Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Social Ism

So that I stay on message, here is a flowering pipe vine (Aristolochia elegans) from the back yard. Pretty impressive for such a tiny plant--the stem is about the size of capellini pasta and the leaves are heart shaped. I suppose you might say this looks like a big Sherlock Holmes pipe...

What's really on my mind is the call I got last night from Barack and how we had a good laugh, talking about things silly and serious, and the subject of socialism came up. A few right-wing nut jobs recently have called for a boycott of GM, calling it Government Motors and arguing that it should fail because, they say, socialism cannot be allowed to succeed. America, they say, is a country based on self-reliance, a place where individuals exist and the collective should not.

The problem with individuals is that most of them are not you. For instance, suppose you want to hire 24-hour security for your house and find that it is too expensive. You and your neighbors could get together and hire some security for the neighborhood, because you know how generous and reasonable your neighbors are.

But instead of waiting for these meetings to conclude, the government has decided that you and your neighbors can call 911 any time and you will pay taxes for it whether you like it or not because, as you must admit, your neighbors are idiots and are complete unreasonable and incapable of compromise, so you will never decide this on your own. Likewise, you and your neighbors can cancel your meetings about a fire department, the armed forces, the courts, schools, jails, social services, public transportation, medicare, animal services, medicaid, libraries, water, food inspectors, sewer, and so on.

How about a paved road to connect your neighborhood to other neighborhoods? Again, your neighbors would like to discuss this with you. Some of them don't even drive, they say, wagging a finger at you. And not just the roads, but what about sidewalks and curbs and drains and street lights and bridges and dams and parks?

How about if your farm is in trouble? (No, not you, small family farmer guy, you are SOL.) I'm talking about the collective of corporate farmers who get government subsidies to grow wheat, corn and soybeans and to produce milk, meat and cheese. We need this stuff, right? And you business collectives--steel, copper and so on--who get subsidies to stay in business. Not to mention you big shot corporations who can manage to get tax shelters because you can afford to buy influence and move jobs overseas, a purely socialist approach to advance your notion of capitalism.

Obviously the system could be improved, but let's be honest--this is a socialist country.

So now some of the neighbors have had a meeting and have decided that they won't buy GM products, for fear of socialism, though to be honest some are still sore about Obama and wouldn't be saying this if Bush or McCain or Sarah Palin were president. I missed the meeting (too bad).

Here's a good one.

No comments:

Post a Comment