Churchill Was Right

I recently watched a movie called “Into the Storm” which followed Sir Winston through the years before the war through the end of the war.  Towards the end of the movie, Churchill gave a speech on the radio about the perils of Socialism that I found very interesting.  Here is the text of the actual speech:

My friends, I must tell you that a Socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Although it is now put forward in the main by people who have a good grounding in the Liberalism and Radicalism of the early part of this century, there can be no doubt that Socialism is inseparably interwoven with Totalitarianism and the abject worship of the State. It is not alone that property, in all its forms, is struck at, but that liberty, in all its forms, is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of Socialism.

Look how even to-day they hunger for controls of every kind, as if these were delectable foods instead of war-time inflictions and monstrosities. There is to be one State to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. This State is to be the arch-employer, the arch-planner, the arch-administrator and ruler, and the archcaucus boss.

How is an ordinary citizen or subject of the King to stand up against this formidable machine, which, once it is in power, will prescribe for every one of them where they are to work; what they are to work at; where they may go and what they may say; what views they are to hold and within what limits they may express them; where their wives are to go to queue-up for the State ration; and what education their children are to receive to mould their views of human liberty and conduct in the future?

A Socialist State once thoroughly completed in all its details and its aspects – and that is what I am speaking of – could not afford to suffer opposition. Here in old England, in Great Britain, of which old England forms no inconspicuous part, in this glorious Island, the cradle and citadel of free democracy throughout the world, we do not like to be regimented and ordered about and have every action of our lives prescribed for us. In fact we punish criminals by sending them to Wormwood Scrubs and Dartmoor, where they get full employment, and whatever board and lodging is appointed by the Home Secretary.

Socialism is, in its essence, an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy, tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils. A Free Parliament – look at that – a Free Parliament is odious to the Socialist doctrinaire. Have we not heard Mr. Herbert Morrison descant upon his plans to curtail Parliamentary procedure and pass laws simply by resolutions of broad principle in the House of Commons, afterwards to be left by Parliament to the executive and to the bureaucrats to elaborate and enforce by departmental regulations? As for Sir Stafford Cripps on “Parliament in the Socialist State,” I have not time to read you what he said, but perhaps it will meet the public eye during the election campaign.

But I will go farther. I declare to you, from the bottom of my heart, that no Socialist system can be established without a political police. Many of those who are advocating Socialism or voting Socialist to-day will be horrified at this idea. That is because they are short-sighted, that is because they do not see where their theories are leading them.

No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance. And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of Civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil. And where would the ordinary simple folk – the common people, as they like to call them in America – where would they be, once this mighty organism had got them in its grip?

I stand for the sovereign freedom of the individual within the laws which freely elected Parliaments have freely passed. I stand for the rights of the ordinary man to say what he thinks of the Government of the day, however powerful, and to turn them out, neck and crop, if he thinks he can better his temper or his home thereby, and if he can persuade enough others to vote with him.

But, you will say, look at what has been done in the war. Have not many of those evils which you have depicted been the constant companions of our daily life? It is quite true that the horrors of war do not end with the fighting-line. They spread far away to the base and the homeland, and everywhere people give up their rights and liberties for the common cause. But this is because the life of their country is in mortal peril, or for the sake of the cause of freedom in some other land. They give them freely as a sacrifice. It is quite true that the conditions of Socialism play a great part in war-time. We all submit to being ordered about to save our country. But when the war is over and the imminent danger to our existence is removed, we cast off these shackles and burdens which we imposed upon ourselves in times of dire and mortal peril, and quit the gloomy caverns of war and march out into the breezy fields, where the sun is shining and where all may walk joyfully in its warm and golden rays.

Winston CHURCHILL, The First Conservative Election Broadcast, 4 June 1945. Quoted in CAPET, CHARLOT & HILL, p. 201-2

During the war, the US and Great Britain implemented government controls over many sectors of their respective economies as a war-time measure.  After the war, the US repealed most of those restrictions.  However, in England, the Left successfully convinced the British public to embrace these restrictions.  In 1951, Conservatives regained control of the government but did not undo the Welfare State Labor had established because the British had come to accept and demand government control of their lives.

In reading Sir Winston’s speech, I was struck with just how prescient his criticisms were.  And given the recent flap about Rush Limbaugh and the St. Louis Rams plus the President’s declaration of war against Fox News, I was particularly struck by Churchill’s statement::

“No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance. And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of Civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil. And where would the ordinary simple folk – the common people, as they like to call them in America – where would they be, once this mighty organism had got them in its grip?”

How else could we describe the efforts of the Left in this country to label any and all criticism as “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobic” and “domestic terrorism?”  The Hate Crimes legislation that recently passed establishes the category of “thought crimes” where people are punished for their politically incorrect opinions.  There are already ominous precedents for how the Left will wield this new law.  The Left gleefully crushed Carrie Prejean, Miss California, for honestly answering a question a leftist judge asked of her when he didn’t like what she had to say.  As mentioned earlier, Rush Limbaugh was libeled with false accusations of racism based upon fabricated quotes all because he had the unmitigated gall to want to invest some money in an NFL team.  And even after the quotations were identified as fabrications, members of the Left and their friends in the media simply stated, in effect, “well, we know Limbaugh has those thoughts so, they’re still true.”  Members of the Duke LaCross team were tried and convicted of raping a black woman before any trial was ever held by left-wing professors and a Democrat prosecutor who was up for re-election.  The accused players were white and from affluent families and the victim was black so, they were guilty, no evidence needed. And here to, when the players were exonerated of wrong doing, Leftists insisted that even though these particular young men didn’t actually do anything wrong, they were still guilty because of all the crimes whites and society have perpetrated on blacks over the years.  Is this not precisely what Winston Churchill was warning of in 1945?

