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Research Paper Communications 110 TA: Thursday 11:30

Why Socialism never took root in America

Michael Woo 301178741

Every day , millions of Canadians are awoken by alarm clocks powered by hydroelectricity powered by BC Hydros public power monopoly , regulated by the federal National Energy Board . They then take a clean shower in clean water provided by the same hydroelectricity utility . After a nice shower they walk downstairs and turn the on the TV to the Canadian Radio and Television Commission regulated channels that the national environmental administration determined the weather to be like for this week , using satellites regulated by the CSA . While watching TV they eat their AGR inspected food and drink the clean water also provided by municipal water utility . The clock shows the time , kept accurate by the US Naval observatory regulated by Canadian provincial and territorial governments . During this busy morning by other Canadians , I stand outside by bus stop and take public transit to the bus station regulated by Translink Canada on the roads built by local , provincial and federal department of transportation . At my public research schools WAC library I log onto the internet developed by the National Science Foundation to write my paper on why socialism

Socialism has a bad connotation in America due to its heavily capitalist ideology; It was a product of history- the cold war . The difference in capitalism and socialism reached its highest point with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 . His conservative , free-market principles competed directly with the Soviet socialist principles and views . With the collapse of the USSR , it could be seen as the rise of America as the success of capitalism . The foundation of the capitalist nation was through the American Dream . The American Dream was the concept that anyone could be a success regardless of their educational , financial or cultural background , through hard work and personal effort . Anything that could interfere with a persons hard work in achieving the American Dream was seen to be evil . Socialism involves individual sacrifice for the rest of the community . (eg taxes) Obama was once quoted to saying he wants to , spread the wealth around at a conference , a direct threat to the freedom to pursue the American Dream and the capitalist party , the Republicans . He was heavily attacked by the media; While Obamas goal wasnt to discourage industry , many people of the people will feel that socialism discourages ambition . After all , what would be the point of working harder if it means increased taxes? Individualists who hear that taxes are raised would think that their hard earned money would be allocated to give to other

people, even though they would benefit from what the government spends it on. The amount of service the government spends back to the people would be more than the amount taxed. The US culture is largely based on individualism, to a much larger extent such as Asian cultures. In the mainstream American culture, a high school student moves from home to go to University, then moves out to live on his own as far as possible from home. (eg Seinfield). In Asian cultures, people traditionally stay with their family until marriage then move out to live near their extended family. Individualism also sets that people can achieve things on their own and become self- made millionaires such as Mark Zukenburg or Bill Gates. This mindset plus being taught to fear strangers will lead to the rejection of an ideology of putting their well being and wealth into the hands of others.

In modern context the out of luck but soon to be rich millionaire are being exploited by the Republican party. Socialism in original conception is defined as the working class having control of the means of production. Yet socialism and socialist policies are completely different. Simply controlling the means of production would not be socialist. As it is arguably a state of capitalism when the tiny elite (business owners) control production (jobs), the USSR and USA could be seen as essentially the same. The Nomenklatura,

despite being Communist, played the same role as the Wall Street. Neither of them was or would be Socialist.

1)

Socialism never took root in America because the poor see

themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. (John Steinbeck). 2) I think it's because we're still addicted to the Horatio Alger fantasy

drug. Despite all the damage and all the evidence to the contrary, the average American still wants to hang on to this belief that maybe, just maybe, he or she (mostly he) just might make it big after all. So don't attack the rich man, because one day that rich man may be me! (Michael Moore).

These quotes are exactly why Joe the Plumber exists as a media figure. Although he doesnt have any realistic large business plans support himself or the nation, he clings on to the mindset that he will make it big and views himself as a millionaire on hard times, just waiting for the chance to come his way. The American Dream indoctrination makes voting against the upper class makes people in America feel like they would be voting against their own future,

despite money being concentrated between the shrinking upper elite class. The average American with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming

rich than face the reality than the reality of being poor. (Jo hn Dickson). Optimism regarding Wealth acquisition overpowers the slim reality of reality. The meritocracy civil system originally designed in good faith has given way to a major class of people believing the amount of money earned would be absolutely proportionate to intellect and effort in work. Although there is a correlation between this relationship, hard work and intelligence would no longer play a part in wealth past a certain point when a person becomes so wealthy due to other forces such as greed or nepotism. Nepotism ruins the concept of meritocracy as it ignores the economic natural selection most commonly found in the middle class. Unfortunately, the faade of meritocracy has been embedded in our culture so we view that the major reason that a person is in poverty is that theyre dumb, lazy, or into drugs, and overlook the fact that it is mainly their birth into a system that has no advantages in a lower socialeconomic class. From the delusion that anyone can make it in America, the opposite stands true: A lack of ambition is the reason for anyone poor or anything not working out. Prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all men, women, and children are created equal and shall not starve. (Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five)

The constitutional foundations and the history of US are the two most underlining factor in Americas dislike of socialism. Steinbecks implications of

the word socialism meant an adequate income tax for everyone, decent social programs for the needy, and decent wages for ordinary jobs. Joe the Plumber does not think about the tax burden on the shrinking middle class if he does become elite. He doesnt realize that the elite will do anything to keep being exclusive, will always chase after the American Dream and only realize on his deathbed, before realizing he has waited his entire life to never win the lucky lottery-style windfall. In the modern capitalstic and meritocratic civil system, the poor will become poorer as middle class remain complicit in the richs rise to becoming richer.