A Right To...

Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

There’s nothing new about the idea of socialism. In the first 20 years of the 20thCentury, socialist Eugene Debs ran five times for president on the Socialist ticket. He didn’t make it.

Well, never mind. The old socialist slogans have been reworked, encompassing the trendy new “green” concept. Maybe that’s all that’s needed to put us all in a socialist paradise.

I think not. The problem, as I see it, is that modern socialists, of the stripe of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders, fail to realize the full potential of the system they espouse.

A right to medical care? Why, of course! If medical care is yours by right, then to withhold it from you unless you pay for it is unthinkable. Why has it taken us so long to realize that?

And what could be more basic than a right to education? We appreciate the necessity of education when we see the large number of college students who support Sanders and AOC. Without the benefit of exposure to college, how many of them would have come to the awareness of socialism as the wave of tomorrow, based upon its manifold and multiple failures of the past? Again, if a right, education cannot justly be denied for lack of payment. Free education, of course!

Have we discussed housing? Can there be a more fundamental right than the right to have a roof over one’s head? And how about food in the pantry? Why, a right to food is almost as basic as a right to health care and education. Making you pay for food is as preposterous as making you pay for life itself. Free food for everybody.

But we’ve only scratched the surface of compelling human rights. What good is a right to food, and a right to medical care, if you cannot get to the market or the doctor’s office? The right to transportation becomes immediately obvious. You need a car, and by godfrey, you shall have one if only Bernie and Alexandria awaken to the need for free transportation as a basic human right. Needless to say, the right to travel includes the right to free gasoline and oil--or electricity.

That’s all well and good, of course, but what use is the right to transportation to get to medical care, food, and education, if you have to go naked? Clothing is surely a fundamental human right. I’m sure it’s mentioned in the Declaration of Independence somewhere. I’ll look that up when I’ve finished my list of basic rights. In tomorrow’s brave new world, nobody goes naked!

Aren’t you entitled to heating in the winter and cooling in summer? Obviously this basic right must be guaranteed. Wake up, Bernie and Alexandria. This is elementary! Why stop with half-way measures? Can’t you see where your policies are leading?

I am certain some sourpuss--obviously a privileged white male with Russian connections-- will grouse about the cost of these programs. Not to worry. 

Costs are paid with money, or what passes for it. Today’s money is a ledger entry totally unrelated to any thing. That is to say, any THING. It’s not as though it is tangible, and thus capable of being in short supply. All of the benefits I’ve described, and which are so obviously deserved by a hard-needing public, can be created with a few key strokes. So why not?

A final human need, not as obvious as the others, is the need for leisure. All work and no play--etc. But this need can be satisfied by replacing work with recreation, and any missing income can be provided with those magic keystrokes. It is foolish to expect one to go to the office or plant when the computer or printing press can supply income. 

The socialist’s ultimate dream, evidently not yet fully appreciated by Sanders and AOC, is that of a full-time recreating individual whose needs are all satisfied, and whose income is provided him without the debasement of his working for it. In other words, Utopia! And it could be right around the corner!

Oh happy day!

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


Mark Davis's picture

Right!?!? Gee, what could go wrong? ;>)