Washington, D.C. Daily Kos recently reprinted a popular column that periodically makes
the rounds (“75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America”) by someone using
the nom de plume TheNewDeal00.
Not just “75 Examples of Socialism,” mind you, but improvements.
Going down the list, you’ll notice items like the Military/National Defense, war, the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and so forth, that mainly involve murdering or imprisoning people at home and abroad.
The relentlessly positive spin on each item, including the most authoritarian aspects of the National Security State and Military-Industrial Complex, suggests we’re dealing with the kind of reflexive liberal for whom anything done by government is automatically progressive.
It’s a fairly common specimen, unfortunately. There’s a certain kind of liberal whose vision of “progress” deems anything called “regulation” good, because — by definition — it’s a restraint on corporate power.
Further, anything funded or controlled by the state is socialism. This was the mindset of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who treated big government and big business as diametrically opposed, identifying “liberalism” as an idealistic movement characterized by the use of state power to restrain the excesses of big business.
But state ownership, funding and control do not, as such, constitute “socialism.” In fact a defining characteristic of monopoly capitalism is increased state involvement in the economy. Most state activity, far from restraining big business, actually props it up. If we go down TheNewDeal00′s list, we see that most of the enumerated functions in some way maintain the structural prerequisites for corporate capitalism.
“National dDefense” and “war” stuff, it goes without saying, serves primarily to impose corporate capitalism on the rest of the world — guaranteeing transnational corporate access to natural resources, by force when necessary, and serving as enforcement arm for the global legal and political framework of the World Bank, IMF, WTO, GATT, and