Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Corrupting Christianity and distorting history to justify communism

original article: There is no ‘Catholic case for communism’
July 25, 2019 by Rev. Ben Johnson

 

On Tuesday, America magazine published an apology for Communism that would have been embarrassing in Gorbachev-era Pravda. “The Catholic Case for Communism” minimizes Marxism’s intensely anti-Christian views, ignores its oppression and economic decimation of its citizens, distorts the bulk of Catholic social teaching on socialism, and seemingly ends with a call to revolution.

While author Dean Detloff claims to own Marxism’s “real and tragic mistakes,” he downplays these to the point of farce. He admits, without elaboration, that “Communism in its socio-political expression has at times caused great human and ecological suffering.” That seems a rather anodyne way to describe decades of imperialismcensorship, and torture; the Gulag archipelago, reeducation camps designed to eradicate the victim’s entire personality, and the systematic industrial slaughter of 100 million people (and still counting in North Korea, China, and Cuba).

In this America essay, the plight of Communism’s victims is reduced to the level of “ecological suffering.”

Similarly, Detloff obfuscates about Communism’s hatred of religion in general and Christianity in particular. He will allow only that Marxist-Leninists “were committed Enlightenment thinkers, atheists who sometimes assumed religion would fade away in the bright light of scientific reason, and at other times advocated propagandizing against it.”

Had Communists restricted themselves to propaganda, they would have failed before taking power rather than 70 years afterward. The Bolsheviks murdered 2,691 Russian Orthodox priests, 1,962 monks, and 3,447 nuns in 1922 alone. Detloff obliquely admits Communists persecuted religious people “at different moments in history” – apparently the Marxist equivalent of “some people did something.” In reality, Communist persecution of the Church was near-universal. The same cycle unwound in Spain, Hungary, AlbaniaNorth Korea, and Xi Jinping’s China. Its boot has fallen on the necks of such luminaries as Cardinal Mindszenty, Blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko, and an obscure Polish priest named Karol Wojtyla.

Before taking Christian lives, the Communists took their property. Lenin wrote secretly in 1922 that the Politburo must use the Bolshevik-inspired famine as cover to “confiscate all church property with all the ruthless energy we can still muster.” He understood, better than Christians, that without property the Church has no earthly self-defense. Wealth gives its holder agency – which is to say, liberty.

Detloff attempts to reassure his readers that Communists will only despoil “the rich,” not common people. Abolishing private property does not mean the Red Guard will confiscate “the kinds of things an artisan or farmer might own” but only “the kind of private property that most of us do not have”: businesses, capital goods, etc. This assumes that universal human rights depend on one’s class. It overlooks the sacking of Church property, the only opulence most peasants ever saw – property that was truly preserved in common for scores of generations.

More importantly, it again ignores the bloody pages of Communist history. Stalin sent soldiers door-to-door to confiscate all food, utensils – even pets – before starving six million Ukrainians to death in the Holodomor. Had Detloff been writing 100 years ago, he may be deemed gullible. But with a century of history to draw on, it is hard for Detloff – a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Christian Studies – to plead ignorance.

Yet in his telling, “Catholics and communists have found natural reasons to offer one another a sign of peace.” Detloff’s cites as proof the fact that numerous Communist organizations (all of which he helpfully links for America readers) allow Christian fellow travelers to work toward Marxist ends,“Christians have been passionately represented in communist and socialist movements around the world,” and some Marxist leaders were former seminarians. (Was Josef Stalin less murderous because he was once an Orthodox seminarian, or Khrushchev because he memorized virtually all four Gospels?)

This is rather like the seductress who estranges a man from his family, then boasts about her connection to his ex-wife. Marxism lured Catholics away from the Christian faith into a false religion.

The Roman Catholic Church’s unbroken teaching condemns all forms of Marxism and Communism. Pope Pius XI wrote in Quadragesimo Anno that “no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.”

“See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived!” he wrote. “Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever.”

