People wrongly conflating socialism with communism

I do not believe there are any examples of pure socialism or pure capitalism for us to examine.

People wrongly conflating socialism with communism

Socialism is a GOOD word.

I have been frustrated and confused by the number of individuals that I run across that use the word “socialism” as if it were a four-letter obscenity. It is understandable if you consider the kind of bias that is presented on American news media and how that in turn filters into our social media, etc.

I do not believe there are any examples of pure socialism or pure capitalism for us to examine. Only sliding scales. For example, Canada is a far more socialistic country than the United States even though both practice some socialistic ideals.

“In the modern era, ‘pure’ socialism has been seen only rarely and usually briefly in a few communist regimes. Far more common are systems of social democracy, now often referred to as democratic socialism, in which extensive state regulation, with limited state ownership, has been employed by democratically elected governments (as in Sweden and Denmark) in the belief that it produces a fair distribution of income without impairing economic growth.”

I have noticed that when people are lighting their hair on fire over socialism being the cause of society’s downfall, they are usually mixing up socialism with communism.

Simply put:

— Under socialism, all citizens share equally in economic resources as allocated by a democratically elected government.

— Under communism, most property and economic resources are owned and controlled by the state (authoritarian dictatorship)

Our schools, hospitals, transportation, parks, environmental protections, justice system (in theory), are available to everyone, regardless of income or station. We care for our old, our young, and our disadvantaged. We certainly are not doing it enough, but we are doing it better than others. This is the sliding scale of socialism.

In a recent letter to the editor an author made statements suggesting that socialism was about government control, creating apathy and melancholy in the average person, detrimental to charities, over taxing the middle class, and finally engineering its own destruction.

In response I would like to point out that in a democracy the people control the government at every election. With all citizens being cared for there is no more need for charities. As for over taxing the middle class, I think that says more about the author than socialism. There are some very good examples of countries with their sliding scale of socialism far more left than ours who are thriving, and yes, paying taxes with very happy citizens. So maybe socialism is not the engineer of its own destruction, maybe that is still in the hands of the people resisting it, either knowingly or unknowingly, by design and at the behest of our corporate overlords. The one thing I am sure of is that their resistance does not stem from their “social conscience”.

Dara Quast

Cobble Hill


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