Socialism: Let’s stop sowing confusion

The United States has produced the greatest economic engine the world has ever known. As you probably already know, our system of production and market distribution is called Capitalism. It has unrivaled productive capacity, but it has always been rather weak in its mechanism of distributing the wealth that it creates, especially with regard to the needs of middle class, working and poor people.

Consequently, reforms, massively popular with working people, have been employed to make adjustments to our capitalist system through governmental laws and legislation. The eight-hour workday, laws against childhood labor, unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the right of workers to organize, restrictions on industry monopolies, workplace-safety rules, environmental prohibitions and other adjustments to the system were all meant to bring humane and ethical changes to what otherwise is a most efficient production method. But the ultimate goal of this method is the private accumulation of wealth and not necessarily the common good of ordinary people.

Any successful reforms to socially adjust capitalism have resulted from popular laws that represent the will of the people. We can and do differ on what such moderating laws should be, but, as a rule, they do not eventually result in some kind of revolution of the United States into a totalitarian society. In our democracy, any reforms can only succeed if they make democratically popular enhancements to the society in which we live. Further, if you are in favor of healthcare for all, you are neither espousing nor expecting the downfall of the government as a consequence. Universal K-12 public education did not bring a totalitarian state to the U.S., and, if enacted, neither will tuition-free community college.

For those you hear raging against a willfully ill-defined enemy—socialism—think of that rant as simply more mindless name-calling and fear-mongering that clarifies nothing and brings no real reason to the debate regarding what is right for the American people in 21st century society.

So tell me, if you are opposed to universal healthcare or perhaps to the “Green New Deal,” what is the rational basis of that opposition? Maybe you are a pharmaceutical or oil lobbyist and have a vested interest? That rationale we might understand. But whoever you are, remember that morally, it can never be okay to die in this time and in this place because you cannot afford the medical treatment to live.

 

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