Browsing Posts tagged socialism

This is the only Tea-Bagging I want to see!

I am not one that typically likes to involve themselves in issues or social movements that anyone with moderate intelligence could deduce to be completely irrational and/or counter intuitive to one’s well-being. But lately I’ve been barraged by the “small government is better” crowd, not necessarily a part of the tea party, but coming from the same philosophical ilk nonetheless. Hell, I’ve even talked with some “liberal” democrats buying into to some of this toxic rhetoric from the ill-informed.

To give them a simplified critique: the oppressive taxes you pay (the lowest Americans have paid in over 60 years) go toward building and maintaining roads, schools, fireman, policemen, protecting us from foreign invasion, making sure our food and water is (somewhat) safe to eat and drink and on and on and on….

Again, that is a very simplistic analysis — don’t worry, it’ll get more pedantic as the caffeine kicks in. This leads to the clever title; when will, if ever, cognitive dissonance kick in for those of the belief that government is always the enemy no matter what? For those who aren’t up on social psychology, cognitive dissonance is simply holding two contradictory views at once. continue reading…

Originally written on April 1, 2010

As an individual with a good grasp of twentieth century American Political history, the era of McCarthyism and the so called “red menace” has always been of particular interest. It has always seemed fascinating to me how certain ideas and social movements can be so polarizing due to the manipulation of said ideas and movements by a power structure that feels threatened when we, as American citizens, exercise our right to demand equality as guaranteed by the Constitution. Throughout the twentieth century, especially the latter half, Communism/Socialism has been a particularly effective tag to place on anyone who believes that we are guaranteed certain “inalienable rights.” These rights include: a sustainable wage for production (work); the right to shelter; the right to education and a right to elect representatives who truly represent the people who voted them into office rather than a small cadre of wealthy individuals or institutions who would lose their stranglehold on wealth and power if the majority were actually given these rights.

It is the idea of Communism that frightens those who control the means of production. In a simple Marxian context, the workers would control the means of production, meaning they control themselves, rather than the wealthy controlling the rest of us in order to exploit and maintain their control. It isn’t my intention to give a “dummy’s” guide to Communism, nor am I defending the historical realities of the failures of so-called Communist nations such as the USSR. My intent is to bridge the historical American fear of Communism/Socialism as an idea and instrument of change to the current, though recycled, hysteria that surrounds such ideas as “universal healthcare.” continue reading…

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