Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Socialism Part 3

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of
civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
--Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.
Part 3:
(This was initially written at about 2 AM after few days without sleep, so be prepared for very informal speech...)
So why does this (socialism) keep coming up in the present day? Let's see... People claiming Obama is a socialist - I WISH!!! No, sorry, he's a centrist. Maybe a bit more left than most people, but only because society has been dragged so far right in the past few decades. We actually have had a mixed economy for centuries. I'll drag out my history notes if you insist on proof. (Remember those tariffs and things? Mixed economy = private enterprise + government regulation, ) It's something that was extensively argued in the early years of America, and something I'm sure will be argued about forever... Another thing - we're not actually a democracy. That would mean that we each have a vote on everything, a direct democracy where majority rules without silly quotas. Wouldn't that be nice. We're a Republic, which means we elect people to vote for us, and again, majority has control. At the end of the day, it's not a democracy. We elected those people based on their political views and promises. Your voice was your vote. Once they're in, it's up to them to keep those promises. We have a constitutional right to change the system as we see fit, but that isn't the same as arguing that a single administration must be taken down.

I've always been a firm believer in the phrase "the majority isn't always right." The minority should always have a voice -- but the lines are often blurred when one side is louder than the other. We need civil discourse. We need more reliable sources of information. We need to reach some sort of reasonable consensus, because if we keep up with this "partisan" thing and refuse to cooperate with each other, we all fail. What was that saying about "a house divided"? (To those who refuse to refer to our president as the President - grow the fuck up and stop acting like a baby. Those who didn't like Bush still called him President. I hate Chris Christie's policies, but he's still my governor (oops, did I give too much away?). Obama was elected fair and square -- and even if it was by some chance rigged, don't even try to tell me the 2004 election couldn't have been-- so get over it. And you know what, I couldn't give a fuck if he weren't really born in the US, because it's an antiquated rule that exists to ensure that foreign rulers didn't try to take over the country. If we're going to pretend that the "American dream" is that anyone can come here and if they work hard, they'll get somewhere, why not the most prestigious office in the country? What better success story is there??? How much more "American" can you get?? Grow up and stop whining and do something constructive for once instead of standing around screaming about birth certificates and communists. Which clearly you know nothing about -_-"...)

McCarthyism has seen a rise rivaled only by the 50s, the post-WWII, Cold War period in which it started. Notice how fear overpowered fact, how misinformation incited mistrust, panic, and hatred. Throw anything into the mix now - race/ethnicity, gender, social class, IQ, education -- and see what happens. I hear people screaming about being aware of the evil intellectuals, that they're not "true Americans." Since when is being stupid and ignorant in accordance with the Founding Fathers, as many so claim? (With the exception, of course, that they thought the "normal" people were gullible, ignorant idiots...) Have any of these people making these claims ever read a textbook (that wasn't made in Texas)? Since when is caring about your fellow citizen un-American? A house divided cannot stand. Two pieces or 50, it can't work. See the Articles of Confederation, which provided for a weak, tiny government with very little power. Each state had it's own money, took care of itself. America was laughed at, and was an economic failure both domestic and abroad. The country basically fell apart. For those who think the Constitution is so amazing, that it's perfect and what the FFs wanted - it was an "oh shit, that didn't work" piece of legislation to create a centralized government that brought all of the existing states together. Checks and balances - so that no one branch has too much power. A clause that says that the people have a right to change the government if it doesn't work for them. It's kind of a "yea, this is what we tried, but if you find something better, go with it." Yes, government has gotten far too powerful and way out of hand. (Still, that is no reason to blame the current administration for decades of problems that were right before our eyes this entire time. You'd be surprised the things you learn studying a society from the outside... Most people really are sheep, and voters really do have such short memories...) Yes, something smaller would be nice. But that doesn't mean it can't take care of the basics either. And that doesn't mean you can't go out and get your own. You live here, therefore you have to follow the rules of the society, which ultimately become the laws made by the government by, of, and for the people. Believe me, I used to rant about this all the time - I didn't have a choice to live here, I was born here and "underage" at the time so I basically had no rights whatsoever (as my "natural rights" were also taken away, as a "minor"). Which I guess is why I was so interested in sociology and learning how societies work and exist the way they do. So that's it for my lesson today. I'm exhausted and will be posting this and editing it later...

Classes I took on this subject (with the most difficult professor in the entire school, might I add. Even the PhD philosophy teachers were intimidated. PhD. in some sort of highly theoretical anthropology... eerily intelligent man...I don't know how I left with an A, but I'm not going to argue that...) - Cultures, Conflict & Power, & Social Theory... Contemporary Social Problems was another good one. Right in the midst of the big election too... That was fun. Mostly because there was one ultraconservative Republican girl in class (a freshman, and not all that intelligent unfortunately) and it was a highly recommended class so it was a lot of upperclassmen and mostly moderates and liberals, in a very liberal setting and... well, you get the idea... We had tons of debate, as usual, but it was amusing to see such flawed logic and know that it had been drilled into her mind from childhood by... (Yea, ok, so I turn everything into a psych project, I know... ^^")

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