Michael Roskin’s July 26, 2018 column entitled “Strange Revival of Socialism” prompts me to write these observations. In the first paragraph, referring to Bernie Sanders as an “authentic grandpa” whose democratic socialism intrigued young people strikes this reader as an effort to trivialize the very real and serious political/economic system of socialism as an alternative to the plutocratic, capitalist system now ruling in the United States.

The article issues a warning that the “Democrats better figure out a way to incorporate a progressive agenda to retain the millennial vote….” Could the Democratic Party, a capitalist, imperialist party, actually “incorporate a progressive agenda” that would satisfy what a consciously socialist electorate would demand?

Mr. Roskin continues his deprecatory description of socialism by reciting the failures of what the Soviet Union inaccurately called communism (Marx would not have recognized Stalin’s government as such) and throws in China’s flawed history of communist practice for emphasis of his argument. “Confusion” does, indeed, surround Michael Roskin’s concept of socialism, which is why the Democratic Party could not put forth an agenda that could even approximate a socialist alternative to the chaotic capitalism currently afflicting American society.

Let’s just consider some of what it would take to bring socialism to the rescue of the USA. First, a complete end to the blatant corporate domination of our legislative bodies, both Federal and State — no more paid corporate lobbyists and money to political parties and legislators. Second, an end to the enormous war-making military budget and all of the imperial wars, U.S. bases and covert meddling in other countries around the world. Third, repay the billions of dollars owed to the Social Security Trust Fund which has been raided by the U.S. Government (both political parties have presided over this profligate misuse of the taxes paid in good faith by the people of this country). That would put a significant dent in the now $20+ trillion national debt.

Once that has been accomplished (through much pain to be suffered by the citizenry) then we would be able, through utilizing socialist economic principles, to have a national health care service (health care is a human right, not a commodity to be available to those who can afford it). Fourth, install a good and safe transportation system, a clean water system that is not falling apart from age and neglect, a public education system that offers the best education to all citizens from kindergarten through university. These are all social needs to be met by a socially responsible nation not held hostage by profit-seeking, privately owned corporations. Citizens living in such a non-capitalist society would not find it “boring” as Mr. Roskin puts forth as “the root of the revival of socialism in America.” His suggestion that religious revival could deliver us from Trump, market fundamentalism, and brutality toward our fellow human beings, is a crutch to be used by a society where too many have refused to learn from history because of deliberate ignorance, arrogance and a smothering amount of hubris.

Cathy Mink, Waldo