Your masters live in luxury, with fine homes, cars, and servants. They have the best goods, the best food, and freedom to travel to resorts. You have mediocre food, a bare-bones home, only public transportation, and no travel without the permission of your masters.
You live, with many others, at the mercy of your masters. They can punish you, even unto death, at their whim, so you obey them and pretend respect. You live where they tell you, work at whatever job they assign. In school, if you do well, you may be picked to go on to a higher school, or not. Your only chance to advance is to do well. You can’t leave your job, which is whatever your masters say it is.
Your standard of living is the same as everyone else who is not a member of the privileged class. Equality is the rule, but what is divided equally is essentially poverty. You don’t own much, in fact, you aren’t allowed to own more than a few articles of clothing and toilet products. Your masters own everything. Or, the government does, and they are the government.
Have I described military service? Not totally. In the service, your masters are the officers, and it’s true they receive more, but they live by the same rules as you. You and your masters share a common and noble purpose, and they mostly look out for you when they can. For the most part, they don’t punish on a whim, and the food isn’t bad. You will eventually retire or be discharged.
Have I described the institution of slavery? Could you be a slave, if all the above were true? Yes, or you could be an ordinary citizen of a communist country, in particular: Cuba, North Korea, or China. Russia is a bit more liberated that the first three but the same is essentially true there.
The party leaders are the privileged class in communist countries, all of which are dictatorships. They are more important, so they allocate more resources to themselves. The government owns everything and makes up the rules. Bureaucrats in the government plan everything, and their plans are usually poor.
Like a slave of the old south, an ordinary citizen of a communist country does only what he or she is forced to do, because working harder and taking risks brings no reward. All are paid the same, and live by the same rules. Production is less where there is little incentive, so communist countries tend to be poor – except for China, which benefits from a huge trade surplus received from the United States.
The left is constantly trying to pull us in the direction of communism. The first step from where we are today would be cradle-to-grave entitlements (given whether you choose to work or not) and greater government control of everything. Oh, it’s seductive. You want more security? Let the good old government, which has endless money, eliminate life’s risk in exchange for a rationed life. For that security, you are like a slave – stuck in one slot for your entire life, with no chance to have spending money or become wealthy.
Before we arrive at communism, we’ll make a brief stop at socialism, where the government owns or tightly controls all business. The privileged class are the wealthy and the politicians. Or, perhaps we’ll take a detour to a Nazi socialism, making our own country wealthy by conquering and plundering our neighbors. Canada and Mexico are lightly defended and ripe for the picking. South America is becoming quite wealthy. But no, we’re a bit too moral for that.
It’s as if a big tractor had a chain attached to our political system and was pulling leftward. Barack Obama (the tractor,), the mainstream media, and Obama’s leftist supporters are dragging us in that direction, with the unconscious support of the uninformed (the so-called “Low information”) voters.
More government spending, more borrowing, more entitlements, more regulations, and higher taxes power Mr. Obama’s effort. I, for one, would prefer a bit less security, a bit more freedom, and more opportunity – over the total security and poverty we’ll get from socialism or communism.