Nonetheless, Detloff argues that Catholics should promote Marxism (and, implicity, that they should ignore the Magisterium), because “Communism has provided one of the few sustainable oppositions to capitalism,” which is – he asseverates – “an economic system based on avarice, exploitation and human suffering.”

“Sustainable” may not accurately describe an economic system that collapsed in an ash heap after 70 years of bread lines and mass starvation. The economic implosion of every Marxist experiment in human history seems to have passed him by. So does its concentration of all wealth into the hands of state functionaries, its endless class warfare, its history of assigning jobs irrespective of individual choice, and its requirement that all curry the good favor of the political class for (a better chance at) survival.

Presumably, those were “not real socialism.” Yet contemporary Marxists believed the regimes were socialist at the time. One can only tell a regime is not practicing “real” socialism after it fails, the same way that Puritans could only tell a woman was innocent of witchcraft after she drowned.

The free market brings people from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds together in harmonious relationships. It requires people to serve others by providing goods or services they want to buy. Capitalism indisputably generates more wealth and better living conditions for the poor than those living under socialism. And it leaves the worker the fruits of his or her labor and, with it, choice and dignity.

The America piece ends with a call to overthrow this system – and replace it with the greatest system of oppression ever devised – and contains a possible incitement to violence. Detloff’s press release began by quoting a Dorothy Day article, “It is when the Communists are good that they are dangerous” – because she warns their humanitarian-sounding lead Catholics astray, persecute the Church, and even kill protesters by throwing bricks. Detloff concludes by saying, “It is when the communists are dangerous that they are good” – an apparent call to revolution in the pages of America. After all it was Karl Marx, not Lenin, who wrote that “there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.” The fact that this violates Catholic doctrine seems, also, to have eluded America. Otherwise, the editor may have challenged any one of these violations of Catholic social teaching or inversions of reality.

Detloff is counting on the historical ignorance of his readers, and he likely counts right. Communist atrocities are not taught in public schools or universities. That class time is reserved for the evils of national socialism and the depridations of America’s founders.

But Detloff also assumes ignorance of Catholic teaching, with whichAmerica‘s editors should be conversant. There is scant evidence that they are, given the publication of this dishonest puff piece about the most murderous ideology of the twentieth century.

communism, corruption, economics, government, history, ideology, liberalism, progressive, religion, socialism

Filed under: communism, corruption, economics, government, history, ideology, liberalism, progressive, religion, socialism

Communits Party Directive, 1943

“When certain obstructionists become too irritating, label them, after suitable buildups, as fascist or Nazi or anti-Semitic, and use the prestige of antifascist and tolerance organizations to discredit them.”

communism, history, indoctrination, lies, propaganda

Filed under: communism, history, indoctrination, lies, propaganda

A Truly Honest Leftist Says Our Incomes Are the “Rightful Property” of Government

original article: A Truly Honest Leftist Says Our Incomes Are the “Rightful Property” of Government
September 21, 2015 by Dan Mitchell

In a perverse way, I admire leftists who openly express their desire for bigger government and less liberty.

That’s why I (sort of) applauded when Matthew Yglesias wrote in favor of confiscatory tax rates while admitting the government wouldn’t generate any revenue.

And I gave Katrina vanden Heuvel credit for openly admitting her desire to redefine “freedom” so that it means a claim on other people’s income and property.

Both are proposing horrible policy, of course, but at least they’re honest about their goals and motivations. Unlike politicians, they’re not trying to disguise their intentions behind poll-tested platitudes.

We can now add another person to our list of honest leftists. The new leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn, is a British version of Bernie Sanders, except he really is a socialist who believes in government ownership and control of business. And the chief economic adviser to Corbyn is Richard Murphy.

And, as reported by the U.K.-based Sun, Mr. Murphy openly says everyone’s income belongs to government.

Chartered accountant Richard Murphy, 57, is the brains behind the “Corbynomics” strategy of renationalisation, higher taxes and printing millions of pounds in “new” money. …his bizarre ideas have already sparked fears among Britain’s top economic experts… One of Murphy’s strategies was revealed in August 2014… The dad-of-two claimed taxpayers’ money was NOT their own – and was instead the state’s “rightful property”. Murphy said: “I would suggest that we don’t as such pay taxes. The funds that they represent are, I suggest, in fact the property of the state.”

