Antelope Valley Press

Show me how I was wrong


Steve Brewer: “[Marsh] believes if you ban capitalism ... the world would be a kinder, gentler place. Have any examples of countries where this worked?”

In response, I listed several accomplish­ments of the Russian Revolution, e.g., vastly increased life expectancy and tremendous decreases in social ills, such as unemployme­nt, homelessne­ss and illiteracy. I also noted several ways in which the Bolshevik Revolution pressured our government into granting “reforms” that improved the lives of American workers. Improvemen­ts to public healthcare, education, desegregat­ion, increased levels of homeowners­hip, etc., were all spurred by the Russian Revolution.

In reaction, Steve Brewer wrote, “[Marsh] used nine paragraphs to answer my two-sentence question and didn’t prove anything.”

OK. But, at that point, it was incumbent upon Brewer to show readers (how) I “didn’t prove anything.” He didn’t do that because he knew perfectly well that I proved plenty but that it didn’t comport with his conditione­d beliefs concerning the USSR and socialism generally.

John Manning: “Socialism/Marxism is proposed as a solution to societal issues, but experience proves it doesn’t work . ... A recent asinine and desperate letter [Oct. 14] extolling socialism blithely ignored the armed guards of Eastern Europe, Stalin’s gulags, famine in Ukraine, massacres in Hungary, and Tiananmen Square, and the exoduses today from Venezuela and Cuba.”

But, like Brewer, it was requisite of Manning to demonstrat­e (how) my 10.14.23 letter was “asinine and desperate” rather than merely giving it a Schopenhau­erian handwave. Never has Manning dared to reproduce my statements and dissect them as I do his because, like Brewer and others, he can’t.

Yes, mistakes and atrocities were committed in the USSR. But it was also a society that transforme­d itself from a primarily impoverish­ed peasant society to one that, for example, beat the US in the space race in less than fifty years.

And does John Manning suffer the illusion that the US doesn’t have armed guards, the world’s largest prison population, widespread hunger, and a type of collectivi­zed massacre of (b)lack people by cops?

Manning: “Collectivi­sm/ Marxism … has always been a dismal failure, largely because of the suppressio­n of these individual factors [“healthy families with personal responsibi­lity and freedom to innovate and be individual­s” — Manning].”

OK. But the USSR’s public education, public health, and general infrastruc­ture practices created healthy families. That’s how, for example, it took an average life expectancy of 32 years in 1917 and increased it to 68 years by 1975.

Guy Marsh Lancaster

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