Misuse of Political/Economic Terms

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posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:25 AM
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this is an article i wrote and posted as a note on my Facebook page. if need be i can post it here or somewhere else that others can freely access but everyone should be able to view it:

www.facebook.com...

do you or anyone you know misuse political terms? do you disagree with the definitions i present of these terms and have solid evidence to back your claims up? let me know as i would be delighted to be proven wrong


new link: realhiphop4ever.ucoz.com...
edit on 2/20/2012 by eboyd because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by eboyd
 

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posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:39 AM
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Everyone mistakes the economic system of capitalism as a political system.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:41 AM
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reply to post by eboyd
 


There are always discrepancies between what a person thinks an idea will look like and what actually takes place under it. Because people have attempted to implement these ideas many times in recent history, the results of these applications of principles and how people perceive them are what drive them to define terms differently.

People will tend to choose a term to defend and argue it as a hypothetical while treating opposing ideas with definitions and opinions formed from often the least successful example of application.

Still deeper, people often have formed some sort of ideal they seek to adhere to and apply. They seek an economic or political system to ensure this ideal is respected. However, they may be at odds with people who actually agree with their favored systems because of these ideas. It only gets worse if they disagree on both driving ideals and politico-economic choices.

People tend to defend ideals with emotional responses which make it very difficult to stick to hypothetical definitions and not twist them based on history.

So I guess this is where I was heading: You plead for people to keep an open mind about different economic and political systems, but I would argue that discussing the ideals behind them as a starting point would be more beneficial.

That said, the general consensus of several internet searches did not agree at all with Musolini's definition of Fascism. I mean not to accuse, but it seems likely that you chose it because it appeared closer in nature to capitalism than the other available definitions. By associating capitalism so closely with fascism through a definition most do not agree with, you seek to draw the same emotion-driven reactions you argue are unfair when comparing socialism to communism.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:42 AM
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Originally posted by LightSpeedDriver
reply to post by eboyd
 

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naturally. let me see if i can still edit my initial comment. just in case, here's a new link:

realhiphop4ever.ucoz.com...



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 01:43 AM
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Originally posted by CB328
Everyone mistakes the economic system of capitalism as a political system.


not the case here. read the link. people make the same mistakes about socialism/communism as well.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:07 AM
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Originally posted by ProgressiveSlayer
reply to post by eboyd
 
So I guess this is where I was heading: You plead for people to keep an open mind about different economic and political systems, but I would argue that discussing the ideals behind them as a starting point would be more beneficial.


i've actually been thinking about this for quite some time and i agree. while i am very explicit about my socialism here, when discussing this in person i actually avoid mentioning that i am a socialist/anarchist a lot of the time (of course this often depends on who i am speaking with and the context of the conversation). i usually instead mention that i advocate worker cooperatives or something of that nature, and i tend to get radically different responses than i used to when i would tell people flat out that i am a socialist. however, while i agree with you here, the sole intent of this article was to convince people to think about the implications of the political and economic terms they use, and learn a little bit about them, before using them as it will make political discussion more fruitful for us all.


That said, the general consensus of several internet searches did not agree at all with Musolini's definition of Fascism. I mean not to accuse, but it seems likely that you chose it because it appeared closer in nature to capitalism than the other available definitions. By associating capitalism so closely with fascism through a definition most do not agree with, you seek to draw the same emotion-driven reactions you argue are unfair when comparing socialism to communism.


indeed i agree that most definitions you will find are far different from this and it would seem that i am trying to spin this to make it seem that capitalism and fascism are equivalent, but notice that i did not actually say anything good or bad about either capitalism or fascism, i simply stated facts. the reason i chose Mussolini's definition was because he is regarded as one of the founders of fascist political thought, not because of its ties to capitalism. fascism could be the horribly corrupt regime of Mussolini, Hitler, or Franco, or it could be the relatively free system here in the U.S. i'm not trying to rate its morality. economic and political systems by themselves are not compassionate. they do not have inherent morals. there may be morals behind certain individuals' views that coincide with political or economic systems, but the systems themselves are simply the means to achieve them.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:08 AM
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reply to post by CB328
 


Stated differently, Socialists tend to mistake the economic system of capitalism for the political system of corporatism/fascism; Capitalists tend to mistake the economic system of socialism for the political system of communism.

They feel it helps their argument when they are in an emotionally charged discussion because of the negative examples of all those political systems mentioned above.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:19 AM
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Originally posted by eboyd
... the sole intent of this article was to convince people to think about the implications of the political and economic terms they use, and learn a little bit about them, before using them as it will make political discussion more fruitful for us all.


