After the Parkland shooting, Wayne LaPierre, the director of the NRA, talked about a wave of “socialism” that would demand what socialists and people on both the left and right see as sensible gun laws, such as banning assault weapons. People on the left should embrace, not run away from the word “socialism” as LaPierre uses it.
Unfortunately, there are more than enough oligarchs and more than enough immoral politicians, such as House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, to ensure the child killings will continue on a regular basis. The National Rifle Association is not going to change its agenda or relent in his open purpose to arm a nation and create civil strife and division with gun violence. This country could have a mass shooting at a school on a weekly basis and the NRA would still distribute its immoral propaganda.
It’s not about the rhetoric of the message or trying to understand how a Trump supporter’s dark mind does or doesn’t work. Evil always transcends a certain level of understanding. It’s about liberals standing up for real ideas that diametrically oppose the exploitation of capitalism—ideas like universal health care, vastly improved income equality, affordable housing and equal access to education, for example—that would help the vast majority of people considerably improve their basic material lives.
The exploitation and oppression of capitalism can and often does result in people dying. In fact, the specter of death due to unaffordable health care is a central component that capitalism uses to scare the masses of people in this country to keep them in line so they will work their entire lives to enrich a relatively few wealthy people.
Stock market swings and the accompanying breathless media coverage become yet another deflection that shuts down before it even gets going a widespread discussion about the failures of capitalism, which exploits workers, embraces inequality and most often rewards the most immoral, racist, corrupt and hateful people among us, such as Trump and his family. Capitalism is the opposite of freedom and equal opportunity. The ideas of socialism once again deserve robust debate at this crucial juncture in our country’s history.
Rising income inequality in this country, a broken, for-profit health care system and worker exploitation impact the citizen, the immigrant and the undocumented worker. Capitalism depends on a desperate, unhealthy work force in which people blame one another instead of the evils of an immoral financial system that dictates, in many cases, whether one lives or dies, eats or goes hungry. Trump’s rise to power—in all its authoritarianism, vulgarity and crassness—is capitalism’s triumph, and only the people of the world can change that by uniting as one social force against the tyranny.