Breaking The Myths About Socialism! [FFON 234]

Joe Biden Is A Socialist! That’s what the conservative corporate media has been screaming since June. Joe Biden is as much a Socialist as I am a G.I. Joe. Actually Joe Biden might be THE G.I. Joe since he’s brags about his pride in all the wars he’s voted for. The War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the War on Black People, the War on his own Brain! YO JOE! Yo Joe, I think you might have a severe problem with your cognitive abilities and should probably see a doctor about that. 

The word ‘Socialism’ in America has lost all context thanks to corporate media. And that’s all corporate media, not just conservative ones. The most famous ‘Socialist’ in America is probably former Presidential Candidate and friend to G.I. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders. And the liberal corporate media said, Bernie couldn’t be the Democratic nominee because the Fox News would crush him by calling him a Socialist. 

Yet, we hear that Joe Biden, the anti-Medicare For All, anti-Universal Basic Income, pro-war, pro-dementia candidate, is a Socialist. Joe Biden is a Capitalist! He always has been a Capitalist and he always will be! YO JOE! Yo Joe, if you really want to distance yourself from the scary ’S’ word, then you should just go on all the corporate media outlets and talk about how great it is to be a Capitalist, while tickling the balls of a Big Pharma lobbyist.

Socialism in the eyes most Americans that watch one or more of the corporate mainstream news outlet think it’s the government coming to your homes and using your taxes as a label maker to say they own all your stuff. They believe under Socialism there’s one doctor, one mechanic, one grocer and we all have to share them with our one collective family in our one collective 2 bedroom apartment with one cat and one dog that we’re all allowed to pet once and only once a day.

Yeah, I don’t know think there’s a government system like that out there, but it’s most definitely not Socialism.

It is very hard to define exactly what Socialism is. It’s taken various forms and can be a nuanced idea. Socialism can be an economic principle, a form of government or even a way of life. It’s diverse in not just its definition but also it’s acceptance of people from all walks of life! That’s something Capitalism can’t say. This is a system that had a war to keep black people enslaved and tried to revoke free bathroom access from Trans people. Also it believes voting is for rich, white landowners, STILL. It’s 2020, no one owns land, we rent! All the land has been bought by evil corporations that are taking their revenge on Mother Earth who friend zoned them a century ago. 

Each country that practices Capitalism practices slightly differently. It’s like playing the guitar. You can play Jazz, Rock N Roll and if you’re true badass Rock-Rap Metalcore combo! But all in all you’re playing the guitar. Obviously Capitalism isn’t as cool as playing the guitar, no matter how dope and on fleek Capitalists say they are. 

Capitalism is an economic system that is all about controlling politics and the way of life. It has historically lead to more slavery, decreasing quality of life more people, exploitation and led to the largest collection of infomercials involving cutting things that don’t need to be cut.

According to Marxist Economist & Professor Emeritus, Dr. Richard Wolff, there’s 3 basic types of Socialism. The first form is where the myths surrounding Socialism come from. This is what most right wing and neoliberal political personalities think Socialism is. They think it’s Communism and more specifically authoritarian Communism.  

The idea behind Communism hinges on a few making decisions for the masses. Similar to a Democracy run by Capitalism. The wealthiest in the society are the ones the that really write and control legislation. And the countries we associate with Communism are primarily China & Russia. And because this supposed to be the polar opposite, Capitalist countries have a low opinion of China despite getting all our stuff made there. 

But China’s economy has grown significantly. They are now an economic superpower because of their Communist principles. The issue is that we haven’t truly seen a Communist nation. One where a government and private enterprise are run by social responsibility to the people and everyone is working towards the common goal prosperity and happiness for all. 

And that’s not just me saying that. Now This, a subsidiary of the neoliberal paper Huffington Post, is also saying this. The issue with Communism that we forget about fear, insecurities, human greed and the manufactured need for power. So usually these forms of governments turn into Communist Dictatorships rather than utopias. It’s what happens when you deify your leaders.  

