How Socialism Convinces Its Followers to Abandon Personal Responsibility

April 18, 2019 Updated: April 18, 2019

Commentary

A key element of socialist indoctrination is the belief that an individual should no longer be seen as separate from the state, and that, through the absolute responsibility of the state over every facet of our lives, no issue is free from political cause.

Part of this ties to the belief in state intervention. People become no longer willing to handle issues themselves. Any personal issue, any conflict between individuals, or any discomfort in life is no longer seen as something an individual should solve or endure, but instead becomes an issue for the state to resolve through sweeping regulation.

It’s through this ongoing process of crisis and response that the powers of government replace the powers of the individual. It results in regulations that slowly replace traditions of self-reliance with the tyranny of socialism.

Socialism’s True Goals

Socialism is often misunderstood as being simply an economic system, a belief in sharing, or an alternative to capitalism. Yet none of these are true.

Socialism, as Karl Marx and others envisioned, was merely the initial developmental stage of communism. It’s where the state has seized control of the means of production and the mechanisms of power, and uses these to drive society toward the final goals of communism: the destruction of morality, tradition, family, and all social structures.

Socialism is what Vladimir Lenin called in 1917 the system of “state-capitalist monopoly.” Rather than replace the systems of trade, the state merely seizes control of all businesses and regulates all forms of trade. The rights of exchange are seized from individuals, then fall into the hands of an all-powerful, bureaucratic state.

Yet socialism doesn’t end at the control of business and finance. It’s also a cultural, social, and atheistic ideology that looks to likewise seize and dominate these aspects in each individual.

It’s because of this that we have things like “political correctness,” from Mao Zedong in 1967, meant to replace traditional morality with a new morality dictated by state policy.

Distrust of Fellow Man

As the famous essayist G.K. Chesterton wrote on March 21, 1925, the then-emerging communist and socialist systems were not a rebellion against an “abnormal tyranny,” like the rebellions previously seen in history. Instead, they were a new type of rebellion “against what they think is normal tyranny—the tyranny of the normal.”

“They are not in revolt against the king,” Chesterton wrote. “They are in revolt against the citizen.”

And Chesterton was right. Socialism is not about bringing an end to the control that kings once had over society. Instead, it’s about expanding the reach of its control until it can dominate every element of each person’s life.

The enemy of socialism is not the tyrant or a force that dominates individuals—because this domination is what socialism’s policies advocate. The enemy of socialism is the individual.

As Chesterton noted: “The thing behind Bolshevism and many other modern things is a new doubt. It is not merely a doubt about God; it is rather specially a doubt about Man.”

It’s because of this belief—that people are incapable of freedom without complete state intervention—that we have new socialist theories to interpret the relations between the state and the citizen. In the United States, this surfaced in the 1930s with “critical theory” from the Marxist Frankfurt School, then later in the 1960s with the new slogan that “the personal is political.”

A Worldview of Struggle

Critical theory acts as a new lens through which people interpret the world. It encourages people to view all of history and all that exists in today’s society through the Marxist concept of class struggle. Every issue is one of the “oppressed” struggling against the “oppressor.” This system of dialectical conflict—the “struggle of opposites”—is held by Marxism as the tool for social “evolution” toward communism.

Yet what does critical theory really translate to? It translates to an idea that all social dynamics are tyrannical, and have been through all history. Thus, it looks to destroy all history, all culture, all values, and all else that once existed.

And what is its proposed replacement for this historical tyranny? Its answer is a socialist state of absolute tyranny—able to dominate each person down to their thoughts, their speech, their health, their beliefs, and their minute choices in daily life.

This socialist tyranny, in its drive for communism, has led to more than 100 million unnatural deaths over the last century. In its fight to end “slavery,” it enslaves all of society. In its push to end “oppression,” it establishes a system of oppression beyond even the most tyrannical kings of history.

Dominance of the State

People who study critical theory will read a classic book but come to a radically different interpretation from that of someone who has not been indoctrinated by Marxist thought. Rather than read the story as it is, they will interpret it through the lens of struggle—through the lens of an oppressed individual or an oppressed group struggling with an oppressor.

Stories become no longer about heroism, personal growth, or moral choice. Instead, everything becomes a story about the Marxist-Leninist worldview of struggle. And the conclusion it gives to resolve this struggle is to give absolute power to the state.

The system of self-brainwashing under critical theory has become a cornerstone of modern education. It is the intentional planting of notions, altering of conclusions, and changing of the way people perceive information.

The idea that “the personal is political,” meanwhile, plays on the same idea. This belief, at the heart of things like “identity politics,” holds that a person is no longer responsible for personal issues. Rather, personal issues become the business of politics—of state control.

As French economist and author Frédéric Bastiat wrote in his book “The Law” in 1850, socialist tyrants view themselves as being above all mankind, and hold that their seat of power gives them the right to dictate each individual as a person would dictate themselves. This leads to social engineering, and to toying with the freedoms and lives of all in society.

He wrote: “But think of the difference between the gardener and his trees, between the inventor and his machine, between the chemist and his substances, between the agriculturist and his seed! The Socialist thinks, in all sincerity, that there is the same difference between himself and mankind.”

Joshua Philipp is a senior investigative reporter for The Epoch Times.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Follow Joshua on Twitter: @JoshJPhilipp
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