Is socialism the answer?

Published 6:52 pm Monday, February 5, 2018

The media often reports many negative issues regarding schools, including violence, shootings, misuse of weapons, bullying, disrespect of teachers and staff, student hunger, parents not paying required fees, and so on. Millions of government and non-profit dollars are spent in attempts to overcome these problems. But there is no willingness to attempt to identify what causes them.

To identify the causes of these social negatives, it is necessary to know American history from the late 1940s through to today. A historical study indicates most negatives began to crop up in the late 1960s.

What major social changes were made during this period and why is there an unwillingness to study it in efforts to overcome the resulting problems?

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When I started the first grade in 1948, America was an imperfect society, including good and bad characteristics. Some factors that were negatives then are better today. Many of today’s negatives did not exist then, including those listed above.

We had won a major world war, veterans were using the GI Bill, businesses were turning inventions of war into commercial products, society and individual families were stable, and schools were safe places where teachers maintained discipline. Parents strongly supported teachers in both educating and disciplining students.

But there were many social negatives mainly focused on inequality, particularly regarding black Americans. Various governmental gimmicks were used to deny equal status and the same rights as white Americans. In the South, these gimmicks were known as “black codes”; in the North, a banking practice known as “red lining” was used, causing and maintaining segregated communities and schools.

It seems the reason for the unwillingness to examine the history of this period has to do with why white Americans supported these gimmicks. But if we hope to overcome today’s negatives, it is necessary to do so, painful as it may be.

In the ‘40s black Americans were considered strong of body but intellectually and morally inferior. Their suppression was needed for a stable American society and economy. Providing blacks with equal rights was thought to be damaging to society’s well-being.

But the problem for the Democratic-controlled federal government was that Thurgood Marshall and the rest of the NAACP legal team were making progress on dismantling the legal gimmicks. And public support for suppression was declining because Klan terrorism was being graphically publicized though television news. And support was growing among some more radical black activists for an armed revolution. What to do?

Congress and President Lyndon Johnson turned to socialism in efforts to overcome the problems. Never before had socialist programs been implemented in the United States.

The government’s socialist approach is known as the War on Poverty. Although modified over the years, the program continues today.

But how did socialism bring about the social negatives identified above? My next article will deal with this question.

Joseph L. Bass is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at ABetterSociety1@aol.com.