Back in the day, when people still spoke in hushed tones, or not at all, about the “big one”, and kids at school had weekly ‘drills’ that included hiding under your desk while you (fruitlessly) covered your head, the Eastern Bloc was often referred to as the “communist bloc” or “soviet bloc”, and folks were afraid of the Russians as if they were the ‘boogeyman’.
Americans today throw the words ’socialist’ and ‘communist’ around like two bit words, as my father would say, without truly reflecting on what those labels mean. Some fear that the U.S. will soon become a “Socialist Bloc”. Perhaps it’s time to examine socialism and its implications in today’s American society as a democracy.
What do people really mean when they label the leader of our democratic society, as it is, a socialist?
In 1970, when I was 10 years old, my parents, then in their 30’s, decided to form a ‘commune’ in deep south Louisiana. My father was a prominent lawyer in the town we lived in, my mother an artist from New Orleans. They were very involved in Catholicism not as ‘charismatics’ but as believers in the ‘ecumenical movement’. The community they formed with other families was called “Open House Community” and was to include people of all faiths, races, and belief systems.