Heaven on Earth

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Book Report: Heaven on Earth by Joshua Muravchik . For more great content go to http://lessonsforus.com/

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Heaven on Earth

  1. 1. Heaven on EarthThe Rise and Fall of Socialismby Joshua Muravchik David L. Johnson, Ph.D. Video Book Report
  2. 2. About the Author Joshua Muravchik, Ph.D. Foreign Policy Institute Fellow, Johns Hopkins University • Three generations of his family, including himself, embraced socialism as their religion • Grandfather turned away from Judaism and embraced socialism in high school in Kiev. • Grandparent immigrated to U.S. in 1905 • Joshua was a member of the Socialistic Party and leader of the Young Peoples Socialistic. • Recognized bankruptcy of socialism in his 30s and drifted back to Judaism Video Book Report
  3. 3. Table of Contents Introduction Babeuf Plots a Revolution Owen Conducts an Experiment Engel Interprets an Oracle Bernstein Develops Doubts Lenin Seizes Power Mussolini Becomes a Heretic Attlee Takes the Slow Road Nyerere Forges a Synthesis Gompers and Meany Hear a Different Drummer Deng and Gorbachev Repeal Communism Blair Redefines Social Democracy Summary Video Book Report
  4. 4. IntroductionSocialism Most powerful religion on earth  Spread to 60% of world within 150 years Born during French Revolution  Anti-religious, collectivize property Robert Owens built churchlike “halls of science”  Sermons at Sunday services. Marx and Engels provided “religious texts”  Mans history, cause of man’s sorrows, vision of redemptive future Lenin in Russia, Mussolini in Italy Pinnacle in 1970s Decline  Dismal economic performance; made things worse  Failure to spread to U.S. Video Book Report
  5. 5. Babeuf Plots a Revolution French Revolution Francois-Noel Babeuf, “Gracchus” Humble family, father soldier Writer, lived off friends loans Proposed “Conspiracy of Equals”  Communal living; no private property  Money abolished  Everybody possess same property  Live in same location as occupational group  Children raised in same-sex boarding schools  Country over family  Abolish traditional religion  The state becomes new religion Video Book Report
  6. 6. Owen Conducts an Experiment Robert Owen was a British industrialist (Scottish cotton mills) who sought to replace “individual selfish system” with a “united social” one. Followers coined term “socialism” Formed own communities: not through the state  Humans not responsible for own will and actions; “his whole character—physical, mental, and moral—is formed independently of himself”  Opposition to religion; wished to “terminate the existence of religion on earth” New Lanark, Scotland New Harmony, Indiana  Company village employing 1800  Failed in 3 years due to lack of skilled people, including 500 pauper children labor, too many “idlers,” inefficient  Reduced hours, brought order and production and distribution cleanliness, provided education Video Book Report
  7. 7. Engel Interprets an Oracle Friedrich EngelsFriedrich Engels Karl Marx Son of wealthy textile owners and  Descended from two devout Christians. distinguished lines of rabbis Became an atheist and communist  Father abandoned Judaism, Worked at Engels and Ermen in baptized as Lutheran. Karl Manchester, eventually receiving became an atheist Karl Marx inheritance which allowed him to retire.  Never self-supporting at any time. Maintained two homes. Rode to hounds. Received financial support from Common law marriage with Mary Burns. family, friends, and Engels. Marx When she died, lived with her sister household, though poor, kept 1-2 Lizzie, who he married on her deathbed. servants  2 daughters committed suicide Writings  Communist Manifesto  Marx Volume 1 Capital; Engels Volumes 2 and 3  Engels originated many of the key ideas that came to be called Marxism and really launched the Marxist movement.  Private property is theft; man became a commodity; middle class will disappear until world divided into millionaires and paupers; proletariat Engels’ house, Barmen will rise; state will die; communism will reign. Video Book Report
  8. 8. Bernstein Develops Doubts Eduard Bernstein born in 1850 Unlike most other socialists was actually raised in poverty Became a protégé of Engels, asked to write Volume 4 of Capital However, developed doubts about socialism  Growth of trade unions and democracy had counteracted the power of capitalism  Through political and social legislation, create better pay and working conditions, without revolution  50 years had passed since Marx and Engels forecasted that the rich would become fewer, the poor poorer and the middle class would disappear.  Bernstein observed the opposite: the rich were more numerous, as were the middle classes, and the poor were better off.  Economic history shows that per capita income in Germany and England adjusted for inflation doubled between the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848 and Evolutionary Socialism in 1899. Video Book Report
  9. 9. Lenin Seizes Power Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, known as Lenin, was born in 1870. Mother’s family was wealthy and father was nobility Brother, Alexander, executed for assassination attempt on Tsar Lenin became an atheist  Married Nadya Krupskaya  Fought Bernsteins Evolutionary Socialism and revisionism  The proletarian revolution did not need to be carried out by the proletarians; it could be done for them!  Founded Bolsheviks; split with Menshevik faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party Bolsheviks took control of Russia through better funding and terror Lenin, “Do you think we can be victors without the most severe revolutionary terror?” Employed the Cheka, Bolshevik secret police, and executed tens of thousands. Video Book Report
  10. 10. Mussolini Becomes a Heretic Benito Mussolini began a socialist and became a fascist. Father, a blacksmith, member of the first International Working Mans Association; read sections of Marx’s Capital to his family Benito became politically active in socialist groups and published socialist articles and promoted atheism Facism (“fascio” bundle) was pro WW I and nationalistic unlike socialism Mussolini: “Everything inside the state; nothing outside the state.” Fascist regime extended welfare state; became anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic; Spread to Germany: National Socialistic German Workers Party or Nazi (Nationalsozialist).  Hitlers programs were socialistic in nature:  Abolished unearned income, nationalized trusts; shared wholesale trade profit, provided for old age and higher education, communalized department stores, confiscated land for common purposes  Hitler: “National Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with the democratic order.” Video Book Report
