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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: 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
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by wisnoskij on Friday December 18 2015, @01:24PM

    by wisnoskij (5149) <jonathonwisnoskiNO@SPAMgmail.com> 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) <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!"

      --
      #Free{nick}_NOW!!!
    • (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) <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.

          --
          #Free{nick}_NOW!!!
    • (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) <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?

        --
        #Free{nick}_NOW!!!
  • (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?