Monday, August 10, 2015

Why do some socialists gravitate to evolutionary tactics over revolutionary tactics? And why do some statists gravitate to progressivism instead?

Evolutionary socialism or revolutionary socialism? That is the question.

William James Ghent wrote a pamphlet titled "Reds Bring Reaction", which is a seemingly thin-veiled attack from one leftist on the rest of his fellow leftists. But within these pages lies the answer. Substantively the pamphlet is not what it seems to be. On page vii:

"The revolutionary Communist, for all his stage-play, is a fanatic and a firebrand. So long as society insists upon keeping on hand such stores of inflammable material in the form of large sections of the working class steeped in privation and misery, it must expect, from time to time, what follows from the touch of flame to tinder. But the chief danger lies in the fact that the tumult and shouting of the Left inevitably strengthens the Reaction of the Right."

One of the strengths of so many of today's modern radicals is that they have convinced people that they aren't really as radical as they seem.

In other words, the evolutionaries believe that they are superior to the revolutionaries because they will not see a reaction from the reactionaries. Sadly, we have the last 100 years of American history to prove that the evolutionaries were correct in their supposition.

In a 1920's pamphlet "Making socialists out of college students", the author makes one final point then asks the following question:

The bomb-throwing anarchist and bullet-shooting radical will never retard America. The big job is with the pink variety, - whose poison is injected quietly and where we least suspect it.

What are you going to do about it? Or are you too busy?

So from the viewpoint of a statist, the reason why evolutionary socialism is superior to revolutionary socialism is blindingly clear. But what of progressivism? Why would a statist prefer progressivism over socialism? The evolutionary doesn't engender nearly as much opposition, but what of progressivism? Progressive ideology seemingly abandons government ownership altogether, progressive ideology can then actually bring in supporters that otherwise would not be supporters. We see it all the time, every one of us can cite an example that made us scratch our heads. See Stuart Chase's "Political System X" for more details about how this works. Specifically number 17.

17. Not much "taking over" of property or industries in the old socialistic sense. The formula appears to be control without ownership. it is interesting to recall that the same formula is used by the management of great corporations in depriving stockholders of power.

See? It's not socialism! It's just regulation. It's centralized planning, it's not wholesale theft of a citizen's private property. Who couldn't support that? It's just the middle road. Are you one of these crazy radicals on either side? Regulation is pure, regulation is clean, regulation is saintly. (content continues below the screenshot)

This was the very first blog post I made, besides announcing "hey, I'm here". The answer is right here in this book, Hise was an adviser to TR.(Chase mentioned above was an adviser to FDR) Look at the language that Hise uses.(contained in the screenshot) It's not socialism, it's just common sense. It's reasonable. It's cooperation, it's the public utilities. We just need fair prices. Blah blah blah blah, we have been hearing this same scripted nonsense for the last 100 years. But most importantly, Hise says this:

"the industrial concentrations remain private property in charge of those who own them just as at present"

Now how many corporations can you think of who mistakenly support progressive causes? How many individuals? Ideologically, both progressivism and evolutionary socialism are virtual unknowns to most Americans, while these two ideologies remain arguably the most dangerous.

"I'm willing to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends." - Van Jones

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