Australians have known this for years it’s why the ALP lost an election that Abbott didn’t win. (ODT)
Jeremy Corbyn leads the British Labour Party. Bernie Sanders came close to winning the Democratic Party’s nomination for the US presidency describing himself as a “democratic socialist”.
And the 2018 US midterm elections saw a surge of enthusiasm for Democratic candidates running on policy platforms at least as leftist as Mr Sanders espoused in 2016.
That the young are thought to lead the revival for socialism is not surprising.
At a Thursday night party hosted by Turning Point USA, a far-right youth group most known for filming its members wearing diapers on a college campus, people took pictures with a cardboard cut-out of Ocasio-Cortez that had “pendeja,” a Spanish slang word that translates loosely to “dumbass,” written in pen on her face. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who attended along with Donald Trump, Jr., and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, led the partygoers in a chant that was, by that point, predictable: “Socialism sucks!”
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.
An essay by none other than Albert Einstein titled, “Why Socialism?”
“The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil.” Einstein. This is the sort of thing that earned him 1,000 plus pages in his FBI file.
His genius ability to see things clearly did not make him immune from criticism when it came to his secular views. He was regarded as naïve. Upon close examination, a charge of naiveté rendered against a person may mean they have not exhibited the expected deference to established norms. This lack of conformity, when conformity is so easy, makes them the object of curiosity at best, or the object of law enforcement, at worst.
An economic system such as capitalism, based on profit competition, brings out the worst, predatory instincts. In contrast, socialism, based on cooperation in fulfilling society’s basic needs, brings out the best, ethical instincts. If it’s as simple as this, why is socialism so far off in the distance, and what can be done about it?
Support for socialism is particularly strong among those under 30, whose economic experience has been dominated by the global financial crisis (GFC) and the subsequent decade of economic stagnation and rising inequality. The most striking example is the recent UK election where Jeremy Corbyn received over 60% of the votes of those aged 18-25. Similarly in the US, Bernie Sanders drew his most enthusiastic support from the young.
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Cuban leader says his country will not give up its socialist principles as Havana works to restore ties with US.
|President Raul Castro has demanded that the United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as the two countries work to restore diplomatic ties, and warned that Cuban-American exiles might try to sabotage the rapprochement.Obama and this week reset Washington’s Cold War-era policy on Cuba and the two countries swapped prisoners in a historic deal after 18 months of secret talks.
Castro said he is open to discussing a wide range of issues but that they should also cover the US and he insisted Cuba would not give up its socialist principles.
“In the same way that we have never demanded that the United States change its political system, we will demand respect for ours,” Castro told the National Assembly on Saturday.
Castro’s speech was a sharp counterpoint to the message US President Barack Obama gave in his year-end news conference the day before.
Obama reiterated that by engaging directly with the Cuban people, Americans are more likely to encourage reform in Cuba’s one-party system and centrally planned economy.
US officials will visit Havana in January to start talks on normalising relations and Obama has said his government will push Cuba on issues of human and political rights as they negotiate over the coming months.
Despite the markedly improved tone in relations, Castro said Cuba faces a “long and difficult struggle” before the US removes a decades-old economic embargo against the Caribbean island, in part because influential Cuban-American exiles will attempt to “sabotage the process”.
Obama has pledged to remove economic sanctions against Cuba but he still needs the Republican-controlled Congress to lift the embargo.
Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from the capital, Havana, said there was a real sense of enthusiasm among Cubans for rapprochment with the US and what it could mean in everyday life for people.
“But what Castro and others really want is the complete ending of the embargo altogether,” our correspondent said. ” That is deeply opposed by some in the US, but the view here is that any opposition is unwarranted.”
Castro confirmed he will take part in a Summit of the Americas in Panama in April, potentially setting up a first meeting with Obama since they shook hands at Nelson Mandela’s funeral a year ago.
That brief encounter drew wide attention. Unbeknownst to the world at the time, the US and Cuba were already six month into secret talks set up with the help Pope Francis and the Canadian government.