Corrective: Socialism and Solidarity

Apparently there are jackasses everywhere…even in Sweden.  Darn.  Since Mr. Angst has a “righteous, rude and restless” pop-up requiring a login to Twitter which prevents me from posting a comment in response, my response to a few of his asinine conclusions are below:

socialism is incompatible with solidarity.

Fundamentally, this is because socialism doesn’t fight poverty. Socialism fights wealth.

Monetary wealth is a proxy for purchasing power.  Purchasing power is relative.  There is no monetary wealth without monetary poverty.  Fighting monetary wealth fights monetary poverty.

“In a socialist country, you would expect the poor and needy to be pretty well-off, wouldn’t you?”

Socialist countries tend to be poor countries (with devout populations) by definition.  Socialism is a response to unfair distribution of wealth across a given population.  That’s why you don’t see unions for CEOs.  They don’t need socialism or solidarity.  They have wealth and power, and use it to accumulate more wealth and power.  In the process, they plunge the people they depend upon into deeper poverty.

Relatively poor people adopt socialism as a response to greed and capital accumulation of the wealthy.  This dynamic exists at all scales of populations, from local (unionization) to transnational (ref. France’s imposition of a freedom debt on Haiti).

Socialism assumes that you won’t share voluntarily.

Pure (ideological) socialism mandates and normalizes social responsibility.  It is nothing more than the concept, for example, of ubuntu.  Simply put:  My welfare is connected to your welfare.  If everyone gives, nobody needs to take.  Historically, powerful and wealthy contingents of a population resist social responsibility, because it means acceding that they did not in fact fairly earn the vast majority of their wealth (ref. Global Rift by LS Stavrianos).  It means admitting that they took.  Stole.  Coerced.  Lied.  Cheated. And the sociopaths who do these things, then enjoy the results for decades, centuries, generations, aren’t about to give a mea culpa  to the people they hurt.

In response to wealthy opposition to social responsibility, socialism often became an institution through government.  From an anarchist perspective, the process of institutionalization leads to corruption, and this is where Mr. Angst is again confused:  Greed and corruption is not socialism, but it can use socialism as a trojan horse by way of an institutional hierarchy that becomes arbitrary, imposed and permanent.  Sound familiar?  It should — it’s exactly what has happened with our current dominant economic paradigm, capitalism:  “Greed is good” has become another trojan horse in the service of the perpetuation of economic injustice.  Jay Richards is a capitalist, but he puts his finger on the underlying problematic tendencies of the sociopathic mindset to

“concentrate enormous power in the hands of a few”

This can — and does — happen in the name of any economic order.  They are ideological tools.  Like any tool, bad people put them to immoral use.  Fundamentally, Mr. Angst argues that solidarity is not socialism.  Red is not purple.  Next Big Idea?


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