W. Cleon Skousen
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Willard Cleon Skousen (January 20, 1913 – January 9, 2006) was an American conservative author and faith-based political theorist.
The Naked Communist (1958)
- It is a terrible and awesome thing when a man sets out to create all other men in his own image. Such became the goal and all consuming ambition of Karl Marx. Not that he would have made each man equal to himself; in fact, it was quite the contrary. The image he hoped to construct was a great human colossus with Karl Marx as the brain and builder and all other men serving him as the ears and eyes, feet and hands, mouth and gullet. In other words, Marx surveyed the world and dreamed of the day when the whole body of humanity could be forced into a gigantic social image which conformed completely to Marx's dream of a perfect society.
- Homo-Marxian puzzles all those who try to work with him because he seems irrational and therefore unpredictable. In reality, however, the Marxist Man has reduced his thinking to the lowest common denominator of values taken from nature in the raw. He lives exclusively by the jungle law of selfish survival. In terms of these values he is rational almost to the point of mathematical precision. Through calm or crisis his responses are consistently elemental and therefore highly predictable. Because Homo-Marxian considers himself to be made entirely of the dust of the earth, he pretends to no other role. He denies himself the possibility of a soul and repudiates his capacity for immortality. He believes he had no creator and has no purpose or reason for existing except as an incidental accumulation of accidental forces in nature. Being without morals, he approaches all problems in a direct, uncomplicated manner. Self-preservation is given as the sole justification for his own behavior, and "selfish motives" or "stupidity" are his only explanations for the behavior of others. With Homo-Marxian the signing of fifty-three treaties and subsequent violation of fifty-one of them is not hypocrisy but strategy. The subordination of other men's minds to the obscuring of truth is not deceit but a necessary governmental tool. Marxist Man has convinced himself that nothing is evil which answers the call of expediency. He has released himself from all the confining restraints of honor and ethics which mankind has previously tried to use as a basis for harmonious human relations.
- Marxist Man could not have come upon the earth at a more illogical time. In an age when technological advances have finally made it feasible to adequately feed, clothe and house the entire human race, Marxist Man stands as a military threat to this peaceful achievement. His sense of insecurity drives him to demand exclusive control of human affairs in a day when nearly all other peoples would like to create a genuine United Nations dedicated to world peace and world-wide prosperity. Although man can travel faster than sound and potentially provide frequent, intimate contacts between all cultures and all peoples, Marxist Man insists on creating iron barriers behind which he can secretly work.
- From experience it has been observed that a newly converted Communist frequently acquires a feeling of omniscient superiority over his unconverted fellow men. He feels that at last the universe is laid out before him in a simple, comprehensible manner. If he has never wrestled with philosophical problems before he is likely to be overwhelmed by the infatuating possibility that through Dialectical Materialism man has finally solved all of the basic problems necessary to understand the universe. In this state of mind the student will often drop his attitude of critical inquiry. He will invite indoctrination in heavy doses because of his complete assurance that he has at last discovered Truth in its ultimate form.
- It is significant that Communist theory treats the proletariat as though it were a unique branch of the human race. The proletariat is assumed to be a special breed which would almost automatically blossom into pleasant, efficient social-economic living if it could just be liberated from oppressive government. The government is presumed to be nothing more than the tool of an oppressive class of capitalists and consequently, if the capitalist class were destroyed, the need for any kind of government would be obliterated. The Communist leaders have always felt confident that when the proletariat takes over it will not want to oppress anyone and therefore the need for government will be nonexistent.
- The first fallacy of Communism is its attempt to over-simplify history. Marx and Engels attempted to change history from a fluid stream, fed by human activities from millions of tributaries, into a fixed, undeviating, pre-determined course of progress which could be charted in the past and predicted for the future on the basis of a single, simple criterion - economics. Obviously economics have played a vital and powerful role in human history but so have climate, topography, access to oceans and inland waterways, mechanical inventions, scientific discoveries, national and racial affinities, filial affection, religion, desire for explanatory adventure, sentiments of loyalty, patriotism and a multitude of other factors.
