OK, fair enough: the past 38 years of U.S. national politics (and most egregiously, the Bush Administration) makes Orwell’s 1984 look like The Collected Works of Nostradamus and anyone all too surprised by whatever wacko shit they spew out next is likely surprised that the sun rises again every morning.  That said, I hope everyone got a chance to see or hear Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Tuesday as he literally held a press conference in which he pulled down his pants, turned around, bent over, and spoke clearly and directly out of his ass into the microphone.  In the face of the global capitalist (and most specifically, “free market” capitalism) meltdown that has in fact threatened (though not crumbled) their entire horrendous ordering, Paulson announced today that the U.S. Federal government would be using at least $250 billion (that’s $250,000,000,000) to buy equity (ownership) in an untold number of privately owned banking institutions.  This, folks, is by very definition “socialism”- the public ownership of institutions, organizations, utilities, and businesses.

And at the same time that Paulson was announcing this move and recognizing that if this action weren’t taken that even greater “catastrophe” (i.e., the actual possibility of collapse and a public threat to their untamed power) would be around the corner, he added in that State ownership, even partial, was not preferred by him, the Administration, or “the American people” at all.  So let me get this straight: their privatized system (economic theory) is so good, so right, that even though it led- logically- to the complete and utter ruin of the global economy and the safety and security of millions, or billions even, of people the world over and has to be morphed to contain methods precisely and entirely diametric to their ideas, their ideas are still the best one’s that the public should support and believe in.  Riiiiiiiigghhhttt.

Like the Ford salesman who swears up and down the model you’re looking at is absolutely the best deal, best utility, most affordable, best MPG, best looking, most comfortable… but in the meantime he’s driving home a Toyota.

Now, I should be realistic here.  This, folks, is not socialism and it is exactly and only the capitalist press that calls it that.  That’s because they engage, quite regularly, in a little game that’s called “shift the conversation rightward”.  Socialism is about way more than the State owning part stake in a bank.  Capitalism has long been ready and willing to morph and incorporate non- and even anti-capitalist concepts and components; that’s one of the reasons it’s quite impressive as an economic model.  It’s almost like AIDS in that way: whatever you throw at it, it just changes to incorporate or do away with.  Labor rights, labor unions, public schools, even libraries.  Those aren’t capitalist concepts- they’re social; the socialized priority of the public sphere (things you or I come across when we leave our homes) is not inherent or insisted upon by capitalism.  At the same time, socialism doesn’t mean that the Federal government makes (more) money off the institutions of capital and debt.  That’s absurd.  Where’s my health care, college education, quality public education for that matter?  Where’s my guarantee to be kept warm through the winter, to not starve to death, to enjoy my twilight years with my family and rest?