I felt that it was necessary for me to address the article "Political Labels" in the April/May Port of Call. In doing so I must come out of the closet. I am a socialist. My beliefs are in no way represented by the definitions offered. I find that the definitions are simplistic and border on bigotry. (The single volume Columbia Encyclopedia uses 24+ column inches to define socialism.) The definitions offered in the article paint me in the worst light possible. Using these definitions, I become, by implication, a Fascist. I am used to it.
In the spirit of fair play I would like to add a couple of definitions to the list.
Democratic Socialism: Belief in the orderly, peaceful transition from a capitalistic to a socialistic government through democratic methods.
Capitalism: control of both people and governments by a small group of ruthless men who use violent methods as a means of control. The capital that was used to establish this control was stolen, mostly from South America. This was done with no regard to the rights of the free men and women of the New World. Violent means were used to enslave the "savages". Rape and plunder became the law of the land. They stole the land and the gold. Bringing forth the new improved Golden Rule: "He who has the gold makes the rule".
Through the brutal enslavement of women, control of capital was passed through the male line, establishing a system of patriarchal oligarchy. The modern heirs of these violent men now suffer from an inbred disease characterized by violence, ruthlessness and dishonesty. Modern capitalism is actually a blend of two systems: Plutocracy (government by the wealthy) and Oligarchy (Government by the few, usually defined as "land owners").
Randian Capitalism: Actually this use of the word capitalism is a misnomer. Ste. Ayn labeled her modernization of the centuries old Free Merchant Trader system, as capitalism. Ayn's concepts are a description of an economic system. That system does not presuppose a governing system, nor does it require one. Ste. Ayn recognized her inherent problem when she wrote: "Capitalism the Untried Ideal".
The system that Ms. Rand extolled captured an audience, which gave birth to the modern libertarian movement. If I weren't a Social Democrat I would be a Libertarian. Our family was active in Dr. Fred's candidacy for Attorney General, which placed the libertarians on the ballot in Oregon. Ms. Rand presented an excellent economic system, which she misnamed. Using Capitalism to describe her economic system muddies the waters of communication, as it is NOT capitalism.