Wednesday, October 29, 2008

serious thoughts on socialism: booooo! hissss!


location middle america

statistics 3 (forms of government that are, in reality, pretty different)
1 (states I live in which Obama is going to, against all odds, actually win)
1 (really odd pictures of Yao Ming I found and couldn't resist posting)

I had an Irish friend ask why Americans are so afraid of the word socialism. Here was my answer:

Why Americans Hate Socialism

I would say that America's aversion to socialism is four-fold: one, we don't get it. Too complex a concept for a born-capitalist mind to digest. That is the simplest reason.

Second, we supposedly fear big government, which is unavoidable under a socialist government.

Third, in our schools and in our zeitgeist, fascism, totalitarianism, and socialism are often implicitly linked, and these are systems that have been actively stomped on through government propaganda since at least World War I. So when we hear 'socialism,' some part of our brains thinks of Mao, Hitler, and poor Russians waiting in bread lines.

But the most complex reason is ingrained in the American dream. Immigrants (today and my grandparents) come to America hoping for, in many cases, riches, or at least a bright economic future. In a true socialist system, from what I understand, one can be wealthy but not extremely, wildly rich. So when the average America cheers when McCain derides 'redistribution of wealth,' they are really impassioned by the prospect of the protection of their own future (and thus imaginary) wealth.

Or maybe we're just selfish assholes.

In other news, I just got a call from Danny Glover asking me to vote for Obama. As long as we've got Roger Murtaugh on our side, we're going to be okay!

1 comment:

ALR said...

I think this is 100% spot on