Since we’re talking symbolism

Across the nation, Confederate monuments are coming down, and the question on many minds is whether the President was right: will it stop there, or grow to include any figure — including pivotal figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — associated with slavery or other grievances?

So this would be a good time to examine the symbol of one of the more active groups on the Left: Antifa.  Their flag has been seen from Berkeley to Boston at various “protests” and “counter-protests.”  Why the quotations?  Because in nearly every case, it has devolved into violence.

This is Antifa’s flag:

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Note that the full name of the group is “Antifascist Action.”  The photo above is from an event in Oklahoma City.  Now take a careful look at this next photo:

3rd Communist International

This is the debut of that logo, at the first meeting of the “Antifaschistische Aktion” group in Berlin, July 10, 1932.  The organization was created by the Communist Party of Germany as a replacement paramilitary force after their original goon squad –the Rotfrontkämpferbund — was banned due to fighting between Communists and Nazis.

Note that the emblem is centered between two Soviet flags.  The banner on the table reads “Long live the Red Front.”  In essence, Antifa originated as the Communist answer to the Nazi “Brownshirts,” and the nature of the group was inherently violent.

The point has been made repeatedly in recent days that neo-Nazi symbolism has no business in the USA, and I agree.  But what about neo-Communism?  We’re reminded “we fought a war to conquer Nazi Germany.”  True.  We also waged a half century “Cold War” under threat of nuclear Armageddon to defeat the Soviet Union and its communist empire.  So why is Adolph Hitler the lone boogeyman and political epithet?

It’s because Communists and Nazis strongly emphasized their differences rather than their similarities.  This is deliberate deception.  BOTH belong on the “left” end of the spectrum, as both are collectivist totalitarian ideologies.  The opposite of each is not the other, but rather minimalist, individualist government.

But wait, there’s more!  Our society today is so historically ignorant that many people initially can’t understand why I lump Nazis and Communists together.  So here’s some info to chew on: Continue reading

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Casting off Castro

Fidel Castro has died.  It’s informative to compare the statements made by our current president, versus our future president on this event:

Trump: “Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades.  Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights.

While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.

Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannnot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.  I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day seeing a free Cuba.”

That is how you mark the passing of a totalitarian thug.  I truly hope that this message about Castro’s real legacy burrows in until there’s no more chic in Che shirts.

If Trump can be on message consistently like this during his administration, foreign policy is going to be interesting to watch.  Maybe our nation will stop being taken in so easily.

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No, Jesus was not a socialist

One of the cultural successes of the Left has been to recast Christ as sort of the Original Hippie – concerned mostly with “peace, love and happiness” and the creation of a utopian society.  This has always missed the points that:

a) He came to die in order to offer forgiveness from sin (not a popular topic on the Left)

b) He repeatedly pointed out that His kingdom was not of this world — a world filled with people scripture clearly shows as fallen and broken (and thus, incapable of utopia in any form, no matter how much we try to “Imagine“).

As more and more young Americans seem to embrace the siren call of socialism (oh, how short our civilizational memories are!), “1960s Jesus” is occasionally trotted out in an attempt to bludgeon the church into going along.  The current election cycle is no exception.

These are good resources to restore balance and perspective.  Don’t hesitate to read and use them.  And remember, not only was Jesus not a socialist.  He also was not a Republican, Democrat, or any other partisan participant.  To the extent He could be said to have a governing philosophy, it would be Divine Monarchist.

Who is creating the problem?

With the meteoric rise of Bernie Sanders, we’re seeing an accompanying increase in class warfare rhetoric (part and parcel of the Marxist worldview, which relies on creating envy to generate much of its appeal).  One side effect of this “soak the rich” battlecry is that it presumes most, if not all material success in life is achieved through undeserved and ill-gotten gains.