This is understood, I merely meant to elaborate a bit on how and more importantly why these definitions become twisted/misunderstood.


indeed i agree that most definitions you will find are far different from this and it would seem that i am trying to spin this to make it seem that capitalism and fascism are equivalent, but notice that i did not actually say anything good or bad about either capitalism or fascism, i simply stated facts. the reason i chose Mussolini's definition was because he is regarded as one of the founders of fascist political thought, not because of its ties to capitalism. fascism could be the horribly corrupt regime of Mussolini, Hitler, or Franco, or it could be the relatively free system here in the U.S. i'm not trying to rate its morality. economic and political systems by themselves are not compassionate. they do not have inherent morals. there may be morals behind certain individuals' views that coincide with political or economic systems, but the systems themselves are simply the means to achieve them.


The issue I took here is that Capitalism is a economic system while corporatism is a political system with capitalism as its core ideal and base. Fascism is corporatism with more government oversight "for the good of the people". It does not matter how Mussolini defined fascism for himself, it is a political system and should not be compared directly with capitalism, nor does it make a good example of such.
edit on 20/2/2012 by ProgressiveSlayer because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:26 AM
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Originally posted by ProgressiveSlayer
reply to post by CB328
 


Stated differently, Socialists tend to mistake the economic system of capitalism for the political system of corporatism/fascism; Capitalists tend to mistake the economic system of socialism for the political system of communism.

They feel it helps their argument when they are in an emotionally charged discussion because of the negative examples of all those political systems mentioned above.


actually, as i stated in the article (and as someone who does not support communism), communism actually IS a form of socialism.

in the same sense, fascism IS capitalistic. i would be willing to hear you out if you have evidence to suggest otherwise and i will admit that i was wrong, but even upon a content reading of the wiki page, which seems to be counter to the definition i mentioned for fascism, it doesn't necessarily negate what i stated. the only viable information i have found on fascism tends to support my claim. but again, i could be wrong and would be more than willing to hear evidence that counters my assertion.
edit on 2/20/2012 by eboyd because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:33 AM
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Originally posted by ProgressiveSlayerThe issue I took here is that Capitalism is a economic system while corporatism is a political system with capitalism as its core ideal and base. Fascism is corporatism with more government oversight "for the good of the people". It does not matter how Mussolini defined fascism for himself, it is a political system and should not be compared directly with capitalism, nor does it make a good example of such.
edit on 20/2/2012 by ProgressiveSlayer because: (no reason given)


ok, but as you stated yourself, it has capitalism at its base. i think your issue is that i didn't clearly distinguish fascism as a political system and capitalism as an economic system and you are probably right, but while fascism is specifically a political system, being that it has a basis in capitalism, it is necessary to first define it as being, of necessity, capitalist, before discussing its political implications (which i admittedly underplayed because i was attempting to avoid attaching any positive or negative connotations to it).



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:33 AM
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reply to post by eboyd
 


Communism and Fascism are ways to politically enact and control socialism and capitalism, respectively. Socialism can exist outside of a communist regime in the same way that capitalism can exist outside of a Fascist regime. Chalmski's libertarian socialism is and example of the former, while the US prior to subsidies, bailouts, etc is an example of the latter.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:42 AM
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Originally posted by ProgressiveSlayer
reply to post by eboyd
 


Communism and Fascism are ways to politically enact and control socialism and capitalism, respectively. Socialism can exist outside of a communist regime in the same way that capitalism can exist outside of a Fascist regime. Chalmski's libertarian socialism is and example of the former, while the US prior to subsidies, bailouts, etc is an example of the latter.


capitalism, as envisioned by people such as Murray Rothbard, is not fascistic.

socialism, as set forth by people such as Mikhail Bakunin, is not communistic.

however...

capitalism, as it is practiced today in the U.S., is fascistic.

socialism, as discussed by Emma Goldman, Pyotr Kropotkin, etc., is communistic.

the USSR, China, North Korea, Vietnam, etc., were never socialistic or communistic.

again, socialism is also an economic, not a political system. socialism is workers' control over the means of production. communism is a form of socialism in which products are distributed according to peoples' needs. to some people this may imply a political system, but to others, such as Goldman and Kropotkin, it implies a form of participatory (rather than central) planning in which good are abundantly produced and people are able to take what they need. this was practiced during the Spanish Revolution where rural collectives gave away goods for free, but they kept track of how much of those goods left their shop and employed various other means to ensure that they were able to meet the needs of the people in those areas.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 02:54 AM
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reply to post by eboyd
 



Though most official definitions of socialism point to some form of common ownership, the most concise definition i have found that encompasses all of its various forms is "workers' control over the means of production". This means that whether the capital is controlled by one individual who owns his business and does his own labor, or by a large group of people such as a community who control labor directly and equally, it is socialism. Of the various socialist ideologies, communism is the most well known. It is defined as a form of socialism that includes remuneration based on the guiding principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need".