  11. 11. Attlee Takes the Slow Road Clement Atlee, the seventh of eight children, was born in 1883 into a wealthy family His parents were devout Christians, but Clement became an atheist and substituted socialism for his Christian faith. Went to Oxford, became a lawyer, joined the Labour Party Labour Party unabashedly Socialistic with Clause IV in their constitution  Became PM in 1945; enacted socialistic program including:  Nationalization of Bank of England, coal mines, civil aviation, communications, railroads, trucking, and electricity/gas  Social welfare included universal coverage for illness, unemployment, retirement, widowhood, maternity and death, occupational disability; subsidies to poor, universal education, public housing, medical care paid by government. Programs created shortages and England was kept aloft by US Loans and the Marshall Plan Video Book Report
  12. 12. Nyerere Forges a Synthesis Julius Nyerere, the poor son of a Tanzanian village chief; hunted on Serengeti Plain and tended goats Attended boarding school run by Catholic missionaries, where learned English and embraced Christianity In 1949 went to college in Edinburgh Scotland, a hub of left-wing thinking. Studied socialism and saw resemblance to tribe’s culture Completed degree, returned to Tanzania, joined Tanzanian African National Union (TANU) Rose up through the party, gained prominence, after 1961 Tanzania independence, won first presidential election  Outlawed any party except TANA; nationalized land, formed communal farms; nationalized banks and large capitalistic firms, seized commercial real estate not occupied by owners  Achieved income equality by keeping everyone poor; according to World Bank 1990 study, Tanzanias economy shrunk ½ % a year from 1965-1988  In contrast, poor countries, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore, who promoted private ownership and foreign trade, achieved Western-like prosperity Video Book Report
  13. 13. Gompers and Meany Hear aDifferent Drummer Samuel GompersSamuel Gompers George Meany Born in East London 1850; parents were  Born in 1894 in East Harlem, Dutch Jewish immigrants NY ; father was plumber 1863, family immigrated to America.  Was committed Samuel and father rolled cigars anti-Communist, voted for Organized cigar makers. Dewey George Meany Founded AFL 1886  Denounced Soviet occupation of nations after WWII Resisted socialism and hated communism.  Agreed to sign affidavits that wasn’t a  workers organizations should be Communist, breaking with John L. Lewis composed of and led by workers over signing  distrusted any but the most minimal  Was ruthless in purging communists and government intervention gangsters from union  opposed minimum wage legislation, government social insurance except physical disability  Was pro-military and pro-American involvement in WWI Video Book Report
  14. 14. Deng and Gorbachev RepealCommunism Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping Mikhail Gorbachev Born a child of privilege  Born in in a tiny village in Met Zhou Enlai while at school in France Ukraine; parents simple Joined the Communist Party and farmers; mother illiterate progressed  Grandfather purged as kulak After disastrous Great Leap but lived Forward, proposed a partial undoing of  Didn’t blame Soviet system communism  At age 14, he joined the Mikhail Gorbachev Was arrested during the Cultural Komsomol, Communist Party Revolution students but eventually youth organization reinstated  In 1984, became General Secretary Admired “Little Tigers” of East Asia and  Attempted to rehabilitate Soviet system emulated, designating four coastal areas and save socialism. as “special zones for export.”  agreed to multiparty system and Felt that dictatorship of the Communist private property Party was essence of socialism  However, USSR collapsed Chinese system became capitalism under the rule of communists Video Book Report
  15. 15. Blair Redefines SocialDemocracy At age fifteen Tony’s father, Leo, was secretary of the Scottish Young Communist League. As Leo got older, he changed, becoming chairman of a conservative association. Tony attended Oxford, where he was more interested in rock n roll band than politics In 1979 conservatives led by Margaret Thatcher swept Labour from office With several more defeats and socialists moving to the right, the Labour Party changed, led by Blair  Blair criticized “penal rates of taxation” of individuals  Called for reviewing corporate taxes, because “companies will not invest without decent profits.”  Proposed reducing welfare, “a nation at work, not on benefit--that is our pledge.”  Proclaimed “the Labour Party is now the party of law and order.”  Said, “governments dont raise children--families do.”  Said, “The days of the all-embracing theories of politics--religious in nature, whose adoption would solve all human problems are over.”  Wish to create “a nation of entrepreneurs.”  Said “era of tax-and-spend is dead and buried” and, “Labor is the party of business.” In 1997 Labour had its largest win ever Video Book Report
  16. 16. Summary Parties with the name “Socialist,” “Labor” or “Social Democrat” continue to win elections, but they have eliminated most of founding principles.  Now are more accepting of markets, private enterprise, and economic inequality. The right has yielded some issues to the left.  All democratic capitalistic economies have a large public sector that includes education, healthcare, and social insurance for the old, the disabled, and the poor. We are not all socialists, now, but all capitalists, now.  Voters like government benefits, but not high taxes.  Socialists not longer believe that state ownership or planning is more efficient than private competition.  Most acknowledge that the wealth is created in the private sector. Video Book Report
  17. 17. To Learn More Click on Video Book Report

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