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The Socialism 101 Concept

Updated on March 13, 2011

What drew me to Socialism 101

I have been writing on Hubpages for about a year and a quarter. My motivation was to earn a little income flow for my retirement, but at the time I expected to work full time for another year or two at least -possibly longer. I quite soon realised that there are basically two ways to approach Hubpages . One way is as a serious money making venture, with SEOs, backlinking, side linking, circle linking, Amazon, Kontera , Google Adwords and so forth. The other is to treat Hubpages as a noticeboard or shop window for displaying your hand produced works of literary craft.

I admire the folk who turn out 10-12 Amazon hubs a week. I tried my hand at that myself, and quickly decided I was not that desperate for money. Yet. And hopefully never.

I quite enjoy sparring with the conservative and Republican Right, but eventually I realised that I was simply reacting to their proposals rather than putting forward a coherent socialist case. I was also angry with some Hubbers I respect because of some of the stupid things they said. Then I realised that they really do not know. They do not know the history of their own country, and they do not understand why not everyone likes Americans (or Brits).

What is needed is a Socialism 101, a body of writing setting out the socialist case and honestly discussing some of the Socialist dilemmas. With a site like Hubpages socialists could actually make money out of proclaiming socialism - an option not open to many socialists in the past.

As Bartolomeo Vanzetti put it in 1927

"If it had not been for these thing, I might have live out my life talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have die unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure... Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man as now we do by accident."

The "accident" was the arrest trial and execution of Sacco and Vanzetti for a murder in which they had no involvement. The prosecution said they were "morally guilty because they are the enemies of our existing institutions."

Many Americans know nothing of the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, Joe Hill, the 8 hour campaign, the Okies, the labour struggles that took place in their own cities and states, or the campaigns for equal rights in which people were killed by the state and by the Right.

Even those who know sometimes do not realise that the struggle continues today.

The Way Forward

My first thought was to write a series of hubs linked together as Socialism 101. I started listing the hubs that should be written, and quickly got to over 20. It dawned on me that this could be a life's work. I do not know enough about poetry or art or music to write about Socialist Poetry or Art or Music. Each of these areas could generate 30 hubs on its own, In 40 years of political awareness and activity I have had bit parts in some events, but writing about Grunwick or Croxteth School or the Bradford 12 leads on to all the other industrial disputes, occupied schools or political trials in England. And American history could easily generate hundreds of hubs.

As a heterosexual white male I am possibly not the right person to write about feminism, racism, or many other isms and activities. So I started a Socialism 101 thread on the Forum, and another on "The Conservative Case Truly Stated", and got a lot of response - approaching 30 Hubbers helped with ideas.

I was looking for folk to write hubs on aspects of socialism in which they are interested.People working together will achieve so much more than people working individually. If we all write our own hubs but we are generous in cross referring and cross linking, we can weave a cloth from the disparate strands. That is the concept behind Socialism 101.

For now I plod on, hoping to create a hub a week for Socialism 101. Some hubs will be quicker and easier than others. Eventually there will be a body of work that someone who knows nothing about socialism can come to, and gain accurate information about what socialism actually is, rather than the misinformation about socialism generated by our media and body politic today.

The Shy Socialists

I am one of relatively few people on Hubpages to be a declared socialist. It is obvious to me from reading other hubbers hubs and forum postings that there are actually quite a few of us on Hubpages. Some are keeping themselves private persons. They are happy to write about gardening or origami or automobiles but they regard their personal politics as a private matter. Some of them do not want the hostility that being a declared socialist can bring upon one.

I have an extra identity who has shown no interest in politics yet. He will happily publish socialist hubs as a social service. Send them initially to charlesjames@talktalk.net and learn my other identity when they are put up.

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    • Charles James profile imageAUTHOR

      Charles James 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      Thank you gajania.

      Since my late teens I have said what I thought and let the chips fall as they would. It gets easier as one keeps doing it.

      What is so interesting is that 5 or 10 years later you run into people who remember you saying something and now they want to thank you.

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 

      7 years ago

      Your boldness in accepting what you are is commendable.....in fact everyone should have this courage to own and accept their convictions.....without thinking of how others will react.....good wishes for your further efforts on hubpages.Thanks.

    • Charles James profile imageAUTHOR

      Charles James 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      Harlan

      All followers and fans gratefully welcomed, particularly when they also provide intelligent comment.

      I am also a Canadian. In 1983 I was about to set up as a socialist lawyer in Britain, but I thought I should see Canada as an adult and make an informed choice as to which country to live in. Two uncles in Vancouver offered to fund me through the conversion to becoming a Canadian lawyer.

      Much as I liked Vancouver I decided that I would prefer to live in Britain. So I made my choice.

      If I saw a country to live in which was better than Britain I would seriously consider moving. Front runner is currently Portugal for cheap property, cheap living, and sunshine. All I need is an income to live on, because local wages are poor.

      Thank you for your suggestion of the USA. As a Canadian I could come. The difficulty is that I am close to retirement and I could not afford to live in the USA on a UK pension.

      I would not have wished to live in the USA under either Bush, and most of the current potential Republican Presidential candidates do not attract me. I do not see Obama as a socialist, but I agree he is generally progressive/liberal.

    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 

      7 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      I wrote the above while on the phone... now it won't let me edit my mistakes. My apologies, I am not a complete illiterate moron, I was simply on the phone and typing at the same time, I was under a time crunch.

      - Harlan

    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 

      7 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      I would think - you would love our current government and administration as (in my book) they are predominately socialists.

      However, with all this said, my intent is to give you a perspective of where my head is at on the issue.

      Thus, my question for you, if you would care to answer for me is: If socialism is so wonderful, why don't you pack up and move to a country where socialism is the law of the land?

      Honestly sir, that is not what this country is about. We don't want it. We believe that every nation that has every tried it has ultimately failed in the long term, though I can't say that capitalism is much more successful. But, America is a Constitutional Republic, capitalism is a by-product of freedom. Freedom is not a by-product of capitalism. Actually, I think if capitalism was "the government", it may be more oppressive than many other forms of government due to rampant greed.

      But, let me not loose sight of my inquiry. Why do you not live in a place where your belief's rule the day?

      Also, I am going to fan you, because I want to read what you have to say, even if I disagree with it. I may even seek to debate you on some of your points, as you mentioned above that you enjoy a good debate. I do as well.

      Some of my best friends are those I completely disagree with, I guess its largely because - they are not boring. People you agree with you on everything... sometimes are.

      - Best wishes

      - Harlan

    • Charles James profile imageAUTHOR

      Charles James 

      7 years ago from Yorkshire, UK

      Looking back, I was an arrogant young man.

      Age wisdom experience and the odd unpleasant experience have all contributed to the smooth pleasant person I now am.

    • DTR0005 profile image

      Doug Robinson 

      7 years ago from Midwest

      Charles I commend your effort. Most Americans are very "shy" to admit their true political orientation; I suffer from this as well. I too haven't been able to write the "hub-a-week" about nothing for the sake of a few extra dollars so I feel your pain on this issue.

      I have read and participated in more than a few of your forum posts and find your general civility admirable. Perhaps, age, widsom, and experience has tempered you.

      At any rate, I do look forward to reading more of you... just a word of appreciation.

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