BY JIM SCOFIELD
Socialism – the enemy of America, so it’s been preached to us by business and political leaders, by editorialists and letter writers. The word is wildly misused and thrown about, like a cuss word against anything vaguely liberal, by the thoughtless. Its strict meaning is the ownership of the means of production by the state, not much practiced by any Western democracies these days, except for the ownership of some transportation companies.
Capitalism is its antagonist, a term pretty disgraced by its ruthless, exploitive history of workers and the public in both Europe and America, now replaced by nice sounding terms like “free market.”
Socialism isn’t a nasty word in much of the rest of the world. In every Western European country, the governing or main opposition party is the traditional socialist party, “social democrats,” or labor party in Britain. Now, they are mainly capitalist, but with strong roots in protecting the majority of their workers’ wages and benefits.
Some socialist countries, such as the Soviet Union, were repressive dictatorships, but most socialist parties emphasize the “democratic” in their names.
On the other hand, many capitalist countries turned into brutal military oppressions at the behest of their business elites.
Here, the Democrats are supposed to be the party of the ordinary people and the workers, but their dependence on corporate campaign contributions makes them as much a party of capitalism and business, as we saw recently with their massive support of the bankers and their bowing to the private insurance and drug company interests on the health-care bill.
It is deemed unpatriotic in our country to believe that anyone, anywhere, has a life as good as Americans do, that we are a classless society in some sense, that people get what they work for, and that socialism rewards those who are shiftless and irresponsible.
BY JIM SCOFIELD
Proceed with caution | Motorcyclists face spring obstacles
This past weekend’s mild weather brought out an abundance of motorcyclists. Bikers were riding everything from the smallest dirt bikes to the largest highway cruisers.
Readers' Forum 4-17 | Aiding others despite circumstances
On April 9, I could not believe what I was seeing. A knife-welding student had cut and slashed 21 of his classmates and a security guard at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Westmoreland County. I saw a lot of heroes that day.
Readers' Forum 4-16 | Don't get caught in the spin
This is a response to the abundance of “spin” used by Katie Dorian on April 13 (“ ‘Spin’ column will cause vertigo”) and Debra Taczanowsky (“Everyone must stand up against ‘spin,’ ” April 8) condemning such spin.
Enjoy the fun of fishing | Three million trout available to anglers
A popular saying seen on T-shirts and bumper stickers reads, “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work.”
Fitting tribute to Marine | Documentary of Michael Strank in works
It is a small, volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, 750 miles south of Tokyo. Normally, an island that is only 8 square miles – 4 miles wide by 2 miles long – would not receive much attention.
Readers' Forum 4-15 | Can we survive constantly changing weather?
Does it matter if we believe in global warming? It is what it is, and we will die anyhow.
Readers' Forum 4-14 | A wonderful day for the kids
I would like to say job well-done to the students and staff of the Greater Johnstown School District for managing a wonderful event called Kiwanis/Key Club Pancake Day that took place on April 5 at Greater Johnstown High School.
Above the law? | City, manager ignore open records stipulations
Rules were made to be broken, according to an old adage.
And it seems to us, and several Johnstown residents, that that adage is what City Manager Kristen Denne adheres to.
Readers' Forum 4-13 | 'Spin' column will cause vertigo
I decided to take the advice Debra Taczanowsky offered in her column, “Everyone must stand up against ‘spin’.” I had a hard time standing up, though, after her spin knocked me flat on the floor.
Readers' Forum 4-12 | Cast, crew put on uplifting entertainment
Kudos to the Conemaugh Township Area High School Music Department on its outstanding production recently of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
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