What true socialism is and is not

Dear Editor:

It is about time that the American people were educated and informed about what true “Socialism” is and is not. The fact is that in true Socialism, the “means of production” are owned and controlled by all of the people. In other words, in true Socialism all of the workplaces and businesses are owned, controlled, and run by all of the people for the good and well-being of all of the people. They are not privately owned by individuals and groups. In true Socialism we would not be totally and exactly equal in terms of how much we would get paid for our work, but we would be much, much more equal than we are now. There would not be any billionaires or people who have hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of millions of dollars in total wealth, most of which they inherited and did not earn by their own labors. We would share what we have. We would not be primarily motivated by the profit-motive and what is in our selfish self-interest. We would be motivated by what is best for the whole society.

We would be much less money-hungry and materialistic than we are now. We would have more empathy and compassion for others than we do now.

Those individuals such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who call themselves “Democratic Socialists” are not true socialists. They are actually ultra-liberal/progressive Democrats who believe that our federal government should do more and spend more on social programs and safety-net programs that help the poor, the near-poor (which is an official federal government category consisting of those of us who live on 100-125 percent of the official poverty line), the lower-middle-class, the middle-class, and even the upper-middle-class because they also have financial struggles and problems especially when it comes to medical and health care expenses in their families. They don’t advocate replacing our capitalist economic system with a truly socialist economic system. They support our capitalist economic system, but they want us to have a capitalist economic system that has more federal government spending to help all of the people just as our traditional allies do more of than we do here in the USA.

So, please, all Republicans and Democrats, please stop saying that we are a “socialist” country just because we have Social Security. We are a capitalist country that has some safety-net programs and other social programs that help people.

Stewart Epstein