In 2011 we had a lot of social change but chances are... socialism isn't part of that change. In fact, little has change in the way the public's response to socialism compared to capitalism. Even if capitalism has pretty much shown its ugly head to us all in the past few years.
Here are some very interesting charts and words about how Americans view these systems.
Attached with these was a nice little article about it. Though if you don't want to read it, you can skip over it and I'll sum it up for you.
The recent Occupy Wall Street protests have focused public attention on what organizers see as the excesses of America’s free market system, but perceptions of capitalism – and even of socialism – have changed little since early 2010 despite the recent tumult.
The American public’s take on capitalism remains mixed, with just slightly more saying they have a positive (50%) than a negative (40%) reaction to the term. That’s largely unchanged from a 52% to 37% balance of opinion in April 2010.
Socialism is a negative for most Americans, but certainly not all. Six-in-ten (60%) say they have a negative reaction to the word; 31% have a positive reaction. Those numbers are little changed from when the question was last asked in April 2010.
Of these terms, socialism is the more politically polarizing – the reaction is almost universally negative among conservatives, while generally positive among liberals. While there are substantial differences in how liberals and conservatives think of capitalism, the gaps are far narrower. Most notably, liberal Democrats and Occupy Wall Street supporters are as likely to view capitalism positively as negatively. And even among conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters there is a significant minority who react negatively to capitalism.
These are among the findings of the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Dec. 7-11, 2011 among 1,521 adults that tests reactions to words frequently used in current political discourse. Another term in the news, libertarian, continues to receive a mixed public reaction: 38% have a positive view, 37% negative, and nearly a quarter (24%) have no opinion either way. Interestingly, some of the most positive views of libertarianism come from groups on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. People who agree with the Tea Party movement see libertarianism positively by a 51% to 36% margin, as do liberal Democrats by a 47% to 32% margin. And while the word libertarian receives a very positive reaction from younger Americans, older people tend to view it negatively.
Both of the ideological descriptions used most frequently in American politics – conservative and liberal – receive more positive than negative reactions from the American public. But the positives for conservative (62%) are higher than for liberal (50%). This gap mainly reflects the balance of what people call themselves; more people consistently call themselves conservative than liberal in public opinion polling. Those who think of themselves as politically “moderate” give similarly positive assessments to both words.
As many Democratic strategists have argued, the term progressive receives a far more positive reaction from the American public than the term liberal (67% vs 50%), though the difference is primarily among Republicans.
For those of you who feel that it's too much to read, here's how it breaks down. Socialism will never happen in America because we are plain and simply too dumb. Unless we call it Progressive-ism or something, but it's really Communism in disguise. The simple words Communism or Socialist are just too tainted in America.
It makes you wonder what the polls really mean. Does it show how people feel about a concept/ideology/economic system or about a word that they may have heard sneered a few hundred thousand times anywhere they turn. Makes you wonder.
I know of writers who do columns for their school paper and make it a point of never using the words marxism, Communism, Socialism, and so forth. But it shouldn't come to any surprise that ideology runs deeper than branding.
I don't think it really matters what we call it, but it still won't happen for the reason that we are dumb in America and this is the center of the empire of capitalism and simply must be the last to fall.
To be perfectly honest, I have to say that 31% positive reaction to socialism seems shockingly high to me, all things considered. If you told me to guess what the number was, I would have to honestly say that it couldn't be more than 20%.
Also, on a side note, when I read 55% of black people in America are supportive of socialism I'm not in the least surprised. I guess it's something to do with being enslaved, lunched, imprisoned and neglected by capital that tends to do that to you.
I do want to learn more about the 6% of "conservative republicans" who have a positive view of socialism. That really interested me in the whole polls. But I guess that might fall into the margin of people messing with the surveyor.
But hey, it's worth pointing out that at least one poll showed there were some Americans who believed Obama was Muslim, but who approved of their Muslim President's job performance.
Then I remember having a conversation with other Obama volunteers in 2008 about how Obama was really our secret Socialist candidate, but of course he had to deny it in public. Least he would be electable.
It makes you wonder what all us Americans are going to do when the glorious revolutions begin succeeding in non-US countries. I'm guessing the majority will just pout and stomp their feet. Or maybe they'll just invest in sheep futures and enclose the fuck out of some commons.
I know what I will do. And I also know that I'll make it through it alright once the neo-feudalism begins in earnest. I just have to find the right patrons to latch onto and they'll find some use for my technical skills, like helping them figure out which parts of their estates will be contaminated by pollutants from various local sources so they can figure out where to put their homes and where to dump the serfs' quarters in. The end of late capitalism will probably represent the peak of market irrationality's hold on the economy.