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posted by cmn32480 on Friday December 18 2015, @10:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the how-do-you-spell-that dept.

The Guardian reports that "socialism" was the most looked-up word on Merriam-Webster's site this year, a change the American dictionary publisher attributes to US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has positioned of himself as a "democratic socialist".

As a socialist (or communist) myself, I personally think it's great that especially people from the United States try to figure out the meaning of the word beyond McCarthyism. I'm glad that people show interest in politics and finding out about positions of candidates.

Past years winners are available on Wikipedia.


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  • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @10:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @10:51AM (#278133)

    You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @10:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @10:54AM (#278136)

      Inconceivable!!!!

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Subsentient on Friday December 18 2015, @11:04AM

    by Subsentient (1111) <{subsentient} {at} {universe2.us}> on Friday December 18 2015, @11:04AM (#278139) Homepage Journal

    I am also a socialist, and a rather die-hard one at that. It's good that people now understand it.

    --
    "Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer." -Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #208
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by wisnoskij on Friday December 18 2015, @01:24PM

      by wisnoskij (5149) <reversethis-{moc ... ksonsiwnohtanoj}> on Friday December 18 2015, @01:24PM (#278169)

      Well the dictionary definition is actually completely different than the one socialists use themselves, and both are completely different than the one Bernie uses, so I am not sure that any amount of dictionary reading is going to help people understand.

      --
      Respect my Authoritah!!!
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @07:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @07:17PM (#278310)

        Ahh, so just like feminism then. Genuinely, I am not trolling or otherwise trying to stir up trouble. Feminism, like socialism, has become a philosophy that means such radically different things to different people that the meaning has become lost in contrary action.

        • (Score: 2) by patella.whack on Saturday December 19 2015, @05:58AM

          by patella.whack (3848) on Saturday December 19 2015, @05:58AM (#278494)

          While I agree somewhat with your sentiment about the term 'feminism', There's an important distinction here. I think the point of this data regarding the term 'socialism' is to show that the term is in flux, at least in the US, a country where there seems to be an interest in the populace to reexamine the term in context of internal structures that may be relevant. IOW it's possibly no longer a simple scare word which elicits a purely emotional reaction but rather it's open to investigation as to it's meaning, especially with the modifier: 'democtratic.' that Sanders has been using. ie. 'democratic socialism'

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by zocalo on Friday December 18 2015, @02:15PM

      by zocalo (302) on Friday December 18 2015, @02:15PM (#278186)
      Hopefully many of those that are driven to look up "socialism" will also be looking up "communism" and comparing the differences. They might have been more or less interchangeable for some aspects in the past but that has now diverged considerably in terms of what it means in a modern context, and having more people aware of what the differences are should hopefully enable more people to make informed decisions on socialist policies.
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:25PM (#278190)

        I only look it up because I can't spell worth a shit...

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:50PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:50PM (#278203)

        The only real difference between socialism and communism is that socialism is the useful idiots who don't realize global communism is to be brought about in stages, one of which being the "moderate" socialism.

        There is no stated end goal of socialism, because it is intended to end in some variation of Marxist communism. Read up about the Marxist think tank which branded itself "Institute for Social Research", AKA, The Frankfurt School.

        The problem with all this "equality" rubbish is that it ignores the ones who command the brown shirts are "more equal" than the common man. Furthermore, monocultures breed extinction in all of nature. Leveling the playing field is impossible without dystopian forces at work, and these tend to corruption as all large organizations do (even the human organism dies due to corruption of organs and cells). Accumulation of entropy is inevitable, but socialists and communists ignore this uncomfortable universal truth. Competition is the past, it shall be the future, as death and rebirth is the only known way to stave off corruption. Utopia, even at the cellular level, creates a monoculture which then goes extinct because it can not handle the little deaths that chaos requires of any successful self propagating system. In the short term the benefits seem beautiful, but the long term is what counts and that's where things get ugly -- Extinction is most ugly of all.

        Saying that socialism is different than communism is like saying that a continuous light sprinkling of salt is different from being heavily salted. In the short term you will reach a savory taste, but as the process continues it produces inediblity and eventually extinction as the very Earth is salted and nothing new may grow. The wise recognize that any system taken to extremes results in the same. The average socialist is foolish enough to think their utopia somehow different.

        "Socialism" as defined by socialists or "moderate communists" can only survive when surrounded by a chaotic system of capitalism, dictatorships and other forms of governance. When world communism is implemented their "permanent revolution" will carry on -- the government will fight for its survival against the common man by turning his mind to distractions rather than the cause of the despotism. If you want to see this situation unfolding today, just look up "Social Justice Warrior" and realize this is the product of the Communist Frankfurt School's Critical Theory.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BasilBrush on Friday December 18 2015, @07:04PM

          by BasilBrush (3994) on Friday December 18 2015, @07:04PM (#278297)

          Just wait till your thinking advances from the 1950s to the 1960s. You'll love it.

          --
          Hurrah! Quoting works now!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @09:29PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @09:29PM (#278363)

          what I hear you trying to say is, There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well.
          And... The weak are meat and the strong do eat., and I'll just put a couple of words in your mouth for you, "you like to eat steak".

          OK, got it.

        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Sunday December 20 2015, @02:50AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Sunday December 20 2015, @02:50AM (#278803) Homepage

          ""Socialism" as defined by socialists or "moderate communists" can only survive when surrounded by a chaotic system of capitalism, dictatorships and other forms of governance. "

          That's the most interesting thought I've seen in a while. Thanks for the insight.

    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 18 2015, @06:57PM

      by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday December 18 2015, @06:57PM (#278295)

      I am also a socialist, and a rather die-hard one at that.

      You say that knowing it is without risk in our mad, dying world. In a sane one we would give you the opportunity to find out just how hard your commie ass would die. You are a carrier of a disease of ignorance, stupidity and wickedness, a Judgement upon the rest of us for the sin of permitting your kind to move openly among us. Your kind has murdered a hundred million already and your thirst for the blood of the innocent can never be slaked.

      In a sane world Socialism/Communism, whatever it called itself this week and which subtle flavor is being promoted, would be as outlawed as Nazism as a evil religion/philosophy antithetical to a free people. Open Communists would be forbidden entry into Free Nations, forbidden to serve in public office (their philosophy being openly incompatible with any Oath of Office in a Free Society) and publicly funded universities would forbid the study of Marxist (including ALL of Critical Theory) philosophy outside of the same historical departments where Mein Kampf and other evil is studied.

      To those who say I'm being inconsistent, that "Free" has to include Socialists I throw back their own goddamned PC words. There is no room in a tolerant society for the intolerant. Socialism is a totalitarian philosophy, intolerant to any dissent to the point where they fill gulags and mass graves with the dissidents each and every time they achieve sufficient political power to get away with it. Even a casual reading of their beliefs reveals that force is essential to any efforts at redistribution, equalization, etc. If you allow Marxists to walk openly among you, you really can't muster a moral argument against Satan Himself... oh, wait... He does openly have temples and idols now. See the point?

