Socialism In America Of All Places! (O.M.G.!!!!)

So, you say you are opposed to Socialism? In its pure form Socialism is problematic as it requires that all means of production, distribution, and exchange be owned and regulated by the public in common. In the popular mind Socialism is generally associated with Communism without differentiation and is often used in a derogatory sense. Historically socialism is associated with Karl Marx and Communism as practiced in the Soviet Union, China, and other countries where tight social control is practiced to enforce the economic system. There are, of course, other socialistic manifestations including social democracy on which social control is not necessary and where markets exercise greater degrees of autonomy than Communist Socialism.  

Many, if not most, European countries are governed as Social Democracies. In the United States the terms Socialism, Anarchism, and Communism are commonly used interchangeably and in a negative sense. As a consequence most Americans cannot accept that they live and thrive because of government and private programs and practices that are “Socialistic” in nature simply because they share resources and beneficial programs across the population without much differentiation. Many if not most Americans would argue to the contrary that they receive, by definition, the benefits of socialistic programs and practices without reflection on the truth of the matter. 

Many Americans would experience cognitive dissonance, indigestion, and even angry resistance if you told them they benefit from socialistic government programs and policies. But, of course, like it or not, they do and on a daily basis. To wit:

Fire Departments Medicare

Police Departments Social Security Payments

EMT/EMS Services FEMA

Public Schools GI Bill

Public Hospitals National Parks

Veterans Benefits Food and Drug Safety

National Weather Service CDC

Unemployment Insurance NASA

Drinking Water Sewers

Snow Removal Governmental Road Maintenance

A Standing Military Interstate Highways

NTSA Bank Deposit Insurance

Medicare

Social Security Payments

FEMA

GI Bill

National Parks

Food and Drug Safety

 CDC

NASA

Sewers

Governmental Road Maintenance

Interstate Highways

Bank Deposit Insurance

lAir Traffic Control

Hazardous Waste Disposal Air Traffic Control

The list goes on. The services are ubiquitous and used by nearly everyone at one time or another in their lives and some on a daily basis.

Across the United States grocery stores are organized as membership cooperatives born of the Hippie counter culture. Millions of people shop at these cooperatives and they have become big business with national affiliations and operations from small towns to the largest cities in the nation. In Northern New Mexico where I live, we purchase our electricity and propane from our own cooperative. The profits are shared. Our grocery store is a cooperative and the profits are shared annually. We are not Communists just sensible people with mutual common interests served cooperatively. Will you be able, henceforth, to refrain from using the term “socialistic” in a disparaging manner? After all, it’s as American as apple pie.


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