Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Over on facebook -- the "is it communist or socialist?" question came up.  Again.   Kind of the flip-side of the Dictionary Police is people who really haven't spent a whole lot of time thinking about it, and are looking around for moorings when somebody else starts talking about it and one of these people suddenly realize, "Wait.  Oh.  He's serioius.  What now?"  You say the President is a Socialist?  But my [dictionary police] buddy over here says you obviously don't know what the word "Socialist" actually means!

This is where Severian's term "Marxoid" comes in handy, I think, when people want to get down to brass tacks about exactly what the hard Dictionary Definitions of "Communism", "Socialism", or "Fascism" really are . "Communism" is the pie ...in the sky ideal, and Socialism and Fascism are both methodologies to aim countries in that general direction through government control. It's a family of Marx-derived ideologies mixed with methodologies to achieve it.

Ultimately, the only way to attempt to achieve it is through eventual state control of everything. Sometimes the attempt is marked by a flash, violent revolution. Other times the slower, less violent Alinsky-esque "Transformation" route is taken, as in Western Europe and here in our country.

Government control of everything is pretty much the antithesis of our Founders' plan.

In the end, even when you do look them up -- the dictionary definitions are often loosey-goosey and vary from dictionary to dictionary. People forget that the regime people hold up as the quintessential example of "Communism" was called "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" (USSR) and the big one people miss is "Nationalsozialismus", more frequently referred to the Nazis .... were socialists of the "Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei", or the "National Socialist German Workers Party". The Fascists were Italian National Socialists. Like flavors of red Koolaid, they are technically different but all taste pretty much the same.


Severian said...

It's all some flavor of Marx. The reason the commies hate the fascists hate the socialists hate the social democrats hate the democrats is that there's maybe a dime's worth of difference between 'em.

Libertarians and Republicans, just to take two "right wing" examples, disagree about lots of fundamental stuff. The left? Not so much...

jeffmon said...

I like to refer to Marxoids as collectivists (versus individualists). It's easier for me to explain why they're evil when I don't use a term that has so many different meanings to different people. Marxoid does a pretty good job of that, too.