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A question about the use of the word socialist.

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posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 12:32 AM
Often times I see this word whenever it's used to the Democrat's party's policies. I believe that the word is used incorrectly. These programs aren't really socialist programs... in that they don't even do things that socialists would want them to do. I'm tired of these posters making a really great post, and then, labeling these policies socialist in an effort to try to get people to "wake up" to the problems on the Democrat party's side and shift them over to the Republican party's side. I've noticed that quite a few posters who are either conservatives or Republicans tend to use socialism as a bad word, despite the fact that we have a rule about political trolling. I think there should be some enforcement as to how this word should be used. Because a lot of people are using it just to say anything they don't like is a socialist policy and I think that takes away from the intelligent discussion we could have about something, as, they think we'll automatically know what they mean by using the word socialist. What they mean by socialist is interventionist, and, what I don't like is how these people are using the word to weasle out of stating their opinion about government intervention, etc, and, I think it's hurting the debate on ATS. I want to know what could be done about it. This isn't so much a complaint. But it's just something I've been noticing more and more and I just wanted to share my observation with the rest of ATS on this matter.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

I prefer "tyrannical collectivist statist policies" myself.

It leaves the actual implementation details elastic so that later on the word Communist, Fascist, Marxist, Maoist, Socialist, National Socialist, Despotic, Kleptomic,etc.. could be applied depending on what legal framework the Democrats are able to maneuver into and so that we dont have to be mindreaders in trying to figure out what their genuine form of totalitarian economic control is the one they really want.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 05:17 AM
Too much democracy is detrimental to the ideology of democracy.

Food for thought.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 05:39 AM
Social Studies

Wikipedia has a well-sourced and exhaustive article on Socialism that I highly recommend:

Wikipedia: Socialism

The opening sentence provides a good summary of the term:

Socialism refers to various theories of economic organization advocating state, public or common worker (through cooperatives) ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with an egalitarian method of compensation.

The article also goes on to point out that the definition of Socialism varies widely depending on who uses the term, with one example being the interchangeable use of the terms "socialism" and "communism" by Marx and Engels -- arguably notable authorities on the subject.

I've seen quite a bit of criticism of the use of the term "socialism" on ATS in reference to various initiatives of the current U.S. administration, but personally consider most of the complaints to be specious, given the broad range of meanings the word may have.

Since Socialism is closely tied to nationalization, interventionism and other forms of government control of resources and property, the use of the term in conjunction with such activities is hardly a stretch.

More to the point, the idea of somehow attempting to restrict the use of the term in political discussion is so contrary to what ATS stands for as to defy serious consideration from a policy standpoint.

In my opinion, anyway.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 05:49 AM
reply to post by tristar

I subscribe to republicanism (as in of a Republic. not a party)

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 05:56 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

I posted this on another threadie but ...

"Socialism", when used as an insult, is actually funny, sad, lazy, and tragically indicative of peeps McCarthyistic mentality.

Very much in the same ignorant vain as using "muslim" as a passive aggressive insult.

Sad really, but as with any label, it is useful to those who wish to divide.

[edit on 15 Aug 2009 by schrodingers dog]

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 06:00 AM
reply to post by schrodingers dog

McCarthy was right.

I fail to see the negative side.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 06:16 AM
How is a descriptive term that does actually portray the present intent of the administration deemed an insult?

How do the Obama/Democrat/ socialist intentions and actions now differ from their intents and actions 8 months ago?

They don't.

The only difference is that the REALITY of the impact of their actions has finally taken hold in the general public and so suddenly the description of that reality is a 'bad' word that they don't want us to use.

The msm and Obama/Dems are trying to suddenly vilify or twist the word Socialist around to mean 'hate' or the N-word (you all saw that didn't you?)

Socialism very effectively defines what the majority party and administration are doing.

Why the need to rename it or vilify the word now?

Stand up for what you believe in.

You socialists should be proud.

You DO have what you worked so hard for during the elections and there is even more socialism on the way.

You are getting what you wanted.

Stand up and take credit for your good work.

Embrace your change. Don't hide from it.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:23 AM
Everybody seems concerned about the "GOVERMENT" controlling our lives, but no one seems to notice, or care, that is corporations and big business the ones "controlling" our lives right now. I don't know about you, but I never get the chance to vote for a CEO, but I can and I do vote for my elected "GOVERMENT" officials.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:32 AM
reply to post by badgerprints

I don't understand the word "socialism" and what it really means. To me there are things that makes more sense to do it together, like roads, and paying for the police department, and why not health care. Currently I'm paying an arm and a leg to a "corporation" for my health care; if goverment can do it cheaper, go for it. It was Lincoln who said that goverment should should do those things that individuals by themselves can't. I agree. I think there are good and bad goverment programs, just like there are good and bad corporations offering products and services. Balance is the key, the rest is propaganda and words with little meaning created with the objective to scare people to make "decisions" against their own interest.

But since you like words, I think the words "blind ideology" is a lot worse than the word "socialism."

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:37 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

You know, word play is something that everyone does. Applying 'socialist' as a means of identifying certain proposals and policies is neither new nor is it in any way trolling.

We have the English language to use as a tool. In the tool box are words and if the tool does the job it is intended for, then there should be no issue.

There are other words, far more used (and abused) than 'socialist'. For instance...

* Sustainable
The recent adoption of this word can be traced back to the United Nations. It is a key word used to describe actionable changes in things like… how much water you may use when flushing your toilet. Less than a gallon is a sustainable amount… with a real world meaning that your bodily refuse will sustain itself in the bowl until you have flushed at least 4 or 5 times more.

Sustainable? How? What? Oh.