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by BasilBrush on Friday December 18 2015, @07:07PM

        by BasilBrush (3994) on Friday December 18 2015, @07:07PM (#278298)

        Here's one of the people that didn't look up the definition of socialism in the Miriam-Webster dictionary.

        --
        Hurrah! Quoting works now!
      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Friday December 18 2015, @07:13PM

        by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 18 2015, @07:13PM (#278308) Journal

        You are a carrier of a disease of ignorance, stupidity and wickedness, a Judgement upon the rest of us for the sin of permitting your kind to move openly among us.

        jmorris! I was just about to say the exact same thing about you!! What are the odds! I have put your name in to the "re-education" sub-committee of the People's Central Committee, some one should be along shortly to pick you up. And remember, "They're from the government, they're here to help!"

        --
        #freearistarchus!!!
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:27AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:27AM (#278440) Journal

        There is no room in a tolerant society for the intolerant.

        Individuals who live in vitreous edifices should not throw petrous projectiles. How often do we read your prevarications here against SJWs, liberals, minorities, or whatever your bugbear of the moment is?

        Socialism and its supposed successor Communism are fatally flawed ideologies, the fatal flaw being the Free Rider problem. But Marx's critique of crony capitalism, as we would call it today, remains as incisive as it was when he wrote it 150 years ago in the Communist Manifesto. I'm glad he wrote it, and every student of Western thought ought to read it or their education and understanding of the last century of world affairs will be incomplete. The same thing is also true of early 20th Century facism and its roots in Nietzschean modernism; that, for example, would provide critical background to understanding why critics of Donald Trump draw parallels between his comments and fascism. I don't agree with them, but their assertions are not facile.

        Me, I'm a free speech absolutist. It's better to vet concepts in the marketplace of ideas, in the agora, than to ban their expression outright. And who's to say that the person whose views on politics and economics you discount might not have valuable things to say on other matters? It is how I esteem you.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:04AM

          by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:04AM (#278504)

          the fatal flaw being the Free Rider problem

          Were that the 'fatal flaw' it could be worked around. It isn't. The "Impossibility of Economic Calculation under Socialism" is the unsolvable problem. Not difficulty, impossibility proven beyond a doubt. As solid as a mathematical proof. Proven to the point 'pure socialism' isn't even seriously discussed anymore because proponents can't argue around the proof so we get plans for 'mixed economies' and 'State Capitalism" and other smoke and mirrors intended to pretend they can avoid collapsing into Socialism and then collapsing entirely. It is why Socialism can never work and any attempt to force it ends up filling mass graves.

          But Marx's critique of crony capitalism..

          Crony Capitalism is a contradiction in terms in pretty much the same way State Capitalism is. And you can learn everything you need to know about what is bad about it from Austrian economics. Pretty sure you can find the Chicago School in agreement on this point. So why do we need to discuss Marx and his outdated failed notions?

          Me, I'm a free speech absolutist. It's better to vet concepts in the marketplace of ideas, in the agora, than to ban their expression outright.

          I'm perfectly fine with unlimited debate and free speech. I even want Socialists to be open about what they are and feel free to engage in the arena of ideas. They should be free to travel and work. Purely as a practical matter we are better off if they aren't forced underground.

          What I'm not fine with is pretending a lie isn't. A Socialist should not serve in a position of responsibility in a Free Government such as ours because they are required to lie and we are required to pretend it doesn't matter. And here a Century into pretending it doesn't matter we have to pretend our eyes deceive us since we can clearly see that it does indeed matter. How can someone who advocates for the overthrow of our form of Government swear an Oath to faithfully execute our laws and to uphold and defend our Constitution against all threats both Foreign and Domestic when -they- are a threat? They lie. And I'm not OK with allowing people to immigrate (not visit) into our country who are sworn enemies of our form of government. And I'm not OK with government controlled and funded universities advocating the overthrow of our own government.

          This really isn't a difficult concept. The Catholic Church should not be required to install a Protestant Pope. The NAACP shouldn't have to even feign consideration of a non-black for a leadership position. Every organization one can imagine has a purpose, goals, etc. and demands those who wish to join share them and puts more explicit effort into ensuring leadership is dedicated to advancing the goals of the organization. And America should be no different, it should only put Americans into positions of responsibility. Socialists are NOT American, even if they are born here or otherwise have citizenship. America is not a race based nation, there is no uniquely "American" race. We are based on ideas written down in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and allegiance to those ideas must be demanded of those who wish to participate.

          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:38PM

            by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:38PM (#278668) Journal

            How does communism entail an overthrow of the US Constitution? Or are you thinking the American Declaration of Independence? But even there, the amended the description of natural rights of humans from "property" to "pursuit of happiness". Yeah, I know, jmorris does not agree with the communist re-writing of the Declaration.

            --
            #freearistarchus!!!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:56AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:56AM (#278450)

        Your folly is believing that you live in a rational world. For proof of your reediness to accept indoctrination I need only point out your historically inaccurate rampant hatred for the good that National Socialist Germany did against international banking and corrupt media (both owned by Zionists then as today). Israel would not exist if not for the DEPORTATION of jews from Germany. Indeed, you should look up how Israel was created. The holocaust was far less horrible than that the Bolshevik Revolution which killed between 12 and 20 million Christians and was orchestrated and ran by over 80% Jews. General Patton even realized the error of the war and proclaimed, "We fought the wrong enemy!"

        Hitler's National Socialism is reminiscent of Syria's Social Nationalist component which pays people for starting a family or choose higher education and gives pay outs to the public for the profits of oil... Too alike Hitler's National Socialism which in 5 short years turned a destitute Germany into a world power which almost freed the entire planet from Zionist control. So? Guess where war must come? To the prosperous nationalist nations where national pride and unity is paramount.... Except Israel where a wall keeps all out except those who are genetically "Jewish".

        Fool. You are correct, yet you refuse to acknowledge your cognitive dissonance as merely the Revealing of the Matrix which enslaves your mind. Instead you think the world insane... rather than corrupt and evil. And to this corrupt and evil or insane world you trust the narrative of what happened to Nationalist Germany, just as you likely accept all other Black Propaganda that says Syria is evil.

        You should take the Red Pill rather than the Blue one, you'll be less diluted but potentially more frustrated. Who controls the banks and the media? If I tell you rich and powerful self interested elites, you agree... If I tell you who those elites are, then you call me "Racist" (a word invented by communists / socialists).

        Seek help. You need a massive dose of red pills.

        • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday December 19 2015, @06:18AM

          by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Saturday December 19 2015, @06:18AM (#278496)

          Ha. I have read the entire output of Moldbug at Unqualified Reservations. I laugh at your puny idea that Nazism is misunderstood and your tired Jewish conspiracy theories for I have imbibed red pills you haven't yet imagined exist from your bunker at Stormfront.

          Who controls the banks and the media?

          So lemme give you a hint of what a real Red Pill looks like.

