jump to navigation

Socialism – The New Right-Wing Bogeyman April 11, 2009

Posted by Kate Ryan in Economy, National Politics, Politics, Socialism.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

marxAlabama (need I say more) Republican Representative Spencer Bachus announced this week that “at least” 17 of his House colleagues are Socialists.  Of course, when he was asked to name names, Rep. Bachus would not reveal the evildoers, he just wanted to make sure we know that he has “a list”.  This follows on the heels of lunatic-fringe Minnesota Republican Michelle Bachman cautioning over national-service programs such as Americorps because they will led to indoctrination of young people in “re-education camps”. 

“It’s under the guise of — quote — volunteerism,” Bachman said.  ” But it’s not volunteers at all. It’s paying people to do work on behalf of government. … I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums.”   

Bachman, of course, is the Congressman who famously told Chris Matthews on “Hardball” in October that several of her congressional brethren harbor anti-American views and that the media needed to do a “penetrating expose” to ferret them out. 

What has apparently started all these right-wing heads spinning is news that a recent Rasmussen poll found that only 53% of Americans believe that capitalism is the best economic system.  About 47% said that they believed socialism was better (20%) or were unsure (27%).  The real telling statistic in this poll is age.  By large numbers, people over 40 prefer capitalism; only 13% thought that socialism was the most superior system.  Those under the age of 30, however, prefer capitalism by a slim margin of 4%; 37% favor capitalism, 33% favor socialism, and 30% are undecided.  By and large, these are the same folks that are leading the direction that this country is moving in.  This is the Facebook generation and their votes go overwhelmingly Democratic.  Numbers like this are bound to cause distress to Republicans.

Why this fact surprises anyone is beyond me.  I am a big fan of Marxist socialism and social democracy and I’m also a realist.  I doubt many of these young Americans have ever read “Das Kapital”, Karl Marx’ treatise on the pitfalls of unfettered capitalism and industrialization. In it, socialism is classically defined as state ownership of industry and the means of production.  Though there are many different iterations to the extent of what the state controls, the end result is the more equal distribution of the wealth created by industry based upon the amount of work expended in production. 

Young people are attracted to socialism because we raised them to be.  This is the “self-esteem” generation; the kids who played in little leagues where everyone got a trophy at the end of the year and participated in spelling bees where everybody was praised profusely for “trying hard”.   This is the generation that truly sees no race or ethnic differences between people and don’t really care who anybody sleeps with.  This is the generation who, as we their parents taught them, learned that effort was worth reward.  Is it really any wonder that they would seek a society where there was a more equal distribution of wealth as long as everyone participated within their abilities to create it?

Don’t get me wrong, though the non-competition of my daughter’s basketball league left me cold, I think these kids are on to something.  It is my hope that they will embrace Socialism and in turn, create a more equal world for my grandchildren to share in. 

And the Republicans will just have to get used to it.