Toward the end of high school, one of the boys heard about communism*, and went about from student to student, figuratively hopping up and down with his hair on fire, trying to recruit other students to form a communist student party. He said that it meant from each according to their ability and to each according to their need. That sounded too good to be true to me, but I wanted to find out more.
I asked my father what he thought and his eye went wide, "Don't have anything to do with it, if you become involved it will ruin your life." Although he could not or would not articulate to me the whys and wherefores of the perils of communism, I heeded his advise. By nature I did not like the obvious trickery of politics so throughout my life I have not become particularly involved with any political faction other than to steadfastly and hopelessly vote. This was particularly true after I studied communism, reading to the point where an author stated confidently that in order to achieve communism, "...the streets will run red with blood." I did not want any part of that and I hoped never to encounter it.
So far America has been lucky, our constitutional republic has socialist components such as Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security without having had to endure the bloody theft of private property that communism demands.
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* Communism is a political system and socialism is an economic system. It is said that communism is the means to achieve socialism, but beyond that everyone seems to have a different definition of the terms. Whenever there is this sort of confoundment, you can count on trickery being in play.
In communism/socialism, the government owns the resources and the means of production.
In capitalism individuals, and more recently corporations, own the resources and the means of production. This capitalistic progression of ownership from human to non-human corporate entity is another sort of trickery.
Caption: Lenin souvenir pin purchased by my Aunt Betty on her trip
to the former Soviet Union circa 1960.
Vladimir Lenin founded the Russian Communist Party, led the Bolshevik Revolution,
was the architect of the Soviet state, and ordered the assassination of the
Russian Imperial Romanov family, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra
and their five children.