“Them’s fightin’ words,” times.
I’m reticent to even broach this subject for fear of retribution or retaliation. But, fuck it, progressives need better ammunition to fend off the irrational arguments of the Radical Right.
- “You’re all trying to convert this country over to socialism!”
- “Get government out of my business.”
- “Big government is bad business.”
Yeah, I hear your words. Let’s just do a little theoretical experiment and we’ll see where you stand afterward.
#1 You don’t like socialism? Then, you must not like government programs that operate on behalf of society. OK, then, let’s do away with the socialism we currently enjoy. No more:
- Judicial system which provides for rule-of-law adjudication of crimes and grievances. No more suing that corporation for poisoning your toothpaste. No more court system to ensure crimes are tried and resolved.
- No more police departments.
- No more fire departments.
- No more emergency services. Your call to 911 will go no where.
- In fact, no more telecom system as corporations will now own the airwaves and you’ll have to pay that monopoly dues to rent the air waves.
- No more highway system. No more bridges, tunnels, lights, or smooth driving anywhere.
- No more banking system. No more Fed. Your money will now be controlled (inflated away) by independent banking corporations.
- No more financial system. No more FOMC or SEC. The stock market will become a Wild West of robber barons.
- No more FDA or USDA, the quality of your food and drugs will now be controlled by corporations.
- No more EPA, your air, land and water will become as polluted as corporations want it.
- No more OSHA, your jobs will be as risky and egregious as corporations can make them.
- No more Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, you get old or sick, oh well.
- No more national security or military. Foreign governments will attack with impunity, with both organized forces and insurgents.
- This list goes on and on and on… ***
You don’t like socialism? Well, guess what? You already live in a socialist society. AND YOU LOVE IT! And if it were gone — you would suffer.
(You know who also loves socialism, that is, a social system of government of the people, by the people, for the people? … The wealthy and the corporations they run. But do they pay their share for all of these amenities? These privileges? These first-world services and benefits. NO THEY DON’T. You want to point a finger at someone? Point it at the wealthy and their corporations.)
So you say you don’t like socialism, but yet you live in a highly socialistic society as evidenced above. So which is it? Are you a hypocrite or do you just not understand that government IS society.
Next time some Right-wing conservative attacks your progressive, liberal ideals use this argument. We’re not that different. We all enjoy a vast and beneficial social system. Making it work a little better for all of us is what we progressives want.
#2 Without government “in your business”, protecting your business, you wouldn’t BE in business. Without the agencies and laws and equality built into the system (albeit somewhat half-assed right now), your business could and would get commandeered or monopolized out of business.
#3 It’s not that big government is bad, it’s that bad government is bad. Corporate lobbyists that drive legislation — BAD. Lifer politicians that treat their office like a royal award and act more for themselves than the people — BAD. The wealthy who think they can buy elections due to corrupt campaign laws — BAD. Tax laws that ignore the monumental protections and benefits the wealthy enjoy without them owning up to said benefits — BAD.
Government IS us, We the People. If it’s not working for all of us, then yeah, let’s change it. But ignoring the fact that we’re already living in a valuable and advantageous socialism is denying the health and well being you’re enjoying right now.
[*** These are all social programs created by government to benefit society. Not “technically” socialism, but certainly part of the social fabric we voluntarily contribute to (taxes) and expect results from (all mentioned)…
Including: USPS, National Parks, HUD, FEMA, SNAP, public education, and hundreds of others.]