Social Question

trailsillustrated's avatar

Why is Socialism viewed negatively in America?

Asked by trailsillustrated (16794points) June 25th, 2013

I’ve lived both and I can’t really see any difference in quality of life except the side of the road you drive on. Oh, and getting fined if you don’t vote. I never got it why people view socialism badly.

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11 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

I think there is a very vocal, very small minority of people who are not very educated and mistakenly believe socialism to be a synonym for fascism. I am sure they are just as confused as to why others think it’s ok.

JLeslie's avatar

I think because socialism is associated with communism in the US and also that it is the opposite of capitalism, and America takes pride in being a capitalistic country. Power to the people, democracy, many people think it is all or none. That any bit of socialism will be a slippery slop towards total government control and the end of freedom.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Because of CAPITALISM.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The rich and the powerful see it as a threat to their being rich and powerful, put simply.

If they had to give up some of their wealth in order to help others, they see it as forced charity. Which, at one level, it is, backed by the force of government.

The main problem with “true” socialism is that it eventually fails. There is no incentive for anyone to work hard, because they get no recognition for their efforts, and in effect they are punished for being productive.

Socialism is more of a populistic catchword than a real successful means of governance.

Pachy's avatar

Lke many other topics bandied about in the media, so many of the people who claims decided it means the end of America base that belief upon only what they’ve heard from other uninformed people.

I’m not judging whether it’s good, or for that matter bad. I’m just saying that it’s one of those terms that people should learn about and understand before debating its merits or dangers.

DominicX's avatar

I think it’s really just a remnant of the Cold War days. People still think of the Soviets and the threat of them using nuclear bombs on the U.S. and everything. The U.S. has a long history of fighting against socialist states and entire generations were raised to see the “reds” as evil.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Some of it goes back to McCarthyism and the Cold War in the 1950’s. It is also comes from the captains of industry fand the expansion of the US from 1870’s to 1920’s. The barons were against labor unions and distribution of ( THEIR ) wealth.

amujinx's avatar

One word: Propaganda.

tomathon's avatar

“Socialism ― or the tyranny of the meanest and the most brainless, ―that is to say, the superficial, the envious, and the mummers, brought to its zenith, ―is, as a matter of fact, the logical conclusion of “modern ideas” and their latent anarchy: but in the genial atmosphere of democratic well-being the capacity for forming resolutions or even for coming to an end at all, is paralysed. Men follow―but no longer their reason. That is why socialism is on the whole a hopelessly bitter affair: and there is nothing more amusing than to observe the discord between the poisonous and desperate faces of present-day socialists―and what wretched and nonsensical feelings does not their style reveal to us! ―and the childish lamblike happiness of their hopes and desires. Nevertheless, in many places in Europe, there may be violent hand-to-hand struggles and irruptions on their account: the coming century is likely to be convulsed in more than one spot, and the Paris Commune, which finds defenders and advocates even in Germany, will seem to have but a slight indigestion compared with what is to come. Be this as it may, there will always be too many people of property for socialism ever to signify anything more than an attack of illness: and these people of property are like one man with one faith, “one must possess something in order to be some one.” This, however, is the oldest and most wholesome of all instincts; I should add: “one must desire more than one has in order to become more.” For this is the teaching which life itself preaches to all living things: the morality of Development. To have and to wish to have more, in a word, Growth―that is life itself. In the teaching of socialism “a will to the denial of life” is but poorly concealed: botched men and races they must be who have devised a teaching of this sort. In fact, I even wish a few experiments might be made to show that in socialistic society life denies itself, and itself cuts away its own roots. The earth is big enough and man is still unexhausted enough for a practical lesson of this sort and demonstratio ad absurdum― even if it were accomplished only by a vast expenditure of lives―to seem worth while to me. Still, Socialism, like a restless mole beneath the foundations of a society wallowing in stupidity, will be able to achieve something useful and salutary: it delays “Peace on Earth” and the whole process of character-softening of the democratic herding animal; it forces the European to have an extra supply of intellect, ―it also saves Europe awhile from the marasmus femininus which is threatening it.”—Friedrich Nietzsche

A more detailed explanation here Frederick Nietzsche on Socialism

Gabby101's avatar

I’m not actually sure what Socialism is, but I’ve always thought it was Communism-light. I imagine a lot of people feel the same way. Many people in this country don’t like the idea of everyone getting the same reward no matter what effort they give, so that’s why communism/socialism is not embraced.

There is something broken in this country though when people working at minimum wage jobs are worse off than welfare recipients and so much wealth is concentrated in the top 2% (or whatever). It sucks to be in the middle – too rich for certain tax breaks and any gov’t help, but not able to live the good life either.

mattbrowne's avatar

Because many Americans confuse socialism with social market economies. There are very few countries left on earth with socialism fully implemented. Most countries welcome privately owned businesses, but are wary of the potentially destructive forces of predatory capitalism.

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