S. Michael Melia's recent letter to the editor made many frightening claims regarding what he is calling communism/socialism. He claimed that that these ideologies will bring mass genocide to America, starvation, totalitarian imprisonment, loss of all rights and dictatorship.

I would first point out that communism and socialism are two different ideas, and it would be most helpful to be aware of that before discussing either of them. Communism is both an economic and political philosophy originated by Karl Marx that advocates class war and a society in which all property is publicly owned and the government provides for each person according to their needs. Communism is a totalitarian and authoritarian system of government.

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