The Clear Choice: Socialism v. Social Darwinism

When Mitt Romney selected Paul Ryan to be his running mate, conservatives were overjoyed, proclaiming America now had a clear choice in November.  Republicans feel America is going down the drain and voters should choose between Socialism and Capitalism.  As a liberal, I feel the choice is between Socialism and Social Darwinism, but I don’t think it’s a clear choice.  Romney and Ryan are already claiming the Republicans will save Medicare, because even though they’d like to delete it from the budget, they know millions of voters want it.  Conservatives are far more socialistic than they are willing to admit.

Obama-Romney

I’m more than willing to accept the Socialistic label, but I believe conservatives need to accept the Social Darwinism label.   The United States has been socialistic since the 1930s.  Republicans obviously want to reverse that trend, although I doubt many of them want to return to absolute free market capitalism.  I don’t believe there really is a clear choice, but I do believe the overall directions of both parties are clear.  Liberals want to spend the money on social support systems to give everyone a minimum level standard of living, and conservatives want to dismantle the safety net and introduce a kind of Social Darwinism so nobody gets a free lunch and everyone competes.

Over population and the removal of real survival of the fittest cruelty, has produced an excess of humans that can’t compete.  The world is fat with people, and there’s not enough natural jobs to let them all survive.  Republicans want to go on a diet and let the excess fat die off.

Either we’ve got to create a safety net, or let nature take it’s natural course.  Free market capitalism is based on survival of the fittest competition.  As a liberal, I don’t want to see the kind of suffering that real Social Darwinism will create and wish to fall back on Socialism.  Nor, do I think Republicans really have the stomach for tooth and claw competition.  What the leaders of the Republicans really want is unrestrained competition to pursue wealth and they see the safety net, environmental protection, and other social engineering as getting in the way.

Most conservatives aren’t rich, and just as vulnerable as liberals to fall victim of Social Darwinism.  In their struggle to stay afloat they have developed a tremendous resentment against others who don’t struggle because they are protected by Socialism.  You can’t blame them, but do they really want to see millions suffer without government handouts?  Would the Republicans really have let the banks and car companies go bankrupted a few years ago?

If we could reach some kind of consensus most people wouldn’t mind giving food stamps and welfare to the truly needy, if we also had an effective system that could distinguish the Meek of the Earth, from the free lunch opportunists.  Americans give billions to charity every year to help the helpless, but Americans also hate ineffective charities that waste money.

There is no clear choice in how be efficient with tax money.  Republicans scream they want to reduce spending, but all they ever do is reduce taxes, and going into national debt is no solution to the problem.  Neither Obama or Romney offer an effective solutions to problems we face.  All they do is play on people’s emotions.  I really believe many Republicans feel the United States will suffer an economic collapse if we don’t elect Romney.  They really are in an emotional panic over this, but us liberals just as strongly believe Romney has no magic bullet to save the country. 

Predicting the future is impossible, but I’m to describe the liberal’s fear of the future.  Republicans will win in November because the party in power seldom maintains power in a bad economy.  Wall Street will be overjoyed at this Republican victory and the economy will heat up, and the unemployment rate will go down.  Republicans will then start dismantling Socialism in America to a small degree reducing the middle class and increase the poor.  Unless there is some kind of new economic bubble, growth will be slow, and hidden unemployment will be high.  The Republicans will cut taxes but not pay off the debt.  If there is a bubble that heats up the economy, it will eventually pop like the housing bubble and we’d go into an even worse recession than we’ve just had.  The Republicans will not do anything about the Environment and will work to dismantle the EPA.  In the next twenty-five years global warming will become obvious to all, but it will be much too late to do anything about it.

See, us liberals fear for our country too, just as much as conservatives.  There are real solutions to our problems, but the clear choice Republicans talk about from both parties in 2012 won’t help us all find them, and we can’t find them without working together, which appears to be unlikely in this ever growing politically polarized society. 

I think both current choices will lead to doom.  We need a third option, but not a third party.

JWH – 8/16/12

4 Responses

  1. It would be nice if that was the choice: darwinism or socialism, but thanks to Obama the choice is between darwinism and darwinism-lite. Only conspiracy obsessed wackjobs think Obama is a socialist. I don’t even think he qualifies as a Liberal Republican. We have the highest military spending ever, every single day at least 1 American soldier dies in Afghanistan. Obama is still willing to compromise on cutting Medicare. We still have the Bush tax cuts, etc, etc. It is hard to argue Obama is anything other than a republican despite his party affiliation if you actually look at the policies he has enacted. FDR was a liberal, he actually enacted liberal policies. Hell, Nixon was a raging leftist if you compare his policies to Obama’s.

    • Yeah, I’m afraid afraid spent way too much time trying to cooperate with people who refuse to cooperate. I’m thinking Obama will reveal his true liberal self if he got reelected.

      At least Obama has closed one war and is closing another. I think his biggest missed opportunity was fighting for the environment and creating jobs that would have reduced our CO2 footprint.

      The third option we need is real compromise and I don’t think it’s going to happen.

  2. Yeah, I wonder about that ‘socialist’ label, too, Jim. After all, what Republicans call ‘socialism’ is their own health care plan, developed in a right-wing think tank as the free-market, insurance company-friendly alternative to the Clinton plan. After the Democrats adopted it, their own plan became ‘socialism.’

    But not really, of course. Barack Obama isn’t a socialist – at least, not any more than all Americans are. But I guess if you call Social Security, Medicare, and public police and fire departments ‘socialist,’ then we’re all socialists, huh? (But, like Barack Obama, we’re all capitalists, too.)

    And on the other side, the Republicans talk about wanting to cut spending, but when have they ever done it when they’ve held power? Sure, they want to cut spending while the Democrats hold the White House, but that’s largely in order to prevent an economic recovery. Note that they increased spending like crazy during the Bush administration.

    Besides, corporate welfare is hardly ‘Social Darwinism,’ is it? And how is it Social Darwinism to let the wealthiest Americans pay nothing in taxes (Romney would have paid less than 1% under Paul Ryan’s plan), while the middle class pays for their defense? (And note that they want to increase defense spending.)

    Again, you’re listening to what they say instead of looking at what they do. Unfortunately, they do a great deal of lying. (It’s more the Ron Paul supporters who are the Social Darwinists, and they’re still a fringe in the GOP.)

    Still, I don’t mean to criticize. I understand what you’re saying here. It’s just that labels are inherently misleading. Well, that’s why the Republicans use them, isn’t it? But I really don’t think we should imitate that.

    • Most modern governments are a blend of capitalism and socialism. We’re very far from pure capitalism. And communism doesn’t exist anymore either. The Chinese communists are really socialists that are taking on more and more capitalism, and we’re capitalists taking on more and more socialism. It’s no big deal. We’re all just a melting pot of economic systems.

      The Republicans talk about getting rid of our socialistic programs, but I doubt they will. They do want the money they cost, but I doubt they have the stomach for real Social Darwinism, where you let the weak die and the strong survive.

      I think even the Republicans want more socialism than they are willing to admit. They talk about privatizing social security and giving vouchers for Medicare, but those two programs are actually far more efficient and cost effective than turning them private. The real reason to socialize medicine is to bring down healthcare costs. I doubt there is any other way. Even Obamacare won’t be enough to solve rising healthcare costs in the long run. Also, privatizing education won’t work either. Some functions of society are best organized and run by governmental agencies.

      Jim

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