Re: July 20 commentary “Capitalizing on socialism’s bad name.”
Nothing like a bit of utopian socialism to start your day. Seems like Jesus was even closer to socialist thought than enlightened thinkers have told us. Of course, even the most “gentle” real-life socialists, if they become practitioners of their gospel, find they must dirty their hands with the “noble” task of redistributing private property and reshaping social assumptions about what is right and wrong.
I also learned that socialists and their fellow travelers (who seek nothing more than “informed discussions” on critical issues) are being vilified by reactionaries who scheme to associate socialism with discredited ideologies in the public forum. It is encouraging to know that real socialists don’t resort to this kind of blind, knee-jerk reaction. I feel enlightened and uplifted.
Thomas G. Palaima says the term socialist is a calculated smear and it doesn’t matter anyway because socialists are such swell people. His requisite wacky digression — something about UT in 1942 — wastes precious column space that could have dealt with one of the many blindingly obvious questions at hand, such as “Is socialism good or bad?” and “How accurately does it describe the president?”
President Barack Obama and the Democratic leaders in Congress clearly admire the social Democrats of Europe and want to move us in that direction, to the point that many of the president’s more honest supporters have described him approvingly as a socialist.
Finally, I have no doubt that William Morris or his fans exhibit the purest of motives. The point (which an academic of Palaima’s standing shouldn’t pretend not to know) is that socialism in any flavor has unintended negative consequences that we want to avoid.