I Was a Teenage Socialist

Personally, I think that is a capital idea for a title for an RKO feature film….right? (I knew I could get a movie reference in if I just tried)…but I am sure that if we let the major studios film it it would be along the lines of “Reefer Madness“.

I guess this post is my admission to my torrid past. I learned socialism early in life…..my grandfather was a syndicalist (a better description would be a councilist)….that is he thought union organization was the key to good government (that is very simple and not completely accurate but for this post will do)………he showed me how councils would replace this stupidity that we called elections…….they would go from neighborhood to city to state to regional to national…….the representives would be elected by the people of the region and on up the ladder to Washington.

At an early age my grandfather gave me three books…..Paine’s “Commonsense“, Luxemburg’s “Revolution and Reform” and “Prison Notebooks” by Gramsci…..they meant very little until age 14…I began to understand what their words really stood for…..

By high school I was that “commie” kid…..the one that their parents warned their daughters about……because I was that kid I was not as popular as you would think with the ladies…..or the guys for that matter (but that was less important)……..I was singled out any time something even remotely political was done at school……like a sit in (yep that one was me)……a rally against the separation of the few blacks students (that one is one someone else did….but I got the tag)…….these were just a few of the “problems” that the school admin was having…..and the “commie ” kid had to take the rap…….it was that way through the 12thgrade…….when I graduated I was told that there would be NO political statements made during the ceremony (they had not needed to say that for I wanted away from the a/holes and was willing to give my views a rest to get out)………….

Then came the military….there were few problems…..other than I read Giap’s book….”People’s Army People’s War” and Mao’s “Little Red Book“……..and others……but as far as any name calling…….there was none……because I was well read my comrades started calling me…..Professor………the name has stuck over the years….

Then after the military came my time at university and anti-war and social justice activism……..and because of that the title of commie returned……used extensively by people who could not spell commie on a bet……at this juncture I was a full blown socialist….a member of the Socialist Party……and union activist. I returned to my Councilist upbringing…..writing to voice my views……

About here after university I went to work for a Spanish newspaper as an analyst/researcher in the Middle East. Once there I saw socialistic policies at work in many of the countries……here I am talking about how it effected the people not some silly dogma crap……..many of the people had education from pre-K through 12…….health care from cradle to grave………affordable housing……food prices down……all this made me see that people could endure a lot if the burden of fighting a economic system was lifted from their shoulders…..the experience strengthened my socialist beliefs…….

This is when I started writing……a lot……..subject matter was putting the welfare of the population over some random bullshit like a political system……first there is the age old question….what is socialism?

Warning….it is not what they want you to believe it is……

Socialism is actually a regulated form of capitalism. The imposed regulations ensure that those placed in positions of trust, those who oversee and manage the work, equitably distributes the profits produced by the workforce. A progressive tax system is used to regulate that distribution; so……..yes, socialism does redistribute wealth. (A very simple definition)

Then there is the other piece of manure they would have you believe…..social ownership….

Social ownership may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these. As one can see, socialism can take on many different forms depending on how the society chooses to define “social ownership.” Regardless of what definition of “social ownership” is being used, the goal is the same – an equitable distribution of the profits among every worker who helped in the production of those profits.

Sorry if that craps on your beliefs….but it is just that simple…..

I have spent a lifetime fighting for the working people….trying to get them to see what is being done to them….in their name…..it has not been easy but slowly people are starting to see all those predictions I made in my youth were not some made up bullshit because I had nothing else to do…..the people have been crapped on for decades……and finally eyes are beginning to open.

So yes...I was a teenage socialist…now I am just an old fart with a hard on for capitalism, inequality and injustice.

But I can take heart…..since Trump was elected the new leader the interest in socialism has climbed…..

For the American left, 2016 proved to be a year with a cruel twist ending. In the first few months, a self-
described democratic socialist by the name of Bernie Sanders mounted a surprisingly successful primary challenge to the Democratic Party’s presumed and eventual presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. By the end of 2016, however, not only had Sanders lost the primary race, but Clinton had been defeated in the general election by a billionaire who dressed his xenophobic and plutocratic ambitions in the garb of class resentment.

Source: Socialism’s Return | The Nation

Plus Millennials are more interested in socialism which could be the tonic that revives the political ideology…….

A recent Reason-Rupe survey found that a majority of Americans under 30 have a more favorable view of socialism than of capitalism. Gallup finds that almost 70 percent of young Americans are ready to vote for a “socialist” president. So it has come as no surprise that 70 to 80 percent of young Americans have been voting for Bernie Sanders, the self-declared democratic socialist. Some pundits have been eager to denounce such surveys as momentary aberrations, stemming from the economic crash, or due to lack of knowledge on the part of millennials about the authoritarianism they say is the inevitable result of socialism. They were too young to have been around for Stalin and Mao, they didn’t experience the Cold War, they don’t know to be grateful to capitalism for saving them from global tyranny. The critics dismiss the millennials’ political leanings by repeating Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s mantra, “There is no alternative” (TINA), which prompted the extreme form of capitalism we now know as neoliberalism.

Source: The Millennial Generation Is a Perfect Fit for Socialism | Alternet

And this information……

Source: More Americans joining socialist groups under Trump | USA | Al Jazeera

All this is much needed good news for an old radial like myself…..time for socialism to return to its place in politics…..and political debate.

The confessions of a teenage socialist.

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