To be fair, sometimes people mangle their words. To cite one hypothetical example, accidentally omitting a  word like “not” might totally change the meaning of a sentence and give a journalist an opportunity to make a speaker look foolish.

So maybe Mr. Murphy didn’t really mean to say that the government has first claim on everyone’s income.

But if you continue reading, it becomes apparent that he really does believe that government is daddy and the rest of us are children who may be lucky enough to get some allowance.

“…if we give the state the power to define what we can own, how we can own it and, to a very large degree, what we can do with it – and we do – then I would argue that we also give the state the right to say that some part of what we earn or own is actually its rightful property and that we have no choice but pay that tax owed as the quid pro quo of the benefit we enjoy from living in community. Murphy went on: “Well let me inform you that there is no such thing as ‘taxpayers’ money’: it is the government’s money to do what it will with in accordance with the mandate it has been given and for which it will have to account.

Wow, this truly gives us a window into the soul of statism.

Though let’s be fair to Murphy. He’s simply stating that untrammeled majoritarianism is a moral basis for public policy, even if it means 51 percent of the population ravages 49 percent of the population. And that’s an accurate description of how economic policy works in the United States ever since the Supreme Court decided to toss out the Constitution’s limits on the power of the federal government.

Moreover, Murphy’s view is basically reflected inthe “tax expenditure” concept used in Washington and the “state aid” concept in the European Union.

None of this justifies Murphy’s poisonous ideology. Instead, I’m simply making the grim point that statists already have achieved some of their goals.

But maybe it will be easier to counter further attacks on economic liberty now that Murphy has openly said what his side wants.

P.S. There are two types of honest leftists. Richard Murphy, like Matt Yglesias and Katrina vanden Heuvel, are honest in that they openly state what they really believe, even when it exposes their radical agenda.

Some other folks on the left have a better type of honesty. They’re willing to admit when there is a contradiction between statist ideology and real-world results. Just look at what Justin Cronin and Jeffrey Goldberg wrote about gun control and whatNicholas Kristof wrote about government-created dependency.

bullies, communism, corruption, economics, elitism, extremism, government, greed, ideology, left wing, liberalism, marxism, nanny state, politics, power, progressive, socialism

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The Class of 2015: Book Burners Afraid of Matches – Bill Whittle

The Leftism of today’s college campuses will lead to the Fascism and Socialism of a Hitler or a Stalin. These Occupy-ers are essentially book burners.

communism, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, entitlements, extremism, foreign affairs, government, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, terrorism, video

Filed under: communism, culture, discrimination, diversity, education, entitlements, extremism, foreign affairs, government, hypocrisy, ideology, indoctrination, intolerance, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, political correctness, progressive, propaganda, relativism, terrorism, video

Nobel Prize winner: man has forgotten God

February 13, 2015 by BILL FEDERER

“Man has forgotten God; that is why this has happened” was Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s response when questioned about the decline of modern culture.

Solzhenitsyn continued: “Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.’”

This echoed another Russian author, Dostoevsky, in whose book, “The Brothers Karamazov,” the character Ivan Karamazov contended that if there is no God, “everything is permitted.”

It is also similar to Nazi leader Hans Frank who remarked during his conviction at the Nuremberg Trials, Aug. 31, 1945: “At the beginning of our way we did not suspect that our turning away from God could have such disastrous deadly consequences and that we would necessarily become more and more deeply involved in guilt. At that time we could not have known that so much loyalty and willingness to sacrifice on the part of the German people could have been so badly directed by us. Thus, by turning away from God, we were overthrown and had to perish. It was not because of technical deficiencies and unfortunate circumstances alone that we lost the war, nor was it misfortune and treason. Before all, God pronounced and executed judgment on Hitler and the system which we served with minds far from God. Therefore, may our people, too, be called back from the road on which Hitler – and we with him –have led them. I beg of our people not to continue in this direction, be it even a single step; because Hitler’s road was the way without God, the way of turning from Christ, and, in the last analysis, the way of political foolishness, the way of disaster, and the way of death. His path became more and more that of a frightful adventurer without conscience or honesty, as I know today at the end of this Trial. We call upon the German people, whose rulers we were, to return from this road which, according to the law and justice of God, had to lead us and our system into disaster and which will lead everyone into disaster who tries to walk on it, or continue on it, everywhere in the whole world.”