But again this is no different than Capitalist Dictatorships. America has its fair share of authoritarian forces in effect run by Capitalists. The use of surveillance technologies, rampant militarism not just in the Military but also in cops, an expanding income divide and consistent media propaganda is just a few of the dictatorial tactics that are used here in the United States.

Now This has taken a Socialist country like Venezuela and deemed it a Community Dictatorship in continued efforts to use all forms of media to slander Socialism. Besides what exactly is dictatorial about Maduro canceling rents for 6 months during a pandemic and providing food for families? And Venezuela is known to have one of the fair and democratic election systems in the world! Maduro was legally elected and the only ones that don’t agree with that are corrupt American Capitalist politicians.

The question is did the politicians in America that slandered Maduro and Socialism as a form of Dictatorship, do anything for the American people? I’d say 2 right wing parties arguing over exactly how much pittance is given to the pleabs is a Dictatorship. It’s just a more collective dictatorship. The reason why America likes to associate Socialism with dictatorships is because that’s the only way America has figured out how to use Socialism.     

The second form is Socialism as a government. This is called a Social Democracy. This form of government uses Capitalism as an economic force, but it tries make it nice with Socialist regulations.  

Trying to use social responsibility as a way to regulate Capitalism is like trying use a sandcastle to stop a hurricane. The hurricane still has all the control over whatever it wants to do. The bottom line for private enterprises is always the accumulation of wealth. And if we add social responsibility and justice to that mix, it’s just going to make those movements into a product. 

And it’s not like we haven’t seen it before. Look what Pepsi did with the growing Black Lives Matter movement last year. And how Nike co-opted Colin Kaepernick’s message to sell their shoes. Sure, conservative burned Nikes in protest, but they still had to go out and buy new Nikes just to set on fire. At the end of the day, even outrage was turned into a product to improve the bottom line. 

Capitalism isn’t an economy of social responsibility. Would a socially responsible economy be looking for new ways to use to slavery to benefit itself for the sake of larger profits? The answer is no, no it would not. In America, the largest Capitalist nation around we have a chasm of income divide, more people in debt of all kinds and stagnant wages. And we offer too many internships, which is just white collar slavery. 

Social Democrats throughout history have gone out to use the principles of Socialism to regulate Capitalists, but time and time again they’ve given into Capitalistic view points. In the early 1900s, the Social Democrats of Europe gave into Nationalistic pressures to support the War efforts. Not only did that mean more Working class men were sent off die for the cause of the rich, but the military is one of the biggest money makers for a Capitalist nation, hence why America gives them the Socialist treatment. 

The American Military is the biggest Socialist secret of the Capitalist nation. If you’re in the American military as a career solider you get your housing covered, medical assistance taken care of, your education is paid off and when you retire a fantastic pension. The military is all about social safety nets, if you stay in for the long haul. If you’re a Veteran, they give you a hat and a greeting card and tell you to find some bootstraps to pick yourself up by. But you know, thank you for your service and all.  

The issues with Social Democracies is that in an attempt to play nice with Capitalism, they wind up fighting for bare minimums and compromises. Capitalism is still in control. In the 70s, European Social Democrats started lining up with Neoliberal economic policies. These ideas don’t help the working class or average citizens. They just worked with Capitalists to put a price tag on social responsibility. 

Social Democratic countries like Finland, didn’t really give true Socialist ideas a fair fighting chance. They haphazardly attempted a Universal Basic Income for half of the unemployed population and deemed the experiment a failure because it neither increased nor decreased happiness. But a concept like UBI can’t work if it’s only given to small portion of the population when the idea of a UNIVERSAL Basic Income is that everyone gets it. 

