Why is Socialist the new hot-button insult?
|Why is Socialist the new hot-button insult?|
Joined: Apr 04, 2008
Location: New York
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Posted Jul 11, 2012 - 2:51 AM:
This is my opinion about how the original question in post #1 is best answered.
Sometimes we hear people taking it upon themselves to provide the definition of someone elses belief system that they disagree with. For example, we sometimes hear a religious preacher offer this definition of "atheism": that is when people have no purpose in living, and have no guidelines for right and wrong behavior. Why would someone suggest an incorrect definition of an ideology that they disagree with? To make it easy to knock it down while expending little effort.
In this way, the word socialism was redefined by its opponents. Originally the word meant -- and socialists today still use the word in this sense -- the suggestion to make each workplace into a democracy, where the workers will meet in assemblies to make workplace plans, and to elect their own managers and supervisors. With the payment of dividends having been abolished, society would have no groups whose material interests conflict with the interests of other groups, that is, have no classes.
What is the easiest way for an opponent of the idea to knock it down? By distorting the definition into an unrecognizable travesty, by saying: "socialism means any form of government ownership or government regulation." They have been so successful in this attempt that they have even gotten school books, dictionaries and the journalism profession to adopt their warped redefinition.
Joined: Oct 13, 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Posted Jul 11, 2012 - 5:08 PM:
I wonder if there are any other countries where socialist is considered an insult, or is it just USA? It certainly doesn't seem to be in Australia. Our redneck opposition leader tries it on every now and again, but gets no mileage with an electorate that, for all its faults, is not scared of a socialist bogeyman, so he has to reach for stronger 'insults' like Communist, or better still, whistle up fears of terrorists masquerading as refugees or global conspiracies to de-industrialise our economy and subjugate us to a shadowy 'world government' via emissions controls on greenhouse gases.
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