Editor's Notes

Article excerpt

Over the past year, I have followed the politics of my home country (the United States) from across the pond. I have watched as the conservative right has thrown ugly words and slogans at the Obama administration in their attempt to sway the American populace against the new president. The ugliest of words, at least from their perspective, has been the term socialist. From the Huffington Post to Facebook, Internet advertisements have asked me to vote yes or no, do I think Obama is a socialist?

This is absurd.

It is absurd on two levels. The response this negative campaign has generated within some sections of the public reveals--pure and simple--American ignorance over what socialism is, what it means, and what it strives for. Furthermore, the attempt to taint Obama as a socialist reveals the extremely negative connotations that this one word holds in American politics.

Considering that socialist policies and governments dot the globe, it appears that yet again the United States stands alone in its views. And so we dedicate our final issue of this year to socialism, or, more specifically, Socialism: Derivatives and Alternatives.

We open with the philosophical and thought-provoking words of Dr. Erazim Kohak, a professor emeritus at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University, Prague, as well as at Boston University, USA. Kohak instructs us to forgo our preconcieved notions and consider the historical basis and need for social democracy. …