The real issue with Social Democracies is that hinge everything on electoral politics. If Socialism can be the government then Capitalism can be regulated and the workers get their day in the sun. But much like a Capitalist Democracy, elections in a Social Democracy are bought by the Capitalists, making it an ineffective system to implement Socialist principles, especially to regulate a gluttonous beast like Capitalism.

By the way this isn’t me telling you not to vote, but it’s me telling you that your vote isn’t the end of your duty as a citizen of any nation, regardless of what economic ideology it believes in. It means we have to be more involved and less complacent and apathetic to drive change for the betterment of mankind!

Former Presidential Candidate of Socialist Party of America once said, “Voting for Socialism is not Socialism any more than a menu is a meal.” Putting a socialist in office, especially in Capitalist countries won’t get us Socialist principles or put forth the ideologies of human dignity and cooperation it preaches. Voting for Socialism doesn’t work without the presence of a strong labor movement and an empowered proletariat.

In fact this was the idea and momentum behind Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Bernie Sanders ran within the Democratic Party and got cheated out the election in 2016. But he did spark movement and contributed to the fact young people no longer associate the word Socialism with Satanic Hellfire engulfing this Christian Nation. Ideas like Medicare For All, Low cost or free Public Colleges and even Universal Basic Income were becoming more popular in Capitalist America. 

But in 2020 he did it again. He ran within the same party that screwed him over to begin with. And all the corporate candidates from Biden to Warren to Kamala Harris were parroting Bernie Sanders talking points. But then they’d go back on CNN to clarify that they didn’t mean it. They were either confused about the question, because the Telemundo reporter has a strange but beautiful accent or they were just sayin it to say it! White lies about helping black, brown and low income communities.  

This has allowed the corporate Democrats, which most Democrats are, to pick up on Bernie’s rhetoric and use it as a way to bolster their pro-Capitalist, pro-corporate and anti-worker legislation. Social Democrats like Bernie Sanders can’t reform Capitalist political parties or economic systems from within. Once you’re in, you get consumed and your words lose their revolutionary sheen and get the dull coat platitudes. Medicare For All becomes access to choices in healthcare.  

Eugene Debs tried to reform the Democrats from within in the mid to late 1800s and he basically discovered that Democrats are, have been and will always be the party of private interests and corporations. They are not going to be a party for the working class. It was the Democrats that approved the Espionage Act, the Federal Reserve Act to attack Socialists and a Democrat that worked with Republicans on the Taft-Hartley Act to gut unions.

There is a positive in terms of electoral political and socialism though. Since 2017 there has been a rise of Socialist candidates that have won various positions in local and national elections. Most famously Kshama Sawant, the Socialist city council member in Seattle, has fought off Jeff Bezos’ reach into the city. In fact Bezos spent over a million dollars trying to get rid of her last year and failed. His ass was shipped and handled by the people who delivered his loss in less than 2 days. 

There’s also folks like AOC and the Squad. The difference between AOC and Kshama Sawant is that AOC tried the Bernie Sanders Social Democrat method, while Kshama Sawant ran with the Socialist Alternative Party. She embraced the term ‘Socialist’, while AOC and Bernie only shook its hand. And this isn’t me saying that I hate Bernie and AOC, but rather saying they can do better and fight harder while embracing the title of Socialist. The people will be behind you if you fight for them.

When you hinge revolutionary change and social responsibility on electoral politics it’s doomed to fail. Politicians will legislate and manipulate on behalf of big corporate interests, especially when they are controlled by corporations like they are in Capitalist America. And we have seen this time and time again. Unless of course the working class as consumers is affecting the bottomline of these corporations. Then they can send out a nice tweet about how much they care. 

And that leads us to the third basic form of Socialism. A worker based Socialism that we saw during the labor movement across the globe in the early 1900s. The Democratic Socialists believe in democratizing the workplace in order to truly democratize our politics and society. This form of Socialism is about a way of life. A way of life to improve the human condition through social responsibility, cooperation and solidarity. 

