Many rebelled when Republicans made Liberal a pejorative. How dear they force us to deny who we are? The “Democratic Socialism” moniker best defines the policies many Progressives support. As such, they had no problem supporting the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). But maybe for this election cycle, we need to be a bit more strategic.
Americans have been programmed to believe that capitalism is the best economic system. They even find that it somehow correlates with democracy. Neither is true. In fact, by design and definition, it is inhumane. China is both a communist and a capitalist country.
Capitalism is defined as “the invisible hand of the market,” “the efficient allocation of [scarce] resources.” The thing is, efficiency is not always humane. But in a system where the fiduciary responsibility of those running the basic unit of the capitalist economic model, the corporation, is the shareholder, the effects on humanity are far-reaching and immediately evident by today’s reality.
There is nothing democratic about capitalism. Nor does it need to exist within a democracy because as the plutocracy disenfranchises unions, there is a master-servant relationship between employee and corporation (executives & managers).
The fact that the class who owns the most capital can get wealthier at a faster clip than those who work is a classic example of not only its inhumanity but its immorality. Think about it. The folks who invest capital in building a skyscraper are entitled to a return in perpetuity for that investment while they pay worker-capital once.
Both the investor and the worker uses a form of capital. Capitalism gives the work-capital, read human-capital, less value. But that is not all.
The appreciation of capital, a form of income, is taxed at a lower marginal rate than the person who works. While some would say that the taxing laws are not part of the capitalist economic model, that is hogwash because the practical operation of the system in the aggregate is what matters including the corrosive nature of the wealthy bribing politicians to get their way.
This one story, the insulin story, is a perfect example of the corrosive and irreversible nature of capitalism through those who control pricing power. It’s the type of behavior that governs our economic system
Ultimately, those with unregulated and unlimited pricing power on products and services you must have, can ensure one can never accumulate wealth. They own you. They can extort from you.
The above reality defines our economy. And the proof is a continual decline in the wealth of the masses as the few gets a more significant percentage. Unchanged, math prevails. Welcome to indentured servitude.
Until Progressives find the narrative to deprogram those who think our system is democratic or divine as opposed to human-made to enrich the few, change won’t happen.
And then there is Democratic Socialism — the word too many fear. I wrote “Want the GOP to stop using the word ‘socialist’ to scare off Democrats? Make ‘capitalism’ a bad word” a few months ago.
I believe in having an economic system that works for everyone. It must be Democratic. The best one is a hybrid featuring free enterprise and a robust safety net, a system unable to hoard capital, which is a detriment to the economy as a whole.
Everyone should have the ability to create their own company if they so desire, using their intellect and labor to get compensation commensurate with their efforts. Many who read some of my anti-corporate/anti-capitalist rants likely believe that I am a blowhard who wants a socialist state, where the takers abuse the makers. That is not so. What is clear is that the food stamp con artists share much in common with most of the unfettered capitalists: They are takers by design — they both profit from the labor and intellect of others (e.g., taxpayers and employees).
Disagreeing with the snippet above is hard. And in fact, it is entirely in line with the tenets of Democratic Socialism as laid out by the DSA.
Democratic socialists do not want to create an all-powerful government bureaucracy. But we do not want big corporate bureaucracies to control our society either. Rather, we believe that social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect.
Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.
Social ownership could take many forms, such as worker-owned cooperatives or publicly owned enterprises managed by workers and consumer representatives. Democratic socialists favor as much decentralization as possible. While the large concentrations of capital in industries such as energy and steel may necessitate some form of state ownership, many consumer-goods industries might be best run as cooperatives.
Democratic socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.
If anyone believes this is pie in the sky, consider the Mondragon Corporation, a Spain cooperative. In 2015 it employed north of 74,000 people.
These are two economic cases laid out very superficially but are very understandable. Polls tell us that the policies that would effectively Democratize the economy is what Americans want.
After the indoctrination and the vilification of certain words for generations, Americans won’t just make a change on faith. After all, in their minds, they have no examples of Democratic Socialism working anywhere. The Plutocrats and many in our government, Democrats and Republicans alike, go out of their way to defend the pilfering status quo by equating this economic model with all the places where some false variant failed while hiding in plain sight the parts of the world where some versions are working.
Elizabeth Warren upset many when she stated she was a capitalist but with a whole lot of controls. One should gain a much better appreciation for what she is doing. And it starts with the Accountable Capitalism Act.
* Requires very large American corporations to obtain a federal charter as a “United States corporation,” which obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders.
* Empowers workers at United States corporations to elect at least 40% of Board members.
* Restricts the sales of company shares by the directors and officers of United States corporations.
* Prohibits United States corporations from making any political expenditures without the approval of 75% of its directors and shareholders.
* Permits the federal government to revoke the charter of a United States corporation if the company has engaged in repeated and egregious illegal conduct.
Remember the Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative? The name made one believe it would be an environmental panacea — clear skies, smogless skies. It was the narrative that most people absorbed.
To “Democratic Socialism” or not to “Democratic Socialism” is the question. And Elizabeth Warren knows how best to answer it. Going forward until we invest enough in reeducation and the eradication of fallacies, we should make the policies speak for themselves — no labels required.