“History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.”–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia.
Last December at my former blog site I wrote a post: The Importance of History: Build it and They will Come. One of the statements I made was:
I believe that many people who identify themselves as socialists, communists, Maoists, and, as they are more apt to refer to themselves today, progressives really and truly believe human beings and society can be perfected with the right form of governance, social programs, and elites making all the important decisions for masses. They really believe that the world would be a better place. However, what my world view and my reading of history tells me is that if you build the structure necessary for this utopia, the people who will end up at the top will not be the best of mankind, but the worst.
Hence, my title: Build it and They Will Come refers to the worst of mankind. Build the structure necessary for socialism, communism, or whatever you call the “collectivist” vision and world view these kinds of groups believe in, and you will eventually end up with a Stalin, a Mao, or a Hitler at the top.
Which brings me to the definition, according to the Urban Dictionary of “useful idiot”
Term invented in Soviet Russia to describe people who blindly supported the likes of Lenin and Stalin while they committed atrocity after atrocity.
Today, it refers to brainwashed liberals and leftists the world over (usually college students that aren’t necessarily idiots, but just misinformed, naive, and ignorant of facts due to being indoctrinated with liberal/socialist propaganda through their public education) who believe that George W. Bush has committed more crimes against humanity than leftist darlings like Saddam Hussain, Yasser Arafat, and Osama Bin Laden, and still defend Communism, the cause of over 100 million deaths to this day.
In other words, a “useful idiot” is someone who has failed to look closely at what it is that they are supporting. I think we can all fall into that category once in a while. We are fallible human beings after all. I believe, though, that we need to strive to continuously exercise and test our belief system to ensure that we are still on the right track.
Consider, for example, the situation in Egypt and a recent exchange on MSNBC. Niall Ferguson, a Harvard History professor discusses his view of what is happening in Egypt in the context of what history says about similar revolutions. It is quite surprising that this exchange took place, not on Fox as some would assume, but on MSNBC. Mr. Ferguson is quite critical of President Obama and his administration. However, near the end of the clip he makes the point I would like you to consider. Revolutions like the one in Egypt have not historically lead to a “happy democracy” but to periods of turmoil that can lead to undesirable outcomes. To assume that the best of humanity will jump in and fill the leadership role is naive to say the least.
The progressive or “collectivist” world view does not believe in our system of government nor do they believe in the free market economic system. They believe that the intelligent few need to take charge, limit your liberties, and work toward a classless society and “collective salvation.” If you have a view of the world that is based in reality you know where this leads and where history has shown us it leads….to tyranny and the worst that humanity has to offer.
Our Constitutional Republic was designed to protect our God-given rights for a reason. The Founders knew that striving to give everyone a fighting chance would lead to individual prosperity and prosperity as a nation. The results were not guaranteed. Some would succeed, some would fail, but they would all have the chance that America promised.
Equal justice, not the “social justice” so many progressives talk about was also one of the goals. These two concepts of justice are not the same. We, as a country, strive for equal justice. The world view of the Founders said that if we adhered to some basic values and principles we would be successful in our search for equal justice. We have and will continue to fail at times, but we still strive for the goal. “Social Justice” says we can reach a place where there is totally equality in every way. It is a worthy goal, but one that cannot be achieved in the real world.
So, we need to do our homework. Developing a broader knowledge of history and a deeper understanding of the collectivist world view will help protect us from being manipulated into supporting actions that will lead us to a place we don’t really want to go.