With the defeat of Bernie Sanders’ FDR-Style “Democratic Socialist” candidacy and the modest reforms he proposed complete, all the affluent Silicon Valley sycophants, Latté Liberals, NeoLib Corporatists and others posing as Progressives or Liberals can now breathe a collective sigh of relief in their wine caves now.
We can all relax, confident in the knowledge the right-wing “Centrist” candidacy of Uncle Joe has safely been propped up by the DNC’s creative vote counting in all the Super Tuesday States and with the remaining primaries halted only halfway through.
And what does it matter if #DementiaJoe can’t tell his wife from his sister, occasionally gropes other men’s wives, gets really creepy around pre-pubescent girls and occasionally rapes naïve young female staffers, why “Joe Biden is Joe Biden,” as Nancy Pelosi cryptically reassures us.
“Nothing Will Change” is the one campaign promise we can count on with MBNAJoe, as he surrounds himself with only the fattest of the fat-cat lobbyists and banksters in his proposed dream team cabinet. Yes, rest assured that not one iota of genuine reform will ever see the light of day should Big Bank Biden be elected come November. Of course, no matter how crooked, how demented, how much of a sexual predator he is, who ya gonna vote for–the Insane Clown President? The Duopoly again presents us with two evils and asks us to choose the lesser. There IS a better way and they know it.
However, even should The Not Trump candidate not win in November, hey, that’s OK too. ‘Cause Chuck, “I’m Helpless to Stop Them,” Schumer and Nancy, “Let Them Eat Jeni’s,” Pelosi will continue to have cover for giving the Republicans everything they want, all the while railing against The Insane Clown’s boorish behavior and his retarded rants. Meanwhile, both vote for bloated giveaways to billionaires, approve trillions for foreign wars, and write blank checks for fatally flawed war machines.
It would be good at this juncture, however, for us to do a brief self-assessment from the safety of our collective wine-cave quarantine, just to make sure no genuine progressive ideas have somehow insinuated themselves into our psyche. Of course, identity politics and virtue signaling are fine, providing those vague affirmations of moral superiority never result in real change.
With all this in mind, following is a checklist of Progressive-Socialist ideas that have somehow managed to seep into the Corporatist bubble that has been carefully constructed around the American public over the past half century.
Much of it was originally introduced by those vile class traitors, the Roosevelts, both Teddy and Franklin Delano. Thankfully, Neo-Liberals, working on behalf of their Billionaires benefactors, have managed to expunge most of these dread reformers’ legacy since the 1990’s, even as they pretended to be carrying forward their ideals.
Review this list, and if you don’t say nay to most of it, there is a very real danger that you might be a closet Socialist without even realizing it!
So here goes, YOU MIGHT BE A SOCIALIST IF:
1) You believe that healthcare is a basic human right or, worse still, that Medicare For All is somehow a viable alternative to the For-Profit Healthcare Industry, whose main goal is not to provide affordable health insurance but to maximize profitability for shareholders.
No, our venerable employer-based healthcare was good enough for grandpa, (who died at the age of 55) and so it damn well better be good for your grand-children, whether they have a corporate job or not. And recession, what recession? Never happen! Cough once if you agree, cough twice or more and collapse in a high fever if you disagree.
2) You might be a Socialist if you believe all people should be paid a living wage. This is one of those insidious ideas, like Unions, that really should have been stamped out by now.
For years, our Good Friends in the GOP—the Grand Ole Plutocrats—tried to sneak in a “sub-minimum” wage as a way of getting people used to starving, after working their butts off in dangerous working conditions, or be glad to work overtime just to be able to pay the rent.
The way the Clinton and Dubya Administrations handled the demand for higher wages (ya know, that good ole law of supply & demand) was to CHEAT. Without changing any laws, both presidential NEO’s chose not to enforce immigration rules and opened the floodgates to illegal immigration.
In truth, immigration had already been boosted manifold by the United States’ own awful “free” trade deals, which hurt workers in poor countries as much as it hurt workers in the US. That, combined with our never-ending regime change coups and wars, had made life a living hell in Third World countries.
In the late 90’s and into the Oh-Oh! Decade, where a skilled Union tradesman might have gotten thirty dollars an hour, unskilled illegal immigrants, desperate for work, were glad to do the same labor for thirty dollars a day, although not as well. And if the roof of a million-dollar home suddenly came off in high winds because a construction crew of unskilled illegals hadn’t nailed it properly to the beams, well, after all, you get what you pay for—and the developer made his profit, didn’t he?
