Ramón Del Castillo, PhD
Competition as part of social life, was introduced by famed economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith into the field of economics; however, in politics it can become a double edged sword as the Democratic Party haggles over who is the best contender to take on President Donald Trump. It can unwittingly unite or destroy human aspirations.
Man’s use of newly developed strategies in the material world speaks volumes for his contradictory nature, especially in politics. Competition between manufacturers in the marketplace was theorized to breed the best product; sold to the consumer at a reasonable price. Vying for the sale of products into markets was designed to be an equitable process. In practice, many believe that it created monopolies, resulting in furthering class distinctions and eventually warfare.
When competition crosses borders, it can become an existential force, particularly when it enters the political domain. As the old adage says, anything in politics is fair game. In politics, competition occurs between parties as well as within parties—sometimes without boundaries. Skeletons hidden in closets magically appear, rumors abound, and fairytales come true. In political warfare, words become weapons with varying interpretations and meanings.
If Democrats are not careful, they may not need to worry more about the destruction of the party from the outside but rather from within as they cast stones at each other as demonstrated in the recent Democratic debates.
Americans can attest to this during the recent impeachment hearings—semantics can become a powerful and destructive weapon. Whenever the fallibility of the human condition is thrust into the formula—recipes for success can be converted into complete disasters. It makes no difference whether humans are inherently greedy or not—somehow insatiability is something that anyone can succumb to as the lavish life comes to fruition and the politics of the day tell the rest of the story.
A recent report in the American Institute for Economic Research in interviews with Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when asked about their respective definitions of [democratic] socialism responded, “[democratic socialism] assures people that theirs is a kinder and gentler socialism, a socialism of democratic inclusiveness, social justice and egalitarian fairness for all. It will end human exploitation, save the planet from environmental destruction, and ensure that everyone gets their just deserts on the basis of an identity politics focusing on race, gender and social class.”
Other philosophers define democratic socialism as, “a political philosophy supporting political democracy within a socially owned economy, with a particular emphasis on worker’s self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market socialist economy or some form of a decentralized planned socialist economy” (wikepedia). Bernie Sanders has turned this upside down and argued that the superrich are practicing socialism for themselves. This obviously grows against the grain of classical American economists and can set the stage for verbal gymnastics on the political battlefield.
Historically, socialism was transformed into political gibberish that scared the masses of the people. The communist boogey man fairytale was used to instill fear into a country’s population, forcing armies at the behest of dictators to pick up arms and destroy each other. In the case of politics, it may cause Democrats to bare metaphorical arms, combined with verbal assaults that may further perpetuate the uncivil society that is present today.
When socialism is introduced unaccompanied without the concept of democratic, it becomes a red herring; diverting attention from the real issues that Americans are facing. It frightens the populace. Trumpocrats have argued that socialism is on the brink of supplanting capitalism—causing more division within the Democratic Party. Trump’s oligarchy and their cronies will have a field day with this concept as they unveil its’ evils, painting the picture that the communist boogey man is on his way back into American society. They will manipulate the meaning of socialism as a centralized government with the final outcome as complete disaster—transforming the United States into a terrorist state—discouraging creativity and innovation as the state takes control of the society. King Trump’s current public relations specialists will stretch the imagination of the uneducated masses regarding socialism—increasing the already inherent fear that hovers over the country like a vulture on the prey.
In his tyrannical approach, Trump has already overstepped political decision-making norms—without due regard for a democratic governance process that incorporates the will of the people in important public policies—with drippings of vengeance against his enemies. His unrelenting rampage continues to destroy what little is left of American Democracy, which may fall even further asunder, as Democrats are pitted against each other in a never-ending battle of wits, intellect and truth.
If Democrats are not careful, they may not need to worry more about the destruction of the party from the outside but rather from within as they cast stones at each other as demonstrated in the recent Democratic debates. And although, the assailants have vowed to back whomever wins the Democratic nomination, the internal wounds caused by competition may be the ultimate victor—and Trump may remain in office.
Dr. Ramón Del Castillo is an Independent Journalist. ©2-20-2020 Dr. Ramón Del Castillo.
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