Cardoza on Civics: Understanding What's Going On In America and Why
Understanding the Relationship Between Politics and Economics
Politics: To have a society, people must live together. When people live together in relative harmony, it is called a “civilization.” For civilization to exist, it must be civil (or you have barbarism). Civility is based on mutual understandings and boundaries of well-being (“civil order”). “Order” (Civil Society) becomes a reality when compulsory expectations are expected OF everyone and enforced ON everyone—and this is what we call “Law.” The need for “Law” is what creates Politics. Politics is designed to establish order and preserve justice and equity. Government is the collective body or bodies that oversee the political system to ensure civilization.
Economics: When people live together in society, they can either live in a meager, primitive, and simple existence (usually agrarian or nomadic societies) OR they can seek to live in a more sophisticated society where the standard of living (options, choices, comforts, entertainment, etc.) is higher and comfort is increased. **Because increased comfort and a higher standard of living creates greater civil stability and well-being, governments seek to enable this higher standard of living in order to avoid chaos and the breakdown of civilization and government (anarchy). A higher standard of living is accomplished to a large degree through economics. Economics, therefore, is the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services that creates the opportunity for a higher standard of living just described. IN THESE WAYS, politics and economics are intertwined. And it is government that regulates economics THROUGH politics to help ensure people’s well-being and a higher standard of living in order to build the best society possible.
Understanding Economic Theory and Political Theory
So for government to exist, politics and economics must exist. But there’s not only “one way” to think about politics and economics. So different “political theories” (often called Political Science) and different “economic theories” exist. And it happens that, usually, certain political theories’ goals are best accomplished by corresponding economic theories because they are built on common ideals or goals.
That’s why—as a rule—that Representative Democracy (a “Republic” like the US) generally uses Free-Market Capitalism as its economic theory (since it values entrepreneurism as the way to help raise people’s standard of living). Capitalism places responsibility on individuals, as does Democracy. That’s because Democratic Government and Capitalism believes the individual should be motivated to take personal responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family and fellow man. And when each person with the ability does the same, that creates a surplus—which meets the needs of those who genuinely cannot help themselves. But those who refuse to work and do not take responsibility—even though they are able—are allowed to do without. Only those who genuinely need the help are able to get it in this type of society.
Socialism, on the other hand, de-emphasizes the responsibility of individuals and places that responsibility for the welfare of the individual on the government to produce that higher standard of living for the people. In this way, the government must provide money for the resources needed by the people. It does so by compelling people to provide the government with the money to do this—and government receives money through taxes. Those taxes are paid to the central government in order to hire people to maintain and oversee programs that provide for people. And in a Socialist government, as Karl Marx said, each person gives “according to his ability” and each person receives “according to his need.” WHAT THAT MEANS is that those “with more” are compelled to give more to people who need more—so that those who do not have all they want or need will have it.
In summary, Capitalists and Marxists disagree on HOW to maintain a civilization and provide for its peoples’ standard of living. And Democratic-Republic Governments disagree with Socialists on the way to build that society—through compelling people to give to the government so everyone will have ‘about the same’ OR through expecting people to take responsibility (if they are able) for themselves… or to do without.
That is why Democracy-Capitalism is about personal responsibility, low taxes, and small government. And that’s why Socialism-Marxism is about government responsibility, bigger government, and higher taxes. They are simply two ways of doing things.
These completely opposite approaches on the role of government, politics and economics are what is causing the radical disagreements in the United States right now. The question is “Do we create a ‘Nanny State’ where people are taken care of by the government, even though corruption, waste, and excessively spending tax-payers’ money occurs OR do we create a ‘Responsibility State’ where people who are able to do so are required to take care of themselves and the fruit of their labor takes care of those who cannot take care of themselves until they are able or indefinitely?”
The Fundamental Problem
The major problem that exists in our nation’s politics today is that Democrats are being driven by the extreme left wing of their political party—and that party (led by the U.S. President) is driven by hard left ideologues who are more SOCIALIST as I have described above. Prior to this time in history, Democrats and Republicans have disagreed “to a degree” but could compromise BECAUSE THEIR POSITIONS WERE RELATIVELY CLOSE TOGETHER. Now, because “Progressives” in the Democratic Party are more Socialist in their perspective, we have a culture war—and the MEANS and the ENDS are so radically opposite that there is no middle ground.
That is why this is such a fierce battle. And this entire discussion explains why I feel so deeply about these issues: Because the American way of life is being threatened by changes in these political and economic theories. And if America practices the political and economic theories of Socialism and Marxism, the outcome will be what it has been in EVERY other such civilization: decline and death of those civilizations.
Note: While America has flourished into the greatest civilization the world has ever known in only 200 years under Capitalism and a Republic, since Marxism/Socialism was introduced in the 1800s, no genuinely Marxist economy in history has survived more than 70 years (Soviet Union). But today’s Progressives want to ‘progress’ past Capitalism to a doomed system. There is on earth NO NATION under even a Socialist approach whose society is superior to the United States—and that is why I am so forceful in my opposition to it—because I do not want my children and their children to live in a society in decline or hardship after my sacrifice and the sacrifice of all Americans in the last 200 years.