Dear Editor: Re: Bill Sumner's letter to the editor "Consider Gradual Integration of Capitalism and Socialism." This idea will not work. While our mixed economy of capitalism with some ideas borrowed from socialism, to smooth off the rough edges, has prevented capitalism from collapsing, it will ultimately collapse anyway. Socialism and capitalism are too philosophically different to be completely integrated. Turbo capitalism, crony capitalism, and surveillance capitalism are undermining democracies around the world.
While Sweden has managed to combine socialism and capitalism to some extent, it is not a true integration. The government owns most energy, mining, and public transportation. But manufacturing is mostly privately owned. And three-fourths of the economy is service industries. All this within a social welfare system that is more generous than ours. It is closer to symbiosis than integration.
The Scandinavian countries have shown that some form of socialism can work if the people want it. Our CIA undermined socialist governments in Latin America to prove that socialism doesn't work. A tragic farce.
But while socialism can work, an even better alternative to capitalism is cooperativism, which has been practiced on an industrial scale in northeast Spain since the 1930s. It has the advantage of being less susceptible to corruption. It also avoids redistribution of income by distributing it equitably in the first place. But it has a hard time getting a foothold because it offers little opportunity for greed. Such a darn shame.
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