I have been seeing a lot of people posting memes and ideas about socialism over the past few weeks, and the one thing I can clearly say without any doubt is that there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of what Socialism looks like in a Democratic country. So let me point out a few things:
Socialism is not:
– Taking half from the haves and giving it to the have-nots
– Government control of all business and trade
– “A pie in the sky” impossible pipe-dream
– Rewarding the lazy
– Punishing the hard working
All of those things are communism. Which, believe it or not, is very different from Democratic Socialism. Let’s take a look at an analogy here. As I am currently digging into a glorious box of thin mints, let’s use Girl Scouts for an example.
Let’s say that there are 100 boxes of cookies, and 4 girls to sell them. Imagine that for each box sold, that girl scout gets points towards a prize.
Amanda sells 50; Bethany sells 9; Christina sells 7; and Debbie sells 34.
Capitalism would say that each girl gets a point for each box they sold. A perfect 1 for 1 exchange.
Communism would say that 100 boxes were sold, so each girl gets 25 points. They all share the rewards, regardless of how well they sold their cookies.
Socialism would only let Amanda and Debbie sell 25 cookies in the first place, preventing them from depleting the resource before Bethany and Christina had a chance to sell their share.
In our society right now, the upper class (the majority of whom are there because of priviledge, access, and lineage) are in a position to retain more wealth. Their money actually makes more money. Whereas, the lower class in America, is forced to fight for the same small percentage of low paying jobs, government assitance, and access to things that are automatically provided for the rich (e.g. higher education, healthcare, housing, connections for high paying jobs, etc.).
I am a Democratic Socialist. I do not want to take your money. I do not want to take anything that you earn. But I demand an opportunity to earn it for myself. I demand access to higher education that prepares me for the work force without having to spend a lifetime in debt to pay off. I demand a program that prevents an emergency appendectomy from causing a decade of financial ruin. And I demand equal treatment for myself and every other human.
(This story was originally posted on March 10th, 2016, on Facebook)