Sir Winston also once said, The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” He is/was absolutely right.  Socialism does not seek to build up but to tear down.  Where there are poor, their solution is not to give the poor the tools and ability to improve their situation but to make the rich suffer for the crime of being successful.  It is, as Churchill said in his speech, a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy…”.  It denigrates the human soul by forcing it to accept it’s surroundings and the notion that only an exterior force can improve his or her life.

Consider this parallel as well:

a Free Parliament is odious to the Socialist doctrinaire. Have we not heard Mr. Herbert Morrison descant upon his plans to curtail Parliamentary procedure and pass laws simply by resolutions of broad principle in the House of Commons, afterwards to be left by Parliament to the executive and to the bureaucrats to elaborate and enforce by departmental regulations?

Democrats in Congress have hit upon the very same idea to pass healthcare legislation.  Max Baucus’s bill is an outline and nothing more.  Once passed, details of the legislation will be filled in. And how about his comment about “the abject worship of the State”?  Today, the Left doesn’t just worship the state but many have literally proclaimed Obama to be their “Messiah.”    This is not a change to a new, better path as Mr. Obama has claimed.  His idea of “hope and change” is the very same threat Mr. Churchill warned us of 64 years ago and if we do not stop it, it will be very difficult to remove from our nation’s character.

Churchill was right.

My friends, I must tell you that a Socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Although it is now put forward in the main by people who have a good grounding in the Liberalism and Radicalism of the early part of this century, there can be no doubt that Socialism is inseparably interwoven with Totalitarianism and the abject worship of the State. It is not alone that property, in all its forms, is struck at, but that liberty, in all its forms, is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of Socialism.

Look how even to-day they hunger for controls of every kind, as if these were delectable foods instead of war-time inflictions and monstrosities. There is to be one State to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. This State is to be the arch-employer, the arch-planner, the arch-administrator and ruler, and the archcaucus boss.

How is an ordinary citizen or subject of the King to stand up against this formidable machine, which, once it is in power, will prescribe for every one of them where they are to work; what they are to work at; where they may go and what they may say; what views they are to hold and within what limits they may express them; where their wives are to go to queue-up for the State ration; and what education their children are to receive to mould their views of human liberty and conduct in the future?

A Socialist State once thoroughly completed in all its details and its aspects – and that is what I am speaking of – could not afford to suffer opposition. Here in old England, in Great Britain, of which old England forms no inconspicuous part, in this glorious Island, the cradle and citadel of free democracy throughout the world, we do not like to be regimented and ordered about and have every action of our lives prescribed for us. In fact we punish criminals by sending them to Wormwood Scrubs and Dartmoor, where they get full employment, and whatever board and lodging is appointed by the Home Secretary.

Socialism is, in its essence, an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy, tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils. A Free Parliament – look at that – a Free Parliament is odious to the Socialist doctrinaire. Have we not heard Mr. Herbert Morrison descant upon his plans to curtail Parliamentary procedure and pass laws simply by resolutions of broad principle in the House of Commons, afterwards to be left by Parliament to the executive and to the bureaucrats to elaborate and enforce by departmental regulations? As for Sir Stafford Cripps on “Parliament in the Socialist State,” I have not time to read you what he said, but perhaps it will meet the public eye during the election campaign.

But I will go farther. I declare to you, from the bottom of my heart, that no Socialist system can be established without a political police. Many of those who are advocating Socialism or voting Socialist to-day will be horrified at this idea. That is because they are short-sighted, that is because they do not see where their theories are leading them.

No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance. And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of Civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil. And where would the ordinary simple folk – the common people, as they like to call them in America – where would they be, once this mighty organism had got them in its grip?

I stand for the sovereign freedom of the individual within the laws which freely elected Parliaments have freely passed. I stand for the rights of the ordinary man to say what he thinks of the Government of the day, however powerful, and to turn them out, neck and crop, if he thinks he can better his temper or his home thereby, and if he can persuade enough others to vote with him.

But, you will say, look at what has been done in the war. Have not many of those evils which you have depicted been the constant companions of our daily life? It is quite true that the horrors of war do not end with the fighting-line. They spread far away to the base and the homeland, and everywhere people give up their rights and liberties for the common cause. But this is because the life of their country is in mortal peril, or for the sake of the cause of freedom in some other land. They give them freely as a sacrifice. It is quite true that the conditions of Socialism play a great part in war-time. We all submit to being ordered about to save our country. But when the war is over and the imminent danger to our existence is removed, we cast off these shackles and burdens which we imposed upon ourselves in times of dire and mortal peril, and quit the gloomy caverns of war and march out into the breezy fields, where the sun is shining and where all may walk joyfully in its warm and golden rays.

Winston CHURCHILL, The First Conservative Election Broadcast, 4 June 1945. Quoted in CAPET, CHARLOT & HILL, p. 201-2

Tags: 1945, , Churchill, Citadel, Congress, Delectable Foods, Democrats, Free Democracy, Fundamental Conceptions, Government Takeover, Great Britain, Healthcare Reform, Human Liberty, Hunger, Inflictions, Liberalism, No Doubt, , , Old England, Perils, Radicalism, Ruler, Sir Winston, , Socialist State, , Totalitarianism, War Time, Winston Churchill

2 Responses to “Churchill Was Right”

  1. Paulee
    October 21, 2009 at 3:25 am #

    From Everyone according to their abilities, to everyone according to their needs…And here we are…In the midst of America like we have never known…What a miserable shame…Yes, Churchill was right!!! Thanks for reminding us how when you snooze , you lose…America this a major wake up call..God help US…..A!!!!!!

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