Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Why Are The Rich So Scared of Socialism?

Why Are The Rich So Scared Of Socialism?
by C. A. Matthews

Do you remember as a child in school or scouts or some other social situation being taunted? Usually your tormentors chose their word—yes, singular—well. They went to the heart of your deepest, darkest fears and discovered the one thing that haunted you more than anything else in your existence. It could have been “four-eyes” or “fatty” or “freak.” It could have been a combination of those and more, but there was one word that really hit you in the solar plexus of your soul and did the most damage. That was the word your tormentors repeated endlessly until you ran crying from the playground, the meeting hall, or the birthday party.

The Left has one such word. “The S Word.” I shall type it out in its entirety here, fully expecting that I will receive unkind comments and possibly a death threat or two. 

That word is socialism.

There I said it. Let the bullying begin! Oh, no, I’m not going to shame or threaten anyone else with the S Word, but I will explore why members of both the Right and the Left political persuasions tend to have trouble with this word, often using it as a curse or a taunt of last resort.

One such sub-group that spans the spectrum of political identification is the rich. How do I define rich? It includes the infamous “one percent” of the world’s billionaires, but it also includes the majority of persons reading this sentence. If you have a place to hang your hat at night, secure in sleeping and waking up to find yourself in one piece with food in your fridge and possibly your own mode of transport to get you to work (or at least decent access to public transportation), then you qualify under my definition of rich. (Note that rich doesn't imply how one votes, be it Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green or otherwise. The rich are simply rich.)

There are many hundreds of millions in the world who don’t even come anywhere close to this definition of having a safe place to sleep. If you qualify as rich, you, my friend, have been blessed.  You're not only blessed with material wealth and security, but also with mental wealth and security. The vast majority of your day doesn’t involve simply surviving—finding a place to sleep tonight or your next meal. You are indeed rich.

Which is why it’s all the more confusing why some of you who practice the religion of Neo-liberalism are terrified of the infamous S Word. You have the “new sport car,” and yet you resent helping your fellow human beings find and maintain a place to live, receive free health care, and  have access to food to fill their empty stomachs. The Cookie meme speaks to this dilemma. You are blessed undoubtedly with material wealth, yet  your neighbor with much less is more than willing to share his cookie with you.  

Sharing the cookie is socialism pure and simple. The world is not a “pie” where the minority rich hogs three-quarters of the pie and all the rest have to divvy up the last thin slice. No, the world is a cookie, and your neighbors freely share what they have, when they have it, so that you and yours do not go without and in hopes that they will receive the same kindness in return one day when they need help.

And that’s where the trouble (and usually the taunting) begins. The rich
who have no fear of starvation or privationseem to not be able to handle the idea that everyone on the planet can be free of the fear of starvation and privation. The rich seem to want—or even demand—that only they can be free of these fears and everyone else must be afraid in order for the rich to feel secure in their material wealth or perhaps just feel good about themselves.

So, why is the idea of everyone being taken care of and receiving enough “cookie” so scary for the rich? Do the rich believe that those currently with less material wealth are mean-spirited and won’t share if the time ever came when the rich needed help? Maybe. Why is that? Could it be because the rich are scared of sharing in the first place? That they believe the myth of artificial scarcity and somehow that when everyone is well fed they're going to go hungry?

Who could have put such a terror of sharing the cookie with others—that is, socialism—in rich persons' hearts? Why do the rich consider sharing with others to be such an unspeakable horror that they shout things like, “You libtards are all socialists!” whenever providing universal health care or ending student debt is mentioned? After all, they would stand to gain from free access to health care and being out of debt, too.

My guess is that this unfounded fear of socialism was taught to many from a young age by those who want to keep humanity at odds with each other for these nefarious individuals’ gain. Only by keeping the world in terror and the materially wealthy and non-wealthy at each others’ throats can these villains prevail.

Who are these villains? I call them Capitalists. 

Capitalists are those who drive the wedge between factions of humanity by causing war and strife and destroying the planet through exploitation of resources and its resulting pollution. Capitalists engage in these nasty activities simply for material profit
—theirs. When the world is in a perpetual chaotic state, when the bombs are dropping and the forests are burning, rich and poor alike, black and white alike, are unable to join forces to stand together and take on their villainy.

