What’s the difference? Capitalism to Fascism and everything in between

If you’re anything like me, it’s been a minute since you’ve studied the various types of economies, political ideologies, and systems. Like, what is Marxism again? I know I’m anti-fascism, but remind me what fascism is?

If you’re not a homeschool mom, you might never actively study these things again in your life. So, I wanted to give you a quick overview either as a refresher to what you already know or maybe a little insight into the differences between the various schools of thought. And I’m going to try to do it as simply as possible, so I’m sure I’ll miss some stuff. But in light of the Cuban uprising against Communist rule and the ANTIFA (which ironically stands for anti-fascist) movement, I thought it would be a relevant topic to brush up on given the fact our own government here in America is showing sure signs that we’re moving in the wrong direction (IMHO). More on that at the end…

Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go. Humans are flawed. We are not born good; we are born with a sin nature. Although college, philosophy, and your grandma would have you believe we’re generally good, there are at least 40 places in the Bible where it explicitly states we’re not, but let me give you my fav: None is righteous, no, not one. (Rom. 3:10.) The idea that there could be a perfect utopian system is unrealistic, regardless of what system it is, because man is sinful. Not because systems don’t work in theory. They don’t work in reality–that’s the issue. All of us are susceptible to corruption and greed. This is important to keep in mind.

It’s also important to note that although America is a Capitalist nation—our economy is set up in the spirit of a free market where private individuals and corporations own the capital goods and competition drives innovation—we are not an accurate depiction of true Capitalism either. Most agree that the majority of first world countries fall somewhere on the continuum between pure Capitalism and pure Socialism. I would call America “crony-capitalism” which is an economic system where corporate leaders and Big Tech have a buddy-buddy relationship with government officials which benefits the both of them—often at the cost of the “regular Joes.”

Check out this image to get an idea of where these schools of thought fall on the continuum. The arrows show where the two American political parties—Democrat and Republican—started and where they’ve moved to. The last 30-40 years (ironically since “winning” against Communism in the USSR) has sent us on a slow slippery slide towards… wait for it… Communism.

Some would say we’re on a much-needed march towards a more socialist country, but as our dearly hated communistic friend Vladimir Lenin said, “The goal of Socialism is Communism.” Let’s be real, if the current administration keeps up their pace and trend, we’ll be heading towards full on Totalitarianism before we know it.

But what does it all mean???

Let’s start with Socialism, since we’ve elected straight up Socialists to our House of Representatives (knows as “the squad,” AOC, Ilhan Omar and Bernie Sanders would be examples). Socialism suggests that everything would be collectively owned or (more accurately) owned and controlled by the government. The government would plan and control the economy so as to make sure everything is “fair.” (We will return to this word “fair” in just a minute.)

Another actual definition, as re-iterated by Lenin, is this: Socialism is the stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between Capitalism and Communism. It’s a stage, it’s not an end goal. That’s important for those socialist sympathizers to remember. The people in charge don’t actually want to give the power over to the “collective,” no matter how Kumbaya it might sound.

Although Socialism sounds great in some respects—it would be lovely if we could all just share (maybe)—it requires a lot of government intervention, control, and regulation. And ultimately, as the incentive is taken away from the individual to do better, be more efficient, or more innovative—the incentive being success, security, and yes, money—you’ll be surprised (I’m sure) to hear that those things—innovation, stimulus, and efficiency–must be created, mandated, or forced by the government. Cue the outrageous government spending and grandiose ideas that actually don’t work in real life (like electric cars that only work when plugged into houses that run off of the very natural resources socialist-environmentalists want to eliminate).

I know, it’s hard to come into agreement with the reality that people are motivated by a thing like money, but y’all, it’s the truth. Sorry to say it. People don’t become doctors JUST because they want to go to college for a long time and have an impressive Christmas newsletter. How do I know this? They don’t do it for free! Now, is helping people a motivation? Absolutely. But money, security, ownership, success, recognition, purpose, fulfillment… these are the driving forces behind human action almost always. Socialism eliminates these things because the school of thought becomes that we should all just contribute our talents, money, and resources to the collective. Personal gain, and personal dependence, is given up for the greater good of everyone.

When resources are distributed equally or “fairly,” that means that everyone gets the same no matter how much effort they put in. Again, that might sound great in theory, but if you’ve ever been assigned a group project in school, you know how that workload gets distributed. The person who actually cares about the good grade does the majority of the work and everyone benefits from their efforts. (And all the enneagram 3s say “Amen”).

