- by Graham Holton
- The Guardian
- Issue #2044
The United States Congress and houses the legislative branch of the US. Photo: Jessica Rodriguez Rivas – Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
On 7th February, 2023, the US House of Representatives passed the “Denouncing the Horrors of Socialism” Bill, with 219 Republicans and 109 Democrats voting for the resolution. House Democrats who joined with the Republicans included some of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Many are members of the corporate-friendly New Democrat Coalition. They include the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, whose net worth in 2018 was US$114 million; Suzan DelBene (Washington) US$79 million; Dean Phillips (Minnesota) US$64 million; Scott Peters (California) US$60 million; and Ro Khanna (California) worth US$45 million.
The Bill was introduced by Republican María Elvira Salazar (R-Florida), the daughter of Cubans who left after the 1959 Revolution. Salazar is a staunch anti-communist.
The 118th Congress denounced “socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.” The resolution states that socialist ideology concentrates power in Communist regimes leading to totalitarian rule and brutal dictatorships.
It itemises crimes allegedly committed by Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chávez, and Nicolás Maduro, and lists the “failure”of socialist countries such as Venezuela and Cuba. In comparison, the resolution claims, “the United States of America was founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed.”
Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) urged the GOP (Good Old Party, Republicans) lawmakers to specify the meaning of the Bill. The resolution was divisive and “insulting to the American public. It is trying to suggest that Social Security, Medicare and even fire departments are anti-American.”
For Roger Williams (R-TX) the resolution was simple, “socialism bad, capitalism good.” To which Waters countered, “I do wonder whether Mr Williams views the $1.43 million he received in debt forgiveness [to be] consistent with his views on socialism? I don’t get it.”
Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) called the legislation an “embarrassment” and asked about the implications of such claims of socialism.
Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, lambasted the anti-socialism resolution. “For 35 years now I’ve owned a small business, giving me significantly more experience as a capitalist than the vast majority of members on the other side of the aisle. So as a capitalist, let me tell you: This resolution is plain ridiculous. It jointly condemns Pol Pot and Norway.”
Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) denounced that “the socialism resolution is useless. It does nothing. It does not matter. Are we talking about public schools? Are we talking about roads? Are we talking about Social Security? I mean, give me a break.”
Betty McCollum (D-MN) noted that, “With this resolution, House Republicans are sending a message to these nations that we condemn the domestic political process within their nations. That is outrageous.” NATO countries that are supporting Ukraine have elected socialist leaders. “Congress should be working to strengthen the relationships with our fellow democracies, not passing poorly written messaging bills that will alienate our friends and allies,” said McCollum.
The resolution sends a clear message to socialists and Communists, not only in the US but around the world, that things will only get worse under the present administration.
As the Guardian has argued in the past, these accusations against socialism and Communism are utterly false. While tragic, the Holodomor did not result in the death of millions in Ukraine. Millions did not die in Stalin’s Gulags. When the USSR opened up in 1991, journalists and academics rushed to the so-called prison camps described by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. What they found were thriving cities with well treated healthy people. As for the millions of dead, where are the mass graves?
After 30 years not one mass grave of people supposedly murdered by Communists has ever been found. It was a great lie, fabricated by the CIA and peddled through the US press to influence the world during the Cold War.
These lies were used to prove that Neoliberalism was the only economic path to follow. That the Biden administration supported such a bill gives some grave concern, especially with Australia’s military support of US ventures worldwide.
It raises the question of whether the Australian government will also pass a similar bill and if action taken against CPC (Communist Party of China) is forthcoming.