          The Cathedral. What is the Cathedral? Moldbug thinks he knows. He dances around it but won't say it clearly and without weaseling. I will. The most successful devil cult that ever got started. Jews serve it but it ain't Jewish because it is a perversion of Protestant Christian doctrine. I say this because it teaches that breaking every Commandment is a virtue. That perfect score ain't an accident, it isn't just amorality. You don't have to personally believe in God/the Devil to believe THEY believe. This is the exact same idea as accepting that ISIS believes all that end times crap in the Koran doesn't mean you have to believe it or even be Muslim.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:35AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:35AM (#278461)

        outlawed as Nazism as a evil religion/philosophy antithetical to a free people.

        Hitler Did Nothing Wrong. Communism was Created by the Jew Marx who was descended from a long line of rabis. Still today it's the socialist internationalist Zionist who is your true enemy.

        One example: Who is behind the "migrant crisis", yet accepts no migrants? Take a wild fucking guess. Zionist internationalists seek to destroy the west. [pastebin.com] Hitler was right to expel the corrupt Zionist influence. Many Jews and even Blacks fought for the 3rd Reich, Hitler did not hate all Jews just the teachings of their Talmud which say the fingernail of a Jew is worth more than a non-Jew's life -- and that all goyim (non-jews) are cattle, to serve the Jews. That is some serious religious extremist and racist stuff, and yet you remain ignorant of what the orthodox Jews teach. Why? For the same reason you believe there were death camps, and yet all such claimed places which have been investigated have turned out not to be death camps, only work camps.

        "The Holocaust" is Propaganda, you have been brainwashed. There are no traces of Zyklon-B on the walls of Auschwitz bath house which is claimed to be a gas chamber, meanwhile the same delousing agent is heavily prevalent in the small chambers used to rid clothing of Typhus bearing lice. Look up what Typhus does, you'll recognize people who look like "Holocaust Victims" -- They were shorn to prevent the spread of deadly lice. There were no gas chambers, just large bathrooms to rain down soap and water and delouse the occupants... Why does Auschwitz have a swimming pool and a child's play ground if children were executed on arrival according to the propagandists who also own Hollywood? The same reason that Socialist and Communist crap is taught in every university under the labels "Women's Studies" or "African American Studies". It is indoctrination, and you too have been indoctrinated. YES! YOU HAVE!

        The truth is that there were no death camps and everything evil you learned about WWII is suspect. I feel bad for you. You have been robbed of the true history of the world and have a wold view which causes you to make decisions based on falsehood. The victors write the History of their wars and demonize the enemy. All historians accept this... and yet when you point out this has been done in WWII, they shit themselves and deny it. Don't be a fool. You have been lied to! You do not see your enemy and thus you can not fight back, you have been conditioned to think the parasites are your allies!

        • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:41PM

          by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:41PM (#278671) Journal

          I just love it when the wacko Libertarians start arguing with the Neo-nazis here on SoylentNews!!! It smells like, insanity. But it does save the rest of us a lot of time. Is there a Higgs Bozon of cray-cray political thought?

          --
          #freearistarchus!!!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @07:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @07:12PM (#278306)

      Can I have half your sandwich?

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MrNemesis on Friday December 18 2015, @12:05PM

    by MrNemesis (1582) on Friday December 18 2015, @12:05PM (#278147)

    As a socialist (or communist) myself

    So... trolling in summaries is allowed now? :) The two are not the same thing [independent.co.uk].

    --
    "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by basicbasicbasic on Friday December 18 2015, @12:33PM

      by basicbasicbasic (411) on Friday December 18 2015, @12:33PM (#278150)

      To be fair people do often confuse left/right with libertarian/authoritarian. This page at the Political Compass sums it up fairly well (and it's worth taking the test if you haven't already):

      https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2 [politicalcompass.org]

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by HiThere on Saturday December 19 2015, @12:44AM

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @12:44AM (#278423)

        I was impressed by how accurately they rated me given the vagueness and underlying misapprehension of many of the questions. I thought many of the questions assumed things that, while commonly believed, at least at one time, were not true.

        Additionally while some of the questions were absolute, many of them were relative to current social/politicat rules. (I'd have to that the test again to be explicit here, but some of the questions were of the form "Should consenting adults be allowed any sex acts they please?" where others were of the form "Are corporations too tightly regulated?". (The first is an absolute form, the second a relative form. Those are paraphrases of questions that were asked. I can't remember any of the examples of vagueness, but there were annoyingly many.)

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @12:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @12:43PM (#278153)

      Marx used the terms Socialism and Communism interchangeably.
      The concepts he espoused boil down to "Democracy everywhere"--a bottom-up system.
      As such, "democratic socialism" (used in the silly article) is a nonsense term. It's redundant.

      What the silly article calls socialism is actually Liberal Democracy aka Social Democracy.
      In some places, they have a party called Christian Democrats. Same thing.
      This is a concept that accepts Capitalism and Imperialism as normal and acceptable.

      Socialism|Communism|Marxism is Anti-Capitalism.
      Key to the concept is the collective ownership of the means of production.
      The silly article doesn't mention that at all.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @06:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @06:13PM (#278286)

        You're right. Marx did use the terms largely interchangeably.

        You know something else about Marx? He said a lot of things, many of which are roundly discredited.

        Marx's theories rest heavily on a few legs, one of which is a peculiar view of morality that is not universally shared (but of course you can always paint people who disagree with him as counterrevolutionary petit-bourgeois reactionary exploitative atavistic fascists) but another of which is the labour theory of value - a theory which is so massively undermined by actual measurement of real economic activity, that it has changed from a niche view into a bad joke.

        Socialists might be right - but then they need to come up with a new, coherent, empirically consistent theory.

        Still waiting ...

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by aristarchus on Friday December 18 2015, @07:37PM

          by aristarchus (2645) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 18 2015, @07:37PM (#278319) Journal

          You know something else about Marx? He said a lot of things, many of which are roundly discredited.

          Marx's theories rest heavily on a few legs, one of which is a peculiar view of morality that is not universally shared (but of course you can always paint people who disagree with him as counterrevolutionary petit-bourgeois reactionary exploitative atavistic fascists) but another of which is the labour theory of value - a theory which is so massively undermined by actual measurement of real economic activity, that it has changed from a niche view into a bad joke.

          Do you know something else about Marx? You obviously never read him, and either have be exposed to incorrect secondary sources, or did not understand them if they were correct. Fortunately, you have publicly posted your ignorance right here on SoylentNews so that your fellow Soylentils can remedy your educational lacunae!

          Marx's economic theory is not in any way based on morality. It is called "Dialectical Materialism" because it is meant to an objective scientific theory of the world, not some justification for greed, discrimination, and being on the internet! As far as your amusing caricature of a Marxist ad-hominem, you know, some times a person's point of view is incorrect not so much because they are lying but because they are so inured by the ideology of their time and so possessed by false consciousness and alienation that they cannot, to use the memorable phrase, "handle the truth!" Not that you, dear AC, are one of those.

