Foot in the Door

Isn’t it perfectly clear that the uproar over a public option in the health care reform bill now squeezing its way through Congress is about nothing but the foot in the door to socialized medicine and ultimately to other socialized things?

What a break that would be when you look around and see what capitalism hath wrought. While the ice-caps melt, corporate America is making billions on the dooming of the planet.

Capitalism developed out of England’s industrial revolution in the 18th Century. Today, it is a global phenomenon; multi-national monopoly capitalism.

Why have the people of the world let this happen?

The depredations of capitalism were known back in the 18th Century when Karl Marx made it perfectly clear that the system stinks and is only good for the rich and the bourgoisie and the working class gets screwed.

His definitive analysis of capitalism with the publication of his book, “Das Kapital” spilled the beans. Its first volume was published in 1867. His warning goes back even further than that—to 1848 when he wrote “The Communist Manifesto”.

John Molyneux, a British socialist, activist, and interpreter of Marxist theory explains it this way, “Capitalism is a mass of interlocking contradictions. The contradiction between the capitalist class and the working class is rooted in the exploitation that takes place in every capitalist workplace. The fact is capitalism cannot do without the working class; it needs it to produce its profits. And the more capitalism grows and expands, the more it is compelled to increase the size and potential power of its mortal enemy. The bourgeoisie can win battle after battle but it cannot win, or end, the war. The class struggle can end only with the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the abolition of capitalism.”

One of capitalism’s meanest effects—the free market’s assault on the environment—the one resource mankind cannot afford to lose.

A handful of parasites live off the backs of the workers. Every bit of the capitalists’ vast wealth is stolen from working people. Workers get paid for only a part of what they produce. The surplus value that they create goes straight into the hands of the capitalists as profits.

A free-market ideology has no regard for human life; capitalist elites and their partners in the White House and Congress, turned the financial sector into a giant Ponzi scheme.

In the insurance industry, so far this year, 142 insurance merger deals have taken place in the U.S., with a total value of $5.3 billion, putting insurance tenth among all industries, according to Mergerstat, the leading provider of merger and acquisition statistics.

The U.S. health system accounts for a higher portion of the gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37th out of 191 countries in its performance, the UN World Health Organization report finds.

The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of GDP on health services, ranks 18th. Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second-placed Italy.

But it seems people still haven’t gotten it.

Since the era of Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States, (1981-1989), the labor movement in America has slowly but inexorably been whittled away.

“Reaganomics”, the name for President Ronald Reagan’s supply-side economics, basically deregulated corporations and granted tax cuts for the rich.

The rest of the country suffered and still suffers. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs; millions are threatened with loss of their homes; millions have seen their retirement funds melt before their eyes; millions are threatened with loss of health care. As Americans on Main Street are being devastated, executives of bailed out banks continued to receive billions in bonuses.

The working class is in a state of paralysis today. Corporate America has smashed the unions, bought out Congress and the Executive Branch and rules supreme. President Barack Obama, a creature of the corporate oligarchy, carries out their orders. His betrayal of the people who elected him is painfully obvious.

But the country is in a fragile state. With two senseless and futile wars sapping our treasure and human resources for more than seven years and other wars continually threatening, the ruling elite faces an economic collapse.

Turning the nation into a militarized state seems the only way to keep it going.

With that famous phrase “military-industrial complex”, used for the first time on January 17, 1961, President Eisenhower warned, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist…”

Capitalism is, again, facing its eternal contradiction.

Is this what the members of Congress, fighting the “public option”, fear most—the erosion of capitalism and that foot in the door to some form of socialism, or maybe just some good old democracy?

Socialism may require a little more than that. The sweep of history.

STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN, writer-producer-director of documentaries, spent thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC. His memoir is now in print. See www.amahchewahwah.com, e-mail stevefl@ca.rr.com




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STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN, writer-producer-director of documentaries, spent thirty years in Network News at CBS and ABC. His memoir is now in print. See www.amahchewahwah.com, e-mail stevefl@ca.rr.com

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