One easy way to democratize work places is by using the model of Worker Co-Ops. This is the idea that workers own a piece of the company and are part of the decision making team. This is far different than owning a stock in a corporation. Stocks still gives the the bosses more control. Especially one share of stock is worth more than a week’s pay. Plus more corporations practice stock buybacks to make their company look better and retain control. Stocks and Wall St. are a popularity contest for the rich, not a determination of the economy. 

I know I’ve talked about Worker Co-Ops before, but just as short refresher, this would mean the workers get a say in the future of the company. There is a rotation of management who are voted for and these managers can’t be paid more than 8 times the lowest level employee. This closes the income gap and ensures that everyone is treated with dignity and kindness. It creates a community within the workplace rather an environment of competition, backstabbing and uninspired water cooler talk. NO RANDY I DON’T CARE WHO DIED ON GAME OF THRONES! STOP BEING A SPOILER!

In the Capitalist dystopia of America, CEOS and bosses are making upwards of 300-400 times that of an entry level employee. Wages have remained stagnant in order continue upward funneling of wealth. At this point, we are looking at wage slavery in America. If the richest country in the world has a vast amount of poverty then I think you’re keeping the working class enslaved. 

And that’s what this system primarily runs on, slavery. In order to ensure the mass wealth of a few, that means the many must suffer. But Capitalists love to point out how Socialism would lead to poverty, destitution and more slave like conditions. When asked for proof they usually just throw a smoke bomb, yell Karl Marx and run away screaming.  

In fact, Karl Marx, who some consider the father of modern Socialism, was 100% anti-slavery. And he didn’t say that because it was the on fleek thing say, but rather because it was the right & socially responsible thing to say. Marx pointed this need for slavery as an important paramount for Capitalism. In order to make the value of its products worthwhile and turn a profit, it relies on slavery to make it happen. 

In Capitalist America slavery was so important, that there was a Civil War over it and even that didn’t end the practices of slavery, but it did evolve that to a special kind of bigotry. One that involved pretending you’re a ghost, while calling yourself a Dragon, hoisting the flag of a loser and an excessive amount of Truck nuts! But Capitalism is fine with this as long as there’s money to be made on exploiting fear and bolstering hatred! Think about it, for a Klan rally you need a hefty amount of lumber, lighter fluid, a lighter, and 2 dozen sheets. You can find all that at Bed, Bath & Beyond and probably earn yourself a coupon! 

Republican President Abraham Lincoln said the following in his first State of the Union Address: “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” Translation: Fuck your bottomline. I think Lincoln had a little bit more of an eloquent way of saying that though.

Lincoln was reading Marx. In fact after the end of the Civil War, Marx wrote to Lincoln. The UK Ambassador to Lincoln wrote back to Marx, saying that Abe considered Marx a friend. So if the GOP is going to consider themselves the party of Lincoln, they better take up some Socialist platforms like empowering the working class, decentralizing the banking industry and providing citizens with universal healthcare.

But the Republican Party today isn’t the Party of Lincoln. It’s the party of private industry and white supremacy. It’s the party of racism. They’re just the Right Wing of the American War Economy and shouldn’t claim stakes to being the Party of a Pro-Labor leader like Lincoln. They’re basically the Whig Party. 

At the end of the Civil War, America had an opportunity to divest from private industry and push forward a new pro-worker political philosophy. A Social Democracy in America would’ve been perfect in 1872. Now Marx & Lincoln differed on a few things primarily on the use of money to value labor. Lincoln was all about paying the working class what they are worth. And Marx saw this as new form of slavery.

And based on the way things are going, looks like Marx was right. This is projected today not just how little the American working class is paid, but also in the fact that we partner with and rely on country that use slave labor. Nike, for example uses slave labor, while trying to uplift a community that has a torrid history with slavery. It’s almost like they really didn’t care about slavery and were using it sell some fucking shoes!

