Socialism Is Not Communism

On my way to work yesterday, I saw a guy driving a red Prius with a pro-McCain sticker and an anti-Obama sticker that had the word “CHANGE” with a hammer and sickle for the “G”. (He probably bought the Prius to get free access to the HOV lanes, but still it must gall him to drive such a symbol of liberal enlightenment.) Once some of my favorite highly opinionated colleagues were available to chat, I mentioned that this guy must be pretty conflicted.

Being a mix of people across the political spectrum, we got into a conversation on socialism and communism. Even among my well educated colleagues, I had to point out that contrary to popular belief (in the USA at least), socialism is not communism, and the Soviet Empire was not a communist state. Soviet Russia, Cuba, China, North Korea, and other similarly structured nations are in fact totalitarian socialist states. There has never been a modern communist state of any longevity. The only enduring communist societies in existence are religious communities such as certain Catholic and Buddhist orders.

When I was in the Army (Infantry), one of our slogans was “Kill a commie for Mommy.” Of course, our real and imagined adversaries at that time consisted of the Soviet Union and other totalitarian socialist states, but I guess “Kill a totalitarian socialist for Mommy” didn’t have the same catchy ring to it.

Anyway … Not to be deterred from whining about Obama’s villainous plans for our nation, some of my colleagues insisted on claiming that Obama was taking us toward socialism and that of course socialism, particularly socialized health care, would be the ruin of us all. I started naming all the big bad socialist countries (relatively socialist as I put it) such as Canada, Great Britain, France, and of course those vicious Nordic countries. This attempt to shame these people into submission failed and at this point, the whole argument turned to health care, which I’ll have to take up in another article.

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