Socialism: one of the dirtiest words in the American vernacular. It’s a word we’ve been terrified of practically since it was coined in the 1800’s, but never more-so than during the “red scare” of the twentieth century. But in reality, socialism isn’t what some of you think it is. And what’s more, you benefit from socialism every single day, without even realizing it.
People often confuse communism and socialism, despite those two words holding wildly different definitions. We could try to explain to you how they’re different, and what socialism actually is, using textbook definitions and examples of real-world socialist programs from around the world, but let’s be honest: that isn’t going to really get the job done.
So instead, to illustrate all the ways socialism is making your life better, I’m going to lay out a vision of an alternate America for you. An America with no socialism whatsoever, where America has stripped every semblance of socialism from our economics and replaced it entirely with unbridled capitalism. In this fictional version of America, we’ve abandoned our “mixed economy,” which blends socialism and capitalism, and replaced it with the latter, full-bore.
Without socialism, police and fire departments are now privatized entities who will only offer you assistance if you have third-party insurance coverage. When you call 911, a dispatcher contacts your insurance company, gets clearance to send aid, and then dispatches police or fire units to your home. The people with better, more expensive policies get help first. The people with no coverage get no help at all.
Some people determine this system to be selfish and unfair, so they become vigilantes, serving their own justice free of charge. But it isn’t just the rampant criminals they’re up against… it’s also those private police armies, who aren’t too keen on pro-bono vigilante groups cutting into their profit margins.
Gun sales explode as people arm themselves to protect their homes. This also causes a surge in accidental shootings, and with no firearm regulations in place, America descends back into the lawless wild west.
The costs of medical care and pharmaceuticals skyrocket at an uncontrollable pace. There’s no more Medicare, Medicaid, or state health programs, so children, the elderly, the poor, and people with chronic illnesses suffer the hardest, and are the first to die from a lack of care. There’s no more emergency room visits for the uninsured, because there’s no government revenue to foot the bill, so people die in waiting rooms by the hundreds each month, and in their homes or in the streets by the thousands.
Free clinics set up by Doctors Without Borders, the UN, and other charitable organizations are frequently attacked by private police forces and mercenaries hired by medical insurance companies and hospitals, feeling their business is being interfered with. Some are lucky enough to get substandard care before the next raid… most are too afraid to even try to make it to the temporary clinics, if they even know where they are to begin with.
With no socialism, public education is now a thing of the past. If you can afford private education, or in the rare instance where your employer offers education benefits for your family, then you’ll learn. Within a generation, however, most Americans can hardly read, write, or perform even basic math like multiplication or division. Most education relates to specific trades; literature, music, and other fine arts are rarely, if ever, taught in schools.
With no real profit motive, most of America’s roads either slip into disrepair or are simply wiped out and turned into industrial or commercial space. The roads that do exist — Starbucks Highway, Coca Cola Boulevard, and The Holiday Inn Express(way) — are paid for with excessive tolls, store credit, or club memberships. Residential neighborhoods go without maintenance and become dirt roads within twenty years, except in wealthy gated communities who can hire private contractors to keep their roads paved.
SUV and truck sales skyrocket as smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles can no longer manage the pothole-riddled roads and unplowed snowy thoroughfares of an America with no socialism. As a result, climate change dramatically worsens, but only for a while: with soaring gas prices, poor roads, and crumbling bridges, many Americans end up walking, riding bicycles, or even riding horses. Americans also become healthier… so I guess those are two bits of positive news in this article.
The military no longer belongs to a centralized Federal government, nor is it maintained by individual States. Instead, the military is now comprised of militias and mercenary groups either wholly owned by corporations, or contracted out by those corporations. States enlist unpaid volunteer militias to protect America’s homeland, but all foreign military intervention is now directly related to resources needed by corporations or the commercial interests thereof.
With no federal military control, the ownership of America’s nuclear arsenal is divvied up region-by-region. In some areas, States seize control of nuclear arms using their volunteer militias, but these can easily fall victim to rogue commanders using their arms for their own dastardly ends. In other regions, corporations seize control of nuclear weaponry, and this tends to be the safest option, as corporations are more likely to break these weapons apart than actually deploy them.
But with America’s nuclear arsenal suddenly exposed to risk, China and Russia find themselves considering independent or allied invasions of the United States, with the hopes of preventing those weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Terrorist organizations flock to America to attempt to gain access to these weapons, too, and are all too willing to take on mercenary or volunteer militia armies, knowing they won’t get much backup. America suddenly faces more danger from domestic and foreign threats alike than it ever has.
Still Hate Socialism?
We could keep going with hundreds of examples. We didn’t even mention working conditions souring, or plummeting compensation for American laborers. We didn’t talk about skyrocketing consumer costs, or the prospect of an advertising “cola war” devolving into an actual armed conflict, where the question “We don’t have Coke, is Pepsi okay?” might be grounds for public execution.
An America without socialism wouldn’t be an America any of us would want to actually live in. It would be a dystopiate hell-hole, and most of America would become a third-world country within a matter of decades, if not years or even months. That’s not to say an America with 100% socialism would be much better, of course. The point here is that America needs to have a mixed economy. And it’s high time Americans come to appreciate all that socialism has done for us, and everything it can do for us, too.