- Communism further alleges that religion is not of divine origin but is simply a man-made tool used by the dominant class to suppress the exploited class. Marx and Engels described religion as the opiate of the people which is designed to lull them into humble submission and an acceptance of the prevailing mode of production which the dominant class desires to perpetuate. Any student of history would agree that there have been times in history when unscrupulous individuals and even misdirected religious organizations have abused the power of religion, just as all other institutions of society have been abused at various times. But it was not the abuse of religion which Marx and Engels deplored as much as the very existence of religion. They considered it a creation of the dominant class, a tool and a weapon in the hands of the oppressors. They pointed out the three-fold function of religion from their point of view: first, it teaches respect for property rights; second, it teaches the poor their duties towards the property and prerogatives of the ruling class; and third, it instills a spirit of acquiescence among the exploited poor so as to destroy their revolutionary spirit. The fallacy of these allegations is obvious to any student of Judaic-Christian teachings. The Biblical teaching of respect for property applies to rich and poor alike; it admonishes the rich to give the laborer his proper wages and to share their riches with the needy.
- As to the allegation of the Communist that religion makes men passive, we have only to observe that the dynamic power of religious convictions is precisely what prevents a soundly religious person from accepting Communist oppression and Communist mandates. A person practicing the teachings of the Judaic-Christian philosophy will not lie or steal on command. He will not shed innocent blood. He will not participate in the diabolical Communist practice of genocide - the systematic extermination of entire nations or classes. It is clearly evident from the numerous Communist writings that what they fear in religion is not that it makes religious people passive to the dominant class but that it prevents them from becoming passive to Communist discipline. Deep spiritual convictions stand like a wall of resistance to challenge the teachings and practices of Communism. Furthermore, the Communist sees in the dynamic ideology of Judaic-Christian teachings a force for peace which cuts through the vitals of Communism's campaign for world-wide revolution.
- Communist writers likewise maintain that the Judaic-Christian code of ethics is "class" morality. By this they mean that the Ten Commandments and the ethics of Christianity were created to protect private property and the property class. To show the lengths to which Communist writers have gone to defend this view we will mention several of their favorite interpretations of the Ten Commandments. They believe that "Honor thy Father and thy Mother" was created by the early Hebrews to emphasize to their children the fact that they were the private property of their parents. "Thou shalt not kill" was attributed to the belief of the dominant class that their bodies were private property and therefore they should be protected along with other property rights. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife" were said to have been created to implement the idea that a husband was the master of the home and the wife was strictly private property belonging to him. This last line of reasoning led to some catastrophic consequences when the Communists came into power in Russia. In their anxiety to make women "equal with men" and prevent them from becoming private property, they degraded womankind to the lowest and most primitive level. Some Communist leaders advocated complete libertinism and promiscuity to replace marriage and the family.
- Communist morals follow a simple formula. Anything which Promotes the communist cause is good; anything which hinders it is bad. Upon examination, that philosophy turns out to be a code of opportunism and expediency, or a code of no morals at all. Anyone who does not conform to the dictates of the Party as to what is good for Communism and what is not, is subjected to the most severe penalties under Articles 131 and 133 of the Soviet Constitution. Thus, the perfect example of "class" morality, which the Marxists attribute to the Judaic-Christian code, is to be found right in the Communist plan of action itself.
- Today, in the highly-developed capitalistic nation of the United States, the only people who could be classed as proletariat under Marx's definition would be those who own no land, have no savings deposits, no social security, no retirement benefits, no life insurance, no corporate securities and no government bonds, for all these represent the ownership of productive wealth or of money, funds over and beyond the immediate needs of consumption. Such a class of propertyless proletariat does exist in the United States just as there has been one in all nations and in all ages, but the significant thing is that the proletariat in the United States is such a small minority that Marx would scarcely want to claim it. Under American capitalism wealth has been more widely distributed among the people than in any large nation in secular history. This has reduced the property-less class which Marx had in mind to little more than a fringe of the population.
