Friday, April 16, 2010

Who's the socialist?

Billy Wharton.

Who's Billy Wharton?

He's co-chair of the Socialist Party USA, the country's main socialist political party, the main successor to the Socialist Party of America.

So he's a guy who knows a thing or two about socialism, and about whether, as conservatives allege, Obama and his agenda are socialist. Well...

We didn't see a great victory with the election of Barack Obama, and we certainly didn't see our agenda move from the streets to the White House.

But what about what conservatives are saying?

It makes no rational sense. It clearly means that people don't understand what socialism is.

Now, to be fair, socialism isn't monolithic, and different socialists believe different things. Even CNN seems to understand this. But Wharton's point is right. People hurl the socialism/socialist label around without much of a clue as to what it actually means.

Indeed, it's rather amusing that, judging by the tone of its article, CNN seems really surprised to have learned that there is already a good deal of socialism, broadly understood, in America: Social Security, Medicare, etc. It's almost like CNN can't quite believe it, and so the article, valuable in a way but also profoundly stupid and deeply ignorant despite its citations of experts, contains a mixture of curiosity and repulsion. And, given where CNN is headed, it's hardly surprising that the final section of the article focuses on a single teabagger who, by all indications, is even more profoundly stupid and deeply ignorant.

Regardless, Wharton is quite right. Neither Obama nor his agenda is socialist. Like so many reformers before him, he is simply trying to save capitalism from itself.

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  • If anything more civilized than paleolithic tribalism can be called Socialism, and it is, it's hard to make a case for sanity in America. John Birch dementia seems to have erupted like a retrovirus and it's strange to me since Communism is fading from the world.

    And of course, the mythological connection between governmental social services and Marxism or Communism seems to fail the test of history too; Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and in fact the entire "first world" with the exception of the USA finds them not only compatible with, but an aid to prosperity, freedom and opportunity. They may well have all those aplenty while my nation of toothless, unwashed savages scavenges for food in the wreckage while screaming "We're number one" to the rats and roaches.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:12 AM  

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