the stigma of socialism in historical context

October 31st, 2008  |  Published in Uncategorized

What’s old is new, apparently, especially with electoral fear-mongering.  I had heard that the label of “socialist” had been used to try to mar the political policies of many past presidents, but it was nice to find it in print.

Then, as is now, we don’t end up talking about actual policies – the effect of taxation on different groups of people and the effect of that on the economy, the amount of government oversight of industry, the role of the government in providing services and support for people in the U.S.  Instead, important policy decisions get framed in a vague and inaccurately applied label.  Awesome.

From “Most of his policies are in strict harmony with Socialist principles” | Observationalism:

Moreover, most of the Rooseveltian policies – the arid land reclamation schemes, the National forests, the leasing of coal and mineral rights, the renting of grazing lands, the construction of the Panama Canal by direct employment, the development of water powers under public ownership and control – are in strict harmony with Socialist principles?.The faith of our forefathers in the sacred principle of competition as the self-acting force which yielded ideal justice and rendered to every man according to his deserts, has departed as surely as the belief in witchcraft. [Socialists] can?t threaten me worse than Theodore Roosevelt does with his inheritance and income tax schemes and the social workers of New York with their ever-increasing demands on the city budget.