Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Socialism in the US - The Real Radicals
There is a slogan floating around the internet announcing that "The time is now to stop calling the Democrats the "Democratic Party" and start calling them what they really are, the Socialist Party"
Let's think about that, and the assumption that socialism is inherently not American. Let's start with a definition of "socialism." Such as:
"Socialism is an economic system characterised [sic] by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy....'Social ownership' may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership...." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
Then I'd say something like, "Historically, we in America have understood that some things are best left to private enterprise, such as industry and many service businesses; and that some things are best left to socialist enterprise, like the post office and the military, as well as municipal services such as police and fire safety, schools, trash collection, water distribution.
"We've also traditionally believed services such as higher education can be served by both public and private non-profit institutions.
"And many services and activities have been traditionally allocated to the two systems acting cooperatively, such as road construction, which done by private enterprise on behalf and for the benefit of the public, and paid for and administered by public funds.
"Our hospital systems used to be the same, involving both public sector and the private sector.
"The idea that everything should be done, and that everything is best done, by private enterprise is a very modern and very radical idea advocated by powerful and yet extreme elements in our political system."
"True conservatives seek to retain the blended systems which have served our country so well over the centuries. The radicals who insist on privatizing governmental services have a heavy burden of proof - and the evidence of the last 30-40 years does not support their radical ideas."
"When the only people who benefit from pure capitalism are the capitalists, then it is hard to argue that such an extreme form of economic organization is successful, from the point of view of "we, all of the people."