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May 06, 2009

Creating a Heaven on Earth

What do the following places have in common: Trumbull Phalanx in Ohio, Modern Times in New York, Brook Farm in Massachusetts, New Harmony in Indiana, United Order in Utah, Amana Colonies in Iowa, Oneida Community in New York, a kibbutz in Israel, and the Pilgrim’s Plymouth Plantation?

Each was an attempt to establish a form of heaven on earth, or put another way, to establish through socialism a utopian community by (1) abolishing private property and (2) eradicating self-interested acquisitiveness.

There are basically three forms of socialism: utopian (Robert Owen, Henri de Saint-Simon, and Francois Fourier), revolutionary (Marxism-Leninism), and fascism (Fabian, Social Democracy). Continuing attempts such as those listed above to establish some form of utopian socialism reinforce the observation of Alfred North Whitehead — “the European philosophical tradition is . . . a series of footnotes to Plato.”

Whitehead was himself an influential twentieth century philosopher and mathematician, who saw that Europe and America were enamored with Plato’s “general ideas” scattered throughout his various writings, none more so than the communistic ideas in his Republic.

In fact, the pilgrims came to these shores establishing Plato’s communistic utopia. Plymouth Plantation's William Bradford mentions him by name, referring to “that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.” Bradford learned, however, that God is wiser than Plato.

It seems as if the United States failed to learn her lesson from our early Fathers, as we find ourselves once again toying with Plato!

Eric Etheredge of the New York Times refers to President Barack Obama as a "social democrat." Gene Edward Veith of World magazine (May 9, 2009, p. 56) notes that “social democrat” is code for socialist, using the Merriam-Webster online dictionary to define social democracy as “a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means.”

Veith develops the point further by using the Encyclopedia Britannica to show that social democracy is “a political ideology that advocates a peaceful, evolutionary transition of society from capitalism to socialism using established political processes. Based on the 19th-century socialism and the tenets of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, social democracy shares common ideological roots with communism.”

Thus we see that the United States of America is being led into another socialistic experiment to create anew a heaven on earth by its President, his Democratic administration, and the House of Representatives (flush with four socialistic organizations, including the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus).

Utopian socialism did not work for the pilgrims, who were primarily Christian in orientation, and neither Social Democracy nor the John Maynard Keynes evolutionary variety of socialism will work today for men and women of a vastly different orientation.

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