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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, 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."
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  • (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) 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.