It’s May Day, an international day of celebration for community organizers and other communists everywhere. What’s that? You say it’s unfair for me to label ACORN and its supporters in the media, academia, and the White House as communists?
Au contraire. You don’t have to be a member of the Communist Party USA (or similar American parties such as the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party) in order to be a communist. People who sympathize with those organizations are small-c communists, that is, fellow travelers, who for whatever reason never got around to joining a communist party.
Saul Alinsky was one. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is one. So is, or was, President Barack Obama. Obama’s college classmates described the future president as a humorless, intolerant Marxist-Leninist. Sanders claims to be a socialist, not a communist, but the senator from Ben and Jerry’s is straddling a very thin semantic line.
As I argue in Subversion Inc., which will be published this month, communism is a political movement whose adherents believe that markets are fundamentally unjust and that physical force should be used to attain a classless society. When the legitimate political process allows groups like ACORN to achieve their goals, they support American-style democracy. When it doesn’t, ACORN steps outside the legitimate political process and uses physical force and intimidation.
Socialist is simply not a strong enough adjective to describe ACORN. ACORN is not a debating society. It is not a collection of coffee klatch bohemians pontificating about making the world better. ACORN is about taking action to tear down the American system.
Besides, is socialism much different from communism? Karl Marx thought of socialism as a necessary weigh station on the road to the supposed utopia of communism. Socialism versus communism is a never-ending debate in academic circles, and it is one that is too involved to get into here. (Fellow ACORN chronicler Stanley Kurtz agonizes over the definition of socialism in his wonderful recent book Radical-in-Chief. It is so unnecessary.)
Suffice it to say that socialists and communists all want government or the collective to be master. They all subscribe to bad, un-American ideas, are all in the same ideological camp, and all tend to believe that the ends justify the means. In ideological terms, there is no bright line dividing socialism from communism.If a government nationalizes an industry does it really matter whether that government was elected or seized power by force? The fundamentals are more or less the same.
Communists, small-c and otherwise, attempt to marginalize adversaries by calling them crazy when they point a finger at actual communists, as if communists were figments of someone’s fevered imagination. “In a stunning demonstration of the power or propaganda, accusing someone of having been a Communist makes you the nut,” Ann Coulter opined in Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.
It’s time to start calling these people what they are.
Follow me on Twitter and check out my book Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, which will be published this month.