What is "socialism"? what is "mainstream"? What's the point of trying to sound "safe"?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
What is "socialism"? what is "mainstream"? What's the point of trying to sound "safe"?

A thread on words and how much they should and shouldn't matter, in politics and in life.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Socialism is considered a bad word. Most people believe that it implies Stalin-style goverment.  If a movement like the Slutwalks ones want to retake the word socialist, it would probably revitalize the positive.  But I also think that capitalism is considered a bad word as well. It was for this reason that third way was considered a solution in the 90s and early 00s. And now the latest idiotic summer flavour, Blue Labour, has emerged. Vocabulary means alot, people are less interested in debating ideas and more interested in entertainment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl0Mk1idNXg

The best medians available to explain issues is not through sophisticated language but entertaining language. Look at George Carlin's comedy as one of the best ways to get controversial things across.

Fidel

What is "socialism"? 

Socialism is a social and economic system where national income is distributed fairly within a mixed market scheme. Socialism is sometimes defined by distribution of goods and services according to individual effort. It's a progressive phase of social and economic conditions that could evolve into communism, or the distribution of goods and services according to need.

But modern socialism does not require full nationalisation of industries and natural resources only the socialization of revenues,

What's the point of trying to sound "safe"?

To appeal to the large minority of voters doing the choosing. Our obsolete electoral system is basically electoral fraud, and so if we shouldn't lie our way into power as the two mainstream parties have done in Ottawa for the last 140 years in a row non-stop, then we can at least play a few hands tight to the chest and see what happens. But the game is basically rigged before the hands are dealt. There is no point in shooting ourselves in the foot for the sake of mouthing principles within a system that does not reward them. And there are a number of recent examples of this federal phenomenon. Within this new liberal economic reality, there is no way that Marxian socialism could be realized inside one four-year term in power. No way. Not even Sainte Tommy could manage it in five terms is my guess. But we could achieve much in one or two terms in federal government jts. To promise socialism in one term would be lying though, and so there would go into the ether any principles we might have claimed to possess. 

Sven Sven's picture

dacckon wrote:

Vocabulary means alot, people are less interested in debating ideas and more interested in entertainment.

Or: "...more interested in simply not thinking."

It's just easier.

absentia

Labels have become substitutes for - not merely symbols, but the entire embodiment of, and socially mandated attitude to - ideas, ideaologies, philosophical and political concepts. People don't have time to think, so just give them signals to feel one of 5 allowable choices. This lack of attention span and bankrupt vocabulary have been engineered over decades of marketing strategy and concentrated control of mass communication and  education.

At this low point in North American public affairs, i don't think sounding "safe" serves a purpose - there is no safety left of McCarthy. I say, stop trying to toe that line (They just keep moving it anyway!) and call the a spade a spade (not a bloody shovel, 'coz that's inaccurate) instead of an implement for putting tax-incentives to work on the ground. Reclaim the real words, the real concepts, the real ideals. A lot of people would it refreshing and encouraging; many more would at least pay attention for a change.

Snert Snert's picture

 

For every lazy-ass right-winger who calls Obama a "Socialist" and says it like a dirty word, there's someone on the left trying his or her damndest to somehow "prove" that Stephen Harper (or any other leader of the day) is a Fascist. Just like Mussolini!!!

 

I'm sure it feels good in the gut, but it really does look just as juvenile. Fill yer boots, but let's not pretend that labels are some kind of exclusive right wing laziness.

 

6079_Smith_W

... Not to mention any reference to "what the people really want".

6079_Smith_W

@ Snert

 

And then there are National Socialists, of course.......

The way they are mangled and misused, none of these words mean a damned thing anymore. I agree completely. Using them as a shorthand for "bad" or "good" is laziness of the lowest order. I definitely cringe more when I hear a reference to "fascist" than I do when I hear "socialist".

For that matter, we could just as easily go after "right" and "left", which don't really have much meaning either.

And it's not just the negative terms that are a problem. How about "solidarity", "workers". "lower class" "true democracy" "rights" "justice"  "exploitation" and any number of other slogans which are often tossed off without any thought.

 

 

Doug

I'd rather just say what I mean rather than use terms that are subject to misinterpretation.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

The way they are mangled and misused, none of these words mean a damned thing anymore. I agree completely. Using them as a shorthand for "bad" or "good" is laziness of the lowest order. I definitely cringe more when I hear a reference to "fascist" than I do when I hear "socialist".

For that matter, we could just as easily go after "right" and "left", which don't really have much meaning either.

And it's not just the negative terms that are a problem. How about "solidarity", "workers". "lower class" "true democracy" "exploitation" and any number of other slogans which are often tossed off without any thought.

Which is why any politician that doesn't talk about globalization, free trade and imperialism can never really get to the heart of the problems that plague our society.  You have "socialist" heads of the IMF and a non partisan peoples movement in Iceland fighting against the ponzie schemes that are being used as the excuse to roll back workers pensions and public services. No left or right ideology in play.  It is simply will the people of Europe allow the bankers to rule their countries or will they kick the wheels out from under the international IMF ponzie scheme by refusing to keep adding in their money.

