My extremely unpopular opinion.

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I expect to get trolled or unfollowed for this, but so be it.

I have a very unpopular opinion.  Some may call it Marxist or un-American (but in my opinion, it’s no more un-American than what’s going on right now in our government.).

Here it is.  Capitalism run amok (without controls and regulations to keep its excesses at bay) is worse than communism.  Unfettered capitalism is purely predatory.   It always leads to fascism.

Granted, communism is a terrible way to run a government (and has fallen out of favor in the developed world) because it’s extremely authoritarian and allows no real freedoms, no private property, there’s always the risk of food and other shortages, since the government, rather than private business, supplies everything.   But at least everyone has access to a first rate secular education (including higher education) and healthcare.  Those may be its only advantages but it least it has them.   The outcomes of communism have been terrible because it’s an ideology that just doesn’t work.    But neither does unregulated capitalism (except for corporations and the very wealthy).

If you look at the reasons why each ideology exists, communism at least had origins more noble and humane than the motive of pure greed that fuels capitalism.    Its core belief is that everyone is equal.  In the real world, of course, it doesn’t work, and communist governments always become corrupt with the leaders exploiting the populace and creating massive human suffering.   But unregulated capitalism is even worse because it’s basically a neofeudal system based on pure greed and the lust for power.  Without regulations put in place to protect the populace from its excesses, it rewards only the most predatory and sociopathic people, while exploiting everyone else and destroying the environment.    It punishes the most vulnerable and those with empathy while rewarding only people who have no issues exploiting others for their own gain.

So, as bad as communism is (was?), unregulated capitalism/neofeudalism like we’re heading toward here in America under Trump and the GOP is worse because it leads to fascism.  It leads to the oppression and the removal of basic rights and freedoms every bit as bad as those associated with communism.   It thrives on predation of the vulnerable and is therefore sociopathic and more evil than communism. There, I said it.

In my opinion, democratic socialism like they have in Scandinavian countries is the most ideal way to run a government.   People living in these countries score highest on the happiness index (even in spite of the endlessly dark and cold winters, which itself leads to depression and suicide), they have the longest life expectancy and the best health, there is the least inequality, and their people are far more likely to be prosperous then elsewhere (even though these aren’t the richest or most powerful nations).  Maybe such a system can only work in small countries with relatively homogenous populations though.

Short of that, humane democratic capitalist (capitalism can be balanced with enough socialism to make it humane and respectful of the earth — it used to be that way here, too) governments like Canada’s, that at least recognize the basic humanity of all its citizens, work best for average human beings.  Western Europe and most developed countries recognize this fact.  But in America, probably due to the Cold War, people are still terrified of the “S” word.  If they educated themselves on what it actually means (some people think the Nazi Party was socialist because it had the word in its full name — but it was actually fascist and not socialist at all) and stopped associating it with communism (which it isn’t), perhaps they would stop being so afraid of it.

*****

Further reading:

The Benefits of Socialism

 

 

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Being a ballsy blogger.

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I’ve never been a risk taker. At all. But there’s one exception–blogging. I take a lot of risks when I write and often post things that are:

1. Extremely personal and potentially embarrassing

2. Controversial and potentially incendiary

3. Unpopular opinions

3. Religious or political (though I try to avoid this because I respect all my readers, some of whose beliefs may differ very much from mine).

I’ve never regretted taking risks on this blog. Yes, some of my posts have angered some people. I had to learn to deal with that. At the end of the day, it’s my blog and my opinions and my feelings and my experiences. I’m tired of pretending to be someone I am not in real life, and I’m certainly not going to pretend to be someone I’m not when I’m blogging.  Sometimes I feel like the blogging world is the only place I can really be myself.

Popular opinions are a dime a dozen, but when you post something not so popular, you never know who you may reach who really needed to hear what you had to say. You feel good about yourself for having the courage to be authentic and candid. That tends to extend into the real world after awhile.

Being ballsy also tends to make your blog stand out, and I think that’s a big reason this blog has become somewhat popular.  Even if people don’t always agree with you, they’re always checking in to see what you’ll say next.   You don’t get popular by being a blogging wallflower.  Just make sure you really stand by what you say and be prepared to defend what you believe while still remaining respectful of those who don’t agree with you or dislike what you have to say.   If you’re just stirring the pot to get attention, people can tell.

