In the picture attached to this article, there is a large chunk of the Berlin Wall, along with a length of barbed wire located in the expanse inside the wall. I know it’s a real chunk of the Wall because I busted it off myself in 1990, not long after the fall of the Iron Curtain. There is also an official flag of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Somewhere, I also have a hat from a former East German border guard that walked The Wall, and was tasked with shooting anyone who attempted to climb over or otherwise cross it.
I acquired these items and have kept them not because it was just something cool to collect and a nice piece of history. I actually collected these items because, one day, I knew I would have children. I wanted these to show them a physical reminder of the past and what totalitarianism really looks like. These vestiges of the past loom large over the mindset of too few today. History, as we all know, is so easily forgotten.
In this current election, people have seemed all too content to put forth two authoritarians for president and pretend that there are no other options. We are expected to choose between a socialist (read communist) regime and a regime which has threatened a tossing out of guaranteed freedoms in the name of security, as well as a dramatic increase in crony capitalism. There is no promise of a more limited government in these two scenarios.There is only the promise of further encroachment on individual liberties and a constant march toward totalitarianism.
For some odd reason that confounds me, socialism has been adopted by many (especially the young) to be some sort of new, cool idea. Let’s face it. No self respecting communist calls himself that. Kim Jong-Un calls himself a socialist, and so did Stalin. So, when we say “socialism” what we really mean is Marxist communism. Communism is a certain path to totalitarianism. it simply can’t function without it. “Socialism” is not a cool, new idea that has never really been tried before. It is an old idea that cannot succeed. It has been tried, and thank God it failed. Nationalizing large swafts of the economy, increasing social programs to enslave more people – these are what leads to great communist control. Hillary Clinton is lighting that path with rose colored lights. Let’s not repeat that again.
And, let’s not forget that a nice earmark of totalitarianism is also the adoption of new rules regulating personal freedoms in the name of security. Authoritarians must maintain control by use of constantly promising that outside threats dictate stricter controls on freedom. There is historical precedent for authoritarians using internment camps to imprison what the leadership perceives as enemies, limiting the freedoms (perhaps like closing mosques) of these perceived enemies. Using these perceived threats as justification for pacifying the populace into total control as not only the enemies but also the citizenry are restricted. Donald Trump has already mentioned such attitudes. He has also demonstrated, as many modern politicians practice, the propensity to further corny capitalism to pick the winners and losers of the economy to support his own agendas. The more he can select the winners, the more control he has.
No totalitarian/authoritarian regime has ever existed that did not have to build walls and institute rules to keep their citizens from fleeing the harsh realities of enslavement to the state and the loss of freedoms. Authoritarians desperately need their walls to maintain control. Trump wants to build a massive physical wall on our southern border. Clinton wants to build a less visible wall made up of “socialism” and of programs that enslave people to dependence on the government. Either way, when one of these walls gets built, will it be used to keep enemies out or will it be used to keep all of us in?
There is another option. There is the Libertarian option.
* Danny Chabino is a proud employer and operator of a small retail business for 16 years.