Today in my Political Science class our professor was putting up this ‘political spectrum’ thing on the board.
It looked sort of like this:
|———Progressive Change————|—-Status Quo—-|——Regressive Change———|
Granted it was on a chalkboard and in my professor’s entertainingly sloppy cursive, but whatever. That was it. So we’re talking about the political implications and how people use the lables for different things and so on and so forth. Suddenly this girl raises her hand. I should preface this by saying that she has (to my ear) a very strong nordic accent. Based on oppinions offered in the past, I conjectured that she was an exchange student, or something in that vein. I was right.
She starts trying to apply economics to this scale, and she wanted to stick socialism on the left and capitalism on the right. Breuning (prof.) tells her that in actuality, capitalism, free market economy, is a component of classical liberalism. She used the adjective classical.
As in Capitalism is to Liberalism what Zepplin is to Classic Rock. It’s THAT connected.
But she keeps on pushing it, saying things like, “In my mind I associate capitalism with a much more regressive direction of change,” except in a Sweedish accent. And all of a sudden I felt a horrible little pang in my gut. Something burried so deep under piles of embaressment and frustration that I’d honestly forgot that it was still down there.
It was patriotism,
I shit you not.
It’s all fine and good when I complain about capitalism and how it screws the poor and rewards the rich, but when this girl was really adament that capitalism was a bad idea it made me really mad. The U.S. basically wrote the book (figuratively) on how to do the whole free market thing. That’s why we have so much money floating around; we got a jump on capitalism. And it just drives me nuts that someone from a mixed economy (prevalent elements of socialism and capitalism) in Scandanavia (one of the THE richest places per capita on the planet) would have the gall to knock capitalsim.
I can sure as hell gaurentee you that the Swedes didn’t get all that money by simply taxing the crap out of their citizenry and providing awesome government services (which they do) alone. They’re on the capitalism bandwagon as much as the next european country.
Sorry. That was way uncharacteristic of me.
I don’t know why that irked me so much; and to be honest I was far more interested in the fact that I responded with annoyance than in the actual annoyance itself.
Unrelated story: At Truman, or at least Centennial Hall, we have supernatural plumbing. I like to take a shower with pretty hot water. You know, the tempreture where it’s not quite painful, but just about? So I was doing that, and I heard a toilet flush above me. Instinctively I braced myself for the onset of luke-warmness. Instead my skin just about burned off.
Someone flushed a toilet and the water got hotter.
I’ve not the slightest clue why.