What is socialism?: a letter to the editor


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It is about time that the American people were educated and informed about what true “Socialism” is and is not.  The fact is that in true socialism “the means of production” are owned by all of the people.  In other words, in true socialism all of the workplaces and businesses are owned, controlled, and run in the name and interest of all of the people for the good and well-being of all of the people.  They are not privately-owned by individuals and groups.  In true socialism, we would not all be totally equal in terms of how much we get paid for our work, but we would be much, much more equal than we are now.  There would not be any billionaires or people who have hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of millions of dollars in total wealth, most of which they inherited and did not earn by their own labor.

Those individuals such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who call themselves “Democratic Socialists” are not really socialists at all.  They are actually ultra-liberal/progressive Democrats who believe that our federal government should do more and spend more on the social safety-net programs as well as on other social programs that help the poor, the near-poor (those living on between 100%-125% of the federal government’s “official poverty line”), the lower-middle-class, the middle-class, and even the upper-middle-class because they also have financial struggles and problems especially when it comes to medical and health care expenses in their families.  They don’t advocate replacing our market-based capitalist economic system with a truly socialist economic system.  That has never worked anywhere on a large-scale.  They support our market-based capitalist economic system, but they want it to be more humane than it is now and to have more federal government spending than we have now to help all of the people just as our traditional allies do more of than we do here in the USA.

So, Republicans and Democrats, please stop spreading the false belief that having a federal government safety-net social program like “Social Security” somehow makes us a “socialist” country.

Because it does not.

Stewart B. Epstein

Retired professor of Sociology and Social Work