Being a ballsy blogger has gotten so much easier over time. Outside of a few trolls and critics, none of the terrible things I imagined would happen ever did. I no longer hover over the “Publish” button for hours wringing my hands and sweating and asking myself, “should I?”  I don’t keep posts hidden for days as “Private” only to delete them later.  I hardly think about it any more. I just press that Publish button and don’t look back.  And I’ve never regretted it.

On being controversial.

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I don’t write to people-please. I did enough people-pleasing as a scared, awkward child and a codependent wife to a sociopath. Those days, for me, are numbered. I blog to be honest about myself and the way I see the world. Being completely honest isn’t always easy, and there have been many times I haven’t posted something I really wanted to because I was afraid of how people might react. But my track record is pretty good, and usually my desire to post an opinion or viewpoint that may not be “popular” overrides my fear of angering or upsetting someone. Even if I hesitate before posting an unpopular or controversial opinion, more often than not, I’ll eventually post it anyway and worry about the fallout (if any) later.

Most of the time, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I’ve had people actually thank me for posting a controversial or unpopular opinion, because as it turns out, there are people who feel the same way I do, but haven’t worked up the courage to admit it in public. They are grateful to know they’re not the only person in the world who feels a particular way. Other than those occasional words of gratitude, posting something controversial or unpopular has usually proved to be no more eventful than posting something that’s completely vanilla and inoffensive.

But occasionally, my posting something controversial has been met with anger and even hatred. I have my share of haters, but fortunately they are relatively few. Because I’ve always been a fairly non-confrontational person and also because I have such low self esteem and hate it when people hate me, at first the reality of having haters was hard to take. The first time I got skewered for posting something people strongly disagreed with, I was tempted to close up shop and stop blogging. My self-esteem and motivation to blog took a nosedive for weeks. I was extra careful to keep my posts as vanilla and bland as possible, so as not to offend anyone.

But being vanilla was boring to me. And I think it bored my readers too. My view count diminished, and after awhile of wondering where I went wrong, I realized that I was boring my readers because I was bored. I wanted 75% dark chocolate with chili powder and sea salt, and so did my readers, but I was giving them tapioca pudding because I was afraid of burning any tongues.

I’m not a shit-stirrer. I don’t write controversial things just to be controversial or to get attention. But I often have opinions that don’t go along with what’s popular or politically correct. Writing about these things, if I feel strongly about them, is exciting to me, because I feel like I’m sharing a point of view too often overlooked that I think deserves to be considered. I feel like I’m educating my readers, and sometimes they tell me my viewpoint was one they never considered before. That always makes me feel good. Telling them something nice and PC and popular doesn’t make anyone think. It doesn’t challenge anyone. It doesn’t rock their world. You can go on Google and find 3,654 other posts saying the exact same thing.

If you write honestly, from your heart, and you’re a thinking human being, you are going to have a few opinions that raise a few eyebrows (or even make a few hands curl into fists). And blogging, good blogging, is about honesty, even when it’s un-PC. Frankness and the courage to speak out about how you really feel is what makes a blog popular, even if the opinions stated always aren’t. As a bonus, you’ll get a lot more traffic too. And while you’ll get a few critics and even a few trolls, most of that boost in traffic will be from people who agree with you.

Haters gonna hate.

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For the past few days I’ve allowed a group of online bullies to really get me down and even make me consider not blogging anymore (God forbid, that will NEVER happen!)

I’m not willing to stop posting my unpopular opinions about controversial issues. I’m not going to censor myself for fear that certain small-minded people might not like me.

Someone pointed out something important though. If I’m going to take negativity from others so much to heart, then I either need to stop posting about controversial things that might make people upset, or accept the fact I’m going to have haters, especially since this blog is getting more popular.

I’ll keep the haters.

Opinionated Man is one of my blogging heroes. From the very beginning, his blog has inspired me. He has one of the most popular personal blogs on the Internet, but he sometimes posts his unpopular opinions and admits he has many haters who would love nothing more than for him to take down his blog. A lot of this is probably due to envy because of the swift growth of his blog, which has 50K plus followers. So obviously many more people like what he has to say, than those who want him to fall into a manhole and get trapped in it.

It’s a very small group of people who have been giving me trouble. I have so many more supporters and friends and I should focus on them, rather than on those who wish me or this blog ill. I’m like a person who frets about the one person scowling at me at a party, even though everyone else is happy to see me.

Not long ago, I wrote this post about having the courage to write about what you want. I need to follow my own advice.

Anyone know where I can buy a skin-thickening agent?