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Iron Fist Versus Socialism

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Message Ludwik Kowalski
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An interesting reflection, entitled "My Thought on Socialism in America," has been posted this week at: click here 1) The author seems to think that Roosevelt "command economy," during W.W.II was socialism. He wrote: "In W.W.II, the US government commandeered the auto manufacturers to make tanks and jeeps instead of private cars. When superior weapons were called for and the atomic bomb was foreseen, Washington did not ask for bids from the private sector; it created the Manhattan Project to do it itself, with no concern for balance sheets or profit and loss statements. Women and blacks were given skilled factory jobs they had been traditionally denied. Hollywood was enlisted to make propaganda films. Indeed, much of the nation's activities, including farming, manufacturing, mining, communications, labor, education, and cultural undertakings were in some fashion brought under new and significant government control, with the war effort coming before private profit. And in the wake of this directed capital allocation and unwitting move toward wartime socialism, America won the war and became a prosperous society."

I do not think that a goal-oriented economy should be identified with socialism. The author continue: "So, likewise in peacetime, we can think of socialism as putting people before profit, with all the basics guaranteed - health care, education, decent housing, food, jobs. Those who swear by free enterprise argue that the "socialism" of World War Two was instituted only because of the exigencies of the war. That's true, but it doesn't alter the key point that it had been immediately recognized by the government that the wasteful and inefficient capitalist system, always in need of proper financial care and feeding, was no way to run a country trying to win a war."

2) Referring to Soviet Union, the author writes: "Socialism came to be understood [in America] as a dictatorship. It meant Stalinist repression, a suffocating planned economy, no freedom of enterprise, no freedom to change jobs, elimination of personal expression, and other similar vagaries." Planed economy can serve different goals, those that we approve and those that we do not approve. Stalinism should be identified with brutality and violence, against Soviet people, not with planned economy. Planning is an essential precondition for a successful activity at any level.

3) Those who are not familiar with Stalinism are likely to learn a lot about it from my short book. For details see
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Ludwik Kowalski is a retired physics teacher (Professor emeritus, Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA). He is the author of two recently-published FREE books:

1) "Hell on Earth: Brutality and violence under the Stalinist regime" (more...)

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