One of our biggest challenges in promoting Democratic Socialism lies in how “success” is defined in our society. My own contention is that it is time to challenge the dominant definitions of “success”.
While a large house, millions in the bank, wasteful living is the definition of success for some, for millions this is not true. Many of us would prefer simple security of basic life necessities. A comfortable home, food, medical care is what we define as success. Wealth is revered because it represents these things to us. Some of us, if we had wealth, would actually use that wealth to help others.
How much further would our society evolve, how much more could we achieve if basic necessities were assured? How many great artists, musicians, poets, writers, scientists, engineers, doctors, nurses and, dare I say politicians do we have in our midst right this minute? Yet they are oppressed by having to run a treadmill every day to merely survive? How many great ideas will never come to fruition, discarded as not profitable, would challenge the status quo or simply too expensive to pursue by the creator? Food, shelter and medicine or following their dream?
How much happier would the people in our society be if they could indulge their higher ideas? How many people are happy with a simple job like cashier, housekeeper, waiter/waitress, yet have other values to themselves and society which they cannot pursue for financial reasons? How happy are they, who continue what they do in exhaustion? I know many people think they are superior to those in “low skill” occupations and would prefer keeping the current system to perpetuate their own false belief in superiority. How much more could we achieve and help one another if we that help did not include feeding or sheltering our neighbors one day at a time and instead focused on the lifetime needs of all?
Let me be clear. I am not against someone making a profit. But there need to be limits placed to maintain balance. Those profits should NEVER come at the cost of human suffering, human life and the destruction of the planet. I wrote a piece some time back which you can find here: https://steemit.com/income/@andunityforall/maximum-income The short version is that it proposes implementing a maximum income. (Income, not wage. That means income from ALL sources.) That maximum income could be very generous, such as $100–500 million per year. It does not propose taking anything a person already possesses. It is not a lifetime cap. That is PER YEAR. If you need more than that to live on, you have serious problems. Anything above that cap would be taxed at 100%. and go back into society. Infrastructure, medical care, etc for the general population. It would also place a cap on corporate profit margins. Those caps would end shuffling of resources, increasing CEO pay infinitely and would force corporations to actually increase real wages, actually create jobs.
The claim thrown around is that we cannot afford such things as universal healthcare, housing for all and adult education. Yet we can afford bombs to support corporate profits. We can afford tax breaks for corporations to buy back their own stock. We can afford Jeff Bezos and others to have an income of billions per year while their employees file for food stamps and pass out from heat in warehouses.
This is the redistribution of wealth. It is ending the worship of false Gods for things they have not achieved, money they did not earn, ideas they did not create. This is about respecting human welfare. Ending wars. Providing for all with resources that already exist and are withheld from many for the profits of the few. It does not destroy the stock market. It ties the stock market to actual production instead of allowing it to be a casino. https://steemit.com/economic/@andunityforall/casino-economics
This is about the evolution of our society, of ourselves. This is about our own happiness and health, physical and emotional. This is about realizing our true potential as individuals and collectively. Nothing in this idea takes away from the concept of various professions earning higher wages. It makes those professions more realistic. Millions more people would apply for medical school, nursing school, scientific education and on and on if it did not incur a lifetime of debt. It would prevent millions of Americans a year from declaring bankruptcy due to medical bills, taking their savings, possessions and homes from them.
Making education available would decrease crime and create jobs. How many millions of us would take classes just because we want to if they were available at reasonable cost? How much closer would we be to each other by attending classes and finding others with similar interests?
This is the future you have been taught to FEAR. Yet the very things about this future have already come true under the current system.
Stop being afraid of words. Socialism is not a word to fear. The root of the word Socialism is social/society and the people who make up that society. By hating that word, you must admit that you hate society and therefore hate yourself because you ARE a member of society. If you hate what society has become, you play a part in it. You can do something to help improve it by spreading ideas or you can continue hiding away in your own animosity, denying your part and blaming others. Which is more mature and responsible?