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Where’s My Socialism?

For a variety of reasons I watch a fair amount of Fox News, which I’m frequently at odds with on issues and none more so than socialism. Its bad enough that nobody there seems to know what socialism is or how it differs from communism, but its the claim that socialism is being applied to the government in huge new ways that annoys me the most. According to FOX talking heads, Bernie Sanders is in charge and AOC is the real Vice President, yet when it comes to backing up the claim with some evidence there is none to be found in spite of endless hand-wringing over it.

President Biden campaigned on pledges to “fight” for a $15 minimum wage, a public option for healthcare and lowering the age for social security, but even with democrats running congress there has been no attempt of any of this happening or any sign of the president “fighting” for any of these changes. What we have seen is an extremely embarrassing implosion of the alleged progressives in congress by failing to use their power in the same way that senator Joe Manchin does on a regular basis for far less noble purposes. Apparently “Mama Bear” had a chat with them and got their minds right so they won’t hold legislation hostage as senator Manchin is allowed to do in order to placate his corporate investors.

If you think votes on legislation that has no chance of passing is a wasted effort you should read both the history of civil rights legislation and AOC’s own writings from just last year, where she made a very strong four-point case for doing just that, yet when the opportunity has been within her grasp on multiple occasions since the election we are left with pathetic excuses instead of bold action. Bernie Sanders is just as bad with his John McCain impersonation-talk big and then fold quickly when the time comes to put your cards on the table, Fox News should be telling people that Bernie has one real job-to keep progressive voters from leaving for a third party so democrats can win elections.

The entire purpose of government is socialism, all that stuff like the military, police, fire departments, the parks, public roads, schools and libraries are all services socialism brings us. The only real question is where exactly the line between what can best be delivered by capitalism (like most consumer goods) and what socialism works best at is. The only element of the economy that is being even whispered about making socialist is the health care industry, and even then its only the insurance aspect of it that is being talked about-nobody is trying to make all the doctors and nurses government employees. With only one customer (the US government) paying for medicines how much leverage do you think we would have to lower drug prices down to levels comparable to what other developed nations pay? If doctors had one billing system to learn and update instead of dozens, if hospitals couldn’t charge you twice as much to replace your hip as a European country pays for the same operation and consumers weren’t paying for huge profits for shareholders, management and other overhead that runs far more than what it costs medicare to provide the same functions how would that be a bad thing?

On a side note, next time someone tells you drug companies need huge profits to make new drugs remind them that 2/3rds of the money they spent on research is to make copies of existing drugs, and that many if not most of the most useful drugs are a result of at least partial research funding from the (socialist) government.

If you listened to the MSM chatter about socialism you’d think that there is only a binary choice here instead of actually talking about what life would be like without insurance companies taking billions of dollars out of the pockets of Americans every year in such a haphazard way that in spite of having the best doctors, hospitals and technology and while spending twice as much per capita as any other nation we still have second-rate health care outcomes.

None of the “leftie” MSM outlets is backing a med4all system, in part because it would mean an end to those endless streams of pill-pushing commercials that generate so much ad revenue for them. Just watch the evening news and every day you’ll see in between the news segments who is really paying the salaries of the talking heads and their coworkers-lots of drug companies. This is the frightening form of bipartisanship, when Fox News and MSNBC are both defending the status quo the loser is clear-its you, and a glaring example of one of the downsides to capitalists controlling the news. 

Demand better-from your news sources and elected leaders, and ask yourself how is it we tolerate a health care system ($11,172 per capita) that can barely keep people alive as long as struggling Cuba ($987 per capita) does. Demand votes on med4all and oppose any politician who is against it or who fails to keep their promise to support it (yes “The Squad”, I’m looking in YOUR direction!), otherwise prepare to die early and broke because thats the trajectory we are on.

