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Socialism – The Cornerstone Of America
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Socialism – The Cornerstone Of America
“In the struggle for socialism, what should be done to attain and sustain equality and justice? What should we mean by equality and justice?”
[1,098 words]
Louise Friedman
Louise Friedman, other titles
[November 1999]
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Socialism – The Cornerstone Of America
Louise Friedman

“In the struggle for socialism, what should be done to attain and sustain equality and justice? What should we mean by equality and justice?”

Socialism – The Cornerstone of America

“Equality: n. [Latin aequalitas]: The state of being equal: correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, and ability.” As in, “All men are created equal.” Socialism encapsulates and implies equality in every sense of the word. Founded on social concepts, The Constitution of The United States stresses equality, “We the people.” We, all the people, not a select few, nor any group wielding power over others.

“Justice: n. [Latin justitia]: The quality of being just: righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.” As in, “With liberty and justice for all.” Not any one person or corporation excepted, but all the people.

Socialism, an economic and political arrangement, emphasizes community ownership of productive property. Productive property includes land, factories, and other property used to produce goods and services. All societies have practiced some form of community ownership.

The actual term socialism first appeared in Europe in the 1800's, but the practice began 200 years before. Socialist thinkers contrasted the idea of socialism with the newly developed idea of capitalism. Many socialists were also concerned by the disruptions in people's lives caused by the Industrial Revolution, a period of rapid industrialization that had begun in the 1700's. The focus was on the productivity and profitability of newly forming corporations, with no regard to the fundamental human rights of the workers.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American workers were literally in servitude to their wealthy employers, and the futures of their children led down the same path; down dark mine shafts, or into asbestos ridden mills. It was then that the concept of unions began to sprout and flourish. The Carnegies, the Rockefellers, the Fords and the Astors; all magnates of industry and shining examples of pure capitalism failed to grasp the responsibilities of hugely profitable corporations to their workers, in the name of humanity. Rather, they brought in enforcers like Pinkerton’s, used corrupt police officers and hired hoodlums, to turn their anti-union movement into a war. Countless union organizers and their working class supporters went to prison, or mysteriously vanished.

Our nation is steeped in the fundamentals of socialism. Pilgrims arriving in this new land, accustomed to the precepts of social equality and justice, compelled by need for their means of survival, chose a socialistic lifestyle. For food, clothing, all humanitarian needs, they relied on a communal lifestyle, socialism. A working class sharing equally in products, production yields, and profits.

In the ongoing workers’ struggle, there have been socialist giants such as Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers’ Union, who battled the corporations and freed his workers from the bonds of inequality. He survived two assassination attempts but his right hand was permanently crippled. Under his leadership, the UAW grew to 1.5 million members for whom he negotiated breakthrough benefits allowing workers to receive nearly full wages during lay offs. H was a champion of justice.

In 1952, Reuther was elected president of the Congress for Industrial Organization (CIO), which, in 1966 merged with the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Appointed vice president of the newly created AFL/CIO, his legacy lives on as a socialistic united workers’ source of protection.

John L. Lewis, founder of the United Mine Workers of America, who virtually brought this nation to its knees through organized strikes. He said, “I have pleaded your case from the pulpit and from public platform – not in the quavering tones of a feeble mendicant asking alms, but in the thundering voice of the captain of a mighty host, demanding the rights to which free men are entitled.” Shared success of industry with workers in terms of health, education, and income benefits is socialism.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was socialist thinker. Through The New Deal, he created and implemented a socialist movement in America. Social security and Welfare are only two examples of moral rightness. Roosevelt devised government-subsidized projects to improve the infrastructure of America, and providing decent jobs for the working class, uplifting them to the light of justice!

More recently, corporate businessman Lee Iacocca left Ford Motor Company to join the ailing Chrysler Corporation and bail it out of bankruptcy. He approached the UAW with an offer of partnership for the workers, a perfect example of socialist concepts. Iacocca proposed short-term wage and fringe benefits givebacks in return for shares of company income, based on profitably of the company, as a reward for a common cause.

Most of Europe and Scandinavia currently thrive under the precepts of socialism, as does Canada. Health care, education, and quality of life are government supported, not jeopardized by fear of famine and minimum wage existences that exclude basal health care, decent educational conditions. While some capitalism does exist there, those countries hold themselves and large corporations to standards that value and protect the workers. They recognize and respect that their workers are the lifeblood of their existence.

In America today, the standards of capitalism ignore workers and concern themselves, the owners, and CEO’s and their social and business class, with profit and the benefit of the few.

Nationalized health care and education are not much to ask for in the wealthiest country of all time. They are merely a basic right that would keep Americans healthy and economically viable, which is a clear example of equality and justice. Regulation of pharmaceutical companies would emphasize the equitableness of the people rather than high profit margins. Regulation of insurance, all aspects of it, would accomplish the same end. Would taxes go higher – yes – naturally – but the means justify the ends in this scenario, which is socialist by nature, ergo by definition. All working people taxed at the same percentage rate with no caps makes for equality and justice, when all workers share in the same social services on an equal basis.

Elimination of tax abatements for wealthy corporations, and pay-to-play no bid contracts awarded to companies by the government, i.e. Halliburton, is a giant step that wants taking. Today’s government, from municipalities to The White House holds the rich above the workers and those who are unable to work. Today, basic social services are in jeopardy. Workers’ futures are on the brink of disaster as pension funds fade into the past. Low-income families have no safety net that ensures them basic human rights.

Socialism would return America to its original directive of moral rightness for all people, irrespective of individual degree, through correspondence in quantity and quality of life. Capitalism and socialism must and can agree philosophically to co-exist!



"Have you ever heard the quote "All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than other"? It is out of a text called Animal Farm, by George Orwell, a very poignient text and if you haven't read it you should perhaps endevour to do so. Both Socialism and the capitalism that you talk about are the two extremes of politics and unfortunatly both can not exist in the same society at the same time, as they are the opposites. As, if you read the communist manifesto then you will find that whilst there is the class of the bourgeoisie the proletariet is being exploited. However it is good to see such an intellectual peice being posted on this site. Thank you for writing it and if you could reply to this i would be very appreciative. Peace. ps i would rather have a socialist government than a facist." -- Hugh, Australia.
"jonny" -- jonny, jonny, jonny, jonny.
"I can't say this piece is not well written, however, most of it is re-hashed unadulterated bullshit. You say Europe, Scandinavia and Canada are thriving under socialism? What the fuck have you been reading lately? Go live there if you really believe that. Hope you do well. " -- Richard.
"jonny144" -- jonny734, jonny598, jonny117, jonny503.
"Keep on writing" -- Colin Baker.
"I think Richard said all I could say about this piece. Being curious however, I found your bio in the authors' section and that pretty much explains you. I give you credit for admitting how far left you are. Most liberals are too cowardly to admit to being so. I once went out with a woman like you years ago. We got into such a heated argument, I excused myself by saying I had to go to the john and never returned to our table, leaving her to pay the check. There is a dirty little secret about crazy leftist women who were weaned in the sixties and seventies. When they get into their southpaw rants, their adrenaline kicks in and they begin to perspire and secrete, releasing an unpleasant odor emanating from their genital area. Unfortunately, they can't smell it but it is particularly repulsive to conservative men. Liberal men don't seem to mind it. Obviously, they've become used to it. " -- Lester.


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© 2005 Louise Friedman
December 2005

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