Socialism as a negative aspect of life - symbolized by word Socialism and and chains to show burden and bad influence of Socialism, 3d illustration

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It’s time to think carefully about what American national security might be like if the country goes socialist. Let’s scratch the surface and see what we might see.

Socialism changes the very notions of government, nation, and security. It reverses the natural relationship between the people and their government to one of a government and its people.

No enforcement without force

Lack of innovation and economic freedom, increased bureaucracy, and higher taxes on those who create wealth all require socialist governments to build mechanisms to recover from economic destruction that they create.

To prop up the damage, socialism requires state subsidies to public or private industries and services. Many subsidies come from forced transfer of wealth. Such forced transfers invariably collapse shareholder value because they destroy the shareholders. Socialist policies thus collapse the companies that employ the people and attract the investors who create the wealth.

These policies naturally result in rationing of money, services, resources like food and energy, and even health care and housing. All rationing must be enforced – note how “force” appears in the middle of the word – in the name of equality and justice and safety. Rationing requires a robust domestic enforcement machinery.

Spying for socialism

It also requires a powerful foreign espionage machine. When economic wreckage makes cash subsidies harder, socialists provide in-kind subsidies in the form of espionage against foreign companies. Socialist governments must  use their espionage services to steal industrial and trade secrets from others to compensate for the destruction that socialism wreaks on domestic companies’ competitiveness.

Whether it’s a mildly socialist country like 1980s France, a fully socialist regime like the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a national socialist system like 1930s Germany, or a hybrid corporatist regime like today’s Communist Party of China, socialist governments must heavily subsidize their industries.

That means diverting legitimate national security resources toward an extensive foreign espionage system to steal economic, trade, and industrial secrets, and to sabotage the private sectors of others.

Solidarity with America’s enemies

American socialists have a history of turning against their own country and its strategic position in the world. They have a decades-long track record of siding with America’s foes – Cuba, Iran, Russia under whatever autocracy it is ruled – and a reliable record of vowing to slash the nation’s defenses.

This historically has meant tearing down America’s strategic nuclear deterrent: Not merely failing to upgrade it, but to tear it down.

It also has meant collapsing the nation’s conventional military forces – Army, Navy, and Air Force – because they are seen as instruments of evil worldwide, and because the “savings” can be used to subsidize the welfare state and socialist economic policies.

American socialists have shown that they see few if any foreign enemies, so in their view, having a significant military makes no sense.

Inside the IC

The intelligence community, and especially the CIA, have been socialist bogeymen since Soviet propaganda made them that way in socialists’ eyes decades ago. The CIA especially is blamed for subverting or overthrowing “socialist” regimes and movements in all corners of the world. But once the socialists are in control, the CIA will no longer be their enemy.

As liberal as many American intelligence professionals are, few are socialist. It is difficult to see how that intelligence community, with all its flaws, can exist under militant socialist political leadership.

As with all revolutions, some intelligence professionals will quit out of frustration or principle, and others will stay on to serve, regardless of a socialist mandate. Most will probably hang on and comply, hoping to do the right thing from the inside, or at least being grateful for a permanent government job. A minority, the most militant, will claw their way to the top and seek to turn the intelligence community toward hunting the enemies of socialism.

Domestic enforcement required

Likewise, socialists of all stripes need domestic enforcement mechanisms to compel citizen compliance with the property-taking agenda that socialism requires.

The IRS, not cleaned out after the Lois Lerner political abuses under the Obama administration, will by necessity become a political enforcement mechanism to compel payment of increased taxes to be taken from those who work and create wealth, and given to those who do not.

This will require more IRS agents, more tax courts, more punishments, more garnishments, and more enforcement mechanisms.

From PC sloganeering to behavior modification

All government bureaucracies will be mobilized more than they currently are to impose certain sociopolitical norms of behavior, speech, and thought. For years, central government politicization has injected trickle-down indoctrination and behavior modification from federal agencies administering handouts to everybody on the receiving end. Socialism will accelerate the pace, as the machinery and practices are long in place.

Necessary enforcement mechanisms include networks of informants among professional colleagues, professors and teachers, neighbors, and even friends and families.

We are already seeing a subtle increase in government-sponsored pressure for neighbors and friends to inform on one another, often to enforce ever-changing social norms.

“See something, say something,” a Department of Homeland Security slogan for nearly a generation, has devolved into a politically correct process to encourage informants against people belonging to non-protected groups and movements, while discouraging informants against protected ones like radical Marxists and radical Islamists.

This will only get worse under socialism, which invariably requires mass compliance with government norms in order to operate. It’s only a matter of degree whether the socialism is of the Swedish type or the Chinese type.

China’s social credit system – it can happen here

Which brings us to the Chinese social credit system. Mass data collection of citizen biometrics – faces, fingerprints, eyes, DNA, and even cardiovascular signatures and gait – as well as any portable device containing certain microchips and apps, enable government or private entities to monitor people’s movements and actions.

Electronic records, including surveillance cameras, mobile phones, social media, banking and credit card transactions, shopping histories, computer browsing patterns and more, plus the “internet of things” ranging from automotive electronics to home toasters, concentrate the highly individual data on all of us and permit social credit systems to judge us all by our most minute and private habits and, if desired, reward or penalize us accordingly.

Soon, technology will extend to robotic attorneys and judges, with artificial intelligence enabling machines to interpret laws and administer justice more quickly and effectively than humans.

This is already in the works without socialism. High-tech socialist states will have to exploit these leaps in technology to enforce compliance with the utopia that they seek to create.

What if people don’t like it?

This brings us to the idea that many Americans won’t like socialism either taking from them or imposing on them. They might resist.

Socialism requires censorship. Socialism requires peer pressure and behavior modification. Socialism requires manipulation of information to indoctrinate all citizens, whether adults, high schoolers, or children. Socialism collapses the value of money, and unjustly takes the fruits of labor from the citizen. Socialism requires manipulation of laws and their enforcement. Socialism requires control.

And so one can expect many average citizens to resist. Socialism will need to pre-empt such resistance, and will require the ability and the will to crush it.

No Second Amendment rights

Socialists have a way of subverting constitutions that they can’t overthrow. No socialist regime can survive with an armed civilian population. That population must be controlled. For population control, socialists need gun control – usually under the guise of public “safety” and to guard against “extremism.”

The Soviets could not impose socialism until the population was fully disarmed. Weimar Germany’s gun registration list became Hitler’s map to disarm the German people as he imposed national socialism. Similar fates befell people wherever socialism or other confiscatory dictatorship was imposed: Mexico, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and dozens of other countries.

American socialists and their liberal/progressive allies make no bones about registering and disarming the population once they take power, with plenty of creative misinterpretations of the Second Amendment. They will need a powerful enforcement machine.

Let’s think it through

Where could it end? Nobody knows. Few publicly have thought it through. This article is to help start a discussion.

What appears possible, though, is that under an elected socialist government that is allowed to pursue its stated goals, the American people will find themselves living under a high-tech dictatorship, imposed slowly and often with their consent in the name of convenience.

The national security community naturally will go along with this progress of the progressives as the changes win public acceptance or acquiescence, and are lawfully enacted under legislation or case law.

We have seen how the leadership of the FBI has flagrantly politicized its power, with the only penalty being the firing of a few high-profile miscreants and some modest reshuffling. Where is this going to lead?

What Americans once knew as a government by the people and for the people, governing with the consent of the governed, might become a technosuperstate. By that point, “national security” will have morphed from nonpartisan, constitutional defense of the nation to a politicized machine of socialist enforcement.

National security will have become the antithesis of what it is today.

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