Socialism. Socialism. Socialism.
I do not support socialism or communism, and I am not an admirer of Karl Marx. How could I admire anyone who said that Russia was the last place in the world that would have communism, as Marx did?
But socialism is a good word to scare the hell out of Americans. It used to be witches, but now people are comfortable with witchcraft and even have a Tea Party candidate in Delaware who dabbled in it.
After World War II, Europe lay devastated and flattened. In the U.S., President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected 4 times. He introduced many social and economic reforms that became the envy of the world. And the European nations, when starting to rebuild themselves, asked FDR to send them some of his advisers to help them with programs in their rehabilitation. FDR had said to Americans that he had a plan, a sort of "second bill of rights," for the U.S. in which everyone would have a job, a living wage, a pension, guaranteed health care, etc. That is the information he sent with his advisers to Western Europe and to Japan. Ironically, Europe and Japan heeded the advice and programs of FDR, but the U.S. did not.
In the first quarter of the 20th century communism had come to Russia and then the Soviet Union. As the Russian form of communism grew and threatened the capitalistic economies of the rest of Europe, the industrialists of Europe and America plotted to stop the spread of communism, which was a threat to their private enterprise. First the industrialists and bankers of Europe and the U.S. helped Benito Mussolini gain fascist power in Italy. And Mussolini was heralded in America as a savior, a great man who would save Italy. And then these same industrialists and bankers helped Adolf Hitler to power. And Hitler was lauded as a new voice, a saving idealist who would stem the tide of horrible communism. Communism was an extreme leftist movement, Nazism/fascism was an extreme right-wing movement established to protect capitalistic favoritism from uncapitalistic communism.
International bankers met each year, usually in Switzerland, to decide how the western world's economy would be divided among the capitalistic nations. They, along with Krupp, I.G. Farben, Henry Ford, du Pont, etc. financed Hitler's rise to power. They concocted the word "socialism" into Nazism to pacify the mass of people who saw the good in socialism but not in communism. It was a hoax. These meetings in Switzerland were attended by both fascism's banks, along with banks from the U.S., Britain, France, and much of western European capitalistic finance leaders. They helped build Hitler's war machine.
After World War II, these same bankers met to see how the spoils of Europe would be divided. Note that none of the leading bankers and industrialists had to stand trial at Nuremburg. They simply switched gears and went on their merry way, except for Farben, which had manufactured the Holocaust gas.
Europe lay devastated. With advice from FDR's advisers, and with a carefully evaluated history that had unfolded in front of them, the nations of Europe began to re-build their economies and political machinery. They built a series of programs and economies that are clearly social democracies. They took what they saw as the best of capitalism and what they saw what was good with socialism, and these social democracies have fluorished since. The nations that did not adhere to the social democracy formulae were mainly in southern Europe. Therefore that list included Greece, Spain, Portugal, and to a lesser extent, Italy.
It is interesting to note that today, with the world in an economic downturn, the nations that are surviving best are Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Germany, all nations that whole-heartedly held to a social democracy system. And those nations that are struggling are Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.
In the U.S. we have taken a different route. Since at least the 1980s, the U.S. has slid farther and farther to the right, to a more favorable climate for big industry and big finance. When the big businesses got in trouble, the tax-payers in the U.S. saved them. It was not by tax-payer choice. Under a r ight-wing extremist, President George W. Bush, in collusion with the biggest financial manipulators in America, they led in the signing of the TARP program. In short, what we now have is not capitalism or social democracy; what we have in the U.S. is a plutocracy. And the best sign of it is that the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer ...and the poor are growing faster and faster in numbers.
The financial actions of the past 30+ years have devastated the average American. It is no wonder that the people in the social democracies are far healthier than Americans, far happier than Americans, live longer, and feel far more secure than the average American. For the first time in many generations, the sons and daughters in the U.S. do not feel the hope of doing better than their parents.
The disgust at what has happened in the U.S. these past 3 or 4 decades is reflected in the expressed discontent. Sadly, Americans have bought the propaganda of the greediest people in America and now think that it is all and only the fault of liberals and the Democrats. The rightful blame that corporate and financial America should bear has been twisted. Americans are very angry, and perhaps all the people holding elected office should be thrown out for not serving in the best interests of most Americans. I hold no banner for either the Republicans or Democrats. They both are to blame. The vast majority of Americans have been served horribly by American industry and bankers. A return to the decisions of the 1980s or 1990s or 2000-2008 is certainly not the answer. And Obama has been a disappointment.
What to do? First, Americans have to come to realize where the fault lies for the economic disaster that has befallen us. And then we have to throw the bums out! Let's make sure we replace them with people who will represent us, and not be a mouthpiece for big business and greed corporations. We are still a democracy, and the solution, as was the failure, is in our hands. WE are the world, not Halliburton, Blackwater, GE, AIG, Bank of America, etc.