Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sliding Toward a More Social Union

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."
Warren Buffett

Throughout the entire reign of the devastating Bush years, and even during the pro-business Clinton years, (when we all watched Bill Clinton cozy up to the Republicans in a misguided and futile attempt to make them stop their incessant bullying), I felt like the lone voice whimpering that you just can't let raging Capitalism take hold without allowing social consciousness to follow in its wake, caring for the inevitable battered and bloodied.

Capitalism, by its very nature, rewards greed. Greed, by its very nature, rewards selfishness. A country that claims to be By the People, For the People, and Of the People can't afford to give Greed its day.

If you want to call a recognition of the need for social programs "Socialism", fine with me. I've argued for a long time that Capitalism has to get in bed with Socialism in order to survive. I've argued, too, that Socialism has to suck up to Capitalism in order to--okay--get its programs funded.

Michael Winship wrote a piece in Bill Moyers' Journal's The Blog yesterday called, "Oh, what a lovely class war!". He starts it this way:
"My goodness, how they howl when the proverbial shoe is on the proverbial other foot. You’d think the Red Army had just left Moscow and was preparing a frontal assault on the Federal Reserve.
So what are conservatives, Wall Street and financial television commentators shouting? Socialists! That's right. Spread the word: Socialists are swarming over our nation's capitol, and making off with the means of production, otherwise known as campaign contributions and the Federal budget. You got trouble, my friends."

To Michelle Malkin the opposite of Socialism is apparently "individual responsibility". Is that what we've seen for the past eight to twelve years? Individual responsibility? Which individuals were responsible for screwing the American people out of their livelihoods, out of their homes, out of any chance at getting quality health care? How exactly does this individual responsibility work? Every person is an island? We don't need no lousy handouts? Tell that to the Fat Cats who not only had their hands out, they had their vaults open, ready to be filled with OUR money.

North Carolina senator Jim DeMint doesn't want a thing to do with nationalizing banks, and he uses the threat of "socialism" to make his argument: "I think the idea of nationalization is the same idea as socialization," DeMint said. "I think we need to do everything we can to make the private markets work and not use this as an excuse to expand government into owning banks and other companies."A little late for that, Jim. The private markets blew it. That's why we're where we are now. If even the slightest hint of regulation had been in the mix, we might not now be looking at having to own the banks in order to make them do right by us. (Or we might not be watching Bernie Madoff this very day do the perp walk to face the thousands he swindled out of billions without fear of detection.)

We're in a mess now, and the people who put us there want a chance to mess it up again. We can't let them. We must allow this administration to bring in their interpretation of a New Deal. The Reaganites are wrong when they say the best government is no government. Barack Obama is right when he says the best government is good government. And right now good government is BIG government--like it or not.

What we're hearing now is the bleating sounds of sheep dying a hard death. Pay no attention. We don't have time for them.



  1. The best society would be built on all the good parts of both capitalism and socialism, allowing for individual growth and succeess while insuring aid to those less fortunate. The whiners are just afraid of losing their control of the working class, who helped them build their wealth in the first place! Good article, good read.

  2. Odd, isn't it, that capitalism is an accepted word and socialism is the word we cannot speak?
    The best of times in America were the times when we had a conscience and a flourishing middle class. I can't wait for people to wake up to the consequences of an all-capitalistic society and get back to the real world.
    Thanks for commenting.


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