Tag Archives: Communism

What is Socialism? Part 1

Thirty-years ago today the Berlin Wall fell, marking the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.

Bernie Sanders and other presidential candidates say they want to transform America into a “democratic/socialist” nation.

What is socialism? There are three basic forms relevant to our discussion:

  1. global socialism (Communism);
  2. national socialism (Nazism); and,
  3. mixed socialism (modern industrialized nations)

In Part 1 we will discuss mixed socialism.

Bernie is a little late. The United States is already a “democratic/socialist” country. The US has not been predominately capitalist since Roosevelt’s New Deal, the growth of America’s “military industrial complex,” and the advent of LBJ’s Great Society programs. During the past eight-decades America has been transformed into a hybrid economy, combining aspects of capitalism with a vast array of socialist policies.

Following World War II, Western Europe, Japan, and other industrialized nations also developed hybrid systems combing socialism with capitalism. Much of the reason for this was to prevent Communism from gaining a foothold in western countries. So, social programs were greatly expanded to keep “the masses” from becoming radicalized.

Today, America is largely socialist. Huge portions of the economy are controlled by the government, and most other parts of the economy are heavily regulated.

The United States spent $650 billion on defense in 2018. But this huge part of the US economy has little free-market capitalism anywhere in system.

The American medical system is dominated by Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and other government social programs. The drug industry is tightly controlled and regulated by the government, as are insurance and medical providers.

The list is virtually endless. The Federal government spent more than $4 trillion dollars in 2018. That’s an average of $13,000 for every man, woman and child in America. And that doesn’t include expenditures by state and local governments.

The dirty little secret about many of America’s “uber-rich” is that they gained their wealth through government contracts and by gaming the system. The Clintons became filthy rich from “public service.” Forbes estimated in 2016 that Bill and Hillary Clinton “earned” $240 million in the fifteen-years after they left the White House. And the Washington Post estimated in 2015 that the Clinton Foundation had raised more than $2 billion, which was largely used as the Clinton’s own personal piggybank.

The “uber-rich” exist in every nation, but in socialist countries they are primarily political leaders and those they choose to reward with government favors. H. Ross Perot, the late presidential candidate, earned much of his billions from government contracts managing Medicare and Medicaid.    

Should America become socialist, is NOT the question. The real question is: HOW MUCH socialism should be practiced in the United States?

California is the most socialist state in the US, suffering from one-party rule, where Democrats have complete control of all the levers of government. State Democratic leaders continually raise taxes and increase regulations. And yet, California has more people trapped in poverty and homeless than any other state in America. As problems mushroom, political leaders do “more of the same” pursuing the identical failed policies but expecting different results. New York is California’s twin. Increasing numbers of people are leaving California and New York, moving to states with lower taxes, fewer regulations and less socialism.

A good example of failed socialist policies is the price of gasoline. Californians now pay the highest prices in the nation, over $4 per gallon, more than in Hawaii, and $1.50 more than most other states. This is due to high state taxes and cumbersome regulation of every aspect of the oil industry in California.

There are several observations that can be made when a nation becomes TOO socialist:

  1. The cost of maintaining the social programs becomes unsustainable as the system is driven either to bankruptcy or to a reduction in expenditures;
  2. The economy becomes increasingly incumbered, unproductive and weak, impoverishing the country; and,
  3. Individual liberties and freedoms are severely curtailed as the government becomes the “nanny state” and ultimately a tyrannical dictator controlling every aspect of life.

Venezuela is a prime example. It has become a “failed state,” an utterly impoverished country ruled by a socialist despot. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, even larger than Saudi Arabia, and yet socialism has impoverished and enslaved the nation.

I fear for America, because we are currently at the point where individual freedoms and liberties are progressively restricted, as the government gathers increasing power to itself and its permanent unelected bureaucracy in and around Washington DC.

The United States doesn’t need an ever-growing socialism. What we do need is a renewal and revival of our spiritual and political foundations. I pray that repentance and spiritual renewal will sweep over our land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Next: Part II – Global Socialism

Impeachment and Tyranny

Impeachment and Tyranny, by Daniel Molyneux

Tyranny’s face is familiar to me. I was in Nicaragua during the Contra War, El Salvador during its civil war, and have been in many Communist countries on numerous occasions. Let us compare the Trump impeachment inquiry to the impeachment inquiry of President Nixon.

