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Socialism – the pitch and the purpose, Part 5

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

(Continued from last week.)

Our final group of major players I will call chameleons. Chameleons move from the anointed to the useful idiots, subcategory, victims, as circumstances develop and according to what they perceive as the most advantageous posture for themselves.

Their motivation is almost purely driven by money.

There are two distinct ordinary groups with which the chameleons normally identify. These are business owners and leaders (from the smallest to the largest businesses) and lawyers. These groups blow with the wind, based on their perception of where the money is – once again, follow the money.

For instance, in World War II, the large manufacturers in Germany nearly all used slave labor furnished by the government. They didn’t protest, didn’t say this is not humane, nothing. It was presented to them as an opportunity, and they took it.

Let me quote from one of these major old German company's websites today in a paragraph on their website they have titled, “Who we are:”

• “We are…around 104,000 people with thousands of different lifestyles and cultures. But one thing unites us all: We are a team. We work together, learn from each other, and grow together. We are fair. We respect each other and communicate openly.”

Enough of that. The people working in their factories in 1939 or so no doubt would be very surprised at this statement. Always take these corporate statements with a grain of salt. They merely reflect the current culture and are always subject to change.

Corporations around the world exist to make money for their shareholders and nothing else, whether that is the local shop owned by one person or the largest conglomerate owned by thousands. At the same time, they can be the anointed and useful idiots, depending on the audience of the moment.

But I have saved the largest category of chameleons until last: the lawyers. But first a disclosure: I have made a fair portion of my living as an expert witness working for lawyers, so I am not clean on this one.

The legal profession weaves its way through all of society – civil, criminal, government, business, individuals and institutions. If you are going to have a civilized society, you are going to have laws and other rules of conduct. An ancient profession arose, through need, to guide us everyday working folks through this labyrinth. It was the legal profession.

We need it, we would have chaos without it. Yet, the legal profession has adopted the stance of both the anointed and useful idiot (often in the victim role) as needed.

In the United States, since the 1990s, the legal profession has changed their longstanding position and decided it is OK for them to advertise. I think this has been one of the largest unintended consequences of societal changes in my lifetime. Now, we are daily bombarded in all media forms with advertising telling us we are victims. Lawyers make money off victims. Hire me, the anointed lawyer, and I will get you a lot of money, you poor, pitiful victim.

So, in the last few weeks, I have laid out the players in the drama of socialism. You have been patient, but we’ll have one more week of definitions to go before we finally answer the tease of the series title.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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