Friday, July 24, 2009

Loss of Freedoms?

Just last night I was on Facebook and happened upon a poll about whether or not Americans believed that Universal Health Care should be adopted in the USA.

I was just floored at the amount of responses voting "No". I mean, WHY wouldn't someone want their health care provided out of their own tax dollars that they are already paying? One of the reasons I came across is (that for some strange reason) Americans seem to be very afraid of socialism and many wrote that giving the US government the right to set up a UHC system is tantamount to "starting a slide down the slippery slope to socialism" OR they are afraid of losing their "freedoms".

What is it about socialism that is so very bad? According to Wikipedia, socialism is defined as: Socialism refers to any one of various theories of economic organization advocating governmental or whole community ownership, and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a more egalitarian method of compensation.

To wit:

In 1989, at Stockholm, the 18th Congress of the Socialist International adopted a Declaration of Principles, saying that

Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice, and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents, and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society.[40]

The objectives of the Party of European Socialists, the European Parliament's socialist bloc, are "to pursue international aims in respect of the principles on which the European Union is based, namely principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy, respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and respect for the Rule of Law." Today, the rallying cry of the French Revolution – "Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity" – now constitute essential socialist values.[41]

In 1995, the British Labour Party revised its political aims: "The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that, by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create, for each of us, the means to realise our true potential, and, for all of us, a community in which power, wealth, and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few."[42] Cabinet minister Herbert Morrison said, "Socialism is what the Labour Government does."[38]

Now, why would that be so bad? It achieves so much for so many, and considering that the vast majority of Americans are living at or below the poverty level, especially in light of all the recent lay offs, why would universal health care be terrible. Why would a small form of socialism be a bad thing?

One thing I'm quite convinced of is the loss of this ethereal idea that Americans (in general) have of "freedom" is very wrong. What freedoms do Americans have that citizens of other first world countries do not. Well, we're once again back to the battle cry of the French: "Equality, Liberty, and Fraternity". Or "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", if you will. Pretty much the same thing for the average Joe. Could it be the loss of gun ownership? Well, I can see problems with that one, considering how many people in America own guns...but is that what it is all about?

Or is it simply propaganda that is perpetuated by the American press? Again, back to the "ethereal ideal" business. Sure, I can see how most Americans have this idea in their heads about freedom and it is simply fear of losing something they feel is precious to them.

But see, Americans don't have to fear bands of roving, angry, hungry, and drugged children armed with guns shooting everything in sight because they've been told to and are afraid not to shoot. Americans don't have to worry about their homes being taken and given to government or party officials, or being forced to live in ghettos, nor even do they need to fear persecution for their religious beliefs.

So, what are they really afraid of?

I shake my head as I ponder this problem. Perhaps one day I might have an answer...perhaps it is just unanswerable.


lilDdownunder said...

I am with you, I can't believe that so many people on a Facebook poll voted against universal healthcare coverage. I linked to an article yesterday from Newsweek that offered up 7 Falsehoods from both sides of the issue and was very fair and I had a friend comment back about "Yeah, but Aus has 21 million people and the U.S. has 301, don't you think that makes a difference?" I don't think healthcare should be dependent on whether you have a good job or come from a wealthy background, EVERYONE should have access to it. My friends here just can't believe that some people don't have the "privilege" of visiting a doctor when they get sick in the U.S.

kitten said...

Yep, you got that right. I got very lucky, when I lived in New Orleans my dr's discovered I had a tumour. On my spinal cord. Thank god for the university hospital! I didn't pay a dime for any of the surgery, etc. They used a sliding scale to base fees on. i was unemployed due to severe pain from tumour pressing on spinal cord.

Had surgery, everything was peachy keen. Had I been back in SC when it happened, I'd still be paying off over a quarter mil bill to the neurosurgeon/anesthetists/hospital/etc. I live in chronic pain. My meds in the USA were costing about a grand per month. They now cost about $100. Talk about difference! Oh yeah and the dr's here treat me like a person...not with suspicion like I'm someone looking for drugs. Nuff said, hey? I'm glad to be here and here I will stay. I fell much happier just being away from all that negativity that comes with being bombarded by American tv. *shrugs* I just don't get it anymore, and glad that I don't :)