The image shows six pictures with the title above reading, "Our Christmas Heros" and is subtitled, "5 out of 6 aint bad. Occupy Wall Street" (yes, the apostrophe is missing in ain't). Each image has a caption. The images and associated captions are:
- The Blessed Mother Mary holding baby jesus in a manger with a donkey looking on - caption: "Socialist"
- Santa Claus - caption: "Socialist"
- George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart), Mary Hatch (Donna Reed), and Zuzu Bailey (Karolyn Grimes) in It's a Wonderful Life - caption: "Socialist"
- Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim from Disney's A Christmas Carol voiced by Jim Carrey (Scrooge) and Gary Oldman (Tiny Tim) - caption: "Capitalist turns Socialist"
- The Grinch and his dog, Max from the classic animation The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - caption: "Grinch turns Socialist"
- Charlie Brown from A Charlie Brown Christmas - caption: "Undiagnosed manic depressive"
Well, what struck me was the claims - or at least the attempt at a joke - that five of these six pictured individuals or characters are socialist. Let us start, first, with the definition of socialism:
Socialism is an economic system where the means of production or services are socially owned by either common ownership, state ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. When taken in a political sense, socialism general supports the nationalization (state ownership) of the means of production and services.
Now, let's re-examine each one pictured.
Neither Mary nor Jesus was or is a socialist - we don't know about the donkey. No where in any of Jesus' teachings or in the Jewish teachings does instructions for people to have the government or some common societal construct take money and goods from the people and distribute it as it sees fit.
Santa Claus makes toys for good girls and boys with his elves at the North Pole. He doesn't represent any sort of common ownership or government. He gives of his own free will to those he deserves, through their behaviors and actions, are deserving. In fact, he doesn't discriminate on any level except for behavior - good vs. bad. The recipient can be rich or poor - it doesn't matter. Hardly a socialist approach.
George Bailey (as I assume that's the subject of this one rather than Donna Reed's character or the little girl) is a selfless man who has a track record of doing good and self-sacrificing. When the town realizes what has happened, they collect donations that are ostensibly freely given to help George and the Building & Loan. He also gets a $25,000 line of credit to help. Again, I don't see any socialism here.
Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim are hardly socialists either. Tiny Tim is likely unaware of socio-economic and political systems and is more pleased that everyone is having a Merry Christmas. In fact, possessions don't seem to matter to him as much as the love and togetherness that his family provides. Scrooge is clearly a capitalist out to make a profit. When he has his change of heart, he becomes more generous, but does NOT work to send his money, nor anyone else's, to the government or some collective in order to be redistributed as it deems. One could probably argue that Scrooge would find that practice abhorrent.
The Grinch and Max display no socialistic tendencies either. At a base level, the Grinch is a thief jealous and hateful of the joy of the Hoos. After stealing all of their Christmas items (decorations, presents, and even food) and realizing that he hasn't and can't steal their Christmas cheer, he has a change of heart (sorry for the spoiler) and returns the items and joins in their celebration. A repentant larcenist, yes. A socialist? No. And a dog, especially poor Max, is no where close to being a socialist.
Finally, the topic of recent debates over church and state separations, Charlie Brown's Christmas.
First, the preferred term is bipolar disorder and I would argue that Charlie Brown is not one to experience disruptive mood swings. I think he's a typical eight year old boy who goes through a pretty standard set of emotional states for that age. While I would agree he is a pessimist much like Eeyore, I wouldn't characterize him a "manic depressive".
So as cute as the OWS crowd is trying to be, what we have here is clearly inaccurate and incorrect and the ignorance and stupidity by the liberals picking it up and passing it along - especially without comment - is astounding. So while we didn't need another reason to think that the whole OWS group are a bunch of idiotic lunatics, we have this to add to the pile of evidence.