Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tony Benn in the Wisconsin Cap Times

Socialist Tony Benn
John Nichols reviewed the life and work of British parliamentarian Tony Benn, an unapologetic socialist in a world which had moved past his political views. From Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's implementation of free-market reforms, which enabled working-class Britons for the first time in decades to own their own home, while breaking the power of insufferable, abusive trade unions, Great Britain embraced a renaissance of industry privatization, along with economic prosperity and renewed international preeminence in the world.
Despite his wrong standing on economics (and for a time, history), Tony Benn's five questions are a remarkable introduction in the power and necessity of citizen participation in democracy:

'What power have you got?'

'Where did you get it from?'

'In whose interests do you use it?'

'To whom are you accountable?'

'How do we get rid of you?'

If one applied these questions to President Barack Obama, the following answers might come forth:

'What power have you got?' -- A pen and a phone (although President's power derives from the Constitution, and the consent of the governed.)

Where did you get it from?' - My pride and self-regard in the intellectual superiority of progressive principles and change of the sake of change.

'In whose interests do you use it?' - My own, and those of Wall Street and academic elites.

'To whom are you accountable?' - no one, unless Congress finally decides to impeach me then remove me from office.

'How do we get rid of you?' - see above, America!
For the record, President Obama's socialist policies have helped create a President who thinks that he is acountable to no one. Such is the face of all starry-eyed, true-believing socialists.


  1. Neither Obama nor his policies are "socialist", you drooling simpleton. Contrary to conservative groupthink, few economic systems are truly capitalist or socialist. Most are mixed economies with elements of both private enterprise and public ownership. Socialism is a system wherein the population of a nation controls the means of production, not private individuals. There are many socialist elements in the U.S. including public beaches, public transportation, and public parks. Concomitantly, there are numerous capitalist elements, as evidenced by the millions of active businesses operating in the U.S.
    Here, Art---learn something, Junior: Barack Obama has done nothing to move the ideological pendulum in the direction of socialism. In fact, he has been a tribune of private industry, often saving private businesses from bankruptcy. By contrast, Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, by establishing Social Security in 1933, and Lyndon B. Johnson, by making Medicare the law of the land in 1965, swung the ideological pendulum in the direction of Socialism.

    In his first year in office, Barack Obama authorized $80 billion from the Troubled Relief Assets Funds to loan to General Motors and Chrysler to keep them out of bankruptcy. The result is that two Fortune 500 companies benefited directly from Obama's actions. A socialist would have submitted legislation to the U.S. Congress, proposing to nationalize the nation's automobile industry, putting its ownership into public hands.

    One could argue that the bailout was "crony capitalism" in that the two automobile companies, endowed with highly compensated lobbyists, received the loan while many other companies went bankrupt. Shoring up private companies is not socialism. In fact, it is the antithesis of socialism.
    A socialist would have introduced legislation to nationalize the American healthcare industry, effectively eliminating the nation's private health insurance market. Americans would lose the option of purchasing health insurance on the private market, and Medicare would be extended to every American. All Americans would have full dental and medical insurance provided to them by the federal government.

    Ironically, Obama's plan is very similar to the one offered by Republican President Richard M. Nixon in 1974. Nixon's plan, like Obama's plan, was a comprehensive Health Insurance Reform Program which would mandate that all Americans have health insurance, with the federal government subsidizing those who could not afford it. Nixon said in his 1974 State of the Union Address: "The time is at hand to bring comprehensive, high quality health care within the reach of every American." Ironically again, the Democratically controlled U.S. Congress did not move on Nixon's plan, arguing that it would be a boon to the insurance industry.

    If Obama were truly a Socialist, one would think that actual Socialists would be singing his praises. In fact, the opposite is true. Brian Patrick Moore was the presidential nominee of the Socialist Party USA in 2008. He proudly wears the Socialist label and gets offended when he hears Obama being called a socialist. For Moore, Obama is "an insult to socialism." Moore is one of Obama's most vociferous critics. Moore calls Obama "a corporate lackey owned by interest groups" and says that Obama "supports programs that benefit the status quo and protects the powerful capitalist system."
    Oh, and have you notice the stock market during this "socialist's" tenure?
    Until simplistic waste products such as you learn the most basic definitions of "capitalist" and "Socialist". we will continue to mock and ridicule you call you what you and your ilk are: ignorant fucking assholes.

  2. Replies
    1. Your comment is ignorant, since blogs cannot be! Just readers.

  3. Thank you, Capital Times, for printing my letters. I am so welcomed and pleased when I find that even Progressive papers are open to free speech and freer ideas. Please visit and share:

  4. "Ideas"? You? Breitbart/Drudge/Fox "News"/Hannity/Beck talking points. That's it, that's all. "Devoid of ideas" is more like it.