I don't see that problem happening in a democratic country where the oppressive government can simply be voted out.
The problem arises when you have two oppressive governments, both the Incumbents and the Opposition.
Unfortunately the People don't arise and make a stand. They post whinges on Facebook, share mutual misfortune tales at the water cooler, and maybe join an online group or click on a magic link.
I believe Jessica is sadly too close to the truth. The whole process needs reform - but why would the winners want to reform the very mechanism that got them their power in the first place?
@ Dale Headley
Americans have been propagandized into taking as an a priori assumption that we are “the greatest nation on Earth.” But upon what criteria is that mantra based? On two only: wealth and military power. Take just about ANY other measure of greatness in a society, and we rank pretty low. What about freedom and democracy, you ask? PLEASE! Every socialist country has more of both than we do. America is ruled, ultimately, by the top 1% of wealth plutocrats who buy the politicians who make the laws.
This just rocks!
Americans have been propagandized into taking as an a priori assumption that we are “the greatest nation on Earth.”
But don't most people in most non-Third World countries think their country is the best?
No patriotism in places like the UK or France or Germany? They just roll over and believe that the USA is the best? That is sad.
Unseen, there is patriotism and there is jingoism.
In my Roget's, "jingoism" points in three directions: bellicosity, social discrimination, and nationalism.
Methinks the USofA has all three.
I'm with matt. No. This is the 21st century. We might love our countries, but do so whilst very aware of their shortcomings. We may try to improve the quality of life for our population, but we absolutely certainly don't believe that our countries are in any contest for Best in Class, let alone the winners.
I mean no disrespect, Unseen, and this is a great topic you've started.
Socialism is often mistaken for communism because of "socialist" Russia. Also the NSDAP, (National Socialist German Workers' Party) the socialist party of Adolf Hitler left socialism with a negative connotation. World War II and cold war may be over but the prejudice has never left. Socialism is now a tainted word in spite of it's good intend. I find it no surprise that especially the older generation shudders hearing the word socialism. They have learned to hate it. I feel the word is due for a make over to make it more acceptable again. (Like shell shock, battle fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder)
That said, I do believe that capitalism and socialism are each others polar opposites. They each are a poison if taken in large a doses. We need both however to survive as a prosperous nation.
A pure capitalist state and we end up with a nation that is ruled by only the richest elite and the best government that money can buy.
A pure socialist state and we end up with a state the likes of CCCP or North Korea where everything is cheap but no-one can afford anything.
Something in the middle is the most acceptable alternative to me. A nation where healthcare and education is free and corporations cannot prey on the poor. Yet capitalist enough to reward those who are deserving.
I think a lot of people who think socialism is bad understand the difference between Communism and socialism. They just feel that socialism removes the incentive to invent and create, which they feel is based on making oneself richer than other people. The profit motive, in other words.
People get also very creative when they're trying to kill each other.
Umbra, the word "socialist" in NSDAP was only a word.
Fascism was the fact. American conservatism gains by confusing the two.
Suppose the world had been swept by socialism and democracy right after the Renaissance. Everyone was free and had a comfortable life. How likely is it we'd have...
blues and jazz music?
rock and roll?
van Gogh's Self Portrait?
Beethoven's 9th Symphony?
Neuschwannstein Castle in Bavaria?
The Brothers Karamazov
If we could go back in time and change things so that starting about 500 years ago a comfortable and free life was brought to everyone in the world would giving up those creative works (and many, many others) be a small price to pay?
How rich and interesting would the world be today without those works that came out of misery?
Addendum: Just discovered this interesting article by the conservative Catholic pundit Dennis Prager.