Monday, October 20, 2008

Why So Afraid of Socialism?

The YouTube clip at the end of this post comes from Friday's edition of "Real Time" hosted by Bill Maher. His guests included Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent who describes himself as a democratic socialist. Glory be!! Another American politician to whom I can easily relate, and the only self-defined socialist in the US Senate. Along with the other two guests on Real Time this week, actor Ben Affleck, and multi-talented comedian Martin Short, conversation centered around socialism - the democratic type practiced in many European countries and Canada.

Socialism. The very word strikes fear in the hearts of too many Americans. However, if a politician is shrewd enough to call it Populism - then it sneaks in by the back door. Bernie Sanders is too straightford a character to mince his words in order to pander to his public.

Socialism. It's impossible to define it in a few words. Researching the internet on the subject only serves to confuse a simple mind like mine. In the smallest of nutshells, and slightly tongue-in-cheek, the "2 Cows Philosophy" defines it thus:

You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. So what?

Interestingly, the same list also defines:

A CHRISTIAN: You have two cows. You keep one and give one to your neighbor.

Compare "A Socialist" with "A Christian". It's odd, isn't it, that in a country so proud of its Christian values, socialism is derided and feared ?

Throughout the show on Friday evening Bernie Sanders' responses elicited enthusiastic cheers from the audience. Granted, it was a largely liberal audience, but the fact that a socialist's words were accepted by them so graciously was a baby step forward. In the United States socialism is more often than not equated with communism. It's a serious mistake which has been fed to the public by right-wing pundits.

A quick look at the natal chart of Bernie Sanders then. Perhaps he has the astrological patterning to make a brand of socialism palatable to Americans.

Is there some reflection of his political leanings here? Aquarius planets perhaps, or strong Uranus - both have connections with socialist thinking. Born 8 September 1941, New York NY. No birth time known, so this is a chart set for noon on his date of birth. Ascending sign and exact degree of Moon in Aries not shown. Aquarius (unless it was the rising sign, which we can't know without a birth time). His Sun lay smack-dab in the middle of Virgo indicating a discerning and critical nature, one that can separate the wheat from the chaff with consummate ease.

Mercury (mental processes and communication) is found in an early degree of the more tactful and dipolimatic Libra, and trines Uranus at 00 Gemini - here's that socialist rebel mindset of his! And.... Saturn is conjunct Uranus, albeit in a very late degree of adjacent sign, Taurus. Saturn and Uranus are opposites in essence. Tradition versus the avant garde, the old versus the new, status quo versus change, capitalist versus socialist. Bernie Sanders has them well-blended in his personality blueprint! The signs the two planets occupy, Gemini and Taurus, could also be said to represent opposite ideas - free thinking, adaptable (Gemini) and the more traditional fixed mind-set (Taurus). He has an innate understanding of traditional values, but with a yearning to modernise and improve them to fit 21st century needs, and the unusual talent of being able to communicate on both levels. These characteristics have helped him to make his brand of socialism acceptable in Vermont, one of the first 13 states, steeped in tradition, yet willing to step into the 21st century with Senator Sanders.

The clip from Friday's edition of "Real Time"


Wisewebwoman said...

Isn't it extraordinary, T, how the poorest and most healthcareless of American citizens have bought into socialism as being evil? And also the fact that "liberal" is now a dirty word.
Propaganda at its finest. I am constantly reminded of "1984".

anthonynorth said...

I think the main problem here is America is all about the individual and freedom to be enterprising. Socialism tends to be about government and central control.
Unsurprisingly, I'd opt for something inbetween. In many ways, we've achieved this in the UK - a form of Socio-Capitalism. Although it's all going wrong at the moment.
I also think America is very much mixed up in a dialectical clash. US government has to see itself as a crusader against centralism, be it communism or, now, Islam. It is wrapped up in the foundation of America that it is a revolution in progress. This is not often appreciated today. Revolution has become the norm, so doesn't appear to be one.

Twilight said...

WWW - Yes, it's brainwash, pure and simple, IMO.

It's easy for us to say, of course, we've seen a brand of socialism in action and can attest to its advantages.

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ Something inbetween would be the ideal, I agree. That's what most European countries have opted for, and with success.

As long as socialism remains such a dirty word in the minds of a large part of the US population, there's little chance of this country improving upon the experiment started a couple of hundred years ago.

The corporations will continue to dictate the direction here - if circumstances remain more or less as they are. However, I doubt that circumstances WILL (or can) remain as they are for many more years - change could well be forced upon the country and the revolution you speak of, which appears to me to have stalled, might proceed once more. :-)

R J Adams said...

Nice article. I was going to comment on this, but was in the middle of composing a piece on a similar subject, so I'll just point you there: SparrowChat.Com


Twilight said...

Hi RJ - -I'm on my way to read your words of wisdom!