Recently, a guest opinion article in the Gannett Press & Sun-Bulletin remarked about several issues which put America on the road to communism. The writer was incorrect when discussing matters pertaining to confiscation of property. I wrote a rebuttal to Gannett editors, but I am being censored, so I don’t know if it will be published. Sad, but it’s true, when realizing how much false information is freely available out there, but when presented with facts, we are ignored and not getting published.
Fact is that the topic of confiscation of property has its roots in history long before there was any communism. Even after Karl Marx, the Bolsheviks of Russia, the communists in Cuba and other regions of the world, there was a prevalence of confiscation of property when financial situations go sour for the wealthy ones. The confiscation of property by wealthy bankers during the time of the Great Depression is evidence of such. The more current example I provided in the rebuttal to the writer in the Press & Sun-Bulletin explained how there was a deliberate attempt by bankers in Florida to take advantage of real estate sales which went through the roof and caused prices to rise astronomically in just a few short years after the start of the new millennium with the intent to confiscate property so the wealthy, not a government, could accumulate property and force the rise of rent to those who were left out of the market. That is called corruption and corruption in government and business in Afghanistan is the reason the Taliban was able to move so quickly to overtake the government. Do we have an American Taliban where all men will be required to grow these long ugly beards or get beheaded if they don’t? Even the communists of the Soviet Union were unable to maintain any control in Afghanistan, as well as the British and others.
But this last part of my message touches on an entirely different situation. My intent is to discuss confiscation of property and how absurd the writer was to say we are on a course of communism when it was big business, not government, which has strongly been involved in confiscation of property and is likely salivating over the opportunities afforded by COVID-19 for doing more confiscation, not the government.
Fact. When the Western Hemisphere was being settled by the white man of Europe, property of indigenous folks was confiscated and sometimes very brutally and savagely confiscated. The truth hurts, but the truth can set us all free.
Fact. Hitler and his goons of Germany confiscated property when they came to power in that nation. They fought the communists, but did not take property only from any communists, but from anyone to whom they disagreed.
Fact. Going back further in time, there is evidence that when New England was first being settled, after confiscating property from the indigenous folks, many of the more wealthy puritanical ones confiscated property of their fellow white settlers who had built homes on the banks of waterways. After all, the best mode of transportation in those days was by rivers and streams into the interior. There is speculation (and I said speculation here, as I don’t have all the evidence and facts) that the person who was my 9th great-grandmother was murdered due to having property along a waterfront in Rhode Island. The method used to confiscate the property was to falsely accuse the oldest son, using apparitions in a puritanical court of law, of murdering his own mother. That person, Thomas Cornell/Cornwell, Jr., was not in my line of descent as my ancestor had departed to make his wealthy in what became Queens / Flushing. Records show that my ancestor in Flushing did not confiscate property from the indigenous folks there, but purchased the property from indigenous folks. However, my 9th great-grandmother was murdered in Rhode Island and it is likely due to what was found during the era of the Salem Witch Trials in New England.
At this piont, my discussion is about some of my own ideas, but is based on learning from history. and my own faith and beliefs. As Arthur Miller points out in his dramatic production, The Crucible, the purpose for the witch trials was confiscation of property for wealthy who wanted to locate on waterfront property. Was Miller fantasizing or are there historical facts which he based his story? As I said, there is some truth about such events happening and being done in the name of religion, after the very same people who had been persecuted by Roman Catholics and others then turned to use persecution themselves. God is God. Spirituality which is part of the true God is spirituality. Religion is more like, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” while being done, falsely, in the name of God and our Creator.
Is it safe to say that the majority of confiscation over time derives more from the wealthy aristocracy which claims it know what capitalism is, but has been entrenched, even today, in the ideas of a feudal economics from Medieval times? Even today, I can argue that monopolies are NOT capitalism, but based on individualism, greed, selfishness, corruption. I repeat. Not capitalism because capitalism is about balance in the economy between supply and demand. The ideas from Adam Smith came to us in opposition to the aristocratic economics of the Medieval era. Adam Smith was a contemporary of our American Founding Fathers who had an intent to have balance in democracy which does not exist with most monarchs and dictators. Even if such balance does exist, as in the example of IBM founder, Thomas J. Watson, once the “benevolent one” passes, there is chaos at the top and often the ruthless, greedy, selfish dictators end up in charge.
For me, I have explained, over and over again, how I ended up having my stock “confiscated” by measures of ruthless business people, not a government, who were given free reign to do as they wish, by deregulation czars and Reagan. It was due to the philosophies of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, and Alan Greenspan, including supply-side economics. Meanwhile, the “axe man” in that process walked away with $7M. I can say I had my job “confiscated,” too, but that is an unacceptable thing to say. But the mechanisms of the deregulation mavens confiscated my stocks, in an indirect manner. And the lawyers during all of that? They were not laid off, in spite of the fact they were paid far more than what I got paid. AND. The lawyers drew up papers to protect the big fat pig, Critchfield, at the top, by stating we would not receive a departure stipend , should we file a lawsuit against the company. We were truly “victims,” as the lawyer advertisements make claims for those hurt in accidents (they often are NOT victims, either), but who came to our rescue? We had to sign a piece of paper stating we were not to make a claim about being victims, in the form of a lawsuit. I survived this ordeal of confiscation of my resources. I could have done better, though, had I not experienced such an ordeal. I was able to pick myself up by my bootstraps and move on to a wonderful career in academics. But now those of us in public education are coming under attack, too. And who protects our “victimhood?” (Did I just coin a word?). I explain this from the past, but my intent is to impart what I have learned, so we stop the chaos and confusion resulting from people who no longer read the details provided in newspapers and just listen to what other blab about in attacks on individuals, rather than discussing ideas (idea discussion = the highest level of human intelligence). it irks me to see there are some like the recent writer to Gannett who still have not learned from the past, as I have attempted to teach about the history of confiscation of resources and property which goes well beyond just communism and government.
At the end of the day, under circumstances involving the consolidation of power by the ruthless ones, we end up with resources, including property, being taken from those who have less. Until Reagan and deregulation mavens who ended up forming monopolies in the USA, America had evolved to a better point of economics, as imperfect as this nation still may have been. But to be allowed to state, in a false manner, that, due to COVID-19 and extending a safety net to those who suffer financially, is “communism,’ is absolutely absurd and with no basis at all. Go ahead. Make my day and censor what I say. Be contentious, rather than do as Thomas J. Watson always wanted his employees to do: THINK.
Professor Douglas Willet Cornwell (Retired)
Newark Valley, NY
———————————“Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “The problems of the world are not that some people love in a different way. The problems are that so many people don’t know how to love at all (CGA, 1970).” A Puritan is someone in fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time. “Liberty and justice for all [not priorities on individual and selfish rights].” “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union [and overall wealth of American society]…”
Benjamin Franklin: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are affected.” Stacey Abrams: “Compromise about actions, but not about values.” Oscar Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Whoopi Goldberg: “To handle this COVID-19 pandemic effectively, we all need to get on the same page.” Note: To be clear, I do not like being patronized. I do not express my disdain over what happens to my fellow humans just for my own sake and to pursue favors and handouts. I do it in order to gain R – E – S – P – E – C – T for me and for millions of other Americans of any race, ethnicity, religious belief, or sex and sexual identity who try to walk in integrity as they attempt to achieve, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. PERIOD. One nation under God [our Creator] with liberty and justice for all.