In his article, Obama the Socialist? Not Even Close (New York Times, July 12 2012), Academy Awards winner Milos Forman compares Barack Obama’s political agenda with the Soviet Socialist system and concludes that the president cannot be a socialist because his policies are nothing like those of former Communist countries.
What Mr. Forman doesn’t recognize is that socialism is a process of social degradation. He is comparing America with Soviet Socialism. These social systems represent two different stages in this degenerative process and this is why they appear to be different: America is in the early stages of degeneration and the Soviet system was in the end stage. He hears the word “socialist” being passed around by people like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others. If these people made this distinction between different stages in social degeneration then their describing Obama as a socialist would be more convincing.
To follow up on the musical analogy in Mr. Forman’s article, it would be more accurate to describe Mr. Obama as the Pied Piper who is playing his tune and leading a gullible America down the path of social degeneration into socialism.