The word “socialism” gets thrown around a lot these days, usually by folks on the right who have no real concept of what it means. So we can start from solid ground, here’s the short version:
Socialism is a societal structure where the government owns the resources, means of production and end product of all industries, and where all goods and services are directly supplied or sold to the end user by the government. From beginning to end, all products and services are controlled by a central government, and the benefits of such a structure are spread to the subjects of that government, with those at the top of the structure usually benefiting more than those below, by virtue of their control of the government. While often presented as a representative form of government, in reality, control of socialist structures usually resides within an elite group, while the vast majority share the available resources.
So, if you want to buy a car, you buy it from a government authorized dealer. The price is set by the government, and the car was built in a government-run plant. The materials to build that car came from government owned and operated mines and factories, and the money you are using to buy that car was paid to you by the government for your government-run job. You go to a government-run grocery store and purchase groceries that were produced on government-owned and run farms. And all the while, those at the highest levels of government live at levels far exceeding yours. And you have no chance of changing it.
You get the picture.
Now – for all those who want to claim that the President and Democrats want to push the country into socialism, I have news for you. We’re already seeing Socialism 2.0. Not because of the President or the Democrats. No, it’s a bit more insidious than that.
Take that last set of examples I just made, and substitute “corporations” for government, and you’ll have exactly the situation we see now. Of course, the argument will be made that corporations are not the same as government. And to that, I say “Wake Up”.
The only significant difference between the two is that they are one layer of complexity removed. Corporations are not the government, but they have worked tirelessly to ensure they control the government. When they profit, it is kept at the upper echelons of the corporate structure. When they fail, they rely on the common populace to pay for it. How different is that from “socialism”.
Need more proof? Big business and the right want to eliminate government as much as possible. In other words, they want to remove that layer that separates the corporate structure from socialism. They are already writing law after law to their benefit. They control politicians with infusions of cash. They are swaying elections with unlimited ability to fund efforts with complete anonymity. They control the media. And they want to give less and less say about how things work to the average citizen.
Ever heard the phrase “Methinks he doth protest too much”? It applies here. The more they rail about socialism, the more likely it is that they are trying to divert your attention from the fact that socialism is exactly what they want. They simply want to supplant the current government with their own structure. That government is what is keeping them from having complete control of the resources and production of all goods and services.
Voter disenfranchisement, elimination of unions, deregulation of the financial industry, dismantling the EPA, getting rid of the Department of Education – they all have one goal: remove controls and dilute the power of the populace to have a say in their lives, and move all control to corporations.
For all those that want to claim that the Occupy Wall St. movement is an attempt to drive us to socialism, I ask you to simply look at what corporations are trying to do, and explain how their ultimate control of everything, including government, is not the 21st century incarnation of socialism.