- It was ironical that Communism (at least the Dictatorship of the proletariat) should first come to Russia - a nation which in economic matters was one of the least developed among all the countries in Europe. Furthermore, Communism came as a coup in Russia, not through any class struggle on the part of the workers. It came through the conspiratorial intrigue of V.I. Lenin, who was encouraged by the German High Command to go into Russia during the closing months of World War I and use a small, hard core of revolutionaries to seize the provisional government which had but recently forced the Tzar to abdicate and was at the moment representing the working class, as much as anyone else, in setting up a democratic constitution. Communism therefore did not come to Russia as the natural outcome of class struggle but like any other dictatorship - by the military might of a small minority.
- This proposed monopoly of political and economic power [in the form of the Dictatorship of the proletariat] was designed to do many things for the good of humanity, but experience has proven them to be false dreams. For example, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat was designed to spread the enjoyment of wealth among the people by abolishing private property and putting all means of production in the hands of the government. Why did they want to do this? They said it was to prevent all property and wealth from falling into the hands of private capitalists. But what happened when the Communists attempted to do this in Russia? It destroyed what little division of wealth there was and sent the economy hurtling back in the direction of feudalism - an economic system under which a few privileged persons dispense the necessities of life by arbitrary determination while at the same time dictating the way in which all important phases of life shall be lived by the citizens.
- The Communist dream of a great new "one world" of the future is based on the belief that a regime of violence and coercion under the Dictatorship of the Proletariat would permit the establishment of a society which would produce a new order of men who would acquire the habit of observing what Lenin called the "simple fundamental rules of every-day social life in common." The fallacy of this hope lies in Communism's perverted interpretation of human behavior. It assumes, on the basis of Dialectical Materialism, that if you change things outside of a man this automatically compels a change on the inside of the man. The inter-relation between environment on the outside and the internal make-up of man is not to be disputed, but environment only conditions man, it does not change his very nature. For example, just as men will always laugh, eat, propagate, gravitate into groups and explore the unknown, so likewise they will always enjoy the pleasure of possessing things (which alone gives pleasure to sharing); they will always possess the desire for individual expression or self-determination, the ambition to improve their circumstances and the motive to excel above others. These qualities are inherent in each generation and cannot be legislated away nor ignored.
- The Communist leaders seem to have misunderstood the universal lesson of life that man's greatest enemy is inertia and that the mainspring of action to combat inertia is not force but the opportunity for self- improvement. Marx and Engels insisted that such an attitude is selfish and "non-social," but the plain fact is that a worker finds it difficult to work harder in order to fill the stomachs of "society" when the fruits of his labor do not first take care of himself and his family.
- While pretending to liberate mankind from the alleged oppression of capitalism Marxist Man has defied the warm, white light of Twentieth Century civilization to introduce slavery on a scale unprecedented in the history of the race. While claiming to foster the "rights of the common man" the Marxist has butchered his fellow citizens from Kulaks to aristocrats in numbers that baffle rational comprehension. And while describing himself as the epitome of the best in nature - the creature of science, the supreme intelligence of the universe -Homo-Marxian has exploited his cunning to compound crimes which scarcely would be duplicated by the most predatory tribes of pre-historic times.
- The people of the United States came out of the Korean War sadder and wiser than when they went in. Authorities have stated that two things happened in the Korean War which may yet brand it as the greatest blunder the Communist strategists ever made. First, it awakened the United States to the necessity of vigorously rearming and staying armed so long as the Communist threat exists. Second, it demonstrated to the people of the United States the inherent weaknesses of the United Nations.
- Everything Lumumba would have done in the Congo, Castro actually accomplished in Cuba: drumhead justice, mass executions, confiscation of industry, collectivization of the land, suspension of civil rights, suspension of democratic processes, alliances with the Iron Curtain. All these became the trade marks of the Castro regime.
