This week, Joe Medler creates his own ‘Bern’ defending the greatest social constructs and the ideas behind them.
There’s a meme that makes it’s way around to my social media sights every now and again that is popular among some friends. It’s a picture of a legal pad, pen laying atop a blank yellow page and the words that go something like, ‘This Is The List Of Things You Are Entitled To.”
Wrong. Sick and wrongheaded and a good reminder that we in the civilized world have lost track of how it all works. We, at least as Americans, should feel entitled to safety in our communities. We are entitled to free movement, not restricted by the druthers of others. We should be entitled to clean, potable water that is readily available. As children, we should be entitled to a life without great harm being inflicted on us. When these things and others like them fail, we should rightly be outraged.
When I was a kid I’d occasionally hear adults bemoaning what is wrong with the world and what we need to do to fix it. One of the laments I heard was that we needed to return to the days when citizenship, often taught as ‘Civics’, was a required class in high schools. I didn’t get it then. I do now. But it’s rarely young people that need the lesson. It’s these baby boomer idiots willing to throw political bombs at a system that did so much to put them in the position they are.
Let me cut to the chase:
we live in a socialist America. We always have.
All governments are socialist unless they are totalitarian and/or fascist.
We’re not? You don’t think we’re socialists?
Okay. Let’s say you apprenticed under a professional who apprenticed under another, this pattern repeating itself all the way back in time to before the civil war, before taxes were collected and, as a result, you claim that your station, professionally speaking, is not in any way something that was provided for through government resources.
Unless you traveled to work cutting fresh paths in the woods with the implied or explicit consent of the private landholders. Even then, I’d argue that those woods have some level of safety because of the policing that goes on in the areas surrounding that wood.
Let’s assume that isn’t the circumstances most libertarian folks are arguing from. More, surely, enjoy clean and reasonably cared for infrastructure, roads, that allow them safe transport between home and their place of work. That’s a socialist solution.
Let’s assume that they don’t find violent crime occurring on those roads every day all day by people that have less and want what you have earned. That’s due to laws we have collectively determined are important. Laws restricting the freedom to take what you can from people as we value the earning over the taking. These laws are so effectively enforced by the good men and women we pay, with our taxes, to enforce the laws.
A socialist solution.
I assume that if you are reading this your land, the land around your property and the property of those you come in regular contact with is not swimming in human waste. How does that happen? We all evacuate our bowels and bladders on some schedule, no? I don’t frankly know where mine goes, but it’s gone. At least in part because of the role the government has in maintaining and replacing systems that were invested in decades ago, when Americans understood that we weren’t stronger as 300 million individuals, but rather were stronger than the sum of our parts, far greater, when we acted as a collective.
Which brings me to the greatest, most successful socialist program in our glorious patchwork of programs, from public education to Police and Fire Departments that make up what we know as America: the Military.
You ridiculous, self-involved, bile-spitting clowns. The Military. The Industrial Complex surrounding it. That is where the majority of your money is going. Every penny of which I’m happy to pay and appreciative of what it supports. I wish they could clean up the spending so more went to what is needed. In my opinion, that would include a lavish income for anyone deployed to fight for my freedom.
That person should never have to pay tax. That person alone.
The rest of us should be happy to pay so they don’t ever have to worry about the awful things that befall ex-military now. But that’s not how the money is always spent, is it. It’s often thrown down rabbit holes started decades ago when the world and its wars needed different things. Now, you who claim to want us to spend responsibly, choose to blindly support any anti-intellectual that tells you something that can justify your inherent biases and proclivities even if that buffoon is doing the bidding for corporations “developing” antiquated, obsolete military devices whose only purpose in continuing to work on it is because they can get funded, thus hurting our actual defense by reinvesting in technology we no longer need, for wars that are long over and diverting funds that could go to support our bravest.
The level of self-involved stupidity that has invaded the masses is exemplified by people protesting at Anti-Tax rallies to ‘Keep your government hands off my Medicare.’ This festival of cartoonish stupidity would be a glorious spectacle in film or in a novel about a world we could laugh at, filled with such profound ignorance as to be funny. If we didn’t have to deal with it in reality.
We can argue, and should, about what it is right to spend our collective resources on. We can argue that foolish spending, some of which I’ve noted above, makes us overtaxed. But if we say collecting some money, throwing it in the pot to put to uses that serve us like educating all children or protecting our seniors and veterans from all that presently can befall them is somehow not right, what we are arguing for is to take down America. What’s amazing is the people doing it are claiming patriotism. I have no idea on what grounds they make this claim. To be fair, I don’t think they know either.
I look forward to hearing about the exceptions to my thesis that we’re all in this together.
If you did it. If you’ve managed to get to the top, or to the middle or even just “get by” totally on your own, without the help we all depend on, help that is so vital and ubiquitous as to be invisible, then you, my friend, are the unicorn.
Photo: Jorge Láscar/Flickr