Friday, October 31, 2008

"Socialists! Socialists! Run for your lives!!"

There's been a discussion on a writer's forum I'm on about the "perils" of socialism and other such twaddle, as opposed to the purer, potentially more Godly--excuse me, "Gawdly"--values brought about by capitalism.

I am still in complete confusion why people get so upset about socialism, but there it is. I figure this is a fear that can be dealt with like any other irrational fear: talk therapy and mood-elevating drugs for most people; institutionalization and psychotropic drugs for the hard-core cases. It's just a mental aberration and it can be cured; the sufferers have to wanna, though.

But in the middle of reading all the hoorah on the aforesaid forum, it occurred to me that the reason that we have things like Social Security and whatnot in the first place are not because they're capitalist ideals--far from it!--but because the idea of throwing people aside like used condoms finally got to be a bit too much. A properly capitalist/free market state would use people up, then throw them out when they're no longer productive and let 'em sink or swim on their own: Soylent Green, maybe. This is perhaps not the true ideal that most of us wanted for a society and so there are things that protect people and do a few things to prevent them from dying on the streets as often.

With this in mind, the question becomes "How much socialism do we want? What kind of society do we choose to live in and how do we treat its citizens?" Working backwards, we actually make a lot more money as a society in which there is publicly-funded health care, because the citizenry are able to work harder, better, longer, and produce a lot more. They become producers instead of consumers and they don't soak up emergency health care/housing/food resources. We make a lot more money when the citizenry are better educated because they can, again, produce more and they can even help create better solutions for the next generation. We make a lot more money when the citizenry are drinking clean water, breathing clean air, and not fighting a variety of diseases caused by climate change. And in the meanwhile, everyone's happier and the communitas is enhanced and supported.

I feel obliged to point out that a truly Christian society would look a whole lot like an ideal communist state, because everyone would be working for the communitas rather than their own selves. (The goal of Christianity being that you do for others as you would have them do for you--true communism--rather than everyone being in this for themselves--capitalism.) In large portions of Dumfuckistan in this country, I think you can still get beaten by an angry mob for saying that Christianity in politics = communism, but it's not like it's up for that much debate. If'n y'don't like it, find yourself a different religion or pull up your socks and get over it.

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