I grew up in a household where my Dad was a Lincoln Republican and my Mom was an FDR Democrat. Basically the difference between them was that my Dad felt that the states should provide for the poor and homeless, whereas my Mom felt that the federal government was the better distributor of aid for those in need. Their debate was not whether the poor should be entitled to basic human necessities, but who should be the shopkeeper that administered the help when it was needed.
Words like “socialist” were not used, because they were not needed.
Lately, such words seem to be highly prized and much used – needed or not. President Obama has been called a socialist, and the word is used pejoratively. “Bad Obama!” So I decided to spend some of my time and yours looking into what a socialist is, and whether Obama is one, and most importantly, if so, is that such a bad thing?
The dictionary defines socialism as “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.”
So socialism means two things: the federal government owns everything, lock stock and acreage. And the federal government distributes what it owns to the population of our country according to individual need.
Obama is attempting valiantly to move health care into the hands of the federal government and make it universal. The politicians of our nation’s “right wing” – heavily financed by contributions from the health care industry – have mounted a massive campaign to discredit this idea.
I personally am very much for government-run health care. My husband and I, between us, pay upwards of $600.00 a month for health insurance. And we still have a large “deductible” amount we must pay before that insurance kicks in. Plus, there are many procedures not covered by the insurance plans we have. And we have quite comprehensive plans compared to most others.
That is a lot of money we could just as well put towards the taxes it would take to run government health care. However, there would no longer be a deductible amount we must pay. And whatever limits the government put on allowed procedures, they could not be more stringent than those currently imposed by insurance companies. And for the money we would have paid in insurance premiums, with our taxes we would be paying the way for all of those in need as well as for ourselves. There is no way to do that with privatized health care.
Finally, the government is answerable to the citizens of our country, whereas the corporations offering health insurance are answerable to their stockholders. No administrator in the government gets bonuses. All the administrators in private industry expect them.
Having lived in Canada for five memorable months in 1967 and 1968, I have experienced government-run health care. One’s social security card, which Canada calls a social assurance card, is carte blanche. If one becomes ill, one goes to the clinic. If one needs hospital care, one goes to the hospital. There are no questions asked, there is no co-pay and the taxes I paid in Canada were at a rate lower than that of our beloved USA. I thought it was a great improvement over the American system.
I still do.
Another thing Obama has half-done which may be construed as socialistic is to support this nation’s banks. He has not gone the whole hog and nationalized them. He has, however, encouraged far stricter government oversight – and who can blame him for that, in the present climate of corporate greed and corruption which stuns anyone who looks into the details?
Obama is also pro-union. So am I. It seems obvious to me that without unions, the corporations would again enslave the workers, just as they did before the advent of unions, placing them in permanent debt because of insufficient wages, working them as many hours as they wished and denying them health and pension benefits.
Even with unions in place, corporations are indeed often withholding those benefits by employing people at minimum wage and working them all part-time, so that they do not qualify for benefits, then firing their senior staff before they reach retirement age and replacing them with entry-level labor so that they do not have to pay pensions. Without unions, our country would be even more a nation of serfs than it is now.
However, nowhere has Obama suggested that the federal government should nationalize all industries, or provide the kind of comprehensive floor of security which most European nation-states offer their citizens. Consequently he is not a socialist.
It might help to run over some other terms tossed around by propagandists.
The terms, right-wing and left wing, spring from late eighteenth-century France, where in their parliament, those who supported the Revolution’s values of liberty, equality and fraternity sat to the left and those who wanted to retain the royalty and the aristocracy sat to the right.
Please, someone, explain to me why Americans would want to support the exclusionary, unfair and often cruel practices of the French royalty and aristocracy! Substitute the word “corporations and the very wealthy” for “royalty and aristocracy” and you have our situation in a nutshell. Yet many Americans do indeed support those who want to run the country as a “corporate-ocracy”.
Liberals, by the classic definition, are for new ideas and support change when it seems needed. Conservatives want to stick with what is tried and true. If there was ever a time in American history when a liberal viewpoint was needed, it would seem to me to be now, as our economic system founders. What is old has been tried and found not to be true. It has been tried and found to be bankrupting both the resources of the planet which sustains our lives and us as individual citizens.
Please, someone, explain to me why Americans should look upon liberals as fools and idiots! Yet many do. Indeed, I have been called a traitor to America for advocating national policies like universal health care and universal pensions.
