Cutting to the chase, if you consider yourself to be ‘On the Left’ then you have to be a Socialist. Period!
Now, there are many different levels under the banner of Socialism. Some may be Marxist, Trotskyite, Syndicalism etc. Yet, the unifying denominator is that all believe in the common ownership of the means of production and services.
Many socialists do honor the existence of Mom and Pop private ownership of small business. Under a truly socialist system banking, energy, health & dental care, housing and all necessary services would be owned and operated by the community, whether it be local, state or federal.
Imagine if you would if we had real community owned and run mortgage banks, where the only interest charges would be for overhead. Translated: Even in these so called ‘low rates’ times, where a mortgage rate is around 4 or 5%, with non- profit community banks the rate would be perhaps 1%. Plus, the mortgage paper would remain with that bank. Today’s renters would be tomorrow’s owners of their own abode.
A truly socialist system would similarly own and operate the energy that goes into your home or apartment. For perhaps a fraction of what we pay now, everyone would have complete medical and dental coverage. (This writer has already spent $ 5000 this past year, CASH, with no insurance, for root canals, crowns and one extraction).
The real crime of it all is when we have less than 1/2 of 1% of our populace earning over a million dollars a year, and being treated in the same tax basket as those earning a couple of hundred thousand a year. In 1961, when JFK took office, the top rate was at 91% for a joint return of a couple earning $ 400,000 or more a year. By the time their accountant sharpened his or her pencil, the couple perhaps paid 40-50% of that. Nowadays, couples filing jointly and earning between $ 400,000 – $ 600,000 pay at the rate of 35%. After their accountant does the deed, maybe they pay at 20%. See the loss for Uncle Sam? I could go on and on but you should be getting my drift.
Tax rates cannot be accepted or rejected on the impression of just naked numbers. The people must learn to demand value for their taxes. If good and solid value is received from the government in all important areas of personal and social needs, then the number may be higher, as required, and few will complain.
A truly socialist society would not need to have our military all over the world, pointing our majestic force and power at everyone. There is no way, if we curtailed the Corporate War Economy being run by private individuals and investors, that all those phony wars we conducted (or plan to conduct) would ever occur! Cutting the obscene military spending, which is over 50% of our federal tax revenues at present, to maybe 25% or much less than that, would ensure money for safety net programs (like National Health and Dental for All). In addition, we would still be as safe as we are now… NO, actually safer. Why? Well, with no phony wars and excursions into all those Middle Eastern countries (and soon to be Venezuela) the question of ‘Why do they hate us’ would not even be brought up.
Now let’s look at the group I name the ‘Phony Left’. The Democratic Party, continually subsidized by the super rich, has a large segment (especially recently) that consider themselves as ‘Left wing’. Really? Bottom line: They all still serve the Military Industrial Empire. When do you see them advocating a real pullback of this empire by closing a majority of our nearly 1000 foreign bases, and cutting with muster this fiscally bankrupting military spending?
Matter of fact, Bernie Sanders, who is probably a decent and caring guy, calls himself a ‘Democratic Socialist’. Yet, his group supported both John Kerry’s run in ’04 and Obama’s run in 2008.
Sanders supported the NATO (US led) carpet bombing and destruction of Libya in 2011 and our incursions into Syria… and now our banging the drums for a new Cold War with Russia. Sadly, he referred to the late Hugo Chavez, democratically elected leader of Venezuela, as a ‘Dead Dictator’!
This ‘Phony Left’ still won’t come out in favor of nationalizing Big Business, especially the real culprits, the Wall Street banks! Do you ever hear these folks ditto that in regard to Big Pharma or Corporate Absentee Landlords? As far as taking on the Super Rich, new ‘Phony Left ‘ presidential candidate Sen. Warren wants to assess a whopping 2% surtax on any assets over 50 million dollars. Wow! You got to be kidding me! The real tragedy is that this ‘Peanut plan’ of hers is already being slammed by the embedded mainstream media. When will this comedic material, right out of a Marx Brothers film, cease?
Ok, now as to the title of this column, what’s left on the Amerikan plate?
Well, and again sadly, we have over a hundred million of our fellow citizens who still buy into this ‘Free Enterprise’ garbage that the right wing and centrist Phony Left have been selling for seems forever. So many decent working stiffs still will defend to their (fiscal?) death the right for anyone to earn as much as possible.
Why? Well, any mention of true socialism has been tangled together with what we have been propagandized to believe as the hated and feared Communism. Orwell’s Big Brother hangs over them like a vulture, ready to devour. Little do they realize that the Nazi gang sold this same Kool- Aid to the masses of Germans in the 1920s and 30s. Thus, Fascism became the antidote, and you should know the rest folks.
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Parting shot—a word from the editors
The Best Definition of Donald Trump We Have Found
In his zeal to prove to his antagonists in the War Party that he is as bloodthirsty as their champion, Hillary Clinton, and more manly than Barack Obama, Trump seems to have gone “play-crazy” — acting like an unpredictable maniac in order to terrorize the Russians into forcing some kind of dramatic concessions from their Syrian allies, or risk Armageddon.However, the “play-crazy” gambit can only work when the leader is, in real life, a disciplined and intelligent actor, who knows precisely what actual boundaries must not be crossed. That ain’t Donald Trump — a pitifully shallow and ill-disciplined man, emotionally handicapped by obscene privilege and cognitively crippled by white American chauvinism. By pushing Trump into a corner and demanding that he display his most bellicose self, or be ceaselessly mocked as a “puppet” and minion of Russia, a lesser power, the War Party and its media and clandestine services have created a perfect storm of mayhem that may consume us all.— Glen Ford, Editor in Chief, Black Agenda Report