Eliminating the Upper Crust

Hilite Perspectives editor Misha Rekhter shares his thoughts on political ideologies in regards to the uppermost tier of society.

Hilite Perspectives editor Misha Rekhter shares his thoughts on political ideologies in regards to the uppermost tier of society.

Inequality is subtle yet firm, an ugly ramification of ambition. It has been persistent in the entirety of American history, simmering below the surface as more prominent issues consumed the focus of the nation. A portrait has been painted of a united front, free from the afflictions of the not-so-distant past. This is a dismal misconception; as the chasm between rich and poor widens with each breath of unbridled capitalism. Americans have cultivated an individualistic society where we are taught to strive for personal gratification, which has consequently left our fellow man battered, bruised and broken in the process.

Freedom is the favorite sentiment of the American people; however, economic stability and viability have become prerequisites for true freedom. Without a stable income, the American government, and to a certain extent the American people, has deemed that one is not worthy of guaranteed health care, higher education or the ability to retire with dignity. This the nature of the harsh beast that is capitalism. Economic divisions are the byproduct of this glorified system. It is a system for the wealthy, dominated by the wealthy and manipulated by the wealthy. The poor are discarded by the rich and left to survive on the scraps left behind.

I am aghast; I was unaware of the inhumanity of humanity. I must acknowledge that I am arguing with such apathy, in part, about myself. Fortunately, my life has always been financially secure, but I try not to be naive. The prosperity of my family and my own comfort come at the expense of someone else’s success. I do not wish to leave this someone for naught. As such, I have begun to consider the viability of other economic and political systems.

I will be of the age to vote soon, and it bears tremendous value to learn about the available options. I want to make informed decisions in the future. Strikingly, democratic socialism presents itself as the clear choice: a system that attempts to bridge the gap between the economic classes in America. This is an ideology that wishes to squash inequality and functions to breed unity. There’s no need for deception: democratic socialism is not beneficial for the rich. However, it is a system that helps everyone—a rising tide lifts all boats.

As such, I implore you to educate yourself on the serious matter at hand. Please do not disregard democratic socialism based solely on the stigma surrounding and clouding socialism. They are not one and the same. Moreover, democratic socialism is sharply removed from the wave of communism in the past.

Democratic socialists argue that the economy should be run more democratically. This will serve to better meet the needs of the public rather than feed the coffers of the few. A more just society necessitates ordinary Americans to participate more actively in the decisions that affect their lives. This requires the adjustment of structures within our government and economy to greater social and economic democracy. A false stigma surrounding socialism has contaminated its image and spread false ideas about socialism throughout the US. In reality, democracy and socialism can coexist. It is only in America that they are considered to be distinctly separate ideals. In the rest of the world, democracy and aspects of socialism have repeatedly gone hand in hand.

Regardless, it is time for Americans to take democratic socialism more seriously. The poor have fallen prey to the wealthy for far too long; it is time for America to move past its selfish roots. Thus, it is ultimately up to us, the future leaders of the world, to incite change. We are capable of creating a more united society, of helping our fellow man and of establishing a progressive government and social agenda. To do so, we must look beyond ourselves and the Carmel bubble we live in; we must work to make the entire world a better place. Divided we will fall, but together we will grow prosper.

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Alanna Wu