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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/1/12

Capitalism, Socialism, or Fascism?

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Message Richard Blevins

Where do you see our country going?   Is Capitalism the path that will take us there?   The Republican Party is capitalism taken to the extreme.   They simply don't see a profit in better schools, healthcare or fixing the environment.   The words socialism and welfare are thrown around like it is the greatest evil that could befall a country.   The truth is that in the 21st century, with emergence of the global economy, we can no longer continue to only think about ourselves.   There is nothing wrong with a little socialism.

What is very enlightening is the fact that the countries that are considered the most socialist in the world, by conservatives, seem to be doing the best.   These "socialist" countries seem to be concentrated in northern Europe.   One thing that these northern European countries have in common is taxes.   Countries that are considered to be "welfare states" consistently pay much higher taxes, and these taxes are used to pay for a multitude of welfare programs (including universal healthcare).   Another thing they have in common is that these welfare states typically have a AAA credit rating.   Every single country on the S&P list of AAA rated countries has socialized healthcare.   Even the US no longer has a AAA rating.   According to the OECD rankings of countries and their citizen's happiness, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands are at the top of the list. Throughout the worldwide economic crisis these liberal/socialist countries have done better than those that are considered to be the most conservative.   Additionally, most third world countries are some of the most conservative.  

It's true that the Republican Party wants smaller government, but their primary motivation for this is to reduce the burden of taxes and regulations on the rich and corporations.   In 2011 $3.33 billion was spent lobbying congress.   This money is from corporations and specials interests, and of course their interests are self-serving rather than altruistic.   This money buys them votes on the things they find important.   More often than not, these things are in conflict with what is important to Americans.   Of course both parties are lobbied; however, it's clear that the Republican Party's policies closely mirror the priorities of big business and special interests far more than the Democratic Party's does. As corporations gain more and more power, this will inevitably lead to fascism.   Isn't fascism worse than socialism?

The money they do support spending can inevitably be linked to a profit for them personally or for some corporation.   They consider the very idea of cutting of military spending as heresy, not because they care about our safety, but rather, because that would mean a reduction in the profits of the corporations that are part of the military industrial complex.   US military spending accounts for nearly half of the world's military spending.   That's more than the next 10 countries combined.   The closest is China which is responsible for 8.2%.   It is not necessary to spend that much money to keep us safe.

The problem with the opinions that many Republicans share is that, more often than not, they aren't based on facts.   Some of this can be explained by a lack of education, but I think the biggest reason is misinformation.   According to a Pew Research poll, more Americans watch Fox News as watch any of the other cable news stations.   According to recent polls, Fox is also the most trusted news organization in the country.   34% of those polled trust Fox, followed by PBS at 17%, CNN at 12%, ABC at 11% and CBS at 8%.   The same poll showed that 68% of Republicans picked Fox as their most trusted source of news.

The owner of Fox, Rupert Murdoch, and the president Roger Ailes, have "forced the network to advance a deeply-partisan political agenda that regularly contravenes traditional journalistic standards".   What ever happened to the media impartially presenting the news rather than telling you what to think?   The new reality is that Fox News is a right wing propaganda machine for Republicans and the corporations they support.   In the book, "The Fox Effect", they lay out the six steps Fox uses to promote its agenda.    The first step of creating the "Fox Effect" is to have Conservative activists introduce a lie to the public. Then , Fox News devotes massive coverage to the story presented.   From here Fox goes on to attack other news outlets for not covering the story.   Given that these outlets want to remain creditable, they too start reporting the story introduced by Conservative activists.     Now that it seems that Fox News was first to the story they are praised by news critics and pundits for their media coverage on the topic.   The last step is that the story dies off after the damage has been done, whether it was true or not.

The Fox News campaign of misinformation results in the spread of lies and ignorance, which leads to a much less informed electorate and a more divided country.   Their goal is to prevent the people from making an intelligent decision as to what direction our country should go in.   This campaign is driven by corporate interests and dollars.   Capitalism got us to where we are but it can only get us so far.   We do not need to abandon it, we need to modify it.   Add a little socialism, look out for other Americans, and help those that can't help themselves.   We must reverse the Supreme Court's "Citizen United" ruling that gives corporations the same free speech rights as Americans, by amending the Constitution or we will wake up one day and realize we have given up our liberty for fascism.   

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Mr. Blevins is a 15 year veteran of the IT industry, however, his writings span such subjects as; politics, religion, physics, neuroscience, evolution, and topical news commentary.
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