Wendy’s Weekly Take: Socialism

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I’ve been hearing the word “socialism” thrown out there, mainly in the conservative blogosphere and talk radio. I was listening to one program on the AM radio dial while sitting in traffic. A college-aged kid explained to the host that his liberal professor had a blog on Facebook and the kid had left a comment on his blog that his ideas were “socialist”. The professor came back with two words: “Define socialism?” The kid was calling in to the talk radio program to ask how to define it. The radio host said, “Oh liberals think they are smart. They ask that question to try to trip you up, to trick you. You see, they do that to forward their Marxist principles. Just because we don’t live in an absolute socialist state, doesn’t mean it’s not socialism! You tell him that.”

Way to go! Define a word with the word! I’m sure it’s all clear to him now.

Poor kid, I wanted to call in and tell him to just Google it. Socialism as defined on dictionary.com is:

“a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

Now Marxism is the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism. Marxism is an economic theory explaining how communism comes to be. And communism is slightly different than socialism. Communism is a political system in which one ruler or party controls the economy in which all goods are shared equally by the people.

The way the conservatives are talking you’d think we lived in an absolute capitalist society and capitalism is holy. The truth is we don’t live in an absolute capitalist society and we haven’t since 1887 when the first regulatory agency the was formed to take charge in regulating the most important industry at the time-the railroads. The funny thing is that it was created on suggestion by Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller to limit competition. Who would have thought the richest Americans would get their hands in the pockets of politicians to create an agency that would make it impossible for other companies to form and compete in the railroad industry? That never happens (sarcasm).

The United States’ economic system is a mixture of socialism and capitalism. Many private industries are born from government programs, like the internet and cell phones. Back in the day of FDR, social security and the FDIC were touted as socialist, as well. But not one politician today would call for the abolition of either program. But yet, they think that government caused our economic problem and stifling free markets would cause the end of the world as we know it.

The truth is that the markets went willy nilly and made investments on crap derivatives. And from what I understand of derivatives, they are assets of a made up value making money appear out of nowhere. Once everyone found out what the real value of the mortgage derivatives were, that’s when the proverbial feces hit the oscillating blade. And now 4.4 million jobs are lost and more losses are to come. This is the dark side of capitalism.

So until the good times start rolling around again, we need to depend on our government to create jobs. Last I heard, they aren’t taking ownership of any private industry, although many economists say they need to take ownership of the banks. They are actually just giving industries some “welfare” checks by giving them some government contracts and giving local governments some extra cash to pay their police and fire departments until this crap finally blows over. So the super socialist part is temporary.

So to those who are afraid that we are in a socialist state, don’t fear until your bank becomes owned by you and everyone else. But really, the way I see it, we could probably run things better than the jokers who’ve been doing it so far.

Bank Failure; Republican Remedy

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3 thoughts on “Wendy’s Weekly Take: Socialism

  1. I think there is evil in either system..pure capitalism or pure socialism. There are roles where government should be involved: like the education, health and protection of its people. That includes regulation. Sometimes, like when the economy stinks (like now), we need the government to spur industry and to REGULATE IT.
    This is where our government has failed.

    The whole root of the crisis is the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act signed during the Great Depression I. The Glass-Steagall Act was signed because investment banks and regular banks were all rolled into one. If the Glass-Steagall Act had stayed in place, the current crisis would have only been a minor one..there wouldn’t be the bailouts. But it did get repealed..and thus Great Depression II.

  2. Hey Wendy, I saw an episode on 60 minutes a few years ago where people in the former USSR were interviewed. There were tears in these people’s eyes when they talked about how much better their lives were before capitalism. Before everyone had bread and at the time of that broadcast the cost of a loaf of bread was through the roof and they couldn’t afford to buy it. Sound familiar? We are quickly becoming a country where one segment will be able to live in complete luxury and the other segment in utter poverty. These people who are sooooooo afraid of socialism, guess they have no desire to draw unemployment, social security, etc. I hope they continue to vote for the republicans who are only interested in protecting the rich who have little need of any social service. History will tell and we shall see!!!

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