Socialism in America

Posted by marshal on July 11, 2009 in Uncategorized |

I’m a professed liberal, although really more of a moderate.  Nevertheless, I spend time with a group of conservative friends who periodically send me stuff.  I usually check it out with Snopes, and then send back the results of what I’ve found.  There are two things that will get many of my friends going, however:  socialism and guns.

Now I’m not ready to talk about guns yet.  I do own a gun and have in the past.  However, I am not really a fan of the NRA either, so that’s all a topic for another time.

Socialism is another matter.  I think that my friends don’t fully understand socialism and they equate it with some sort of European thing that borders on Communism.  What they don’t understand is that socialism has been in America for a long, long time.  I’ll break down how I see it into two parts.

First, there is the mundane socialism that we see all the time: paved streets, fire departments, police and schools, to name a few.  Think these are not socialist?  Think again.  We all toss money into the hat, willingly or grudgingly, to support these activities.  A society that is not at least marginally touched with some socialism is a society of one.

The other type of socialism I’m thinking of as American is the home  grown type, the Utopian societies that have been tried here, especially in the nineteenth century.  These would be the Shakers, the Amanas, the Mormons and other such groups.  Some of them have been successful, such as the Mormon church.  Others have failed due to various reasons; the Shakers died out because they did not have marriage and therefore no children.  The Branch Dividians were a socialist group, but that’s another area of the discussion, maybe best left for another time.

My point is, America has always been a testing ground for various thoughts and beliefs.  I’d like to think that is still so and will always be so.  Socialism is just one of the things we’ve experimented with, just like benevolent fascism practiced in the 1930s.

American Socialism is an interesting field.  I have been reading about Democracy lately, maybe I’ll start doing some research into that.

I guess that’s enough soliloquy for this morning

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