When I listen to the TV or radio news commentary from back home I
hear political commentators accusing each other of Socialism. Many of
those commentators have no idea what Socialism really looks like.
But we do over here. It looks like us.
In a Socialist system, all the money is collective--there is one budget.
Just like us. There is an Army budget. If pay goes up, procurement
goes down. The opposite is also true. Reduction in Force (the Army's
version of layoffs) means more money for equipment.
Medical care is free, or the same price for all, but no one gets to
choose their doctor. Just like the Army.
In a Socialist system everyone gets the same pay if they have the same
rank, regardless of their productivity. Unions work this way. In the
Army an E4 with four years service who is a first-rate Blackhawk crew
chief, fit, and fully qualified makes exactly the same pay as an E4 with
four years service who is truck driver flunked the PT Test and still
can't fill out a maintenance inspection form.
In a really ideal Socialist society, no one owns private property. Your
housing depends on your rank. If you lose your rank you lose your
house. Since there are no privately owned vehicles, the only vehicles
are state-supplied and go with a position. So a unit commander gets an
SUV, a platoon sergeant takes the bus.
In a really radical Socialist system, everyone would dress alike and eat
together. If they had to carry weapons, they would only carry the
weapon designated for their job.
So here we are with assigned housing, assigned vehicles (or not), and
assigned weapons. We eat in the same three DFACs. We all dress alike,
both men and women. The commercials on our radio and TV do not sell
products, they attempt to modify our behavior for the betterment of the
state. We get the same pay for very unequal work. We all have the same
In a radical socialist system we would not have freedom of worship as we
have here. In an interesting socialist aspect of life here, all
Churches use the same building. So the Catholics, Lutherans,
traditional and contemporary Protestant services, Gospel service, and
any other group that wants a worship service holds it in the same room.
This aspect of our socialist world emphasizes that all Christians really
worship the same Lord. I like that.
In America, in the active Army, even though we still dress alike at
work, we can wear our own choice of clothes after work. A Colonel can
choose to drive an 8-year-old Chevy and a Specialist with a
re-enlistment bonus can drive a new BMW M3 or a Suzuki GSXR. But not
here in Iraq.
We are defending freedom but for now, we are what Socialism looks like.