June 4, 2018

One of Socialism’s Biggest Failures: Israel

Unless you’re an Israel scholar, you may not know that most of the founders of the modern state of Israel were secular Jews and socialists. The system they put in place in 1948 was based on socialist principles, reflecting both the experience many had growing up on kibbutzim or activism in socialist organizations in Europe. The founders created an economic system dominated by the public sector, which to a certain extent fit the needs of the nascent country at the time. By taxing private enterprise heavily and raising money in the U.S. and elsewhere, they sought to build a social infrastructure, including government buildings as well as roads and housing, all designed to handle the massive flow of immigrants into […]
July 26, 2015

PollaksPolitics: My Political Blog

I am a writer of genre fiction, but I am also engaged in the political realm. As a result, it seemed logical to have two separate blogs–one for each kind of post. For that reason I created PollaksPolitics.com, a blog where I post my thoughts on political issues. In case you’d like to label me before reading these, call me a Jeffersonian. I believe in the kind of democracy that the founders envisioned which expected its citizens to have a stake in society, to be informed, and to take responsibility for themselves and their families, not the kind that grants one a vote just because you reached the proper age. Remember much evil has come about due to elections in […]
May 27, 2014

Why Socialism Will Never Arrive. A Review of Bernard Johnpoll’s The Impossible Dream

Bernard Johnpoll with Lillian Johnpoll, The Impossible Dream. The Rise and Demise of the American Left, Greenwood Press, 1981 I was fortunate to have taken a class with Professor Johnpoll in the 1970s when I was a graduate student at the University at Albany. He was sui generis––a cigar smoking, iconoclastic, child of Communists who admired people who flirted with the Left while understanding their dreams were impossible. Why impossible? The conundrum socialists have been unable to solve for two hundred years is how to get from present circumstances to the “cooperative commonwealth.” Further, they never reached a consensus on what the cooperative commonwealth looked like, which made it easy for the leaders of the Russian, Chinese and Cuban revolutions […]
August 10, 2013

Toward Civic Integrity, A Book Review

This column was first published September 30, 2010 on  the Empire Page website. After more than six years of haggling, the final hurdles were recently overcome for the construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter within the city limits of Gloversville in Fulton County in upstate New York. While Gloversville City Court Judge Vincent DeSantis, author of “Towards Civic Integrity; Re-establishing the Micropolis,” (2007) understands the motives of the public officials who pushed the project through, he believes that this is exactly the wrong kind of development that’s needed for cities like Gloversville to function successfully in the 21st century. In his self-published extended essay, Judge DeSantis chronicles oft-repeated accusations against Wal-Mart centered communities. In addition to the charge that they drive […]