Sam Parente’s Jan. 27 warning of socialism in the Sun is confusing. Condense the critique of Gov. Raimondo’s programs, combine it with his Churchill quote and mention of progressive national figures, and we get it: Mr. Parente does not like socialism. However, he missed the mark by saying progressives ignore the wisdom of the giants such as Winston Churchill. Progressives do follow the wisdom of Winston Churchill with the welfare state. Mr. Parente misdirected his Churchill quote.
Churchill said socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. He also said its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. He said one sentence in a 1947 speech and the other in 1948. I believe Winston Churchill uttered the words quoted by Mr. Parente in the context of the socialism practiced in the USSR. However, in the House of Commons on Oct. 22, 1945, Churchill also said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
The 1945 quote came in support of sweeping social reforms, including national health care. The United Kingdom passed the reforms shortly after voters voted him out of office in 1945. Churchill supported those socialist programs, especially health care. He supported the welfare state throughout his political career. Historians credit him, among others, for building the base for the welfare state. Progressives do follow the wisdom of Winston Churchill in social programs. Mr. Parente should review the quotes, the timing and context. Winston Churchill was a complicated man and prolific writer and speech maker. People often quote him, and, as with Mr. Parente, often quoted out of context.
Joseph C. Sciarillo