Nixon’s crimes were obvious. On June 17, 1972, five burglars with the aid of G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, broke into the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate Building. All seven men were former FBI and/or CIA assets. Some had been involved in the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. Nixon also used intelligence assets against numerous political enemies. When the Watergate “spooks” were arrested, Nixon orchestrated a cover-up.

This time, a whistleblower, a junior intelligence officer, Democrat and holdover from the Obama administration, didn’t like a phone call President Trump made to the Ukrainian leader. As a result, Democrats in the House of Representatives tell us impeachment is inevitable.   

The FBI and CIA have long histories of political subversion. The FBI’s most notorious episode was against Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. FBI surveillance of Rev. King began in 1956, under its Racial Matters Program. Wiretaps of King’s home and the offices of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference began in 1963. In 1964 FBI Director Hoover called Rev. King “the most notorious liar in the country.” The FBI’s excuse for its actions was national security – communist attempts to influence Rev. King. Rather than warn MLK of this supposed communist plot, the FBI undertook a smear campaign to discredit King in the eyes of his supporters. Dirty tricks against MLK reached their zenith when the FBI attempted to blackmail him into committing suicide. Hoover is also accused of gathering dirt on politicians, including presidents, to use against them.

The CIA is infamous for numerous coups and assassinations. Among the most notorious are the assassination of South Vietnam President Diem in 1963, and the coup against Chile’s President, Salvador Allende, in 1973. Cambodia’s ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, blamed the CIA for the coup that replaced him in 1970, resulting in the Khmer Rouge genocide of two-million Cambodians.

President Johnson’s authority to conduct the Vietnam War, in 1964, was given by Congress based on false intelligence about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, trapping the US in the Vietnam quagmire. It was under LBJ’s presidency that the FBI harassed MLK and numerous other civil rights leaders. It was during Johnson’s presidency that Malcom X, MLK and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Cities burned across America. Riots engulfed the 1968 Democratic Convention. LBJ did nothing when Soviet tanks crushed freedom in Czechoslovakia. When North Korea seized the USS Pueblo holding its navy crew hostage, Johnson did nothing. And yet LBJ never faced impeachment.

George W. Bush was unprepared for the 9/11 attacks. He trapped America in quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq, his administration assuring the world Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. The subsequent war resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans and tens-of-thousands of Iraqi civilians, because of an intelligence “error.” Bush used terrorism as an excuse to greatly expand the “surveillance state” under the Patriot and Protect America Acts, reducing constitutional protections, particularly with regards to the FISA Court and the NSA. Bush’s policies brought about the 2008 economic collapse. And yet Bush never faced impeachment.

President Nixon used FBI and CIA assets against his enemies. Today, black has become white and white is black. Trump didn’t utilize intelligence assets; the FBI and CIA were deployed against Trumps’ campaign and presidency.

The impeachment inquiry is being conducted in secret, in the deep bowels of the capital building. It reminds me of a Stalinist trial in the basement of the Lubyanka, where guilt is certain and innocence is impossible. The whistleblower against Trump is an intelligence officer, a holdover from the Obama administration. We are told his or her identity must be kept secret and the testimony done anonymously.

Past impeachment inquiries had bi-partisan support, were done in public and protected due process for the presidents. These inquiries were handled by the Judicial Committee.

This time, House Democrats have given the Intelligence Committee responsibility to conduct the impeachment inquiry in secret, denying the president due process, and denying the American people knowledge of the proceedings. This is the same Intelligence Committee that daily deals with America’s intelligence agencies.

On October 30, former CIA Acting Director praised the “Deep State” for its role in seeking to overthrow President Trump saying: “Thank god for the Deep State…it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that unleashed everything else.”  

The Mueller Report, DOJ and other evidence show that FBI and CIA assets were unleashed on the Trump Campaign in 2016, with top FBI leaders calling their Trump investigation an “insurance policy” in case he won the election. It also appears that the FBI and/or CIA used Five Eyes foreign assets to conduct operations against the Trump Campaign. Five Eyes is the five allied intelligence services of: Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand and the US.

