[Just a quick note to readers: I passed the 5000 visit mark last night! Thanx to everybody who reads this stuff.]
As a follow-up to my last post, which is an article from Truthout explaining that Obama’s tax plan isn’t “socialist,” and that the Republicans are either wrong or lying (or both) when they claim the plan is socialist:
The other day, McJerk and his staff used the phrase “class warfare” to describe the plan. And Obama, in one of those moves he “has to make” in order to be “viable” as a candidate, responding with a lengthy explanation for why that isn’t true. And it isn’t; he’s not trying to kill the rich or to make them poor. He simply wants them to pay their fair share of what it costs to run a country, especially a country that trips over its own feet to make the rich able to get richer.
I miss John Edwards (infidelities notwithstanding) at moments like these. The reason I supported Edwards during his campaign was his willingness to say (in less shrill terms than I’m about to), “Damn right it’s class warfare. The rich have been conducting class warfare against the working class in this country for decades, maybe even centuries. Why shouldn’t the working class fight back?” In other words, yes it’s class warfare, but it’s not the workers that are starting it; the war has been going on, one-sided, for a long time.
If Barack Obama really were as liberal as his enemies (oops, I mean opponents) made him out to be, he’d be saying something along these lines. He wouldn’t just attack “greedy” corporations because there’s no such thing as a “not greedy” corporation. He wouldn’t keep asserting the “one bad apple” theory because they’re all bad.
As I’ve argued for years, capitalism (especially the kind of state-sponsored capitalism we practice in this country) is inequitable (and therefore unjust) by definition. The whole system is predicated on an imbalance of power; owners have it, and workers don’t. There’s no way to generate capital without exploiting and alienating the working class. Small businesses are (usually) better, because at least owners can’t shield themselves from workers by hiding behind massive layers of middle management. But as long as we’re in a system that privileges stealing the products of other people’s labor for profit they don’t share in, economic justice if awfully hard to come by.
So when Obama says he wants to “spread the wealth” around, he’s not saying he wants to level socio-economic hierarchy or to destroy the caste system we refuse to acknowledge we live in. He’s saying that the wealthy can spare *some* of their extreme advantage so that the rest of us can afford to live lives that aren’t simply about survival and false hope that someday we can be exploiters too.