An Anonymous Coward writes:
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.
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 So why do we need to discuss Marx and his outdated failed notions?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.
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.