The problem with this approach is that being wealthy is no more a reliable sign of insidious living than being poor automatically confers virtue.  Below is a much better perspective:

CLASSWARFARE

There are many who have worked hard, been creative, stayed “in bounds” of the law, and still achieved material success and social status.  Then there are those who have lobbied and bought influence to bend the system to their ends, using government force to exclude potential rivals, or to hire cheaper foreign labor to displace hardworking Americans… all to squeeze a few more cents per share of profit from their corporate cash cow.  But despite Bernie’s bellowing, those CEOs are the minority.

At the same time, there are those Americans who make use of a publicly provided “hand up” to get their life back on course after a disaster (loss of job or spousal support, or a bout with substance abuse or crime).  But there are also those who make public assistance a way of life, seeing no incentive to become self-supporting instead of living off the goodwill of others.

The problem we have is not one of “rich versus poor.”  It’s one of “workers versus looters” that crosses the spectrum of income.  It’s one of people at all levels of society who use government to take from others what they would not otherwise give.  CEOs and their companies who spend each day making themselves more profitable by providing better value for society should be applauded, not demonized.  The same is true for those who are saved by the “social safety net” but show the determination to climb back off of that net and start moving upward on their own power again.  These are the ‘workers.’

But those of any income who increase their worth primarily at the calculated expense of others — looters — should be rightfully condemned, whether they live in Manhattan, New York, or Manhattan, Kanasas.  This is yet another issue where Democrats and Republicans each decry a selected part of the problem, while both make it worse.  Republicans complain (rightfully) about those who purposefully live off the welfare system, while simultaneously supporting H1B visas, offshoring and other corporate goodies that force vulnerable workers onto unemployment and other forms of public assistance.  Democrats rightfully attack Uncle Sam’s “corporate handouts” (of which there are many), but then promise to hand out so many “goodies” to the citizenry that they promote individual dependency and an entitlement mentality.

Here’s a radical thought: how about EVERYBODY stop looking at government as Santa Claus?  How about we stop empowering government to pick the winners and losers at all levels of living?  This is supposed to be the land of opportunity, not the land of who-has-the-most-organized-lobby.  (By the way, if you truly want to study and go to college, the opportunities exist.  Stop waiting for government to make it “free.”)  Government should be a referee, not a retailer of tax loot.

Solving any issue effectively means first defining the problem accurately.  That is one reason why socialism ultimately fails.  It substitutes blind jealousy for incentives and a work ethic.  I suspect its growing appeal to the current generation is based in no small part on the failure of America to prevent the corruption of what was once a successful attempt at free market capitalism into a blatant and corrupt system of cronyism based on an alliance of Big Business, Big Government and a Bi-factional ruling party.

Neither of these is the answer to the problem.  Where are the candidates promoting individual freedom and personal opportunity?

Fighting hammer and tongs sickle

The lurch leftward continues for America.  Who’d have thought that, barely a quarter century after the spectacular indictment of communism represented by the fall of the Berlin Wall and implosion of the Soviet Union, that the two candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States would both be lifelong disciples of Alinsky and Marx?  Someone forgot to teach history (as opposed to propaganda) to the kids.  As a result, an ideology that should by now be thoroughly discredited is enjoying a renaissance among the young.

Sadly, the GOP has its own addiction to big government, militarism and foreign adventurism, so there’s no real alternative there, either.  Marxists to the left of me, corporatists to the right… stuck in the middle with you.

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Indeed

Today’s read:

“It’s disheartening that an avowed socialist is a viable candidate for president of the United States. Socialism is a dead end. For hundreds of years, it has failed everywhere it’s been adopted. The enthusiasm of our youth for the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a symptom of our failure to educate them, not only in history, government and economics, but also basic morality…”

Read the entire thing.  Even as our nation reaches $19 trillion of acknowledged debt, too many people still seem to think it’s the best source of lots of goodies.  We’ve reached a point today where in education there is emphasis on science, technology, computing… but not on the lessons learned from basic human experience over 4,000+ years of recorded history.  And we wonder why we’re repeating mistakes that should have been proscribed long ago.

Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it Yet those who do study history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it