Noah Harris: Defining socialism

August 10, 2018


An article printed in Today’s News-Herald, Sunday, July 29, by Jay Ambrose, took a mighty swipe at the old red herring called “socialism.” He equated socialism with the “thugocracies” of Communist China and North Korea. I’m certain that most folks agree that North Koreans are bad actors and I doubt that anybody on today’s political scene wants to “be them.” What Mr. Ambrose failed to express is the dictionary definition of socialism, which is the ownership of the means of production and distribution by the state. An economic model that nobody supports, though Mr. Ambrose suggests that candidate for congress Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and 50 percent of millennials do.

Nobody wants the state to own the Starbucks outlets and it’s unfortunate that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez include the word “social” next to the word “democracy” when she put a name to an alternative to “corporate capitalism.” Maybe a better description would be “social capitalism,” thought the inclusion of the word “social” would probably torque Mr. Ambrose’s jaws the same as, “social democracy” — or does Mr. Ambrose object to the word “democracy” itself?

In the 21st Century, this country’s wage earners require affordable higher education, affordable health insurance and decent old-age pensions, the three things that the corporate free enterprise system won’t even try to provide. The fact that we the people don’t have those services means that we are going to have to fight for them. Mr. Ambrose in his zeal to support a corporate capitalism that can’t or won’t deliver essential social services and his opposition to those who suggest a way we can deliver them is close to a let-them-eat-cake argument. It’s time for capitalism with a human face, and that’s what social democracy is all about.

Noah Harris

Lake Havasu City

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