You may want to check out Igor Shofaravich's (hope I spelled that correctly) fabulous book titled, "The Socialist Phenomenon," which is out-of-print, but I found it translated into English on the Web. Has a forward by the Gulag Archipelago author's name which I can't spell (sorry).
Anyhow, it demonstrates what it sounds like Richter's work does -- that socialism has brought cruelty and tyranny throughout human history. We ignore it's immutable characteristics at our own risk.
By the way, I believe you also referred to Solzhenitsyn, which reminded me of this: In the course of his research for "Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile" (Harper Collins), Joseph Pearch traveled to Moscow to interview the writer. The excerpt below is from that interview:
"Solzhenitsyn: In different places over the years I have had to prove that socialism, which to many western thinkers is a sort of kingdom of justice, was in fact full of coercion, of bureaucratic greed and corruption and avarice, and consistent within itself that socialism cannot be implemented without the aid of coercion. Communist propaganda would sometimes include statements such as 'we include almost all the commandments of the Gospel in our ideology.' The difference is that the Gospel asks all this to be achieved through love, through self-limitation, but socialism only uses coercion. This is one point.
"Untouched by the breath of God, unrestricted by human conscience, both capitalism and socialism are repulsive."
His is a point which has been missing in much of current political debate.
To other posters: Jacquerie is correct that the clear points being made on this thread, complete with references which could help to educate citizens prior to November, are not being made by the nominee-elect. Unless he can find a way to make this argument for voters, then Obama will continue to "change" America from a place of liberty and opportunity to a place of tyranny and oppression.
Plain and simple, Obama's world view, derived from the ideas in which he immersed himself earlier, is at odds with the Constitution's strict and severe limits on the power "the People" allow its elected representatives to possess.
"The People," who, according to Justice Story's "Commentaries on the Constitution. . . ," are the "only KEEPERS", of that Constitution must, themselves, understand those limits and bounds on coercive power in government, or they may be hoodwinked into temporarily yielding up their constitutional rights to what George Washington described as a leader "more artful" than the rest.
In this President, we see an "artful" individual who is using every semantic and ideological maneuver he can come up with to extend his "reign" and to break the "chains of the Constitution" (Jefferson) on his power.
Thus, the use of that powerful and destructive appeal to the human capacity for "envy" and division of the voters, pitting those who have less against those who have more material possessions, because he understands that the numbers of potential votes among those of the former exceed those of the latter.
All the while he is pulling this magic trick in the media, he is, himself, especially enamoured of the very "rich" "millionaires and billionaires" he castigates for vote-getting purposes to the general public. Check out his black tie fund-raising parties. They are not conducted among ordinary people, even though he "envies" the poor people's "contributions" to his power grab also.
"Equality before the law" is the great principle underlying America's Constitution.
The President's utopian view is of a forced equality which reduces all to a level of mediocrity well known throughout history and in the modern world.
Americans should hold fast to the Founders' ideas of liberty instead of allowing its leaders to plunge it into European-style socialism.
From the Liberty Fund Library is "A Plea for Liberty: An Argument Against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation," edited by Thomas Mackay (1849 - 1912), Chapter 1, excerpted final paragraphs from Edward Stanley Robertson's essay:
"I have suggested that the scheme of Socialism is wholly incomplete unless it includes a power of restraining the increase of population, which power is so unwelcome to Englishmen that the very mention of it seems to require an apology. I have showed that in France, where restraints on multiplication have been adopted into the popular code of morals, there is discontent on the one hand at the slow rate of increase, while on the other, there is still a 'proletariat,' and Socialism is still a power in politics.
"I have put the question, how Socialism would treat the residuum of the working class and of all classesthe class, not specially vicious, nor even necessarily idle, but below the average in power of will and in steadiness of purpose. I have intimated that such persons, if they belong to the upper or middle classes, are kept straight by the fear of falling out of class, and in the working class by positive fear of want. But since Socialism purposes to eliminate the fear of want, and since under Socialism the hierarchy of classes will either not exist at all or be wholly transformed, there remains for such persons no motive at all except physical coercion. Are we to imprison or flog all the 'ne'er-do-wells'?
"I began this paper by pointing out that there are inequalities and anomalies in the material world, some of which, like the obliquity of the ecliptic and the consequent inequality of the day's length, cannot be redressed at all. Others, like the caprices of sunshine and rainfall in different climates, can be mitigated, but must on the whole be endured. I am very far from asserting that the inequalities and anomalies of human society are strictly parallel with those of material nature. I fully admit that we are under an obligation to control nature so far as we can. But I think I have shown that the Socialist scheme cannot be relied upon to control nature, because it refuses to obey her. Socialism attempts to vanquish nature by a front attack. Individualism, on the contrary, is the recognition, in social politics, that nature has a beneficent as well as a malignant side. The struggle for life provides for the various wants of the human race, in somewhat the same way as the climatic struggle of the elements provides for vegetable and animal lifeimperfectly, that is, and in a manner strongly marked by inequalities and anomalies. By taking advantage of prevalent tendencies, it is possible to mitigate these anomalies and inequalities, but all experience shows that it is impossible to do away with them. All history, moreover, is the record of the triumph of Individualism over something which was virtually Socialism or Collectivism, though not called by that name. In early days, and even at this day under archaic civilisations, the note of social life is the absence of freedom. But under every progressive civilisation, freedom has made decisive stridesbroadened down, as the poet says, from precedent to precedent. And it has been rightly and naturally so.
"Freedom is the most valuable of all human possessions, next after life itself. It is more valuable, in a manner, than even health. No human agency can secure health; but good laws, justly administered, can and do secure freedom. Freedom, indeed, is almost the only thing that law can secure. Law cannot secure equality, nor can it secure prosperity. In the direction of equality, all that law can do is to secure fair play, which is equality of rights but is not equality of conditions. In the direction of prosperity, all that law can do is to keep the road open. That is the Quintessence of Individualism, and it may fairly challenge comparison with that Quintessence of Socialism we have been discussing. Socialism, disguise it how we may, is the negation of Freedom. That it is so, and that it is also a scheme not capable of producing even material comfort in exchange for the abnegations of Freedom, I think the foregoing considerations amply prove." EDWARD STANLEY ROBERTSON
If all of us here today understand Robertson's 1800's conclusions about socialism's absolute "negation of freedom," then other Americans are capable of understanding them too--if they were clearly articulated to them by a presidential candidate!