“Capitalism is responsible for the current food crisis and starvation around the world,” the voice on the radio said. “Attend our Introduction to Marxism conference this Friday and learn about the merits of Marxism.” Driving up the New Jersey Turnpike, I was shocked to hear this commercial on a popular radio station, though I shouldn’t be. The Left is on the march and more emboldened than ever. So, like any good capitalist wanting to learn what the radical left is up to, I registered.
The event was held near Greenwich Village on West Street, and sponsored by the Brecht Forum. Berthold Brecht, the composer of the “Three Penny Opera” (Mack the Knife), made his fortune the capitalist way, and then joined the Marxist movement.
About 40 attended the program – and an entertaining group they were. Among others, I encountered five college professors, a barefoot woman with her barefoot children, and a couple of librarians A statement made by the conference leader when everyone introduced themselves proudly confirmed that the organization has a number of librarians in their network. I am not sure what that means; I just found it quite interesting.
According to the first speaker, Professor Fred Magdoff of the University of Vermont, the world food crisis is being caused by capitalists hoarding food. Not in your refrigerator, mind you, but by big, greedy corporations keeping truckloads of produce out of the market while they wait for prices to climb. This presentation was the beginning of a day of contradictions, illogical statements, and utter disregard for the truth. It seemed the New Jersey legislature could be taking cues from this crowd.
Under my questioning, Prof. Magdoff could not explain how greedy capitalists were keeping hoarded supplies of food from spoiling as they held out for bigger profits. He stated that there is ample food to feed the whole world, but we are just not distributing it. The Marxist solution is for the government to take control of the means of production and distribution. Food and shelter are essential requirements of life that only the Marxists can control, assuring egalitarianism and level distribution of wealth, regardless of production.
Reality: The Corzine Administration is taking charge of the housing industry by forcing taxpayer-subsidized low-income housing mandates across the state, taking control of the means of distribution and leveling all citizens to the same standard.
I asked, isn’t the emerging prosperity of China as they move from Marxism to capitalism causing a greater demand for different foods, like beef, as Chinese move away from a rice-based diet? Of course, said the Marxists, this is a dangerous consequence of the Chinese abandoning true Communism. Societies must not be allowed to create classes where some rise to higher levels of achievement. Everyone must be leveled to the same standard of existence!
Reality: In New Jersey, how can we allow some people to live in upper class neighborhoods, affluent suburbs or trendy urban areas? The New Jersey Legislature will see to it that there is no allowance for different classes. Low-income individuals are to have a mortgage on the success of those who produce.
The Marxists went on, stating that the concentration of capital shackles the masses to a permanent status as under class, a slave labor force for big capital. This can only be dealt with by uniting labor into a collective voice and a heavily progressive tax system that empowers the government to redistribute wealth so everyone is reduced to the same rice diet.
Wait! Didn’t New Jersey pass the radical Card Check Bill, empowering union bosses to enter the work place and organize labor without a secret ballot? This newfound power allows union bosses to see how each worker votes, and talk sense into them if they don’t see things the “union” way.
New Jersey also has the most progressive tax structure in the country. With the fastest growing tax burden in the nation, Trenton is redistributing wealth every day, to each according to his need, from each according to his ability to pay.
The Marxists are angry NAFTA has forced so many Mexicans to abandon their family farms in Mexico to come to the U.S. They call for heavy trade tariffs too stop greedy American companies from invading other countries and disturbing their agricultural economies. After all, these folks really want to toil in farm fields, not live in a wicked place like the U.S. The Marxists claim they support open borders where people can move freely, but immigrants are not allowed to move with their capital.
Reality: Try selling your property and moving out of New Jersey and see what a kick in the butt the State Department of Taxation gives you when you leave the state. You can leave, but leave the state your money before you go.
Herein lays the real danger, the fundamental difference between those of us who believe in individual liberty and the thinking of the Marxist mind. Our values are rooted in a philosophy that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights and that these rights are given to us by a power greater than earth – by God. Therefore, no power on earth can take those basic rights away from us.
Once you do not believe in the creator, then who has given us these sacred rights? It can only follow that it comes from a power on earth. The Marxist is an atheist and in fact despises religion. Their god is the government, and the individual is subservient to that god.
When questioned about how they rationalize the massive starvation that took place under Lenin, Stalin, Mao and other communists or when pushed to justify the barbaric atrocities that are taking place right now in Zimbabwe under the Marxist Party of Robert Mugabe, the answer is a glazed look that denotes a complete lack of comprehension of the question.
To Marxists, the ends justify the means. What are a few million lives on the way to Utopia? When the individual has no value – and under Marxism individuality is sacrificed for the “Common Good” – individuals and their lives are meaningless. The Marxists have a grand vision for a reordered society where everyone is cast into an amorphous mass of humanity in which we forfeit ourselves for the “Common Good” and should smile cheerfully as we march off to our demise – Utopia is right around the corner.
When COAH mandates, handed down from up high shatter neighborhoods, up-end the real estate market and drive income and property taxes higher, or when the safe and quiet neighborhood you worked hard and saved to buy your home in is wrecked by low income housing projects, just remember it is for the ”Common Good.”
When the government takes control of the health care profession through Universal Health Care, just grab your rice bowl and bear it and remember – they cannot socialize the medical profession without socializing the patients.
When your tax burden grows even greater to fund the Trenton planners’ vision, remember that is a small price to pay for your fellow man.
When the union rep visits you at work and tells you to sign that card to unionize your company, the new one authorized under the recently passed Card Check Bill that eliminates secret unionization ballots, just look that union thug (oops, sorry, I meant organizer) right in the eye and say “Thank you, comrade, for breaking my bonds of oppression." Workers of the world unite!
When you are served with notice that the government is taking your property by Eminent Domain so they can give your property to a private developer, find solace in knowing that Big Brother knows better how your property can best serve the “Common Good.”
When you go to bed at night, know every single day that your precious children and grandchildren are trusted to the government school system and that they are being taught about the need for each one of us to work for the ”Common Good.” The New Jersey Education Association is making sure of that.
Individual liberty is an obstacle to implementing the Marxist agenda. The government needs to roll over this concept for their greater purpose, the “Common Good.” After all, aren’t these sacrifices a small price to pay for the vision of the Marxist Planners to become reality, comrade? Utopia is right around the corner.
Steve Lonegan was Mayor of Bogota, NJ, and is Executive Director of Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP Foundation) are committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process. He is a prolific writer, having been published in newspapers and blogs. He just published a book, Putting Taxpayers First: A Blueprint for Victory in the Garden State, that discusses the impact of the Trenton government on the well being of the taxpayers of the state. He offers solid and workable solutions. Learn more at lonegan.com.