Saturday, July 30, 2011

Closet socialists

Last night on Real Time Bill Maher highlighted the hypocricy of closet socialists that rail against government handouts. In his “new rules” segment (starting around 1:40) we see those who favor many favor social security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, Freddie May and Fanny Mac, corporate welfare, bailouts and farm subsidies. And what are these programs but socialism in action? And yet those same people want smaller government with fewer services. For example, 40% of people on Medicare believe they have not received any government assistance. Another example is Michelle Bachman, Republican candidate for President of the US. She denounces government hand outs for everyone else and yet her farm takes government subsidies, her counseling clinic takes Medicaid, and her mortgage was underwritten by Freddie Mac.

So the result of this unacknowledged love of socialism is the dysfunctional return of the repressed via vile, vehement and vitriolic rhetoric against it. Whereas if they'd learn to accept this repressed love then perhaps socialism could manifest in healthy forms in the US like it does in Switzerland and Sweden. They enjoy high standards of living while managing to invest their tax dollars in full health care coverage, a generous pension, daycare, long paid vacations, maternity leave, free college and efficient and aesthetic public transportation. Hence they are happier than their US counterparts. Whereas US socialism is invested in military bases, wars, oil subsidies and drug enforcement. And of course some beneficial programs like Medicare and social security, but our programmed antipathy to socialism won't allow us to even recognize them as the socialist programs they are. If only we could escape the anti-socialist frame imposed on us by manipulative capitalists and embrace it consciously it just might morph into those positive examples we see in admittedly socialist countries.

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