Tag Archives: socialism

Is Socialist Norway A Shining Example Marx Was Right?

As capitalist economies collapse, as unemployment soars to new levels, there remains the case of Norway which is based on Socialist principles and had endured the crisis without encountering the problems of capitalism. Several economists are now returning to the ideas of Karl Marx in order to re-think his comments concerning the destiny of capitalism. A difficulty in discussing “Socialism” with modern people is their confusion concerning the term. Many associate “Socialism” with the USSR which used that expression or NAZI Germany which used the expression. This is akin to saying: “Christians conducted the Inquisition. Christians committed genocide in the New World, therefore, all Christians are guilty of genocide and believe in the Inquisition.” There are Christians and there are Christians. Make a list of people who refer to themselves as “Christian” and have absolutely nothing in common with one another.

Marx was NOT the initial Socialist. There were “Utopian Socialists” prior to him and he hated Utopian Socialists. Several Utopian Socialists experiments were attempted in America during the 19th century. Among the best selling books in 19th century America was Edward Bellamy’s “Looking Backward” which describes a free Socialist America in 2000 which has eliminated poverty. Marx accurately identified that Capitalists were greedy and exploited people creating the concept of ‘alienation’ of the worker from his/her work. He described the spread of globalization and competition between capitalists in the world–certainly his prediction is accurate. He predicted there would be rising unemployment and urged a society in which the needs of workers would be protected from the evil of exploitation. He misinterpreted the ability of some capitalists to recognize workers needed decent pay in order to purchase products. But, has not the greed of Wall Street exemplified his belief the first priority of capitalists is their own welfare, not that of society or those who do the work of in society?

My comments are simplistic and reduce complexity of economics to a few cliches,(sorry, Marx can not be explained in a sentence or so),but how do critics of Socialism explain that Norway has been using Socialist principles and has created a modern society which provides a high standard of living and the government runs a surplus including a $300 billion fund to invest for the future? In Capitalist America, 45 million people lack medical care, in Capitalistic America there is no free early childhood care, in Capitalist America there are no paid paternity and maternity leaves for couples, in Capitalist America there is no base economic security for those who lose their jobs.

The future will eventually lead to combining the best features of Capitalism with the best features of socialism. In the first decade of the 20th century, the American Socialist Party led by Gene Debs urged addressing the ills of capitalism without calling for its end. It was Gene Debs who opposed the madness of America’s blunder in entering World War I rather than seeking to end the fighting. And, Gene Debs remains the only presidential candidate in American history who was imprisoned for opposing a war.

Perhaps, it is time to study what is beneficial in Norway and apply some of those principles in order to save capitalism from its own greed. Who today can deny that Marx was right about the inherent selfishness and greed of capitalists? I have a hunch those being fired would prefer a dose of socialism that would provide them a decent unemployment package, including access to medical care.

Socialism– Hugo Chavez Style — Will It Work?

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has been using large amounts of money generated by the huge surge in oil prices to fund both internal developments in his nation as well as to support other Latin American nations he seeks to bring into his coalition. However, Chavez announced over the weekend that oil prices were dropping almost one third and there was now need for the people of Venezuela to take on the burden of paying for his promises. On one hand, he has been subsidizing state run enterprises, many of which are losing money, on the other hand he needs the continued existence of private enterprise if the nation’s economy is to avoid a collapse. He advocates an economic model in which the government owns business enterprises, there is private enterprise and people at the local level are responsible for shared ownership in some business enterprises.

Chavez shouts to the world: “the new economic model should be based on social ownership of the land, on social ownership of industries, on social ownership of the means of production.” If Chavez follows this model, Venezuela will have an economic collapse, he needs the intelligence and drive of private enterprise, but his rhetoric is frightening them and many will leave along with their skills.

At this point in time, he is creating an economic model centered on oil even as nations of the world are working to curtail their reliance on oil. What happens if they succeed? Where then will be the people of Venezuela?