In February 1945, Solzhenitsyn was arrested for writing politically incorrect comments against Joseph Stalin. He was imprisoned for eight years, as he described in his autobiographical lecture, printed in the Nobel Foundation’s publication, Les Prix Nobel, 1971: “I was arrested on the grounds of what the censorship had found in my correspondence with a school friend, mainly because of certain disrespectful remarks about Stalin, although we referred to him in disguised terms. A further basis for the ‘charge’ were drafts of stories and reflections which had been found in my map case.”

Stalin said: “Crisis alone permitted the authorities to demand – and obtain – total submission and all the necessary sacrifices from its citizens.”

President Franklin Roosevelt told the Delegates of the American Youth Congress, Feb. 10, 1940: “The Soviet Union … is run by a dictatorship as absolute as any other dictatorship in the world.”

Stalin controlled citizens through “fear and food.”

The people were kept in constant fear that government agencies would falsely accuse them and cart them away in the night, and the people were kept in a continual shortage of food, so they could not have the resources to rebel. Stalin engineered a famine in his war against the kulaks that killed millions.

Richard Pipes commented on the absolute power of Russia’s Josef Stalin in his book, “Communism: A History” (Random House, 2001): “To break the resistance of the peasants in the Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and the Kazakhstan, Stalin inflicted on these areas in 1932-33 an artificial famine, shipping out all the food from entire districts and deploying the army to prevent the starving peasants from migrating in search of nourishment. It is estimated that between 6 and 7 million people perished in this man-made catastrophe.”

Pipes continued: “Stalin’s regime needed another crisis … as Fidel Castro, the leader of Communist Cuba, would explain. … ‘The revolution needs the enemy. … The revolution needs for its development its antithesis.’ … And if enemies were lacking, they had to be fabricated.”

Richard Pipes continued: “In 1934, a prominent Bolshevik, Sergei Kirov, the party boss of Lenningrad, was assassinated under mysterious conditions … evidence points to Stalin. … Kirov was gaining too much popularity in party ranks for Stalin’s comfort. His assassination brought Stalin two advantages: it rid him of a potential rival and provided a rationale for instigating a vast campaign against alleged anti-Soviet conspirators. … Purges of the 1930′s were a terror campaign that in indiscriminate ferocity and number of victims had no parallel in world history. … Authorities … beat them until they confess to their crimes they have not committed.”

Stalin’s terror campaign was similar to the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror, led by Robespierre, head of the “Committee of Public Safety.”

In a speech titled “The Terror Justified,” Robespierre told the National Assembly, Feb. 5, 1794: “Lead … the enemies of the people by terror. … Terror is nothing else than swift, severe, indomitable justice.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, but the communist government did not allow him to leave the country to accept it.

Solzhenitsyn began publishing The Gulag Archipelago in 1973, and in response to international pressure, the Soviet Union expelled him on Feb. 13, 1974.

The following year in Washington, D.C., Alexander Solzhenitsyn warned: “I … call upon America to be more careful … because they are trying to weaken you … to disarm your strong and magnificent country in the face of this fearful threat – one that has never been seen before in the history of the world.”

original article: ‘Man has forgotten God; that is why this has happened’

abuse, atheism, communism, corruption, culture, government, ideology, intolerance, nanny state, oppression, politics, power, religion

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See Who’s Been Spotted in Ferguson Trying to ‘Incite’ Riots and Mingling Among Group Armed With Molotov Cocktails

August 19, 2014 by Jason Howerton

As the outraged community in Ferguson, Missouri, continues to protest the officer-involved shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, radical communist revolutionaries from places like Chicago and New York City are seemingly infiltrating the local demonstrations and allegedly attempting to “incite” riots.

