Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 5 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest 1 Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 8 (14 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   9 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Is Paul Ryan Making Americans More Favorably Inclined Toward Socialism?

By       Message John Nichols     Permalink
      (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Well Said 3   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/3/12

Author 29155
Become a Fan
  (20 fans)
- Advertisement -

Abraham Lincoln, like most of the leading Republicans of his day had read Marx and Engels in the pages of the Horace Greeley's New York Herald Tribune (for which the two men wrote for many years as European correspondents). The sixteenth president spoke often about the superiority of labor to capital and was highly critical of concentrated wealth. Toward the end of the Civil War, the White House accepted the congratulations of Marx and his fellow London Communists after Lincoln's 1864 re-election.

Lincoln was no Marxist. But, like a good many of the initial leaders of the Republican Party, he had been exposed to the ideas of Marx and Engels in the Tribune. In fact, Lincoln chose as one of his closest White House aides (and eventually as his assistant secretary of war) Charles Dana, Marx's long-time editor. Famously, Dana once declared, "Everyone now is more or less a Socialist."

In fairness, that's not the case today.

There are still substantial numbers of Americans who do not view socialism positively, just as there are substantial numbers who do not view capitalism positively. But Americans are less inclined to be troubled by mentions of socialism, or by socialist and social democratic ideas today than in the past -- just as Americans are less inclined (according to a recent CNN poll) to be unsettled by the mention of libertarianism, or by libertarian and libertarian-lite ideas. This is healthy. A republic is best served by differing ideas and ideals with regard to economic and social arrangements.   

- Advertisement -

There will always be reactionaries like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who try to make ideas scary. But when one in four Republicans have a positive reaction to the word "socialism," it is pretty clear that the reactionaries are not doing any better in framing the economic and intellectual debate than they did on Election Day.

And, yes, that would have made Frank Zeidler, who was at once a great believer in socialism and a believer in the American experiment, a very happy man.

John Nichols is the author of The "S" Word:A Short History of an American Tradition" Socialism (Verso).

- Advertisement -

Next Page  1  |  2

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

Must Read 3   Well Said 3   Valuable 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Paul Ryan? Seriously?

Scott Walker's Austerity Agenda Yields 'Worst Job Losses in US'

The Koch Brothers, ALEC and the Savage Assault on Democracy

The Deafening Silence of the Republican Field in the Wake of the Planned Parenthood Shooting

How Socialists Built America

Bernie Sanders: "I Am Prepared to Run for President of the United States"