Obama is a socialist……Dems are all socialists…….Krugman is one….Keynes was a big one and now Boehner is one…..socialists here, there, everywhere….but really……how long will these people keep trying to sell that premise?
When I first thought of this post I was going to go through the whole litany of reasons why none of those mentioned are socialists….but I have done that almost to death and all to try and make people wake up to the fact that there are NO socialists hiding in their closets……I have pointed to the facts about economics…none of which is socialist…unions are not socialists and ……if you been reading Info Ink you know what I have been trying to do in the past 3 or so years….it is hard to dispel a moronic accusation….but I try and try and……..I know I am butting my head against a wall but I just cannot let out right lies go on unchallenged……..
This time I thought I would approach it from another direction, a historical one…….
Let’s go back, well let say, about hundred years or so……it is the early 20th century and the industrial revolution is blowing and going, literally, blowing and going…….because of the conditions created by the revolution socialism is starting to make in roads in England and the rest of Europe…..the European worker is struggling for the basic of political rights……working conditions is one of the main issues….
Now across the big pond, the US is also in the middle of the industrial revolution and workers are also struggling with political rights…..but there is a problem for the growth of socialism….. here in America the struggle of those rights did not take the turn that it had in Europe….you see, America was born democratic and did not have to deal the the fights that the Europeans did…there was no peasants, aristocracy, etc…..and the big number one thing is the individual’s aim of owning property….sorry but that is a big obstacle for socialism to flourish. Citizenship and voting rights were something guaranteed to every person, well every man for the time being, and finally the strong confidence in the existing political system.
The Socialist Party in America arrived in the 1850s in the hearts and minds of German immigrants who formed Marxist style labor collectives and trade guilds. These unions and the political party they spawned were guided by a common tenet.
The socialist movement became a political force in 1900 under the charismatic leadership of Eugene V. Debs. Under his guidance, a web of political influence spanned the nation as the party elected mayors, councilmen, alderman and congressmen. Pittsburg Kansas was the home of the primary Socialist newspaper, “The Voice of Reason,” with a circulation of 700,000.
Deb’s influence was so pervasive that in 1912, he ran for president and received six percent of the vote. His message of poverty and social injustice appealed to the blue collar workers suffering under the crush of American industrialism where a very few became very wealthy of the work of the common people.
However, this idealistic and optimistic movement peaked in 1912 and declined steadily after that. Socialism suffered after World War I and came under attack during the Red Scare’ that began after the Russian Revolution of 1914. Socialists were lumped in the same category as communists and many leaders, including Debs, were arrested. Continued philosophical rifts weakened the movement further. The downtrodden, found no glory in their lot in life, and sought upward mobility in the economic boom following World War II. Other workers turned to unions and concentrated on increasing wages and benefits instead of reforming society. Idealogically adrift, the socialist movement ceased to be a viable factor in American politics in the 1950s.
Today, the socialist movement bears no resemblance to the idealistic tenets of its founders. Fractured and fractuous, groups purporting to espouse socialism range from the extreme left with the Socialist Party USA and their calls for collective ownership of means of production, to the extreme right, including the National Socialist Movement that wants to restore socialism in the mold of Hitler’s Germany.
Unfortunately, as with all non-mainstream movements, viable and important political concepts get lost in the rhetoric. Debs message was simple America was too great a nation to have so many mired in poverty. He gave them a voice. However, that voice has been lost in the Babel that followed.
Until recently, socialism was having a difficult time finding a solid foothold in the political landscape….but all that is changing but the problem is the people are not aware of it and the right has done a lot to help the rise of a socialistic movement……for a lot of the issues that the masses are demanding are issues from the socialist playbook……
If you take nothing away from this post….remember one important thing………
To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc.
“Socialism is the belief and the hope that by proper use of government power, men can be rescued from their helplessness in the wild cycling cruelty of depression and boom.”
Socialism can be a pure form of democracy….if only people would stop looking for boogey men and hiding in the closet….our major problems could be solved…it would take lots or work by the people….and unfortunately I am not convinced that they are up to it…..