Are the “Occupy Wall Street” protests a leftist tea party movement? Many on the left say yes, while others simply hope it would turn into such for political reasons. No one can deny the tea party gained considerable political clout in a very short time. And progressives would like nothing better than to be able to master that same recipe.

Therefore, it should have come as no surprise that there would be a leftist movement counter to the tea party. After all, liberals and progressives are fearful of what the tea partiers stand for – less government spending and less government intrusion.

It is true that both the tea party and those marching on Wall Street are calling for change. But, that is where the similarity ends. Because the change one seeks is altogether different from the other.

The left believes the answer to the country’s economic woes can only be solved by more government spending and more regulations. Needless to say, the tea party will quickly say that it is just that – excessive government spending and regulations that is the real cause of the problem in the first place.

So, it goes without saying that the political left and political right are as far apart as any two philosophies could possibly be. Whether realizing it or not, one stands for socialism, a system where all power rests in the hands of government. The other sees power resting with the people, that which is spelled out in the Constitution.

One believes government must control all production and commerce. The other believes production and commerce can only reach its potential through unbridled entrepreneurship.

One believes only government, not the individual, has the ability to fulfill man’s never-ending needs. The other believes only the individual can overcome the challenges of society.

So, why the difference in philosophy; why is it that the right and left are so far apart?

The answer lies in individualism versus collectivism. While socialism claims to for the betterment of all, what they fail to reveal is that it also destroys free will – the free will to pursue one’s dreams and aspirations.

Under a socialistic economic system, one must give up his or her dreams of getting ahead for that of the state. It is the state that has ideas worthy of consideration, not the individual.

In a capitalist system the exact opposite is in effect – it is the individuals that are most important. Man has the freedom to pursue his dream. He may win or he may fail, but he has the opportunity to try. If he fails he’s quickly forgotten. But if he wins he makes a contribution to society.

In the capitalist system there have been many winners. Just to name a few we might begin with Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, and Steve Jobs. But who can the socialists name? That is right – they can name none because there have been none.

So, when someone says Occupy Wall Street and the tea party are the same or similar, they are dead wrong. The truth is that they could not be farther apart.

One believes in personal freedom; the other believes in giving up one’s freedom to the state.

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