Socialism is long here - We just don't call it that
It always cracks me up when I hear one group of people talking about how "we need a more social(istic) approach to society's problems" and the other group of people saying "we must at all cost prevent socialism to become the norm in the West".
What, you think these statements are contradictory? Maybe they are, but they do share the same assumption - namely that socialism is a concept that is yet to make its debut as governing system of most Western societies, and that it largely remains an idea that has little to do with how society operates today...
While some may want it and others may despise it - it has long arrived. If we take an honest look we can see that most societies we generally describe as "capitalist" or "free market" have long become socialist strongholds, and that is no exaggerration, neither for Europe, nor for the so-called USA. We simply don't refer to them as socialist but use some more trendy terms, and most people won't look past the labels and are instantly pacified with developments that are highly worrying but simply called by another name.
All hail the god of PR.
What do you mean socialism is long here? Don't you think you are reaching a bit?
First of all, a definition may be in order here before we go any further.
What is socialism?
Socialism is pretty much the opposite of self-determination, it's a set of rules that overrides our natural state of existence (being free and our own sovereign being and decider) and it coerces people into delegating authority to a single ruler or a group of rulers (for their alleged "own benefit" of course) citing all sorts of smart reasons to delegate authority to people we don't know and would never entrust with the keys to our house.
Every voter in this sense is a socialist because his act of voting legitimizes the use of force and coercion against his fellow man, imposing rules upon society that have not been specifically agreed to by all those who are forced to adhere by them.
More specifically, socialism simply means that the state, the government is responsible. Responsible for everything. Plain and simple.
Responsible for the rules, conventions and options people under said regime are allegedly bounded to live by. And with responsibility comes power, influence and authority which we in turn get used to more and more until we conflate "freedom" with the unwritten obligation to elect a decider-clicque in the erroneous belief they are acting in line with our own interests.
Some people keep citing how the US of A are "a free nation continously resisting socialism and preserving a near free market system".
Oh really? I find that rather hilarious seeing how we have all the hallmarks of socialism within our Western societies already, within our assumptions and within our presuppositions.
Don't believe me?
Try driving a car without a license. Or selling your goods on the street without a permit. Or leaving the "country" without a passport. Or speaking your mind on social media in a way that contradicts politically correct narratives. Or choosing whom you want to employ or whom you don't want to employ. Or building a house where you would like to build one, in a way you wish to. Or camping on a field next to the highway. Or altering your consciousness in a way you see fit. Or helping other people alter theirs. Or creating an invention that could massively help people come out of system dependencies for food, water, electricity, rent. Or making your own monetary system. Or sharing your food with a homeless dude. Or keeping all the money you earned doing something spontaneously for someone else for which you received a payment.
Need I go on?
We don't only need authority's permission for any- and everything we may want to do today, we also thoroughly believe that we need it. Just like people in a communist regime: feeling guilty for doing something in line with their own aspirations, common sense and compass of morality whenever it seems to conflict with the agenda of the state, regardless of how inhumane and flawed said state agenda may be.
Yes, we have more kinds of toothpaste in supermarket shelves, we can pick the color of the car we want to drive, we are still allowed to make music and we constantly get fed with the erroneous notion that we have a choice in picking so-called "representatives" every four years, who always turn out to act in our worst interest. And why wouldn't they, they are a part of the system gang, of ["the party" as Orwell has called them](ORWELL ARTICLE LINK), and they are specifically not on our team. But people just looooooooooooove the labels that make it all so peachy and shiny. Democracy - woah! Freedom - woah! Liberty - zang!
But if we are honest about the state of affairs we see how profoundly conditioned we have become to this permission and license model where we all bow down to the arbitrary and inhumane rules of people we have never met, who act directly against the wishes of the vast majority of people and against what most people hold to be common sense. And yet the machine continues regardless because we are oh-so-free...
We are just too damn naive to see through the gang's labels and PR campaigns that have been going on for a long, looooooooooooooooong time. And as long as we believe that we need a system that enforces obligatory permissions for undertakings that do no harm to anyone else other than the long-term interests of the ruling gang, we may as well stop talking about progress altogether.
It's all the same machine with varying degrees of superficial coloring. Centralization of authority remains the fundamental issue, no matter what we call the system we are living under.
You may call it democracy, you may call it dictatorship, you may call it a republic, you may call it a free market society. But as long as the self-referring "state" upholds its authority over sovereign beings and their view of the world - it is socialism. Plain and simple.