The old language does not work.  There are about 5 to 10 thousand people who control our globe.  They don't all belong to the same gang but they all follow the same rules and employ the same brutal methods to remain in control. Calling it fascism is an insult to this new ruling elite's mastery of the authoritarian state.  

 

absentia

You'll find that, if your communication is effective at all, whatever words you use will be misinterpreted. Misrepresented, sullied, debased, demonized... Language is as precious and vulnerable a resource as water. Must be carefully guarded.

 

@ Snert

Laziness is the least of the problem. People are always that. It's the deliberate, systemmatic distortion of language that i blame on the right.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

The old language does not work.  There are about 5 to 10 thousand people who control our globe.  They don't all belong to the same gang but they all follow the same rules and employ the same brutal methods to remain in control. Calling it fascism is an insult to this new ruling elite's mastery of the authoritarian state.  

Agreed. I suggest that we use the more accurate term "elite oligarchy" instead.

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
It's the deliberate, systemmatic distortion of language that i blame on the right.

 

I can't really join you in laying it solely at their feet (pun not intended).

 

I think that when the Left does the same, it's just as intentionally. Let's face it, big scary words sound good. They make a much better sound bite than smaller, more moderate words.

 

Laziness might explain why a person might call Harper a fascist, once. It can't explain them bending logic into pretzels to try to "prove" that it's fact, not laziness.

6079_Smith_W

Northern Shoveler wrote:

The old language does not work.  

While I agree with your point,  it is not that the language does not work. The problem is that people refuse to use it correctly.

And there are people on all sides of the political spectrum who are equally guilty of it.

In most cases these terms are just used as a way of saying "What I think is good" or "what I think is bad" with no relation to what the words actually mean.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I actually meant the language does not work.  Fascism and socialism are meaningless terms to anyone living in Canada.  We have never had any MS party advocating either in at least 50 years. They are words to describe political movements that no longer exist as movements but have instead become historic catch phrases. The fascists in my view were tools of the elite not the controlling elite.  Like Pinochet they were tools of the real elite who control the world.

The issues however are a different story.  We need to weave our Canadian history into the narrative of what NATO is doing to other people's countries. Our society has seen genocide and ongoing racist oppression by successive democratically elected governments for nearly 150 years but that is not a left right issue it is imperialist colonial issue.  

The major problems facing our world are not left versu right they are the same ones that faced the Acadians, the FN's and the Metis. How to stop the western elite from murdering indiscriminately to acquire the worlds resources. Once we get past that we can talk about building a better world.

absentia

Snert wrote:

Quote:
It's the deliberate, systemmatic distortion of language that i blame on the right.

 

I think that when the Left does the same, it's just as intentionally. Let's face it, big scary words sound good. They make a much better sound bite than smaller, more moderate words.

Is this one of those examples of justice where a rich man is just as prohibited from panhandling as a poor one? The left in North America has never had the power to affect much of anything, let alone manipulate public discourse. There is a difference between mis- or ab- using a word, however intentionally and ruining it forever. Sure, that 'fascist this', fascist that' busines grows tiresome as not altogether accurate, but it does point to a behaviour that's similar in method, style and purpose to other behaviour that we have wintnessed in history, which led to a series of unfortunate events. I think, usually, the aim of using that word is to warn of a similar probabl;e outcome.

Soundbites suck, whoever is posturing for them, but the fruitfly attention span of modern media thrives on them.  (And who owns the media? Hint: not socialists.)

Sven Sven's picture

absentia wrote:

@ Snert

Laziness is the least of the problem. People are always that. It's the deliberate, systemmatic distortion of language that i blame on the right.

Ah, but that is true at both extremes of the political spectrum.  The right has no monopoly on deliberate distortion and demagoguery.

Sven Sven's picture

absentia wrote:

Soundbites suck, whoever is posturing for them, but the fruitfly attention span of modern media thrives on them.

Hell, I'm not sure the attention span is even that long...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

We could also have discussion about how some people misuse the term "envy", a term that has nothing whatsoever to do with anyone's support of leftist politics....but that may be for another day...

absentia

Sven wrote:

Ah, but that is true at both extremes of the political spectrum.  The right has no monopoly on deliberate distortion and demagoguery.

Where in North America is an extreme left? Have they let him out of jail for terminal cancer?

What the right - or rather the interests for whom the right works - has a monopoly on is the means of communication. They own everything. When a communist misuases words, he's doing it in front of maybe three close friends. When a Bush does it, the whole world has no choice but to hear it and hear it and hear it.

Besides, the hyperbole of political speeches is not the distortion i was talking about. I was talking about the systemmatic adaptation of meaning, the bending of an entire culture, through advertising, newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and entertainment, to close the mind of a whole population against certain ideas.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Sven wrote:

Ah, but that is true at both extremes of the political spectrum.  The right has no monopoly on deliberate distortion and demagoguery.

But they do have a near monopoly in the MSM. 

6079_Smith_W

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Sven wrote:

Ah, but that is true at both extremes of the political spectrum.  The right has no monopoly on deliberate distortion and demagoguery.

