In response to "Socialism never, ever works" (Oct. 29, Letters): Poorly implemented social programs in a capitalist environment are examples of failing capitalism, not socialism, as they are inherently against the concepts behind socialism. Politicians pretending to encourage Social Security when they will retire under separate programs is, again, an example of the propensity toward corruption in capitalism.
Even if only for the sake of breadth of information, please take a look at some works by Emma Goldman, Voltairine de Cleyre or even Noam Chomsky. At least then you will begin to understand what socialism is, and not misrepresent it to the masses.
The letter claims that socialism has never worked without offering any examples. Rhetoric has people often listing Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong and other failed political leaders who labeled themselves as socialists or communists, but were clearly not. Even Adolf Hitler labeled his party the National Socialists (Nazis), yet we understand as a country that he was clearly a fascist.
I plead with the public to educate themselves on myriad political and social theories. It does not make one unpatriotic to explore concepts beyond those endorsed by his-her government. This exploration was the endeavor of men like Thomas Jefferson, and, decidedly, the definition of "patriotism."