- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Commie, nazi, or in-between? A handy guide.

Posted by: Mr. Ism ( Worldwide Political Party ) on December 14, 1999 at 10:28:58:

Funny how people here are called fascists, liberals, communists, depending, it appears, on the writer's mood. Below is a handy guide to the various political and economic philosophies which have sprung up over the years. Pick your poison:

Anarchist: One who opposes all forms of government. Often confused with libertarians, who share many anarchist beliefs; however libertarians still think that there should be a minimal government.

Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production (business) is in private hands.

Communist: One who advocates communal ownership of all property. There is no central government in a communist system.

Conservative: One who opposes change, and seeks solutions to societal problems via traditional methods, especially with regard to "moral" problems" There are also "fiscal" conservatives, but they usually lean more towards libertarianism.

Democrat: A member of the Democratic party. Note that Democrat is not
synonymous with liberal. There are some conservatives and moderates
in the Democratic party, even if the majority of Democrats could be
considered liberal.

Democratic Socialism: Similar to regular socialism, but with a strong emphasis on democratic decision-making, both in politics, and in the running of economic entities.

Fascist: One who advocates a very strong form of statism, a corporatist
economy, modernization, regimentation, and strong central leadership.
Citizens' purpose is to serve the state. Often includes appeals to a
"glorious" past or pseudo-religious ideal, thus combining several facets of liberalism, conservatism and socialism into an organic vision of society.

Liberal: Signifies an openness to change and respect for individual liberties within a societal framework in which all have equal opportunity (See Rawls Theory of Justice or Walzer's Spheres of Justice).

Libertarianism: Libertarians believe in an extremely tiny government whose role is limited to common defense and arbitrating disputes between private individuals (enforcing contracts). Libertarians do not want any government regulation of the social or economic spheres, with complete individual liberty in all areas of life. Conservatives generally agree with libertarians on much (but not all) of their economic platform, while liberals generally agree with libertarians on much (but not all) of their social platform.

Mixed System: An economic system where the means of production are held by the government in some industries (usually large ones) and in private hands for other industries. Very common in Europe.

Moderate: Generally, a "middle-of-the-road" set of beliefs, rather than an ideology. Moderates of both parties usually share the traits of
pragmatism, an aversion to ideology or ideological excesses, and a
willingness to compromise.

Nazism: A form of fascism espoused and put into place by Adolf Hitler in Germany. Differs from standard fascism primarily in its emphasis on
anti-Semitism and eugenics.

Neo-conservativism: A strain of conservatism that grew out of the Cold War which is much the same as regular conservatism, but without the isolationism and with a much more activist foreign policy.

Neo-Liberalism: A strain of liberalism with its main emphasis on pragmatic approaches to change.

"Patriot" movement: A more extreme strain of the radical right with heavy emphasis on millenarian pseudo-Christian religious beliefs, self-reliance, weapons/militia training, and conspiracy theory.

Populist: A segment of the American public which is strongly conservative on social issues and very protectionist and "anti-big business" on economic issues. Pat Buchanan is the prototypical populist, Ross Perot is a much less virulent example.

Progressive: One who actively campaigns for (liberal) change.

Radical left: Generally those who do not believe liberalism or progressivism are approaches which do enough to change the dominant paradigm in society. Radical leftists are willing to forego traditional ideas of individual liberty (which some of them see as simply another way the dominant paradigm keeps them down) in order to impose programs for change. Differ from liberals in that most liberals want to keep the
current paradigm.

Radical right: The strongly conservative minority of society which wishes to solve societal problems by using the government to impose religious-based solutions to moral dilemmas.

Republican: A member of the Republican party. Note that Republican is not synonymous with conservative. There are some liberals and moderates
in the Republican party, even if the majority of Republicans could be
considered conservative.

Socialist: One who advocates government ownership of the means of production (i.e. business). Often misused by right-wing ideologues who confuse regulation of certain aspects of the economy with government
ownership of business.

Statist: Anyone who advocates a strong central government, especially with regard to finding solutions for societal problems. Can apply to both right and left.

Feel free to add to this list if you think something was overlooked.

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