Oscar Wilde on the Poor and Socialism

While I highly recommend a careful reading of Oscar Wilde’s The Soul of Man under Socialism, I also urge you to consider that this examination of the consequences of private property and how that perpetuates poverty is stunningly similar to the current education reform movement, notably: “But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.”

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One thought on “Oscar Wilde on the Poor and Socialism

  1. Of course, one has to take the quotes in the context of the time in which he lived. It was the gilded age in England as well as America. I believe that pure socialism does stifle creativity. Instead, I believe that with capitalist freedom also comes social responsibility. It is the government’s role to regulate unbridled capitalist impulses when those impulses are irresponsible–as they are right now. A society has an unwritten social contract based upon natural law and our present capitalist system is in gross violation. I believe that we must have a constitutional amendment taking private money out of politics. There must be strict regulation and prosecution of lobbyists who attempt to buy politicians. Next, the time has come for the old media conglomerates to be broken up as monopolies. In addition, such monopolies as Microsoft must be broken up. Though Pearson is English, we can deal with this company by having better regulations so they do not buy politicians state-by-state in order to get no-bid contracts. Furthermore, all their tests should be subject to peer review to ascertain reliability and validity. Next, all these astroturf non-profits should be forced to open their books to public scrutiny. All income sources should be publicized. Finally, we need to have a real progressive income tax on the wealthiest in this country to begin the process of redistributing wealth back to the middle and lower classes in this country and to fund an effective public education system. And there must be a truly effective Federal law regulating charters. If they take a cent of government money, they have to obey every single law so that no child can be segregated because of disability , race, ELL status, sexual orientation, etc. I pray that this could be done through the democratic process. I pray that progressive forces could regain control of the Democratic Party. If not, we have to think about more significant civil disobedience and protest as well as the possibility of a third party.

    Unfortunately, we have to educate many Americans to understand that this country is now a oligarchy controlled by 1% of the population. We have to help Americans understand that the power does belong to the people and we must take it back. Revolution should be the last resort because history shows that revolutions sometimes have negative consequences. I hope I can remain an optimist and through the discomfort of civil protest we can convince those in power to listen to us and again create a more just society. I want to remain an optimist, but who knows.

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