On A Limited Libertarian Socialism

It is my personal opinion that a society which operates in accord with limited Libertarian Socialist values could potentially be the most humane and the most practical of all prospective systems which I myself have considered. This is not to say that there may not actually be social systems better suited for human cohabitation than those which I have researched to date; however among those systems which I have researched, I prefer limited Libertarian Socialism to the alternatives.

I qualify my Libertarian views as limited, in that I do believe that a minimum of social structure is necessary in order to ensure mutual benefit and the common good of each and every person, the latter expressing the sought end of any society of my personal preference. As I am clearly a Socialist, my thoughts as to limited government may seem contradictory, but frankly, my observations of government in general are that such seems to inevitably evolve into layers of illegitimate power and assumed authority which are unnecessary and at times outright oppressive.

It is likewise my observation that most people tend to do the right thing quite naturally, seemingly as a matter of personal principle, as opposed to as a response to an external coercive power such as a law or rule of social engagement. Frankly, most people don’t need a law in order to live peaceably within the realm of their social relations. Sensitivity for the feelings of others as a natural governor of social conduct is the norm, hence autonomy is for the most part a reliable guide for such. The exceptions to those who choose to live peaceably with others, and the existence of those who exploit others in unfettered circumstances; however would necessitate a limited, democratically directed structure for the purpose of protecting principled people from those with malevolent intent in any given social setting.

As to Socialism itself, I maintain that the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need” is a practical guide for any society, and one which maintains an ethical high ground in terms of seeking the best for everyone. I certainly regard such as preferable to any form of Capitalism. The social experiment known as neo-liberal Capitalism, which has been the prevailing process here in the US since the late 70’s, has proven to be a pitiful failure as a medium to provide for the general welfare (a Congressional responsibility according to Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution), yet such has been a smashing success as a get rich and stay even more wealthy scheme for the upper 1% among our society. The last few decades have seen a decline in the leverage of the working class to the extent that collective bargaining is becoming a practice of the past, an alarmingly inequitable distribution of financial resources between the wealthy and the working poor to an extent unrealized in this country for almost a century, which has resulted in a working class whose existence is a dependency upon wages that have seen no noticeable increase for almost 40 years. Our society is in dire straits, and we have neo-liberal capitalism to thank for our miserable state of affairs.

Inasmuch then as the cause of Socialism is just, it subsequently seems to me that we should be able to transform a given culture by intelligent persuasion and passionate appeal to the principles upon which Socialism is founded. In fact, it is my personal opinion that most people are Socialists, they just don’t realize such to be the case. Most people believe in the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need”. Most people feel it is wrong to allow someone to suffer. Most people feel it is wrong for some to hoard resources while others suffer. Most people seem to hold Socialists views, for Socialism is based upon basic principles which are so universal that in everyday life they are almost assumed.

That said, I maintain that the means to secure a Socialist society is by way of passionate but intelligent persuasion, and perhaps there is no time more opportune for such than the 21st CE.

We live in the age of the information highway, the social media, Youtube, and Instagram. Now, I personally am a techno fossil. I actually use my cell phone primarily to place calls, which seems to put me in the minority. But even an old throwback like me can navigate FB, email, or blog. And I can also present my case on behalf of Socialist principles in everyday conversation, which I try to do as reasonable opportunity allows.

The case against Capitalism as an evil system is a case which should be maintained persistently, but one of the fundamental evils ever present to such is that Capitalism must be secured and maintained by brute power. There is no righteous basis for Capitalism, and certainly no one would voluntarily choose such as a viable social system, save for those who are greedy and insensitive enough to exploit the misery and services of others for their own gain and gratification. Certainly no one would volunteer to be exploited at the commencement of a start up society; hence no one would willingly choose Capitalism as a social system of choice. Thus, Capitalism is a system which has to be secured and maintained by way of brute power, and the history of Western Civilization reveals such to have been the case.

Ours is a just cause, theirs is an evil and sinister system. Most people don’t realize this, and consequently vote and propagandize against their own self interests.

I am for peaceful, persistent, private and public appeal to the intellect of my human peers in pursuit of a society based upon mutual benefit and shared responsibility, established and maintained not by brute force, but by way of voluntary cooperation.

Such as they are, these are some of my general thoughts as to a society based upon limited Libertarian Socialists values.

On The Mind Which Cannot Bear The Suffering of Others (Mencius 2A.6)

From the moment of my birth I have been sensitive to discomfort of any degree, and have from that very moment asserted my will to seek comfort as my preferred state of being.

From an early age I was sensitive to the suffering of other sentient beings. The cry of a stray dog in pain or suffering would have been such a discomfort to my inner being, that my own comfort would have depended upon the comfort of that dog.

I aspire to never lose my original mind which has always had such an aversion to discomfort that my own comfort depends upon the comfort of others.

I cannot help but believe that everyone is born with this same natural aversion to discomfort of any degree for self and others, yet I can only speak for myself in so affirming that such was the case for me.

In the words of the Confucian scholar Mencius (371-289BCE):

“All people have the mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others”

“The good person is the one who does not lose his originally good child’s heart”

On the TPP: A Human Rights and Environmental Disaster

It is my personal opinion that we the public need to be aware of and actively oppose the TPP. This is a human rights violation and environmental disaster plan in the making.

