Yesterday's socialism, today's liberalism
Note: When we use the term "liberal" or "liberalism", we speak of a world view or philosophy, NOT a political party. This world view cuts across all major political parties, runs through our educational system, the media and has even infected mainline Christian churches.
The tyranny of past socialist and communist leaders has been largely forgotten by Europeans. In Europe, academics and politicians are very open about being socialist.
Politicians run and often win elections as a "Socialist" party. For instance, Spain’s current government is called the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party and Portugal’s is the Socialist Party.
Even the Communist Party has become a fairly respectable option in European politics which no longer draws shock nor outrage. For example, the CDU communist party in Portugal currently holds about 10% of the country’s seats, a surprising fact given that Portugal is an almost totally Catholic nation.
In North America, rightfully, there still exists a fear amongst voters of any person or party identified as Socialist or Communist. Therefore, those who admire and advance socialistic policies in Canada and the US utilize labels that are unlikely to set off warning bells amongst voters. "Liberal", "progressive" and "secular" are the titles used today by many North Americans who push socialistic/marxist agendas.
Just study key characteristics of socialism/marxism and you will see a virtual match with the characteristics of today’s "progressive liberalism":
- Hostility towards Christianity
It doesn’t take long to detect this in our culture. On a daily basis, Christians watch their faith being ridiculed on tv, hear it on the lips of left-wing politicians and read newspaper editorials which vilify Christianity as "oppressive, bigoted, hateful and ignorant".
Today, semantics like "secular" and "progressive" disguise the atheistic aims of many US & Canadian political leaders. When these left-wing politicians (or media pundits) appeal to the mantra of "separation of church and state" what they really mean is that a politician must vote like an atheist and never like a Christian.
- Contempt for those who hold to objective moral standards.
Is this not painfully clear in our politics, television, academic institutions and mainstream news media? Christian politicians who dare voice opposition for example, to the homosexual lifestyle will be immediately ridiculed or even face calls for their resignation.
- Against Private Ownership of Property
Barack Obama is well known as a "liberal" politician, but he describes himself as a "progressive". Within five months of Barack Obama taking office, the US government made the extraordinary jump into socialism of partially nationalizing the banking industry and two american automakers (GM & Chrysler). This prompted PRAVDA, a traditionally communist newspaper in Russia, to marvel that "the American descent into Marxism is happening with breathtaking speed". (21)
In Canada, there is a push amongst the far-left of the political spectrum to nationalize industries. For example, in 1971 the New Democrat Party (NDP) advanced policy initiatives calling for government take-over of the oil, gas and mining industries.
Another bit of Canadian history that reveals the depth of entrenched socialist ideology in Canadian politics is that the NDP refused to ratify the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms in 1980 if a Right to Private Property was left in. The Right to Property was subsequently dropped by Pierre Trudeau in order to ratify his 'legacy' Charter.
Pictured to the right is a Toronto Sun political cartoon from 1980, drawn during the ratification of the Charter of Rights. It poked fun at Pierre Trudeau, then Liberal Prime Minister, being urged by NDP leader, Ed Broadbent to delete the Right to Property from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Redistribution of Wealth / Collectivism
Like socialist/communist collectivism, Canada and the US are moving further towards a redistributive welfare state. Ever-increasing, crippling taxes are being imposed upon citizens to finance a multiplying number of "social welfare" programs.
Barack Obama's famous "spread the wealth around" comment during the 2008 presidential campaign, drew comparison of his economic policy to that of Karl Marx: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need". It also prompted the discovery of a 2001 Chicago Public Radio interview given by Obama, in which he laments the fact that "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and the more basic issues of ... economic justice".(22)
Canada's political left also seems to have an insatiable hunger to increase taxes and redistribute wealth. New taxes are continually invented by Canadian governments to fill up government coffers and to the wasteful detriment of those who work hard for what they earn – "health tax", "eco tax", "carbon tax", HST, etc.
- Class Warfare
True to Socialist form, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, gained popularity and political power amongst the poor of his country by demonizing the wealthy inside his country as well as the wealthy nations outside. He promised to bring about a more "equitable" distribution of material wealth. Since gaining power he has begun to take homes and property away from the wealthy. In the United States, Barack Obama seems to be following a more subtle, but trending in the same direction, socialistic formula by fomenting what american media calls "populist anger" against "greedy CEO’s" and "big corporations". In what can reasonably be described as a typical class warfare agitation tactic, Obama often contrasts the evil of "fat bonuses to company CEO’s" while "american families are losing there jobs". Obama even demanded, and received, the resignation of the CEO of General Motors. Never before in the history of the United States, have we seen a government official fire a private individual in the private sector. Many observers believe this is a deliberate tactic of class warfare by the US President.
In Canada, we see echoes of class warfare agitation when politicians, usually on the far-left, demonize Alberta’s oil and gas industry as "evil" and uncaring giant corporation who is destroying the environment and is to blame for the "impending global warming crisis".
- Coercive police powers
Canada’s Human Rights Commissions (HRC’s) are similar in many respects to the secret police of Soviet Russia and the Gestapo of Nazi Germany. They have the power to harass, prosecute, and force confessions from citizens without one scrap of evidence that the individual ever committed a physical crime.
The HRC’s routinely prosecute Christians and conservatives for "thought crimes". i.e. "thinking" the wrong way about certain issues that are valued by liberalism. Christians for example, are routinely charged by Canada’s federal and provincial Human "Rights" Commissions for thinking the wrong way about homosexuality even though they have never committed an act of violence, nor encouraged anyone else to commit violence. Their only crime is they dissented from the "party line" of liberalism which says that "gay is good".
The Bishop of Calgary, Fred Henry, was targeted with a human rights complaint for simply giving his flock the 2000 year old teachings of his Catholic Church regarding homosexual acts. He was forced to withdraw his pastoral letter, effectively stripping the Bishop of his constitutional rights to Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Expression. Protestant Minister Stephen Boisson was charged by the Alberta Human Rights Commission with a hate crime for writing a letter to the editor wherein he simply explained his Christian beliefs about homosexual behaviour. He was punished with financially-devastating fines and ordered against his will to make a public apology.
Like Russia in the 1920’s and Germany in the 1930’s, these gestapo-like HRC’s have been gradually empowered by leftist governments to strip Canadian citizens of their fundamental civil rights. The Canadian HRC’s are exempted from applying rules of evidence that would otherwise be necessary to convict someone in a real court. Unlike the due process required by a real court, HRC’s presume the guilt of Christians immediately upon accusation by a homosexual-activist. No evidence is required, just the accusation. The burden of proof then rests upon the Christian defendant to prove his innocence.
The process is also the punishment. Defendants in HRC tribunals pay their own legal fees, while the accuser’s bill is picked up by the state. This harassment tactic has been effective in silencing Christian opposition to liberalism because they will lose even if they win, due to the ruinous legal fees incurred in continuing one’s defense. It’s easier to shut one’s mouth and rescind one’s constitutional rights.