Of course, once Dubya left office, suddenly illegal immigrants became demonized and refugees became convenient scape-goats for the, by now, obvious de-industrialization of America. Jobs that paid high wages became fewer and farther between, regime-change wars remain a boom industry (or I should say KA-BOOM!) and Globalist George Soros’ billions quietly subsidizes worldwide floods of desperate immigrants, enabling them to travel thousands of miles in search of work.
And what did Mr. NICE GUY Barack Obama do? Why, more awful trade deals and more regime change wars, even as he upped deportation’s for those who were fleeing devastation, death, disease and famine. Having turned a blind eye for years, the Republicans did a 180 and now immigrants became the villains, not multi-national corporations. How better to keep people in line than by setting one group of underpaid workers against another, even more destitute group?
Trump may gloat over putting children behind bars, but let’s not forget that MR. CLEAN, Barack Obama, was the one who first came up with that idea and despite the Insane Clown’s bluster and BS, Obama still reigns supreme as “Deporter in Chief” of Illegals.
Now Wall Street and Silicon Valley have had another great idea: why have employees at all? The growth of the “independent contractor” model, which Silicon Valley loves so much, frees Capitalists from any worries about being forced to pay $15 an hour, or $12 and hour or even the beloved good ol’ $7.25. Hell, in some cities, Uber drivers are lucky to net $3.00 a hour in real income! But that’s the American Way, ain’t it? And if you don’t think so, you MUST be a Socialist!
Unions, a living wage, affordable housing: all dread Socialist traps for the unwary! Begone, I say! Let them eat Jeni’s ice-cream!—providing you can get past the security guards of Nancy Pelosi’s gated community, or the electrified wire and the attack dogs.
3) You might be a Socialist, for sure, if believe we should have Free College Education.
For those too young to remember the bad old days, this Dread Red idea had actually been a reality in the USA once upon a time, but fortunately, since the beloved advent of St. Ronald Reagan and Trickle Down Everything, state universities and colleges have been charging ever-increasing tuition, assuring the huddled masses remain in blissful ignorance—and low paying jobs. Then came the for-profit colleges that provided expensive educations in fields for which there was absolutely no demand. And, thanks in large part to Creepy Uncle Joe, the DINO who is currently being beatified as the patron saint of child molesters, the NEO’s made it impossible for anyone burdened by huge student debts to declare bankruptcy, even if you’d been scammed by these for-profit shyster schools.
Oh, did I forget to mention that free public college education was originally put into law in 1862 by a political party founded by Socialists? Today we call it the Republican Party. Like the Democrats, the Republicans have changed a bit since they were founded.
4) In a similar vein, mainly the jugular, you might be a Socialist if think the US could and should forgive all student debt.
Since the Federal Government subsidizes almost all student loans, this is one of the more do-able Socialist programs. Unfortunately, the mantra used against this and other Socialist reforms of “how ya gonna pay for it” which had served as a bulwark against any and all humane proposals to make life in America better, was made inoperable by the Congress’ transfer this spring of TRILLIONS of dollars to the big banks and other big businesses with no strings attached. Not that Congress has ever worried about funding bloated defense budgets and regime change Oil Wars.
5) You might be a Socialist if you believe the government should subsidize rail transportation, both locally and nationally.
In Europe, citizens and tourists can ride comfortably and cheaply from city to city by train, while mass transit within cities have long been a given of modern civilized society. Not only do all modern nations have national rail systems, fully funded by their governments, the United States of America actually paid to rebuild western Europe’s railroads after World War II, which was only fair, since we bombed the crap out of them during the war. Still, what we could afford to do for Europe was NEVER done for our own passenger rails, which have withered on the vine since the 1940’s. Thank GM and the Laissez Fairies for that.
The argument against this Socialistic subsidized rail system one commonly hears is that if passenger trains can’t pay their own way, the government has no business subsidizing them. Which leads us to:
6) You might be a Socialist if you believe the government should provide a free transportation systems in the form of Federal, state and local highways, not to mention more pedestrian Socialist conveyances such as sidewalks.
Before that, the only way to get long distances was on The King’s Highway, which was actually owned by the king (or queen) and mainly reserved for sovereign lords to transport armies from one place to another to bash disloyal subjects. Only as a secondary benefit were ordinary folk allowed to travel those roads. So, no, the government building and maintaining roads, highways and interstate freeways was not always a given and are definitely socialistic in their very conception.
