It is difficult for any social personality to conceive that another individual or governing body would, with malice aforethought, develop the means of exerting oppressive tactics and policy, all couched in the perverted and purported logic of helping others.
The world-wide dilemmas that we now witness in economic, political, religious and academic arenas is as old as time itself. The simple truth is that today’s social turmoil is generated by a philosophical assumption that is not faithful to any ism, nor partial to any political party or nation.
That basic philosophy goes something like this, “Man is an unintelligible animal incapable of discerning for himself. Therefore, the general populace must be manipulated and herded by a chosen few, who do not suffer such maladies, for the continued survival and happiness of all Mankind.”
SOCRATES & HIS STUDENT, PLATO
Historically, we can go as early as Plato (424-347 B.C.), the famous Greek philosopher who penned The Republic for this type of philosophy. In The Republic, Plato stated that of all the different types of people, only the Philosopher is able to judge which type of ruler is best since only he can see the “form of the good.” Plato’s conclusion was that human tendency was of that of corruption by power. His conclusions were that ruling should be left to philosophers, the most just and therefore least susceptible to corruption. He wrote of a “good city”, where the workers are to governed by philosopher-kings; disinterested persons who rule not for their personal enjoyment but for the good of the city-state.
Further, Plato called for the abolition of riches, the abandonment of the typical family and that no child may know his or her parents, as well as the parents may not know their own children. In this “good city” rulers would assign couples for reproduction, based on breeding criteria. Thus, stable population is achieved through eugenics and social engineering. Over 2,000 years later, Hitler developed a very similar plan for his “super race”. According to Plato, the education of the youth would be that they are taught only to improve themselves for the state’s good.
Plato wrote about Socrate’s (470-399 B.C.) origination of dialectic materialism. As Socrates did not write philosophical texts, the knowledge of the man, his life, and his philosophy is entirely based on writings by his students and contemporaries. Foremost among them is Plato. Dialectic materialism stated that knowledge could advance by juxtaposing contradictory ideas (thesis and an antithesis) and thus deriving from them a third, new idea (synthesis). This philosophy set the stage for Hegel and eventually Marxism.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) created that nation’s first stronghold in materialism and so set the stage for the socialist mindset. Within Rousseau‘s famous book, Social Contract (1762) the focus is on the abstract “general will” of the people. His ideology now forms the heart of most European socialist governments, and forms the basis for the writings of Karl Marx and therefore communism. The contemporary expression and terminology is the “public good” and depends on a “statist” approach to government whereby the state is superior to the individual and all individual rights are derived from the state.
Then in 1815 in France, the father of French Socialism, Henri de Saint-Simon (17 October 1760 – 19 May 1825) hits the scene with his version of a classless society. Like Plato, de Saint-Simone believed in a super class of leadership, but versus having a philosopher be the head of state, he believed that industrialists should lead with technology versus religion as the source of inspiration and social change. Henri was a definite influence on Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It is an interesting note that de Saint-Simone, Marx and Engels where all born into relative wealth, insulated and removed from the reality of the “working class” that they so inspired to help and elevate.
GEORG HEGEL: THE GERMAN INSPIRATION FOR MARXISM
German philosopher Georg Hegel (1770-1831) borrowed from Plato’s concept of the State’s role over determining the future of each individual. He developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. Dialectical materialism is essentially characterized by the thesis that history is the product of class struggles.
Hegel’s dialectics aims to explain the development of human history. He considered that truth was the product of history and that it passed through various moments, including the moment of error; error and negativity are part of the development of truth. By contrast, Marx’s dialectical materialism considers history as a product of material class struggle in society. Thus, theory has its roots in the materiality of social existence. In other words, materialism and the conflict therein is the source of thought.
COMMUNISM IS BORN
Then in the mid 1800’s, two German philosopher, Marx and Engel, co-write the Communist Manifesto. Most do not know that Marx studied Hegelian dialectic. It is also an interesting note that the earliest roots of Dialetic Materialism date back to Socrates. The philosophy of Dialetic Materialism is confusing enough, that only a few people could understand with no real application to life itself, save the purpose to confuse and negate whole populations via their mis-educated and confused rulers.
From 1901’s and onto the 1920’s the very industrialists that de Saint-Simone envisioned coming into power did so via the banking industry. Presidential progressives, Theodore Roosevelt (A harsh critic of Thomas Jefferson) and Woodrow Wilson ushered in reforms and new laws that empowered industrialists and bankers.
Like Marx and Engels, they saw the power of the Communist movement and the bankers financed the Russian Revolution. With a similar financial encumberment of the United States, via the 16th Amendment, the world bankers now set the stage for total ownership of world economies. But to make these programs move forward and to take hold in the fervent minds of the masses, a new technique and power to came into play: Propaganda.
SELLING THE DEMISE: THE RISE OF INDUSTRIAL PROPAGANDA
Propaganda has been historically cited as the main reason why Americans, who strongly opposed WW I, in a matter of years were so willing to enter. Working in tandem, the bankers, psychologists and their propagandists, such as famed Edward Bernays, make an unholy alliance. In fact, Edward Bernays was not only the author of the book Propaganda, but was he nephew of Sigmued Freud. It was through Bernay’s financing and influence that brought prominence of Freud to America and American academia. Psychologists were now touted as the experts in how to manipulate the minds of the men.
Today, we see much conflict in our world. At the bottom of this are muddled philosophies that have confused the generations. And now with the advent of psychology and psychiatry, new weapons have been added to confuse populaces even further with wrong ideals and addiction medications.
I hope this historical review of Socialism has been enlightening.