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 Post subject: Why Are We Afraid of Saying "Socialism"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:49 pm
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Location: Northwest Indiana
Jeff Farias mentioned an interesting article on his program where it talks about two terms that we often talk about a lot but that are not always defined -- socialism and capitalism. I would argue that it is vital for people who are discussing political issues to have common definitions, otherwise communication becomes difficult if not impossible.

Here is an excerpt from the article by Frances Moore Lappe in Alternet.

Why Are We Afraid of Saying "Socialism"?

Knee-jerk reactions to words like "socialism" and "capitalism" get us nowhere. We need to first define the terms.
By Frances Moore Lappé, AlterNet
Posted on March 30, 2010, Printed on March 31, 2010

“Socialist” has become the new favorite term of derision--working its fear-making magic because, for many Americans, socialism equals the great “government takeover.” It’s assumed to be not just un-American but downright anti-American. Tea Partiers at their round up in Searchlight, Nevada, told us that “socialist” Harry Reid “hates America.”

Our national aversion to the S-word isn’t necessarily a problem. But the term’s rapid rise as a political pot-shot, points to a huge problem: our culture’s lack of a common civic language, words on whose meaning we at least vaguely agree. Without it, we can’t hope to talk to one another about what matters most.

“We have a language of capitalism. We have a language of Marxism. But we have no language of democracy,” historian Lawrence Goodwyn once remarked.

And we need one.

 Post subject: Re: Why Are We Afraid of Saying "Socialism"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Good post, will...and very timely.

In my opinion, people who decry "socialism" as though it's one of those "four lettered words" we're not supposed to say do so because they want as many Americans as possible to ALWAYS associate the term with the old USSR, now Russia. USSR...where nobody had any freedoms that Americans are guaranteed under the Constitution. Socialism, as it was taught in schools after WW2, was always in bed with Communism for the baby boomers, right up to the time of Reagan and Gorbachev. To this day, it is often spoken of by the conservatives as a threat to "FREEDOM," when in fact many programs which have been adopted in the US that contribute to the public good are and work for almost everybody are socialistic.

As to the public's lack of knowledge of the definitions, I don't doubt it. The Tea Par-tiers and Sarah Palin Worshipers are incredibly misinformed by right wing talk radio and some television stations. But they like to remain that way. If they chose to do some investigation into what they're protesting, they might have to change their minds.


"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman

 Post subject: Re: Why Are We Afraid of Saying "Socialism"?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:11 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:11 am
Posts: 5620
Location: western New York
Senator Bernie Sanders is a Socialist and one of my heroes.

How to get through to people who enjoy being misinformed is beyond me. Corporations are doing a wonderful job of keeping people upset and fighting the very things that would help the average guy.

How in the world did they manage to get the 'little people' to fight to keep the super wealthy in total control of everyone's lives?



Libertarianism Makes You Stupid

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