7) You also might be a Socialist if you believe the government should provide fire and police protection, water and sewer services and assorted other public utilities most Americans now take for granted.
Recently Joe Rogan had a dufus of a politician on his show who, when confronted with the fact that such things are inherently Socialistic in nature, tried to counter that no, they were a “public service.” When Joe pointed out that, as a public service, they were paid for by the government, Congressman Dufus countered that no, they were a “public good.” Rogan kept pressing him on his obtuse illogic, but, as the saying goes, you can’t fix stupid.
In the early Republic there was no organized police or fire services in the cities and as far as drinking water went, people dug their own individual wells, often within feet of public latrines. Then they wondered why Typhus, Diphtheria, Yellow Fever, Smallpox and a host of other deadly diseases broke out so often! The glaring defects of Laissez Faire policies in running modern cities soon became apparent to many people.
In the late nineteenth century, “Sewer Socialists” and other reformers increasingly replaced corrupt graft-ridden city governments staffed by cronyism and not only instituted honest governments run with an apolitical civil service, but promoted government-funded (that is Socialistic) public water and sewer systems as a way to combat the deadly pandemics that beset the burgeoning American urban landscape.
There were volunteer fire-fighting companies in early American cities, to be sure, but these were often for-profit entities, being paid by insurance companies to only put out fires on homes that were insured, and as often as not the volunteer companies were more interested in fighting each other than fighting the fires . These volunteer groups, like the early street gangs, also served as political organizations. Boss Tweed got his start as Captain of one such volunteer fire-fighting company: Americus Engine Company Number 6 (“The Big Six”). The idea that professional full-time firemen, dedicated to fighting fires no matter who owned the property, may seem common sense today, but it took a number of devastating city fires in nineteenth century American for this Socialistic institution to take hold.
Likewise, in the early Republic, there were no organized police forces. In New England, town Constables existed, but they were unarmed and generally more concerned with public drunkenness or making sure citizens attended church than fighting crime. The true first police force wasn’t formed until 1838, with other cities following suit soon after. These early police forces were less than stellar institutions, with graft and corruption endemic, and in any case their main job was to protect the private property of the wealthy elite, not to keep the peace or protect citizens from harm.
In the rural South, the situation was worse, since the county sheriff’s departments had their origins in the ante-bellum “slave patrols” whose main job was to keep slaves from running away or rebelling. Members of slave patrols were often far more violent and sadistic than the slave owners themselves, being drawn from poor whites, who as a class tended to be resentful of having to compete for employment with an unpaid Black workforce.
In post-war era, Progressives and Socialists, including leaders like Teddy Roosevelt, pushed to “clean up” the police and have them serve the general good, not just the needs of the affluent.
8) You might be a Socialist If you have ever recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
OK, this is a trick question. But ever since the NEO’s have brought back the McCarthy-Era smear tactic of “guilt by association” so that anyone, left or right, can be tarred as a Russian “bot” who dares to point out the simple truth that the Russians didn’t “hack” the DNC emails in 2016, we can safely include anyone who recites a pledge written by a Socialist to be also tainted with Socialism.
The Pledge of Allegiance in its present form was created by a Christian Socialist. Francis Bellamy, was a devout Christian, but also a dedicated Socialist and also quite patriotic. He wanted to inculcate a greater sense of loyalty, especially among children and recent immigrants.
Bellamy had considered using the slogan of the French Revolution, Liberté, égalité, fraternité as a basis for the national pledge, but he thought that fraternity was “too remote of realization.” Likewise with equality; while he was for equality in principle, he was aware that, at that point, neither women nor blacks were treated equally in America, so that it would be a “dubious” word in a national pledge. Finally, Bellamy concluded, “Liberty and justice were surely basic, were undebatable, and were all that any one Nation could handle. If they were exercised for all. They involved the spirit of equality and fraternity.”
The Pledge was first published on Sept. 8, 1892 and quickly became universally accepted, although it would still be decades before it was made official. Although Bellamy was a Protestant minister as well as a dedicated Socialist, the pledge as he composed it did not include the phrase “under God.” That wasn’t added until the 1950’s during the “Red Scare” to weed out lefties, ‘cause, don’t ya know, all them Socialists is Godless.
in fact, a previous pledge had included God in it, but Bellamy, although a devout Christian, deliberately excluded it because he wanted the pledge to be as inclusive as possible. Well, that’s a “godless socialist” for you!
