America's Unofficial Religion: The War on an Idea

2015, Politics  -   22 Comments
Ratings: 8.08/10from 123 users.

In America, socialism has become the ultimate dirty word. But is the attempt to vilify the concept of a socialist society due to a basic lack of understanding? The documentary short America's Unofficial Religion: The War on an Idea believes it is, and seeks to rectify these misconceptions by providing a thorough history and context in which to view socialistic ideals.

Nearly every major developed country in the world provides a structure through which socialist parties can find representation in the political dialogue. This excludes the United States in large measure. As the film argues, the perception of socialism is akin to slavery among U.S. citizens and inspires images of uncontrolled government intrusion upon every aspect of our daily lives.

In truth, many of the programs held most dear among U.S. citizens originated from a socialist philosophy, including public education, social security, and unemployment insurance. The film defines the doctrine of socialism as one of fair wages, affordable housing and the right to free health care and education. In short, it implies a taking back of power from the small percentage that owns the majority of wealth in the country.

These ideals pose a considerable threat to America's power structure. Throughout history, a communist witch hunt has ensued against those who dared to promote the socialist philosophy. Perhaps this was no more apparent than when workers attempted to unionize for fair wages and an eight hour work day in the early decades of the twentieth century. When the notion of socialism began to enhance in popularity among the masses, the power elite employed ever more menacing means of containing and decimated the movement in its tracks. This culminated in the blacklist led by the House on Un-American Activities Committee and the execution of convicted communists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Aided by interview subjects including the founder of the Party for Socialism and Liberation Brian Becker, America's Unofficial Religion: The War on an Idea portrays these and other events with sobering and absorbing insight. The issues they discuss retain an enormous relevance to the climate of today as the power divide between the wealthy and the lower classes continues to grow.

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22 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Maxine Godfrey

    check out Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project, and the RBE -- Resource-Based Economy.

  2. DustUp

    Interesting how people desire to misinterpret, convolute, and skip the facts. Did I say the Swedes are fooling us? No. That you are fooling yourself in your labels. Labeling Sweden as socialist and USA as capitalist is incorrect and that is all I stated. Never said the usa was better nor worse. Was implying the usa to be foolishly catching up to sweden's level of socialism. If that is true then how could the usa be considered captialist? If you think sweden is great, move there. I would like to live some place far less socialistic than the usa has become. Do some reading from the founders of the usa and you will understand far better. Even some Thomas Jefferson quotes could be enough to gain you some insight.

    Clearly there is a severe lack of understanding of how govt works, regardless of the label or location. Did the swedes get to vote on allowing in the middle eastern supposed refugees? How do those who have had relatives raped and/or beaten by those "refugees" think about how great it is? Germany too? The regular joe had no hand in the decision, it was made for them, by the CFR and buildebergers, which the countries' fellow traveler socialist leaders, including obama, agreed to.

    The tell tale of who has been brain washed is who was standing at their border or station welcoming the so called refugees in. Very few women and children nor christians escaping their slaughter, mostly young muslim males. There was no need to move them to other countries. Safe zones could have been set up in the middle east and was suggested long before their arrival. However, the socialist elite want the conflict, hence the young muslim males. Ponder why, rather than judging me with your indoctrinated emotionalism/socialism.

    Why is it necessary for all countries to be socialist? Soviet Lenin stated that the ultimate goal of socialism is communism. That too is the ultimate goal of the puppet master elites.

    It has long been the modus operandi of the socialist propagandists to blame others for what they have caused. Socialists are forever blaming capitalism for what socialism, corporatism(fascism) and corrupt govt has caused. And the people fall for it desiring to blaming anyone and anything else but themselves for allowing it to happen.

    Results matter. Interesting the Sweden was cited as the good example of socialism. Why not the USSR when they were starving or when Lenin and Stalin killed off many millions of their own? Or when their store shelves were bare?

    Question, why is forced national healthcare so important to a socialist? Why not force farmers to provide healthy food grown in a healthy way and force people to eat it? Force the junk food manufacturers out of biz? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    Why does the term "forcing" sound bad ...yet that is exactly what occurs when you have no need of a healthcare system but have to pay for it anyway, along with those who dole out who gets care and when and who doesn't. Who are they to have that kind of power over me? The simple fact is the citizens of the usa did NOT agree to socialized healthcare, it was forced upon them by the corrupted weasels they elected despite the majority of the populace being against it after learning of some of the details.

