SOVIET SOCIALISM AND AMERICAN CAPITALISM

Bob Gerecke

There is a family likeness between the Soviet version of socialism and the American version of capitalism.

One of the 20th century's tragedies was the Stalinist regime in the USSR, tragic not only because it did so much harm to its people, but also because it discredited socialism, giving the right wing a club to beat anyone who criticizes the flaws in capitalism or advocates a social safety net.  If the social democracies of western Europe and not the USSR had become the most recognizable faces of socialism, Rush Limbaugh and his ilk at Faux News would be hard-pressed to demonize it.

Our country is the mirror image of the USSR, a perversion of capitalism, as the USSR was of socialism.  The USSR's socialism was ownership by the rulers rather than by the people.  American capitalism is ownership of government and the economy by the wealthy few rather than fair competition and opportunity.  Each violates its basic premise and its sales pitch.  Each concentrates power and exploits the vast majority for the benefit of the few.  The two systems have more in common than most people realize.