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Open Forum: There are many forms of socialism

A recent Aitkin letter writer criticized Gov. Dayton, labeling him a socialist.  I looked up the term: a socialist, one who practices socialism — in the broadest form, a system in which the means of producing/distributing goods are owned collectively and political power is exercised by the whole community/state. Unfortunately the writer tries to tie in the most extreme version which in previous centuries was associated with dictatorships, and by mentioning it in his letter tries to unfairly smear Dayton with the same brush.

Dayton is trying to use government for the common good of creating jobs through bonding, then he is, I suppose,  a socialist — but to me and others, a good socialist. Jobs are needed. Bonding is what governors of both parties have done in the past. Perhaps the writer has never benefited from jobs or an economic climate that was produced by the power of government. Also, he surely must not want any of the jobless people to benefit. Clearly, he appears to have his, but does not want others to have theirs.

Did the writer serve in the military and receive government benefits? If the answer is yes, then he participated in socialism. Similarly, if the writer received a public education, then he received benefits from local/state governments. This is also socialism. I ask the writer if he is collecting Social Security/Medicare or plans to. If the answer is yes, then he is or would be participating in another form of socialism.

However, in fairness, it may also be possible the writer is so wealthy he does not need the government to protect him and his economic life. Congrats.

As for me, I’m glad the government, Dayton, and other like-minded people of both parties see that not all forms of socialism are bad.

M. Fritz Bertelt