Our President at His Best!

Observations of a Citizen

Hal Rounds


Sikorsky, Socialism, and our Schools


Do you ever pay attention to the whump-whump-whump sound of an approaching helicopter?  Do you watch the news and their commentary as Trump boards the presidential helicopter to go off on a trip?  If it was not for Igor Sikorsky, you probably would never have seen these things; because Igor Sikorsky invented the helicopter.


Sikorsky was born in Russia in 1889, under the Czar.  The Sikorsky family enjoyed their strong Christian foundations; Igors mother home-schooled him, and his father was a professor at the university.  Igor, always interested in technical subjects, heard of the Wright Brothers flight, and focused on flying machines.  By the beginning of World War I, Igor, had designed the worlds first multi-engined aircraft.  Originally designed to carry passengers, his design was transformed into a bomber for the Czars air force.  It was a magnificent achievement, with a narrow cab styled like a luxury trolley car behind its streamlined, open balcony-like, nose, where passengers could stand and feel the wind in their faces.


But the communist revolution came, pulled Russia out of the World War, and executed the Czars family.  The purges began slowly, and Igor became one of the refugees who fled the bloody tyranny of the communist revolution.  In following years, Stalin killed millions of Russians of the entrepreneurial and middle- and upper classes – they were slow to obey the dictates of redistribution and reorganization of the communist economy.  Others, particularly those of the agricultural classes, died of starvation, as redistribution of resources fed the industrial plans of the communist regime.


But Igor had emigrated, via France, to the United States.  He fulfilled the immigration rules, of the day - including the merit requirements - he was a legal immigrant.  By 1923 he had put together a fledgling aircraft manufacturing company, Sikorsky Aviation.  Within 4 years, Sikorsky was building a series of 2-engined flying boats.  These planes soon carried Pan American Airways to become the worlds leading international airline, beginning the era of transocean travel. 


All this time, Sikorsky had been experimenting with ideas on how to make an aircraft that could lift off the ground vertically. By the late 1930s he had put the ideas together, and, as Hitlers National Socialists were invading Poland, Sikorskys VS-300 first lifted off the ground, the worlds first practical helicopter.  By 1942 the production version, the R-4, was in production for the U.S. Army.  All the helicopters you are likely to see today are simply improvements of his work, just a capitalist refugee from socialized Russia.


With volumes of stories like Igor Sikorskys, you would think that everyone would appreciate the blessings of our American form of liberty, and the invention machine we know as capitalism.  Yet, we find that some 45% of young Americans, coming out of our schools, think that it would be good to adopt a policy of socialist economics right here.  No such system has ever lasted long without strangling the gift of economic and inventive creativity.


Could we find the source of this thinking in our schools and textbooks, where we find passages like: Communism shares some of the advantages and disadvantages of socialism. One advantage is that a command economy may allow countries to develop their economies quickly, as in the Soviet Union and China. (U.S. Government – Principles In Practice, 2013 edition, Holt McDougal  P. 515.)  Or, in American Government And Politics Today, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, P. 10, we find an analysis that teaches the students that property ownership is unfair, but capitalists selfishly refuse to allow theirs to be redistributed. 


Most of the lessons are not this blatant, but the underlying views that form the governmental and economic lessons in our schools carry this message.  I think that is a very big problem.