- The Communists have created the illusion in free men's minds that "the way to peace is through disarmament." We must not forget that this originated as a Communist slogan. Now free men have adopted it as their own and are even setting up special commissions to explore ways and means to carry it out. In this action we are deliberately closing our eyes to everything we promised ourselves at the close of World War II and again at the end of the Korean War. Experts tell us that to disarm in the face of an obvious and present danger is an immoral act. It is an act of self-destruction.
- The real alternative to co-EXistence is co-REsistance. Experts in the field have been saying for years that Communism does not have to be tolerated. It has no moral, economic or political excuse for existing. Furthermore, it is extremely vulnerable to many types of peaceful pressures which free men have not yet used. We will discuss these in a later section. At this point it is important simply to emphasize that Communism can be beaten - and it can be done without atomic war. Therefore the whole basis for arguing coexistence collapses. Coexistence is a contradiction of terms because it means trying to coexist with world conquest, which is impossible. One must resist or be conquered. It also means accepting the status quo of one-third of the human race in bondage as a permanent working arrangement. It means accepting Communism in spite of its deceit, subversion and broken covenants. It means tolerating Communism without resistance.
- What then can be done with Red aggression, with its worldwide program of insurrection, riots, civil war and conquest? And what should be done with the U.N.? Because the United States is the most wealthy and powerful nation in the world, she is expected to provide an answer. And because practically every other imaginable suggestion has been presented, it is time to come up with the simple, direct answer which we should have adopted long ago: "Turn back to the original intent of the Charter. Restrict U.N. membership to peace-loving nations".
- Political groups solve their problems by entering into negotiations, attending conferences, and working out their differences with bona fide compromises which all parties are expected to perform. This has never worked with the Communists because they use deceit, disregard of laws, violation of treaties, intimidation, subversion and open insurrection as basic tools of conquest. This makes it a criminal conspiracy.
- Probably the greatest single weakness of the Sino-Soviet bloc is her shaky economy. Here is a soft spot where peaceful pressures could be devastating. No amount of Soviet propaganda can cover up the obvious collapse of the Chinese communes and the sluggish inefficiency of the Soviet collectivized farms. Every single Soviet satellite is languishing in a depression. Even Pravda has openly criticized the lack of bare essentials and the shoddy quality of Russian-made goods. These factors of austerity and deprivation add to the hatred and misery of the people which constantly feed the flames of potential revolt. Terrorist tactics have been used by the Red leaders to suppress uprisings. In spite of the virtual "state of siege" which exists throughout the Soviet empire, there are many outbreaks of violent protest. All of this explains why the Soviet leaders are constantly pleading for "free trade," "long-term loans," "increased availability of material goods from the West." Economically, Communism is collapsing but the West has not had the good sense to exploit it. Instead, the United States, Great Britain and 37 other Western powers are shipping vast quantities of goods to the Sino-Soviet bloc. Some business leaders have had the temerity to suggest that trade with the Reds helps the cause of peace. They suggest that "you never fight the people you trade with." Apparently they cannot even remember as far back as the late Thirties when this exact type of thinking resulted in the sale of scrap iron and oil to the Japanese just before World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor it became tragically clear that while trade with friends may promote peace, trade with a threatening enemy is an act of self-destruction. Have we forgotten that fatal lesson so soon?
- The war between freedom and slavery is not just a fight to be waged by Congressmen, the President, soldiers and diplomats. Fighting Communism, Socialism and the subversion of constitutional government is everybody's job. And working for the expansion of freedom is everybody's job. It is a basic American principle that each individual knows better than anyone else what he can do to help once he has become informed. No citizen will have to go far from his own home to find a faltering battle line which needs his aid. Communist influences are gnawing away everywhere and thousands of confused citizens often aid and abet them by operating in a vacuum of their own ignorance. The task is therefore to become informed and then move out for action!
- Stay close to your children to make sure they are being trained to think like Washington and Lincoln, not like Marx and Lenin.
- In providing physical needs for your family, don't forget their spiritual needs. We are in an ideological war. From a Marxist viewpoint an atheistic mind is already three-fourths conquered.
