- Capitalism and Alternatives -

'Socialist' however, is also a fairly meaningless word.

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on September 30, 1999 at 11:03:11:

In Reply to: Political Wordplay posted by Gee on September 29, 1999 at 16:03:05:

I'm going to have to agree with Gee here for once. To paraphrase Engels, "progressives" is a term used by shamefaced socialist. Not that socialists ought to be ashamed. after all, was it socialism that slaughtered half the population of teh Congo, or that denies the starving their means of sustenance?

'Socialist' however, is also a fairly meaningless word. In much of the world it seems that everyone calls themselves a socialist and teh term has no meaning; as someone once said, 'we are all socialists now.' If Tony Blair, Noam Chomsky, Jyoti Basu, Daniel Ortega, Deng Xiaoping, Indira Gandhi, Jomo Kenyatta, Lee Kwan Yew, Saddam Hussein and fidel Castro all call the,selves socialist, then isn'yt the term pretty devoid of content; after all, how much do all these guys have in common? (please, gee, don't say that they all believed in the state.you'd be hard pressed to find a politician who didn't believe in some sort of state; and you'd be hard pressed to find a more pro-capitalist African leader than Jomo Kenyatta (unfortunately, he also hasytened Kenya's spiral into tribalism, corruption, disease and squalid living conditions for the displaced.)

Communism is also a broad term that has meant many things to many people, ditto Marxism. I think that suing more specific terms is better, e.g. 'I'm a Eurocommunist" or "I'm a Rockefeller conservative".

Follow Ups:

  • 'Some sort of state' Stoller October 01 1999 (1)
    • Yup Samuel Day Fassbinder Citizens for Mustard Greens USA October 03 1999 (0)

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