I think many Americans have a hard time understanding other government systems outside of capitalism. But who can blame them. After all as an American I didn't fully understand that Karl Marx did not truly impose communism on anyone, until I studied Sociology in college. 

That means if you never took the time to read the Manifesto of the Communist party, you probably don't really know what Marx and Engels(1906) proposed for their idea of Utopia, where everyone was equal and wealth was distributed evenly. Unfortunately Marx didn't take into account that in order for a Utopia to exist you need to eliminate greed. Which is arguably impossible.

That being said there is no true communist society. At least not the one Marx and Engels proposed in their work. 

However governments such as North Korea, Russia and China have made adapted versions of communism.These are the ones that scare us Americans the most. 

The other idea that scares Americans is socialism. You hear it any time a politician talks about affordable health care and education. That's a Socialist! How dare they impose on capitalism!

But when John Adams created the idea of a free market there were no billion dollar corporations controlling politics(Hardens, 1968).His idea of the invisible hand was meant to be used with the small business model. Mom and pop shops if you will. In fact Wall Street wasn't even around until 1817, 16 years after Adams life. 

Socialism is based on the idea of democratic collective ownership of assets. Meaning the people elect officials to distribute the wealth to public services to keep public cost low. Also they can regulate how much is charged for nessasaties, like doctors fees or health insurance. But it should be noted that there is no umbrella definition for Socialism ( Peter et al, 2006). 

Japan is a socialist country. But America has no issues with doing business with them. China is a communist country and we all know how that's going. 

So before you shut your ears and throw terms out there. Make sure you fully understand the definitions and where they came from.

You don't want to be the boy who cried socialism or communism! 

Social Gelo with Angelo 

Angelo Ferrer ( M.S. Psychology) 


Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. science, 162(3859), 1243-1248.

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1906). Manifesto of the communist party. CH Kerr.

Peter Lamb, J. C. Docherty(2006). Historical dictionary of socialism. Oxford, England, UK: Scarecrow Press.


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