Repost from the old site:
If you have the time, feel free to check out this fine piece of writing (now years old) on the apparently defunct, but strange and excellent blog Ductape Fatwa (it even has a brilliantly odd name). It’s the terrifying and tragic tale of two college grads who descend into poverty and then homelessness.
This piece sums up why I am a socialist. At this point, with free market capitalism on a roll across the world and the socialist world in tatters, in theory as well as in practice, it is time for a minimalist socialism.
Existing capitalism is so often such a disaster in the world today, yet alternatives too it so scarce, that let us strike hard at capitalism’s most outrageous crimes, and worry about the lesser ones later.
Let us forget the lesser transgressions like inequality, rich-poor gaps, consumerism, crime, prostitution, moral breakdown, corruption, market “ethics”, racism, winners and losers mindset, exploitation, capitalism versus socialism, planned obsolescence, environmental destruction and the rest.
Let us petition for a socialist minimum: How about food, decent shelter, running water, plumbing, access to transportation, work and medical and dental care for anyone willing and able to work.
After all, for all of the problems with the socialist states, there are no homeless in Cuba. Homelessness was rare to nonexistent in the much-derided former socialist states in Eastern Europe – now it is everywhere.
The essence of capitalism, and one of its worst crimes, is that a working man gets up in the morning, looks at his reflection and realizes that he is one layoff away from losing it all.
This is the terror that the capitalist wants to strike into the hearts of workers – it is known as “labor discipline” and along with such oddities as “the benefits of high unemployment” it is actually taught in university courses of the dismal science called economics.
Why, in the wealthiest country on Earth, should anyone be homeless?
And why don’t more Americans resonate with the story linked above? What will it take? Will it have to happen to them before they resolve to do something about it?