The Question Should Not Be What Would A Socialist America Look Like?

In the Gilded Age 1870–1900 over the top capitalism was making life miserable for average Americans. Then along came the reforms of President Teddy Roosevelt, the Trust Buster, who broke up monopolies and pushed for laws that protected average citizens like the Pure Food and Drug Act.

But, alas, by 1929 capitalism was once again operating in excess mode, and so it ended up sending the nation into a decade of despair. A massive effort by President Franklin D. Roosevelt was required to pull the nation out of the doldrums. This, plus winning WWII, put America in a position of world military and economic dominance for the next twenty-five years.

By 2008, however, capitalistic forces had once again managed to push aside practical restraints (see Glass-Steagall Act repeal) so that out of control Wall Street greed sent the nation and the world into a near total financial meltdown. It required a heroic effort by the Obama administration to save the day. Meanwhile, capitalism has continued to surge in ways that benefit mostly a select few at the very top of the social pyramid, and the nation has fallen into the maniacal clutches of the traitorous President Donald J. Trump.

While it is true that American requires a heavy dose of socialism to put the nation on a balanced footing that serves all it citizens, jumping into a lake of pure socialism is no better than swimming in the stinking muck of unfettered capitalism. So the real question should be what would a great nation of socialized capitalism look like? Indeed, the aim should be to make the horse of capitalism a dream mount, not shoot it.

Remember, humankind has two impulses that must work hand in hand for maximum benefit of all. There is the collective impulse to work together for the good of the group (socialism) and the ego impulse to work for the advantage of the individual (capitalism). For maximum effect each needs to be modified and enhanced by the other.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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