. Lest anyone doubt that we are headed that way, need I point out that when the McCain campaign had the temerity to gently suggest that perhaps Mr. Obama’s proposed policies might be vaguely Socialist, he was universally castigated for unethical mudslinging. Yet now, only a few weeks later, the cover story in Newsweek proudly proclaims “We Are All Socialists Now!”
A case in point is the ongoing budget crisis in California. Here we have the richest State in the Union, with an economy that ranks among the largest in the world. Yet, thanks to decades of Leftist mismanagement and redistribution of OPM into failing, Big Government / Socialist programs, it sports the worst credit rating of any state. Loopy from their OPM fix, the Leftist lawmakers who have a stranglehold on California politics have spent the past several decades running California into the ground. Are they held accountable for their fiscal irresponsibility? Of course not! They just demand more OPM. What is the solution proposed by the largely Leftist lawmakers to the budget shortfall? Burden the already crushed taxpayers with an unprecedented tax hike – a twelve cent per gallon gasoline tax (on top of an existing forty cent per gallon tax), a doubling of the car registration fee (already one of the highest in the nation), a one percent increase in sales tax (on top of one of the highest sales taxes in the country) and a huge surcharge on State Income Tax.
The Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman demonstrated conclusively that beyond a certain point tax increases result in a decrease in revenue. So why does the Left continue to demand a tax increase? For two reasons: 1.) because they are not truly interested in the revenue but rather in the ideology of redistributing wealth and 2.) because they are addicted to OPM. As I write, a tiny handful of courageous Republican lawmakers are standing between these onerous tax increases and the utter destruction of what is left of the California economy.
This final quote from the late Dr. Adrian Rogers sums up the problem of OPM best:
You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. 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 about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
OPM is the real narcotic of those who fall for the ideas of Marx. If it becomes the drug of choice for the majority of Americans, we are all in big trouble.
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