My Community Manifesto

It is difficult to subscribe to any particular form of government. Pledging complete allegiance to one
ideology is difficult if not impossible, since most ideologies have contradictions in their very roots.
Besides that, individuals have their own perspectives and beliefs which can often force them to make
exceptions. For example, religion and politics can often collide. Such cases are particularly true with
socialism. I believe in socialism; but I cannot say that I am a full-fledged socialist. Most socialists are
this way, and if any claim that they are completely socialist, then perhaps they have lost sight of what
socialism is. There are several beliefs that all socialists have, however, the very basis of it started as a
transition into communism, at least according to Karl Marx. By definition, socialism is a debate. What
many people believe to be concrete ideologies about socialism; others see it as evolving and ever-
changing. However, most can agree that it is based on community, a working and active life, and
human welfare. It is within these basic ideas that I have subscribed myself to be, at least for the most
part, a socialist.
Socialism exists in many forms. When it comes to change, some socialists believe in revolution; while
others believe in reform. Some are Utopian, others believe in a more scientific approach. However,
most socialists can agree that the role of freedom and creativity is vital for the production of a true
socialist form of government. I believe that freedom and creativity are central aspects of a healthy
society. Work hours should be reasonable enough so that individuals can explore their true purpose in
life. If that means that they have to work shifts to save money for the future, then we should make
that work for them. If individuals want to explore their passions while working twenty or thirty hours
per week, then the government should allow this to happen. While there may be few socialists who
disagree with this approach to government, I believe that this is a pivotal role for a happier and more
productive society, in general.
It is difficult to assign myself a title of anything, particularly when it comes to political ideologies.
However, I am more of a socialist than anything else. Beyond that, I believe myself to be a centrist,
since I fall on both sides of the spectrum of left and right. I believe that cutting programs or reducing
their funding is important if it means it creates a better society and contributes to the wealth of the
nation. However, some programs are vital in terms of creativity and freedom. Education is one of
these as is the general idea that human welfare is desirable. Programs centered around the
progression of a working and active society to achieve the desires of the people is of the utmost
importance. Community is key for socialism, and if the government cuts programs which empowers
the community to grow and achieve, then a major power shift occurs and production, human welfare
and other crucial aspects are lost.
In The United States of America, funding for education is often low. Many of those with political power
want to cut funding and eliminate certain aspects of school programs. For example, Sen. Chris Buttars
of Utah has proposed to eliminate 12th grade in public schools. He claimed that the proposal would
save the state up to $60 million at some point in time. When it comes to creativity, it is true that this
is a pretty creative method for saving money while also cutting funding in education, but it is the type
of creativity that is used in the wrong way. Education is important in society. Without quality
education, we can't be as productive or useful in today's world. I believe that knowledge is power. If
we have no knowledge, we have no power or control over our own lives or the changes necessary to
create and assist in a better society. In Utah, funding for education is low on politicians' lists. This
year, we had more funding than last, but it is still far lower than before the recession. Freedom and
creativity are always at risk in Utah and elsewhere in the country. Alaska has suffered a serious blow
with a $46 million cut in education. With lawmakers getting away with huge salaries from taxpayers'
money, I believe we need to focus on cutting their income before we cut education. As a society, we
need to be able to hold them accountable for poor decision-making for limiting our ability to be free
and creative; educated and filled with opportunity to succeed in life.
Denmark is a shining example of a successful socialist government. All governments have their
problems, but in my opinion, Denmark has fewer than most. In Denmark, taxes go toward education
to provide for all college tuition costs. Not only does the government focus their attention on tuition,
students also get money each semester for housing and food, so they can go to school and actually
live. Education is a primary objective for Denmark. They have so many benefits that not only do they
supportive their own citizens in their goals of achieving an education, they also encourage foreigners
to attend their universities. All EU/EEA/ and Swiss citizens do not pay tuition fees. The government
allocates taxes to pay for tuition costs. Besides that, anyone without these types of citizenships must
pay tuition, however, it is still cheaper than most institutions in the US. The University of Utah
averages about $30,000 for a bachelors degree. Aarhus University in Denmark averages about
$10,000 for those without EU/EEA/ and Swiss citizenships. To me, this is exceptional for a socialist
government. When it comes to education, this is ideal for a government. Citizens unite with leaders so
that everyone lends a helping hand and can live much healthier, happier and successful ives.
