We’re in Berkeley, California and I just went for a run. As on so many other runs, I saw some Hispanic guys doing construction work on someone’s already very nice house. So, I thought of this:
In the private sector, jobs are “created” when someone or some group (a company) decides to pay someone to do something. The moneyholder(s) get to choose what is done, and usually choose something that is to their own benefit. With socialism, the society takes that money from the moneyholder(s). Then, the society as a whole, through its democratic process, gets to hire people and “create jobs”. The society decides what is done, and will generally choose something that benefits most people. So, labor is directed toward social goods, rather than the individual gain of the few.
That one little paragraph is why I’m a socialist. Democratic socialism is the short- to medium-term way forward to direct our society’s efforts for the benefit of our society.
Of course, the more a society’s institutions actually reflect the will of the people, the more its labor will actually be directed towards the public good. Currently, our labor is directed mostly by the very undemocratic institutions of corporations, with a lesser part under the control of a more democratic, but still very flawed government.
This is also why I oppose Communist vanguard parties of the Leninist and Cuban sort. In that case, the decision of how our labor is directed is again in the hands of the few. This time it’s “the Party” instead of “the Capitalists”, but it’s still going to do whatever a few want, instead of what the society as a whole wants, almost certainly for the benefit of those few, with predictably bad results.
from Fort Awesome, Berkeley, CA