Let’s take a look at the word, “socialism,” to see if there’s anything to be scared of here.
socialism [noun] –
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
There’s an emphasis on community, which sounds a lot like your local neighborhood.
Have you heard of any businesses or organizations that are organized as coöps?
Examples include REI, Co-Opportunity Natural Foods, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Land O’Lakes, Dairy Farmers of America, CHS Inc., Associated Wholesale Grocers, Growmark Inc., and Ace Hardware.
Many, many more examples of successful coöperatives exist in other countries.
Having read this far, be honest: is there anything I’ve described that makes you quake in your boots with fear?
If not, please read on:
Expanding this form of social enterprise in the U.S. would have tremendous benefits, particularly conveying a real sense of ownership to working people and other stakeholders in the community & beyond.
No 5-year plans, no Red Army, no gulags. Just humble working folks sharing a bit more in the wealth & success they produce.
Our U.S. economy ought to be organized to work better & deliver more to men & women who, without fancy titles or advanced degrees, do the lion’s share of the labor that keeps the economic wheels turning every day.
If the capitalistic system has left you feeling deprived of a satisfying work life; earnings that keep you more than a step ahead of bill collectors; access to clean streets, streams, lakes, & air; and a sense that society will be there for you if & when you are ill or infirm — for all those reasons, perhaps we should open our minds to the possibility of something better.
A form of socialism that’s not yet been widely known in the U.S., democratic socialism, just might be the answer. It’s like community-based coöps, but on a somewhat larger scale.
What have we got to lose, other than massive pollution, workplace injuries, & pushy billionaires who never know when to quit?
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