Note: There are lessons to be acquired from Donald Trump. In his State of the Union address he, of course, complained about "socialism." So, the point to be made here is if Trump complains about something, you know he feels challenged or threatened by it and, that being said, it also means the topic must have some relevance and/or needs to be studied. In this instance, the topic is 'socialism'. So, thank you Mr. Trump. It's way past time for Americans to look at the relevance of socialism altogether.
To begin a dialogue on socialism and its relevance, below is a 1947 article about W.E.B. Du Bois and his views on socialism.
I also maintain that if there was ever a successful war it was the Cold War that went after socialist views with a vengeance. For one, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who sought justice and fair pay for workers was labeled as a communist in the American South to, essentially, undermine his efforts for equity in the American capitalist system and an end to white supremacy. Suffice it to say King was not in the Communist Party but he wisely recognized the abuse and inequities of the capitalist system.
Billboards claiming to identify Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at a communist training school stand on the route from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery taken by civil rights marchers, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., protesting racial discrimination in voter rolls. This is actually a picture of Dr. King at the Highlander Folk School at Mount Eagle in the 1940s.
King decried America's "morbid fear of Communism," arguing that it prevented people from embracing a "revolutionary spirit and ... declaring eternal opposition to poverty, racism, and militarism" (King, Where, 190).
All of these historic scare tactics have meant that Americans have never been able to adequately and openly discuss economic systems that would benefit the masses of the people.
In my discussions with Marxist economist
he said, for one, that Harvard tried to make him into a devoted capitalist. It didn't work, thankfully. Wolff also told me that after the 'Occupy Wall Street Movement' in 2011 people learned about the 99% versus the 1% that dramatized the huge inequities in the American economic system. Since then, Wolff said, folks have flocked to his lectures across the country. This is a good thing.
It's also way past time that we all began to learn about economic systems overall including socialism, communism, etc. rather than to accept the propaganda from the likes of Donald Trump and his mentors, such as the late
. Cohn was a colleague of
the infamous US Senator anti-communist advocate in what became known as the 'McCarthy Era' and/or the second 'Red Scare' era. Here are photos of Trump with Cohn and Cohn with McCarthy.
Lawyer Roy Cohn and Donald Trump at the
opening of Manhattan's Trump Tower, 1983.
Attorney Roy Cohn, left, talking to Senator Joseph McCarthy, circa 1954.
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Here is also a brief description of McCarthyism:
Again, to begin a dialogue on socialism, below is a 1947 article by George Streator in the New York Times about the views of W.E.B. Du Bois. As noted below, Dr. Dubois said:
"We must not let ourselves be scared and intimidated by the fear of being called Communist....the widespread attempt of a monopolized press to keep the peoples of the world from knowing the truth about work and income."
February 5, 2020
Du Bois Declares Socialism a Haven
June 27, 1947
WASHINGTON, June 26 -- Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, editor and educator and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told 1,000 delegates this morning that socialism and the United Nations were the only hope for the backward races of the world. With these races, he said, the American Negro is by economic position closely allied.
Speaking at an instructional meeting on his first public appearance at a convention of the association since his return to the organization two years ago, Dr. Du Bois advised an understanding of socialism, and said that there was no cause for alarm at charges of being a Communist if the aim was the abolition of world poverty.
He declared that poverty was unnecessary; colonies, "quasi-colonial regions" and the American South were the most poverty-stricken portions of the earth; socialism was an attack on poverty, and that the United Nations was the greatest hope of the world today.
Dr. Du Bois, whose name did not appear in the scheduled program, took the meeting by surprise, but he was warmly received.
He asked his hearers to cease being "timid," and told them to break their intellectual shackles, learn something about economic forces and join the ranks of the great social thinkers of the past century who laid the foundation for all of today's progresses. He said:
"Most intelligent people of the world today, even in the civilized part of the earth, believe that poverty is normal and necessary and that because of this inevitable poverty that most human beings must be ignorant, diseased and to a large extent criminal.
"The persons who believe this are ignorant of the plain teachings of the science and industrial technique, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
"They still think and act in accord with the beliefs of primitive ages when scarcity of food, difficulties of technique and ignorance of natural forces made the world a desperate fight between human beings for survival, in which murder, war, cheating and stealing were the only paths to survival for most of the human species."
He asserted that all trends of government in most of "the civilized parts of the world" were toward socialism, and called the New Deal and social serve "merely terms which meant the same thing" as socialism.
He saw the United Nations as a move by mankind to end war. Its work so far, he said, is only preliminary, since the main task begins with the political, social, economic and educational advancement of the colonial peoples.
Dr. Du Bois asked that Negroes "stand back of democracy in industry, and understand the need of better methods of production" which, he declared, would bring "a more just distribution of wealth."
"We must not let ourselves be scared and intimidated by the fear of being called Communist, by the smearing of Henry Wallace, the widespread attempt of a monopolized press to keep the peoples of the world from knowing the truth about work and income."
At tonight's meeting, Philip Murray asked that he be permitted "to correct any optimistic impression that discrimination can be downed in a day." He said that the experience of the Congress of Industrial Organizations for the past ten years pointed to the need of a Federal fair employment practice law in spite of "cases of sanity in shops and union halls."
Mr. Murray denounced the Taft-Hartley labor bill, and called Senator Robert A. Taft "the foremost architect of this monstrosity," which, he asserted, was designed to destroy trade unions.