If there’s a word we all need to be scared of, we all need to use as a taunt, it’s not socialism. It’s the C Word: capitalism.

It’s time to teach ourselves
that “sharing cookie” is a good thing, that socialism is a good thing, and that capitalism is a disease that needs to be eradicated as soon as possible in order for humankind to survive. No one should ever be afraid of sharing the basic necessities of life with their fellow human beings. 

It's time we heal the wounds capitalism has inflicted upon our world and each other and vow to create a planet where all can thrive at nobody's expense.

Here's a great insight on the terms equality and equity:
Nothing destroys one’s empathy for others more completely than seeing them as “less than.” ... Equality is often understood as everyone getting exactly the same. But because everyone has a different social, economic, or political starting point, simply giving everyone the same thing would not necessarily create the goal of everyone having enough to thrive. Some would still have more than they need, while others would not. When everyone is different, fairness and success also differ. ... Equity means making sure each person has enough to thrive, and that may look different for different people.
Some may cry unfair when others receive more, yet if this “more than” is based on what they need is more than what others may need to thrive, then fairness takes on a more holistic, less shallow definition.
In liberation theology, scholars refer to the deference given to those on the margins as a “preferential option for the oppressed.” It is a choice to center those who are pushed to the edges and undersides of our society, and to place these people and their communities on equal ground with others. The preferential option is required to bring about equality. ...
Equity doesn’t have to feel like inequality if we choose to see our differences and how these differences are treated. Equality doesn’t have to feel like oppression even if you are used to privilege. We are all in this together. What lessens one, lessens us all. We are connected to one another. As the adage goes, equality doesn’t mean less for you: it’s not pie.  [Editor's note: Or a cookie.]
  --Herb Montgomery, When Equality Means Some Are Given More Than Others. (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/socialjesus/2020/01/when-equality-means-some-are-given-more-than-others)

Related Articles:
Keeping Homeless Families Homeless

Economic Update: Answering Our Critics. Economist Richard Wolff explains Socialism and the myths against it. (video) https://youtu.be/k_F36XKS_KU 


From Alliance for Retired Americans  & Union Veterans Council:

We believe it should be easier for veterans and working people to claim the Social Security benefits they’ve earned with every paycheck, not harder. But the Trump administration is trying to rip benefits away from hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities by putting up needless hurdles.

Social Security is best known as a retirement program -- but earned Social Security disability and survivor benefits are just as essential to millions, including 600,000 of our veterans.

This cruel policy does not work. We know because it’s been done before. President Reagan implemented a similar benefit cut back in the 1980s -- and nearly 200,000 Americans with disabilities lost benefits they needed. Massive public outcry eventually caused Reagan to reverse course -- but people were hurt.

The Administration’s proposal requires millions of Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries to re-prove their eligibility for benefits as often as every six monthsfar more frequently than is currently the case.

There is no justification for this policy. The United States already has some of the strictest eligibility criteria for disability benefits in the world. More than half of all disability claims are denied already!

We have 15 days to try to stop the Trump administration’s plan. The Social Security Administration is collecting comments on the proposal until January 31.

Thank you for fighting back against attempts to undermine and destroy our Social Security system.

Richard Fiesta                                                      Will Attig
Executive Director                                              Executive Director
Alliance for Retired Americans                     Union Veterans Council, 


  1. I've already seen disturbing reports that the so-called Democratic Party have already selected Biden for President and Warren as his VP. They are showing that they're still out of touch with reality by selecting another 'Same as usual' candidate in a change election. It's storing up a great deal of trouble for the future.

    1. Well... Do you expect any differently from such a group? They rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders in 2016 and actually had their lawyers argue in court that the DNC was a "private organization" and their top brass could choose anyone they liked for their nominee, in spite of using public funding to run their primaries and telling Dem voters that their votes actually mattered. It's so much par for the course from these neo-liberal political groups, isn't it? They're owned-and-operated-by-capitalists. No wonder they fear socialism and by extension democratic-socialist Bernie!


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