Letter-writer E.W. Bopp obseves that socialism has failed and has been replaced by more free enterprise and less government. Who could argue since terms like “free enterprise” and “the free market” are so vague and ideologically loaded that they are useless for objective or scientific purposes?
If by free enterprise one is referring to a capitalist economy in which a great many firms in virtually all sectors are subject to regulation by an impersonal, largely self-regulating competitive market with the state playing only a minor, bolstering role then those of us who are rational must concede that this form of free enterprise or real capitalism perished sometime prior to The Great Depression and thus prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Government had to play a major role in economic life both in the former Soviet Union and the West.
Massive government intervention remains a fact of life in the post-Cold War era. I do not consider our present economy, which is dominated by oligopolistic transnational corporations and financial institutions in collusion with one another and with government to be evidence of the presence of real capitalism or of free enterprise.
Finally, I do not think Bopp has any clearer idea as to what socialism is. Socialists have always opposed some forms of government intervention and rational anti-socialists do not oppose all forms of government intervention. This being the case, it is impossible to know what Bopp thinks socialism is. Suggest Mr. Bopp needs to rethink at least as much as the NDP.
John R. Bell, Victoria