- Take your children to church, don't send them. Be sure they are getting true religious values, not modernistic debunking.
- Help your children grow up. Don't fall for the current Socialist-Communist line that parents are a detriment to their children. They are only a detriment when they don't do their job.
- Children require a formula of 90% love and discipline.
- Do not fall for the "permissive" school of psychology which says discipline will harm human development. Such thinking produces hoodlums with maladjusted personalities who are likely to fall for every "ism" that comes along. A child needs to know that he lives in an orderly world. Discipline is part of it- not extreme harshness but a reasonable and consistent enforcement of the rules.
- Where you have older children, make current events part of the dinner table talk. Be quick to point out left-wing slanting of news, TV or radio broadcasts. There is far more of this slanting than most people realize.
- Beware of those who come pretending to help education when they are trying to seize control of education. Socialist and Communist planners have ambitions to eliminate all local control - which means the teachers themselves would lose control.
- Watch for slanted passages in text books. Socialist authors have invaded the textbook field. So have some with even more radical views.
- Don't be misled by the current atheistic drive to take God out of the classroom. "Separation of church and state" was to keep creeds out of the curriculum, but not God. It would be as unconstitutional to teach irreligion in the classroom as it would be to emphasize some particular religion. As teachers we are not to teach a particular faith, but parents are within their rights when they insist that the classroom is not be used by those few teachers who seek to destroy faith. Teachers who believe that teaching atheism is a necessary part of a good education are not really qualified to teach in a Judaic-Christian culture. They are entitled to be atheists but, as public employees, they are not entitled to teach it. If they do, they are violating an important constitutional principle.
- When you run across dedicated Socialists, remember that the only difference between a Socialist and a Communist is in the method of takeover. The desire to seize monolithic control of society is the same in both. Sometimes people forget that USSR stands for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Some people count Socialism "good" and Communism "bad." In reality the two are twins.
- Resist the radical element on campus who advocates "mass action" and violent demonstrations. These are usually the tools of Communist agitators. They get students to demonstrate, and this usually provokes a fight. When the police try to restore order, the Communists slip away in an effort to let the students take the blame. When Communist agitators got the students to wreck the Congressional hearings at San Francisco during May of 1960, the judge decided to release them because he felt the students could already see how they had been duped into fronting for professional anti-Americans.
- In fulfilling the task of exposing crime, corruption and inefficiency in the American culture, be careful not to destroy confidence in American institutions. Because the negative forces in our society are more likely to be "news" than the positive accomplishments, it is easy to over-emphasize the negative side and provide extremely damaging propaganda to the enemy.
- The churches became a major target for Communist-Socialist infiltration many years ago. These people were successful in capturing many key positions in a number of important religious organizations. Some religious leaders openly advocate and defend Communist principles. They are apologists for the Soviet Union and even advocate capitulation under threat of atomic war.
- Be alert to detect those who use "Social Christianity" to cover up the fact that they are not Christians at all.
- Watch for those who would use the principles of peace, brotherhood, tolerance, and Christian charity to obscure the conspiratorial aspects of Communist "peace." The peace of Communism partakes of the prison and the grave. Remind professional pacifists who have accepted the paralyzing peace propaganda of the Communists that the same Jesus who taught "love thy enemy" never advocated surrendering to him. The same Jesus who said, "Turn the other cheek" to avoid quarreling and bickering in the ordinary course of life, also said to take a sword to preserve life.— The Jesus of Nazareth who cleansed the temple was demonstrating that Right deserves to be defended.
- Because of the counseling which ministers do, there are strenuous efforts to make inroads into the ministry. Be alert to the drive by certain analytical psychiatrists to have ministers accept their amoral philosophy. They opine those feelings of guilt and a sense of right and wrong cause mental illnesses. This entire concept is being discredited. There is far more mental health in the Judaic-Christian concept of resisting temptation and overcoming mistakes than ever emanated from the Freudian couch.