9 Comments

  1. john ignoffo July 25, 2021

    Of course, once upon a time many hoped/believed that socialism would evolve into communism. The abolishment of private (as opposed to personal) property is both politically absurd and existentially imperative. Ma Nature has a solution, but it ain’t purity…

  2. Douglas Coulter July 25, 2021

    Bureaucracy makes politics moot. Democracy, communism, socialism, and fascism all become indistinguishable under Kafka based government.
    Do the right thing becomes hostage to
    Do it the right way
    “Yes you who must leave everything that you cannot control” Leonard Cohen

  3. izzy July 25, 2021

    “What we have seen is an extremely embarrassing implosion of the alleged progressives in congress”

    We do have that, but even more embarrassing is the Presidential specter of Old White Joe trying to find his way through a complete sentence. He almost manages to make Trump look like an intellectual powerhouse. And the whole world gets to see it with us.

  4. Rye N Flint July 25, 2021

    RE: A must listen

    “Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff began on a single Pacifica station in March 2011. Today, it is played on 120+ radio stations nationwide and available for video streaming online.

    Prof. Wolff’s takes complex economic issues and makes them understandable, empowering listeners with information to analyze not only their own financial situation, but the economy at large. By focusing on the economic dimensions of everyday life – wages, jobs, taxes, debts, interest rates, prices, and profits – the program explores alternative ways to organize markets, and government policies.

    Economic Update is a Democracy at Work (d@w) production. d@w produces media and live events that aim to expose capitalism’s systemic problems and to show how democratizing our workplaces solves them. We can do better than capitalism.”

    https://www.rdwolff.com/the_new_socialism

  5. jonah raskin July 25, 2021

    Good to hear folks discussing socialism. As far as I can tell from reading and observing the world, there has never been a truly socialist country, though countries have claimed to be socialist. I don’t think you can have socialism in a single country when the world is largely some form of capitalism, whether rapacious or benevolent. The idea of socialism seems to be democratic and change through peaceful means, including non-violent resistance, while the idea of communism seems to be revolution by a small group of people using violent means and seizing power. You can’t have genuine political and economic change that ends poverty and war without violent revolution, but whenever you have violent revolution you sow the seeds for the undoing of the revolution. That is the conundrum, which is why it sometimes seems to make sense to espouse revolution from within, though a revolution from within without a revolution from without has not succeeded in transforming the world and bringing peace and justice. I have often listened to Rick Wolff whom I have known since about 1965 and have found his radio broadcasts to be closer to New Deal FDR style politics and economics than anything socialist or communist. A Green New Deal is a nice idea, but it is probably too late for it given global climate change, drought, fires, rising sea levels and elevated temperatures scorching the earth. But let’s keep on talking until we incinerate ourselves. Social security is great and Medicare is wonderful. They only exist in a small part of the world for a few not the many. Our own brothers and sisters are dying in Asia and Africa and South America and even parts of the USA from hunger, malnutrition, homelessness and misery.

  6. Rye N Flint July 25, 2021

    My brain feels better now…

  7. George Hollister July 25, 2021

    Socialism is central government responsibility/power, either in part or entirely. It does not matter what it’s called; Communism, Fascism, etc. The biggest advocates for it, have a notable distinction for failing to anticipate, or recognizing negative unintended consequences of socialist policies.

  8. jonah raskin July 25, 2021

    I believe there are some socialists who believe in local control and worker owned and operated cooperatives. Though those I have met in France and Spain usually call themselves “anarchists” and insist that the main thing about them is not bombs or bullets but rather community control of all the things that influence the lives of the people who live here – food, rent, traffic, air, water, electricity and political and economic power.

    • George Hollister July 25, 2021

      If local government is paid for locally, then there is local citizen control of government, and accountability. If the money for local government comes from a large central government then there is no citizen control, or accountability. The central government has the unaccountable power. I would not call the locally paid for fire department, police force, or public works department, etc. socialist, or anarchist, either. I call this the way the USA was intended to be.

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