Texas Liberal

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Conservatives Helping Americans Consider The Idea Of Socialism

Republicans and conservatives are doing the nation a service by repeating the world socialist so often. They are taking a term that not many in America gave much thought about and now making it something to consider.

I’m sure that most on the left are like myself in that we never gave the idea of socialism much thought. But just as many of us never ran from the word liberal when it was being demonized ,we should not now run from the word socialism.

These right-wingers think we have been plotting some socialist revolution. But I don’t know that I’ve ever discussed the prospect of socialism in America with anyone. It never seemed on the table. It is the political right that is making it a viable idea for many. 

Maybe socialism has ideas that would make America and more fair and more just society. Why not look and see? If the right hates it so much, it might well have some merit. 

Americans have in the past been at least willing to consider socialist candidates. Socialist Eugene V. Debs won 6% of the total vote for President in the election of 1912. In the first 20 years of the 20th century there were many socialist candidates for a variety of offices around the nation.

The March 23 issue of The Nation Magazine has an essay called Reimagining Socialism. The essay is written by author Barbara Ehrenreich and by Bill Fletcher, Jr.  At the bottom of Reimagining Socialism are a number of links to other Nation articles discussing ideas for socialism in the modern day.

There are many different thoughts discussed and there are frank estimates of the work that to needs be done to make socialism a viable option for the nation’s future.  

Still, given the clear failure of our present system, we should consider a wide range of options. The American right has helped get this process started by injecting into the daily language a word that was not on many people’s minds before John McCain started calling Barack Obama a socialist.

Let’s explore socialism and see what good ideas it holds.

Tomorrow I’m going to make a post about Vermont’s Socialist United States Senator Bernie Sanders. I’ll examine what Senator Sanders sees as socialism. Whatever these ideas are, they have met with acceptance in the State of Vermont. (Here is that post on Mr. Sanders.)

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March 16, 2009 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I also read the Reimagining Socialism article with interest, in the print version of the Nation (I’m a loyal subscriber). One of the contributors, Rebecca Solnit, wrote about “revolution” in the form of urban agriculture in cities like Oakland & Detroit. Interesting stuff. Seems like a great time to be considering options to capitalism, especially with the greed we keep seeing — AIG, Madoff, countless others.

    I remember listening to the Socialist and Communist groups that illicitly visited Walnut Hills H.S. Ironically, though, they were often hawking their newspapers to students (showing a weakness for the almighty dollar).

    Comment by Greg B. | March 19, 2009


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