by Bernice Lipkin

Stage 1: Demonize the rich and suck them dry.

Some rich folk leave to join the major part of their funds in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. Some stay, expecting to be part of the nobility and immune to the general collapse of the infrastructure. The wives of the political rulers reject some of them and they are forced to join the hoi polloi. Every so often, "rich" is redefined. It started at 2.5 million dollars. Then having 250,000 dollars meant you were rich. The amount keeps going down and more and more people are declared millionaires but, even so, not enough money is coming in to keep up with the government's entitlement commitments, let alone its bailouts and stimulus packages and loan forgiveness and freebies.

Stage 2: Eliminate the potential troublemakers.

Get rid of the creative, the independent thinkers, the self-starters, the small businessman and the job generators either by taxing them into poverty or regulating them into paralysis or labeling them enemies of the people and jailing them.

Stage 3: Welcome to Utopia where every one is equal.

Except for the "elected" politicians and their cronies, everyone is now equal -- equally poor. People with outstanding organizational talent have been eliminated or are so demoralized they are no threat. The rest are getting the message they better not stand out in the crowd. Equipment is not kept in working condition, because if someone starts bossing other people to make them work in synchrony that means he thinks he's better than everyone else and that is unacceptable. Manufacturing suffers from shoddy material which isn't where it is supposed to be when it is needed so it gums up the next stage of integration. The solution is to blame poor quality and lack of progress on saboteurs and trouble makers-- imprison some from the middle class, shoot some others.

This doesn't actually make things better and after a while the media run out of cheer. People start to complain more loudly. They aren't getting the freebies they were promised when they voted. Their free phones aren't connected. Their free computers stop working. The cars they were promised never came. And there's no free gas, anyways. Their welfare checks don't come on time. They are shocked and bewildered when the Government prints some more money and hires a huge number of experts who work out schemes that put everyone to work, one way or another. The local authorities start rounding up those who have long been adept at playing the welfare system and are clever at avoiding work. These people are labeled parasites and anti-social and put in work camps and reeducation compounds and work gangs. Russian writers are happy. They flood the barter market with self-help and how-to books based on their experience the last hundred years under Communism.

People stop protesting. They may rage internally but they keep a low profile and, primed by an enthusiastic media, they start learning how to survive in Utopia. And when they have learned subservience and obedience to authority, suddenly the practitioners of the Religion of Peace are everywhere and in control of everything. Islam has made another conquest.

Bernice Lipkin is managing editor of Think-Israel.

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