Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On "Socialism" and what it REALLY means for our country

Note: I first posted this on another blog but I wish to start this one with the same thoughts.

Not a one in this country (outside of a few fringe groups) is advocating the enactment of either Communism or Socialism ala Marx or Lenin.

Rather, people are advocating a return to being social, to caring for one another, to knowing your neighbors and networking. People are advocating a return to the more traditional values of giving a shit about the people around you. Taking care of the poor, needy, disadvantaged and disabled.

None of those things equate to Marxism or Leninism, aka Socialism or Communism in the well-known sense.

Clinton was a good President and accomplished a lot of good; however, he had three blunders which contributed directly to the sorry state of the economy today: The North American Free Trade Agreement, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, and Workfare instead of Welfare. The first started the wholesale export of jobs out of this country, and the second allowed banks to merge their financial and banking houses into one, which then led to the Bush years, where banks played roulette with everyone's money - and lost. The third left no safety net and often led to the worsening of the lives of the poor, as single mothers were made to work several minimum-wage jobs just to make ends meet while their children went without their presence and guidance.

Does anyone recall what the Tea Party started out advocating, before the GOP hijacked the movement? Surprisingly, their complaints were pretty much the same as we are seeing in the Occupy The World movements. The difference this time? It's the TRUE 99% of the masses at the bottom and they will NOT be politicized.

I'm no expert, but I can relate what I've seen happen over my lifetime. I draw a line between what I call pre Ayn Rand Years and post Ayn Rand Years. The divisiveness came about in the 1980s, when corporations began to hijack our very culture and instill an "every man for themselves" mentality. Around this time, someone got it into their collective head that it would be cost-saving to shut down State Mental Hospitals, and suddenly we had an outpouring of profoundly mentally handicapped people onto the street - people who were not equipped, and likely would never BE equipped, to take care of themselves. Thus swelled the ranks of the homeless. No health care, no medication for these people. Nowhere for them to live, because they are unable to hold down a job.

Ayn Rand reigned supreme during the 1980s. Ronald Reagan and his cronies made sure the mindset continued, and worsened.

There are millions of people who don't remember what it's like to know their neighbors, to have weekly cookouts, to band together to help when one or another fell on hard times or got ill. People don't remember affordable healthcare. They don't remember the safety nets that used to be there for those who, through no fault of their own, couldn't make the American Dream. Now we have rules and laws that tell us what to do in the most idiotic of situations - situations where people of the past just simply knew better. Slowly, and in a most insidious fashion, corporations have taken over key elements of our very culture, making people dependent on them for how they should think and live. The true Free Thinker is a rare breed, these days.

Gone is the time when pretty much everyone knew that the GOP supported the rich and the Dems supported the 99% of the rest of us. Gone are the days when it was against the law to tell lies and call them news; to share opinions and call them fact; to mislead whole generations away from the way things really ARE.

Now, we have two parties which support the rich, even if the Democrats still claim to represent us 99%. Tissue paper lies. They are "intstalled" when it suits the corporations, and removed when it does not. They are told how to act, what to say, and what to vote for.

How many of you know the Constitution - even the opening paragraph? Let me remind you what the very opening paragraph says (bolds are mine):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

To those who don't think one of the functions of the United States Government is to take care of its own, regardless of social class: You need to read the Constitution. When it was written, it was common for everyone in a town or village to know one another, and to help one another out in times of crisis or illness. This "culture of caring" was ratified right into our Constitution.

To those who don't think one of the functions of the United States Government is to protect the people - regardless of social class - you'd best read it again. Protection for ALL was ratified into our Constitution.

It has been decades since people were elected to Congress by "the people" - if not over a hundred years, dating back to 1886 when it was declared that a Corporation is a person. Suddenly, corporations had powers as a collective entity that each individual had - but they weren't prosecuted the same way. If you look on that page, there's a picture of a gal holding a sign that says: "I won't believe corporations are persons until Texas executes one." In this day and age, we've seen countless incidents where corporations have blatantly flouted the law, and even their CEOs remain free and unprosecuted. At the same time, individuals exercising their right of Free Speech are being persecuted, arrested, detained, and otherwise harassed for putting forth viewpoints that directly contradict the collective will of corporations.

There is a saying that goes way, way back. "Follow The Money". Any time you hear of something even more ridiculous going on, remember that saying and trace down the background. Never listen to a talk show host or a TV commentator and assume they speak the truth. Recapture your Free Thinking and research it for yourself. Don't have time? You seem to have time to listen to the people who make money lying to you.

Even well-known news institutions have become controlled by Corporations. Look at Rupert Murdoc, who should be cooling his heels in a jail cell, but isn't, even though he ordered the illegal tracing and wiretapping of private phones. His News Corp. has managed to gobble up so many news outlets that half the time you have no idea if they own it or not.

At one time in this country, media outlets couldn't own newspapers, TV stations, AND radio stations all at once. It was considered monopolizing the news, and that used to be something recognized for what it is - enforcing a specific viewpoint across all forms of media. Usually that viewpoint was very corporate-centric. Well, nowadays, they not only CAN own print, TV, radio, AND Internet - they can keep gobbling and gobbling till you don't know where to turn for an unbiased viewpoint.

Remember when AT&T was busted up because they stifled competition and whatnot? Well, guess who is doing exactly what they were doing, before the breakup - and worse.

People stood outside their buildings in upper Manhattan during the Billionaire's March of Occupy Wall Street, and couldn't, for the lives of them, figure out what these people were about. Most of them have no rational experience they can use to connect to the real concerns, real needs of the 99%. There is such a huge class divide that the rich's brains have done fallen out into the yawning abyss. Most of them have never been poor, never been hungry, never lacked for medical care and medications. Most of them have lived in their houses and mansions for generations, bought and paid for. They can't even comprehend what it is like to sleep under cardboard on a cold NY street in the dead of winter - nor why so many people end up doing just that.

Until Occupy Wall Street began the movement, the 99% of us who aren't rich were quite literally invisible to the 1% who are.

I'm glad to see the movement gaining global proportions, since the class divide is hardly isolated just to the U.S.A.

NOW...for any of you who have read this far, and STILL think the Occupy The World people are simply lazy layabouts or tattooed idiots with hardware in their noses or Muslims or some other minority, take a look at these pictures, then strain your brain to remember what the Tea Party started out with, before they were politicized:

The Big Picture

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