A little dumbness of the day from the Christian Science Monitor:
Yet, as seen at various town hall meetings and the Tea Party rally in Washington Sept. 12, a deeper sign of racial tension has emerged with the reappearance of a different inflammatory expression: socialism.
In the context of American politics, socialism has seldom been about the economy or state power alone, despite its political-economic roots. Instead, it has been a slur, synonymous with the charge of communism, but with meaning extending beyond this term as well.
Black leaders in particular have faced this accusation. In 1964, amid the momentous occasion of congressional approval for the Civil Rights Act, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina declared its passage the result of "Negro agitators, spurred on by Communist enticements to promote racial strife."
Martin Luther King Jr. was not an exception to this allegation, but a direct target. Indeed, he faced immediate pressure to distance himself from close aide, intellectual mentor, and key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, who once had ties with the Communist Party.
Take another black leader, another society fraught by racial division. In 1956, Nelson Mandela and 155 other antiapartheid activists were arrested by the South African government under the infamous Suppression of Communism Act of 1950, a law that was used gratuitously to incarcerate anyone who was critical of the government.
The treason trial that followed resulted in a 1961 acquittal for all those involved, the government unable to prove any "socialist" intentions. But the political equation of black activists as "communists" would continue up through the 1980s.
The Reagan administration egregiously soft-pedaled the issue of apartheid on the basis of the South African government's purported anticommunist stance. Indeed, the South African government itself viewed its policies not as racist, but as anticommunist. Only popular pressure through a global antiapartheid movement persuaded the US to isolate South Africa.
Attention media idiots: please connect some dots.
Revolutionary movements are always the downtrodden rising up, aren't they?
They are almost never right-wing and almost always left-wing, and we know that left-wing is a continuum from people who believe in socialized medicine to socialists to full-on communists, based on a single principle which is the equality of all human beings, right?
I mean, we did all read our history, and we know that the difference between right and left is that the left believes in the equality of all people, where the right is Darwinistic in many more ways, and as a result believes in aristocracy, caste systems, economic competition, meritocracy and other forms of hierarchy?
We also all know that you can't have both, meaning that if you declare all people equal and then start setting up a hierarchy, you've already violated equality? You can blow around some empty topics like 1980s American politicians and claim equality of opportunity is your goal but we all know that's horse puckey because with hierarchy comes differing degrees of wealth, and in every society -- even Communist! -- money has existed and the wealthy have had more options for themselves. With that, the notion of equality burns.
So... why is it weird that most pro-black movements are socialist? Socialist means "we want equality, namely the division of wealth equally to all of us." Other than a few neurotic Hollywood types, no wealthier person is going to want that -- most of those considered "wealthy," mathematically, will be the 20% or so in the upper half of the middle classes and above. For every one billionaire you redistribute, you'll level two million families making $140,000 a year and pinching pennies.
So while Sean Penn may want socialism, and Madonna, and Michael Moore, and so forth and so on, they aren't the people with that much at stake. The family that owns your local movie theatre, drug store, parts shop, law firm, restaurant or dentists' office is more likely by a factor of millions to be the one to experience hope and change on this issue.
This is the eternal struggle for humanity. We're not equal. Some are going to excel where others do not. Even more, some will be minimally competent and rise above, because the default state of humanity is disorganized, selfish, narcissistic, solipsistic, materialistic monkeyshines. The problem is quality of individuals -- you can't legislate away these tendencies.
If we force equality, we create what a friend of mine calls the "crab bucket": a wet cold slimy hole full of creatures trying to rise above, but being pulled down by others so that they maintain equality. True, it's an equality of very low standards and shared misery, but at least we're all equal.
Everywhere you go, humanity is incompetent. Basic skills are lacking; organization is missing. Chaos reigns. Confusion rules. Some get their act together and rise above this herd of mediocrity. Then the herd wants retaliation. That's the essence of socialism.
Because of this, all groups who are either oppressed or would conveniently like to see themselves oppressed are socialistic -- even if they claim they are not! For example, the idiots at Stormfront.org don't like to be called socialists, but what they want is equality... for all white people, once the others, errr, disappear or something. They're basically mirrors of the pro-black socialist movements.
Is socialism a terrible thing? It sounds good to us as individuals: society can support us while we do things that, while not profit centers, may be valuable. The problem is the counterweight of all the others, which is that if we extend such privileges to ourselves, by the nature of equality, many others will want them too -- and they will drown us in their parasitic weight, taking us closer to mediocrity not farther from it.