In Robert Foreman’s letter published on 30 Sept., he wrote that “history clearly demonstrates that the only thing socialism has ever produced in abundance would be dead people,” and “that is an incontrovertible, demonstrable and undeniable historical fact.”
This is not so. It is fascism and communism that has killed the most. To be more accurate, include colonialism.
For examples of socialism that contradicts Mr. Foreman, there is Spain’s Mondragon Cooperative, Israel, & England. The Mondragon Cooperative, where workers are also owners, is the most successful socialist (or quasi-socialist) enterprise in the world. It’s not perfect, but it has not resulted in an abundance of dead.
In a review of the Israeli economy, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper this past April reported that “until 1985, Israel was a socialist economy with all the anomalies this entailed ... Israel was born as a socialist state, with its kibbutzim, cooperatives and deep government involvement in all aspects of daily life.”
Since 1985, Israel has privatized many state-owned businesses in a transition to capitalism. I am not aware of Israel’s 40 years of socialism producing an abundance of dead people.
A few years ago in a BBC review of Margaret Thatcher’s accomplishments, it was reported that after World War II England prior to Thatcher was predominantly socialist under the Labour Party.
When Thatcher’s Conservative Party came into power in 1979, a transition away from socialism began, but England’s period of socialism didn’t produce an abundance of dead.
Instead, working conditions were made safer and many workers, like coal miners, obtained paid vacation & sick leave, and free medical care was made available to all Brits.
There are issues with socialism, but producing an abundance of dead is not one. The abundance of dead comes from colonialism, fascism and Communism.