|Jim Devine wrote:
>> Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.
> At least socialism is not a bad word anymore, so I'd say this is a good
I'LL ECHO JIM IN saying that it the word has been (mis)interpreted and
understood in so many ways that it has largely been drained of meaning and,
in the present context, is simply identified with massive government
intervention to clean up the mess created by Wall Street.
So I'd hestitate to say that "socialism", in a meaningful way, is becoming
more "popular" at this stage. I think it's more a case of economic fear and
uncertainty overcoming the inherited dread of Socialism and Big Government
by desperate Americans willing to give the Obama administration a chance.
The identification of the term with the administration's present efforts
could turn out to be as much a bad thing as a good thing.
If the administration has the good fortune to preside over a recovery,
"socialism" qua "government intervention" will become widely acceptable and
should provide openings for the left to push a progressive agenda further,
as happened under the New Deal.
If the crisis continues to deepen, however, we can expect many disaffected
Americans who are now giving Obama the benefit of the doubt to turn to
right-wing demagogues blaming the mounting unemployment and plummeting
living standards on the failed "socialistic" as policies of the administration
well as of "greedy Wall Street speculators". We know where that
poisonous amalgam has led in the past.