    Insurance IS a socialized way of dealing with healthcare costs without FORCING people to participate. Socialists Always have to lie in order to promote their agenda. Obamacare was sold as cost saving when it was known it would cost far more and has.

  3. mike m

    So, dustup, you think the people of sweden are fooling us, do ya?
    They don't "force" others to pay, they democraticaly agree to pay for a good life.
    U should read a couple of those books before u eat 'em all.
    They have choices up the yang in sweden. Tina turner moved there to get away from the crap.
    If ya don't like sweden you can leave, but I hear of no rush to do so from there.
    They're happy there and would not come here from all I read. Again, you should read one now and then.

  4. Winston

    It's astounding to me how many on here defend socialism. After looking at the comments of previous anti-socialism docs where continually condemned the capitalistic systems and praising ideas straight out of Marx's textbook, then seeing the comments here, "Another important docu to inspire critical thinking!" "A great history lesson" etc. I would have to give credit to the communists. They have done a swell job at spreading their poison in the last century. Especially the Frankfurt School of critical theory in the early 20th century. Well done. You have glorified stealing another man's labor. You have glorified Envy, which has now permeated all of western society. I feel sorry for all you who have listened to the propaganda for so long that truth no longer matters to you. Somehow everyone forgets the massive purging of human lives that follows this idea. The massive poverty. Just look at Venezuela now. Sad

  5. steve

    socialism? capitalism? who cares? the world cannot sustain its constant abuse and provide for humanity. there will always be people who are more able than others but the current distribution of the wealth that has bin gleaned from natural resources at the expense of everyone alive today and generations to come is obscene. that wealth should be managed to provide a decent world for everyone our technological ability and scientific knowledge should enable mankind to overcome religious superstitions ,hatred for the other ,ignorance and want to build a society we can had over to our children .... not this cluster fu**

  6. DustUp

    I answer the silly comment about Swedes and socialism further below.

    The puppet master elites, who You THINK are Capitalists screwing everyone, win even MORE under Socialism-Communism and that is why they want it and work towards it at every turn. That is why they installed Socialists-Communists into the media they own and into the schools via professorships. To teach the teachers the lies of Socialism. Wow they sure have fooled the masses via their TV and their "news" papers into pointing the finger at Capitalism, which is merely a system wherein two entities can trade with each other as they best see fit. Nothing more.

    If Capitalism were corrupt and screws the people, does that automatically mean that something that is not Capitalism is not corrupt and helps the people? Far from it. Get out the balance scales and Socialism-Communism bottoms out tossing Capitalism into the air and why the founding fathers favored it. Socialism facilitates the corruption you see all around you... that you believe the socialist media saying it is the other guy. How nice.

    Yes follow your own advice, open you mind to see the ruse. Without bloated govt (socialism) the corporations could not have so many agencies and programs and war departments to give them contracts nor so many agencies which they can bend to their will. Small govt, as the well educated founders saw, was the only way to remain free. We have very little freedom compared to then as the result of incremental Socialism into a bloated govt that knows no bounds desiring more and more power. Constant war to feed the pockets of the war suppliers owned by the puppet masters; as well as the interest on the debt to pay for those arms. For every dollar used is debt with interest upon it. All facilitated by the Socialists bloating govt.

    Another ruse was Bushes calling themselves other than socialists. Just minions of the puppet masters who desire Socialism-Communism; just like obama, just like the clintons,

    How free were the Swedes some years back when they had 70 percent taxation? Even they discovered it only works fine for those it benefits, until the money runs out. And the money ALWAYS runs out. Sweden had to cut back significantly on its socialism because it couldn't afford its never ending increased cost. So NO, Sweden is not full Socialism just like usa isn't full socialist corporatism either but getting there. Please dig a little deeper past the surface.

    Lack of freedom is the commonality of true Socialism and Communism. No one would vote for fully exposed Communism. So there was this thing called incremental Socialism which will eventually get you to the same place. The Swedes simply stopped short.

