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The House’s “Horrors of Socialism” Resolution Spurred by the Capitalist Class’s Greatest Fear

Michael Steven Smith Feb 27, 2023

On Feb. 3 the newly-elected House of Representatives passed a resolution denouncing “the horrors of Socialism“ and opposed “the implementation of socialist policies“ in the United States. 

The resolution was discussed for several days. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said “it is a lie that socialism will solve your problems, economic or social…We cannot let this evil ideology take hold in this country.”  She went on to say that “we are in the United States the stronghold of freedom. That is why we must pass this resolution.”

The resolution passed 328 to 86 with a majority of the Democrats joining the Republicans.

The resolution is made up of lies and half truths. I suggest readers check it out for themselves. It is online. The three-page document consists of a series of whereas clauses pointing out what the Republican authors believe are examples of the “horribles” of socialism.

A socialist society would be politically and economically democratic, and it would not be run by the 1%.

Attempts to amend the resolution to state that it was not attacking longtime government programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Administration Healthcare were rejected by the Republicans. So too an amendment that would have condemned fascism and Nazi Germany’s mass murders.

What would a socialist society be like? First of all, it would be democratic, politically and economically, and it would not be run by the 1%. Socialism would eliminate economic want. It would provide for education and healthcare, housing and employment for everyone. Production would be for human needs, not for profit. It would clean up the environment and eliminate the threat of catastrophic man-made climate change. It would eliminate all nuclear weapons.

A truly socialist nation would eliminate racism. Malcolm X said that he did not believe that you could eliminate racism under capitalism any more than a chicken could lay a duck’s egg. And he concluded that “if it ever did, it would be a pretty revolutionary chicken.”  

Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar denounces the evils of socialism and the Communist Manifesto, written by “Karld” Marx, on the U.S. House floor.

America has a rich history of electing people with a socialist vision. Socialists were elected to federal, state and citywide offices around what time of World War I before the government crushed them. When I was growing up in Milwaukee in the 1950s we had a socialist mayor, Frank Zeidler. We see a socialist resurgence today, with eight Socialist state legislators in New York.

Martin Luther King was a socialist. So was Albert Einstein. So was Helen Keller, the famous blind and deaf disability-rights activist. As was Fredrick North Olmsted, the designer of Central Park, a socialist.

Malcolm X said that he did not believe that you could eliminate racism under capitalism any more than a chicken could lay a duck’s egg.

We are seeing a resurgence of red baiting like the recent resolution. It is what Donald Trump bases his electoral rhetoric on. There is a resurgence of proto-fascism in our country. The great German playwright and political figure Berthold Brecht said that in order to understand fascism we must look to capitalism, from where it springs.  

Malcolm X said that he did not believe that you could eliminate racism under capitalism anymore than a chicken could lay a duck’s egg.

Where are things heading? Rosa Luxemburg proposed two stark choices just after the imperial slaughter that was World War I: socialism or barbarism. Given the catastrophe of climate change, the ongoing economic upheaval, the propensity of imperialism to involve itself in wars like that in Ukraine and the risk of nuclear annihilation, it’ll be barbarism — if we’re lucky.

We are running out of time. There must be a future for a radical mass movement, or there will be no future at all.

Eight years ago I co-edited a book with Debby Smith and Frances Goldin called Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. It featured essays from 32 writers on what different facets of life would be like under socialism. At that time polls showed that young people ages 18-29 were more likely to hold a favorable impression of socialism than capitalism. Those numbers are growing. Let’s make the most of it.

Michael Steven Smith is the co-host of the WBAI radio show “Law And Disorder” heard at 11 a.m. Monday mornings on WBAI-99.5 FM. It is online at lawanddisorder.org. His most recent book, written with his wife Debby Smith, is Parrot Tales: Our Life With a Magical Bird.

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