On Socialism

“People like things that socialism gives us, but as soon as you *call* it socialism, a lot of people stop liking it.” — this is one of the biggest problems I’ve seen in modern politics. Medicare recipients, for instance, demanding the gov’t keep its ‘hands off’ *their* Medicare. Not sure if that’s ignorance and people actually don’t realize these things are government-provided or the whole cognitive dissonance thing where someone just cannot reconcile decades of anti-Soviet fearmongering with “it’s not a bad thing to ensure old people don’t go bankrupt dealing with an illness”.

The Democratic party has a serious branding issue — Republicans manage pithy phrases that make people who don’t bother digging into the details support awful ideas — one of the Bush’s Clean Water Act, which was more or less legislation to avoid clean water. But how are you *against* clean water?!? Abolishing the “death tax” that you only incur on multi-million dollar estates. But you *want* to tax grieving kids!?!? The masses don’t want to get into nuanced details, great. Seems like the Democrats could spend some time with a few marketing guys and come up with catchier names for populist socialist ideas. Compassionate capitalism — are you against compassion? Or capitalism? The horror!

Let’s be forthright — those who disparage socialism promote their own type of socialism. It’s the difference between corporate socialism where capital is transferred to massive corporations (oil subsidies, agro subsidies, bank rescues) and populist socialism where capital is transferred to individuals (Medicare for All, free public Uni tuition, incentives to install personal electrical generation facilities).

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