Socialism Wasn't Always a Dirty Word (in the U.S.)

American socialists used to get a lot of support, and votes. Many of them were “ordinary” (small-town, middle-class white) people.

The largest conglomeration of socialists, middle-aged and middle American, bore little superficial resemblance to the socialist proletarians of Europe. Foreign visitors and even New Yorkers could hardly understand that the Appeal to Reason, the nation’s largest weekly political newspaper, came from small-town Kansas. A later study of the “Appeal Army,” the volunteers who sought new subscribers, revealed a mostly middle-aged cadre, a combination of craft workers, small farmers, and ministers’ wives—the very social types sometimes ridiculed by European Marxists. But they educated themselves, built local socialist chapters, and often published their own local newspapers.


IANAH (I am not a historian), but from my inexpert understanding, socialism as a word got dragged through the mud after Nazi’s cloaked themselves in the word to ride the early twen-cen bandwagon. Would love more detailed info from our more historically read Mutants.

ETA: Also seems like the mid-stage capitalists of the military-industrial complex latched onto said Nazi’s appropriation, and the Stalinist pretense of socialism, during the Cold War.


Yes. And yet, “Socialism = Hitler” isnt what wingnuts like Der Donald mean when they lump communism and socialism together as evil and un-American.

Confusion and ignorance about what Socialism even is are of course a huge problem. As is ownership of society’s loudest microphones by elites who have zero interest in shifting away from predatory capitalism.


Is is kid of ironic that “social” has become such a dirty moniker. Being social and civilised is anathema to the modern Republican, who sees boorishness and greed as the key to success.


“Every man is an island! And all the women and children are too.”


If only we had one of those here, especially one who seems to be very knowledgeable about 20th century America.



The US ruling class violently opposed socialism from the moment it appeared:

But there was substantial public support for socialism across the country until after WWII, when it was dispersed and/or driven underground by the second red scare.

The key blow against organised US socialism was probably the Taft-Hartley act; that destroyed the last of the radical unions.


Well, you know… Socialism isn’t working out too well for Venezuela… The average daily salary now is enough to buy 1/2 of a hard boiled egg. Hyperinflation to the extreme! 87% poverty rate!

Female teachers and lawyers going to Columbia to be prostitutes so they can feed their families. Stats like that are pretty hard to ignore, and even scarier to implement in America… Quite the slippery slope that some politicians are pushing.

Why bring up a worst-case scenario like Venezuela (and ignore in the process the effects on socialist efforts there of such destructive outside forces as U.S. sanctions), instead of say, Norway or Sweden?

Quite the blinkered perspective through which some on the right are looking.


“It’s a good thing to see right-wing fellow citizens afraid of the word socialism because that word signifies human beings who are fundamentally concerned with the plight and predicament of ordinary people, of everyday people and want to ensure they have access, a right to healthcare, quality education, a right to raise their voices and shape their destinies without big money and big military standing in the way in terms of money spent on the budget. So in that sense, it’s really a sign that the awakening on the left is concrete --younger generations in polls say they prefer socialism over capitalism. Not in the abstract.”

–Cornel West

Source (podcast)


Venezuela’s economy collapsed long before any sanctions were put on Venezuela… and you should compare the “worst case scenerio”, because it could easily happen here too.

and implementing Sweden’s 62% tax rate in a country the size of the United States would not work. Sweden is about the size of Missouri. Furthermore, what kind of innovation is coming out of Sweden? Watches? and anything else? Would ANY U.S. company stay in the U.S. with a 62% tax rate? I think not. They were leaving in droves when it was 38%.

The average capitalist would no longer have the reason to dream and innovate. The next “Steve Jobs” garage based startups wouldn’t have a chance. There would be no Silicon Valley. I don’t want to argue much about this, but I respect your opinion… I like to hear all sides… I’m just saying that socialistic ideas in America is very dangerous… That’s about all… Hope you have a great day :slight_smile:

Hope you enjoyed having the last word, since it seems so important to you.


It wasn’t important but you have a nice day too! :v::call_me_hand:

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