by Richard Dausman/editor Jason Besley
When people share something in common, be it a faith, or an interest in a sport, or a geographical location, or anything else, you have a community. It can be a community of believers, a sports community, a town, state or even country. And a community can choose to respect the rights of the individuals who make up the community, or it can choose not to. When a community embraces communism, the rights of the individual are no longer paramount. For a community to go communistic there has to be an incentive, a lure, to cause people to leave the space of freedom and enter the trap of communism.
So what is communism? Communism, at its essence, is the philosophy that the ‘interests of the community’ supersede the rights of the individual. When that takes place, you have a commune where the people must submit to the interest of the community in spite of their rights. You have entered communism. Communism justifies all kinds of actions by the State that people might naturally reject.
For example, the State might nationalize all means of production. No more private businesses, they are all taken over by the government with the claim that matching the production to the needs is more efficient when you have centralized control and is therefore in the interests of the community. Or, in the interest of the community, false or conflicting reports of events need to be eliminated to prevent confusion and unrest. Therefore, the press should be under the control of the State. Religion, as well, can be a source of conflicting ideas and might produce resistance to many actions the State takes. So to promote peace, which is in the interest of the community, the Church must be State run. The same kind of arguments can be applied to the banking system, agriculture, education, ownership of firearms, travel, in fact anything you can think of that the State chooses to control, all in the name of “the interest of the community”. But these examples are not the definition of communism. They are the characteristics -- the results -- of communism.
Most people would not enter communism knowingly or without an incentive. But it is the lack of knowledge, the ignorance of what communism is, that keeps most of them from recognizing it so as to avoid it. Without recognizing the trap, all it takes is a little bait to get people to enter. And the bait can take many forms.
In Russia, peasants and soldiers thought that Communism would save them from the abuses of their rulers. In China, revolutionaries promised vengeance against the land-owner class. In Cuba, Communist leader’s decried the ruling regime’s corruption, racial inequality, and inaction on economic issues. In each case, the reasons seemed justified, but in each case, the concentration of power that resulted from Communism led to even more tragic abuses.
One of the most effective lures to Communism is security: security from a perceived, or even real threat. The Covid outbreak is one such example. Many sweeping governmental mandates were instituted, all with the argument that they were justified because they were in the interest of the community. And in the process, the rights of the individual had to yield, such as freedom of movement, freedom of association, pursuit of happiness, pursuing gainful employment, free exercise of religion, personal decisions over one’s own medical care, and even for some the right to refuse an experimental vaccine being injected into their bodies without being punished for that choice. When the government removes these choices from you it is taking away your ability to exercise your rights, including your personal decision as to how much risk you are willing to assume. Remember, none of these mandates provided any extra protection to anyone who would have voluntarily chosen to pursue these actions on their own, leaving the rest to choose for themselves.
Now might be a good time to clarify exactly what freedom is. The most succinct yet all-encompassing definition of freedom is simply this, “The power to choose”. Notice it is not “The right to choose,” for without the ability to exercise your rights, you are not free. When governments take away the people’s freedom, it is not their rights they have removed, it is their power to exercise their rights. Just like the man who has the right to move around freely in his own home is unable to do so when an intruder ties him to a chair. He still has the right, he just can’t exercise it.
When governments or government officials take your “power to choose” for yourself away from you, in the interest of the community, they are taking your freedom and replacing it with communism. (As an aside, it is important to note that an individual’s rights do not extend past the point where they would infringe upon another individual’s rights.)
In addition to the lure of security there are other lures that entice people into the trap of communism. These take the form of gifts or giveaways, quite often misnamed as entitlements. And the individual rights that are affected either go unnoticed at first or they only affect a small minority of which the majority either don’t care about or have been conditioned to resent.
The bottom line is this: The majority of the population of this country have embraced the fundamental concept of communism, whether they realize it or not. We have been persuaded that the interest of the community outweighs the rights of the individual. We are being seduced and lured into a system exactly the same way as the populations of other countries that are now communistic. They too did not realize what they were embracing until it was too late. The ones who now recognize it most clearly and are doing their best to sound the alarm are those who escaped communism in their own country, only to see the same patterns happening here. The only question is, will we wake up and recognize what is happening, or will we also experience the full-blown results of the path on which we are already so far along?