Note: America utilizes a lot of “socialist programs” like welfare, social security, and disability. They’re great, again, “in theory” until you realize that 1) they’re entirely funded by taking from the people who have to give to the people who do not have (which is fine for a season, but clearly doesn’t work long term because…)  2) they set up a dependency that is not easily broken. As an entrepreneur, I can’t tell you how many times someone has said no to the leg up a small business can offer them because it will affectively end their government assistance once they start to make money on their own. This is real, and not hard to understand. Why would you work for what you’re already getting for free?

This leads me to Communism. Remember, this IS the entire point of Socialism. Communism is a system where nothing is owned privately and everything (everything) is shared equitably. There’s that word we’ve heard so often as of late. Equity. Here’s the deal: America is a land of EQUAL opportunity. Communism would be a land of EQUAL results or outcome (aka “equity”).

I have three children. They’re only just about two years apart on each side. I obsess over equal treatment. I literally count the amount of Christmas presents to make sure everyone gets an equal share. I will be certain to offer them the same amount of assistance in everything they pursue (whether it be a little or a lot hardly matters, because it will be equal). They have the same parents. They’re all homeschooled. They’re all in the same sports. And yet… the results they get in life are now and will always be different. Why is that? 1) They have different work ethics, personalities, interests, and strengths and 2) God is in control and He is doing a great work through both their opportunities AND their setbacks and short comings. If this is true for my kids, why on earth would we expect all of society to have equitable outcomes in this dynamic world?

I digress…

Another definition of capital C Communism is this: a Totalitarian system of government in which a single Authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production.

This is how Communism ALWAYS ends up: Totalitarianism or Authoritarianism forcing the redistribution of all things. Believe it or not, the people who have worked hard to own property find it hard to swallow the idea that such property should be handed over to the “collective.” Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism are basically interchangeable terms that refer to a singular leader or power—often a single person but always the leaders of a singular party—which is not in any way morally responsible for or accountable to the people they rule over.

Now, Marxism is the political and economic theory of Karl Marx that offers a kind of play book to take a country from what he viewed as the evils of Capitalism to the promised land of Communism. Most Marxists would say that Communism has always failed (and to say it’s simply failed is really doing it no favors… it’s a murderous system that decimates every society it touches) because it has not been implemented correctly. As I’ve said before in other blogs, Marxists like to twist the very values at the core of a Capitalist society—family, faith, success, marriage, etc.—into evil pillars of oppression in order to deceive, divide, destroy and then ultimately “rebuild” into a beautiful commune of shared goods.

The USSR is a great example of a Communist system, and the Bolsheviks are great examples of Marxists in action (like Hitler’s “Brown Shirts” or the political left’s “Antifa”). Go read Live Not By Lies by Rod Dreher to give yourself an important refresher on this chilling part of world history.

A lot of people associate Hitler with Communism, but he wasn’t a Communist. Castro, Lenin, Mao, and Stalin were Communists (although they’re also called Socialists because there is so very little difference, especially to a Communist leader), but Communism did set the stage for the Fascist take over that came next for Germany with Hitler. Once the power has already been centralized, it’s nothing at all for a corrupt, evil, power-hungry guy like Adolf to come take over where Communism has left off.

Fascism is basically Totalitarianism on steroids. Fascism put nation and often race first, above the individual, and is lead by an absolute authority or dictator who regiments everything and forcibly suppresses any opposition. That’s our friend Hitler with his Aryan race, SS soldiers, and his obsession with the superiority of Germany.

Here’s what you need to take away from this whole history lesson: Hitler and Communists alike are known to have done the following…

  • Rig Elections.
  • Obsess over and divide by race.
  • Install unpopular dictators by force and deception.
  • Surround their Capitals with armed troops and barbed wire.
  • Silence and oppress opposition—both leaders and sympathizers.
  • Imprison opposition or protestors.
  • Oppress religious liberties.
  • Oppress and censor free speech.
  • Demonize, slander, and criminalize political dissidents.
  • Surveil its citizenry.
  • Encourage people to turn in their “extremist” friends and family members.
  • Require compliance with government mandates.
  • Control media, disseminate massive propaganda, and control the national narrative.
  • Encourage political groups to riot, bully, physically harm and intimidate.

So, you tell me. Where we headed? And how fast?

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