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September 20 ē 05:06 AM
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Free manís best weapon is an open mind


To the Editor:

In the Dec. 30 issue of the Tri-City Times Chuck Cline of Mussey Township wrote an impassioned rebuttal to my December 16 opinion piece concerning the media's demonization of Socialism and Communism. Unwittingly, he penned an angry note of criticism and proved my point.

Mr. Cline could be a poster boy for my letter's primary thesis: that the words have been loaded so heavily with emotional baggage that it's difficult to conduct a calm discussion of their individual history and evolution, which was the principle thrust of my article.

It was not my intent to ignite a debate concerning the relative value of the three social systems, but the concepts of Socialism and Communism are so volatile today, they triggered Mr. Cline's wrath.

His Webster's dictionary does a reasonably accurate job of describing all three systems in detail. Then Mr. Cline expounds at length on all the ways that Communism and Socialism have "destroyed every society that it has been tried" ignoring the fact that the claim cannot be proven and thus is not true, and that the same claim can be made of Capitalism with the same results Ö all the while ignoring the differences between the three systems' political and academic versions, between their capital and lower case definitions.

A shotgun is indiscriminate and very loud.

No, Mr. Cline, a litany of Communism's and Socialism's negative features, while ignoring Capitalism's equally deplorable results accomplishes nothing but endless dispute.

To say, "Capitalism is the best system that humanity has ever developed" doesn't compliment Capitalism. The phrase is a harsh indictment of humanity Ö you and I and the world's elite. Is that all there is? Is this the best we can do?

The goal of reasonable people should be to explore and adapt the best attributes of each of the systems we've tried so far, not trash out of hand those we have been programmed—like simple robots —to abhor.

A free man's best weapon, Mr. Cline, is an open mind.

William F. Brabenec
January 05, 2010

Castle Creek
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