As a Christian and as a supporter of the Law of One, I can tell you that the way of the open heart is even beyond FDR Democracy, which advocated identifying problems and crafting solutions.
As a Christian, my model is Jesus’ way, which can be summed up as, “Love the Lord thy God, and love thy neighbor as thyself.” If we love our neighbors precisely as we do ourselves, we make sure that they all have a place to sleep, food to eat and a good basic quality of life. That is, indeed, thoroughgoing socialism.
In the eighteenth chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke, a ruler asks Jesus what he can do to inherit eternal life. Jesus says, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.” Dare I mention that this has a good deal in common with not just socialism but even communism?
In the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Peter replies in the affirmative. Jesus responds, “Feed my sheep.” He says it not once but three times, and follows the third instruction with this thought: “When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee.” Holy Hannah, this sounds like Jesus advocates universal food aid and universal retirement!
Would someone please explain to me why a group of loudly believing Christians, known as the “religious right” says that if a man does not work, he does not deserve to eat? Just how Christian is that?
The Law of One is a philosophy, not a religion. However its principles have clear implications. Its guiding tenet is the unity of all that there is. All of those of the tribe of humankind are one. We are all one body. We are all children of the Logos whose Name is love.
In the Law of One’s cosmology, we are students in a school of souls, living in a spiritual refinery. We enter into that refining fire as we make ethical decisions in which we walk our talk. As we continuously attempt to be of service to others, we create the polarized vibrations which will allow us to graduate from third density. If we do not focus on our intention to act as ethical beings, we will fail to graduate and instead will be back, on another planet, for another long, long round of the Density of Choice – third density. (Please, no!)
If we are living the Law of One, then, we will look at public policy as an extension of our ethical stance. We will deplore a public policy which allows people to be turned away from hospitals and medical care for lack of money. We will deplore a minimum wage which is not a living wage. And we will try to make things better for our brothers and sisters, whoever and wherever they may be.
As Q’uo says in a session recorded at L/L Research on January 21, 2007,
“You are always experiencing the final moment of your life and then discovering that you have outlived that moment. But it is well to act as if each moment were your final moment. For this points out the gravity and the substance of your ethical choices and how important it is to pay attention to them. For only by making these ethical choices, one upon another upon another, so that you get the habit of fielding the ethical implications of the present moment, can you maximize the use of your time.”
Those of Q’uo are right. Our lives are short! Our days are numbered. We naturally want to maximize the use of our time. We want to play this Game of Life to win. We want to graduate from this place and move on to the Density of Love and Understanding. And that means that we will examine questions such as those raised by the debate on Obama’s possible socialism for their value in our lives as issues through which we can polarize in service to others.
Those who care deeply for their fellow citizens, to the point of being willing to pay taxes to fund universal services like health care are often scornfully called “bleeding hearts”. Yet from the standpoint of the Law of One, such profound emotions as love for all of our fellow humans are the inevitable result of fully comprehending the principle of unity. On September 18, 2005, in a session recorded at L/L Research, Q’uo says,
“You are a nexus, a crossroads, shall we say. You have offered yourself to incarnation in order to create this nexus or crossroads of illusory reality within an environment of third-density existence. You chose to enter third-density existence and create this point of potential because you realized, in gazing upon the Earth plane, that you wished to express the love and the light of the one infinite Creator within this precise environment.
“We do not have to paint the stark picture of your environment. For all of the surpassing beauty of the world of nature that makes up the vast majority of this environment, the passion play of humankind has created a drama that unfolds before you in details and patterns of outworking expressions of the distress and confusion of a lost humanity. You did not come to add to the sorrow and the distress of this environment. Rather, you entered incarnation with a firm intention of being a part of the lightening of Planet Earth at this time. You came to offer a local habitation to the ineffable and illimitable values of compassion, wisdom and unconditional love.
“It could be said in a way that you came to save the world, and yet [prior to incarnation] you did not in any way say to yourself, “I come to save the world.” What you said to yourself, was, “I come to bear witness to the light and the love of the One whom I follow, that Logos that is the Creator.”
Thank you for working through the meat of this article with me. I know I do not have all the answers. I am aware that I am not a political animal. But I am a citizen of this beautiful country and I subscribe to its ideals of liberty and equality. I sense that these values are on the chopping block right now. And I would like to do my part to preserve them.
I open my arms and embrace your spirit. Let us bear witness to the love and the light of the infinite Creator as we go about our daily lives and as we direct our lawmakers towards the creation of a public policy that expresses that love, light and unity.