James K. Koehler: A history of socialism

April 1, 2019

Editor: A reply to Fred Barber’s rant concerning Socialism (March 27) is certainly in order. I wonder if Fred now sends back all his Social Security checks to help pay for the wall? Maybe he also insists on putting out the fire that might take his house all by himself since the fire department is a manifestation of socialism? How about the public libraries and the school lunch programs?

Let’s take the books out of our children’s hands and the food out of their mouths because of these evil socialistic programs. The equating of the Nazi Party to a socialist organization is a blatant revision of history.

Although the term “socialist” is included in the name of the party, the abbreviation NAZI stood for” National Socialist German Workers Party”. It should be clear to anyone having had some high school history that the Nazis were not socialists but a dictatorial, fascist and racist regime that worked hand in hand with Germany’s capitalist industries. The Weimar Republic, instituted after WWI lasted from 1918 to 1933 when Hitler took over as Chancellor of Germany. The Weimar Republic was a left-leaning democracy having considerable success until the late 1920s when hyperinflation and The Great Depression in 1929 conspired to create unrest and anarchy in the population and the downfall of the democracy.

The socialist leaders of the Weimar Republic were among the first to be arrested and incarcerated in Hitler’s initial concentration camps.

Finally, let’s consider what socialist leaning countries in the world are really like. We all know that the Scandinavian countries have long been considered socialist or as they sometimes call themselves, “compassionate capitalism”. A 2018 Gallup poll showed the top five “happiest countries” to be Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands. The USA came in as number 18. Sure, they have high taxes to pay for their health care, among the best in the world, education and eldercare, but who are we to say they have an evil system?

James K. Koehler

Lake Havasu City