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article imageOp-Ed: Is Socialism Democracy's Natural Course?

By Michael Bearak     Apr 2, 2010 in Politics
Many Americans are claiming that the current U.S. administration is leading the country toward socialism and not strengthening its democracy. The Obama Administration claims to be attempting to save the system, while showing signs of being socialists.
A close friend, (for the sake of the article will be referred to as "Fred") and I were talking recently about the course of America. My feeling was that it appeared that our country was being run with a socialist mentality.
As a Republican many Democrats would say that is my shoot from the hip answer because I don't support President Obama, because that was not who I voted for. Now Fred is a Democrat, and what he said next shocked me, it almost scared me.
Showing no doubt, or even a quiver Fred looked at me and said, "It is inevitable, Socialism is the natural evolution for Democracy." I was shocked I stood there in his kitchen leading against the counters just shocked. This is a man who served our country's military too.
I looked at Fred and the only words I could muster were "Really?" From there it almost started to make sense too. Fred didn't like it, he fought for democracy, but I think he saw what was coming.
He saw the current U.S. government taking over the banks, student lending, health-care, the auto industry and he realized that this is how it is going to be. This is a man who voted for President Obama too.
I listened to his rationale and when he was finished I asked him if he wanted our country to go this way? It was as if he had blinders on at that moment, he told me that, "it is what it is."
Pondering that statement and all that Fred said that evening in his kitchen I realized he might not be really "wrong" either. While I can not and will not vouch for any other democracy in the world, the United States has bread corruption, deception, and most importantly the largest catalyst greed.
People have been able to make as much money as they possibly could, many consider it "The American Dream" and in free enterprise and an open market that is a wonderful thing. Until you end up with companies like Enron, like the banks that out of greed gave to everyone regardless of credit worthiness or ability to pay. People took, they took more than they could afford to payback because they wanted to live that dream.
Democracy allowed that greed to grow and fester, and eventually because it did go unchecked it led to the current state of America now. Was Fred right? Is Socialism the natural evolution of Democracy? I am not sold on that. Personal control, limits, a degree of regulation are all ways to maintain freedom and Democracy without moving to complete government control over every major aspect of our lives.
The more the government takes control the closer we move to Socialism, full unconditional loss of freedom, autonomy, civil liberties and rights. What the United States' government is doing right now is trying to take control of the economy. Trying to take control of the behaviors that led us to this point. Is their behavior reflective of Socialism, it would appear that way. Is Democracy dead? Not yet, too many people are fighting for it.
People are fighting to keep government small, to keep them out of everyday aspects of people's lives. Still, if the current system is left unchecked and unquestioned. Allowed to do what they wish however they wish the United States very easy will slip into a system of Socialism, maybe not full Marxist view but the government will continue to take control over everything they can or they feel they "need" to take control over. What we will also see is that it will be very difficult to get back from the government what is taken from the people.
It doesn't matter who is in power either. This isn't a right-wing ranting, Republicans could do similar things the Democrats are doing. It might not be health-care, but it would be something else.
Being an American, having the freedoms that we have take responsibility and it seems that people have forgotten those responsibilities and now the government is punishing all of us.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Democracy, Socialism, President obama, National evolution
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