Are you socialists nuts?
Updated: 21 May 2008, 22:16
Originally written: 10 February 2005
No. Socialists are not nuts. Socialists are people who have decided that enough is enough. We have recognized that attempting to make capitalism work for the working class — for everyday working people — is futile. We have looked at society from a scientific perspective, which means we have used a social analysis which correctly explains why society works as it does. We have recognized that society is not all that difficult to understand once you get past the smokescreen of idealism and outright capitalist propaganda.
Socialists know that our ideas are not popular, but unpopular does not mean wrong. We know that our ideas are simple and not at all simplistic.
We know that a globular world was once considered heresy. We know that globular turned out to be correct. We know that in every age, the ideas of the ruling class of that age were, and are, the mainstream ideas, and disagreeing was sometimes fatal. We know that when the ruling classes changed, the ideas which were mainstream, changed. We know that people laughed at Benjamin Franklin and his kite. We know that electricity is now part of our everyday lives.
Different and “new” is not necessarily wrong, nor should anyone assume it is correct. Different and new is something to understand. Socialists think we understand how society works, and the ways it has worked for thousands of years. Other analyses seem to have a different analysis every day. That means they do not actually have a comprehensive analysis which works. They have to make it up as they go along. They get stuck on the details (or ideology) and ignore the basics. As the saying goes, they can’t see the forest for the trees.
Socialists are not often surprised by the goings on in society because the driving forces tend to drive in a general direction which follows some simple rules. If you apply the simple rules, the mystery evaporates. We cannot tell you who will be the next president of the United States, or even which party the President will represent. But we can tell you that as long as capitalism reigns, the President’s job will be to make capitalism work for the United States’ capitalist class. We can also tell you that making capitalism work requires that profit must be put ahead of anything else over the long run, and usually the very short run as well. We know that the supposed trickle-down effect is more like a gushing-upwards effect. The rich get richer, and the rest of us are still relatively poor.
We know that people could live better lives and work fewer hours if we chose, but that cannot happen under capitalism.
We know that needs and wants and desires and our very thoughts change depending upon our social environment. We know that feudalism paved the way for capitalism, and that capitalism has made socialism practical.
We are few because you have not yet given up on capitalism and decided to work to build a society which will satisfy your needs.
Socialists have decided to do what we can to build a society without poverty, but that does not make us nuts. It means we are people very much like you, who are willing to do what is right, even if people laugh at us as they laughed at Benjamin Franklin.