Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Healthcare in Capitalist Countries Has Fully Delegitimized the Marxist Worldview

Most of the people calling the new healthcare law "socialism" have no idea what socialism really is and the view that true Marxists have regarding medical care and capitalist systems. This is the case because the Teabaggers and other misinformed people with no understanding of history who are screaming socialism have never met a real socialist in their entire lives, nor have they likely read Marxist literature, ever. (Perhaps if they are calling American healthcare reform a move toward European-style systems, they are more accurate, but those are not truly socialist systems, so the term is being misapplied in that case).

Here is the important point: starting well over 150 years ago, the Marxists' key point was that capitalism could never and would never provide universal healthcare because of its core nature; the only way to provide healthcare for all, in the traditional Marxist view, was to destroy capitalism and implement state socialism.

So the fact that many advanced capitalist countries have been able to successfully provide medical care to all of their citizens, while maintaining industry overwhelmingly in private hands, is nearly the biggest blow to the Marxist worldview that has ever occurred. This is a major devastating reality to the entire Marxist ideology, and further drives home the point that regulated capitalism is the most superior economic system that has ever existed.

So it's truly ironic that opponents of healthcare reform in America are using that word "socialism" to criticize it, when in fact, what happened last night is further evidence of the complete triumph of a flexible capitalist system to provide economic growth, full employment and affordable social security and healthcare for everyone. Incredible.
I like the drift of your argument -- esp. the idea of deploying the teabaggers' poor understanding of Marxism against them -- but I think you're providing a narrow (and ahistorical) reading of Marxism. I think even the German Ideology provides a way out of such a reading and I can't recall the exact passage, but M/E basically talk about the reproduction of classes. I would submit that healthcare and other benefits constitute part of that reproduction of class stratification. Then going forward you'd have to look at the argument that certain reforms (trade unionism, health care, weekends) are business expenses -- i.e. the cost of averting collapse. So to somewhat borrow Jameson's phrase, it would be the economic logic of late capitalism.

You are probably correct and you know more than I do about the subject. But don't you think it has long been an argument of true socialists that universal healthcare, poverty elimination, etc cannot be fixed until capitalism is gone?
"...regulated capitalism...flexible capitalist system..."

Using the term "capitalism" is as sloppy here as the tea partiers' use of the term "socialism." I think a more precise label for what has existed in America over the past century would be liberal corporatism.
And millions of economists would disagree with you, Candidus. You only make yourself look like a brainwashed sheep by flat out stating something without any facts or evidence.
Huh...Who would've thought that the Beekman College Center provided internet access for its students?
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