Not just that but look at what happened in the mining towns throughout the 1900s. These towns were owned and operated by the coal companies who paid their employees in scrips or fake money they could only use in the town. This was a form of slavery using fake money as a point of control. The coal companies said they were giving them access to money.

But that’s the issue in a Capitalist economy and way of life. The bosses control what the working class is worth. They don’t use money as tool, but a point of control and exploitation. Capitalism is like every shitty ex you’ve ever had combined, but this time with interest.  

This Capitalist form of labor affects the mental health of the workers too. Workers don’t feel connected to the things they create, because the bosses get all the credit and a majority of the profits. Think about who we give credit to the iPod, iPhone or any Apple product? The developers? The machinists? No, Steve Jobs. A man in a turtle neck that probably never picked up a hammer in his life! 

In a Capitalist labor market, the worker is alienated from not only their fruits of their labor and creation but also their fellow workers. Cubicles create an isolated environment. It’s just you, your excel spreadsheet and your cat poster. You know the one where the cat’s hanging on to a tree branch saying “Hang in there!”, but really you know that cat’s saying “Your parents love your brother more!” The only positive of an isolated cubicle culture is that you can probably drink to your loneliness and possibly also masturbate in peace. 

Mental Health professional, Dr. Harriet Fraad says Capitalism has created an adversarial relationship between employees and employers as well as employees and other employees. [SOC 11] [COVER 4] Human beings are social creatures. We need each other. Our evolution & creation of tools occurred through cooperation, not hyper competitive bootstraps mentality. 

But this is one of the major arguments made by Capitalists. If left to our devices we’d choose to run a Capitalist society. It’s a natural way of handling things. Exploitation, fear-mongering and commodifying everything and everyone is how nature operates, so if you’re looking for an organic economic system, it’s probably Capitalism. 

Odd, wolves haven’t invented Capitalism. They’re rather cooperative in their behavior. Almost like they might be Darwinian Socialists! Chimps haven’t invented Capitalism. Though there is an experiment where Chimps got money and immediately started prostituting themselves for bananas. So really the only part of human life that is natural to Capitalism is using sex to get bananas.  

The Socialist principle of Worker Co-Ops are more natural to human behavior than the competitive, slavery based, grind of Capitalism. The Socialists of the Labor Movement said “8 hours to work, 8 hours to sleep and 8 hour to do what we please”. The labor movement fought for an 8 hour work day and less slave like work conditions. 

But Capitalism doesn’t believe in that. Most Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency. That’s the cost of tires on your car. This is on top the excessive debt we’ve all had to mount to keep things like a car or even a house. So in order make sure they can somewhat stay afloat most workers have to 2 to 3 jobs. So there goes the 8 hours of sleep or do what we please. Capitalists want a 24 hour work schedule, where they make money hand over fist on a constant basis over the exhausted bodies of the American Working Class.

And we have to take on all these jobs and work as much as we do because poverty is looked as a crime. Leisure is looked down upon in Capitalism. It’s said that Americans spend about $400/month on vacations, entertainment and other frivolous and unnecessary luxury items. 

This is why we don’t value art. Art speaks out against the status quo, opens your mind, helps you think critically, and makes us all a little more creative. But if it’s seen as superfluous, then it’s easy to cut it and keep an entire populous in the dark without questioning things like why housing and healthcare are privatized and unaffordable.

And this is why the claim in Capitalist America is that if we switch to Socialism, my job as a Comedian would be over, because it’s seen as frivolous. Socialists have valued and partnered with Art of all kinds. Artists are and always have been part of the working class. 

You know who could take a joke…Eugene Debs, Marx, Engles, Mother Jones. You know who can’t…anyone that makes over $400k a year. The only people that see art as frivolous are Capitalists! Because most artists don’t want to work for them. Most artists want to work for themselves and/or the betterment of humanity as a whole. Occasionally you get artists that work for the system – your Jeff Foxworthy’s or racist Puppetmasters like Jeff Dunham, or friend of war-profiteers like Ellen Degeners. 

