“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” —John Steinbeck
But, then, America has always been at its best, most efficient, when guided by socialist principles
In an article in the Financial Times ( 31 May 2015) Edward Luce remarks that:
“To most students of US politics, the phrase American socialism is an oxymoron — like clean coal or the Bolivian navy. A century ago, Werner Sombart, a German scholar, asked “Why is there no socialism in America?” It was a question that confounded Marxists. As the most advanced capitalistic society, the US was most ripe for a proletarian revolution, according to their teleology.”
Then, Luce notes that today’s America is different:
“Leftwing politicians are in electoral retreat across most of the western world. The one exception is the United States. At 15 per cent in the Democratic polls, Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, is riding higher than any US socialist since Eugene Debs ran for the White House a century ago.
The fact that Mr Sanders has very little chance of unseating Hillary Clinton is beside the point. His popularity is dragging her leftward. If he flames out, other left-wingers, such as Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland who entered the race at the weekend, are ready to pick up the baton. Elizabeth Warren, the populist Massachusetts senator, will continue to prod Mrs Clinton from outside the field. The more Mrs Clinton adopts their language, the harder it will be for her to reclaim the centre ground next year. Yet she is only following the crowd. A surprisingly large chunk of Democrats are happy to break the US taboo against socialism.”
I very much agree with Luce. For me, America has always had a socialist economy, at its best, most efficient, when guided by socialist principles. Now, it should also try a bit harder and create a more equality, harmony, justice and well-being for more Americans. "American Dream" can only be realised when it serves the common good.
See below for more:
Face it, the US economy is socialist
“Once you accept the fact that some kind of socialism is part of the US economy, we no longer have to suffer silly debates over whether it is or it not partly socialist. It is.”
…“ By this standard, the US is a socialist country, because to some degree or another, the government has always got involved in the economy: the railroads, the Homestead Act, the power grid, the interstate highway system, and the internet. These are products of the government creating markets or meeting demand, and then getting out of the way to allow capitalism to work. Most in the US wouldn't call this socialism, however. They would call it good governance.
That the US has shepherded the economy in one way or another exemplifies its economy's mixed nature. It's mostly capitalist, but partly socialist when the profit-motive is detrimental to human need. The best example is Medicare. The older you are, the less insurable you are. In a free market, in which government coercion is completely absent from the exchange of commodities and securities, the elderly would die sooner. That's how markets work, and that's why Lyndon Johnson didn't want the elderly to be at the mercy of the markets.”…
For further reading see: