One last poke at socialism

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Tue Jul 04 2000 - 14:04:22 MDT

Taken from /. Apparently (and scarily) written by someone from the US.
How extropian does it sound to be forced to be responsible for your
fellow man? This message was posted under the latest Katz debacle re: the
French farmer who, rather than compete with or peacefully protest McDonalds,
decided to vandalize it.

"Some scholars believe that the basic principles of socialism derived from
the philosophy of Plato, the teachings of the Hebrew prophets, and some parts
of the New Testament (the Sermon on the Mount, for example). Modern socialist
ideology, however, is essentially a joint product of the 1789 French
Revolution and the Industrial Revolution in England--the word socialist first
occurred in an English journal in 1827. These two great historical events,
establishing democratic government in France and the conditions for vast
future economic expansion in England, also engendered a state of incipient
conflict between the property owners (the bourgeoisie) and the growing class
of industrial workers (the proletariat); socialists have since been striving
to eliminate or at least mitigate this conflict.

Socialism is the political expression of the principle of human
interdependence. It embodies the idea that as members of the human-race, we
are all essentially responsible for one another: we have an obligation of
mutual support and share a reciprocal bond which binds us together for our
collective protection and maintenance. On a theory level it is a beautiful
thing: Altruism and love for the fellow man. In practice it is the difficult
to digest political economy. I only state this as an American. Socialism has
a greater appeal to the masses in the third world. That does not mean it
cannot be applied here. Expressed in a religious sense, it embodies the
proposition that in order to fulfill one's obligation to the Creator (Divine
Source, God or Nature) one must necessarily fulfill the commandment to serve
one's fellow creatures. It also embodies the principle that the physical
possessions which are bestowed, albeit temporarily, upon mankind are for the
benefit of everyone, not being confined to the exclusive use of a privileged
section of society. Thus we are to work together as stewards of this great
gift we call Earth. It was R. Buckminster Fuller that once stated: 'land
ownership is a relic of the feudal monarchy'. Bucky was right on target with
social theory, and had been inspired to create in that arena.

Socialism has been discredited as a workable political philosophy, and is
considered by some to be no longer fashionable. This is the prevalent view
of most political commentators and is certainly the opinion of those affluent
individuals who occupy the driving seats of the various governments which are
running the world at the present time. Unfortunately for the capitalist,
socialism has a tendency to stick around. The reason for this is the fact
that socialism is the expression of a basic principle of humanity: the
fundamental and undeniable equality of the mass of mankind. In spite of the
disapproval, there are, and always will be, a minority of thinking people who
comprehend the essential validity of the idea: "....all men are created equal."
This quotation, no doubt, rings a bell somewhere within the faint and
subconscious recollection of those who dwell in the, "Land of the Free!". If
men are, fundamentally, equal, then they are entitled, as of right, to an equal
share of the good things of life. Capitalism will not submit: profits must be
made, otherwise we go under. The richest rewards are in armaments: therefore,
they will be produced and men will kill themselves much more efficiently that
ever before. Politicians in the USA and elsewhere, are the product of a
militarist/capitalist system: they have been educated within that philosophy
and can see no other solution to the economic problems facing mankind.

In the past, we have allowed self-interested, opportunistic politicians to
trick us into thinking that they were interested in the public at large. Now
is the time for working-class people, of all nations, to begin to think for
ourselves and not merely to leave that to others, whom we have thought were
cleverer than we ourselves. Now, more than ever before, is there a need for
workers to unite against the enemy within. These are those puppets of
International Capitalism who have been so busy undermining and destroying the
essential rights and privileges of working-class people everywhere. We are
still in the majority: we have the vote: we should, indeed, unite and elect
representatives who will honestly and dutifully fulfill the mandate of the
people. Those who profess to work for the people under the banner of a "Labor"
Party will need to return to the traditional socialist policies of a Working-
Class political party. The only alternative is the formation of new parties,
dedicated to the establishment of socialist principles."

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