Our Long, Long March Into Socialism

Before we record our long slide into the present horrors of the socialist state, we should first define what we mean by “socialism”. Actually, in modern usage, there are two ways to think of it. First is the dictionary definition, which says that the state owns the “means of production”. That is, the government would own Microsoft, Intel, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Bank of America, Starbucks, and so on. Obviously, the feds don’t own Microsoft, General Motors, et al.

I doubt that anyone in the country who doesn’t belong to something named “Socialist [whatever]” (upper case S) is at all interested in dictionary socialism. No problem there, because the good old CCCP, its biggest representative, collapsed in 1989, and was bid good riddance by all forever.

The secondary definition of “socialism” is a little trickier, and it depends on who is doing the defining. Basically, any entity that is socially organized and operated fits under this rubric. So all sorts of public things, like highway agencies, public libraries, the military services, federal disaster teams, Social Security, the national museums, Homeland Security, and so on, are “socialist” in this sense. If you accept that definition of socialism, we’ve been a socialist state from the beginning. (We don’t own and operate private armies. Private toll roads went away a long time ago. No prince can just decide to collect taxes for himself.) It’s not possible to have a nation of 311-million people without central authority, so we are “socialist” in that sense, and always have been.

Why on earth all this ranting about “socialism” then?

Check this: “They’re back. Rationing, death panels, socialism, all those nasty old words that helped bring Republicans victory in 2010. … They’re back because of IPAB. Remember that acronym. It stands for The Independent Payment Advisory Board. IPAB is the real death panel, the true seat of rationing, and the royal road to health-care socialism.” [WorldNetDaily, 5 May 2011]

And this: “Obama has made America the laughing stock of the world. The American people do not seem to care that America is fast becoming a Marxist socialist state.  The rest of the world can see it but the American people can not…” [May 1st, 2011 9:28 am, by Norma Lewis, Sacramento Political Buzz Examiner]

I don’t get it. Conservatives have apparently been terrified that we are becoming a socialist state since 1856, when they first started trying to demonize Democrats as socialists. It would appear that, in spite of their claims of our imminent plunge into dreaded Marxist-socialist hell, we’ve made remarkably little progress toward it in 155 years. The entire USSR came and went in half that time.

Conservatives don’t complain about all the obviously necessary things the governments spends money on, like the mint, or the army. What they don’t seem to like very much is any sort of national health care, since that’s what they waste the most hot air on.

In spite of all the many other non-socialist nations that have superior health care plans that cost half what we pay, conservatives see this as the worst sort of socialism. Except they really don’t. Conservative bloviators do, apparently, but conservative retirees are pretty much unanimous in saying they want no challenge to their own nationalized healthcare, Medicare. Interesting.

We are in absolutely no danger of marching into socialism. There has been no socialist threat to American freedoms for 155 years, and there never was, in spite of conservative fears that we might actually have healthcare.

Thoughtful comments for or against these posts are always appreciated.

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