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Socialism and 'A ship of fools'
A Woman's View
Judi Tabler color mug

When on my treadmill, I enjoy watching the TCM (Turner Classic Movies) channel. Just lately, this channel’s movies were centered around the Nazi-Socialism theme. I’m sure it’s no accident that they were focusing on this subject, since there seems to be some in this country who think it’s a new idea.  

I watched the movie, “A Ship of Fools,” released in 1965. It featured actors who were major Hollywood stars at that time: Lee Marvin, Simone Signoret, Vivien Leigh, Jose Greco, Oscar Werner, and more. 

The entire movie is an allegory. An allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions, or symbolic representation. This movie definitely has a message, and a powerful one. The story follows passengers aboard a German liner bound from Veracruz, Mexico, and heading for Bremenhaven, Germany. The year is 1933. 

The different characters portray the personalities of the future Nazi Fuhrer’s loyal followers. The narrator is, Michael Dunn, a “little person” who starts the narrative “My name is Carl Glocken, and this is a ship of fools. I’m a fool, and you will meet more fools as we go along.” 

The plot is sinister. It chronicles a group of passengers bound for post-war Germany on the cargo and passenger ship, The Vera. The passengers represent a microcosm of the people who supported the Socialist/Nazi philosophy at that time. These passengers are sailing to the “promised land” and in one way or another, they either sympathize with the Nazi/Socialist movement, or they have no idea at all what is going on there. But, the worst comes out of them; power, anger, disappointment in their lives, or a fix for their disillusions. You can read the synopsis for yourselves. But, the truth that they know nothing about Socialism is a fact.

Many today don’t understand. The schools haven’t taught it. The colleges and universities haven’t done a good job either. So I will. Crash course.

First, in a Socialist system, the Government owns all, and distributes it at will. The government decides it all. In Capitalism, the people own individually and corporately, and determine how the country is to be run.

Under a socialist system, everyone works for wealth that in turn is distributed to everyone. You make $100,000 in a very good year, and you divide it with nine others. Everyone gets $10,000. The government decides how wealth is distributed. The government provides all the needs of people. Means of production such as money and other forms of capital are owned by the state. Yes? Who has any incentive after all of this? Sound Utopian? 

I ask this: Do you really want any group you elect to be in charge of your life? Your business? Your right to own property? Has any government run anything efficiently and profitably, ever? 

Capitalism;  Our system. Not perfect, but we are the greatest country on the earth. Means of production are owned by the private individual. You invent it, it’s yours. You work hard, you get paid, and you reap the benefits. Companies in capitalism operate by the profit motive. All companies have managers and owners. The government’s job is to enforce laws and regulations, however the main job of a national government is this: to protect its people.

The book “Ship of Fools” of the same name by Tucker Carlson is must-read for anyone not informed of the current issues that face our society today. For any of us who might say, “Oh, I have heard that nonsense, and I don’t believe any of it;” You don’t? Read “Animal Farm” then. That will open your eyes. 

Here’s an example. Venezuela, a once prosperous, democratic state, and once one of the world’s wealthiest nations, is now a Socialist country. The authoritarian dictator, Chavez, nationalized everything in the 90s. In little time, it fell apart. The state expropriated all the profitable industry. This idea/ system failed. Sky high prices from oil receded. Chavez inflated the currency, destroying his citizen’s savings, and driving investments from the country. Chavez died; Maduro took over. Same dance. In Socialism, everybody gets “it” free. Government does it all. No individual initiative. The people there are now starving and eating dog food, if they are lucky. Pray for them.

China? Nope. Cuba? Russia? Nazi Germany? No again and again.

Will we never learn?

Folks, wake up.

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at Visit her website