    Bankster Corpro Govt Media complex is all about getting rid of the competition. They get rid of the competition via Socialism-Communism. Is the usa more or less Socialist than it used to be? Are you better off? Do you have more opportunity now under increased Socialism? Why do people want to come to the usa to the supposed "land of opportunity"? Why is there little opportunity where they are from? Why do those people who came here long ago warn against Socialism? Why do many of the new ones come here? For the free stuff given to them until the money runs out and then they will leave. Are the poor better off with handouts or with better opportunity and advancement? Why do the Socialist leaders want a dependent class they can buy their votes with "free stuff" they stole from someone else?

    Govt cannot do anything without first taking from someone else. Is that moral?
    If you are on a bus with no empty seats and an old lady or man having a tough time moving around gets on ... there is no problem if someone offers them their seat. The problem arises when the socialist points to three of you to get up so the old one can lay down. If you refuse, you have to pay a fine that is far worse than the "crime" or go to jail. That is socialism.

    Socialists are inherently greedy so believe everyone else is, so all must be forced to contribute to help this or that needy thing. IF they were truly benevolent they would just volunteer their money to govt or charity for such needy things. They want to force others to pay for what they want. They will point to the rich and say "those people can afford it!" What right do you have to take someone else's money? None. So they get govt to do it for them. Does that then make it right?

    You hear them, like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. They blather drivel such as "I wish our tax rates were higher, that would be more fair." There is nothing stopping them from paying more if they don't think they are paying enough, yet they are so full of BS, they don't. They want to fool you into agreeing to pay more while they never would because they always will have ways around it. Dried out ruse everywhere. Find me some truth to drink!

    Many Socialists in the usa would happily have what they desire implemented by force if cannot fool the people into voting for it. They have so stated by saying, "why doesn't obama just implement it by executive order!" Well he already has, as much as he can get away with, illegal as it is. That would be Communism by the way. Socialists could care less about law, right and wrong, morality. Only what they feel. Their Socialist teachers emotionalized them from a young age and they cannot think past their emotions and have no desire to dig deeper to avoid all the evidence to the contrary.

    There is a docu on here describing what Capitalism is. Watch it. The Socialists are fooling you.

    What you dislike about what Socialists call Capitalism is actually incremental Socialism which enables corruption far beyond what straight up Capitalism can provide.

    Please get a clue: GETTING RID OF THE Competition IS the purpose of Socialism, Communism, Progressive, Fascist, Corporatism, etc (Collectivism). The cronies let the contracts, the rest of the competition disappear.

    If you like to choose what store you buy your food in. If you like to choose the store you buy your shoes or clothes in, etc. Why don't you like to choose where you buy your health care? Innovation comes from competition. Socialism is about eliminating competition.

    If you think it moral to steal from me to benefit you and others, then if you got an [A] in school, why didn't you cut that into a [C] so the others with poor grades could have more, better grades? Why not just take a lower paying job so the less fortunate can have yours?

    Free health care is when someone else pays for it and govt skims off the top. Niice racket the emotional useful idiot Socialists desire. Soviet Lenin was correct.

    Everything you take from me to pay for you makes me less free. It also causes me less ability to be benevolent on my own, seeing to it that it isn't wasted like govt does, especially on more govt.

  7. mike m

    Sweden is socialist
    cuba is communist
    very clear difference
    send the public of this nation to school and they eat the books

  8. Ken

    From the negative comments about this documentary, it proves just how effective the Capitalist economic elite's propaganda against Socialism has been...their brainwashing tactics were sadly successful.

  9. mike m

    democratic socialist capatilisim, yeah!