Also, how many yachts are necessary for a person? How many cartons of ice cream are necessary for a family? How many private jets are necessary? The working class are chastised for enjoying art and leisure, but the rich never are. The rich are living on constant vacations on the hard work of proletariat. But in Capitalism the bosses are fetishized as someone the working class can become, so they give them a free pass. 

One of the arguments within Capitalism is the bosses are the ones that put the capital forward to create the factory or business and built the facilities, so they should get back more since they took the risks and made the investments. But when we the people participate in stocks and such and the risk fails us, we’re left to eat it. And if that is the case then the bosses should be producing the labor too, right? 

That’s like your parents asking you to pay off the hospital bill because you were born. And usually kids do pay that off…with self hatred and chronic anxiety…similar to the working class. 

You’re allowed to take a vacation. You’re allowed to have leisure time. That’s the idea behind an 8-hour work day. Most days I work anywhere between 9-13 hours to ensure that I can be kinda poor and not destitute. Most Americans are in the same boat. In other nations workers with minimum wage jobs can afford vacations and get paid sick leave. Not only are Norwegian McDonalds employees getting vacation time, they also get no diarrhea after eating McDonalds!

But this obsessive quality with work is the American Dream! To work so one day, maybe you can be rich, kinda, sorta, but not really. If a government and a society isn’t going be there for you when you’re at your worst, then why even have a government. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps advocates for anarchy far more than Antifa or actual anarchists like Emma Goldman!   

With Socialism not only would it mean a democratized work place, but also a government and economic system that would ensure that Housing, Food, Medicine as basic human rights. The point of work wouldn’t be just to make money, but it would give workers a sense of purpose to be a part of a growing and evolving community. Poverty would not be shameful or crime but a good reason for said community to come together and lift each other up. We would be far more responsible to each other rather than competing with each other, reveling in the misery of our neighbors. 

Schadenfreude is the philosophy that humans gain pleasure in the misery of others. That’s only true of really sad people that don’t have a sense of purpose or community in their lives. Schadenfreude is how a Capitalist labor market works. You have to compete, out do and kill your fellow employees for extra $.50 an hour and possibly a new cubicle! A Socialist Labor Market is pretty much the opposite of that. 

Socialism has always been on the agenda of American politics. In the early 1900s the Socialist Party of America was growing and gaining notoriety. Of course the Democrats couldn’t have that, so they used the Espionage and Sedition Act to prosecute and attack them. But Socialism is back on the agenda for American politics.

Some of most popular philosophies in the American zeitgeist are Medicare for All, Universal Basic Income, universal education and just the general idea of taking care of each other. 

During this pandemic, a Capitalist economy running a so-called Democracy created worst Depression this side of the century, an eviction epidemic, a troubled education system and climate that is on a death spiral. Americans are out of work, money and energy. And Congress goes on vacation, because fucking the Working Class that hard is exhausting.

But, thanks to folks in the Democratic Socialist of America or DSA and nationwide Mutual Aid organizations, people were able to feed their families, their neighbors and take care of each other. It’s almost like we’re becoming a real Christian nation. Americans are sick of being in medical debt, student debt, credit card debt, and owing our cousins $20 for buying us condoms when we 24 because we were finally going to bang our high school crush! YOU WERE DOING ME A FAVOR RANDY!

There’s a lot of people look at folks like myself, Dr. Richard Wolff and anyone associated with Democratic Socialists Of America, that say why would you call yourself a Socialist when there’s so much bad press around it. We wear the badge of Socialist proudly, because it’s a legacy of supporting the working class and ensuring equality & dignity for all people. If we only pay attention to what the corporate propaganda networks say about the movement then you’ll think kindness is a dictatorship. But if we see it for what it really is, we’ll see that only logical next step to actually make American great for the first time ever is Socialism.

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