Opinion: Screaming about the evils of socialism, says Massena woman
Friday, March 8, 2019 - 6:51 am

Before we start screaming about the evils of socialism - it would be good to consider the following: Saying that you reject socialism because you love freedom is like saying you reject chocolate because you hate bananas.

Yes, it makes just as much sense.

You're not arguing for freedom when you argue against socialism. Britain is socialist. Do you think that Britain is under the yoke of oppression? If so, then why are we, as their allies, not liberating them? Why? Because socialism does not mean lack of freedom.

You don't ever hear in the news, "Immigrants are flooding into America from socialist countries." Why? Because that would be like Americans flooding into Mexico because the tax rate is so low.

When people say, "The elites wants us to be like Europe," I say "Thank goodness. Please save us from becoming an irrelevant third-rate nation."

Especially, when you consider that the Western European socialist nations are beating the heck out of us in: education (math, literacy, science), standard of living, life expectancy (US is 28th - lower than Chile and Greece). Oh, but we do lead those socialist countries in: infant mortality, incarcerations per capita, and poverty.

When you hear someone say "We don't want to be socialist," it's obvious that they don't know the meaning of the word or they are using an outdated definition, and it's definitely obvious that they haven't lived in Europe in the last 40 years. It would be like me asking someone in Siberia, "Would you like to live in New York?" and them responding "No way, they are evil capitalists.”

For one thing, there are many varieties of socialism. It seems like those people who say, "The Democrats are socialists," seem to have a definition of socialism that's about 100 years old; along the lines of Marxism. Most of Europe rejected those hardline Marxist principles back in the 1950's. And the rest of Europe rejected those definitions in the 1990's.

In 1959, the German Social Democratic Party adopted the Godesberg Program, which rejected the idea of class struggle and Marxism. Many social democratic parties, particularly after the Cold war, adopted neoliberal-based market policies that include privatization, liberalization, and deregulation. In other words, most of Europe has moved to moderate socialism, which is a mixed-market of capitalism with government regulation. Sound familiar?.

When people raise the issue of socialism, you will hear some Americans declare, "You'll never take my freedom!"

Okay Braveheart, what freedom do you think socialists lack?

Guns? There is no standard viewpoint about guns across socialist countries. Canada is socialist, and its government supports gun ownership. Look at the top 15 countries in terms of guns per capita. The U.S. ranks number 1 in per capita gun ownership, of course: about 88 guns for every 100 people.

Next in per capita gun ownership is Serbia, then Yemen at 58 and 54 guns per 100 people, respectively. But close behind are: Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Austria, Germany, and Iceland. (Yes, France!) Those are socialist countries, my friend. Socialist countries allow private gun ownership. There's nothing about socialism that contradicts private ownership of guns. Modern socialist countries do not prevent private ownership of capital and means of production. Europe has a long history of investment, hunting, and self-defense. Socialism hasn't hampered that.

So again, what is the freedom you have that those socialists don't have?

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country]

By the way, also in that list of gun ownership is Iraq. So yeah, just keep arguing that gun ownership correlates to freedom.

Taxes? Okay, I concede. People in socialist countries, on average, pay more in taxes than Americans. But you know, of the 33 OECD countries, only Mexico, Chile and Turkey have lower taxes than the United States (calculated as a percentage of GDP) and are well below what most developed countries pay.. Have you ever lived in those countries? Are you willing to argue, with a straight face, that the US should adopt tax policies that look more like Mexico and Turkey than Germany and Britain? If so, it seems to me that you are determined to turn the US into a third world country.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/internat...

So, you still don't want the US to be socialist? Do you believe in public education? That's socialism. Have ever used a public library? That's socialism.

Do you use the post office? That's socialism. Are you cashing a disability check each month. That's socialism.

Are you going to cash your social security retirement check? Um, yeah – socialism run amok.

If you don't want to be a socialist, you need to move to a country that has no public schools, no public pension programs (like social security), and no public services. When I run into someone who vehemently rejects socialism, it occurs to me that the kind of society that they argue for did exists at one point in the past. It was called feudalism, and it was the infrastructure of the 11th century, also known as the Dark Ages.

If that's your goal for our society, then you had better cling to your guns, you’re going to need them.

Chana O'Leary

Massena