In Thursday’s letter, R. Stan Marsh misrepresented socialism. He claimed that socialists are “essentially advocates of centralized control over people’s lives under the guise of democracy”. Our right-wing President throws the term democracy around when it suits his purpose. Wasn’t the spread of democracy our reason for destroying Iraq?
Mr. Marsh is right that our Constitution doesn’t mention democracy. It also doesn’t mention a republic. Our government is a constitutional republic. Our “republic” is a representative democracy. The “constitutional” part refers to the fact that we are neither governed by the people, nor by the representatives of the people. We are governed by laws that must fit into the framework of our Constitution. Our Constitution provides safeguards against “centralized control over people’s lives.” Our conservative President commented on 18 April that, “…the Constitution does not stand in the way of the people’s representatives…” Our President puts the will of our legislators ahead of our Constitution, except when our legislators do not share his views.
The real issue is that he calls our legislators “the people’s representatives”. Perhaps true at one time, corporate capitalism has usurped this founding democratic principle. Unlike our President, socialism does not seek to toss out the cornerstone of our constitutional republic, the Constitution. Socialism seeks to restore democracy to the legislative process by counteracting the imbalanced representation caused by gross disproportions in the distribution of capital. While socialism seeks to legislate fair business practices, right-wing legislation consistently protects big money and tramples individual rights.