The debate in the Missoulian about socialism vs. capitalism reminds me of reading about communism in the stacks of the Mansfield Library.

One book I reads was W. Cleon Skousen’s “The Naked Communist,” a lame-brained, 1950s Cold War tome. Skousen stated that communism and socialism mean the same thing with no “diff” between them. Too simplistic.

Americans have been programed from 74 years of the Soviet Union and communist expansion into China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba and African countries, that socialism is bad.

A Russian told me that “Life was not bad in the Soviet Union. The government was really well set up.”

Karl Polanyi write a book in the 1940s called “The Great Transformation,” which says that unregulated capitalism with no strong governmental control, always devolves into “mafia capitalism.”

I hate the monolithic corporate capitalism that America has morphed into. I dream of nascent, laissez faire capitalism with tooth and nail competition, such as ruled in Butte’s heyday, when all three copper kings (Daly, Clark and Heintz) had his army of workers and his newspaper with the editors at each other’s throats. But that became corporate capitalism when Amalgamated bought up all the mines.

Lee Onishuk,


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