- Be careful to read books before you recommend them. Recently some church groups have been induced to recommend books which turned out to be filled with obscenity. This is an important part of the Socialist-Communist campaign to discredit religious culture. What technique could better serve their purpose than to have the churches themselves sponsor degenerate literature!
- With every citizen watching for an opportunity to strike a blow for freedom, the force of Communism can be halted, smothered, and then eliminated. This is our task. Without our tolerance and help the Communist empire would never have become the second strongest power in the earth. Now we have the job of dismantling it.
So you want to raise a boy? (1962)
- Every boy should know that masturbation may be the first step to homosexuality.
- Studies of American boys who were captured in Korea showed that we had raised a soft, pampered generation. Many were easily discouraged and easily brain-washed.
Preface to Rock 'N' Reality: Mirrors of Rock Music--Its Relationship to Sex, Drugs, Family and Religion (1971)
- We've combined youth, music, sex, drugs, and rebellion with treason!
- Americans are well aware that there has been a revolution. In morals. In manners. In speech. In crime rates. In riots. In violence. In drugs. In sex. In pornography. In politics. In movies. In education. In music. What most of us failed to realize at the moment was how important the music revolution would become. It turned out to be the catalyst for all the rest. It became the prod to promote drugs, the advertiser of sex in the hedonism manner, the mind-conditioner for four-letter gutter speech, and eventually the blatant propaganda funnel for political subversion. It also became the seductive Jezebel for a modern philosophy of no God, of Man as merely a graduate beast of the jungle, of Jesus Christ as a phoney actor--a superstar, of peace and prosperity being possible only under communism, of America as the enemy of the world, of Russia as the hope of the world.
The 5,000 Year Leap (1981)
- Measuring people and issues in terms of political parties has turned out to be philosophically fallacious if not totally misleading. This is because the platforms or positions of political parties are often superficial and structured on shifting sand. The platform of a political party of one generation can hardly be recognized by the next. Furthermore, Communism and Fascism turned out to be different names for approximately the same thing ~ the police state. They are not opposite extremes but, for all practical purposes, are virtually identical.
- Since the genius of the American system is maintaining the eagle in the balanced center of the spectrum, the Founders warned against a number of temptations which might lure subsequent generations to abandon their freedoms and their rights by subjecting themselves to a strong federal administration operating on the collectivist Left. They warned against the "welfare state" where the government endeavors to take care of everyone from the cradle to the grave.
- Virtue has to be earned and it has to be learned. Neither is virtue a permanent quality in human nature. It has to be cultivated continually and exercised from hour to hour and from day to day. The Founders looked to the home, the school, and the churches to fuel the fires of virtue from generation to generation.
- Americans of the twentieth century often fail to realize the supreme importance which the Founding Fathers originally attached to the role of religion in the structure of the unique civilization which they hoped would emerge as the first free people in modern times. Many Americans also fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own day as it was in theirs.
- The Founders considered the whole foundation of a just society to be structured on the basis of God's revealed law. These laws constituted a moral code clearly distinguishing right from wrong. This concept was not new with the Founders. This was the entire foundation of all religious cultures world-wide.
- The Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that some truths are self-evident, and one of these is the fact that all men are created equal. Yet everyone knows that no two human beings are exactly alike in any respect. They are different when they are born. They plainly exhibit different natural skills. They acquire different tastes. They develop along different lines. They vary in physical strength, mental capacity, emotional stability, inherited social status, in their opportunities for self-fulfillment, and in scores of other ways. Then how can they be equal? The answer is, they can't, except in three ways. They can only be treated as equals in the sight of God, in the sight of the law, and in the protection of their rights. In these three ways all men are created equal. It is the task of society, as it is with God, to accept people in all their vast array of individual differences, but treat them as equals when it comes to their role as human beings. As members of society, all persons should have their equality guaranteed in two areas.
