Wednesday 22 March 2023 ,
Wednesday 22 March 2023 ,
Latest News
4 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Socialism is no longer a dirty word in the US – and that’s scary for some

Arwa Mahdawi
Socialism is no longer a dirty word in the US – and that’s scary for some

Here’s a fun game to play with a right-leaning American: say the word “socialism” and count the number of seconds it takes for them to scream “VENEZUELA” in response. It is unclear how many conservative Americans could identify Venezuela on a map but, boy, they all seem keen to inform you that the beleaguered country is a shining example of why socialism will never work, certainly not in the US.

For a recent example of how Republicans go completely Caracas at the mere mention of the S-word, please see Meghan McCain, the daughter of the 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. Last week, Meghan McCain had a meltdown on the daytime television chatshow The View when the subject of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic Socialist who recently unseated a 10-term New York congressman, came up.

Joy Behar, a co-host on The View, mentioned that Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, which includes outlandish proposals such as paid sick leave and healthcare for everyone, sounded like a pretty good idea. At that point McCain, another co-host (a position she clearly got for her oratorical abilities and not her famous last name) yelled over everyone that this sort of attitude makes her “head explode”. It took McCain, whose parents are worth more than $200m, a fortune that is largely inherited, 20 seconds to bring up Venezuela as an example of why socialism is bad and capitalism is good.

To bolster her argument, she quoted Margaret Thatcher, saying: “At a certain point, you run out of spending other people’s money.” McCain, who has benefited from unearned wealth all her life, concluded her rant by stating: “It’s petrifying to me that [socialism] is being normalised! Some of us do not want socialism normalised in this country.”

McCain is right. A lot of people, people so rich they forget how many houses they own (as John McCain once did), don’t want the idea that wealth should be distributed to the many, not the few, to become normalised in the hyper-individualistic, increasingly unequal US. Unfortunately for them, however, there has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards socialism in America; a country that, for a long time, has stood apart from other industrialised democracies in not developing a notable socialist movement. Socialism is no longer a dirty word in the US, certainly not among millennials, anyway, who face a far grimmer economic future than previous generations. It isn’t surprising that a number of recent polls show millennials are increasingly drawn to socialism and wary of capitalism.

The popularisation of what has been termed by some as ‘millennial socialism’ in the US arguably began with the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign gave it further momentum, and Ocasio-Cortez’s recent win added more fuel to the fire. You can see this trajectory reflected in the membership of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

Founded in 1982, it had about 6,000 members for most of its history. Shortly after the 2016 election, the organisation saw a boom in membership, reaching 11,000 paying members in December 2016. Since Trump took power, interest in the DSA has grown exponentially. A spokesman said it hit 47,000 members last week, and has “seen the fastest growth in our history following the win of Ocasio-Cortez”.

Perhaps the most significant thing about the rise of millennial socialism in the US is that it is forcing conservatives to articulate what exactly is so bad about a more equal system – often with results that are beyond parody. A writer for the ultra-conservative website the Daily Caller, for example, recently attended an Ocasio-Cortez rally and reported, completely straight-faced: “I saw something truly terrifying. I saw just how easy it would be … as a parent, to accept the idea that my children deserve healthcare and education.” Kids deserving healthcare, imagine that! It’s a slippery slope, it really is. You start with accessible healthcare and pretty soon you end up just like Venezuela.

Gender-reveal parties are getting out of hand

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? No, it’s a terrible new trend that needs to be aborted. I speak of “genital-reveal parties”, which appear to have become de rigueur these days. OK, so technically they are called “gender-reveal parties”, but since gender is socially constructed, you’re really just revealing what genitals your unborn baby comes attached with.

In case you are unfamiliar with this extremely gender-normative phenomenon, it is a ritual in which a couple simultaneously finds out and reveals the sex of their unborn child in “creative” ways. For example, the expectant parents might send their unseen sonogram results to a bakery that will prepare a cake coded with the kid’s sex. The parents then cut into the cake in front of an audience. If the middle is blue, it’s a boy. If it’s pink, it’s a girl.

While gender-reveal parties have been around for at least a decade, they have blown up in popularity recently. Party City, a party supply store with more than 900 shops in North America, launched a gender-reveal party line in 2016 and plans to double its shelf space for gender-reveal products next year.

Thanks to our desperate need for likes on social media, gender-reveal parties have become ever more elaborate.

A couple from Louisiana, for example, recently made an alligator crunch down on a watermelon filled with blue liquid to reveal they were having a boy. While this particular stunt didn’t go wrong, several others have.

Expectant parents from Philadelphia recently set off gender-reveal fireworks (yes, these are a thing) that went flying into the crowd and left some people with minor burns. But who cares about that? As I’m sure you’re dying to know, the fireworks were pink!

The spandex bandits strike again

It may be the greatest heist to go down in yoga pants history – not to mention the most Californian crime imaginable. An all-female group of shoplifters recently made off with $10,000 (£7,600) worth of leggings from a Lululemon store in Berkeley, California.

This isn’t the first time the spandex bandits have struck; police say they may be responsible for stealing more than $50,000 worth of merchandise from Lululemon stores across the state.

Now obviously, I’m not condoning stealing (don’t steal!), but the thieves were caught on camera and you have to admire their speed and style. It certainly looked as if they’d been working out. Not to mention, I think the real crime here is that Lululemon leggings cost $100 a pop.

The writer is a columnist of T

he Guardian, UK



More Op-ed stories
Growth sectors and Foreign Direct Investment Growth, development and employment are co-related and have a strong reflection and relation with economy. A small country like Bangladesh which has dense population and a big portion of them are unemployed…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
About Us
Contact Us

Powered by : Frog Hosting