Saturday, November 29, 2008

A postcript to my fifteen minutes of fame

by norman markowitz

I am continuing to roll through the internet, or rather the quote from me is, as the right debates the dangers that socialized medicine would bring to the Republican party, that is, an electorate which would live longer, healthier, more stress free lives and be far less likely to vote for politicians who keep giving them agita and acid reflux by denouncing Communists, socialists, liberals, secular humanists,domestic minorities, foreigners who don't support some combination of "free market" governments and military juntas, and all those who don't believe that the road to heaven is paved with tax cuts for the rich and the corporations.

I should say that my quote is producing a growing backlash on progressive websites among people who are realizing that the right-wing is so upset about socialized medicine because they fear that it will be popular and successful.

But I have another idea that may be of interest across the political spectrum, Although the Obama administration is not a socialist administration and does not advocate a socialist America as a long-term goal, as does Political Affairs, The Peoples Weekly World, and the major ongoing party of Socialism in the U.S. since the early 1920s, The Communist Party USA, it might do what the Roosevelt administration did in the 1930s when it established the TVA, a program of public energy, as part of a larger social experiment in a world of private power companies.

In this case, instead of merely bailing out GM, it might nationalize GM and run it as a public corporation with Ford remaining private. Along with this mixed economy model, it might then establish a policy for the U.S. auto industry which would restrict both the export of capital and import of cars from abroad, a policy of labor-consumer "protectionism."

This policy might along with saving the auto industry and producing an economic rennaissance in Michigan, be a kind of "shock therapy" for both conservatives and corporate leadership, as it was in many European countries after WWII (capitalist countries not socialist ones
further to the east).

It compelled the conservatives in countries like Britain and France to politically "modernize," to begin to offer serious capitalist alternatives to policies instead of the usual flag waving and name
calling, to spend their time seeking to denationalize industry while they came to accept and even endorse many welfare state policies (which corporations found out produced a more efficient labor force and conservative parties found out was political suicide to oppose).

Eventually, conservatives even before the Thatcher-Reagan era were able to denationalize most nationalized industries, but they were never able to abolish the major welfare state reforms, even at the height of the Thatcher Reagan era, although they did greatly undermine such policies in many countries by adopting "market oriented" administrative polices.

Nationalizing GM should be food for thought in this post Thanksgiving period for not only the left but our "conservative" friends. (I put conservative in quotes because on the more reasonable right-wing websites Marxist is put in quotes when dealing with my PA article.)