Saturday, March 12, 2016

We Are All Socialists

A short time ago I saw an earnest discussion on Facebook about socialism, entitlements, subsidies, and the myth of the free lunch. Some people seemed to get it while others did not. I chimed in with this lengthy input:
"Nothing is free. Each society must prioritize how it utilizes scarce resources. Socialism is everywhere and is simply a sign of modernity. It merely suggests that government can play a positive role in people's lives and should play a prominent role in people's lives. The only ideological difference between various people is the degree to which they believe in socialism and where they want to see it manifested in public and private life. Liberals want certain types of socialism while Conservatives want other types of socialism. Both believe in many of the same types of socialism. We hear all the time how much Liberals are Socialists, and they are... and so are Conservatives. However, if you are a Conservative who supports the Drug War, you are a Socialist. If you are a Conservative who supported Bush's reorganization of the Federal government after 9/11 as well as the Patriot Act, you were a Socialist. If you are a Conservative who supports Trump's Mexican Wall, you are a Socialist because the U.S. government will pay for that, not Mexico. If you are a Conservative who supports farm subsidies, you are a Socialist. If you are anybody of any political stripe who believes in public schools and libraries and parks and publicly maintained transportation systems and public fire departments and police departments and so on, you are a Socialist. If you believe in the militarization of U.S. law enforcement agencies and their possessing commando-like units and armored personnel carriers, then you are a Socialist. If you believe in our large standing military which is contrary to the Founding Father's vision of our nation, then you are a Socialist. If you believe NSA should eavesdrop on Americans, you are a Socialist. If you believe in publicly funded health care, you are a Socialist. If you believe in privately-funded health care but with government oversight to make sure medicine is conducted safely and to ensure the private sector is not ripping you off in any way then you believe in socialism. Socialism is neither good nor bad, it merely is what it is. However, many people don't seem to understand what it is and confuse Socialism with Communism which is an economic model whereas socialism is a political ideology every single modern nation adheres to. Where there is no socialism, there is no modernity. Nations arguably more democratic than the U.S. which is now a de facto corporate oligarchy, thrive in their blend of democracy and socialism. We generally seem to be doing fine likewise apart from our divided house and incompetent leadership and gridlocked government."

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