Why Marxism is cool again — with people who don’t know of its horrors


Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

KARL MARX STATUE BUILT DECADES AFTER BEING TORN DOWN: WHY?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, let me take you to an article which ran about a week ago in The Washington Post. Nearly two centuries ago, the 17-year-old son of a vineyard owner left his tranquil riverside city on the edge of the Prussian empire to make his way in the world and, perhaps, to shake it up a bit. Harry, this individual we’re talking about, we recently celebrated his 200th birthday on May the 5th.  

DR. REEDER: Karl Marx is who we’re talking about. In his hometown, they erected an 18-foot statue with a lot of fanfare. What’s interesting is it wasn’t the state of Germany that paid for it, but it was China. China paid for it, who now says that they are the standard bearer for Karl Marx and his theory — his Communist Manifesto — that he wrote in context with a name by the name of Engels.

And so, whenever you talk about Marx, you have to talk about Marx and Engels, or you have to talk about Marx and Lenin, or Marx and Stalin or Marx and Mao Zedong. These are the people who took the Communist Manifesto out of an economic analysis and made it a world and life view that included a messianic state. In other words, it was the state that would enforce the Manifesto and it was the state that would take hold of property, it was the state who would take hold of the economy and the state — and you’ll note that all of them became atheistic like Karl Marx, himself, who was an atheist.

When you saw that statue going up, if you saw the videos, you’ll see a lot of young people. Let me tell you what you won’t see. You won’t see any older people because those were the people who, in the 1980s, tore those statues down. They took down Lenin, they took down Stalin, they took down Marx — they took down all those, particularly, in East Germany. They were glad to get them down.

They were looking at these people that were celebrating the erection of that statue and they remember the days that they tore them down when the wall came down finally and, when that wall came down and all the repression.

When they see Karl Marx, let me tell you what they think: They think gulags, they think prisons, they think famine, they think deprivation. They think all that came with Communism, which was nothing but destruction. They also know that any notion of any freedom of religion is utterly gone because religion is seen as a threat because Communism is a religion.

And, by the way, atheism is a religion. From a Christian world and life view, even it’s with the negative, a-theism, “no god,” that is a religion. That’s a statement of belief that there was nothing and nothing created something and now something has produced all of this. It’s called materialism.

MARXISM = GOVERNMENT CONTROL

And Marx was drastically affected by a number of people, not the least of which was a philosopher by the name of Hagel and Hagel invented a world and life view that was atheistic materialism. And it is specifically what is called dialectical materialism and that is the explanation of everything is circular. Marx had a circular view of history because he had embraced a circular view of life from a philosopher by the name of Hagel.

And Hagel says this: You have thesis, you have antithesis. Thesis and antithesis are in conflict and the result is a synthesis. The synthesis becomes the new thesis, and that thesis automatically has a mutation of an antithesis and that just keeps repeating itself in a circular fashion.

That was Hagel’s dialectical materialism. Well, a guy by the name of Darwin takes that and applies it to “science,” a philosophical world and life view. You’ve got species, you have mutation and now this mutation and this species create a new species. That became known as evolution.

Now Marx takes it and Marx says you’ve got those in control of everything, property and resources — the bourgeois, those in control — and the people outside of control are the proletariat, the great masses. Well, the proletariat will rebel against the bourgeois and then that will create a new ruling class, a new bourgeois, which will create a new proletariat. And so, his circular view as revolution and that’s how he would advance his Marxist Communist theory.

You have Marx with the economic theory and Engels who applies the political and even more than Engels, Lenin. There are ten points to the Communist Manifesto. Number one issue — and Engels and Marx both say this — communism can only succeed with the abolition of private property and it is acknowledged that you will never be able to abolish private property without coercion and that means the power of the state. The state owns everything and distributes it to whoever it will.

