The Opposite of Privatize is Socialize

The Democrats deserve the scorn they’re getting, and much more. Among other things, they deserve scorn for helping to elect Trump. When Trump said Make America Great Again, and Clinton responded by saying that it’s already great, she dismissed the suffering of working people. By abandoning the notion that the Democrats are the party working toward social justice, she allowed Trump to play that card. That helped her to lose to a vile opponent far more than when she described Trump supporters as a basket of deplorables.

Not only do the Democrats deserve scorn for creating the conditions out of which Trump grew – income inequality, deeper levels of permanent unemployment, never-ending war, a way of life that’s not just stagnant for most but is slowly getting worse – they deserve scorn for not effectively stopping Trump. Clinton and the Democrats didn’t say they were going to fix these things and build a better future. Clinton said America’s already great. She said she’d be a third Obama term, when Obama has no substance. He’s just an image. Only the Bernie Sanders crowd (denigrated and libeled and cheated out of so much by the Democrats) addressed the suffering that people are experiencing. And what did the Democrats do in response to this? The Democrats topped off their injuries with the insult of Tim Kaine. They willfully abandoned the working class for suburban Republicans. And now they can’t stop blaming Russia for their loss. All along it was their politics and their economics.

That is, it wasn’t the Russians, but the Democrats’ fidelity to the rich, and to a capitalist economy, that, ironically, led them to lose to Trump, a capitalist. Because though Trump is a capitalist, he at least promised to change things. Though most understood there was a slim chance of this actually happening, it was clear that there was more of a chance than with Hillary. The Democrats promised to Not change things. At this point Immanuel Wallerstein’s pithy definition of capitalism should be mentioned. He defined capitalism as the privatization of everything, with the aim of generating profit. And the opposite of privatization is to socialize, or nationalize resources.

Trump’s image, of course, is that of a businessman (some say he’s not a businessman at all but is instead a conman, as though there’s a difference between the two), and as a businessman he’s interested in privatizing everything. But let’s not forget, Clinton, also, was interested in privatizing everything. Like Cory Booker and other Democrats, she also championed the privatization of public schools, public utilities, water supplies, etc., and claimed that health care would never Not be for profit. The Democrats aren’t prepared to give up on privatizing everything. Maybe they no longer even know what else to do.

Trump is weak, very few people actually like him. The Republicans are weak, too. Although they control the government, they don’t have popular support in much of the country. They have control of a house about to collapse. And yet, instead of striking their weak adversaries, who are pursuing such proven failures as tax cuts for the rich, the Democrats are wasting everyone’s time focusing all of their attentions on Russia (which, even if true, doesn’t really make Trump much worse than he already is). For all of this, and much, much more (like welfare reform, drone strikes, Obama’s attacks on whistle blowers, for profit health care, the sprawling prison system, failure to prosecute the banksters that left millions without homes and jobs, etc.), the Democrats deserve scorn, and more; they deserve to be abandoned – in favor of a movement that will not just stop privatization, but will reverse it. A movement that will not merely manage poverty, but will eliminate it.

Peter Berllios is a Brooklyn based writer and artist. He can be reached at and on Twitter @PeterBerllios