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LETTERS: The debate over socialism 

LETTERS: The debate over socialism 

What does ‘socialism’ mean


A few weeks ago, the R-J  posted a letter that I had written concerning, among other things, socialism and the Democrat Party. More recently, you ran an article by a Mr. Peter Hargett (a Meriden Democrat) which was entitled "Misunderstanding socialism." In this lengthy editorial, Mr. Hargett takes aim at the "conservative media" and "a recent letter to the editor in this newspaper". Since he didn't mention me by name, I cannot assume that he was referring to my letter, but some of his comments should be addressed.

If Mr. Hargett knows what the definition of socialism is, he didn't share it with the readers. He implies that if you are opposed to socialism, you think there is no role for government. Absurd! Of course we need the government to provide a safety net for those in need. We also benefit by the government running our schools and providing standards. We need oversight agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), because we want our food supply to be safe and don't want drug companies making false claims about their products.

So what is socialism? Webster defines it as follows: socialism — "the theory or system of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of society or the community sharing in the work and the products". If we became a socialist nation tomorrow and you were the owner of a restaurant, beauty parlor, plumbing service etc., the ownership of those entities would transfer over to the government.

With prominent Democrats such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proclaiming themselves as socialists, it is cause for concern, especially when other Democrats are seemingly indifferent.

George Stowell, Wallingford