A primer on socialism

Words sometimes have a lingering effect … here’s some that are bugging me: Swede, reducing all of the dynamics of the European migration over the North American continent and the resulting devastation of the natives and their way of life to … “socialism.” Read about it in the comment section here.

That’s merely one person’s short-sighted perspective, and my own is not terribly much better. I am hesitant to condemn the whole of the mass of people who took over the North American continent as having planned to do evil … my ancestors simply wanted a better life. But one need only took at bison, passenger pigeons and Native Americans to begin to grasp the size of the influx and it’s devastation on the land and people.

It’s done. The problem now is to help our native brothers and sisters. My magic formula entails moving people up to the same starting gate, giving them a clean shot at success in life. Swede misinterprets what he calls “socialism” as a finish line game – rigging it so that we all get to win.

That’s wrong. That’s not how socialism functions. That’s a product of oligarchy.

My favorite example is George W. Bush – he entered life in a privileged position with trust funds in his name, money in the bank, friends in positions of power to help him along and an inability, no matter how much he fucked up, to fail. His girl friends got abortions, he avoided that pesky war and hid away in Daddy’s shadow, and anyone who probed the matter got in trouble.

Take this guy and strip away his excess privilege, move him back to the same starting gate in life as everyone else, and see how he’d do. My guess: He’d be selling either real estate or cars. He might be good at it. The odds of the presidency in his future: 1 in 300,000,000. Zero. Not good.

Socialism is about equality of opportunity, and not results. Everyone should have access to health care, basic food and education. After that, we are on our own. Wealthy people don’t like that, wanting a rigged game for their kids to succeed. There’s just too damned much native talent out there for the W’s of this world to make their way without a crutch or two or three.

Swede and I might agree on one thing: it is destructive of a person’s character merely to give him or her money. “Welfare” in that sense (and I think that’s how he views socialism) is destructive of human integrity. My God, look what it did to W!

But access to health care, education, food … that is quite a different story. That merely raises our plane of existence, giving everyone a chance to develop their talents and succeed without having illness and starvation stalking them like wolves.

That’s “socialism,” as I view it – moving up to the starting gate preparing everyone for the race. How it finishes … who knows?I have a sneaking hunch all of the W’s and other Bushes, the Kennedy clan, Walton’s and a long list of names of America’s most powerful families you would not recognize … would not do well were they not given that starting gate butted right up against the finish line.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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3 Responses to A primer on socialism

  1. Big Swede says:

    I know you didn’t read my link so here’s a couple paragraphs.

    “Before we proceed, I will give you some statistics. Native Americans receive more federal subsides than anybody else in the United States. This includes subsidized housing, health, education, and direct food aid. Yet, despite the uninterrupted flow of federal funds, they are the poorest group in the country. The poverty level on many reservations ranges between 38 and 63 percent (up to 82 percent on some reservations),[4] and half of all the jobs are usually in the public sector.[5] This is before the crisis of 2008! You don’t have to have a Ph.D. in economics to figure out that one of the major sources of this situation is a systemic failure of the federal Indian policies.”

    “These policies were set in motion during the New Deal by John Collier, a Columbia-educated social worker, community organizer, and utopian dreamer who was in charge of the Native American administration during FDR’s entire administration. English Fabian socialism, the anarchism of Peter Kropotkin, communal village reforms conducted by the Mexican socialist government, and the romantic vision of Indian cultures were the chief sources of his intellectual inspiration. Collier dreamed about building up what he called Red Atlantis, an idyllic Native American commonwealth that would bring together modernization and tribal collectivism. He expected that this experiment in collective living would not only benefit the Native Americans but would also become a social laboratory for the rest of the world. The backbone of his experiment was setting up so-called tribal governments on reservations, which received the status of public corporations. Collier envisioned them as Indian autonomies that would distribute funds, sponsor public works, and set up cooperatives. In reality, financed by the BIA, these local governments began to act as local extensions of its bureaucracy.”

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  2. You’re missing the point in its entirety – you are saying that socialism is the problem on the reservations, when I am saying that you don’t define socialism, and so cannot know if that is true. After all, socialism is the dominant form of government in the western world, so that the problems on the reservations must be due to some other cause.

    But you have not taken time to look for that cause. I have. I call it the defeated peoples syndrome, where they lost everything, including their dignity, in the genocide. They basically need to be integrated into the mainstream, and given a chance to reclaim their dignity.

    All of the problems, subsidies, government programs are so much chatter, as a people have to have a proud heritage to survive and prosper in this world.

    They should do what white Americans have done: Just make up shit and call it their history. Make themselves look good.

    And I repeat – George Bush was given houses and clothes and money and was never allowed to fail. That seems to fit your definition of socialism. Was he harmed by it?

    OK. Point in your favor. He’s a loser.

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    • Rob Kailey says:

      I suggest to you both that viewpoint matters (though Mark seems to get it better than you, Swede.) What the Native people’s are paid shouldn’t be referred to as welfare or even reparations. It should be called rent. They should not be ‘mainstreamed’ into the culture, they should be treated fairly as our culture treats others. Funds should not be paid to tribes, but rather to individuals as stake holders in the capital that we hold for them in trust. They are the Walton (that would be Wal-mart Waltons, not John boy and the brood) family of the lands we squat on; why not treat them as such? They can make up all the history they wish but heritage won’t matter to them until they are freed from the whims of greedy men inside their own culture. They should incorporate, and thank you Roberts, Scalia and Alito.

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