          Labor theory of value disproven? Wow, that is probably news to many economists. No doubt the distortions of a speculative market hides the fact that all value comes from human labor, but then the labor theory of value is a theory of value, not a theory of price. It would be good to even just read Marx's analysis of the "commodity" at the beginning of Das Kapital for a critique of the idea of intrinsic value of things.

          I hope this helps a little. _gweg's point above that socialism is actually a matter of democracy is correct. In fact some socialists in America, facing the dismal level of education in America, have started calling it "economic democracy". But actually, if you had read Marx, you would have known he does not use "Socialism" and "Communism" interchangeably.

          --
          #freearistarchus!!!
          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:32AM

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:32AM (#278442) Journal

            Well and politely done. I was going to reply with the same points, but you beat me to the punch.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:38AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:38AM (#278445) Journal

        It's worth remembering that the meanings of words are contested, and they shift over time. Exhibit A: after WWII Milton Friedman and his admirers called themselves "liberal economists," as in, "freedom." Today, "liberal" is a pejorative in the mouth of every conservative that lauds Friedman's economics. Same word, taken different ways. Exhibit B: Democrats were once the party of Jim Crow. When LBJ affirmed Civil Rights, the Southern Democrats defected en masse to the other party. They call themselves Republicans now. Same people, same politics, different word.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by wonkey_monkey on Friday December 18 2015, @01:12PM

      by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday December 18 2015, @01:12PM (#278163) Homepage

      He didn't say he was both!

      --
      systemd is Roko's Basilisk
      • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Friday December 18 2015, @02:50PM

        by isostatic (365) on Friday December 18 2015, @02:50PM (#278204) Journal

        He didn't rule it out -- otherwise he'd have said XOR not OR.

  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @12:47PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @12:47PM (#278155)

    Isn't it funny how it is still socially acceptable to say you're a communist, or to wear the hammer-and-sickle or Ché in public?

    The amount of people killed by Communist regimes is an order of magnitude higher than the amount of people killed in Nazi regimes, and yet the more murderous one is the one that's still socially acceptable.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by inertnet on Friday December 18 2015, @12:56PM

      by inertnet (4071) on Friday December 18 2015, @12:56PM (#278160)

      It's comedy alright. Both communism and capitalism are clever plots to keep the masses working for the happy few. The 'follow the leader' gene must be closely linked to the 'become the leader' one, because people usually only have one of either.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @04:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @04:09PM (#278238)

        If you want to see working models of Socialism, look at Mondragon [google.com] in the Basque country of Spain.
        They started with 6 worker-owners and now have over 100,000 worker-owners.

        The thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of worker-owned cooperatives in northern Italy [soylentnews.org] is another example of successful Socialism.

        Is it working at a -national- level?
        Not yet. Give it time.
        It's a bottom-up mechanism (unlike your poorly-informed notions).

        ...and TFA|TFS make it clear that USAians|English speakers know that Capitalism is screwing them and they're interested in an alternative.

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @10:06AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @10:06AM (#278528)

          > worker-owned cooperatives in northern Italy

          Yes, a community of people working without the capitalist infrastructure and cultural framework is possible. I work with one of those cooperatives and shop in their malls sometimes.
          But another community of people working without the capitalist infrastructure was the army when draft was in place.
          But cooperatives and associations in Italy are often used to conduct commercial activities without the onerous-to-insane requirements that have been imposed on commercial enterprises.
          But the tale of the italian CoopCa crack is literally identical to the tales of a capitalist bank crack, with problems hidden to the associates, suicides...

          So, if I had to draw a conclusion it is that capitalism and socialism are not obstacles nor guarantees of peaceful cooperation, and are useful ways to divide and conquer. See this thread.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:21PM (#278167)

      people killed by Communist regimes

      Stalinism and Maoism were NOT Communism.
      Those were Totalitarian governments controlling State Capitalist economies.
      The workers had no say in anything.
      Hell, you couldn't even vote in their fake elections unless you joined "the (one) party".

      Big hint: "Top-down" is NOT Communism.
      You swallowed a bunch of Cold War bullshit.

      ...and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea isn't even slightly democratic nor about the people.
      The self-naming thing doesn't provide any more truth than when the "democratic" USA spews propaganda about another country.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:34PM (#278173)

        Yeah, and what Hitler did wasn't real National Socialism either.

        Real National Socialism has never been tried! (obligatory [imgur.com])

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:38PM (#278176)

          That is all.

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @03:01PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @03:01PM (#278206)

            Disregard that, I suck cocks.

            -- gewg_

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @04:50AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @04:50AM (#278479)

            This is my name now.

            -- gewg_

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:37AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:37AM (#278508)

          You probably think that North Korea is democratic and people's too...

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by wisnoskij on Friday December 18 2015, @01:40PM

        by wisnoskij (5149) <reversethis-{moc ... ksonsiwnohtanoj}> on Friday December 18 2015, @01:40PM (#278177)

        Hell, you couldn't even vote in their fake elections unless you joined "the (one) party".

        Which is completely different from not counting unless you joined one of "the (two) parties"

        --
        Respect my Authoritah!!!
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by isostatic on Friday December 18 2015, @02:48PM

          by isostatic (365) on Friday December 18 2015, @02:48PM (#278202) Journal

          In america you don't need to be a member of a party to vote, anyone can vote for John Jackson OR Jack Johnson. Freedom yeay!

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Friday December 18 2015, @08:12PM

            by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Friday December 18 2015, @08:12PM (#278337)

            Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:45PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:45PM (#278673)

            Jack Johnson for President! Dude is a fine musician! And the US would be a better place if all Presidents were from Hawaii.

      • (Score: 2) by curunir_wolf on Friday December 18 2015, @03:07PM

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Friday December 18 2015, @03:07PM (#278208)
        "No True Scotsman"
        --
        I am a crackpot
      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 18 2015, @06:31PM

        by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday December 18 2015, @06:31PM (#278288)

        Ah, gewg_ (or this incarnation...) isn't even bright enough to avoid the No True Scotsman Fallacy. Listen up bucko, if Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro and yes, He Who Must Not Be Named are all 'not socialists/communists' then your political philosophy is simply defective on the grounds that nobody can do it. All those folks were self professed socialists of various schools and made a serious run at implementing Marxist theory. If all of them, by your fevered imagination, are all fakes, losers, incompetent, couldn't understand it, whatever, then there is zero rational basis to believe you and the other idiots in your school of Marxist thought are going to be any more successful than the long line of failed attempts before. After all, they all thought THEY were doing it right. How many more millions must die for your dreams? More bluntly, how many will YOU kill.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @07:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @07:10PM (#278303)

          B-but... muh commie utopia!!

          -- gewg_

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Hairyfeet on Friday December 18 2015, @08:02PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Friday December 18 2015, @08:02PM (#278331) Journal

          And the founding fathers claimed they were capitalists while owning slaves, which is about as totalitarian as you can possibly get. You can't go by what a country calls itself because names are often part of propaganda...or you do consider the DPRK a democracy since it has democratic in the name?

