Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Now I Ask You: WHY NOT?

There is a lot of overheated discussion these days about socialism. The discussion centers on President Obama’s economic programs, which are unquestionably socialistic. America blames the democrats for fostering these views and for writing legislation that mirrors socialism, but with President Obama they specifically find fault, even taking the extreme by calling him a communist. However, for many Americans it is the old simplistic view that my Great Grandfather preached: “Democrats are for the poor,” therefore democrats support entitlements and take a liberal view on legislative issues and do embrace the corporatocracy; “Republicans are for the rich,” therefore republicans do not support entitlements, or it’s better to say they support limited entitlements, and take a conservative or more fundamental view on legislative issues, but seemingly at least more socialistic when it comes to the corporatocracy and Wall Street. The empirical facts are that republican, democrat, or independent embrace policies that are socialistic and all in some fashion or degree embrace a certain level of entitlement spending through taxation: the government taking from those who have and giving it to those who have not. Entitlements are socialistic: we do have a centralized government that does plan and control the economy in which they legislate entitlements and taxes to pay for them.

Within the debate of American socialism there is also a lot of discussion about the benefits of a democracy and the need to promote it and freedom around the world, as if democracy and freedom were synonymous with each other; as if as in Iraq they vote therefore they are free. The fact is that in a democracy freedom is not inherent; but in a society with authentic freedom, a society that is not coercive and without restrictions, such a society by definition is democratic: self-government adhering to the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Our economic system is Keynesian: a system advocating government monetary and fiscal programs designed to increase employment and stimulate business activity, which is socialism.

Democracy, freedom, entitlements, and taxes are all tethered to American socialism, and are not Obamaism or Obamanomics, it is not particular to any political party, it is the social, political and economic system that America has embraced for centuries. (as an aside, a very good example of American socialism is our public school system)

My critics tag me as a socialist, but they are simply wrong. As a matter of fact, in reality, most of those who call me a socialist are like the “pot calling the kettle black,” because they are to a greater extent socialist. I am not in favor of public ownership and sharing of work and the goods produced. I am not a Marxist-Leninist, Maoist, collectivist, or communist. My views are libertarian leaning and authentically democratic as in the meaning of that previously defined word, not to be confused with the Democratic Party, republicanism or conservatism. I support individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times. It should not be interpreted as a political view, but a life style view.

I am tagged a socialist or even a communist because I believe in community, community action and community action groups like ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, as important to the political process; because within our political and economic system I support entitlements for those in need as the only way they will receive the necessities of life within the economic and social system America embraces; and most of all because I voted for and I support Obama. President Obama was the best choice from all of the presidential candidates, the one who has the leadership skills to get the job done, again, within the contemporary economic-social system Americans through their leadership have adopted, and because his rhetoric expressed a vision of peace as opposed to war .

I can envision a future where helping and caring for the less fortunate will be done of our own free will, individually, and through local community organization. I can envision a world that embraces heterarchial or homoarchial, a non-state super-complex society, as opposed to our contemporary hierarchical organization. I can envision a world embracing a libertarian life style. I can envision a world at peace where violence and war, as a method of solving problems, are obsolete. But that does not mean I believe that we should not have laws and regulations in place to adjudicate and regulate those who are greedy and who will do anything to take illegal or immoral advantages of others, or to allow freedom to engage in carte blanch criminality, as what takes place in our current system. We will always need governmental regulation of or interference in commerce beyond the minimum necessary for a free-enterprise system to operate according to its own economic laws. In my view we will never be laissez faire.

In my view, the nexus of our problems are embedded in our monetary-based economy system. If we had a system such as Jacque Fresco’s resource-based economic system there would not be a discussion about communism, socialism, capitalism, free market, avarice, war, or poverty. In my view money is a coconspirator with evil.

When I contemplate the message of Robert F. Kennedy who said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” I simply ask in the name of Robert F. Kennedy, why not? I wholeheartedly believe that “yes we can” is doable.

America and the world need to take on new ways of thinking about things, a new vision. We need to unload the baggage of our past. We can no longer accept that we did it this way because we have always done it this way. We need to explore “New Frontiers of Social Change.”