Yes Monty Python did turn “our house was so small we watched rat tace live” into a joke. Yes it did entertain us, but…..(ODT)
His own process of radicalization provides the starting point for this part of the argument. “I saw people buying new phones every year and keeping the old ones in a drawer, while a few miles away, day laborers picked tomatoes, earning 45 cents for every 30-pound bucket. I saw reports of Americans being charged $5,000 by hospitals for an icepack and a bandage, or paying $1,200 a month in rent for a bunk bed.”
All it took was a global epidemic of potentially unprecedented scale and severity and suddenly it’s like we’re turning into Denmark over here.
In the last few days, a parade of American multinationals that had long resisted providing humane and necessary benefits to their workers abruptly changed their minds, announcing plans to pay and protect even their lowest-rung employees harmed by the ravages of the coronavirus.
Because the virus is coldly indiscriminate and nearly inescapable, it leaves us all, rich and poor, in the same boat: The only way any of us is truly protected is if the least among us is protected.
Many people grumble about paying taxes, but if you look around the world, most of the citizens of the most heavily taxed countries are also the most contented. They willingly trade some of their earnings to ensure that everyone has a safety-net, there are no beggars, the sick get necessary treatment, education is available to all and necessary assistance in finding work is available.
This is not socialism in its derogatory context. It is essential humanity – which is MIA in Australia!
Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.
You may have noticed that the word socialist and its related terms are tossed around a lot as political insults. Typically, the right-wing does this to place their opponents in a political phylum for ease of dismissal. They make no attempt to engage with the actual arguments of their opponents. The mere application of a label is supposed to make them go away. Such a tactic is, of course, a red herring. A shiny thing designed to distract from the actual issue.
The reality is that politicians do not actually hate socialism. In reality, they hate socialism for the wrong people. Socialism itself is not the problem, it is the recipients.
There is never any talk of cutting politicians’ pensions or pay. There is never talk of ending corporate subsidies in an allegedly capitalist system. The idea of ‘how will we pay for this?’ is only ever applied to social programmes such as medicare (and its counterpart in the US Medicare4All) but never to corporate subsidies or the military or any other corporate or rich priority. For those sectors of society, the treasury is their plaything. But when it comes to social programmes for the peasants (even if that term is never used) suddenly politicians evolve into deficit hawks. This hypocrisy must stop.
“Socialism is no longer a dirty word in the U.S.”
Democratic socialists Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are on a mission to debunk doubters and conclusively show that a bold progressive agenda can spark enthusiasm and win elections in the Midwest.
Helping to prove their case, organizers were forced to relocate one of the pair’s joint rallies in Kansas on Friday afternoon after ticket sign-ups—as often happened during Sanders’ 2016 presidential run—rapidly exceeded venue capacity.
With a heartily-despised Donald Trump in the White House and with rightwing Republicans now dominating Congress and the Supreme Court, many newly-energized leftwing voters will probably close ranks with mainstream Democrats in an all-out Democratic Party effort to drive the Right from power. At the same time, there is a comparable recognition among establishment Democrats that, unless they welcome the growing number of democratic socialists into their ranks, they have little chance of winning elections. This might well explain why so many leading Democratic politicians have now turned to backing the staples of the Sanders campaign, such as Medicare for all, free public college education, and curbs on corporate power. It might also explain why the Democratic National Committee is busy cutting back the establishment-controlled superdelegate system for choosing a presidential candidate.
In an interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Thursday night, Ocasio-Cortez—who is one of DSA’s 42,000 members—was given a chance to explain the core principles of democratic socialism to an audience of millions.