Beginnings of American Socialism in Public Education?
- Don Divine WWP Email Member (d3869@...) Beginnings of American
Socialism in Public Education?
Written on Thursday, January 19, 2012 by David L. Goetsch
In Part One of this series, I provided a definition of socialism
as a concept. In this installment I provide a brief historical perspective.
Socialism's birth is typically attributed to Karl Marx but, in fact, he wrote only
a few pages about the concept in his well-known book, The Communist Manifesto. The
original advocates of socialism criticized what they saw as the inequities of
the Industrial Revolution. To remedy these perceived inequities they advocated
a more egalitarian redistribution of wealth and a reordering of society into
small utopian communities in which there would be no private property.
Government ownership versus private ownership is at the heart of the
differences between socialism and the free market.
Socialistic thinking has been prevalent in Europe since the late
19th Century. Socialists throughout Europe dominated the
universities, influenced the thinking of intellectuals, and encouraged the
spread of socialism in every way possible. The same thing is now happening in
American universities. The Fabian Socialists of England were especially
effective in bringing democratic socialism to that country. They also
influenced socialist thought in America. The Fabians sought to bring about the
spread of socialism by gradual means, beginning with scholarly but flawed works
on economic history, and using popular literature to influence public opinion.
The left in America copied and have been applying the Fabian model for decades.
In the United States, socialism was prominent in the thinking of
rationalistic New England and Northern reformers. For example, the first “free”
public schools were established by Unitarian socialists who wanted to use them
as a vehicle for undermining Christianity, changing America's cultural values,
and promoting the acceptance of socialism. This was a brilliant strategy for
the left. No institution in America that has been more effective in promoting
the acceptance of socialist ideals than the public school system. Ironically,
Americans have bought so completely into public education that they do not even
associate it with socialism.
In politics, the 1890s and 1900s saw the emergence and growth in
America of the Socialist Party and the Socialist Labor Party. The
“Progressives” of the early 20th Century were strongly influenced by
socialism. Consequently, they looked to government to exercise more control
over business, and adopted—to some extent—socialist programs. Intellectuals in
politics used their influence to encourage the acceptance and spread of
socialism during these years. For example, President Woodrow Wilson—the former
college professor—advanced socialist thinking through his public oratory and
government policies during World War I.
Later, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), with the help of his
left-wing “brain trust,” a Democrat-controlled Congress, and me-too Republicans, laid the
foundation for American socialism with his New Deal policies, programs, and
Supreme Court appointments. FDR's enshrinement as one of America's best-known
and most popular presidents stems more from his leadership during World War II
than from his pre-war government programs, most of which were failures.
Presidents, Congressional leaders, and liberal Supreme-Court justices who
followed FDR—aided and abetted by left-wing intellectuals in colleges,
universities, journalism, and the entertainment industry—slowly but steadily
advanced the spread of socialism in America. There was opposition, of course.
But the left, borrowing a page from the rule book of the Fabians, moved slowly
enough that the progress of socialism went unnoticed by the majority of
With the election of Barack Obama, the slow pace advocated by the
Fabians suddenly shifted into high gear. As a result, a system that bankrupted
the Soviet Union and has undermined the prosperity of Europe is now making
great strides in the cradle of free-market economics—the United States of
The concept is known as boiling the frog, and it is one of the
most effective ways to get around resistance to major societal change. If you
throw a frog into a pot of water on the stove and turn the heat up gradually
enough, the frog will grow accustomed to the slight increases in temperature
and simply enjoy itself until it is too late. Liberals are experts at applying
this concept. As a result, Americans are like frogs boiling in a pot. Obama's
mistake was getting impatient and turning up the heat too fast by ramming his
ill-conceived spending programs through Congress. His impatience jolted
thinking Americans wake, and many of them jumped out of the pot.
Socialism received a major boost when it was adopted by Lenin following the Russian Revolution in which Czar Nicholas was overthrown and his family murdered by the communists. Having defeated the Russian aristocracy, Lenin s now-powerful followers had a free hand and no need to compromise with political opponents. Hence, they wasted little time in adopting their preferred economic model: socialism. Socialists everywhere applauded Lenin's—and socialism's—ascension to power and eagerly awaited the results of what they referred to as the “great experiment.”
Having seized power in Russia, Lenin immediately found himself in
the uncomfortable position of having to follow through on his promise that
socialism would improve lives. His followers expected their lives to be better
than they had been under the Czar. Lenin believed that a nation's economy would
perform better with centralized state control of production, distribution, and
commerce, and without what he thought of as the negative influences of the
profit motive and competition. Nothing illustrates better how woefully
inadequate the liberal's views of human nature are than Lenin's views on
competition and the profit motive. It is the inherent drive to better one's
circumstances, not centralized government planning, that drives people to be
productive. This inherent human drive is translated into practical terms by the
profit motive and competition.
Predictably, Lenin's attempt to apply socialist principles on a
broad scale failed miserably. Just four years after Lenin instituted a
socialist economy, production in the Soviet Union fell to only a fraction of
its rate prior to the revolution. In fact, Lenin's experiment was such an
abysmal failure that he was forced to choose between the Soviet people starving
and reinstituting the free-market incentives of capitalism, albeit on a limited
basis. He opted for limited capitalism under what was called the New Economic Program (NEP).
This is where things stood when Lenin died and Stalin assumed the
reins of power. Stalin and his successors until the collapse of the Soviet
Union based the country's economy on state planning of production based on a
pyramid model. At the peak of the pyramid the state planning agency established
broad targets and directives. These targets and directives cascaded down
through a succession of ministries and regional planning organizations that, in
turn, passed them down to factories. In the factories, the plans were reviewed
by the factory managers and engineers who were expected to implement them.(20)
Lenin's so-called experiment with socialism stumbled along for
approximately 70 years—a textbook example of mass inefficiency and waste—until
the Soviet Union's economy finally collapsed under the weight of its own
lethargy and inefficiency. Without massive and repeated infusions of economic
aid from the United States and the countries of Western Europe in the form of
technology and expertise—including factories and the technicians to run them—the
failure of the “great experiment” would have occurred much sooner. For a
thorough treatment of how the west assisted in the development of the Soviet
economy, see Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development by Anthony Sutton.
Heilbroner describes the collapse of the Soviet Union's doomed
socialist economy in stark terms: “It is not surprising that this increasingly
Byzantine system began to create serious dysfunctions beneath the overall
statistics of growth. During the 1960s the Soviet Union became the first
industrial country in history to suffer a prolonged peacetime fall in average
life expectancy, a symptom of its disastrous misallocation of resources.
Military research facilities could get whatever they needed, but hospitals were
low on the priority list. By the 1970s the figures clearly indicated a slowing
of overall production. By the 1980s the Soviet Union officially acknowledged a
near end to growth that was, in reality, an unofficial decline.
In 1987 the first official law embodying perestroika—restructuring—was put
into effect. President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his intention to revamp the
economy from top to bottom by introducing the market, reestablishing private
ownership, and opening the system to free economic interchange with the West.
Seventy years of socialist rise had come to an end.”(21) The great experiment
was over and it had been a dismal failure, yet liberals in America still opine
mindlessly on the virtues of socialism. The mistake of well-meaning
conservatives who have tried to explain reality to liberals has been in using
facts, reason, and logic on people whose beliefs are based solely in a
misguided emotional attachment. This is one of the greatest shortcomings of
liberals such as President Obama: They think the world can be the way they want
it to be simply because they want it to be that way.
Socialism has been tried many times by different nations over the
years. Throughout all of this, it has consistently failed. Christian
philosopher D. Elton Trueblood demonstrated that a centrally-planned economy
requires the planners to know: 1) what resources are immediately available, 2)
what resources will be available in the future, 3) what consumers want now, and
4) what consumers will want in the future. (22) In other words, to be effective
the central planners must know what it is impossible to know. In a free-market
economy, factors such as prices, profits, losses, and consumer demand are
immediately available and provide businesses the information needed to respond
quickly to market opportunities and threats. Free-market economics has built-in
checks and balances that provide businesses with information that central
planners in a socialist system do not and cannot have.
Other articles in this series:
Read more: http://patriotupdate.com/articles/beginnings-of-american-socialism-in-public-education/#ixzz2LBb2Op8X
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.”
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me; give me liberty or give me death!”
- der Hoaxster email group moderator (derhoaxster@...) Bolshevik Radio interviewed Chagnon on 2013-02-16. This person found that the Yanomani were constantly engaged in intertribal warfare and raiding women from neighboring tribes. This smashed the myths of peaceful people unspoiled by civilization. The Anthropology establishment went to war against Chagnon.