Socialism Bugaboos

The mere mention of the word “Socialism” triggers in the hearts and minds of many patriotic Americans a medley of interrelated evils: total government takeover, Soviet-style Communism (Nazism, in some cases); loss of personal freedom, media censorship, indoctrination of school children, atheism, police tyranny, inferior health care, suppression of traditional values, annulment of the Constitution, treason; stifling of free markets, economic ruin, wholesale corruption, abysmal poverty, the snuffing out of the American Dream, the boogey man writ large.

These good folks, however, would be surprised to learn that that the freest, most democratic, most productive, least corrupt nations in the world, nations whose citizens enjoy the highest standard of living, thriving private business environments, low unemployment and little crime, have a long history of socialistic policies, which include universal health care, government owned central banks, free university tuition, generous retirement plans and tight regulations of “too-big-to-fail” corporations Notable among these nations are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. Their stats can be readily had on the Internet.

Americans would be further surprised to learn that many our cherished institutions are financed by taxpayer dollar, run by the Federal government and, therefore, socialistic by definition. To wit, our 64 national parks; 100 + wild life reserves, parkways, rivers, museums, landmarks, monuments and cemeteries; our Armed Forces and military academies; the U.S. Postal Service; and the FBI, CIA, DEA, DHS the Park Police and other law enforcement agencies. Then at the state and municipal level, there are the highway patrols, sheriff and police departments; public libraries; public schools; street and roads, parks and recreational areas.

Yet, I doubt that any American in his or her right mind would consider turning over any of those socialistic institutions and services entirely to the private sector; nor would they want to blast away the images of Theodore Roosevelt and FDR from Mt. Rushmore. Our 26th and 32nd presidents, the one a Republican and the other a Democrat, were patriots in the highest sense of the word. Both came through strong when the country needed them. Yet, many of the measures they took to get the job done were undeniably socialistic. This is not to suggest, of course, that the U.S, should try to emulated the Austrias and Swedens of the world. But we have no reason to dismiss them as misguided or decadent, either.

No comments:

#bookmarks-footer{ display: none; }