34 votes

When a deep red town’s only grocery closed, city hall opened its own store. Just don’t call it ‘socialism.’

11 comments

  1. [6]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    That's great, and it seems to be working wonderfully. And the people love it. If only there were a way to go "How do you like your socialism?" without them burning the place down, because this is...

    That's great, and it seems to be working wonderfully. And the people love it. If only there were a way to go "How do you like your socialism?" without them burning the place down, because this is honestly beautiful for so many reasons.

    18 votes
    1. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Deep Red America loves socialism. They just don't like that "undeserving people" have access to it as well. It's Herrenvolk Socialism, and the Herrenvolk is a higher priority for them than the...

      Deep Red America loves socialism. They just don't like that "undeserving people" have access to it as well.

      It's Herrenvolk Socialism, and the Herrenvolk is a higher priority for them than the socialism is when it comes to national level politics. So they're willing to strike devil's bargains with "small government" laissez faire types.

      16 votes
      1. stephen
        Link Parent
        I wonder what would happen if you told them their farmer co-op was formed by socialists and that co-ops are an essential tool for workers' economic enfranchisement.

        I wonder what would happen if you told them their farmer co-op was formed by socialists and that co-ops are an essential tool for workers' economic enfranchisement.

        3 votes
    2. [3]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Oh, but you see: Because they aren't socialists, what they do isn't socialism. Easy peasy, problem solved.

      Oh, but you see:

      “We take the water out of the ground, and we pump it to your house and charge you,” he told The Post. “So what’s the difference with a grocery store?

      Because they aren't socialists, what they do isn't socialism. Easy peasy, problem solved.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        You don't have to be a socialist for it to be socialism.

        You don't have to be a socialist for it to be socialism.

        2 votes
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Yes, clearly. I was being flippant in my response to highlight the logical leap the mayor was making. He's arguing that any expansion of government services to fulfill a citizen need can be...

          Yes, clearly. I was being flippant in my response to highlight the logical leap the mayor was making. He's arguing that any expansion of government services to fulfill a citizen need can be shrugged off as not a change from the status quo, because it already fulfills some needs. When he's asking questions like:

          “Should [local governments] be in private enterprise all the time?” he mused. “Maybe not. But for situations like this, yeah, definitely I believe they should.”

          he's already acting socialist, he's just working within the acceptable political vocabulary for his region.

          8 votes
  2. [3]
    retiredrugger
    (edited )
    Link
    I think it's something we shouldn't vocalize for at least another generation. Most people who fear socialism are afraid not of what it is but what it represents and entails. These people grew up...

    If only there was a way to go "How do you like your socialism?"

    I think it's something we shouldn't vocalize for at least another generation. Most people who fear socialism are afraid not of what it is but what it represents and entails. These people grew up in a world so diametrically opposed to socialism that even mentioning the word "socialism" instills a fear of ostracization; to a group of people who value community the most this is terrifying. Furthermore, they can't even their hate for socialism being fear based. Community is so deeply engraved into their conscious and public psyche they reflect fear outwards as hate.
    Furthermore, I think the best way to get people onboard with socialism is exactly like how this grocery store turned out. It's like hiding a child's medicine in sugar.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      The needle doesn't start moving until you start vocalizing it. The process of making these things acceptable takes time and exposure.

      I think it's something we shouldn't vocalize for at least another generation.

      The needle doesn't start moving until you start vocalizing it. The process of making these things acceptable takes time and exposure.

      10 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        That's assuming you are talking to sane people who can be swayed by logic. There are already plenty of ur-socialist programs in the US, none of which have helped these people change their minds....

        That's assuming you are talking to sane people who can be swayed by logic. There are already plenty of ur-socialist programs in the US, none of which have helped these people change their minds. We would have better luck rebranding socialism under a different term.

        6 votes
  3. dubteedub
    Link
    First, I gotta say that this is a really great idea and I would love to have more city-owned grocer co-ops around the country. This seems like a perfect idea for a lot of "food deserts" in major...

    First, I gotta say that this is a really great idea and I would love to have more city-owned grocer co-ops around the country. This seems like a perfect idea for a lot of "food deserts" in major cities and other economically depressed areas beyond the rural communities mentioned in the article.

    Many small-town grocers are reaching retirement age, and it’s tough for communities with dwindling populations to attract new residents when there’s no supermarket nearby. Consequently, Procter says, “food access becomes almost like a utility that you have to have for the town to exist.”

    “Fundamentally, what you have is people that have lived in these rural communities all their lives, and they want these rural communities to survive,” Procter said. “And they realize that without access to food, they’re not going to survive.”

    By definition, a collectively owned, government-run enterprise like the Baldwin Market is inherently socialist. But Lynch, who has a nonpartisan position but governs a town where 68 percent of residents voted for Donald Trump in 2016, doesn’t see it that way. From his point of view, the town is just doing what it’s supposed to do: providing services to residents who already pay enough in taxes.

    So this community recognizes that certain things are absolutely essential to survive, food being one of them. In response they have implemented a collective socialized grocery store in an overwhelmingly conservative area.

    I just wish that these folks could take the next step and realize that other aspects of life like housing and healthcare are also essential and if affordable options are not provided by corporations, then it should be the role of government to step in and provide access.

    8 votes
  4. monarda
    (edited )
    Link
    I debated whether to post this, but in the end decided to go ahead. I'm about to be judgy. Editting the first sentence: This article and the response to it disgusts me. We're talking about people...

    I debated whether to post this, but in the end decided to go ahead. I'm about to be judgy.

    Editting the first sentence: The response to this news disgusts me This article and the response to it disgusts me.
    We're talking about people who need food.
    Who they voted for should not have even been in the article.
    Trying to shame them for their disconnect is shameful.
    Praising them and their town for solving a very real problem is what we should be doing. Praise goes further than shame in bringing about real change in people.
    Let the right shame them if they want, but it shouldn't be us.

    4 votes