Scripting News: The world is socialist, part II.

I try to save big ideas for January 1, every year.

Hard things to write, things that take a while to think about, both as ideas, and how I want to approach it in writing.

On January 1, 2011, I wrote a piece called The world is socialist.

It was intended as a rebuttal to the idea that was going around that our President is a socialist, somehow more radical than all his predecessors, and that was somehow a threat to people who live in the United States.

It was said a lot during the campaign (I’m looking at you Peterffy) and now in the aftermath, they’re still trotting it out. We’re going off the cliff because the President is socialist. It’s so sad to see people so adrift, for a couple of big reasons.

1. The President is no more socialist than any other President.

2. The world is socialist (as I said in the piece I wrote).

Even the wild west, the supposed ideal of individuality, was highly socialist. The government gave people free land. The government moved the Native Americans out of the way when the Europeans wanted to harvest the buffalo or steal their land. Or is “liberty” something that only applies to white folk?

Snowstorms are socialist as are hurricanes. When the city gets dumped on we have the roads cleared by the Department of Sanitation, government workers. You don’t get a specific bill for this, it’s covered under your taxes.

And taxes. Rich folk pay more, because they get more. The companies they own use more roads, water, education, police. We have to pay for these services. If you don’t want to contribute, then you shouldn’t take the services. That is, you should move somewhere else. Because just by living you’re using the protective services of the government, the police, the military, etc.

And health care. Should your life be ruined because you get a curable disease? We’ve decided no. Is that socialist? Perhaps. But then disease, like snow and hurricanes, is socialist too.

Well, read the piece. In the follow-up to the election this would be a nice one to get out of the way. We, who voted Democratic this year, are no more or less socialist than you are. If you think otherwise, then tell me how. Do you not drive on roads? Do need to breathe clean air? Do you go to public events that are kept peaceful by the police? Do you like to have clean water running into your house? Do you want your neigbors to flush their toilets into the street? Etc.


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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