A video uploaded on YouTube Tuesday shows Gregory Lee Johnson, a veteran member of theRevolutionary Communist Party, riling up a crowd and seemingly discouraging them from listening to police’s advice to calm things down. Watch that video in the full article.

full article: See Who’s Been Spotted in Ferguson Trying to ‘Incite’ Riots and Mingling Among Group Armed With Molotov Cocktails

communism, criminal, crisis, extremism, hate speech, ideology, indoctrination, left wing, liberalism, pandering, philosophy, politics, propaganda, protests, racism, scandal, security

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Former Soviet Citizen Confronts Occupy Wall Street Socialists

http://www.mrctv.org/embed/107031
October 31, 2011 by Stephen Gutowski

After debating a couple of socialists at Occupy Wall Street on the realities of communism Vladmir Jaffe was interviewed on Fox Business.

Filed under: capitalism, communism, economics, free speech, freedom, ideology, marxism, philosophy, socialism

Racism, anti-Americanism and idiocy at the OneNation rally

15 Photos From the #OneNation Rally You’ll Never See In Legacy Media
OCTOBER 02, 2010 by Doug Ross

We are supposed to believe the Tea Party is a bunch of racist, intolerant un-American idiots, and the leftists are supposed to be the opposite. It turns out the dominant narrative is backwards. But don’t bother looking for the truth on the matter in the main stream news media.

ABC Sanitizes Left Wing Rally, Excludes Communist and Socialist Signs
October 4, 2010 by Scott Whitlock

Good Morning America on Sunday recapped the liberal One Nation rally held on the nation’s capital, Saturday, but skipped any mention of the socialist and Communist themed signs seen during the march.

These are some of the signs that were featured during reporter Tahman Bradley’s segment: “”Peace, justice, equality, hope, change,” “Fair trade, not free trade,” “Educate every child,” “Full and fair employment” and “Silence GOP lies.” However, signs with the Communist Party USA logo, posters reading “Capitalism is failing, socialism is the alternative” and “Build a socialist alternative” were not.

Democrats, american, anti-war, bias, bigotry, communism, culture, diversity, ideology, left wing, liberalism, marxism, news media, patriotism, philosophy, political correctness, propaganda, protests, relativism, socialism

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Cuba makes way for capitalism because Marxism failed

MARXISM A BUST… Cuba Lays Off Half a Million – Allows Private Enterprise
September 13, 2010 by Gateway Pundit

Cuba says it will fire at least half a million state workers by mid-2011 and will free up private enterprise to help them find new work – radically remaking employment on the communist island.

The layoffs will start immediately and run through the first half of next year, according to an announcement Monday by the nearly 3 million-strong Cuban Workers Confederation – the only labor union the government tolerates.

To soften the blow, it said the government would authorize simultaneous increases in job opportunities in the non-state sector, allowing more Cubans to become self-employed, to form cooperatives run by employees rather than government bureaucrats and to increase private control of state land and infrastructure through long-term leases.

capitalism, communism, economics, economy, government, recession, spending, unintended consequences

Filed under: capitalism, communism, economics, economy, government, recession, spending, unintended consequences

IRS to Withhold Refunds if You Don’t Buy Insurance

Shulman Says IRS Has Few ‘Punitive’ Ways to Enforce Health Law
April 5, 2010 by Ryan J. Donmoyer

(Bloomberg) — IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said the agency will rely on insurance companies to provide information that individuals are buying coverage as required by the new health-care overhaul.

The Internal Revenue Service has limited ways of forcing those who lack coverage to pay a fine, Shulman said at the National Press Club in Washington today.

He said insurers eventually will be required to file a document similar to Form 1099 used by financial institutions to report investment income. The agency will send letters to the uninsured notifying them fines could be deducted from their tax refunds for refusing to comply with the new law, Shulman said.

bureaucracy, communism, government, health care, legislation, marxism, nanny state, oppression, philosophy, political correctness, politics, public policy, reform, regulation, socialism, taxes

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