Mr. Stewart Epstein (retired professor of Sociology and Social Work) makes a good point in his letter to the editor in the Jan. 15 issue of the AJT when he objects to many on the right calling Democrats “socialists,” “Marxists” and “communists.” Such name calling tends to stifle debate as to whether social systems led by strong central governments provide better outcomes than free market capitalism. But Mr. Epstein follows with the equally unhelpful claim that “…many of today’s Republicans in Congress are Scrooge-like ‘Survival-of -the-Fittest’ Social Darwinists.” Ouch!
Perhaps a reasonable discussion with Mr. Epstein would help inform me of the difference between what he refers to as a “true socialist” and today’s progressives in Congress, a distinction which he fails to explain in his letter. I believe Mr. Epstein might also learn from my forty-plus years of experience in private business, competing in our capitalistic system where the universal values of merit, achievement, personal responsibility, integrity, and honesty (to name a few) have produced more positive outcomes than any theoretical society yet to be imagined by academicians.
The deficiencies in both systems can be singled out and used as a cudgel against the other side. But which system has elevated so many from poverty to prosperity and which has repeatedly relegated citizens to subservience and despair? Let’s have the discussion.
Jon Barry, Marietta