Two Very Different May Days - Random Reasonings

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Two Very Different May Days

May 1st, or May Day, traditionally is celebrated to welcome the flowering season. That celebration originated from European pagan traditions and today towns throughout Europe and here in the U.S. continue to celebrate May Day with dancing around the Maypole, colorful clothing, music, arts, food and revelry. It’s a fun, festive occasion.

There is a very different May Day, however, that originated in the U.S.

On May 1, 1886, workers nationwide led by the National Federation of Labor, supported by anarchists, and socialists, went on strike demanding the 8-hour work day. At that time it was common for factories in the growing industrial age to have workers on 16-hour shifts, six days a week – a grueling 96 hour work week.

Working conditions were brutal. And the great divide between workers and owners was getting bigger. Owners were acquiring immense wealth while keeping worker’s wages low and working conditions unbearable.

The strike lasted three days before it became violent in Haymarket Square in Chicago when strikers clashed with police in what is now called the Haymarket Affair.

European workers united with the American workers and in 1889 May 1, with support of workers through an international federation of socialist groups and trade unions, became International Labor Day, formed in opposition to capitalism.

By the 1930s there was yet another May Day celebration, but this one was only in Russia. Parades were held in Red Square to honor workers’ contributions and to display military hardware and weapons celebrating Russia’s power and the success of communism.

In the 1930s in America, because of the great depression, the tenets of communism were attractive to those struggling for food and survival. Membership in the Communist party grew by 300%.

FDR’s programs, the New Deal and WPA, combined the ideals of socialism in a way that borrowed from capitalism to provide jobs for people.

FDR’s  programs employed about 3.3 million people during the depression. But most of the jobs were labor intensive – building highways, and infrastructure, which often took men away from their families. They were not very popular jobs. By contrast, it was the Free Enterprise System that actually provided productive livable wages and jobs, with 38,170,000 employed in the private sector during the depression.

WWII changed everything. Jobs became plentiful, with good wages, as factories turned out military products much needed in Europe. The flirtation with communism and socialism in the U.S had done a full reversal … so much that it spawned the political witch hunts to rout out communists in the 1950s.

Before long we were in a Cold War with Communist Russia, and by the 1960s children were being taught to duck and tuck at their schools in the event of a Russian nuclear attack. Communism was the enemy and communists were feared.

The younger generations of today, those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, are unfamiliar with those times, and to them the ideals of socialism sound pretty good. Especially in the way our current government is presenting them. Let the government provide for you. Let government programs give you what you need.

But to do that the government takes money from people who are working, responsible, and productive. Government doesn’t generate money, it gets its funding from its citizens. And citizens who are takers, but not givers, are the ones who reap rewards under socialist programs. And it’s more than just money the government takes – they take power to mandate things you must do – they take control of your life. 

Which brings me back to communism and socialism.

In September of 1959 Russia’s Premiere Nikita Khrushchev publicly delivered his plan for how he would slowly convert the free enterprise system in the USA to a communist/socialist system the American people would accept and embrace.

It’s a plan that has been slowly put into place over the past six decades and continues today. His plan identified eight levels of government control, which are:

1. Take control of healthcare and you control the people. That began here in 1965 when Title XIX of the Social Security Act introduced Medicare and Medicaid. Now every adult at the age of 65 MUST sign up for Medicare, the government’s health care program. In 2009 the passing of Obamacare expanded government control of healthcare including those younger than 65.

2. Increase the poverty level as much as possible. The socialist philosophy is that poor people are more easy to control and will not fight back if you provide things for them. So that’s what our government has been doing. Government entitlement programs have increased 60% over the past 10 years.

3. Increase debt to an unsustainable level. Our debt ceiling is the highest it has ever been, $31.2 trillion and the government wants to raise it again. The burden of the national debt is now $94,000 per person, up from $85,552 in 2021. The debt ceiling has been raised 78 times since 1960 yet during those decades the government hasn’t done anything to solve our fiscal problems.

4. Remove guns from people so they cannot defend themselves. The Gun issue has been a volatile one for decades and now, with the escalating gun violence in our country, getting citizens to support removing guns from law-abiding gun owners is a topic that may get some legs.

5. Provide great welfare programs for food, housing and income. Government dependence is actually the #1 tenet of socialism.  Latest statistics show 59 million Americans live on government programs, which is about 20% of our population.

6. Take control of education. Government control of education started during the Carter Administration when the Department of Education was established. National programs were implemented that mandated schools to meet specific criteria in order to get their government funding. President George W. Bush hugely accelerated this with the No Child Left Behind Act. The educational policies of the Trump and Biden Administrations during Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021 ultimately produced the worst educational statistics in decades proving that government should not be in charge of education.

7. Remove the belief of God from government and schools. Perhaps no other issue is as front and center today as the conflicts between far right and far left ideology. It is important to understand that our constitution gives each citizen the right to practice whatever faith they choose. It does not give anyone the right, however, to impose their religious beliefs on another.

8. Establish class warfare. Divide people into wealthy and poor. Eliminate the middle class. Whenthe government causeseconomic discontent and conflict it gets people to fight each other at the ballot box as well as through ongoing social causes. Politicians have mastered this and the media perpetuates it every day. The poor want more money taken from the rich and redistributed to them. But the super rich, the top 5%, are in cahoots with the government and it is actually the upper middle class and middle class who take the hit.

As we move into the 2024 election season, with debates to start later this year, it is wise to remember Khruschev’s prediction from so long ago of the eight things to do to convert the USA to communism. All of his eight ways to turn the USA to communism are being done today. They’ve already dictated what kind of cars you can purchase in the future.

Listen to what politicians are proposing. How much money are they really planning to take from you and how much control over your life will they have with the programs they want to pass?

What will their programs mean for our younger generations?

Will those generations have opportunities? Will they have the chance at a quality life or will life choices be made for them by the government? Will they have the freedom to pursue their goals and dreams? We can’t let those things be taken away from them.

“America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good but by the productive genius of free men.”

Ayn Rand

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