It was not to long ago I was like most. I didn’t really follow politics, and by that I mean I didn’t really understand what anything really meant. I would hear terms like “the left” or “the right” or this person was “liberal” or “conservative”, while not understanding what each was. I actually didn’t understand or know what “fascism” or “communism” really meant, I had just always hear they were bad things. I had the same questions when in came to our own political parties. “Republican” or “Democrat”. What did each mean? or stand for? was I either of these? or was I something else? I had all of the questions and uncertainties and any explanations I had been given were incomplete, vague, and inconsistant as different sources would give different definitions. At some point the explanation I had attained for the parties was Democrats were more for people, and Republicans were more for business. It just didn’t add up.
The more I searched for answers the more convoluted and unspecific the answers became. I couldn’t understand why in this day and age with all the information we have, and the ease of access to that information I wasn’t able to find definite answers to my questions, Moreover there seemed to be no place to turn for accurate unbiased information. I began to be suspicious.
An example of these inconsistencies was that many of these political spectrums would put Fascism to the far right, while Communism would be far left. However on this same political view the Democrats would be to the left and Republicans would be to the right. This made no sense to me as communism and fascism were both horrible, and I didn’t see the connection, particularly after living through the Reagan years here in the USA. How could the American way of life be anywhere near what the Nazi party was about in Germany or the Communist party in the former USSR?
I floundered for years. I figured that it was just not something I was going to understand, until I discovered a little paperback book. It was the key I had been searching for to unlock the haze and misinformation I had been served up by every source up to that point. It did something that no other source did. It provided real information, historical and factual then lined up the political systems in accordance with a simple dichotomy. It was so simple. I’ll let you speculate as to why this so hard to find?
The common sense idea is that to have a spectrum of systems there has to be definable opposites. Dark to light, or evil to good, or cold to hot. In the world of political systems or more pointedly the human condition imposed on humans by other humans. The dichotomy here is one of freedom vs. enslavement. So our spectrum is now definable and sits with total freedom being all the way to the “Right”, and total enslavement being all the way to the “Left”.
Before I go further I would like to offer 2 definitions. The first is Freedom: (n) Personal liberty. Capacity to exercise choice, free will. Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action.
The second is Enslavement: it’s the condition of being a slave: A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them. A person who works very hard without proper remuneration of appreciation.
These definition are important as they will play a role in the descriptions of how people are treated in various political systems thus allowing the quantifiable placement along the spectrum in relation to other systems. Also, to be fair there are many shades of gray in the world this is just to explain the big ideas and the most known types of systems. The systems I will talk about are communism, fascism, socialism, democracy, republic, and an honorable mention of anarchy. Anarchy is not really on this list even though it would be considered the ultimate freedom as it is considered no government but we are talking about governments so it would fall outside the scope of this article.
|System||Citizen’s Relationship to Government||Government’s relationship to Citizens|
|Democracy||Majority still independent||Social Workers|
|Socialism||Majority dependent||Agents and Regulators|
|Fascism||Subservient to “The State”||Dictatorship, police state|
|Communism||Subservient to “The People”||Chairman, secret police|
REPUBLIC – Citizens are free and have inalienable rights, not granted by men, but by Providence. Rights are based on Natural Law. A constitution is enacted as well as laws to protect individual freedoms and rights and are enforced by the government made up of the citizens. The major role of government is to protect freedoms for all, and to protect the country from external enemies.
DEMOCRACY – Majority Rules. Citizens are relatively free and have some say on leaders and laws. The majority has a louder voice and minorities can have freedoms and rights reduced or restricted by the majority. People look to government to supplement or provide income for them. Business is less profitable as more government regulations and controls are enacted.
SOCIALISM – Production and distribution begins to transition from private owners to government ownership. Business is heavily regulated and taxed to pay for more social programs, and large sectors of the economy like transportation, health, education, or energy are taken over by government. Welfare increases and citizens become more dependent on the government for their survival.
FASCISM – Authoritarian system allowing no opposition forcibly suppressing dissent (particularly socialism and communism) and controlling industry and economics. Private business is supported but is under state control. Majority enjoys increased freedom and prosperity, but these are granted at the whim of the State or current dictator and can be taken away easily.
COMMUNISM – All capitol, production and distribution is controlled by the state. All citizens are property of “the People”. Total obedience is expected and nobody is allowed to own private property. All is given out by “the people” for free, and to buy commodities would be illegal.
There are many more pieces to these definitions and how they relate to the many facets of our lives but these are the very basic descriptions. This will give you a basic understanding as to where things stand.
WE THE PEOPLE were given a form of government never before seen on earth. A Republic of the people by the people for the people. This is the first in a short series which aims to help in the understanding of what and who we are, as well as what is happening to our country. In the next installment I will comment on the differences between the two most mixed up ideals in our country. The reality of what a Republic is and what Democracy isn’t, and I will ask the questions as to why we keep being told we have a Democracy when we are supposed to have a Republic.
To be Continued…