Living the Moderately Socialist Dream….

Zane Blanton
3 min readSep 1, 2019
American Social Democrats courtesy of www.socialists.ny

If you’re a progressive in the U.S., you probably care about

  1. Underfunded education and ballooning student loan debt.
  2. Poor public transit and generally unbikable and unwalkable cities
  3. Mass Incarceration and the Prison/Industrial Complex
  4. Out of control healthcare costs and lack of affordable insurance
  5. Federal government denies climate change
  6. Mass shootings
  7. Military/Industrial Complex
  8. Income Inequality
  9. Mass deportation and incarceration of citizens by ICE

In Germany, the problems are a bit milder

The Social Democrat party in Germany. Historically they’re almost always part of the government although they might be replaced by the Greens soon due to a perceived rightward shift in the party.
  1. U̵n̵d̵e̵r̵f̵u̵n̵d̵e̵d̵ ̵e̵d̵u̵c̵a̵t̵i̵o̵n̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵b̵a̵l̵l̵o̵o̵n̵i̵n̵g̵ ̵s̵t̵u̵d̵e̵n̵t̵ ̵l̵o̵a̵n̵ ̵d̵e̵b̵t̵.̵ Public school system privileges rich people, but university is essentially free. Well it can also be a pain to major in what you want to do since there are a bunch of qualifying examinations.
  2. ̵P̵o̵o̵r̵ ̵p̵u̵b̵l̵i̵c̵ ̵t̵r̵a̵n̵s̵i̵t̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵g̵e̵n̵e̵r̵a̵l̵l̵y̵ ̵u̵n̵b̵i̵k̵a̵b̵l̵e̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵u̵n̵w̵a̵l̵k̵a̵b̵l̵e̵ ̵c̵i̵t̵i̵e̵s̵ Public transit is quite good in most cities, but people still love to complain about it.
  3. ̵M̵a̵s̵s̵ ̵I̵n̵c̵a̵r̵c̵e̵r̵a̵t̵i̵o̵n̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵t̵h̵e̵ ̵P̵r̵i̵s̵o̵n̵/̵I̵n̵d̵u̵s̵t̵r̵i̵a̵l̵ ̵C̵o̵m̵p̵l̵e̵x̵ This is not a thing
  4. ̵O̵u̵t̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵c̵o̵n̵t̵r̵o̵l̵ ̵h̵e̵a̵l̵t̵h̵c̵a̵r̵e̵ ̵c̵o̵s̵t̵s̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵l̵a̵c̵k̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵a̵f̵f̵o̵r̵d̵a̵b̵l̵e̵ ̵i̵n̵s̵u̵r̵a̵n̵c̵e̵ Everyone has public insurance but the premiums can be a bit high.
  5. ̵F̵e̵d̵e̵r̵a̵l̵ ̵g̵o̵v̵e̵r̵n̵m̵e̵n̵t̵ ̵d̵e̵n̵i̵e̵s̵ ̵c̵l̵i̵m̵a̵t̵e̵ ̵c̵h̵a̵nge̵ Slow transition from fossil fuels due to shutdown of nuclear plants and dominance of German auto-manufacturers
  6. ̵M̵a̵s̵s̵ ̵s̵h̵o̵o̵t̵i̵n̵g̵s̵
  7. ̵M̵i̵l̵i̵t̵a̵r̵y̵/̵I̵n̵d̵u̵s̵t̵r̵i̵a̵l̵ ̵C̵o̵m̵p̵l̵e̵x̵ Lots of weapons exporters but no one really wants to fund the German military
  8. ̵I̵n̵c̵o̵m̵e̵ ̵I̵n̵e̵q̵u̵a̵l̵i̵t̵y̵ Still some problems with un(der)ployment and the welfare system, but minimum wage is livable
  9. ̵M̵a̵s̵s̵ ̵d̵e̵p̵o̵r̵t̵a̵t̵i̵o̵n̵ ̵a̵n̵d̵ ̵i̵n̵c̵a̵r̵c̵e̵r̵a̵t̵i̵o̵n̵ ̵o̵f̵ ̵c̵i̵t̵i̵z̵e̵n̵s̵ ̵b̵y̵ ̵I̵C̵E̵ Not quite as bad as ICE, but at least they’re better than most other European countries

I would say that Germany still lags a bit behind Sweden and Denmark in terms of social welfare, but I believe AOC would be happy to get only halfway to Germany by the time her career is done.

We’ve Won; Now what do we do?

March Revolution in Berlin (origin of German national Flag)

I will say it’s very relaxing to live in a State that you basically agree with. There’s not this feeling that all commerce is exploitative and that voting for moderate candidates is perpetrating violence against not only your fellow citizens but those of neighboring countries and worldwide as well. It’s more like everyone is working together in different roles to keep the country going and not that everyone is trying to scramble onto everyone else’s shoulders. Of course class is still real in Germany, but the workers’ are much better at advocating for themselves.

In a broader sense, Germany mistreats some countries in the EU, and obviously they sort of indirectly support exploitation on a global scale, but also how much control does Germany really have over these things? It’s a big economy, not a huge economy, and most people would say that it’s done a better than average job of advocating for progressive causes in the past few decades. Also, Post WWII Germany is sort of domestically focused by design, and everyone prefers it stay that way.

So what does one do in the working socialist state?

Take 40 days off a year and work only 8 hours a day and drink beers in the streets. A ton of people I know work part time just to have time for hobbies and travel. It’s not all American Exceptionalism and American Innovation and the unending American Hustle the belief that we can and should fix all the problems in the world and become insanely rich doing so. Just manage your house and garden nicely, and that’s enough.

Life under perfect socialism



Zane Blanton

data scientist, expat, climate change worrier, and cryptocurrency enthusiast.