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Is "Liberalism" Really "Socialism" Incognito?

Posted by on Feb. 21, 2009 at 9:54 PM
  • 82 Replies
The day socialism comes to America

Posted: February 17, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

© 2008 

Norman Thomas, American socialist
    "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened."

     – Norman Thomas, American socialist

I've been thinking deeply about those famously prophetic words spoken by America's premier socialist thinker and leader.

They didn't resonate in the 1940s when Franklin Roosevelt, in the name of ending the Depression, exceeded all constitutional authority by approving new federal assistance programs.

They seemed a bit far-fetched to most of us in the 1960s when Lyndon Johnson vastly expanded the welfare state in his failed bid to end poverty in America.

They still didn't connect in the 1970s when Richard Nixon, in a bid to ingratiate himself with Democrats in Congress and stave off an impeachment, greatly increased spending on wealth-redistribution schemes.

And by the 1980s, with Ronald Reagan in power, it seemed this 40-year trend had finally been reversed.

But with the initiatives being proposed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign, it appears Norman Thomas was right all along. Americans will, indeed, embrace every fragment of the socialist program in the name of liberalism.

Both of the leading Democrats call for nationalized health care – for a power grab by Washington in which the federal government will seize full control of another one-seventh of the U.S. economy.

This would, of course, be the most dramatic and irreversible step toward U.S. socialism in the nation's history.

Even today, however, the architects of these plans conceal from the public the centralized, command-and-control nature of the new system they devise.

They are not asked by the press to show the American people even one successful program government has run. Yet the American people seem ready to put the lives of their children and grandchildren in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.


Now comes an even grander proposal by Barack Obama. It's called the Global Poverty Act, that would, in the next decade, transfer at least $845 billion of U.S. taxpayer money overseas. Think of Johnson's failed war on poverty going international – directed not by Americans but by the United Nations.

How we could even be debating ideas like this in the 21st century, after all of the climactic failures of socialism around the world, is amazing to me. But we're not really debating them. It seems we're not even capable as a people of debating them, reasoning over them, using our brains to consider them.

Americans may simply be too far gone spiritually, morally and intellectually to reject the temptations of socialism.

Socialism is antithetical to human nature, yet it has great appeal to the human mind.

It's one of the great lies of all time – similar to the one told by the deceiver in the Garden of Eden. You can be like God! You can have it all right here on Earth. You can live in utopia, and you don't have to obey the laws of the universe to achieve it.

That's the essence of socialism. And it is finally seducing America as it has seduced much of the rest of the world over the last century.

Unfortunately, Americans don't even have a party representing clear, unequivocal opposition to socialism. The Republicans dare not even speak its name. John McCain admits publicly he doesn't know much or care much about economics.

And so, Americans don't even have a reason or a mechanism to say no to the socialism that is coming to their country under the guise of liberalism – just the way Norman Thomas predicted it would come.

by on Feb. 21, 2009 at 9:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by anxiouss on Feb. 21, 2009 at 10:10 PM

Very interesting.

I had never read that quote.

DH and I have been discussing this soon as I heard about the gov't buying stock in banks, and then trying to tell banks what to do, what to pay, etc, etc, etc.  I thought to myself..."Isn't this socialism?" 

Is Obama really a socialist in liberal clothes?

I continue to ponder it.  Honestly, I'm not too sure how I feel about socialism.  I feel that too often the gov't becomes too involved in things.  I don't really enjoy the fact of handing them more control and more involvement. 

I also fully understand that there is a lot to socialism that I don't know or understand.

by Member on Feb. 21, 2009 at 10:19 PM

I saw this quote recently for the first time.  I was really intrigued, but then forgot about it.  I'm so glad you brought it up, and made such great points on the topic.  We need to be not only watchful, but proactive in fighting this, because Congress is doing everything they can to ignore our will over these votes that they are making. 

Thanks again and keep these jewels coming.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 21, 2009 at 10:25 PM

So what do we suggest happen if the gov't doesn't move to buy the banks, etc. and let everything fail? It took something as drastic as WWII to end the depression. What do you think will be the end to the mess we're in now?

by on Feb. 21, 2009 at 11:06 PM

Quoting Junebug926:

So what do we suggest happen if the gov't doesn't move to buy the banks, etc. and let everything fail? It took something as drastic as WWII to end the depression. What do you think will be the end to the mess we're in now?

In a Capitalist society there are cycles; pretty much "what goes up, must come down." These cycles are what balance prices, supply & demand, and what not. That is not to say that recessions are all peaches 'n cream, but rather a necessary step towards balancing the economy on its own. Many economists know that you cannot buy your way out of a recession, you must produce your way out of one. The problem is that their are so many laws and taxes on small business (the back bone of our economy) that they are not able to produce and offer lower cost products.

Here is how the cycle should go (roughly speaking) .... prosperity ► the peak (prices are high/profit is high) ► people begin saving because prices are high ► prices go up in order to for businesses to maintain their standards ► people continue to save their money because of fears ► business begin dropping their prices in order to stay afloat ► other businesses follow suit in order to compete ► people begin spending again when they are confident that prices have come back down.

This certainly isn't the only aspect - economics are complicated especially now, but the point is that the only thing government can do is make itself bigger. And this is dangerous; wealth distribution doesn't make everyone rich or even middle class ... it makes everyone poor. Not only that, but we are at the mercy of the government because they are in control.

Socialism has NEVER worked except in theory. But that theory never takes into account human nature and the drive to be free; to be uncontrolled. It is dangerous and we should be fighting it tooth and nail.

by on Feb. 22, 2009 at 12:02 AM

Think the bailouts are going to be used properly....?

by on Feb. 22, 2009 at 12:05 AM

You are amazing to say the least, my friend.

My Flickr
Photography by Kat Benson. Get yours at
by on Feb. 22, 2009 at 12:06 AM

Quoting gogetem:

You are amazing to say the least, my friend.

thank you

by on Feb. 22, 2009 at 12:06 AM

animal farm.

by on Feb. 22, 2009 at 12:11 AM

Quoting forsythia_18:

animal farm.


by on Feb. 22, 2009 at 1:20 AM

This discussion kind of gives me flashbacks to the campaign when Obama was just the candidate.

I remember people calling him a socialist them, when he was talking about giving tax breaks to the middle class.

And then there was all that talk about how "he sees America different", so he is a terrorist.

It just seems to me that those people back then should have been putting all their time and energy into coming up with solutions to problems, instead of labeling.

I don't know if this stimulus package amounts to socialism or not.  But I know that I haven't seen anyone else step up to the plate with a better plan.

The choice seems pretty clear.  We either do nothing, or we do something.  But what is it that something should be. 

There are so many smart economists.  Why don't they bring the best of the best in to Congress, and sit them down and hash it out.  Noone leaves until everyone is educated on the problem, the options, and the best way to solve the problem.

I am just so tired of these politics as usual.  It just seems so high school to me, with all those Congress people talking behind each other's backs, and everyone thinking they know it all and the next guy knows nothing.

There just must be a better way, and I could care less what label it has as long as it works this time.

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