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Friday December 18 2015, @11:23PM

            by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Friday December 18 2015, @11:23PM (#278394)

            Nobody said they established utopia. They did revolutionize political thought though, even if they left unfinished business. And note well they did leave pretty obvious hooks in their political code to make eliminating slavery easy, Lincoln was just an incompetent fool and made a hash of the patch.

            This is simple folks, we have two proposed political systems.

            Option one, the Enlightenment's vision of a Free Society, Capitalism, etc. Best perfected to date with the U.S. Constitution but widely implemented successfully around the world atop a variety of underlying cultures. From America to Singapore, the basic free economic model has brought forth a rising standard of living and economic bounty. While the details, especially the social order beyond economic affairs can vary to fit the local culture, there are only two basic requirements. Establish a stable enough monetary unit that economic calculation is feasible and second establish property rights and Rule of Law to allow those who invest in longer range plans than the next harvest to have a reasonable chance of predicting the outcome and believe they can reap the benefit of delayed gratification. That is it, the whole magic formula. Do those things and your society will prosper, leaving even the poorest and those least inclined to capitalistic efforts better off. You can refine it to increase the rate of growth, trade a little growth for other desirable things (military strength, economic independence, etc) but just those two are sufficient.

            Option two, Socialism in various flavors, ever changing because since they all fail nobody ever wants to emulate an existing implementation. But the silver tongued servants of the Dark One keep tweaking it and promising that THIS one will work. Being based on envy and malice they seem to have no problem attracting adherents though.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @12:54AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @12:54AM (#278427)

              But the silver tongued servants of the Dark One keep tweaking it and promising that THIS one will work.

              Dark One? OK, the new Star Wars movie just came out, so it is not surprising you have Darth Cheney ++++Vader on the mind. Really, any empire ought to be able to get a Death Star right on the third try!

              Not that one? Could it be, . . . (best Church Lady voice)> SATAN?!? Magic formulas and the Market Economy. Hookay!! Been nice talking to you.

              [And South Park did is best in The Battle of Heaven and Hell episode, where Satan's advisor came up with a devilish plan, but Satan asks, "But how can we do that?" Advisor: "We'll do what we always do, use the Republicans!" ]

            • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:48AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:48AM (#278447)

              the Enlightenment's vision [...] Best perfected to date with the U.S. Constitution

              Let's see:
              - Partisan legislators drawing up voting districts
              - The anti-democratic Electoral College
              - First-past-the-post elections
              - The lack of automatic registration of those eligible to vote
              - Lifetime tenure for federal judges
              - A fixed term for politicians, with no pre-defined method for quickly removing bad performers
              - A chamber of the legislature with a non-proportional structure

              Meh. American Exceptionalism and its promoters are difficult to stomach.
              Parliamentarian systems existed before the USA emerged and those actually give proportional representation as determined by the vote.

              Socialism in various flavors [...] Being based on envy and malice

              You forgot the obvious: Deceptive naming of their anti-Democratic systems.

              Don't you ever get tired of being wrong?

              -- gewg_

            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:12AM

              by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:12AM (#278453) Journal

              I agree with you on what you're saying here and in your previous post upthread about Socialism--it's been tried many ways in sufficient number and variation to discredit its chances for successful implementation (though, to be pedantic, we're really talking about getting to the end stage of Communism when human productive culture will have been liberated by the false consciousness manufactured by the capitalists, and government can be abolished entirely. Socialism was supposed to be a transitional stage designed to prevent counter-revolution and back-sliding due to force of habit.).

              But I would argue that the same thing can be said of Capitalism to a lesser degree. We have had interludes of prosperity, but it too keeps regressing to Crony Capitalism that throttles entrepreneurs, smothers small businesses, and concentrates money and power in fewer and fewer hands. Teddy Roosevelt's progressive reforms at the dawn of the 20th Century broke the grip (or at least significantly loosened) of the Trusts and set the stage for the rise of the American middle class. But all that has been reversed now. Even in that happier interlude in the 20th century the Trusts/monopolies and concentrated wealth and power never truly went away, thus we have never really had the blissful capitalism you've described.

              So it is not, contrary to your characterization, simple. It could only be deemed simple if you're squinting, glossing, and sticking your fingers in your ears.

              The truth is both of the major political-economic theories from the last 150 years have played themselves out without a successor theory waiting in the wings. We have different flavors of hybrids, inversions, and such roiling and tumbling around, but nothing fresh, exciting, and resonant. It would take a towering figure to cast such a new theory, one that could break through the apathy and deeply engrained sense of betrayal that its predecessors left behind and try to take the world through the next 150 years of progress. But ours is a world where many have stopped studying the Humanities and where others belittle even the attempt to think about such things (even here, on a daily basis, in fact). At this point such a person would have to be on the scale of the Second Coming of Jesus.

              So, what we're probably going to get is a collapse and a new Dark Age.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday December 19 2015, @05:53AM

                by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Saturday December 19 2015, @05:53AM (#278492)

                It is hard to compare a free market to what we have had since the Progressive Era began. I'd suggest getting Ludwig Von Mises's Human Action (free in several formats from mises.org) and reading around in Part Six - The Hampered Market Economy. All these attempts to 'fix' imagined problems only make it worse. And of course the 'solution' to the unintended consequences of one round of intervention is of course more government intervention. In the end there are only two sorts of monopoly and most are of the government creation type where the solution is to get the government to stop doing that. As for Crony Capitalism, that is obviously a symptom of the problem of government intervention and that too will tend to degrade into Socialism if not checked. The boom/bust cycle? Yup, that it usually government intervention directly (money printing) or failing to do one of the few jobs it is actually supposed to do and keep the banks honest (credit expansion).

                No we don't need a new economic theory, there is no third way. What we need is to somehow return to the moral and educated public we were before the Progressive Era and I'm darned if I see how that happens. It takes an educated people to see the trap of redistributionist schemes and a moral one to not be seduced by the envy and greed Socialism uses to gain power. One advantage though is that last time we really didn't have the solid economics knowledge to properly defend Capitalism. If we could get hold of the education machinery we could probably immunize the next generation with solid education as to why Capitalism works and why Socialism is a trap.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:46AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:46AM (#278510)

                  Von Miser, eh? The Deuce you say! So your garden variety Vienna Circle Libertarianism, and next we will hear that "true" libertarianism has never been tried!

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:58AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:58AM (#278512)

                  For a guy who supposedly dislikes utopias you seem curiously stuck with "pure capitalism", which is based on impossible requirements, such as

                  *Perfect information
                  *No barriers of entry and exit
                  *Zero transaction costs
                  *Non-increasing returns to scale
                  *No externalities

                  and the most impossible of all

                  *Rational buyers

                  I guess people like to publicly root for some other ism besides egoism...

                  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Sunday December 20 2015, @01:27AM

                    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Sunday December 20 2015, @01:27AM (#278791)

                    I see the Marxists are here with their talking points. All those issues and more are addressed in the referenced book. And it and a metric crapload more are freely downloadable in multiple formats. In this great Age of Information there really is no excuse for ignorance.