You seek to distance socialism from communism because there are forms that exist where socialism is not administered explicitly through the state.


So as per Mussolini's definition, fascism is a system in which private entities control the means of production in a market system with limited government interference in the economy. Upon researching the definition of capitalism we find that fascism is strikingly similar. In the case of capitalism we find that, for once, the dictionary definition actually suffices:

"an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth." [5]


By making your argument in this way, you leave little room for one to argue that capitalism can exist as an economic system outside of a fascist government. If this is your opinion, that's fine, but I disagree.

You did a good job in your article to not judge the morality of any of the terms you discussed. Props. I simply was trying to point out where I thought your argument was not as strong as the rest of the article.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 03:12 AM
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Originally posted by ProgressiveSlayerYou seek to distance socialism from communism because there are forms that exist where socialism is not administered explicitly through the state.


communism is not a statist system though. in fact, communism is antithetical to statism. Marx's definition of communism (which coincides with the definition i posed above) is a "stateless, classless society". while this may have political implications (keep in mind that economic systems often do), it is an economic system.

i wasn't distancing socialism from communism, i was distancing socialism from supposedly communist countries such as the USSR and North Korea and making a clear distinction that they were neither socialist, nor communist.


By making your argument in this way, you leave little room for one to argue that capitalism can exist as an economic system outside of a fascist government. If this is your opinion, that's fine, but I disagree.


fair enough. i didn't make it clear that capitalism doesn't necessitate fascism and i made it seem as though they are one in the same.

i will make myself clear now. fascism is a political system that necessitates capitalism. capitalism does not automatically equate to fascism.


You did a good job in your article to not judge the morality of any of the terms you discussed. Props. I simply was trying to point out where I thought your argument was not as strong as the rest of the article.


thank you very much for pointing it out. i agree that i should have been a bit more clear in my distinctions.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 03:42 AM
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reply to post by eboyd
 


Out of curiosity, what would be your definition of corporatism, which is also a political system that can arise from capitalism?



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 06:18 AM
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The greatest misuse of political terms has been the widespread governmental misappropriation and subversion of the term Anarchist.

The political narrative has been rewritten and in the minds of the majority, anarchism is now associated with violent mayhem.

I wonder why governments seek to discredit a political system that askews all forms of government!

As to the rest of your OP, who cares what labels are attached to the left right paradigm when all forms of government are facist?



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by ProgressiveSlayer
reply to post by eboyd
 


Out of curiosity, what would be your definition of corporatism, which is also a political system that can arise from capitalism?


i would say that corporatism is a form of fascism. it is pretty much the rudimentary form in which government acts as the invisible hand, per se, that assists the economy in various ways. things like dictatorship, eugenics, nationalism, etc., are not required aspects of corporatism or even necessarily in fascism for that matter. i don't necessarily know that there is anything distinguishing fascism from corporatism. i think they are one in the same. maybe someone could argue that fascism is a more extreme form of corporatism, but i haven't seen evidence to suggest this.



posted on Feb, 20 2012 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by teapot
The greatest misuse of political terms has been the widespread governmental misappropriation and subversion of the term Anarchist.

The political narrative has been rewritten and in the minds of the majority, anarchism is now associated with violent mayhem.

I wonder why governments seek to discredit a political system that askews all forms of government!


as an anarchist myself i agree 100%. i would, however, say that socialism and communism are demonized about as much as anarchism has been, and in fact many people that i can think of, such as Glenn Beck, can say the word "anarchism" without the next phrase being "the most evil force in the world", though i cannot say the same from socialism/communism.


As to the rest of your OP, who cares what labels are attached to the left right paradigm when all forms of government are facist?


very true. at least the governments of all civilized countries that exist today are, but even as someone who opposes fascism myself, i'd say we still shouldn't use fascism as a pejorative term just to condemn government system. i agree with you only because, in fact, every country in the civilized world, with maybe a few exceptions that i haven't considered, has some form of fascist/corporatist government. though i would not say that labels on the left right paradigm are irrelevant. the purpose of terms is to give us short cuts that allow people to understand us without having to go into some long diatribe in order to do so. it is the difference between saying "i play a sport that involves advancing an oblong ball down a hundred yard field in order to score 6 points" (which could obviously go on much longer) and saying "i play football". if we don't have descriptive terms, conversation becomes long and tedious. in the same sense, if those terms get distorted and people start having contrasting perceptions of what those terms mean, then we will open up large arguments about topics that merely amount to semantic disagreements.





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