Precisely what is “socialism”

(Canscene) — According to the leaked letter that surfaced recently, in 2002, citizen Stephen Harper condemned the Kyoto accord as “a socialist scheme to suck money out of rich countries.”

Today Prime Minister Harper seems to be dedicating himself to the wearing of the green, even if he’s still opposed to Kyoto.

One wonders at Harper’s understanding of the word “socialist.”

According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (COD), socialism is “ a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the community as a whole should own and control the means of production, distribution and exchange.”

The company Kyoto keeps

Signatories to the Kyoto accord include the United Kingdom, Belgium, Brazil: Costa Rica, Denmark, Iceland, Germany hardly the poor socialist countries implied by the Harper letter.

According to the logic of that 2002 letter then, Canada might well qualify as a socialist state, with our universal medicare that right wing ideologues assail daily with their rationalization of two-tiered medicine — the first step toward unbridled privatization as in his revered United States.

Throwing baby out with bath water

Examples of state-owned facilities that right wing ideologies brought down are to be found in the Harris-Eves regime in Ontario 1995- 2003: the chaotic privatization of Ontario Hydro and the gift to Spanish interests of that iconic rip off, Highway 407.

Socialism, as described in the COD may be ultimately repressive and doomed to failure but where the common good is concerned, some nationalization may not be such a bad thing, providing a Charter of Rights and parliamentary system of government exists.

One has only to look as far as the world’s armament industries to see how private ownership thrives on ways to make death pay a dividend. They should all be publicly owned with no shareholders permitted, to offer an eventual possibility of international disarmament.

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