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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/13/10

Capitalism, Socialism, Fascism or Communism....Can there be no other isms?

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After reading an in-depth article by Henry A. Giroux in Truthout........

click here

.....about intellectualism being marginalized for the sake of unfettered capitalism, combined with a previous discussion with a right wing cousin (who shall remain nameless) who said socialism and communism is not the answer to capitalism- "the best and only way to go," I had to ask myself the question, "Can there be no other isms?" Are these four above mentioned systems the only systems out there, the only systems our combined mentalities can think of, dream up or create? My own perceptions led to the idea of Enviro-Humanism, a priority aimed to the betterment of the entire human condition and the condition of the environment that sustains it. I mean why must we be stringently imprisoned to these other systems? Do we not have the intellectual capacity to come up with something else, something better? If these systems, particularly capitalism, are so innovative, then why does the idea of making things good for all always fall short, remains stifled or gets worse? I dare say that is not innovation. In fact stagnation is a more fitting description!

These other isms we know of and even embrace have been at odds with each other, have led to mass hunger, paranoia, the police state, to warfare, the destruction of the planet and adhere to the often greedy or power hungry-selfish interests of the few. They have in fact led us to the point where we must all begin to make hard choices and I'm not referring to the plan to cut Social Security to lower the deficit! Sustainable life on this planet is at stake! These current isms that own us may discuss human betterment and the environmental protections necessary to sustain it. They might even tell us these are their primary goals. But let's face it folks, if these things get in the way of the current system, or more importantly, the few who benefit the most by this current system, they become marginalized, put on the back burners, sent to the wayside, buried in political hubris, are deemed as impossible and even crushed!

Is there nothing mankind can do to rethink the equation? Can we not eradicate all of our problems socially, economically, environmentally and otherwise? If we cannot fight our way out of this thought process, this imposed prison of the mind, I believe our very existence as a species becomes questionable. To adhere to the systematically constructed beliefs that there can be no other isms, no better ideas than what we now have, we are literally saying we are incapable of independent thought, or intelligent enough to come up with and agree upon ideas that are newer and better. I mean we are constantly told how great our system is(certain aspects of it are) and how there is nothing better on earth. Does that mean there is no need to go further to make things more collectively beneficial? Should we essentially give up on our dreams? Our innovations are governed within the boundaries of this stringent, regimented system that is entirely profit driven, thus it cannot allow newer and better ideas to manifest, unless they involve the further generation of more profit. They dare not invest in other "radical" ideas, lest the system itself(or those who benefit the most by it) become an endangered species. It is they who control the message and according to Giroux, police thought. How can any other ism exist under these circumstances?

As someone who likes to believe he thinks outside this box(perhaps I'm fooling myself), I say the current ism should go extinct before we all do! We must promote independent thought and nurture the process! We must embrace sound ideas that are unprejudiced by politics or power wealth and other trivialities. We must, in spite of them embolden ourselves to become idealistic, free thinkers and innovators, even if it means we will be disenfranchised, ostracized, chastised, criticized or criminalized. Like the Giroux article, this is my wake up call to every intellectual out there! And why? For the literal survival and betterment of the species and to sustain this little blue speck of cosmic dust that makes it possible! Here lies our most worthwhile and realistic priority!

The question is what can we do to make it happen before it's too late? How can we give up the dog eat dog mentality that has brought us to the abyss? To end homelessness and hunger, illiteracy, end wars and hate, save mother earth and innovate to better the living conditions of all our brethren everywhere? Well for starters we need to respect ourselves as a species and maintain an environment that embraces the bouncing of ideas instead of crushing them! In spite of the naysayers and their contradictions, it can be done. All it takes is a collective will to do it! Do we honestly believe there is nothing we can do beyond accepting the so called norm?

Sadly, some will argue and perhaps correctly, that we would have to war, to revolt, to kill and to destroy to ever gain these things, so they are marginalized as
unrealistic pipe dreams. Perhaps so, though throughout our entire bloody and destructive history we are yet to get even close to what this world could be and in fact ought to be! So what beyond our own self denial is stopping us from creating this vision? Here is where Mr. Giroux is most affective. It seems we have been so dummied down into a drone society, literally born into a system where we must make junk and buy junk to keep the ball rolling, that we cannot see past it to anything better and will even damn the possibility of it to hang upon this system so often proved to be inimical to our own collective interests. We will in many cases adamantly defend this current ism, even kill for it! There simply can be no other way, regardless as to what people like Naomi Klein or Noam Chomsky have to say about it! But bless them all the same!

There is no doubt Giroux makes his point! We are exactly where he says we are and where we may well end up! Our educational system has been corporatized and intellectualism that cannot be bought and is outside the prescribed, marginalized, box will be effectively silenced for the "common good!" Education is today geared to make people simply adhere to the system without questioning it, to simply join the workforce and buy stuff. War becomes a necessity to our way of life and if others starve, even in the billions, well better them than us as long as we can drive our gas guzzlers, watch TV or gab, twit and surf on our brand new dysfunctional I-Pod! Our thoughts are being and have long been policed to place us into this mode of literal non-thought! Since our dreams cannot realistically manifest, why even bother with them? Only the system of now can be embraced. Only profit is important! To do or think otherwise is to be a traitor, subversive or a nut job!

Clearly there are other isms out there. In my view and perhaps one way to go, is to take the best aspects of all the currently accepted isms and infuse them, while taking the worst aspects of them and disregarding those. Also infuse the collective knowledge and science of every culture in recorded history, using the best tools and survival skills of each one that are the most beneficial to humanity and the least destructive to the planet!

Admittedly, I'm no intellectual, do not have all the answers or even the know-all ability to apply them. But why hasn't it ever been tried before and why can't it be tried? One thing I do know, these other current isms that exist entrenched in their own stringent vacuums aren't going down without a fight. Especially the most dominant ism we fecklessly undereducated Americans are now shackled to. An ism so dominant and so ruthless, it would destroy anything that remotely threatens it, even as it rapidly deploys the destruction of our mother earth, the very thing that sustains it and all else!

So please tell me folks, what are your isms? It is time to share them, present them as boldly, compassionately, intellectually and humanly as you possibly can! I believe our very existence depends upon them and that time is running out! The one consolation is that humanity acts best collectively when some disastrous event occurs. What it must realize is that what is happening now is more like a train wreck in slow motion, something we cannot allow to become a wreck, but rather something we must stop before it does. This could be our finest moment or our worst!
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I'm a concerned, middle aged blogger and member of the ACLU. I hail from the Bay Area. I Lobbied congress with the ACLU over the more unconstitutional elements of the USA Patriot Act. Marched in peace protests, lost a former school chum in the world (more...)
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