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Why so Socialist? Or, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Last year, the mainstream media (un-affectionately known as the MSM) and a number of pundits on the left were caught completely off guard when posters of President Obama began appearing mysteriously in Los Angeles and Atlanta.  It was a brief story, but it made a big splash around the internet.

Well, seemingly unrelated to the “joker poster story” is a Gallup poll released last week that revealed that over a third (36%) of Americans view socialism positively.  Equally noteworthy is that over half (53%) of Democrats who were polled view socialism positively.

“Socialism” was one of seven terms included in a Jan. 26-27 Gallup poll. Americans were asked to indicate whether their top-of-mind reactions to each were positive or negative. Respondents were not given explanations or descriptions of the terms.

Americans are almost uniformly positive in their reactions to three terms: small business, free enterprise, and entrepreneurs. They are divided on big business and the federal government, with roughly as many Americans saying their view is positive as say it is negative. Americans are more positive than negative on capitalism (61% versus 33%) and more negative than positive on socialism (36% to 58%).

Given Americans’ 36% positive views of socialism, it is surprising that only 10% view ‘free enterprise’ and ‘entrepreneurs’ negatively.   In addition, an overwhelming 95% of Americans polled view small business positively.

It seems incongruous that a majority of Democrats could favor socialism while at the same time an even larger majority favor free enterprise.  This leads one to wonder, do Democrats really understand socialism?

Definition of socialism:

  1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
  2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory. 
  3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

If a majority of Democrats favor socialism and, by a wider margin, favor free enterprise too, it seems that many Democrats don’t understand that there can be no ‘free enterprise’ under a socialist system.

This leads us back to the mysterious joker posters.

Following the erruption over the emergence of the posters, Robert Dougherty wrote a good piece, correctly pointing out that the Obama as the joker comparison is inaccurate:

The Joker was many things, but he was hardly a socialist. In fact, the Joker is the polar opposite of a socialist, and anyone who watched The Dark Knight would know that. Socialism is the result of an all-powerful central government that runs every aspect of life — but the Joker subscribes to anarchy, one of socialism’s polar opposites.

If the Joker was a socialist, he would be destroying Gotham in the name of an all-powerful state. Instead, the self-described “agent of chaos” nearly brought down the state itself, and all of its most cherished institutions, so that nothing could bring order to Gotham.

Like the inaccuracy of confusing the Joker’s anarchism with socialism, so too it seems are people confusing socialism with freedom. 

This raises a very interesting question:  We know that many Democrats favor big government.  We know that many of the policies of a big government tend to lead to the state control of commerce (aka socialism).  The question is, do those who support socialism realize that, in doing so, they are eliminating their freedom?

You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Read the entire Gallup poll article here.

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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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