Socialism or barbarism
There's a history to capitalism. 2000 years ago we knew almost nothing and somehow or other one warrior in each region beat out everybody else and said he'd keep the peace and protect them all unless some other tribe invaded, but that's another story. But early on they didn't understand 3 things: death, the universe and life. So they figured they'd better have a religion or a God to go with it, then add a saviour or two and enough churches because remember everybody's scared of death.
Then everything went wild and kings and etc. showed up and happy poverty-stricken peasants, for several centuries until some of the top people wanted to check out the rest of the world to see if there was any cheap labor and enough profits in gold and other minerals to make taking over other places worthwhile. The reason was they had a suspicion that you got richer quicker when you were using other people's labor. By now there was enough wealth around to make most upper class types think about this. But ordinary peasants and artisans never thought about such things. They just wanted some meals once in a while, a little loving, maybe some music, bringing up the kids and stay out of the rain and out of the cemetary as long as possible.
But the folks on top. They're something else. Everything they do - times are hard - is based on greed, brutal greed, they don't give a shit about anybody, not even you, or your grandpa or his grandpa. See, no matter what kind of a business you're in, making mayonnaise, selling mayonnaise, lecturing about mayonnaise, or aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines or the latest anthrax, you're going to be threatened by the competition, and there'll be many a night that you can't sleep because of your heartburn or hemorrhoids.
About a week after the chairman of the Board of Regents hands you your PhD degree, you'll realize it's a dog-eat-dog world and once in a while a dog-eat-cat world and every chicken you ever saw gets murdered sooner or later. Then with your degree you can't find a job so you take a couple of night classes on how to be a stockbroker and you already know it's a dog-eat-dog situation but you very conscientiously learn all the bullshit that, like everything else on Wall Street and down in Washington is designed to give a good honest-to-God Christian spin on everything so you even stick an American flag on your brief case just to show your clients you can be trusted - all this while your government is dropping hundreds of 3000 lb. bombs from B52s on Afghanistan and Iraq and Yugoslovakia and Colombian villages and Vietnam and Haiti and are putting out horror stories about anthrax but not the more deadly strain the U.S. Army has been working on - but don't worry, that kind will only be used on Libya and Palestine and North Korea and East Timor, and Africa south of the Sahara, and all the Middle East and most of Asia and maybe Michigan if they don't shape up.
Well,, so - you see you're telling lies day and night to fit the theatrical version of things the latest power persons have long since devised to sell their free market free country free police free prison system to everybody who never reads an exposeŽ about any of tens of thousands of crimes in our economic system that is built on profits and greed and using anybody and everybody to build up their profit margins before their heartburn turns to terminal cancer.
Well, there we are, I already said that - you can't run a system successfully that claims to serve the general welfare but uses every kind of pure greed there is as the fuel powering things. That's like using gunpowder to treat wounds of all sorts. If you're determined to use the gunpowder then you have to make up a universe of lies then lies to cover up lies and then more lies to cover those up. For the sake of capitalism, after a while people begin to see through the lies and the establishment is in deep trouble. Little bits of the truth keep leaking out like a bloody nose drippiing on your shirt. And the contradictions - boy howdy - they lead to and cause mental problems, anger, drug use, road rage, gangs, murders, suicides, business cycles, alcoholism, mass unemployment, loss of most everything in the stock market. Then the deceptions to sell products, an absolute nightmare.
So you see, the down-deep truth is that capitalism is a good thing only to get things off dead center, not to last forever. Things need to be planned, collectively planned, somehow, definitely not on the basis of how much money something will produce.
Socialism, yes. But how? Capitalism, no matter how deadly it's become, it's really entrenched. Now they're throwing terrorists at us. If we say anything about the whole business, we're terrorists. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were terrorists, so was Tom Paine because he defended what they did. We can't talk about it. The government can bomb wherever they want, they've already interferred in 62 countries just since World War II. But they got our nuts in a vise, and no matter what, that's it. We're already a police state. The only way out, is a few hundred thousand of us, for starters, need to stand up and say 'Wait a minute'. We have to briefly say, 'Look, we've been the biggest terrorist in the world for decades.' We've killed or arranged for decades of death squads since World War II, to kill maybe 20 million. We're building an empire and they're fighting back, in the only way they can. And don't jump on us and call us terrorists. We may have some revolutionary ideas but that doesn't make us terrorists. Look at President Bush, when he was governor of Texas he signed the death warrants for 158 men, some of whom it turned out were innocent. That's a form of terrorism. He'd shuffle through each file, glance at a few pages, then sign it. It it's not too much trouble, ask yourself what else Bush talks about except terrorism. Every speech - always terrorism. "We'll use every weapon available, and we'll get them and we'll destroy any country they're living in." Then there's the Kyoto Treaty of 1972, where we all promised we wouldn't start our anti-ballistic missile systems. But this little piece of shit from Texas doesn't like it. Where the hell is everybody else? Is there anybody left in Congress? Are the press moguls really the assholes we've been suspecting they were? No dialog? Just parrot the little piece of shit from Texas? Boy what a country; where are the Paul Reveres, the railsplitters? Where is ANYBODY? So maybe the title of this piece is valuable, Socialism or Barbarism? So let's take a close look at what socialism really would be, what it would do for us, can it work? Really, can it? Let's have a look.
What kind of a world do we really want? Mostly, it's a matter of what we don't want. Most of all we do not want wars. We do not want poverty. We do not want social instability. We do want freedom of the spirit for everyone, especially for the powerless. This doesn't seem totally out of the question. But it certainly has, so far.
Bob Randolph (This is the opening part of a piece about socialism and why it would be good for us, I think. 1/4/02)