The term socialism is often used in a negative or derisive manner here in Johnson County, most often accompanied by a political reference. However, it ought to be considered a theory or philosophy rather than a political stance. The most simplistic definition of socialism is it being the redistribution of goods and services for the benefit of all members of the collective group impacted by the philosophy.
People don’t live in isolation and don’t reap only those benefits that they themselves have generated and paid for. Health care, social security, national defense, educational opportunity and public safety are each examples of socialistic practices that most citizens support. All members of the social group should benefit as a result of adherence to the philosophy’s practices.
The problem with socialism may not be within the philosophy itself, but with the societal leadership that determines who is to benefit and to what degree. The problem lies with how the leadership uses the technicalities of collection and redistribution to benefit segments of the societal group rather than to benefit the all. Too often, socialistic practices are hijacked by ruling and/or elected members of the society so benefits can be steered toward the few rather than to all.
Frank Pratt, Jr.