I keep hearing some of the political discourse from the United States. Apparently socialism is worse than any of the dirty words. I’m surprised the FCC doesn’t bleep the word on network TV.
Did Americans forget they are a Social Democracy? This means that the US is mainly a capitalist state, but it uses socialism to smooth over some of the rough spots of capitalism.
In fact all the developed countries do this. But since the Americans do this slightly less than their developed country brothers and sisters they have convinced themselves in their discourse that socialism is evil.
But Republicans and Democrats are both responsible for the latest advance in socialism. That is they bailed out some banks and other lenders saying that there will be a trickle down effect to every person in the US. This is corporate socialism or corporate welfare. There is no way that every Democrat and Republican didn’t realize this.
In fact, I think that large corporate entities are being treated better than each citizen in the US. Could it be because they give more to lobbyists and political parties?
Damning socialism as they might, Americans have welfare and unemployment insurance. (I know it’s a technicality but we Canadians changed the name of unemployment insurance to “employment insurance” recently – it makes more sense.)
Do Americans want to go back to life without these comforts? Do the banks, and let’s not forget the auto companies, want to lose their status of “too big to fail”? That’s right. If socialism is so horrible, how come these programs almost never get repealed. Want to know why there is so much anger against full medicare? If it ever passes in the United States, it will never be repealed. People never plan to become ill, it’s just something that happens.
And I would like to argue that even before these obvious examples of socialism, America was a social democracy.
Public defenders and public educators could also be considered socialism. Public defenders started as long ago as before World War I in the US but became a right in 1963. Inclusive public schools started at an even much earlier date. These two institutions are certainly other ways to smooth over capitalism’s rough edges. I argue that these are socialism, too.
In fact what about the police and justice system, including judges? Aren’t these another bit of socialism if funded by the taxpayer? But there is no outcry about these institutions. Of course this system might possibly predate capitalism. It certainly predates the democracy of the Greeks.
So enough of the socialism bashing. It can be used wisely to smooth over the problems of capitalism. I might also add that it can help to smooth over the rough edges of just being human.
But I’m probably barking at a brick wall. Americans will probably call me a liberal and think this somehow dismisses me. In my country, Canada, liberal is not necessarily a badge of dishonour.