America is socialist, duh, and we should be proud of it

Michael Gollin
July 2015

When the Trans-Siberian Railway stopped in Irkutsk in Central Siberia in 1981 and my Swiss student tour group got off for a couple of days so we could visit Lake Baikal, a group of local Soviet students met us and showed us around, including the obligatory Great War (WWII) monument. They were smart but spoke glowingly about  the future of communism.

I had a rare epiphany and said cogently that Marx and Lenin failed to predict Roosevelt and the New Deal and American socialism which stops the “inevitable” worker revolution of communism in its tracks. Socialism humanized a corrupt capitalism with robber barons and great recessions. Social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps are all examples of the ways in which America is socialist.

It always amuses me when people do not see we are already socialist. That is why our system is so much better than communism. We are able to benefit from free markets while avoiding the many pitfalls of unrestrained capitalism. The debate then is just how socialist we will be.