There has been a lot of talk about Socialism in the Democratic party and there are some who would like to see it increasingly in U.S. law. Millennials have an overall favorable view of Socialism and were big supporters of the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2015. I believe that the reason for that has been the failure of schools to teach about what Socialism actually is (or Capitalism for that matter) and what results have come from Socialist regimes.

The definition of Socialism is a political and economic theory which advocates for the means of production, distribution, and exchange to be owned or regulated by the community. Socialism is often used interchangeably with communism and is used as a step towards communism. Communism, according to Merriam-Webster, is rooted in Karl Marx’s theory of revolutionary socialism which advocates an overthrow of capitalist structures within a society, societal and communal ownership and governance of the means of production leading to the eventual establishment of a classless society. Since Fascist is a word currently being thrown around carelessly, I include the definition of it as well. Fascism exalts nation above the individual and stands for a centralized government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. I feel that many do not understand what Capitalism is either so here you go. The definition of Capitalism according to Miriam Webster is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.

In the end, Socialism, Communism and Fascism all have the following in common: Capitalism is the enemy, the collective outweighs the individual and the end result has always been tyranny. Joseph Stalin was responsible for an estimated 20 million deaths during his reign in the Soviet Union. Mao Tse-tung killed an estimated 38 million Chinese. Kim Il Sung was responsible for 4-6 million deaths in North Korea. Miguel A. Faria in his book, Cuba in Revolution (2002) states the following: “Since Fidel Castro took over the island in 1959, the best figures that we can glean is that between 30,000 to 40,000 people either have been executed …in the firing squad wall or have died in the hands of their communist jailers”. People in opposition to these leaders who were not killed were condemned to prisons and work camps.

Venezuela was once a prosperous country due to the largest oil reserves in the world. In 1975 the Democratic Action party nationalized the oil industries. In the midst of the subsequent crumbling economy and strikes, Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998 to create a socialist utopia. Since 2013 Venezuela has been #1 on the world misery index. In 2016 the economy collapsed with a 700% inflation rate according to the American Institute for Economic research. A UN report reveals that 94% of Venezuelans live in poverty in 2019.

Sweden is often listed as examples of places where Socialism “works”. There have been high taxes and they have had a generous social safety net since the 1960’s (which resulted in them dropping from the fourth richest nation in the world down to the 13th richest). Leaders realized the nation’s continued success depended on freer markets, not total government, and started to lower taxes and government spending as well as deregulate and privatize broad swaths of the economy, including the addition of school choice in the 1990’s.

The one thing to know about Socialism and/or Communism is that the equality that is sold is a myth. There is no such thing as everyone being equally prosperous. The only way everyone can be equal is when everyone is equally miserable.

Lisa Callanan is a resident of Stephens City.

(14) comments

caris31

Democratic Socialism is still Socialism. You can pour syrup on a pile of manure, that doesn't make it pancakes.

Rushi

rtheew

DaWholeTruth

Ms. Callahan has learned from the history of over 100,000,000 dead bodies killed by forms of socialism. Always offered first as candy to the gullible until control is complete, then comes the untold misery and death. Venezuela anyone? NK anyone?

Spock Here

Venezuela and NK are run by dictators, why can you not tell the difference between the two. I'll say I am not crazy about "the Bern", he reminds me of a leftist Trump, but I know what a corrupt dictator is. They can also do their dictating in democracies as well.

DaWholeTruth

Aha, you're finally starting to see the light. Give it a new name, call it Democratic socialism, draw the Lemmings in and watch the fun begin. Fortunately there are enough Americans with enough sense to prevail and prevent any form of Socialism remember taking root in our soil, I pray!

Robina5

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Choosing socialism in any form over the free enterprise system that made this country the strongest nation on earth at one point, is a bad choice - and will have the usual bad consequences.

Spock Here

So stop practicing corporate socialism

Spock Here

You give examples of leaders that ruled a totalitarian regime under the guise of socialism. Corrruption can be found in any form of government. Stoking fear about the dreaded "socialism" is nonsense, since our democratic society has elements of socialism in it. Recently we've given bailouts to farmers and unprosperous coal mines....what is that? Look up democratic socialism and relax

Eredmon

Thank you, Ms. Callanan for adding bleach to the mold that always forms when History is ignored. Beware of people (especially politicians) who promise to make lives better by taking freedoms away.

slowe

Writer fails to acknowledge that we already have many socialist aspects to our mixed economy. We now have a blend of capitalist and socialist elements. Writer should examine and define the term “democratic socialism†and include that in her analysis. Our current system does not work without controls and constraints on the capitalists. The world is not as pure or black and white as she depicts.

Conservative

Ignorant fools such as yourself will doom this country if socialism is allowed to creep forth and capitalism is abandoned.

Spock Here

Ignorant fools such as yourself have already doomed this country

Conservative

Really? Then why is everyone still trying to come here? This country is doing quite well, contrary to your "logic". Perhaps that high horse you ride upon is really an illusion for something lacking on your part. Socialism is a cancer. So is your superiority complex.

Spock Here

So corporate socialism is also a cancer? Speak loudly, please, my horse is so high I can't hear above my superiority complex. Cue eye roll.

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