                    Seriously. Perfect information? It is the market economy that can deal with it, planned ones reliably fail in the presence of incomplete, or worse conflicting, information. Externalities? Yup, it is in there. Scale issues? Open a book and learn. Even the problem of rational actors vs irrational ones is addressed.

                    Economics is mostly a solved problem. What apparently isn't solved is the political science and psychology to get people to actually accept the science. We live in a dark age of New Age Religions, wicked political systems, half baked redistribution schemes masquerading as economics and general unreason. It won't end well.

      • (Score: 2) by nukkel on Friday December 18 2015, @07:57PM

        by nukkel (168) on Friday December 18 2015, @07:57PM (#278329)

        No True Commie!!

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:48AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @01:48AM (#278448) Journal

        It would be more accurate to say, using the terms of the authors, to call them "Socialist." But your description serves well enough. That is, socialist is what they were in fact. I'm not an expert on Stalinism as an ideology, but I can say that Maoism as an ideology was communism, albeit an agrarian one. The reason is the Chinese Communist Party got nowhere with classical Marxism. They tried and tried to bolster their ranks by recruiting the urban proletariat Marx predicted and described as those who would lead the revolution. But there were two problems with that, first, there was almost no urban proletariat to speak of at that time in China; second, the Japanese military controlled nearly all the major cities that had any degree of industrialization so every time the CCP tried to operate there they got their butts kicked. They were quite on the verge of extinction when Mao said, "hey guys, you do know that 99% of Chinese are rural peasants, right? We should do our recruiting there." So they did, Maoism was the ideological framework they used to make their case, and eventually they were able to triumph over the Japanese and the Nationalists.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @06:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @06:07AM (#278495)

        So, the "No True Scotsman Fallacy" strikes again?

        "911/411/Paris attackers weren't True Muslims.
        "Wall Street bailouts weren't True Capitalism.
        "Child-molesting priests aren't True Christians.

        Statements make not one whit of difference. What makes a difference is what *you* *do* to oppose evil.

        Doctrines come, go, blend, and disappear... and right now, I'm convinced a semi-athiestic cleric is blending some utterly unique mix of faith, business and social principles somewhere.

        Something truly good happens when words and actions are utterly aligned with conscience.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday December 27 2015, @06:54PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday December 27 2015, @06:54PM (#281475) Journal

        "Big hint: "Top-down" is NOT Communism."

        Fine, then. Give us one example of "bottom-up" government - that has WORKED.

        The US was supposed to be an example of "bottom-up", with government accountable to the people. It really hasn't worked out that way. If I thought for awhile, I could probably come up with some other examples, our so-called "democratic republic" isn't really unique. But, which ones have WORKED? Fekkin commie pinko fag.

        --
        On the plus side, I am completely immune to flash-bang grenades. - Helen Keller
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by CirclesInSand on Friday December 18 2015, @01:16PM

    by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday December 18 2015, @01:16PM (#278165)

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism [merriam-webster.com] :

    1
        : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2
        a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
        b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3
        : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    So in short, Merriam Webster doesn't know either.

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

    Is there any aspect of economy that the US federal congress doesn't assume the authority to control? They may chose not to legislate some few aspects of economy, but not because they believe that they don't have the authority.

    • (Score: 2) by wisnoskij on Friday December 18 2015, @01:36PM

      by wisnoskij (5149) <reversethis-{moc ... ksonsiwnohtanoj}> on Friday December 18 2015, @01:36PM (#278174)

      Is there any aspect of economy that the US federal congress doesn't assume the authority to control? They may chose not to legislate some few aspects of economy, but not because they believe that they don't have the authority.

      More to the point, the American government owns outright all land, except for a few railroad tracks, and personally uses and maintains the majority.

      Which is why many people consider America a communist country. Yes, we are allowed some amount of private property, but since the government owns all the land, they own and can choose to take control of at any time legally all the resources. Which would put them in control of all material goods.

      --
      Respect my Authoritah!!!
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Wootery on Friday December 18 2015, @05:34PM

        by Wootery (2341) on Friday December 18 2015, @05:34PM (#278276)

        What on Earth are you talking about?

        the American government owns outright all land, except for a few railroad tracks, and personally uses and maintains the majority.

        The federal government apparently [wikipedia.org] owns 28% of USA land.

        Which is why many people consider America a communist country.

        Are you a troll, or just completely deluded?

        the government owns all the land, they own and can choose to take control of at any time legally all the resources

        Ever heard of the Third Amendment?

        • (Score: 2) by CirclesInSand on Friday December 18 2015, @05:54PM

          by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday December 18 2015, @05:54PM (#278282)

          GP is right. That 28% of the land that the federal government "owns" wasn't bought, it was appropriated by executive order. When the Feds can executive order any bit of land they want, then they own all of it, whether accounting books say so or not.

          It isn't a troll. The Feds have interpreted the "interstate commerce" clause to mean that the feds have authority of every aspect of economy and anything they consider related. When the state owns every aspect of economy, many consider that communism. It's ironic when politicians decry communism while simultaneously believing in their own authority to regulate any part of it.

          You don't actually have to say that you own something to effectively own it.

          • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Friday December 18 2015, @08:52PM

            by Wootery (2341) on Friday December 18 2015, @08:52PM (#278351)

            Ownership is a human construct, not a property of the physical world. We aren't dealing in absolutes here. Does ownership exist in the USA? isn't a yes or no question, and it's silly to treat it as being so.

            Here in the UK, the government has the right of 'Compulsory purchase order'. It's used only when necessary, and the 'victims' are compensated, so it's hardly reasonable to call it communism. You're right that in an idealised 'pure ownership' society, the government wouldn't have any such power.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday December 18 2015, @10:09PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 18 2015, @10:09PM (#278371) Journal

            That 28% of the land that the federal government "owns" wasn't bought, it was appropriated by executive order.

            If it's executive order, then you'll be able to point to the presidents who appropriated most of that land.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @12:59AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @12:59AM (#278429)

              I know! I know! Call on me, Teacher khallow!

              Thomas Jefferson, Louisiana Purchase. He was also going to buy a bridge in Brooklyn from the same people, but it hadn't been built yet.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:43AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:43AM (#278464) Journal

                Thomas Jefferson, Louisiana Purchase.

                No. Let's read the post that kicked this off.

                GP is right. That 28% of the land that the federal government "owns" wasn't bought, it was appropriated by executive order. When the Feds can executive order any bit of land they want, then they own all of it, whether accounting books say so or not.

                The Louisiana Purchase was a purchase from a foreign power, France. Hence, it doesn't qualify as an example for two reasons: it wasn't appropriated by executive order and it wasn't obtained from US citizens.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:50PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 19 2015, @07:50PM (#278676)

                  OK, Not Tom Jefferson. How about Alaska? The Gadsen Purchase? Southern Ontario on the Plains of Abraham? Manhattan? Palau? Is there any way I can get extra credit?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:45AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:45AM (#278465) Journal
            Also, "have authority to regulate" != "own".
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by wisnoskij on Friday December 18 2015, @06:05PM

          by wisnoskij (5149) <reversethis-{moc ... ksonsiwnohtanoj}> on Friday December 18 2015, @06:05PM (#278285)

          28% is owned and directly maintained and used by the US government, the other 72% is still owned by the US government, but they have entered into real estate agreements with individuals granting them some restricted use of that land.

