Socialism has become one of those words – buzzwords -- that the ruling class, the elites, the oligarchs, plutocrats and just plain greedy rich would like us all to regard as an expletive, a curse word, a dirty word not to be used in polite society.
These are the people who have achieved by any and all means possible control of our politics, our monetary system, our environment, our educational system and any other elements of our so-called civilized society. The people who consider all of our resources, our air and water, our land and the people who work it as commodities, things to be bought, sold and used for their personal enrichment.
They are aware that some very successful nations on this Earth consider themselves socialist, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland -- the Scandinavian countries, which are among the happiest, least militarized and most progressive in the world. They have excellent educational institutions and little or no history of warring against their neighbors, at least in modern times.
They would have us believe that their form of capitalism is the best way to govern, that capitalism is what has made (some of) us rich and the most powerful nation in the world. So for them to continue their dominance of all aspects of society we must scorn socialism, which makes sure that all members of society are taken care of. They imagine that most people are lazy dependents, unworthy of governmental support, and that citizens should be on their own and let Darwin sort out the winners.
The plutocrats, of course, manage to ignore that we are. in fact, a socialist society, since they capitalize their profits but socialize their losses. Corporations manage to profit without paying for their negative effects on us, dump their effluents in our environment and refuse to pay the full costs of their actions. The negative effects of pollution are paid by The People who suffer foul air, undrinkable water and increased rates of cancer from chemical poisoning of our food, to name a few effects, all of which are not on their balance sheets.
They love to celebrate capitalism, but are silent when they demand socialism to bail them out. Some of us remember 2008, when the greedy, overextended banks, free of Glass-Steagall, begged to be socialized, and made sure that their lobbyists bribed the government to bail them out. The oligarchs don't want Darwin to decide who wins in the games of wealth accumulation, yet a basic tenet of capitalism is competition, with its winners and losers. They take huge risks, knowing that they will be socialized when they fail.
So, let’s take a look at our own worship of "free markets," favored by the plutocracy because it rejects any regulations that might interfere with their pursuit of ever more personal wealth. Such a system takes good care of the 1 percent, while the remaining 99 percent can be considered serfs in the service of the elites. If we are to have a purely capitalistic society without any control by the government we must have our elites sign the Pledge of Socialist Avoidance, as follows:
I (insert name) pledge to eliminate all government intervention in my life. I will abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:
* Social Security; at age 65 I will tear up or burn any checks I am entitled to;
* I will refuse to use Medicare and Medicaid;
* No children's health insurance, police, fire and emergency services;
* No use of postal services and state and interstate highway systems;
* No air travel regulated by the FAA and monitored by the air traffic controllers;
* No Amtrak, public subways, bus and light rail systems;
* No use of sidewalks, public water and sewer systems;
* No use of public schools, state colleges and universities;
* No access to public museums, libraries, local and national parks, beaches, zoos;
* No unemployment insurance;
* No municipal garbage and recycling services or use of any medical facilities that have received federal or state subsidies;
* Take no medications resulting from government grants or subsidies;
* Eat no food grown with government subsidies and wear no clothes, like cotton, grown with subsidies;
* If a veteran of our socialist military, I will refuse any VA benefits;
* I will never tour government buildings like the White House, Capitol, Smithsonian, Air and Space Museum, Statue of Liberty, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Monuments, Arlington National Cemetery;
* I will not support any medical system which does not have as its basic goal the unlimited enrichment of Insurance;
I hereby put my money where my mouth is!
Welcome to Democratic Socialism.