  10. Mikel

    hi all
    "dustup" there are some cases in history where communism was voted in please .. socialism type government is no less free then aka american democracy... and the demographics of the way cities are setup in what we consider a socialist type gov. are favored for the people.. open your mind and your eyes remember communism, socialism,
    democracy(truly is non existent except for the greek system of eons ago), capitalism, imperialism, they are forms of governments only as good as the people they represent....also any gov. can swoop in and take your life savings without warning. by force you said hmmm i remember a history lesson i was taught in school it was called the civil war it was fought not for slavery but for the reason that the tried to impose laws on 7 states on how they could live . the is not to impose laws on the separate sovereign state body with the consent of all the / majority of the states requesting that the fed. step in. what this era did in our history is started the big money grab of the 1850's i think it was called, then came the espionage act of 1917 limiting speech etc. then Jekyll island.. then the clintons who both should be doing time but capitalism saved them because they are on top and then with bush there comes the patriot act.. freedom is having a choice on which beer you are going to drink or who u wanna vote for example republican or democrat the only 2 represented in a capitalism type ,, american that is. socialism replaced many of the worlds monarchies if ya read any history and empires replaced democracies even the romans went from demo to capitalism to emperor type of government. ""the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the one"" "this is not the american way since 1850".. all government officials need to be limited to a max of 12 yrs fed or state senate/or house of reps.. our folks in USA have become door mats for people like hillary or anyone with more then 3 terms in office we need change vote your uncle in just do not vote for a politician that has more then 3 terms in they are lazy and do not want to help its people they become the money grabbers and do not want to loose that 275,000 per yr salary even though they have a small empire they still want the taxpayers to pay for what ever they do and keep their salaries for something else.... socialism has been here since cave man days once again i am not saying it is better then democracy if we had that we need some changes to our system. all our news media now is just a waste of time to listen to it.. dictatorship/communism these 2 are definitely not the way to progress it's society.. oops i need to stop now LOL good film i enjoyed and dustups comment thanks

  11. DustUp

    To clarify:
    Now, there is much less rights and freedoms... (since more socialism)

  12. DustUp

    "The only difference between Socialism and Communism is whether the people are fooled into voting for it or whether it is put upon them by force." - Ayn Rand

    Historically America had much LESS socialism than it does now. Much less rights and freedom to do what one desires on and with their own property. Many socialists live in apartments and are puzzled that everyone is not in agreement with their moronic ideas of zoning to jam everyone together supposedly to make providing utilities and services to them more efficient and less expensive as well as supposedly providing more area for the wildlife. These clueless buffoons have never lived among wildlife and know less nothing about them. Less than nothing means they think they know but what they know isn't so. If they did have a clue the zoning restrictions would be a large minimum distance between the people, providing easy unfettered, and undisturbed access to where ever they want to travel. Every crammed together community, town, and city creates an Ever Expanding Wildlife Destruction Zone. Meaning the environazis have got it all backwards. And for those elites who want lower population, that would occur automatically through larger distances.

    It is rather humorous if not demonstrative of the hypocrisy of the micro cephalic elite who made huge bank off of a growing population but now that they have made theirs, they want to get rid of all the "useless eaters" as they call all who are not them. By the way they are the main proponents of socialism, who have funded the universities to promote and pump out socialist professors and teachers infecting the rest. Moscow stated they would defeat us without firing a shot and they were correct. The number one goal of socialist promoters is protect what they have and get rid of the competition. This is easiest in a socialist government where central control and cronyism is supreme. You just regulate the competition out of biz as Obamacare will eventually do and why 70% polled were against it but not nearly enough of a fraction of those voiced their sentiment to their representation in govt. Freedom of choice is dwindling and will be lost.

    Go find a first grade textbook from the early days of the USA. It was a rather smallish book of medium thickness easy enough for them to find a place to carry it, filled with everything they were expected to know. I saw one years ago. Much of it a high school student wouldn't know today. That is what socialism has done for your education. They don't want thinkers only workers, read the writings of Rockefeller who funded much of the socialist take over along with his like minded demons.

    Rockefeller states plainly that if it weren't for the complicit media their new world order (socialism/communism) would not have had a chance. Fancy that, owning media companies and placing your socialist editors in charge having the desired effect. Same as buying professor fellowships at universities.

    And all you bleeding hearts, do you care how many local farmers and local economies you have ruined by dumping more grain on an African community than they know what to do with? Or just tell yourself you were trying to do and stop short telling yourself results don't matter as long as you get to tell yourself you are a good person (by ruining others lives and livelihoods). If only someone will return you the favor one day... Oh right they are socialism! You will discover that it is far more corrupt than capitalism ever was. Is the USA more socialist now than in the past? Is it more corrupt now? How can you tell with the propaganda TV that many consider themselves informed after watching?