          --
          Respect my Authoritah!!!
        • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Friday December 18 2015, @07:33PM

          by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Friday December 18 2015, @07:33PM (#278317) Journal

          Property taxes and eminent domain. If you have to continue to pay on a piece of land forever and if you miss payments they take it away from you? Then you are NOT an owner, you're a renter. I'm afraid GP is right on that one, ever since the SCOTUS used "the stitch in time that saved nine" by saying the commerce clause means whatever the government wants it to mean, including eminent domain being used to steal land to build Walmart supercenters while property taxes make it so you pay forever or lose what you "own"? There is no property ownership, its all a rental at the discretion of the state.

          --
          ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
          • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Saturday December 19 2015, @10:15PM

            by Wootery (2341) on Saturday December 19 2015, @10:15PM (#278746)

            All you're doing is using an overly-strict interpretation of the concept of ownership, nothing more.

            Yes, governments get to demand taxes. And yes, they may have the power of compulsory purchase. Provided these aren't abused, there's no issue, and it's rather meaningless to say that land ownership doesn't exist in the USA because of these things.

            The question is a practical one, and in practice, land-ownership is generally well protected in the USA.

  • (Score: 2) by Username on Friday December 18 2015, @01:24PM

    by Username (4557) on Friday December 18 2015, @01:24PM (#278170)

    Democracy in the United States wouldn’t last a year when the government officials and lobbyist are both state sponsored.

    Sure, some companies would allow a government takeover, others you would have to seize. Think Musk, Trump or Kosh will just hand their companies over? If Jobs were alive you’d probably have to assassinate him to get Apple ran by the state. The market would go into the gutters too when all the venture capitalists leave. Most cities would have to be under marshal law, since the US would be in a civil war when states like Texas and Wisconsin secede from the union. Not to mention all the countries we pissed off that will sponsor any and all forms of dissidence.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:55PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @01:55PM (#278182)

      a government takeover

      It appears that you think you're describing Socialism.
      You're not.
      You're describing Totalitarianism.

      All the Cold War "information" you absorbed was propaganda.
      You need to forget it and start over with a clean slate.

      Here, I'll get you started.
      A Socialist system has the workers making all the decision via a democratic vote.
      Everyone's vote is equal to anyone else's vote.
      Any "government" structure is only a proxy for the people and is easily recalled/replaced.
      No actual power is vested in "government"; they're just hired hands to make sure the scheduling gets done.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by Username on Friday December 18 2015, @08:19PM

        by Username (4557) on Friday December 18 2015, @08:19PM (#278341)

        I’m pretty sure businesses ran by the state is the defining factor of socialism.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @09:23PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @09:23PM (#278361)

          If your system traded 1 set of overlords for another set of overlords, you still have Capitalism.
          In this case, that would be called State Capitalism. [wikipedia.org]

          The defining element of Socialism, once again, is collective ownership of the means of production.
          Ownership means that you get to make the decisions about that stuff you own.

          In Socialism, those decisions are made by The Workers via a Democratic vote--1 worker, 1 vote (with every worker's vote equal to any other worker's vote).
          If you arrive at your workplace and leave Democracy outside the door, you don't have Socialism.

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Reziac on Sunday December 20 2015, @03:09AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Sunday December 20 2015, @03:09AM (#278806) Homepage

            Unless you're starting from a clean slate, where no one owns anything -- for this vote by the workers to have power, the means of production must first be taken away from someone else (namely, whoever owns it). How is this different from ordinary totalitarianism?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 20 2015, @07:31AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 20 2015, @07:31AM (#278853)

              You've never seen a **new** business start up?
              You've never seen a e.g. lawn care business spring from nothing except what folks already have?

              You've never heard of Uber or Lyft?
              The workers own the means of production.
              Those *could* have been set up as a worker-owned cooperative and we'd have a fine example of how it works.
              Notice how the owners of the central computers have instead fallen into the greedy, deceitful model so familiar with Capitalists.

              I have previously posted an item about how home healthcare workers formed a cooperative.
              Minimal stuff needs to be supplied by the workers there; they supply labor and mostly use the clients' stuff.

              I mentioned in another thread the other day that Finland had an idea to use a small portion of tax money to fund new collectives.
              If you had followed my links about Italy, you would have seen that they have had a startup funding scheme since the 1980s.

              The fixation of you and your ilk on top-down paradigms shows narrow^W no thinking.
              Your limited life experiences and lack of imagination are depressing.

              -- gewg_

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday December 18 2015, @08:49PM

        by Freeman (732) on Friday December 18 2015, @08:49PM (#278349) Journal

        Most of the bits you're saying at the end are in the US Constitution. With safe guards in place (2nd Amendment) to ensure that the government doesn't get too big for it's britches. Though, really, the government is way past that point. The government is trampling all over the Constitution and no one cares enough to do something about it. Why? Money, is about as good of an answer as I can see. Assuming we actually stuck to the ideals of the US Constitution, we would be in a better place than we are now. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_service [wikipedia.org] There's a reason why they are called Civil Servants. The ideal behind it is that they are working for the people, but that fact seems to get lost in the shuffle all too quickly. In reality there can't be a perfect form of government, but no form of socialism that I have seen has been any better than the Capitalist mentality of the US. There are plenty that are worse off though.

        --
        "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @10:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @10:28PM (#278380)

          Socialism is an *economic* system.
          The governmental system is Democracy.
          Until people understand that, progress on the discussion of Socialism will remain a case of determining how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

          are in the US Constitution

          I suggest that you get a copy of that and compare it to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
          Be prepared to be thoroughly shocked at the contrast.

          no form of socialism that I have seen

          You could have mentioned an actual EXAMPLE so that someone could make an actual analysis.
          In this (meta)thread I have mentioned the Mondragon cooperative and the thousands of worker-owned cooperatives in northern Italy.
          Mondragon doesn't have layoffs; during lean times, the worker-owners adjust work schedules so that everybody still has a job and an income.
          Your **not any better than Capitalism** statement is easily rebutted and shows your narrow view of the world (due to Lamestream Media, I'm betting).

          ...and we're getting into the DPRK thing again where entities call themselves 1 thing and actually are quite another.
          Cuba *calls* itself Socialist, but is hardly a workers' paradise.
          Cuba's gov't DOES have 1 guideline that I rather like:
          An individual is allowed to own a (Capitalist, obviously) business BUT he is not allowed to franchise or make that into a chain operation.
          In Cuba, (abusive) megacorporations are clearly not a thing.

          N.B. USA.gov keeps trumpeting how it is "opening up" Cuba.
          That remains to be seen.
          When USA megacorporations butt heads with the mandates of Cuba's revolutionary framework, I foresee a giant stall in the USAification of Cuba.