The TPP would further enable American profiteers to outsource jobs overseas to sweat shops; in order to exploit people for even less wages and expose workers to even worse and unsafe working conditions than our workers are exploited by and exposed to already here in USA. Furthermore, the TPP would allow companies to sue governments (foreign and their own) over even the potential loss of profits if laws passed by such countries could potentially reduce those companies’ profits. Thus; if a country attempts to legally raise the minimum wages for working people, or attempts to legally raise the standards for working conditions, or attempts to legally regulate carbon emissions; then any given company can sue such a government for potential profit losses based upon such laws. Sweatshops, unsafe working conditions, ongoing human induced global warming resulting in even further catastrophic climate change are all issues that the world will be dealing with if the predatory Capitalists of this generation are able to get this TPP into effective operation.

Sadly enough, it seems that we would have already learned our lessons about the social digression of multi company trade agreements which enable and empower Corporate profiteers in the exercise of exploitation of people for gain and profit. We certainly did no favors for our own generation and that of our children by way of the original multi company trade agreement which enabled and encouraged the fabrication of American products by sweatshop labor; that being the NAFTA agreement passed in 1994 during the Clinton Administration. And we are surely only compounding our disservice to this and future generations by considering ratcheting up that process by way of the TPP.

That said; if you have an ounce of decency or compassion in your hearts, please become aware of and actively oppose the exploitation of people and the human rights violations exercised in sweatshops worldwide, and which are enabled by such trade agreements as NAFTA, and the pending TPP.

On Predator Capitalists and Decent People

I do not believe in God,
But I do believe in good.
To be kind and compassionate,
I believe we all should.

Predator Capitalists,
Prey on the misery of others.
They exploit circumstances,
And take advantage of our global brothers.

These vultures and vermin,
Are always on the take.
From New Orleans to New Guinea,
Another dollar they want to make.

To hell with Predator Capitalists,
I’ve nothing more to say.
Except to ask this question:
How can decent people look the other way?

Damn The Socialists!

Damn the Socialists!
Damn them all to Hell!!
Those thieves of personal rights,
On behalf of the common welfare!!

Vile vermin!
Bleeding hearts with no spine!!
They would deny a man the right,
To exploit the services of human kind!!

How dare the Liberal scum,
Deny me the right to claim as mine!
The air, the land, and the profits,
And to pocket the most as mine!!

How dare the pinko commies,
Claim that profits are for the common good!
When I could invest the profits for my personal benefit,
As every good businessman should!!

How dare these bleeding hearts,
Deny a self made man the right to keep for himself!
The profits from the labor of others,
Who are mere minions and laboring elves!!

How dare those pinko Libs,
Be more concerned with poverty.
Than with legislation which functions,
To provide even more for me!!!

Damn the Socialists!
Damn them all to Hell!!
Those thieves of personal rights,
On behalf of the common welfare!!

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

The Concept of Society

Any system which fails to alleviate the suffering of people is a system in need of whatever changes are necessary to meet that end. For there is no end to be sought which allows for suffering. There is no principle to promote which allows for suffering. There is no pledge to utter which allows for suffering. There is no god to worship who allows for suffering. The primary objective of any society; whether such is a family, a city, a state, or a nation; is to alleviate suffering at all other costs.

The common good is the primary goal of any society. Any system which seeks the common good; not by mere lip service to the notion, but by effectual accomplishment to that end, is a system worthy of implementation. Any system which allows for anyone to be housed, should see to it that everyone is housed. Any system which allows for anyone to eat, should see to it that no one is hungry. Any system which offers healthcare for anyone, should see to it that there is healthcare for everyone. Any aspect of any system which hinders the effort to house, feed, and care for every single person, is an aspect of the system which should be at the very least modified and revised; and if necessary removed and replaced.

The care of every person is the primary objective of a society.
Anyone who does not grasp that concept, does not understand the concept of society.

Peace to all; prosperity for all; and joy to the world.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

On The Need For Resistance

Generally and historically speaking, those who benefit from social injustice in this country have not been known to make the changes necessary in order to transition a morally deficient system or practice into that of fairness and equal rights, without being absolutely forced to do so.

Slavery in this country did not end due to the proactive remorse of those who were benefiting from the degradation and exploitation of their fellow being.

Slavery ended because those who were benefiting from a moral wrong were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

Child labor in this country did not end due to the soft hearts of those who were working 9 and 10 year old children full 10 hours and more shifts for their own personal profit.

Child labor ended because those who were benefiting from an immoral wrong were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

Women in this country did not gain the right to vote because misogynistic and patriarchal men suddenly saw the error of their ways, thus proactively and voluntarily allowing women the right to become a part of the political process.

The patriarchs and misogynists who had prevented women the right to vote in this country were forced to do the right thing, and against their will at that.

African Americans in this country did not gain the right to equal education and equal public rights as most every other race because the white public suddenly felt remorse for centuries of social oppression of the black community.

African Americans in this country secured the right to equal education and equal public rights because racists and bigots were forced to the the right thing, and against their will at that.

Our national history is such that moral progress comes about because and when those who are benefiting from social injustice are forced to do the right thing.

Furthermore, (and perhaps most importantly) social progress and just amends have almost always been precipitated by pressure from the oppressed upon those who benefit from social injustice.

When and only when the oppressed speak out and resist being the victims of social injustice, then and only then has there tended to be necessary social change towards realized social justice.

Our nation’s history being a matter of record and reality, there is no reason to assume that those of our society who benefit from social injustice will ever voluntarily and willingly give way to a system of social and economic justice, unless they are absolutely forced to do so.

And on the same premise, we would be naive and foolish to assume that social and economic injustices will ever be set right unless and until the victims of social and economic justice continue to speak out and collectively resist those who exploit lives and daily labor for their own benefit.

We must continue to speak out.
We must continue to write.
We must continue to protest.

Those of our country who benefit from a system of social and economic injustice simply have to be forced to do the right thing, even if it is against their will to do so.

Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever give in.