February – 1848 – London, England

Atheist and socialist Karl Marx and his friend, Frederick Engels, publish their radical and violent political book, The Communist Manifesto.

The new ideas in this book would transform the world and facilitate the deaths of millions.

The main idea that prompted such violence was the history of the class struggle between wealthier members of society and those who were poorer. Marx predicted that the inevitable collapse of capitalism and the victory of the poor would end the conflict and usher in a classless society of pure socialism or communism (Marx used both terms interchangeably).

Both have been referred to as “red tides”

His prophecy would not come to pass. Instead, his ideas would usher in 100 years of enslavement, the deaths of millions of people. Followers of Marx would also bring about the creation, rise and implosion of the Soviet Union.

Even though Marx used the terms socialism and communism interchangeably, over the years, subtle differences have developed between the two political philosophies.

In general, communism and socialism are economic and political structures that promote equality and seek to eliminate social classes.

  1. Marx’s idea was in a communist society, the working class owns everything, and everyone works toward the same communal goal. There are no wealthy or poor people. All people are equal, and the community distributes what it produces based only on need. Nothing is obtained by working more than what is required.

In reality, communism has resulted in low production, mass poverty and very limited advancement other than the advancement of weaponry. Poverty spread so widely in the Soviet Union in the 1980s that its citizens revolted.

  1. Like communism, socialism’s main focus is on equality. But, workers earn wages they can spend as they choose, while the government, not citizens, owns and operates the means for production. (factories, companies, businesses, etc.) Workers receive what they need to produce and survive, but there’s no incentive to achieve more, leaving little motivation.
  2. Both are the opposite of capitalism, where reward comes to those who go beyond the minimum. In capitalist societies, owners are allowed to keep the fruits they earn minus the taxes taken by the government. Competition occurs naturally, which fosters advancement and wealth.

Today, the red tide of socialism is rising. Socialism is a new idea for many people despite being over 200 years old. While the vast majority of young Americans in the South, Midwest, and Mountain states gravitate toward capitalism, there is evidence that nationwide, there is significant sympathy for socialism among our younger population.

For instance, according to the Heritage Foundation, over two million people under the age of 30 voted for democratic socialist Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries and caucuses. Polls find that, not only do a large majority of millennials nationwide have a favorable opinion of socialism, a near majority would prefer to live under socialism rather than capitalism.

Further. for the first time, socialists are taking advantage of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon to organize, raise funds, and field popular and talented candidates from New York City to Oakland, California. A major instrument is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

Proof of socialism’s new-found political clout is found in a 28-year-old attractive, articulate, and charismatic socialist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Her recent upset victory over veteran Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, the number four Democrat in the House of Representatives, in the June Democratic primary concerned even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. She cautioned Ocasio-Cortez not to oppose liberal Democrats.

All of this, combined with the deep chasm that exists in our country, provides fertile ground for a socialism to take root in America very soon.

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