- ... of all the minorities in America, the blacks have undertaken assimilation as first-class citizens under the greatest number of handicaps. Many early political leaders of the United States, including Abraham Lincoln, were fearful the blacks might never achieve complete adjustment because of the slavery culture in which the first few generations were raised. Nevertheless, freedom and education brought a whole new horizon of hope to the blacks within three generations. Tens of thousands of them hurdled the culture gap, and soon the blacks in other countries saw their ethnic cousins in the United States enjoying a higher standard of living than blacks in any part of the world. In fact, by 1970 a black high school student in Alabama or Mississippi had a better opportunity to get a college education than a white student in England.
- suppose the kind-hearted man decided to ask the mayor and city council to force the man with two cars to give one to his pedestrian neighbor. Does that make it any more legitimate? Obviously, this makes it even worse because if the mayor and city council do it in the name of the law, the man who has lost his car has not only lost the rights to his property, but (since it is the "law") he has lost all right to appeal for help in protecting his property. The American Founders recognized that the moment the government is authorized to start leveling the material possessions of the rich in order to have an "equal distribution of goods," the government thereafter has the power to deprive any of the people of their "equal" rights to enjoy their lives, liberties, and property.
- No Constitutional authority exists for the federal government to participate in charity or welfare.
- In some states, the victims of criminal activities may apply to the state for damages. This most unfortunate policy is a counter-productive procedure which encourages crime rather than deters it. It encourages a bandit to say to his victim, "Don't worry, mister. You'll get it all back from the state."
- And that is what the Constitution is all about -- providing freedom from abuse by those in authority. Anyone who says the American Constitution is obsolete just because social and economic conditions have changed does not understand the real genius of the Constitution. It was designed to control something which has not changed and will not change - namely, human nature.
- If it corrupts a society for the government to take care of the poor by violating the principle of property rights, who will take care of the poor? The answer of those who built America seems to be: "Anybody but the federal government."
- Political power automatically gravitates toward the center, and the purpose of the Constitution is to prevent that from happening. The centralization of political power always destroys liberty by removing the decision-making function from the people on the local level and transferring it to the officers of the central government. This process gradually benumbs the spirit of "voluntarism" among the people, and they lose the will to solve their own problems. They also cease to be involved in community affairs. They seek the anonymity of oblivion in the seething crowds of the city and often degenerate into faceless automatons who have neither a voice nor a vote.
The Making of America (1986)
- The tendency was to sell families as units, if for no other reason [than] to keep the slaves contented. The gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains. At the other extreme, when the Central of Georgia railroad company in 1858 equipped a Negro sleeping car to assist in the slave trade it set a standard not always maintained in a later generation. When on the block, the slave was as likely to hinder as to help in his sale. Some, out of a vain conceit in bringing a high price, would boast of their physical prowess, in which case an unwary purchaser would likely be cheated. Others would malinger, because of a grudge against owners or traders or in order to bring a low price and be put at less tiring labor. Dealers, also, adopted the tricks of horse traders to make their merchants more attractive -- the greasiest Negro was generally considered the healthiest.
- Negro weddings were attended by white people who joined in the celebration. If the marriages were of a rather impermanent nature, that fact was frequently considered as 'one of the blessings of slavery.' At church and camp meetings the Negroes, in their own section of the building or tabernacle, enjoyed the experiences immensely. They could shout without restraint, while the masters, in order to preserve their dignity, had to repress their emotions. It made little difference if religion was thrown off soon after the camp meeting dissolved -- backsliding was pleasant, and there was always a chance to get intoxicatingly converted again.
- The free Negro had rather more opportunity for economic advancement in the South than in the North. The Southerner was bothered by the race problem but knew how to handle the individual Negro, while the Northerner professed a benign interest in the race so long as its members were as remote as possible. Neither section was willing to grant equal rights in education, suffrage, or legal standing, while many states of all sections had laws prohibiting the immigration of free Negroes. Abraham Lincoln could not have maintained his standing in the Republican party had he not been a staunch supporter of the Illinois exclusion law and a firm opponent of political and social equality. It was most difficult for a Negro to get a job in the North, except at the most loathsome of tasks. Some Negroes, having been freed and sent to any Northern state which would receive them, became so miserable as to solicit a return to slavery.