Once a person living in the US learns that both the liberal and conservative parties in government
have multiple biased agendas, they are wise to realize that there is also much corruption. Since we
live in this oligarchy full of corruption, it can be difficult to to find a reliable source on one side or the
other. When we observe Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Finland, and the Faroe
Islands it is evident that they have achieved in having the best run government in the world. They
prohibit themselves from bailing out big companies, and instead focus on individualism and human
welfare. They have low levels of inequality and attribute themselves as having a more fair and
balanced economical society. I believe that the US can learn from these countries by refusing
corruption, and instead focus on the Individual and thus even out the immense difference in equality
among people in the country.
Furthermore, on the matter of equality, Sweden has one of the lowest income inequalities in the
world. Having a balanced form of income to all members of society is central to a happier and more
peaceful society. Those within the Nordic model are often competing for the lowest inequality in the
world. In 2013, Norway took the lead. While citizens are doing their part, it is important that everyone
compensate each other equally. I say "everyone," because socialism is a system of
community. Community suffers when others are treated unfairly. Most countries in Africa have the
highest income inequality in the world. Some of these countries, including Chad, Niger, and the
Central African Republic have such terrible income inequalities that a chain of consequences occur for
those living in those countries. Tourism goes down, violence goes up, and the sense of community is
lost. It's hardly even the tip of the iceberg, but the idea remains a simple one: working together and
treating each other as equals can often be the beginning of creating the best possible society where
enjoyment of life is at a high. For me, I believe in a high-functioning form of socialism. Dealing with
issues and contributing to society should come full-circle. We should not have to put in more and get
less while the top one percent of people in the world reaps the benefits. I think that the US should not
be so afraid of socialism. I believe that we should embrace it and create better lives for more people.

My influences
Living in a country where the government gives tax breaks to the rich and big business has influenced
me to believe in socialism. I've read about these issues in the newspaper, watched them on television,
and read about them in books. For me, alternative forms of government caught my attention after
hearing about the Lehman Brothers scandal. When I heard that the company went bankrupt and the
government bailed them out, I was upset. Looking further into the issue, I found that the Lehman
Brothers was just the tip of a mammoth-sized iceberg. Not only is the list exhausting, frustrating, and
exhausting, many of the companies which the government bailed out haven't paid back the
government. On a basic level, this means that the government spends taxpayer money to bail out
companies which swallow small businesses and are full of corruption so that they can continue their
tradition of destroying America's economy, and never get the money back into the economy because
the corporations don't always return the money. General Motors still owes $14.5 billion to the
government. Chrysler still owes $1.3 billion, and many others owe millions to billions of dollars.
Furthermore, the Emergency Economic Stabilization act of 2008 is one which I feel has damaged the
economy and further propels the agendas of corporate power, leading to huge gaps between the rich
and the poor. When I hear about events like these in the news, it makes me want even more to
not only be a socialist, but do my part in moving the country to a more progressive socialist society.
The Soviet Union gave socialism a bad name, but many countries in the world have made up for that
bad reputation by being the greatest countries in the world.
I have many friends who also influence my ideas on this as well; at the same time, I have many
friends who are against socialism still. I cannot say that all of my friends are supportive of the socialist
movement, but those who are supportive are my closest friends. Occasionally, we talk about the
issues of capitalism and how some socialist ideas could remedy the country of the mistakes that the
US government has made. We want everyone to be happy, and we believe that we can do this if we
all just work together as a society and become more of a community than anything else. Working
hand in hand to create a better way of life for everyone is the primary goal that my friends and I
agree on. Our biggest wish right now is that we want US citizens to look deeper into socialism as an
option and not be so concerned about the past. We should use the bad side of the history of socialism
to fuel the current movement. If we see the mistakes people made in the past, I think that we can
build a happy and successful society.
The biggest difference between my friends and I is that some of us believe that socialism should come
as reform, while some believe that it should come as revolution. I believe in both. Making a swift
transition is crucial, but we would have to prepare by infiltrating internally into the current system of
government. President Obama has helped with this in some ways, but they are not enough. Once
more people realize that they have been practicing socialism and are satisfied with it, then they might
see the whole movement more tempting. That's when I believe that a revolution needs to happen.
When the country comes together as one, we can rise up and overcome the corrupt capitalist system
that the US has placed before us. In short, most of my closest friends and I influence each other by
staying informed with what's happening in the world and what happens in the United States, as well
as in Utah.