Sounds Of The Sixties In Modern France?

The Sixties in France was a scene of protesting young people who were angry at war in Vietnam and the uncertainties of dealing with the Cold War in Europe. They demanded creation of a new society in which there was equity. At this moment, hundreds of thousands of French people are protesting in the streets in demonstrations that are expected to attract at least a million people. They are angry at closing of factories and extensive job cuts which have followed the financial crisis that began in America. Jean-Claude Maillyu, head of the large Force Ouvriere Union, believes the protestors “have a profound sense of social injustice, and that, I think, is something that neither the government nor the employers have understood.”

Perhaps, we are witnessing the birth of a reaction against unbridled capitalism which has run wild over the past three decades and left in its wake societies characterized by economic gaps in which a small number of people have amassed a large segment of the fruits of labor. The end result might be emergence of a hybrid economic system in which capitalism fuses with basic socialist ideals of equity. Is something new being born?

Chavez– It’s Revolution Time!

Hugo Chavez won a tight race to have the constitution changed in order to allow him to run for the presidency for as long as he lives, and the egotistical leader of Venezuela said that might last until 2049 when he will be 95. The Supreme Leader announced to cheering crowds that those who voted, ‘yes’ “voted for socialism, for revolution.” His margin of victory undoubtedly was based on persuading millions of government workers to vote for him and keep their jobs as well as community organizers who can get out the vote by promising to take the wealth of those on top and redistribute it to the poor. “In 2012, there will be presidential elections,” he told his followers, “and unless God decides otherwise, unless the people decide otherwise, this soldier is already a candidate.”

The road to the future is getting clearer in Venezuela. Chavez will pursue what he terms to be “socialism” but which is in reality, maintaining his power and those of his fellow members of the clique seeking to control the nation’s wealth. A generation of educated young Venezuelans will leave the nation and deprive it of intelligent leadership and those who can generate new wealth for the economy. The Chavez rule depends on oil and if other alternative sources are discovered, Venezuela is headed for a massive bankruptcy.

Those who voted from a sense of emotion will experience in the years to come the pang of asking, “why did I vote for this clown?”

Rudy G. Mocks Himself As He Mocks Hillary For Socialist Ideas

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani came out verbally swinging against Hillary Clinton’s proposal to give every newborn American child a $5000 bond that could be used for education. He claimed the idea was “socialist” in nature and would cost $20 billion. He argued the cost of the plan would hurt all Americans. “And, you know who it comes out of– yours, mine, hardworking Americans, hard earned dollars. Twenty billion dollars. And we’re going to have to add to that the cost of the large bureaucracy that’s going to have to print up the bonds, right with Hillary’s picture on them.”

I’m glad Rudy G. is concerned about the American tax payer. He reiterated his support for Bush’s tax cuts which cost over $1 trillion (not twenty billion, but $1 trillion) and resulted in the average American receiving the grand total of about $300 while wealthy people received millions. Warren Buffet, a billionaire, complained that the tax cut benefited him while his secretaries got next to nothing. I’m certain Billy Gates would be more than willing to trade in $10,000 for his two children for the Bush tax cut which got him millions. It would help if Rudy G. actually read some history. “Socialism” refers to government ownership of the means of production. How can it be “socialism” to give each American child a $5000 bond which they can use in deciding their education? The more Rudy G. speaks , the more it becomes apparent this is a one note man–9/11 over and over again. By the way, Rudy G. gets at least $100,000 a speech for uttering platitudes about his heroics, if he wants to term that “hard work,” so be it. Of course, while doing this “hard work,” Rudy G. insists on traveling in a private jet, having an entire floor of a hotel for his staff and himself, and even deciding who eats at his table. Perhaps, Mr. Giuliani can tell the rest of us how to get such “hard work.” Maybe I can get one of those bureaucratic jobs printing up the bonds. Today, I received four commercial prints outs advertising products — I wonder if those corporations hire an army of bureaucrats to print them up?