Let’s talk a little bit about Democratic Socialism, such as found in Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Who doesn’t want a society that is based upon equality?
Who doesn’t want a society where each member is well educated and healthy?
It is because the taxes they collectively pay are used to provide each member of their society with high quality health care, high quality education, and social services. Due to their commitment toward “the commons” they also pay far less than US citizens for things like superior, faster internet. They have better quality food, with better safety inspections. No one will lose their homes due to illness. People are expected to follow their heart and do work they actually enjoy, instead of being desperate wage-slaves toiling at mind-numbing meaningless jobs. They get several weeks paid vacation. Their environment is cleaner. They work shorter hours and their jobs will not be outsourced, because businesses are required to have a percentage of their board members be actual workers, not just elite. With more time for friends and family, their relationships are more rewarding. Therefore their lives are more rewarding.
Yes, these are the reasons citizens of Democratic Socialist countries are happy.
Sadly, there are some who have fought against these very things for decades here in the USA, pitting their considerable fortunes against democracy.
The people who don’t want these things are people who have enriched themselves by exploiting desperate workers, and want to continue to do so. These people also exploit desperately poor countries and US states of other things besides their labor: they extract natural resources: clearcutting, blowing off mountain-tops, and drilling and fracking, leaving toxic waste that will poison the citizens for generations.
They want to take, without paying back. These individuals can buy themselves everything they need, and therefore don’t want to pay their fair share of their ill-gotten goods in a joint effort to lift everyone up. These people are plunderers, and in a sane society such sociopathic behavior would not be tolerated. In the United States, these people either directly purchase politicians, or they simply run, themselves. They are placed high upon a pedestal, as though their usually inherited wealth came from their own work, rather than by inheritance and/or exploitation.
Such people are known as oligarchs (those who want rule by and for the wealthy) or corporatists (those who believe corporations should dominate society).
They own nearly everything in the United States, including all television (except PBS) and all print media (with the exception of a few spunky mags like Mother Jones.) They generally speak with one voice, although one of the five or six gigantic wealthy corporations who owns everything is even more conservative and further right-wing than the rest: News Corp, owner of Fox “News”, Wall St Journal, and literally hundreds of other media outlets. This furthest right media outlet has set up an “echo chamber” for its own propaganda, which is then parroted by the rest of the media.
Thanks to this non-stop right-wing propaganda media machine, the citizens of the United States are taught to demonize programs and ideas that would help them out — a lot. This is why we can’t have nice things.
When we turn off our televisions and radios, and get away from our devices for a while, what happens? An interesting question explored in the excellent documentary “The Brainwashing of My Dad”. I highly recommend every citizen in the United States watch this to understand just how sophisticated the multi-decade brainwashing project is, and what is happening to our family members and neighbors who fall for it.
For the citizenry of the United States to come together and create a society that will empower ALL of us, we’ll need to stop allowing oligarchs to divide us. We need to be able to use reason and critical thinking to recognize when we’re being divided by “culture war” issues.
When you hear someone trying to make you hate your neighbors, pay attention. There is a reason. The ruling class can only stay in power by dividing us. (Check out the movie, “Plutocracy”, free online.)
You’ll start to recognize their tactics:
Racism. Xenophobia. Religious bigotry. LGBT phobia. Sexism.
Their task is to divide us, activate our primitive “lizard brain”, sort us into “tribes”, and distract us. They’ll use “dog whistle” words. For example, they’ll point at the poor guy using food stamps to feed his family (food for the hungry in this country costs an average US taxpayer just $35.00 per YEAR – that’s 2.91 per month to feed all the hungry who are forced to use food assistance), while they gleefully take millions of YOUR tax dollars.
Watch. Pay attention. Understand. And refuse to be divided any longer.
We can have a beautiful, more equal society that is built upon compassion, respect and honor for our planet. We can do this…but only if we work together.