Red Baiting

Alas for Lyn Fischrup (Letters, 9/26), the truth is often not simple and the simple is not true.

Socialists have never wanted the government to own the means of production.

They want the means of production to be owned by no one and controlled by working people. If the government controls the means of production but working people do not control the government, it’s closer to fascism.

Some early socialists had a strategy to form a party of workers and gain control of government via the vote. The government would then gradually institute socialism, culminating in expropriating capitalists and the “withering away of the state.”

The term democratic socialism later became widely used to distinguish people following this strategy from self-proclaimed Leninists who sought to seize state power by force. The democratic socialists have never been able to successfully reach their ultimate objective, only getting as far as regulating capitalism and providing social goods.

Fischrup’s letter itself is, unintentionally, a form of redbaiting in that the meme she repeats seeks to appropriate the world socialism while marginalizing socialists as political pariahs.

Alan Zundel