Recently in the political landscape of the USA, more and more one hears the word “socialism” thrown out, often in derisive tones by those who love “capitalism,” and oddly who are not in the “one percent” that owns all the capital. More often than not the ones expressing their chagrin about the illusory prospect of “socialism” creeping into the American livelihood, are middle-aged or older, and likely Caucasian, with a sprinkling of immigrants from failed economies ruled by dictators under the guise of “socialism.”
I “shake my head” when I hear these kinds of comments, and my mind harkens to one or two other of my blog posts where I spoke of the need for our educational system to be enhanced to foster greater critical analytical skills in our population, as well as improvements in fact-based history as opposed to “white washed” history.
I am not here to advocate for either socialism or capitalism, but only to raise questions to those fearful of “socialism.” Many of those who think this word falls in the “four letter” category are also very dependent on socialism already, and have benefited from it for many decades in the USA. Take Social Security for one. What about our public education system? Oh, and then the highway system (hence the cool photo above)? Now let’s throw in everything that falls under the Federal Government, such as our entire military force, the Veterans Administration, virtually all the major departments of the government, …….and for grins let’s throw in the United State Postal System, and maybe the Federal Reserve?
So when these folks deem it necessary to rail against the perceived illusory rise of socialism, the fact is they are wholly dependent on social structures that stitch together the very fabric of our Nation.
Having said that, why are they so afraid of everyone having access to healthcare, vis-a-vis a single-payer system? Whoa, the fact is that the majority of these complaining are on or going to be on Medicare and Medicaid! …Socialist to the roots. Should not everyone have access to basic health services under similar programs? And why cannot, or should not, given the sorry state of our competitive abilities in the world economy, we offer additional education without cost to our youth? Beyond high school, for say another two years at least? It is the education of our youth that will drive the economy through this century.
I feel there is a severe lack of understanding of what are social programs versus “socialism” versus, well let’s say it, “communism.” On top of this, regrettably, is the attitude of many who worked hard, who have accumulated something in their lives, that makes them feel that others who haven’t lived as long or worked as hard (maybe not as blessed like the “haves”) should not be given a leg up on education or health insurance. This is selfishness at its core. It is not what the Christian Jesus taught, nor what any other religion teaches (not that one has to be religious to show compassion).
In my previous post I spoke on Stillness. Perhaps some stillness, and reflection would lead to a better appreciation of this four-letter word, socialism.