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Socialism can mean many things
in Politics

By billbatardbillbatard 125 Pts
the word socialism is perhaps the most misused word in the English language, that and Fascism ... Are you in favor of some sort of Socialism
The passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Mikhail Bakunin




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  • SharkySharky 60 Pts
    @billbatard

    Socialism and fascism both have clear definitions. They both have extensive histories as well. If either or both of them are misused or misunderstood, it's because there has been a concerted effort by ideologues to muddy the waters and to whitewash the failures and the misery they've both spawned.

    The problem with favoring "some sort of Socialism" is the classic "slippery slope" argument. The political left is never satisfied with the breadth or depth of the socialism we've accepted and instituted. They invariably demand more as they are proving right now. The end result of adopting pure socialism would inevitably mean that we'd have pure communism imposed on us by an authoritarian government. This has been the ultimate goal of the world's Marxists since 1848. 
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1714 Pts
    Socialism comes down to collective ownership of property. Collectivism is an awful ideology and should be drowned in a river. I am in favor of only one form of socialism: non-existing one.

    The moment you give control over any piece of property to the collective over the individual, is the moment you plant the seeds of tyranny. When the collective trumps the individual, then the individual will be enslaved by the collective's will, and the appetite of the collective will naturally grow more and more, until there is no individual left to speak of.
  • Socialism was first articulated as a temporary transitional system from Capitalism to Communism, that is the original meaning of the word, it does carry a post-capitalism mindset in its original meaning... But it has evolved to something more broad, into something challenging the supremacy of the individual over the collective, a notion I somewhat endorse. 

    I reject the slippery slope arguments because they are, well, fallacies...  
    " Adversus absurdum, contumaciter ac ridens! "
  • There are many words in English which have many meanings. The question is: how do those meanings arise? Well, it deals with how society uses those terms. Words acquire new meanings as society uses it in a different way.

    The word "nice" used to mean "stupid". People began using it a different way: the way we use it today, and that changed its meaning and it no longer has the meaning of "stupid".

    Some words lose meanings and gain new ones. Some words keep their old meaning and simply get more added to it. This is the case with words such as socialism, capitalism, communism, and fascism. Socialism is what is known as a "contronym". Examples of contronyms I would say we all agree are contronyms would be "Sanction" and "dust". Sanction can mean both to allow someone to do something or to punish someone economically as an incentive to get them to stop. Dust can mean to remove particles and to add particles. "Dust the house" versus "Dust for fingerprints". The former means to remove particles from your house. The latter means to add particles in order to see those fingerprints.

    This is how language is. Learn to accept it. There's no reason to stubbornly insist a word means something else when it can mean both since the word is used with multiple definitions.

    The purpose of language is to communicate effectively. If you're using a term that causes confusion to other people(i.e they think it means something else), then perhaps you should use a different term and come to an understanding with that person. Come to an agreement with a term you both agree the definition to is.

    Perhaps you think socialism means what scandinavia has while your opponent thinks it means what the USSR has. Well, perhaps you could instead use the term "Social Democracy" or they could use the term "Marxist-Leninism" or some other synonym you both agree applies to Scandinavia, as in the case of Social Democracy, or the USSR, as the case with "Marxist-Leninism".

    To answer your question, I consider myself a socialist, however I shy from using that term since it's often one that causes miscommunication. As I said, language is meant to communicate effectively, so using the word socialism tends to fail for that purpose. I tend to identify as a "Geolibertarian with mutualist leanings", as I've found no one disagrees with me on what those terms mean.
  • To add to what I said, I'm not sure we can really call any word "misused" if the definitions of words change based on how society uses it. I argue the proper use of language is however society is using it.

    Now, this sounds like the ad populum fallacy. Many people seem to understand the basics of fallacies, but they don't understand the advanced concepts. I'll teach you one now: there are exceptions to fallacious rules.

    Ad Populum is a logical argument when the topic at hand is dependent on popularity. Indeed, the earth being round is not something subject to popularity, but certain topics are, so to use an ad populum argument for a subject that is dependent on popularity is not a fallacy whatsoever. In the case of language, since the purpose of it is to effectively communicate with society, then ad populum is a logical argument: indeed, it may be the only logical argument actually as it pertains to language.

    What's the use of arguing socialism means what you claim it does if you're the only one who thinks it does? Language's purpose is to communicate to others, and if you are so stubborn as to stick to one archaic definition no one uses, you are an absolute failure as it pertains to communicating with others, and that is the real misuse of language: when you can't seem to communicate with anyone.

    Another fallacy with exceptions is slippery slope. A slippery slope argument can be a logical argument. But it's more often not, but it can be. If the person arguing a slippery slope argument provides sufficient evidence between each of the steps from A to conclusion Z, say "If we let this small thing happen, it will lead to this huge terrible outcome way in the future" if they provide solid evidence for every single step, it's a completely legitimate argument and not a fallacy.

    This seems to be something many people don't realize as it pertains to fallacies. Many of them, if argued properly, are not actually fallacies. These arguments: slippery slope or ad populum, are fallacies only when misused, but both can be legitimately logical arguments from time-to-time.
  • AmpersandAmpersand 655 Pts
    There are many words in English which have many meanings. The question is: how do those meanings arise? Well, it deals with how society uses those terms. Words acquire new meanings as society uses it in a different way.

    The word "nice" used to mean "stupid". People began using it a different way: the way we use it today, and that changed its meaning and it no longer has the meaning of "stupid".

    Some words lose meanings and gain new ones. Some words keep their old meaning and simply get more added to it. This is the case with words such as socialism, capitalism, communism, and fascism. Socialism is what is known as a "contronym". Examples of contronyms I would say we all agree are contronyms would be "Sanction" and "dust". Sanction can mean both to allow someone to do something or to punish someone economically as an incentive to get them to stop. Dust can mean to remove particles and to add particles. "Dust the house" versus "Dust for fingerprints". The former means to remove particles from your house. The latter means to add particles in order to see those fingerprints.

    This is how language is. Learn to accept it. There's no reason to stubbornly insist a word means something else when it can mean both since the word is used with multiple definitions.

    The purpose of language is to communicate effectively. If you're using a term that causes confusion to other people(i.e they think it means something else), then perhaps you should use a different term and come to an understanding with that person. Come to an agreement with a term you both agree the definition to is.

    Perhaps you think socialism means what scandinavia has while your opponent thinks it means what the USSR has. Well, perhaps you could instead use the term "Social Democracy" or they could use the term "Marxist-Leninism" or some other synonym you both agree applies to Scandinavia, as in the case of Social Democracy, or the USSR, as the case with "Marxist-Leninism".

    To answer your question, I consider myself a socialist, however I shy from using that term since it's often one that causes miscommunication. As I said, language is meant to communicate effectively, so using the word socialism tends to fail for that purpose. I tend to identify as a "Geolibertarian with mutualist leanings", as I've found no one disagrees with me on what those terms mean.
    I generally agree with language being subjective, variable, based on usage etc.

    However I think a few things are worth noting:

    1) I feel the usage of socialism conflating with liberalism was generated based on a disingenuous point of view. The cold war hatreds of the USA and USSR made socialism a handy slur to toss at people that weren't socialist to delegitimise them.

    2) Definitions relevance depend on context. In a conversation about building equipment I wouldn't insist that "Crane" referred to a bird. In a discussion about socialism, the technical and relevant definition should be applicable rather than a non-technical version mostly used as a slur.

    3) This seems to me to be quite a national thing and prominent largely in the USA. If we're basing it on popular usage, I personally think most people don't conflate socialism with any leftist position.
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