In the past 30 years Americans have been openly robbed by capitalists so many times that it is difficult to keep track of all of them. There was the Savings and Loan heist, the fraudulent accounting schemes of Arthur Andersen and others, which led to a stock market crash and wiped out people’s savings, there was the blatant thievery of Enron and the rest of the energy companies, costing billions of dollars in public money, and finally, there was the sub prime mortgage debacle, which put the whole world into a depression, cost millions of jobs and made numerous people homeless and penniless.
One would logically believe that there should be millions of Americans in the streets demanding an end to the system which caused all of the present misery and angrier than a hive of hornets towards those who robbed them- the capitalists. One would be greatly mistaken. They are angry at the people who would like to help them. They are very frightened, not at the robbers, but at two little words- socialism and communism. It is like a drowning person who refuses to be saved because the person offering assistance believes in one of those evil, evil words. Even stranger, they are more frightened at the more Utopian word, “communism,” than the other less Utopian word, “socialism.” If I went up to most Americans and told them I was a socialist, they would be shocked, but if I told some Americans I was a communist, I would probably have to use the electrical shock paddles to get their heartbeat started again. Most astonishing is that most of these people can’t give a rational explanation of either word- except to say they are evil and un-American. Sometimes, they have completely fallacious interpretations like believing socialism means sharing all your personal possessions with everyone else, or it means loss of freedom or a dictatorship. None of these things are true. The only reason a socialist state has to be somewhat restrictive is that it is under attack by a capitalist power like the United States.
I notice all these people at the town hall meetings on health care yelling about socialism and communism. Now, I know that a lot of this is organized by the health care companies because they know single payer health insurance would put them out of business. However, they don’t need to organize very hard because I have relatives and friends who would be terribly shocked, scared and think evil of me if they thought I was either a socialist or communist. The corporate propaganda system in this country have reached the pinnacle of their success in reversing good and evil and creating the illusion that the interests of the poor are the same as those of the rich.
I would like to examine this reversal of evil and good. I was rereading Jennifer Harbury’s book Bridge of Courage about the struggle of the mainly Mayan revolutionaries in Guatemala against government troops trained by the CIA and the School of the Americas in the 1980s and 1990s. The Mayan guerrillas wanted land reform, help for the poor people, and a cooperative society. That doesn’t sound evil to me. However, government forces were taught by the CIA that all who wanted to help the poor were communists and evil. When asked why they tortured and killed priests and nuns, that was their answer. They burned Mayan villages and killed all the inhabitants. The army’s excuse for the burning of hundreds of villages was that the villagers were helping the communists. According to eyewitness descriptions, while the army was killing the men and raping and killing the women, they used knives to disembowel the children, yelling they were killing the seeds of communism. Now, this is real evil, done by the proponents of capitalism. This is where American tax money went in the 1980s and that is what was happening while contented Americans watched the NFL on Sunday. They believed Ronald Reagan when he said that these reports by human rights groups and eyewitnesses were distortions and lies. The American people should be deeply ashamed of themselves for what happened then. I know most Americans are not child and baby killers.
Can all this ignorance be attributed solely to the propaganda system or has the advent of television and the computer had something to do with the dumbing down of America? Americans certainly don’t read as much as they once did, and they rarely read important books on history or masterpieces of literature. They pick up these books prominently displayed right at the front of the bookstore, and usually, it is a biography of some idiot in public office or a variety of other books from the numerous fools at Fox News. Europeans are appalled at the ignorance of the average American about world affairs.
Despite this general level of ignorance on exceedingly important topics, American universities can produce engineers and scientists with specialized knowledge to produce the sophisticated weaponry needed to keep the poor of other countries under the iron heel of capitalism. The United States has the intelligence necessary to build an empire and possibly destroy the world in an attempt to keep and expand it, but I am afraid does not have the humanistic knowledge and will to save Mankind or the environment. It will take a whole community of socialist governments to accomplish that.