RESURGENCE OF POPULARITY ISN’T FROM ACTUAL CONSTITUENTS

And so now Marx is cool. How did Marx get cool? Well, Marx was loved back in the ‘60s. Marx and then all of his adherents like Castro, and Che Guevera and others — they were all loved, they were all cool, we all had the t-shirts in college and everything. And then we began to see what that actually produces — gulags, prisons, famines — and then came tear down the statues, tear down the wall, and the ghost of Marx is now gone. It’s gone.

Well, you got to remember, as all those people in the ‘60s went to the schools to teach — and, Tom, we’re going to do a follow-up program to show that they’re teaching in our schools this world and life view. What’s happening? Now our students see it as cool.

That’s why, when you go to Germany and you see that 18-foot statue, Germans aren’t erecting it and older people who have actually experienced Marxism applied through the power of a Leninist/Stalinist/Mao Zedong state, you don’t see them celebrating it but you see it’s cool now.

Now it’s a matter of an imprint on a t-shirt again. It’s cool out of the colleges because the very people that promoted its destruction in the ‘60s as college students are now teaching in the colleges and that world and life view is being promoted.

Isn’t it wonderful? We can tax everybody, the government gets it and then the government will redistribute wealth to everyone. Anybody that believes that is believing a lie. If you think there’s a have and a have not, wait until you put the private property in the hands of the government and I’ll show you where there’s haves and have nots. And that’s exactly what was seen in Russia, which is why the Soviet Union collapsed, East Germany collapsed, all of them collapsed because the oppression and the tyranny finally was undone.

If you’re taking somebody else’s property to give it to me, it’s just a matter of time until you take my property to give it to somebody else. And, after a while, the government’s going to run out of resources when nobody has anything to produce anything.

WHY DOES SOCIALISM LOSE ITS APPEAL?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Yeah, I think it was Margaret Thatcher that said that the problem with socialism is, eventually, you run out of other people’s money.

DR. REEDER: Exactly and that’s why we need somebody to teach contemporary history. Let me tell you what communism does. Let me tell you what socialism, its stepchild, does. Go visit Venezuela and walk the streets of Cuba.

Now, do I agree that capitalism can lead to the greed of the consumption of wealth? Yes, but the answer to that is not the government, but the answer to that is the free practice of religion that calls people to a higher standard of life which is it’s more blessed to give than to receive. And so, when you create wealth, you now have something to give to other people.

Marx taps into something that we all love and that is for everyone to do well, but the answer is a state that protects the unalienable rights of the people to life, liberty and property and the pursuit of happiness.

MONDAY: THE REALITY OF MARXISM ON CAMPUS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, let’s follow-up on this on Monday as we review the statistics out of the National Association of Scholars. Unfortunately, it is somewhat of a suspicions-confirmed type of study.

DR. REEDER: Tom, Marx is cool because the cultural elite have never let him go. The children of the ‘60s went into the entertainment industry, the media industry and, of course, into the academic world. And now the cultural elite are making Marx and Marxism as intellectually cool once again. Those are the people who are teaching in the colleges and in the universities and we’ll look at that in our next program.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

11 hours ago

Are you afraid to answer the phone?

Millions of Americans fear answering their phone due to a plague of billions of robocalls. These calls have made a mockery of the national Do Not Call Registry and touch on several public policy questions.

We had seemingly ended the problem of unwanted telemarketing calls. Congress authorized the Do Not Call Registry in 2003 after more than a decade of calls disrupting the peace and quiet of our homes. Fines of $11,000 per violation largely put telemarketing companies, with hundreds of thousands of employees, out of business.

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Why have unwanted calls returned? VOIP technology (voice over internet protocol) allowed anyone with a computer and an internet connection to make thousands of calls. A handful of responses can make thousands of calls worthwhile when the cost is almost zero. Furthermore, technology makes robocallers mobile and elusive.

By contrast, telemarketing firms employed hundreds of people at call centers. The authorities could find and fine telemarketers. Firms had to comply with the Do Not Call registry, even if forced out of business.

Technology further frustrates the control of robocalls. Spoofing makes a call appear to be from a different number. Spoofing a local number increases the chance of someone answering, defeats caller ID, and makes identifying the calls’ source difficult.

