With the Healthcare bill about to go to a vote on Sunday, the U.S. will all of a sudden care about politics. And they should because this bill will have an impact on most Americans. I have noticed a great deal of fear mongering and partisan rhetoric as the bill started to really become a reality. The word "Socialism" is used quite a bit by Tea Party members and opponents of the bill. As a Social Studies teacher, I wanted to examine the word Socialism more closely to see if it fit the definition that most people have applied to it.
According to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th Edition) Socialism is: economic and political theories advocating collective or gov't ownership ; a system of society where there is no private property; means of production and distribution of goods are controlled by the state;according to Marxist theory, socialism is where you are transitioning from capitalism to communism-marked by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done. (are critics saying that socialism is the path to communism? I doubt it, many of these people think communism and socialism are the same thing.)
A Socialist is one who advocates or practices Socialism.
Socialized Medicine: medical or hospital services administered by an organized group (Gov't) and paid for with funds obtained by assessments, philanthropy, or taxation. (Really a manufactured term starting in 1938- widely used to scare people during Truman's 1947 foray into the Healthcare debate)
As a social studies teacher, I teach sixth graders about so called Socialism as it pertains to the former Soviet Union. They learn about collective farms and Five year plans and Stalin, etc. That's really a distorted form of communism dressed up to resemble Socialism!! (In fact there has never been a pure form of capitalism, Socialism, Communism, etc., these gov'ts are just based loosely on theories.) If you want to really know about socialism, ask a person who lived in Russia under a communist regime. Venezuela has a form of socialism under Hugo Chavez) We already have forms of Socialism in our Government: Eminent Domain,Medicaid/care, Social security, etc.) The Healthcare bill is something very different than what we are used to, but it is not Socialism. In fact, the Public Option was taken out. This is the only aspect that may have a close resemblance to socialism. So if you are going to criticize the Healthcare bill, at least use the correct terminology. If not you will look like an ideologue. (blind partisan advocate parroting talking points)