Niceties Aside, It’s an Authoritarian Police State

May 20, 2019

by Rob Roper

In a recent commentary featured on Vermont Digger, Steering Clear of the Shoals of Socialism, David Moats urges his fellow leftists to avoid the negative stereotypes of the socialist label by calling their ideology, of all things, “Democratic Capitalism.” Yeah, nice try!

He says, “One way for Democrats to protect themselves from the deeply ingrained American fear of socialism is not to get hung up on labels. For one thing, they need not call themselves socialists at all, democratic or otherwise. No one, not even Sanders, is proposing to resurrect the old socialist platform — no one wants to nationalize the banks or seize the means of production.”

I posted a comment on this to the Digger site that was rejected. (I asked for an explanation as to why because it breaks none of their supposed rules of etiquette or engagement. After I pointed this out, I was told they don’t have time to explain every rejected comment. Read into that what you will!) So, here it is as originally presented for your consideration:

Allan Murray, CEO of Fortune, described this socialism well. “In addition to ‘clean and renewable energy,’ it calls for jobs for everyone, living wages, parental leave, racial and gender justice, health care for all, strengthened labor law, vastly increased infrastructure investment, justice for indigenous people, a radical rethinking of monetary policy, and a new approach to antitrust policy. In other words, it reaches deeply into every corner of the economy…. The semanticists can debate whether that is or isn’t the same as ‘controlling the means of production.’” Capitalism allows that each of us is free to invest our own capital, even if the only capital one has is one’s own labor, as we see fit. That is freedom. Sanders et al seek the power (the authority) to decide for others how they should/shouldn’t invest their capital and to enforce those decisions via government force (e.g. police). Any way you cut it the pig Moats is trying to put lipstick on is an authoritarian police state.

Maybe the editorial staff at Digger can’t handle that truth, but truth it is. Sanders, Moats, and their considerable ilk want the authority to tell us that we must buy health insurance and what kind of insurance it must be. They want to tell us what kind of electricity to buy and what kind of car to drive – or no car at all. Take mass transit! They want to tell us where our kids must go to school and what they must learn while they’re in there. They want to tell us where to live (in urban centers) and where not to live (out in the country). They want to tell us what we can and cannot do with our property no matter where we live. They want to control every aspect of our lives down to the minutia of refusing to let us use a plastic straw. And, of course, they want us to obey when they tell us all this stuff, or else.

Seriously, folks, if the state has to power to make a decision as small as “paper or plastic” for you and can engage law enforcement personnel and resources to enforce that decision, what power does it not have? This is not limited government, it is limitless government. What freedom do you have?

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Bradford Broyles May 20, 2019 at 8:11 pm

Way to refute the “socialism is actually okay” mantra being pushed by the left and their idealistic youth. Surprised Anne Galloway let that comment be removed after you flagged it. Very disappointing.

Well done Rob.


Roger Joslin May 20, 2019 at 8:21 pm

It is getting out of hand and the left doesn’t realize that this could end up in an uprising of dire consequences.


Irene Stewart May 20, 2019 at 8:35 pm

Rob, I too, have been rejected several times. The last reason I received, was that I was being mean spirited to Sanders, not nice. Sanders gets top billing on VT Digger, no matter what he says or does, and then it is repeated for 3 or 4 days. I have complained about that also…At times Sanders has 3 or 4 columns on that page we all receive.
Hard to believe that Sanders is given this attention, when he isn’t even a Democrat, but is hijacking the party for his own selfish use. He IS A SOCIALIST! He also claims he is an Independent. AND he is also a Russia lover. They need to tell it like it is – he is a Socialist, never was and never will be a Democrat! It is his way or the highway.


Larry Beaudry May 20, 2019 at 11:59 pm

Very well written piece. Unfortunately I don’t see many realistic ways of changing the prevalent conditions. Our children have been indoctrinated in school to run on feelings and the victimization attitude. I’m afraid that this isn’t going to turn out well for anyone. Patriots and free thinkers are in grave danger.


Robert May 21, 2019 at 5:06 pm

An authoritarian police state requires either the cooperation or control of the press. Through the insidious censorship practiced in her far-left journal, Anne Galloway provides Vermont authoritarian Democrats with as much cover as possible in their plan to control everything. The refusal by VD (interesting initials) to publish Mr. Roper’s post is corruption at its finest.


H. Brooke Paige May 22, 2019 at 3:23 am

Anne’s “shop” is operating as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, but is failing to follow the IRS guideline requirements for a non-partisan organization providing all viewpoints with equal access !

Exemption Requirements – 501(c)(3) Organizations

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct.

Operating with a significant political bias, means that vtdigger is not qualified for the 501(c)(3) exemption, allowing donations to be tax exempt. At best the organization is operating as a political action committee, a 501(c) – however donations to a 501(c) are not tax deductible to the donors !


