I had a lot of windshield time last week. Spinning through the dial I found myself listening to Rush. He repeatedly asked his callers why the left seemed determined to change the culture, to destroy "American values". Why is there an assault on the notion of hard work, religion, and traditional family?
Once again the answer can be found through studying history. There is a branch of political thought that maintains that only through the actions of the state can we all find true equality and thus happiness. The people who subscribe to this credo are certain that the misery of the human condition can only be resolved through the elimination of those things that cause worry, misery and discontent -- money, religion, and the artificial barriers to happiness created by the need to find housing, food, and health. The concept is simple. If we can eliminate money and religion and countries there would be no cause for war, for crime, for hatred. John Lennon stated it so eloquently in his song Imagine. I do not write that facetiously.
How do we reach this utopia? Philosophers and true believers have tried. Robert Owens and Mao were not so different in their beliefs. In order for the state to succeed in banishing inequality, you must eliminate all barriers to the state. First you must eliminate religion. If a citizen is worshiping a god, then he feels superior to another who may worship a different god, or who may believe in none at all. Moral righteousness comes from the state, not a belief system. No one may claim moral superiority if we all live under the same moral guidance. There is no judgement if we all believe the same. We must all work for each other. The collective whole is superior to anything, including god and family. It takes a village to raise a child. It is not a coincidence that since time immemorial kings and despots have declared themselves gods. There can be nothing superior to the State.
You must make everyone equal economically. Whether you eliminate the wealthy, or elevate the poor so all are on equal footing, the result is equal poverty. There is no envy if we all have the same clothing, the same living conditions, the same toilet paper.
Artificial political barriers must be eliminated. Patriotism breeds resentment and hatred. America is not superior to Mexico, Citizens of Chad are equal to those of Belgium. Governments cause wars. A League of Nations, a United Nations, A Star Trek-inspired Federation will eliminate the need for armies to destroy each other over an imaginary line on a map. The true progressive believes we are citizens of the Nation of Man. That is why they do not like immigration laws and patriotic flag waving. For the World Citizen, the Stars and Stripes are a symbol of war, hatred and inequality.
Whether the experiment was pre-John Smith Jamestown, the French Revolution, Brook Farm, New Harmony, the Soviet Union, Communist China, Castro's Cuba, or modern Venezuela, the pattern is remarkably unchanged. Sadly, the experiments always end in failure.