By contrast, technology allowed the elimination of spam email. It’s easy to forget that fifteen years ago spam threatened the viability of email. Email providers connected accounts to IP addresses and eventually identified and blocked spammers. Google estimates that spam is less than 0.1 percent of Gmail users’ emails.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banned almost all robocalls in 2009 (political campaigns and schools were excepted). Yet the volume of calls and complaints from the public rise every year. And the “quality” of the solicitations is lower: legitimate businesses employed telemarketers, while most robocalls seem to be scams.

Telephone companies and entrepreneurs are deploying apps and services to block robocalls. The robocallers then respond, producing a technological arms race. The technology of this arms race, however, is beyond me.

I’d rather consider some issues robocalls raise. The root of the problem is some people’s willingness to swindle others. Although we all know there are some bad people in the world, free market economists typically emphasize the costs and consequences of government regulations over the cheats and frauds who create the public’s demand for regulation. People can disagree whether a level of fraud warrants regulation, but free marketers should not dismiss the fear of swindlers.

Robocalls also highlight the enormous inefficiency of theft. Thieves typically get 25 cents on the dollar (or less) when selling stolen goods. Getting $1,000 via theft requires stealing goods worth $4,000 or more. In addition, thieves invest time and effort planning and carrying out crimes, while we invest millions in locks, safes, burglar alarms, and police departments to protect our property. America would be much richer if we did not have to protect against thieves or robocallers.

Finally, having the government declare something illegal does not necessarily solve a problem. Our politicians like to pass a law or regulation and announce, “problem solved.” Identifying and punishing robocallers is difficult; the FTC had only brought 33 cases in nearly ten years. And less than ten percent of the over $300 million in fines and relief for consumers levied against robocallers had been collected. Government has no pixie dust which magically solves hard problems.

The difficulty of enforcing a law or regulation does not necessarily imply we should not act. The Federal Communications Commission, for instance, recently approved letting phone companies block unwanted calls by default, and perhaps this will prove effective. We should weigh the costs of laws and regulations against a realistic projection of benefits and laws failing to solve problems as promised should be revised or repealed.
Still, a law that accomplishes little can have value. Cursing robocalls accomplishes little yet can be cathartic. A law that costs little might provide us satisfaction until technology solves the problem.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

12 hours ago

VIDEO: Culverhouse vs. UA, Trump and Biden battle in Iowa, the Bentley saga could be over and more on Guerrilla Politics

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Why did the media get the story with Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. and Alabama so wrong?

— Is the Iowa slap-fight between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden a 2020 preview?

— Now that former ALEA head Spencer Collier has settled his case with the state over his firing, is the sordid Bentley saga over?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by State Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison) to discuss medical marijuana, the prison special session and the lottery.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” that calls out Joe Biden for lying about the lack of lies and scandals in the Obama administration.

VIDEO: Culverhouse/UA, Trump and Biden battle in Iowa, the Bentley saga could be over and more on Guerrilla Politics

Posted by Yellowhammer News on Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

13 hours ago

Alabama team targets international connections at SelectUSA Investment Summit

Alabama is home to a diverse lineup of international companies, and the state’s business recruiters are looking to expand those ranks.

The economic development team is in Washington D.C. at the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit, which starts today and is the premier foreign direct investment (FDI) event in the U.S.

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FDI is a significant part of Alabama’s economy. Last year alone, it came from 16 different countries, for a total of $4.2 billion in investment and 7,520 new and future jobs.

Since 2013, the state has attracted $12.8 billion in FDI, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce. It’s spread across a variety of sectors, including automotive, aerospace and bioscience.

“Team Alabama is looking to capitalize on a record-breaking year for FDI in the state, by continuing to build partnerships with world-class international companies looking to grow in the U.S.,” said Vince Perez, a project manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

SHOWCASING ALABAMA

SelectUSA is led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and its annual summit regularly attracts top industry leaders and investors from around the globe. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 2,800 attendees from more than 70 international markets and 49 U.S. states and territories.

Participants of the past five summits have announced $103.6 billion in greenfield FDI in the U.S. within five years of attending, supporting more than 167,000 U.S. jobs.

“We are excited to have another opportunity to showcase Alabama’s vibrant business climate that’s been cultivated over the years through business-friendly policies,” Perez said.

“This year’s Investment Summit is very timely as we will be armed with the recently passed Incentives Modernization Act, which upgraded our already-strong incentive tool kit, making us more marketable than ever.”

The measure targets counties that have had slower economic growth. In particular, it expands the number of rural counties that qualify for investment and tax credit incentives. It also enhances incentives for technology companies.

Joining the Commerce Department at the SelectUSA Summit are PowerSouth, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association, the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Alabama Power Co., and Spire.

Speakers at the summit will include key government and industry leaders who will discuss opportunities in a broad range of areas and industries, such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and technology.

FDI supports nearly 14 million American jobs, and it is responsible for $370 billion in U.S. goods exports. The U.S. has more FDI than any other country, topping $4 trillion.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

A ‘Story Worth Sharing’: Yellowhammer News and Serquest partner to award monthly grants to Alabama nonprofits

Christmas is the season of giving, helping others and finding magic moments among seemingly ordinary (and occasionally dreary) days. What better way to welcome this season than to share what Alabamians are doing to help others?

Yellowhammer News and Serquest are partnering to bring you, “A Story Worth Sharing,” a monthly award given to an Alabama based nonprofit actively making an impact through their mission. Each month, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 grant from Serquest and promotion across the Yellowhammer Multimedia platforms.

Yellowhammer and Serquest are looking for nonprofits that go above and beyond to change lives and make a difference in their communities.

Already have a nonprofit in mind to nominate? Great!

Get started here with contest guidelines and a link to submit your nomination:

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Nominations are now open and applicants only need to be nominated once. All non-winning nominations will automatically be eligible for selection in subsequent months. Monthly winners will be announced via a feature story that will be shared and promoted on Yellowhammer’s website, email and social media platforms.

Submit your nomination here.

Our organizations look forward to sharing these heartwarming and positive stories with you over the next few months as we highlight the good works of nonprofits throughout our state.

Serquest is an Alabama based software company founded by Hammond Cobb, IV of Montgomery. The organization sees itself as, “Digital road and bridge builders in the nonprofit sector to help people get where they want to go faster, life’s purpose can’t wait.”

Learn more about Serquest here.

15 hours ago

Alabama Power wins Electric Edison Institute awards for power restoration efforts following Hurricane Michael

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) awarded Alabama Power with the EEI “Emergency Assistance Award” and the  “Emergency Recovery Award” for its outstanding power restoration efforts after Hurricane Michael hit Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in October 2018.
The Emergency Assistance Award and Emergency Recovery Award are given to EEI member companies to recognize their efforts to assist other electric companies’ power restoration efforts, and for their own extraordinary efforts to restore power to customers after service disruptions caused by severe weather conditions or other natural events. The winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process.

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Alabama Power received the awards during the EEI 2019 annual conference.

Alabama Power’s extraordinary efforts were instrumental to restoring service for customers across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida quickly and safely,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “We are pleased to recognize the dedicated crews from Alabama Power for their work to restore service in hazardous conditions and to assist neighboring electric companies in their times of need.”

Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm to make landfall during the 2018 hurricane season, was a Category 5 hurricane with peak winds of 160 mph. The storm hit Mexico Beach, Fla., on October 10 before being downgraded to a tropical storm and traveling northeast through Georgia and several Mid-Atlantic states. Alabama Power sent more than 1,400 lineworkers and 700 trucks to help restore service to customers over the course of two and a half months.

Hurricane Michael also resulted in 89,438 service outages in Alabama Power’s territory. Due to their tireless work, Alabama Power’s crews restored power to 100 percent of customers within four days after the storm, dedicating more than 124-thousand hours to the recovery.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)