Dave Gram May 24, 2019 at 4:05 pm

I haven’t talked with folks at Digger about this, but it’s obvious why it was rejected. In the classic and deeply dishonest Roper rhetorical dodge you try a clever rewrite in the last line of the cliche about putting lipstick on a pig. Suddenly it’s an ad hominem attack in which a man becomes a filthy animal — “the pig Moats.” And it’s the fault of the “liberal media” that this would be rejected. Nice try.


Rob May 24, 2019 at 4:53 pm

Dave, this is silly. The “pig” is not a person, it is socialism. That’s obvious. It is not an ad-hominem attack on anybody, and I think you know that.

I will also point out that on John McClaughry’s last column on the seatbelt law (I did not have to look long or hard to find one of many examples of this), Digger allowed the following to be posted, which is clearly an ad hominem attack, name calling, and uncivil behavior. But, that’s okay if you’re a liberal!

“Bradford Morgan
I just love McC-Laugh-ry’s libertarian blather. Protection of the right to be stupid. Let’s allow hospitals, EMT’s and insurance companies to be allowed to deny service to those that don’t use proven safety devices. That would save the community hospitals money treating the stupid, raise the level of the gene pool and provide beautiful bloody photos for deterence.”

How do you explain that?


Rob May 24, 2019 at 5:35 pm

But, thank you for the example of how the left wing media (you) will take three words (the pig Moats) totally out of context in order to manufacture a 100% boloney (keeping it clean here) narrative.


Dave Gram May 24, 2019 at 9:59 pm

Rob, apologies. You’re not going to believe this, but there’s no “left-wing narrative” going on here; there is, simply, a mistaken reading by me. I missed the second “is” in the sentence containing the words “the pig Moats,” and read it to say, “Any way you cut it the pig Moats is trying to put lipstick on …. an authoritarian police state.” That would have been an ad hominem attack (calling a man a pig) and easily explained the rejection of the comment by Digger or any other publication. But all of this was based on my misreading. Again, I apologize.


Rob May 25, 2019 at 1:31 am

Fair enough. Thanks, Dave. – Rob

Patricia Crocker May 22, 2020 at 1:24 am

Dave, it takes integrity to apologize. Rob, great article. Gentlemen: A nice show of civil discussion. It is much appreciated.

John Maroney May 24, 2019 at 10:14 pm

Obviously, the sentence means “the pig ON WHICH Moats is trying to put lipstick …..” Mr. Roper is calling no one a pig, and it’s not an ad hominem attack.


jim May 25, 2019 at 12:50 pm

One of the real problems with the modern day acceptance of socialism is the younger generations do not fully understand its true intent. They listen to the likes of Bernie, and the young turk AOC and it all seems reasonable and plausible. They did not live through the Stalin purges, the Cold War, the failed concept of wealth distribution. To these folks universal health care, free college education for all, tax the super rich all sound reasonable. These misguded folks have not experienced the real world. For their sake, I hope they don’t end up learning the hard way. Why was this commennt not accepted?


Thaddeus Cline May 26, 2019 at 6:18 pm

The largest organization that’s socialist is the United States military. And yet not only do I not see you complaining I bet you want even more money and attention going to it.
I really really think you need to get a full education on socialism, communism, and socialist democracy. And that’s just standard political science. Even conservatives professors teach . Yes you probably find it hard to believe, but those on the left including me read when it’s real facts no matter who publishes it or dose vetted objective peer reviewed studies. A man named Johnson is just one of many I read . Look him up . He’s also a really good historian but is very conservative and has a PhD .
So not only dose social democracy in this country ( of witch Bernie and others belong to not socialism that’s owner ship by the state .) subject to interpretation in regards to implementation in different parts of our government .
It’s very much the same in Europe and parts of Asia .
A social democratic in Denmark is not the same in Spain or Sweden or Germany .
Sorry to burst your bubble But that’s the plain facts any good conservative political scientist ( one with a PHD) will tell you . And I dare you to try and tell them differently .
I’m going over the list one more time as you seem unable to check my facts . Maybe this time you will.
All social psychology looks at is the best out comes in any economic political and social/ cultural group.
Don’t ask me why but several things I’m listing here is what most nominal people’s list . If it’s not please let me know .
Lower infant mortality. It seems to me most people don’t want babies dying .
Longer lifespan for all .
Longer vacations
More job satisfaction.
More health care satisfaction.
Cheaper health care .
Better education.
A safer environment. Oh wait a minute that’s off your list because you don’t believe ours is unsafe . You want to get sick and loose your environment because your not a scientist but the oil and chemical company’s ones say what you want to hear. Your not going to listen when internal documents show that they themselves reported to the oil companies that they were in fact polluting and causing climate change and quite a long time ago on top of that . Seems to me your news sites simply don’t report that . Nor the just a little less the 3 million dollars the Russians gave to the NRA.
So I suggest you do your research and go to conservative political science PHD’s and explain to them how you know better.
In the mean time don’t ask the fire department or the cops to help you out become they are a socialist organization you don’t like them.
Now let’s see A. That you print this and B. That you publish an objective rebottle .


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