9) You might be a Socialist if you have ever sung “America the Beautiful.”
Yup, here again, we have a beloved patriotic song—which many would prefer as the National Anthem to the racist and bellicose Star Spangled Banner—that was penned by a Socialist. In fact, the author was Christian Socialist and, many say, a Lesbian. We should also add that not only was the author a Socialist, but an ardent foe of American imperialism as well, plus she was an activist for immigrants, minorities, the poor, unions, women’s rights, and education among other causes. A dangerous foe of Capitalism if ever there was one!
The author of this almost-the-national-anthem paean to American patriotism was Katherine Lee Bates—no relation to actress Kathy Bates of “Misery” fame. Katherine was inspired to write a song that virtually every schoolchild knows and which is sung in many churches as a hymn, during a train trip to Colorado to teach a summer college class.
Bates, unusual for her day, was a highly educated professional woman, a Professor of English at Wellesley College, and her trip was something of a busman’s holiday. A number of the sights on her trip inspired her, including a visit to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the so-called “White City,” and traveling farther west she viewed the vast wheat fields of Kansas growing and blowing in the wind. Above all she was inspired viewing the “fruited plains” from high atop Pikes Peak, where the words of the poem began to flood into her mind. All that natural beauty is apparent in the opening lyrics of “America the Beautiful.” But a closer reading of the stanzas also reveals her distinctly Socialist and Progressive ideas about how our nation should be.
There are no “rockets red glare” in “America the Beautiful.” Rather, we hear of “amber waves of grain” and “the enameled plain,” as well as “thine alabaster cities gleam” (that White City she saw in Chicago). But Ms. Bates also asked God to bless the country with moral reform, end injustice and to avoid Imperialism: “God mend thine every flaw/Confirm thy soul in self-control/Thy liberty in law,” that those Alabaster cities should not only gleam, but “gleam/Undimmed by human tears!” Bates’ poem also calls out the greed of the Robber Barons Capitalists and asks that God shed His grace, “Till selfish gain no longer stain/The banner of the free!” Nor did the Professor shy from summoning the image of fraternity as well as equality: “And crown thy good with brotherhood/From sea to shining sea.”
For Christian Socialist Bates, America being great was not enough; observing that “countries such as England failed because, while they may have been ‘great’ they had not been “good.” She asserted that, “unless we are willing to crown our greatness with goodness, and our bounty with brotherhood, our beloved America may go the same way.” The Socialist’s poem was first published in the religious journal, The Congregationalist, in 1895, but it wasn’t married to its current melody until 1910. It’s been a patriotic staple ever since.
10) Finally, you might be a Socialist if you believe either of these statements:
- “The value of any commodity, therefore, to the person who possesses it, and who means not to use or consume it himself, but to exchange it for other commodities, is equal to the quantity of labor which it enables him to purchase or command. Labor, therefore, is the real measure of the exchangeable value of all commodities.” Or, that: “Labor alone, therefore, never varying in its own value, is alone the ultimate and real standard by which the value of all commodities can at all times and places be estimated and compared. It is their real price; money is their nominal price.” (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations)
- “… value can, does and should increase in relation to the amount of labor which has been expended in the improvement of commodities” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae)
- “all goods, considered economically, are only the product of labor and cost nothing except labor” (Karl Marx, Das Kapital)
If this list has issues or institutions you find congenial, DON’T PANIC! There is still time to purge yourself of the double-speak that infects your psyche. While I don’t advocate taking a Chloroquine enema or swallowing UV light-bulbs, you might consider a double shot of Grey Goose as antiseptic, coupled with a massive dose of Bloomberg News, followed by an eye-wash of fresh copies of Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. Then read back issues of WAPO or the NYT and let their “unnamed high placed sources” in the Intelligence Community (probably the reporter’s local bartender) reassure you that’s it’s all a plot by the Ruskies to rig the elections, or the economy, or the alt right/alt left media or whatever con they currently have running. Because the Military Industrial Complex NEVER lies, right?
And before you return to watching Rachel Maddow, or Loveable Ellen, or pseudo-Liberal Joy, don’t forget to go to your 25k freezer and consume several pints of Jeni’s artisanal ice cream to clear the palate of any lingering bad taste that these Socialist ideas may leave in your mouth.
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