Whenever I hear the old joke, "He was born on third base but thinks he hit a triple," I cringe a little, because I immediately think of the inverse -- of the millions of people who are born with two strikes against them.
"In America, if you have the brains and the talent and are willing to work as hard as it takes, you can make it to the top."
Well, yes; the operative word in that oft-repeated maxim is "can." But you can have a top-class brain and a top-class talent and work yourself to the bone and still go to the grave with nothing in this country... if you happen to have been born with two strikes against you.
See, brains and talent and hard work don't mean a thing when you aren't to the manour born in America; not unless you step into at least a tiny little bit of luck to go with it. And that shouldn't have to be the American Way.
A level playing field, indeed. Imagine an America in which everyone begins life on home base, with no balls and no strikes. Or, to use a clearer analogy -- on a level field, rather than some on a mountaintop and some in a ditch. Simple, really: Healthcare for all, food and shelter, education and basic employment -- all basic necessities guaranteed for all. For every other element one might wish, one would simply have to... work hard. To compete in a truly free market, unemcumbered by hunger, by the disabilities of race, family circumstances, "who you know." One's merits would truly be the yardstick by which accomplishments, achievements and advancements would be measured. THAT... is socialism.
Now, WHO could feel threatened by THAT?
I'll tell you who: The TRUE elitists in this VERY unlevel playing field on which we all stumble and on which we've been playing, blindfolded, listening to propaganda over their corporate-funded loudspeakers for generations. Propaganda that's told us that "Socialism equals Communism equals Russia equals Stalin equals BAD!
And lately, we have several decades' worth of examples of wildly successful Socialist nations to refute arguments against Socialist philosophy and economics. Not hideous beasts of governments run amokl rather, governments providing basic necessities and services with fabulous efficiency, NOT meddling in their citizens' private lives... and then getting out of the way. And the citizens' approval ratings of their governments? Through the roof. Their Happiness index? Quality of life? Life expectancy? Through the roof. And ours? Let's just say we're competing with the likes of Bolivia.
So... Maybe Americans are getting... less stupid. Because for one thing, they're not buying the "Barack is a Socialist" garbage. And for another, they seem to recognise Socialism when they see it (See: $700 billion bailout for the financial system and using taxpayer money to do it)... and they seem, by all known polling systems, to think it would be a REALLY good idea to start doing some MORE of it -- where it counts: say, healthcare, education, green infrastructure...
SO WAKE THE FUCK UP, Washington and Corporate Elites. The Sleeping Giant is stirring.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The "S" Word
From "S"mirking Chimp: