On “Getting Things Done”: A Contrast of Socialism and Capitalism

One of the great myths with which Capitalists malign the theory of socialism is the assertion that in such a society slothfulness would prevail, and nothing would “get done”.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

Socialism is by no means a theory of inactivity, but rather one of communal effort towards the common good. And therein lies the distinction between Capitalism and Socialism. For each theory is based upon communal activity. The distinction then between the two social theories is not one regarding “work”, for each theory is based upon communal activity.

Rather, the distinction between Capitalism and Socialism is that the former exploits communal labor for concentrated profits; whereas the latter utilizes such for communal provisions. Such is the underlying fear of the Capitalist with regards to the concept of Socialism. For in the mind of the Capitalist, nothing is “getting done” if profits are not the end result of communal effort.

In the mind of the Capitalist then, a broad based distribution of the produce of communal labor is a waste, for Capitalism is not based on the theory of provisions, but rather of profit. If there is not an accumulation of profit for the controlling classes, then the Capitalist concludes that nothing is “getting done”.

But the theory of Socialism is not based upon accumulated and hence concentrated wealth, but rather is based upon a broad based distribution of provisions secured through communal effort. In the mind of the Socialist then, nothing is “getting done” if wealth is concentrated in the possession of a few, while the miserable masses suffer from a case of systemic poverty.

Contrary then to the assertion of the Capitalists that Socialism is a social theory which would breed slothfulness and inactivity; rather we Socialists would see the produce of our efforts utilized for the common good and general welfare (Don’t let the term “general welfare” scare you, for the term actually appears twice in the Constitution; first in the Preamble, and again later in Article 1; Section 8, the section that discusses the obligations and duties of Congress).

For in the mind of we Socialists, the question of whether anything is “getting done” depends upon the utility of the produce of of our efforts, rather than whether a controlling beneficiary pockets accumulated wealth from those efforts.

“From each according to ability” then is our pledge to roll up our sleeves and work, and “to each according to need” is our uncompromising demand as to what we would see done with the produce of our labors.

For concentrated profits from communal labors is not the way of Socialism. Rather we seek a society based upon the common good and the general welfare as the yield of our communal efforts.

For such is what we Socialists call “getting things done”.

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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.

Make America Great. Finally.

It seems to me that many of the problems related to our badly divided society are actually due to the fact that certain of the more honorable principles of our national Constitution have historically been systematically limited as to the degree of their application. For example, consider the beautiful sentiment and the profound principles of the phrase “promote the general welfare” as recorded in the introductory Preamble of the Constitution. As noble as the concept sounds, the fact of the matter is that promoting the general welfare was by no means the actual concern of the 55 Aristocrats who composed the Constitutional Convention. Nor for that matter had promoting “the general welfare” ever been the primary concern of any of the other greedy gold diggers from whom our nation evolved. The sentiment so expressed is indeed honorable, and undoubtedly “the general welfare” is in fact the end goal and defined purpose of that noble collective known as the society; but therein lies the misunderstanding which serves as the basis for the limited application of the sentiment itself.

For from our very conception as a sovereign nation, America was never a society. More to the point, America is, and always been; an ongoing commercial enterprise, whose welfare for an elite sector is systematically maintained by way of domination and exploitation. In fact, for the most part the history of Western Society was never about promoting “the general welfare”, but rather has always been an ongoing predatory commercial enterprise based upon invasion, conquest, domination, and exploitation of the vulnerable, for the express purpose of enriching and further empowering the already wealthy and powerful class of any given country. The systematic domination and exploitation of the many, in order to provide welfare for an elite sector then, has been the historical pattern of Western Society in general, and America more than any other country simply serves as an example of such.

And so, while giving lip service to the concept of equality and the general welfare, the fact is that the societal system by which our forefathers functioned is in principle the same by which we function today. Granted, the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s legalized the concept of the equality of all people, nonetheless we have yet to abandon our national systematic commercial enterprise for the welfare of the wealthy, nor do we yet refrain from foreign invasions to the same end. Thus, in spite of our incremental social advancements towards social justice, we nonetheless continue, as did our Forefathers, to fall short of the sentiments of our own Constitution, by implementing a system which fails to function accordingly.

This is not to say that things must remain as they are. For as long as the words “promote the general welfare” remain written in our Constitution, then we as a collective people shall ever have the documented right to become a society which seeks the common good as a necessary goal. Our challenge then is to aspire towards that noble state of social being which has alluded every generation of Americans going back to and including our Founding Fathers themselves.

For when, and only when, we as America decide to finally live up to the precious sentiment as expressed in our national Constitution “promote the general welfare”; then and only then, we will actually be a society instead of a collective commercial enterprise for the primary welfare of the wealthy and the powerful.

To do so would make America great. Finally.

America, On Any Given Day

Preacherman say,
There’s a god up in heaven.
Loved you enough to make hell,
Eat your bread with no leaven.

Gambler say,
Seven come eleven.
Mathematician say,
Six before seven.

Policeman say,
Time to walk the beat.
Another unarmed black man,
Lies dead in the street.

Businessman say,
Accept pennies for your work.
Wipes his forehead with a money roll,
That dude’s a real jerk.

Two men wanna make love,
Politician get angry and vent.
Oil man say time for war,
Politician say “Where you want the troops sent?”

An oldie but goodie:
“Livin’ In The USA”
Scenes from America;
On Any Given Day.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

On French Bums and American Businessmen

French bums and American businessmen,
They pretty much the same.
Each live a life of dependency,
Each got their own game.

French bum live off handouts,
From the local grocery store.
Come next time he be hungry,
He be comin’ back for more.

American businessman live off labor,
Of others who do his work.
Pays out pennies on the dollars made,
I call this dude a jerk.

French bums and American businessmen,
They pretty much the same.
French bum live off handouts,
Survival is his game.

French bums and American businessmen,
They pretty much the same.
Businessman live off work of others,
Exploitation is his game.

French bums and American businessmen,
They pretty much the same.
Each live a life of dependency,
Each got their own game.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

Content and Discreet

Content to be a wage slave,
I sing praises to the USA.
Better to be like everyone else,
Than to seek a better way.

Content to pledge allegiance,
To the flag of imperial rule.
If not brain washed at home,
What better place than in school?

Content to defend the rights,
Of plutocrats to exploit the rest.
Better that the poor stay hungry,
Than that there be social unrest.

Content that the few have the most,
And that the many provide for the elite.
Best to lower your eyes and submit,
And to be quiet and discreet.

Just who was Herbert Marcuse,
To critique one dimensional man?
Better to let as is be,
Than to think out a more humane plan.

Content to be a wage slave,
I sing praises to the USA.
Better to conform and comply,
Than to seek a more humane way.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

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

On Humanity and The Fundamentals of Socialism

I maintain that most people are actually socialists and simply do not realize such to be the case. The reason being, I believe most people are decent deep down inside.

You ask a person: “Do you believe that every person has a natural right to food, water, shelter, and medical care in time of need?”; then if their answer is “yes”; then that person believes in the fundamental principles of socialism. You ask a person: “Do you believe every person has the right to exploit the circumstances of other people for their own personal profit; even if people, especially children, suffer in the process?”; then if their answer is “no”; then that person does NOT believe in the fundamental principles of Capitalism.

I repeat: I believe that most people are socialists and do not realize it, because I believe most people are decent deep down inside.

On the Uninformed and the Ill Informed

I truly believe that most people are uninformed and ill informed as to the social immorality which is the American way of life.

I look at my own circumstance, and for my part, I honestly did not know of the social immorality of our system; and that it dated to day one when the Euromaniacs landed here in 1492 and subsequently tortured, murdered, exploited and then starved out local Natives; all to feed the greed of the monied interests in Spain. You know, you just don’t get taught that stuff in school.

I think most people are honestly ill informed,and are just so busy trying to survive everyday life to take the time to research and learn the atrocities which are and have been the American way of life. I personally never realized until I did some serious research and labored over several books of the systematic and oftentimes violent exploitation of humanity which has been our history and which is “the American way of life”. I knew that we did the Native Americans wrong, but I certainly did not know to what extent. I never realized that we systematically murdered and displaced people whose sole crime was living on land coveted by filthy greedy plutocrats who bribed the government to murder and displace entire civilizations of people on their behalf. And I certainly would never have connected the dots as to the fact that such was done globally as well, all throughout our history. I never knew until I did some serious research that our country invaded Nicaragua several times between the 1850s and 1890s; nor did I know that during that same span we invaded China, Japan, Africa, and the Philippines; each and every time on behalf of corporate interests. I tell you, when I read of how we tortured and murdered the Philipinos on behalf of the Dole Fruit Company in the 1890’s I could hardly stand to even see a can of Dole fruit on the shelf at the Grocery Store And I never knew that our CIA overthrew the government of Iran in 1953 on behalf of Standard Oil (now BP). And I never knew that our own government burned children alive in their mother’s arms on behalf of the Mining industry in the early 20th Century. I certainly never knew that our troops fired on WWI vets who were marching to DC demanding decent care after returning from war. And I only in the past few years have come to know of ALEC and the Koch Brothers, and their successful efforts to bribe our Nationally elected officials to pass legislation in their interests. I simply did not know. I was uninformed, and worse yet I was ill informed.

I tell you people, the best thing I ever did in my life was to turn off Rush Limbaugh after 20 years as a faithful listener to his propaganda on behalf of those who exploit people’s lives and circumstances, and began studying the system which has created the poverty which allows people to remain in such circumstances. The realization that our entire system has always been and continues to this day to be based upon the exploitation of people’s circumstances and daily services was a tough pill for me to swallow. I am still irritated at myself for being so easily misled, uninformed, and ill informed; and I am beyond irritated at the realization that ours is an immoral way of life, driven by people who only view their fellow human being as a commodity to exploit. We should be ashamed to pass ourselves off as a society founded on goodness; and we should repent of such and start utilizing wealth on behalf of the poor, instead of utilizing the poor on behalf of the wealthy.

It Is Up To Us (With or Without God)

39 years ago today, my sisters and myself were involved in an automobile wreck in which our AMC Gremlin was hit by a train. The AMC Gremlin was a nice economic vehicle in those days. However; our AMC Gremlin did not stand up well against train collisions. Good enough however to allow all four occupants to live to tell the tale, even now so many years later.

Now, there are those who are privy to the circumstances of that incident who say that “someone was watching over us that day”. I say that if “someone was watching over us that day”, then the train never would have hit us in the first place.

You see, I do not believe in the providence of God.
Nor do I believe in the protection of God.
Nor do I believe in the punishment of God.

What I believe in is the existence of a universe of natural principles which is completely indifferent to the well being of anyone and everyone.

I believe in the suffering of an empty stomach.
I believe in the suffering of the person who is homeless.
I believe in the suffering of the maimed and the mutilated who suffer the effects of national wars.

I believe in the effects of suffering.

I also believe that whatever happens in terms of the natural universe simply happens.

If the train hits your car so as to kill you, then that happens.
If the tree falls on the unsuspecting child and kills the tot on the spot, then that happens.
If the baby is born with Cancer, and lives a short and miserable life of suffering and premature decay before experiencing the release of death; then that happens.

Frankly, it seems to me that if there is a god (or gods); then she, he, or they; have left us on our own.

And so we exist; and so we co-exist.

On our own.

Which means that we of humanity are responsible.

We are responsible for anything within our control.

And if we opt to sublet that responsibility to our personal conception of an interactive, all powerful deity, then we fail ourselves, and we fail humanity.

If we simply trust god to feed the hungry, then the hungry will continue to suffer.
If we simply trust god to shelter the homeless, then the homeless will continue to suffer.
If we simply trust god to care for the ill, then the sick will continue to suffer.

Anything that will be accomplished, will be accomplished through us.

Pray to your god if you must, but limit your trust to what she, he, or they may do through us.

For the fact is, that faith without works is useless.

Even the Bible says so: James 2:14-17

So whether you be a spiritual Christian, a diligent Muslim, a peaceable Hindu, or even a cynical Atheist like myself; realize this:

If we of humanity do not trust in and act upon our natural sense of kindness and compassion; then it does not matter whether your god exists or not.

Because any efforts to alleviate suffering; will be done through the efforts of humanity.

With or without “god”.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas