Posts Tagged ‘corporate profits’

Socialism, lies and the right-wing media

December 5, 2012

Listen to an hour or two of conservative media and you’re likely to hear the words “socialism” or “socialist” applied to President Barack Obama or the Democratic Party, if not both.

The use of those words by eminent right-wing talkers such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, in fact, has been so promiscuous that my bafflement at the label has withered thanks to repeated exposure. Then I saw some new figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and my outrage at this misnomer flared up again.

First, let’s look at the nature of socialism. In The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, the late Robert Heilbroner — a socialist himself, as well as a professor of economics at New York City’s New School — defined the movement thus: “a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production.”

Heilbroner, who died in 2005, was not complimentary about socialism, nor was he sanguine about its future. “Born of a commitment to remedy the economic and moral defects of capitalism, it has far surpassed capitalism in both economic malfunction and moral cruelty,” he wrote. He added that it was not clear “[w]hether socialism in some form will eventually return as a major organizing force in human affairs.” Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: