Socialism in deed…
I hear and read a lot of fear based nonsense about socialism.
The right wing, on both sides of the aisle, have done the same kind of demonizing. Far too many seem afraid the great monster would drive the country to a classless apathy a fate worse than the comfort of the irrational belief system of neoliberalism, neo-conservatism, free market capitalism, and now most irksome – Nationalism.
(In my personal experience, the early sixties had us kids doing civil defense under the desk nuclear attack exercises. This scared the fuck out of most of us. This leading to the assassination of JFK, RFK, and MLK, caused a major scare and kept the anti communist propaganda alive and the Hawks flourishing along with their military-industrial-complex cronies pumping out weapons of offensive of defense in the Cold War. So many were primed to react in later decades and generations.)
So as not to fuck around with the quasi consensus redefinitions of the term, here we go right out of Merriam-Webster:
Full Definition of socialism
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
The definition above is a bit skewed to one side we think when looking at dictionary.com
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
I was taught in high school that socialism chiefly involved the workers owning the means of production. It can exist competitively in a world economy using capitalism as a partial vehicle.
The marriage in the US still seems a little overly capitalist when we check this list and its criteria – 50% ownership by employees – can be through stock options, profit sharing, and etc.
When I search for a list of companies which are 100% vested into and owned by employees, nothing comes up. So on a good day there may be few which meet the criteria. I know of two. We might think people would work hard for the incentive this can create and no doubt some do, especially if there’s extra bonuses for direct contributions producing significant profit or loss preventions. In these working models, the market is still a capitalist oligarchy even though workers in these companies own the means of production.
When it comes to government services, it looks like most of the American people have not taken civic responsibility seriously. By this we mean, the Constitution has become a holy document, especially the Bill of Rights. It’s wording seems to be viewed as holy scripture not to be changed to fit the times, so we depend on the capitalist oligarchy’s majority representation in Congress and SCOTUS to interpret the document to “fit” our times. Since gerrymandering in this century has gotten skewed to represent more of the top 20% of the economic constituency – most of whom probably are at least indirectly supporting the top one percent.
Here’s an interesting study indirectly on this phenomenon
Since this was a business analysis from a social work perspective, I wanted to add the lobby expenditures I could find in the time span 1998-2016
Now let’s add the Princeton study mostly confirming the US is an oligarchy wherein the needs and wants of the mass constituency are not represented in Congress:
So the Mainstream Media in their lust for ratings and advertising revenue has chosen to direct the needs of the people via biased information instead of objective fact reporting.
The report the most sensational events giving fear raising labels to headlines. Since Nixon and Reagan, the Republicans, conservatives, and reactionaries has been indoctrinated to hate government instead of promoting community participation and civilian oversight of all government at local, state, regional, national, and international levels. Now with the rise of the Dumpster and his legions of Dumpsterkoffs the infiltration of libertarian and free market ideologies have been spoon fed to the workers so they believe government is bad and corrupt and should be dismantled along with almost all regulations of the environment and natural resources. The promotion of extremist ideologies especially on the right have found their way to the disgruntled who mostly have a short memory of the destructive havoc which Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and W wrought upon the middle class. Now in the age of Neoliberalism and inequality amplifying economics, small business gets crunched and multinational corporations ride the tides of the “free market” ideology in practice.
At this juncture many Americans don’t care. Many have given up and acquiesce to the present conditions without knowing their depth of effects upon us all. So much of our desire in life seems to come from instant gratification most don’t have a sense of civic responsibility toward the well-being of our neighborhoods, cities, communities, and states. Have we become so ignorant, complacent, and apathetic that we are no longer willing to do anything about our dilemma? How many would be willing to serve without pay on civilian oversight committees? While we do know some companies who have taken interest in their communities most don’t and do not fulfill, nor think they have to fulfill their responsibility to the general welfare of the Republic, without which most would not survive.
I think there can be grand plans for these oversights and civil duties. Instead of companies centering themselves on shareholders’ dividends or private company increase in profit many can probably help themselves by improving their communities by more than just their existence and general contributions to the economy. However, we must instill a sense of civic duty and interaction in our young people. Instead of them getting too vested in election outcomes which don’t cause enough change, we need the elected to convert themselves to civil servants and depoliticize them. Of course money needs to get out of their election processes and the media must contribute time to them FREE OF CHARGE as a civic duty.
We most likely have ten to fifteen years to get enough change for society as we have come to know it, survive. Climate change is happening and we’re not doing must to stem it or worke the necessary strategies – which will revive and expand the economy to the real needs and concerns of the consumers.
We must nonprofit and nationalize several aspects:
Energy, Medical – especially hospitals and insurance, banking, education, transportation, and etc.…this will only work with active civilian oversights and participation. Private industry will thrive in these environments and the stimulus can go to small businesses so they can afford to pay livable wages and expand employment. Incentives also need to be given for businesses to have 80-100% employee ownership. When the people of the middle class expand their income base progressively the economy will grow and flourish and the twenty percent can expand to 85% and beyond. Yes, taxes will be more and the military will be less as well as capitalist interventionism on the part of this nation these with the expansion both through privatization and nationalization (worker-community owned) can unify us into the betterment of our local and planetary futures…
In doing this we’ll have to do away, through regulation and economics, with the Dumpsters and Dumpsterkoff mentalities by instilling a sense of purpose and responsibility in our fellows by an expanded sense of social – civic – democracy.