Back to Socialism

Some weeks ago, I addressed the question of socialism in a blog post. I defined it as “a system which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” Socialists, in other words, believe that the means of making, moving, and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the workers.

Trump and the Republicans regularly condemn as “socialist” programs that Democrats offer to make the benefits of society available to more people. The president and his supporters are misled by the misappropriation of the word “socialist” by dictatorships such as the one that rules Vietnam and calls itself the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Such errors damning egalitarian moves is a symptom of our American culture. We emphasize individualism, competition, and personal achievement and downplay or even dismiss cooperation, collaboration, and joint action. One result is our failure to make health care a right rather than a privilege. In the U.S., medicine is a way to make money, not a system to take care of our citizens. We are alone among the western democracies in failing to provide a government-controlled program of health care for all.

It’s time for us to mature as a nation and recognize that we are responsible for the good and well-being of all our fellow citizens. We already have Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—obviously socialistic programs. Maybe the new administration coming in 2021 will begin the much-needed movement toward government-provided health care for all.

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