I have a friend, she calls me a Socialist. When she says it though it comes out like a dirty word. I suppose when I say Capitalist sometimes it comes out sounding like that too. I’m not a fan of labels, but if you have to then yes – I am a Liberal.
I think as an idea, Communism isn’t a bad thing. I don’t think it would work, and I know that when society has tried, it hasn’t. However, I believe that’s more down to human nature than the ideology though. At it’s simplest, a world where people give according to their means and take according to their needs – does it sounds so evil? I don’t think so.
Self-confessed Idealist. I know that there is enough food in the world that no one should writhe with hunger pains. I know that we have made the medical advances that certain diseases like malaria should not kill as many as it does. I know that we have the resources enough to provide a roof so that no one falls asleep on the street. All you need to do is listen to the words of ‘Imagine‘ in order to see what kind of world we could live in.
I know that some may try to tear my argument down with the statement, ‘We don’t live in an ideal world.’ Stick a ‘Why’ at the front of that sentence and a question mark at the end of it and you have my response to that.
My friend, who thinks I’m a dirty Socialist, and I are currently having a “heated discussion” about US healthcare reform. We’re discussing, not arguing. We have to make the distinction clear, despite the fact that she seems to have gone silent on me. She’s an American, a NYer at that so you know she has an opinion, who doesn’t believe that the health reform the President’s proposing should go through. I’m a Brit who’s never had to worry about the cost of getting fixed. I’ve always found it difficult to understand how healthcare isn’t universal, particularly in a country like the US. I’m sure there are reasons, I’m sure none of them are any good.
The US is not a third world country. It has the resources and the knowledge to provide its people – all of its people, with free healthcare. Yet it doesn’t. I admit that our healthcare system isn’t ideal. We have waiting lists. Some hospitals are better than others, as are some doctors. Sometimes things are missed. I don’t think that would change if we stopped having a national healthcare service. For all its faults, if you are broken – we will fix you. I have yet to hear an argument that convinces me we should do otherwise.