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Walter Williams
Walter E. Williams
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Leftists, Progressives and Socialists


One of the greatest sources of confusion and deception is the difference between leftists, progressives, socialists, communists and fascists. I thought about this as I caught a glimpse of the Oct. 2 "One Nation" march on Washington. The participants proudly marched with banners, signs and placards reading "Socialists," "Ohio U Democratic Socialists," "International Socialists Organization," "Socialist Party USA," "Build A Socialist Alternative" and other signs expressing support for socialism and communism. They had stands where they sold booklets under the titles of "Marxism and the State," "Communist Manifesto," "Four Marxist Classics," "The Road to Socialism" and similar titles.

The gathering had the support of the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, stalwarts of the Democratic Party such as Al Sharpton and organizations such as the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, Green for All, the Sierra Club, and the Children's Defense Fund.

What goes unappreciated is that socialists and communists have produced the greatest evil in mankind's history. You say, "Williams, what in the world are you talking about? Socialists, communists and their fellow travelers care about the little guy in his struggle for a fair shake! They're trying to promote social justice." Let's look at some of the history of socialism and communism.

Nazism is a form of socialism. In fact, Nazi stands for National Socialist German Workers' Party. Nazis murdered 20 million of their own people and in nations they captured. The unspeakable acts of Adolf Hitler's Socialist Workers' Party pale in comparison to the horrors committed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Between 1917 and 1987, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and their successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Tse-tung and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese. The most authoritative tally of history's most murderous regimes is in a book by University of Hawaii's Professor Rudolph J.

Rummel, "Death by Government." A wealth of information is provided at his website: (

You say, "Williams, isn't it a bit unfair to lump the "One Nation" communists, socialists and their supporters with mass murderers such as Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung? After all, they expressed no such murderous goal." When Hitler, Stalin and Mao were campaigning for political power, you can bet they didn't campaign on the promise to murder millions of their own people, and probably the thought of doing so never crossed their minds. Those horrors were simply the end result of long evolution of ideas leading to consolidation of power in central government in the quest for "social justice." It was decent but misguided earlier generations of Germans, Russians and Chinese, like many of today's Americans, who would have cringed at the thought of genocide, who built the Trojan horse for a Hitler, a Stalin or Mao to take over. But as Voltaire said, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

While America's leftists, socialists and communists condemn Hitler, they give the world's most horrible murderers a pass. First, they make a false distinction between fascism, communism and socialism but more importantly, they sympathize with the socioeconomic goals of communism and socialism. The primary goal of communism and socialism is government ownership or control over the means of production. In the U.S., only a few people call for outright government ownership of the means of production. They might have learned that government ownership would mess things up. Instead, they've increasingly called for quasi-ownership through various forms of government regulation, oversight, taxation and subsidies. After all, if someone has the power to tell you how you may use your property, it's tantamount to his owing it.

I believe most Americans find the ideals and principles of socialism, communism and progressivism repugnant, but by our sanctioning greater government centralization and its control over our lives, we become their dupes or, as Lenin said, "useful idiots."

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



9 Comments | Post Comment
You are right that there is little distinction between socialism, communism, and fascism, which all believe in stealing taxpayer money to fund a centralized government. By this definition, all governments are inherently socialist and are the antithesis of true capitalism, which recognizes the only viable capital is human capital. All other capital is derived from human effort or demand.

Ultimately, the "means of production" is human capital, and this is why socialism, communism, and fascism are merely different terms for institutionalized economic slavery of taxpayers.

The US Constitution is an economic document that presumes all taxpayers are federal government property. It commits all taxpayers to perpetual economic slavery to the federal government. This is why it enables elected representatives to assume debt in taxpayers' names, a practice so entrenched that people believe there is something moral or ethical about it.

Once taxpayers wake up to the fact that capitalism starts with the individual's right to self-determination, including the right to refuse to pay taxes, we may begin to see a shift toward the self-sufficiency and self-reliance that we have undermined through over-reliance on government. Why pay the government to do things taxpayers can do for themselves, especially when the government does such a bad job and costs too much to do it?

Comment: #1
Posted by: Katharine C. Otto, MD
Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:47 PM

You are a great man, Mr. Williams. I hope you live forever.

Comment: #2
Posted by: SusansMirror
Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:16 AM
You and Sowell are the black wisemen of this time.Who and where are the next generation to pick up the intellectual swords and slay the dragons of predjudice with sagacity and subdued style.You do not defiantly speak truth to power,the truth has it's own defiance and speaks to all.
Comment: #3
Posted by: dunce
Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:25 PM
Mr Williams thank you soo much for speking the truth I hope all americans will reed this calum thankk you for saying it in plain english God bles you
Comment: #4
Posted by: jolan
Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:39 PM
Bravo, Williams. Another tour de force of reason and clarity. All those systems are cases of 3 lions and one lamb sitting around a campfire, voting on what to have for dinner. "Social justice" is a code word for forcibly taking from some to give to others. That is, in fact, the greatest injustice of all. Those who advocate such institutionalized slavery are driven by envy, pure and naked. They seek to wipe out that one principle -- "unalienable rights" -- that has stood in the way of total confiscation of others' lives, property, time, energy, skills and productivity. The bleeding hearts who just want to do good for their fellow man don't seem to realize they are advocating cannibalism when they want government to expropriate those who have more than others, to level everyone down to the bottom-most step of impoverishment. That has been the end result of all societies who tried such a system. Have we learned nothing? How long will Marx's evil ideas keep poisoning the collective human psyche? Ideas can have catastrophic consequences. If advocates of socialist practices gave one moment of thought to the golden rule -- how would they feel if they were on the receiving end of those practices? -- reason and true justice might have a chance to prevail.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Kate Jones
Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:16 AM
Your twisted logic is extremely hard to follow, unless you are a True Believer already.

Good job of knocking down straw men, though.

Government's role is not to own the means of production, but to ensure a level playing field so monopolies don't form and drive the little guy out of business. In your ivory tower world that doesn't happen, but it sure does here in the real world where we are trying to make a living. And government is now controlled by the big corporations. So some go to the opposite extreme to try to bring about a little balance.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Tom Blanton
Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:38 PM
Re: dunce Yeah well, they are both black, anyway.
Have you read any books by Sowell? He's a pro-gov't statist.
Comment: #7
Posted by: halebobbdotcom
Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:32 PM
And speaking of statists, I like Professor Williams. He's a real regular guy. He even sends his articles to convicts in prison.
But he doesn't go quite far enough IMO to explain that participating in the sham called voting is the main reason American's are enslaved, and that voting will never make us free.
my nick /Patriot/vote.htm
Comment: #8
Posted by: halebobbdotcom
Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:38 PM
Want a laugh? Seems the folks at the One Nation website are not as proud of their sponsors at they used to be. Not really. They just chose to hide who most of them are.

They have scrubbed their endorsing organizations page of most of them.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Ross Calloway
Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:04 PM
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