Whether or not President Obama is actually a socialist lies entirely in the meaning of the word
Socialism: one little word that strikes panic in the hearts of Americans for fear that their ideals of freedom will be jeopardized.
After attending Dr. Thomas Jorsch’s lecture, I now realize that some Americans’ ideas about socialism are incorrect and that the criticisms of President Obama being a socialist are based solely on ignorance.
Dr. Jorsch defined socialism as public ownership of the means of production. The people collectively own and operate the businesses and companies instead of wealthy CEOs. The goal of a pure, democratic system of socialism is that everyone works for everyone else’s benefit.
Although several things about socialism were brought to light after attending his lecture, there are still a variety of issues that are still unclear to me.
First, look at the definition of socialism. Merriam-Webster describes socialism as “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
This follows along with what many Americans believe socialism to be: government ownership. While searching through various historical and economic references, I was unable to find a concrete definition of socialism. Some said public ownership while others said government ownership.
This difference over the technical definition of socialism may be all the American people need to believe that Obama actually is a socialist. If we follow the meaning of government ownership, then not just Obama, but the entire U.S. government is headed toward socialism.
If we follow Dr. Josrch’s definition of socialism, that the people own the means of production, then perhaps it is possible. It is my belief, however, that socialism would only be possible if America was a true democratic society, where the people actually have control over the means of production.
Even though we elect our politicians and lawmakers by popular vote, it can be argued that we really don’t have any power.
The belief that everyone could actually work for everyone else’s benefit is something that I wish America could be. Historically, Native American tribes existed in this type of fashion for generations.
However, in the current belief system that Americans have today, it would be almost impossible for people to operate under a socialist society. Too many people today are motivated by greed and many would exploit the system by attempting to be “better” than everyone else.
Dr. Jorsch called himself an optimist and believes that everyone wants to work and contribute to the betterment of society. I, too, am an optimist, but I’m also a realist. Not everyone wants to work and American’s are too individualist to work for the community instead of only thinking of themselves.
Personally, belief that a people’s ownership type of socialism can work in America is utopian. Unless America goes through a revolutionary period in which society becomes collective and the American people reshape their beliefs, then socialism in America will never be possible.