In current terms, this word can mean just about anything the speaker of the same wishes to make it… and without feeling obliged to explain.

* Culture.
This is a rather broad-spectrum word that can be used to define many things. But because of that truth, it is just as easily misapplied.

Here is what has to say about ‘culture’…

–noun 1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc. 2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc. 3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture. 4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training. 5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.

The whole problem with this word is that it is a sort of free radical that can be attached to anything. In one recent case, a Spanish newspaper labeled the United States as a ‘Gun Culture’. In today’s news headlines, the word is applied to General Motors and NASA, both having to reinvent their own cultures.

* Hate.
Most of us will never truly ‘hate’ anything or anybody. It is, after all, the opposite of love and most of us know that true love is indeed quite rare. But the word, hate, is today applied to define anything from a person to a political theme. If someone merely disagrees with a specific point of view, they are labeled as a hater and then, subjected to ridicule and all manner of official and unofficial inquisition.

Hate is probably the most misused, if not totally abused word in the world today. It’s your call but I would recommend using it sparingly and with due consideration for other, better words.

So in the end, the current application of the word 'Socialist' is probably a better fit than some of the others.

imo... that is



[edit on 15-8-2009 by redoubt]

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:38 AM
Socialism is sometimes used by people as an umbrella term for a totalitarian government...which is just silly.I don't know really,it seems to me people throw about things without the first clue as to what they mean.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:46 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

You have a problem with socialist being called socialist. But you have, in the past, used the word neo-con with the same premise.

Lefties always have a problem with being labeled, but they label themselves. When socialist was popular they called themselves socialist, when liberal was popular they called themselves liberal. Now the popular term is Progressives, when that goes out of style what will they call themselves next?

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:53 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

Heres webster difinition:
1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Guess what that makes health care a socialist plan The government is going to manage and distribute health care services! So its not an inaccurate statement.The question becomes is it beneficial to do so that is what people are arguing about.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 11:01 AM
Thank you for this thread.

People throwing out words like "Socialism & Communism" - - with out any real knowledge - - is one of my pet peeves.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 11:37 AM
A fine socialist idea Original Poster! Let's socialize the use of the word socialism!

Many people incorrectly use all kinds of words and terms.

Some people call me a genius, I don't feel I am but I take it as a compliment while trying to remember "Thou art mortal"

Some people call me stupid, I don't feel I am but realize everyone has a right to their own oppinion oh and "Sticks and stones can break my bones by names can never hurt me".

Some people call me a racist, I don't feel I am but I realize that they themselves are exercising some prejudice in making that assertion that they can't see that they are probably more guilty of than I imagine I am.

You can't legislate intelligence, and attempts to legislate conflicting codes of morallity have turned the world into a free fire war zone.

As I said a fine socialist idea if ever there was one!

No offense meant but hey someone has to stand up for freewill and the right to free speech.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 01:24 PM
Socialism, as a word, is so ill defined that it almost ceases to be usefull.
This is a post of mine concerning definitions and stupidity, about this very topic.

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 01:54 PM
The term socialism HAS A DEFINITION.

It is not an un-definable term used as hate. Although there are those who hate the idea. It is a very clear and well presented ideology.

The fact that so many of you WANT socialism and have worked very hard for a long time to get it should precipitate the embracing of the name, just as you have embraced the concept.

The problem here is that despite the fact that so many of you want socialism, you still want-desire-need to be approved of.

You know that about half of the country despises the very same ideology that you embrace.

For some reason you feel that it is ok to forcibly take from one to give to another but you feel that you need acceptance from both the one that gets the handout and the one that you take from. Your egos will allow you to dominate anothers life but can't handle being labeled as less than good.

I have many very liberal friends who I do respect and care about but still don't see eye to eye with. Do you know what the biggest concern most of them have about the iraq war,our position on global warming, the war on terrorism, economic policies, gun control, abortion have amounted to?

"But the rest of the world hates us." "but they don't like us" "but they think were bad" "but we're so wealthy and others still think we should do more."

The entire left wing mindset distills down to those sentiments.
"I know what's best for you and will do whatever it takes to control you BUT I want you to approve of me while I do it."

If you want to take from the hardworking and give to the nonproducing to make things "fair" and are this successful at it then you ought to be willing to realize that you will be despised for being who you are.

You are socialists. It is a simple term that people in the past and present have gladly used to describe themselves. It is clearly defined and it fits what you desire, have worked for and achieved.

You won't be loved or accepted by more than half of the population of the US for what you are. You will be hated and reviled. It is a simple fact.

Stop hiding from who you are and worrying about the opinions of those you will hurt in your efforts to create your idea of a better world.

Deal with it and move on.

The idea that you are offended by a clear description of who you are indicates a clear and glaring degree of confusion on your part.


posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 03:33 PM

Originally posted by badgerprints

The fact that so many of you WANT socialism and have worked very hard for a long time to get it should precipitate the embracing of the name, just as you have embraced the concept.

The problem here is that despite the fact that so many of you want socialism, you still want-desire-need to be approved of.

You know that about half of the country despises the very same ideology that you embrace.

Probably any form of government would work in its purist form.

The problem with ALL of them is corruption & abuse - from both sides (leaders & citzens)

posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 03:39 PM

Originally posted by Annee

Probably any form of government would work in its purist form.

The problem with ALL of them is corruption & abuse - from both sides (leaders & citzens)

I agree with that,but the depth of conflict with capitalism versus socialism doesn't seem to be the threat of corruption and abuse, both have it, but the ideal of independent achievement versus collectivism.

Even with that basic difference notwithstanding. Why would one side declare it proudly and the other deny what they are?

[edit on 033131p://f40Saturday by badgerprints]

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