Another Victim Of Socialism!
By Charles Temple
My spouse and I once owned a small ranch not too far from Austin, Texas, and lived there over twenty years. Life was good out in the country, and we prospered. But ever since we retired, sold the place, and moved to Mexico, I have suffered from horrible nightmares. This burden finally became overwhelming, and I submitted myself to psychiatric care. With professional help and much soul searching, I have confronted my demons, and gradually regained my mental equilibrium.
However, my therapist has concluded that I must pass through one more stage to achieve complete recovery, and that involves publicly exposing the root cause of my problem. It’s now time to pass over that bridge, and I have chosen this venue for the last step.
Here now is the terrifying truth: my life in rural America infected me with Malignant Socialism! (I know what you’re thinking … In Texas? IMPOSSIBLE!…well, maybe not socialism by Webster’s definition, but at least in the sense that I became part of several systems of common ownership and shared responsibility, and those march in the same parade!)
It happened gradually, so much so that I was never conscious of the insidious influence breaking me down, but introspection has revealed that I was surrounded by it from the moment we took up residence on our rustic acreage. I won’t go into all the details of how I was affected, but discussion of a few of the local Fabian institutions which took control of my life will reveal how truly deep-rooted the subversion was.
Before closing the purchase of our land, we became aware that our electricity and water would be supplied by so-called “coops”, non-profit member-owned organizations that controlled a service area established by agreement with the “state.” In order to participate, we had to purchase a share and become a member-owner, so we willingly, but unwittingly, fell into line and signed up. With the electric coop, we just owned the means of distribution (partial socialism). However, with the water coop, we owned it all; the product (water), the means of production (wells and pumps), the means of distribution (pipes) … and that amounts to PURE socialism.
Then, shortly after we occupied our new home, I was approached by a neighbor who, after an introduction and some innocent banter, suggested that I might want to familiarize myself with an organization known as the Volunteer Fire Department, a group of local residents who had banded together to serve the area as firemen. They voluntarily and without compensation performed demanding and often perilous duties, frequently leaving their jobs to answer calls. They provided for their own equipment and training through constant fundraising activities, often having to practically beg for contributions to meet their most basic needs. I made the choice not to join, but became a regular and generous donor to the cause. Fortunately, we never had need for this service … but some of my neighbors did. Sneaky, but surely another socialist intrusion into our lives!
Then, as we grew our ranch, we became aware of the benefits provided by the non-profit farmer’s coop headquartered in the nearest town. Membership qualified one for significant discounts on necessities, and we regularly purchased diesel fuel, feed, seed, fertilizer, and chemicals at big savings (and free of taxes). This organization also maintained a small fleet of farm equipment available to members at nominal rental fees; therefore, we didn’t have to purchase and maintain expensive implements that we only needed a few days each year.
We regularly employed the Coop’s fertilizer spreaders, seed broadcasters, chemical dispensers, and no-till drills to better maintain our land. All we had to provide was a tractor (John Deere 3020D – 70 hp). By this time, we were practically drowning in Socialism.
But all the above was just a drop in the bucket compared to something else we experienced from the very beginning … OMG! LOCAL TAXES!
Seems there were certain institutions where we lived, made up of elected officials, that were authorized to collect taxes from all property owners under the guise of spending those monies to bless the entire community with infrastructure, public health and safety, tuition-free schools … and more. These agencies were our county commissioners’ court, city governments, hospital and school boards. Now most Texans I know absolutely hate taxes and would much prefer to spend that cash on a couple of new guns, but we paid our assessments, and I must admit I was mollified (and drawn farther out on the slippery slope) as I saw roads paved, bridges built, laws enforced, restaurants inspected, and our local high school football team win two state championships. Eventually, I just took the taxes AND the improvements for granted.
Thus was I turned into the left-winger I never expected to be, but I have fought back and now have won! This confession sets me free! No more guilty nightmares!
Oh, excuse me … my wife is calling … what’s that, dear? … Our Social Security checks are in the bank? … AWRIGHT! … LET’S GO TO WALLYWORLD!