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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who Is the Socialist?

One of the great ironies of this campaign is the fear of some Americans, led by the McCain campaign, that Barack Obama is a socialist, and he will turn this country into a socialist regime. This charge is floating around in the Blogosphere while the Republican party, the Bush administration specifically, takes more significant steps towards socialism than any President before him, especially on the heels of today's news that they plan to partly nationalize 9 US banks.

First, what is socialism? As defined by Webster's, it is "any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."

Better yet, defined by dictionary.com (a highly respected source): a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

Karl Marx also said socialism was the transitional stage between capitalism and communism. Does that make Bush a secret communist at heart? And McCain by association? Hardly. But if you take a page from the Republican playbook, you could certainly make the case.

I don't pretend to be an expert on socialism, obviously, but when the federal government is nationalizing banks, taking over private enterprise, and bailing out big business you could make the case that the government is vesting the ownership of the distribution of capital in the community as a whole.

And Obama wants to make health care affordable. Yeah, he's the socialist.

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