          -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday December 18 2015, @02:41PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 18 2015, @02:41PM (#278196)

      I doubt Wisconsin would secede. They seemed very socialist compared to most states. I can see Texas doing it though. Then we could finally build that wall people seem to want on the (new) southern border and everyone would be happy : P

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday December 18 2015, @02:51PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Friday December 18 2015, @02:51PM (#278205)

      Musk, Trump, or Kosh [wikipedia.org]

      Do you mean the Koch brothers, or is there some other Kosh I'm not aware of?

      states like Texas and Wisconsin secede from the union.

      Heh. Why would we be seceding in Wisconsin? I'm guessing you're referring to governor Walker, but I've heard his support numbers are actually under 50% now [politico.com] (not that more than 53.1% of the state ever wanted him around to begin with). Unfortunately the people who are likely to replace him are actually worse.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by Username on Friday December 18 2015, @07:59PM

        by Username (4557) on Friday December 18 2015, @07:59PM (#278330)

        I voted for him, and find it hard to believe that ground zero of McCarthism would let the state the state slide into socialism. Most of the northern towns still have militias protecting us from the soviets.

  • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Friday December 18 2015, @02:12PM

    by Nuke (3162) on Friday December 18 2015, @02:12PM (#278184)

    ..... it's great that especially people from the United States try to figure out the meaning of the word [socialism] beyond McCarthyism

    My knowledge of US political history is a bit vague, but I'd never imagined that McCarthyism was socialism.

    Also, just because people learn about something it does not mean that they will like it. In fact the more I hear politicians on any part of the spectrum preaching their views, the more I find I disgaree with them.

    I've heard that "Nazi" (aaarrgghhh, Godwin!) is another favourite look-up, but I don't see much empathy resulting.

    PS: My title is a quotation - by King Edward VII of Britain

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:45PM (#278198)

      My knowledge of US political history is a bit vague, but I'd never imagined that McCarthyism was socialism.

      I suspect it was a badly worded sentence, and what it actually meant was:

      "...figure out the meaning of the word [socialism] beyond [that popularised by practitioners of] McCarthyism"

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @02:45PM (#278199)

      Perhaps you've heard the notion "Socialize the costs; privatize the profits".
      If we're all Socialists, why is it that only the 1 Percent are doing better?

      .
      Joe "back-shooter" McCarthy was a classic bully.
      Mostly, he was about political opportunism.
      A term used to describe McCarthyism is Red-baiting.
      McCarthyism was an anti-Communism thing.
      USA needed another enemy after WWII (to keep the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex going) and picked its former ally, the Soviet Union.

      I don't know how you could possibly have gotten McCarthyism so completely upside-down.
      Your quote about Socialism is way off the mark as well.
      On these topics, you should start reading and do less posting.

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @03:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @03:24PM (#278211)

        Disregаrd that, I suck cocks.

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @05:00PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @05:00PM (#278259)

          Pray-tell, why should we disregard the opinion of cock-suckers?

          I estimate that they make up at least 40% of the population.

      • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Saturday December 19 2015, @09:01PM

        by Nuke (3162) on Saturday December 19 2015, @09:01PM (#278706)

        I don't know how you could possibly have gotten McCarthyism so completely upside-down.

        Whoooosh!

        Your quote about Socialism is way off the mark as well.

        It was not my quote, but King Edward VII's. I thought that one would get you going.

    • (Score: 2) by Hyperturtle on Friday December 18 2015, @03:41PM

      by Hyperturtle (2824) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 18 2015, @03:41PM (#278218)

      Yes, that's crazy to mix McCarthyism with socialism. How does "the red scare" or anything related to him -- and his communism witch hunt --even mix like that? It's just as bad as the hoax to get out of school. That guy even used the word comrades in that letter.

      I'd almost think mistaking the two was the result of well planted propaganda or genuine ignorance. With the hoax, the kid probably knew better (even students know the difference) and did it to be funny and was probably gobsmacked it was taken so seriously in LA.

    • (Score: 1) by BrockDockdale on Friday December 18 2015, @09:00PM

      by BrockDockdale (5983) on Friday December 18 2015, @09:00PM (#278355)

      McCarthyism was anti-communism and anti-socialism. But the fact remains that most Americans are socialists (sitting far to the left of what the media reports, for example) but don't even know it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @11:14PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @11:14PM (#278393)

        Don't Bogart that joint, my friend.
        From your description of what you see, that must be some really good shit.

        You're quite wrong.
        Most USAians are Right^W Wrong Wingers. [politicalcompass.org]
        If they were actually Leftists, they would be voting for Ralph Nader, David Cobb, Cynthia McKinney, Jill Stein, Dennis Kucinich, etc.

        If we plotted Bernie Sanders on that grid, I figure that vertically he might be a tiny bit closer to the center (but not below the dividing line).
        Horizontally, however, he would be in with that cluster of Blues.

        My perception of USAians as a whole is that they don't know history and they willingly accept whatever Lamestream Media tells them.
        They also don't want to vote for someone who won't be in the top 2 finishers.
        In short: Sheep.

        In 2016, we'll have a chance to see if they're actually fed up with the status quo and
        1) show up at the polls
        2) cast a vote for something different and (one hopes) better.

        -- gewg_

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @03:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @03:33PM (#278215)
    This is all easily explained by the "Two Cows Philosophy of Government":

    http://famguardian.org/Subjects/Politics/Articles/TwoCowPhilosophy.htm
    • (Score: 2) by BK on Friday December 18 2015, @05:35PM

      by BK (4868) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 18 2015, @05:35PM (#278277)

      Tucows Inc. is a publicly traded Internet services and telecommunications company, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

      I'm surprised they still exist...

      FRENCH CAPITALISM; You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

      Sounds right.

      --
      4 out of 5 dentists choose Brand X. The other is just a denier.
    • (Score: 2) by zeigerpuppy on Friday December 18 2015, @11:50PM

      by zeigerpuppy (1298) on Friday December 18 2015, @11:50PM (#278403)

      Wow that page started as mildly funny and became lazily racist really fast.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:26AM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 19 2015, @02:26AM (#278457) Journal

        Really? I thought it was surprisingly not racist, given how much our usual white supremacist colleagues did post. And while half of what they said was blinkered and/or incorrect on an academic, pedantic level, it was not so terribly off-base when measured against the knowledge of history, politics, and social theory that average Americans have; they also did make some good points.

        There was that one post (so far) about Zionists, but that's the same guy who's always beating that drum.

        All in all, this thread has been much more civil and informed than expected. Well done, Soylent!

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @04:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @04:04PM (#278235)

    As a socialist (or communist) myself, I personally think

    If you don't know which one you are or refuse to commit to one or the other, your thoughts on this matter are irrelevant. Please go back to your protected sandbox.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @04:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 18 2015, @04:26PM (#278246)

    i think "socialism" is where psychopaths aren't born, breed and rewarded with running a country and politics?