    "The lazy minded will locate an easy dig when marched off to dig their own grave".- DU

    "Most take more time investigating a vehicle purchase than who or what to vote for, even though the outcome could affect their ability to purchase or drive that vehicle." - DU

    If you don't get it yet, my two quotes above are saying much the same thing. It only takes a few computer clicks to do some investigating yet that is just too much trouble. And what does it matter, nothing changes you say?

    "If you refuse to influence elections and those after elected, someone else will. So when you complain about govt. you are complaining about your laziness." - DU

    Most decent people don't need a govt and would prefer to be left alone. These are the very people the ego maniacal socialist are most desperate to control for their own good (meaning the good of the ruling class).

    What caused the mortgage bubble and burst crisis 2008-9? Greedy capitalists the socialist media would have you believe. Eating their assets so the people don't get screwed. People are such suckers for the boob tube. If it is on the TV it must be true! hahahaha.

    Now if socialists in govt force lenders to lend to those who likely cannot repay the loans to buy votes, who truly is at fault? What if certain banksters cajoled those certain socialists in govt to do so (a super easy sell to a socialist) so they could take over those banks when they lost their shorts? There will always be greedy evil bastards, socialism will just make it easier for those who already are set ...and that is exactly the purpose of socialism. Suppose only conservatives were in govt and said no, that is no the job of govt? The job of govt is to see to banks aren't cheating and sound financially by auditing them. Would the mortgage bust financial crisis have occurred? I doubt it. Although corrupted republicans with the aid of socialist Clinton got the Glass-Steagall banking act repealed, enabling the very thing it was designed to prevent, stupid self destructive activity by greedy bankers, which would have and will cause an epic financial failure, by design by the banksters to scoop up all the prime assets for pennies on the dollar when you will sell whatever you have for some food. Good luck with depending on the TV to let you know to save outside the banking system when another Cyprus is coming your way.

  13. jim

    I never understood the American reluctance to provide their own people with reasonable healthcare and reasonable education. Life is short. Why do the American masters want their people to suffer so?

  14. mike

    Its been said if you took all the money in the country,and divided it equally amongst all the people,it wouldn't be long before the small minority of people would again have the majority of the money-why?They understand economics,how to make money,how to make money grow and work for them,how to save money and invest it in appreciating assets-it astounds me,with how great a control money has over peoples lives,how little effort the average person puts into learning about its principals.

  15. mike

    Forgetting personal responsibilty,and this system disincentivises personal achievement-you live in a country where you can become anything you are willing to work hard enough to become,these "economic slaves" that toil in the fields and factories to produce excessive luxury for an elite class,like it or not,do so of their own volition,they could rise above(e.g. start their own businesses,learn skills,work nights),but don't because they are comfortable being an economic slave,they live in their self imposed" comfort zone"-you cannot turn over your personal financial responsibilty to government,as it doesn't have to earn the money it obtains,which,by human nature, can only result in waste and mismanagement,wealth comes from private enterprise productivity,not government redistribution

  16. DonnyC

    Lpointmpoint, you mean like where "economic slaves" toil in the fields and factories to produce excessive luxury for an elite class, whose profligate lifestyles are only made possible by exploiting the labor of others, and then, when an inevitable economic collapse occurs every 10 to 20 years, the same "economic slaves," who are dependent on this degrading arrangement since they own nothing but their ability to work (which, god forbid if that was compromised by injury or aging), are thrown onto the street to beg while the elites refuse to sacrifice an inch of their opulence? You mean like that?

  17. Dionsio

    A rather poor documentary, if you can call it that. It felt and sounded more like propaganda rather then a documentary.

  18. Mahmoud BouRaad

    Values mater. So does freedom...
    The nonsense of the critical thinking of twisted minds.
    The Secret of Happiness is Freedom and the Secret of Freedom is Courageā€¦

  19. Luciano

    Look up Prof Richard D Wolff. A US economist like no other.

  20. Lpointmpoint

    Twisted nonsense. Advocacy of stealing. Truly sick values. Free this and free that. They are not free for the economic slave who has to fund it.

  21. SyxTix

    Another important docu to inspire critical thinking and re-examine the state of the system we live in today that we must change. I recommend to have a look at Abby Martin's other works as well. She is one of the very few true investigative journalists left today. Important, insightful and totally relevant.

  22. DonnieDarko

    yet another great history lesson! thank you topdocs!