I was in the Soviet Union shortly before officers of the KGB, Soviet military, and Politburo attempted to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev’s “crime?” He withdrew the Soviet military from its war in Afghanistan and halted Soviet military domination of Eastern Europe. In short, Gorbachev had run afoul of the intelligence services (KGB and GRU) and the military industrial complex. The coup against Gorbachev failed, but it triggered the dissolution of the Soviet Union, plunging it into an economic depression more severe than America’s Great Depression, and setting the stage for the rise of a former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin.

US Navy Admiral William McRaven published an opinion article in the Oct. 17, 2019 New York Times. McRaven recounted his close connections to America’s intelligence services and called for the removal of Donald Trump. Why? Because Trump is opposed to endless foreign wars and America being the policeman of the world. If Trump is removed from office by means other than the ballot box, the results may be disastrous, just as they were in the Soviet Union.      

The greatest danger to American liberty does not come from Russia or the Ukraine, but from the gray men and women who lurk in the shadows. If American democracy perishes, it will not die at the hands of a foreign foe. It will be strangled in its bed by members of its own family.  To quote the immortal words of the cartoon character Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

WHAT IS THE BESTSELLING BOOK IN RUSSIA?

Trivia time… What is the bestselling book in Russia since the fall of Communism (besides the Bible)?

We went to Doma Knegy (House of Books bookstore) last week. I bought a book that looked interesting. Turns out it is the bestselling book in Russia since the fall of communism. First Published in 2011, within a year the book had sold more than 1 million hard copies and several million e-book copies.

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) is the bestselling book in Russia since communism’s fall.

Everyday Saints is a 500 page book written by a Russian Orthodox monk (Archimandrite Tikhon), telling about his conversion to faith in Soviet Russia during the early 1980s while attending film school, his subsequent experiences as a Monk in the Pskov Caves Monastery, and the stores of various monks in the monastery.

It is a fantastic book. I highly recommend it.

Can you imagine a Christian book being the equivalent of “Harry Potter” in the Russian publishing world? This is truly AMAZING.

If you want to learn more about the persecutions of Christians during the Communist era, and about Orthodox spirituality, this is the book for you. It is available in an English translation from Amazon, etc. All proceeds go to build a church in memory of the millions of Christian martyrs killed during Soviet rule.

Daniel Molyneux

Daniel Molyneux’s website: www.angelofa.com

The Angel of Antioch on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Angel-Antioch-Daniel-Molyneux/dp/0692349634

Daniel Molyneux, Russia, Everyday Saints, Russian Orthodox, Bestselling book, nonfiction, Christian, religion, faith, miracels, Soviet Union, persecution, martyrs,
Everyday Saints

CHURCHES IN SAINT PETERSBURG By Daniel Molyneux

Photos of Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, in Saint Petersburg, taken from our hotel room window.

The story of Kazan Cathedral, on Nevsky Prospect, across from Doma Knegy (House of Books bookstore), is really amazing. Kazan was closed by the communists after the Russian Revolution. In the 1930s the communists turned Kazan into the Museum of Atheism. But Kazan was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in the 1990s. It is now the Primary Cathedral for Saint Petersburg, and the seat of the bishop for the Eparchy (diocese) of St. Petersburg.

Almost all churches in the Soviet Union were closed under Stalin in the 1930s, and again under Khruchev in the 1950s. (And virtually all priests and pastors were arrested, tortured, sent to the Gulags and/or killed. It is difficult to estimate how many millions of Christians were killed under the communists.) Even in the late 1980s only 20 churches were allowed to legally function in Saint Petersburg, a city of 5 million people.

Today, the number of functioning churches in Russia has multiplied by 10 fold since the fall of communism; and the number of monasteries has grown from only 1 to many 100s, with more churches and monasteries opening every day.

The most recent estimates are that 75% of all Russians now profess faith. In spite of its many problems and issues, Russia today is one of the most religious countries in the world.

Daniel Molyneux

Daniel Molyneux’s website: www.angelofa.com

The Angel of Antioch on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Angel-Antioch-Daniel-Molyneux/dp/0692349634

Daniel Molyneux, Rasputin, Christianity, Communism, Russia, Persecution, Kazan, Saint Isaac's, Atheism
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral Saint Petersburg Russia

Daniel Molyneux, Russia, Rasputin, Saint Petersburg, Saint Isaac's, Kazan
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral at night, Saint Petersburg Russia

Daniel Molyneux, Russia, Christianity, Orthodoxy, Rasputin, Saint Peteresburg, Kazan,
Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg Russia