Re: “Before castigating Bernie, hear him out” (Page 1D, Feb. 21): The op-ed article by C.V. Allen could not be more wrong. His definition of socialism as “government owns the means of production” is wrong. That is the definition of communism – pure and simple for any student of economics. Socialism is when the government claims ownership of the profits obtained from the means of production – both corporate and private. They claim ownership through taxing the profits. It makes no difference, from an economic viewpoint, what they do with the proceeds from these taxes, but in reality, it is most often used to “redistribute” these monies to people or groups who did not produce them.
Stalin’s Russia was not socialist, it was communist. And it is not the last society to engage in that economic system. Stalin died in 1953, and since that time the world has seen many governments embrace communism as their chosen economic system. Cuba, with its revolution in 1959, comes to mind. We know how well that worked for the Cuban people. China, Vietnam, North Korea, Albania and most of Eastern Europe have all been under communist rule at one time or another since 1953.
Dan Beynon, Modesto
Editor’s note: The definition of socialism, according the Merrian-Webster Dictionary, www.merriam-webster.com: “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government ...”