Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why we need to become a social democracy ...

... and elect progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders.

... and stop the propaganda machine spinning lies about socialism.

Here are Paul Buchheit's introductory and concluding remarks from his essay at Common Dreams.

We Americans have been deceived by the notion that individual desires preempt the needs of society; by the Ayn-Rand/Reagan/Thatcher aversion to government regulation; by the distorted image of 'freedom' as winner-take-all capitalism; by the assurance that the benefits of greed will spread downwards to everyone.

Our current capitalist-driven inequalities will only be rectified when people realize that a strong community makes successful individuals, not the other way around.

Social-oriented economic systems are not incompatible with small business entrepreneurship. In a social democracy, similar to those in Scandinavian countries, with elements of both capitalism and socialism intact, the worst abuses of a winner-take-all corporate-ruled system are avoided. The result is a land of opportunity. As Harvey J. Kaye put it, with supporting references to Thomas Paine, FDR, Martin Luther King, and Bernie Sanders, "Social democracy is 100 percent American."

But the corporate/conservative/corruption machines are touting several big lies. For example, one big lie was exposed a couple of years ago by Elizabeth Warren, namely that a single person is responsible for some entrepreneurial success. Here is Buchheit's version of the counterpoint to the "single person" myth.

In the extreme capitalist mind, Steve Jobs started with boxes of silicon and wires in a garage and fashioned the first iPhone. The reality is explained by Mariana Mazzucato: "Everything you can do with an iPhone was government-funded. From the Internet that allows you to surf the Web, to GPS that lets you use Google Maps, to touchscreen display and even the SIRI voice activated system -- all of these things were funded by Uncle Sam through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, the Navy, and even the CIA."

That's true of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk and every pharmaceutical CEO. They may be brilliant leaders, and they certainly deserve compensation for their roles, but the main accomplishment of each was to assemble the parts provided by years of public research.

Check out Buchheit's essay for more benefits of a social democracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment