Friday, August 13, 2010


Capitalists are always warning us of the evil of socialism. I’ve always wondered how an economic system that is based on common ownership of property and means of production could be evil. Socialists look at society as a group and think that the even distribution of wealth will benefit all. Of course, the countries that have claimed to be socialist were actually governed by despotic elites who restricted the freedom of their citizens. So socialism is not really a system that has been tried and found wanting as much as one that has not been tried at all. And it may never be tried because it’s the nature of the human animal to be competitive. The least competitive among us still want just a little more than our neighbors, or just a little more than we ever get. Capitalism views society as a group of individuals and if the individual is allowed the freedom to pursue his own interests then the entire group will benefit. In a perfect world either of those systems or a combination of both just might work.( I think the socialism we see in some European countries, such as Sweden is a blend of the two ideologies) But we don’t live in a perfect world. A religious person will tell you that man has a fallen nature and although he has the potential to do what is right he tends to mess things up. A more scientific person would say that we have evolved into a creature that preys upon his own kind. The old survival of the fittest doctrine. Social Darwinism is an idea long held by the wealthy and the powerful. They have more because they deserve more.

In America we have our own hybrid of the socialism/capitalism mix. The profit goes to private pockets and the risk is born by the taxpayers. Our government has been leavened by the corporate yeast. The capitalists aren’t against all socialism, just the kind that educates us when we’re young , takes care of us when we’re old and provides healthcare for all the years between. The socialism they prefer is one where the bankers who are both morally and fiscally bankrupt are given the keys to the treasury and the wealthy have their taxes cut even if the country has to borrow money to do it. The kind where contractors profit from the wars that kill our children. We’re told that the redistribution of wealth is a bad thing yet wealth has been redistributed from the bottom up for generations. The corporations and the wealthy have been waging war against the middle class for years and we didn’t even know it because the politicians owned by money interests have been successful in demonizing any social program that would give a hand up to those who were not born rich.

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