- The worst offenses of slaves against the white men's code were rebellion and running away. Drunkenness, stealing, hiding out from work, personal filthiness, carelessness of property, fighting, and general brutality had various positions in the scale of misdemeanors. Negro preachers often bred discontent by their unnecessary restraint upon pleasure, and, if itinerants, had to be watched closely for abolitionist or seditious doctrines.
- The constant fear of slave rebellion made life in the South a nightmare, especially in regions where conspiracies were of frequent occurrence. The extermination of white civilization in Santo Domingo was followed in the nineteenth century by several other bloody outbursts in the West Indies, which never failed to cause ominous forebodings in America.
- In the management of slave labor the gang system predominated. The great majority of owners, having at the most only one or two families of Negroes, had to work alongside their slaves and set the pace for them. Slavery did not make white labor unrespectable, but merely inefficient. The slave had a deliberateness of motion which no amount of supervision could quicken. If the owner got ahead of the gang they all would shirk behind his back.
- Slave food, even if monotonous, was plentiful. Corn bread and bacon were the mainstays, with plenty of fruit and vegetables in season. In hog-killing time, countenances were unusually greasy. Clothing also was on the par with that of the poorer white people and no less adequate in proportion to the climate than that of Northern laborers. If [negro children] ran naked it was generally from choice, and when the white boys had to put on shoes and go away to school they were likely to envy the freedom of their colored playmates. The color line began to appear at about that time.
- Excessive toil occurred only where the masters or overseers were feeble witted as well as brutal. A persistent rumor among abolitionists was that sugar planters followed a policy of working slaves to death in seven years as a matter of economy. The persons spreading such reports were as ignorant of Negro nature as they were of conditions in the sugar mills. Furthermore, they overrated the ability of the masters to know how to kill a slave in the given time instead of leaving him a broken-down burden to the plantation. When they set out to prove the accusation they returned with no evidence, but convinced that the practice existed in some obscure region which they had not succeeded in ferreting out. Harriet Martineau, after watching slaves go through the motions of work without tiring themselves, considered the planters as models of patience and observed that new slave owners from Europe or the North were prone to be the most severe. Numerous observers, of various shades of opinion on slavery, agreed that brutality was no more common in the black belt than among free labor elsewhere, and that the slave owners were the worst victims of the system.
Quotes about Skousen
- Skousen never worked in [the domestic intelligence division] and he never had significant exposure to data concerning communist matters.
- Ernie Lazar, as quoted by Alexander Zaitchik, "Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life", Salon (September 16, 2009)
- Skousen conducted his office as Chief of Police in exactly the same manner in which the Communists operate their government... The man is a master of half-truths. In at least three instances I have proven him to be a liar. He is a very dangerous man [and] one of the greatest spenders of public funds of anyone who ever served in any capacity in Salt Lake City government.
- J. Bracken Lee, as quoted by Alexander Zaitchik, "Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life", Salon (September 16, 2009)
- W. Cleon Skousen was not a historian so much as a player in the history of the American far right; less a scholar of the republic than a threat to it.
- Alexander Zaitchik, "Meet the man who changed Glenn Beck’s life", Salon (September 16, 2009)
- His political position seems to me to be perilously close to the "exclusive uniformity" which I see in Nazism and in the Radical Right in this country. In fact, his position has echoes of the original Nazi 25 point program.
- Luois C. Midgley, "Roundtable Review: The Naked Capitalist", Dialogue: The Journal of Mormon Thought 6, no. 3 (Autumn/Winter 1971) 99-116
- Wherever Skousen and his disciples are able to spread their cult we see hostile camps, disunity in the Church and loss of conviction in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Luois C. Midgley, "Roundtable Review: The Naked Capitalist", Dialogue: The Journal of Mormon Thought 6, no. 3 (Autumn/Winter 1971) 99-116