But they do have a near monopoly in the MSM. 

So what? 

I think we all know our society runs on misperception, deception  and false ideas, from the right to the centre to the left. It doesn't matter that the right (I would say the most powerful bloc is at the centre right, actually) controls much of the media. All sides are quilty of it. 

Fact is the old joke where three communists walk into a bar doesn't accurately reflect political discourse on the left. I think there are a few more of us than that, we don't even all agree, and we do have media of our own.

And while of course we want to challenge warped and manipulative language when those we oppose use it against us, I think it is far more important to first correct those errors amongst ourselves, and make sure that we use accurate language and understand what we are talking about,

 

 

Fidel

So who thinks herr Harper will ram through legislation to scrap the Fairness Act and thereby shit-canning requirements for truth in news reporting this time around?  They give 9/11 truthers a good name.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Is this one of those examples of justice where a rich man is just as prohibited from panhandling as a poor one? The left in North America has never had the power to affect much of anything, let alone manipulate public discourse.

 

So you figure that the left should be given a special pass to use overblown hyperbole, as some sort of consolation prize for not having as much media influence?

 

I'm not sure that bombast is really a good equivalent to media influence, really. It doesn't convince or persuade listeners, other than perhaps persuading them that the person calling Stephen Harper a Nazi has some growing up to do. I should think that if the left suffers from an influence deficit, they'd want to make everything they do get to say MORE effective and MORE persuasive. Why waste it?

absentia

Snert wrote:

So you figure that the left should be given a special pass to use overblown hyperbole, as some sort of consolation prize for not having as much media influence?

Not at all. Bombast is silly and irrelevant. It wasn't what i was talking about in the first place, even if it's all you consider in political language. I was talking about culture crippling and public mind-bending. But never mind; it's not that important.

JeffWells

Perhaps the strategic divide here is incrementalism vs - what would it be? There are so few parliamentary examples. Comprehensive radicalism? I can't think of a single example in the northern hemisphere. In the south, there are contenders. Bolivia's Movement Towards Socialism, for one. Even its name proposes an embarkation on a project of which attaining power is only a beginning.

Anyway, first and second generation incrementalists mean to make a concrete difference in the lives of ordinary people, never mind the theory. And that did enjoy success (which of course has been under assault ever since). But the third and fourth generation of leaders begin from such a position of compromise that the theory, and comprehensive vision, are thought meaningless and a millstone to further political success. Which, when finally attained, at last finds them indistinguishable from their opposition, and the grotesqueries of Tony Blair, the "socialist" leadership of the IMF, and the NDP re-endorsing the Libya misadventure.

Noah_Scape

speaking of labels, "Libertarians" seem to be playing it safe in choosing that name to describe their philosophy.

American RWers could soon be calling themselves the "Rand Brand" as they embrace the "reward the wealthy and kill the poor" philosophy of Ayn Rand.  Rand Paul is actually named after her!!

With that in mind, I just feel so much more warm and fuzzy being a leftist, or a socialist even if they are dirty words in the minds of some. Nonetheless, a new name for "those who believe in sharing and community" [socialists] might help move the voting public towards the left.

It seems that even many Americans really do believe in sharing the national wealth now that the gap has grown so extreme and so many average people have lost their homes while bank CEOs take $millions back to their mansions. The average person, in America or Canada, probably would support the socialist left philosophy, they just need a new brand to get behind.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I think we all know our society runs on misperception, deception  and false ideas, from the right to the centre to the left. It doesn't matter that the right (I would say the most powerful bloc is at the centre right, actually) controls much of the media. All sides are quilty of it. 

And while of course we want to challenge warped and manipulative language when those we oppose use it against us, I think it is far more important to first correct those errors amongst ourselves, and make sure that we use accurate language and understand what we are talking about,

I am happy for you that you can accept the unacceptable.  Frankly that is the problem I have with the Neo-democratic Party these days. I don't accept things that are immoral and corrupting in my society.  I refuse to believe there is moral equivalency between the rich and powerful forcing their interest upon us and the people fighting back to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads.

I think it is far more important to fight back against the greedy assholes and not worry about first learning to talk nice to the man.  Should we doff our caps as well when we ask them what words they would prefer to be referred to by?  

 

Fidel

Snert wrote:
For every lazy-ass right-winger who calls Obama a "Socialist" and says it like a dirty word, there's someone on the left trying his or her damndest to somehow "prove" that Stephen Harper (or any other leader of the day) is a Fascist. Just like Mussolini!!!

Capitalism is fascism with the mask on. The two isms are compatible since Il Duce and his protege, da fuhrer.

Uncle John

Libertarians should realize they have more in common with Marxists than Ayn Randoids.

Looking at the political theory, it seems they actually do.

Making Libertarians believe they are conservative is an evil capitalist plot.

As far as Rand goes, anyone who thinks she was anything but a bad romance novellist really needs their head examined....

absentia

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 And while of course we want to challenge warped and manipulative language when those we oppose use it against us, I think it is far more important to first correct those errors amongst ourselves, and make sure that we use accurate language and understand what we are talking about,

Of course, we want to challenge the warped and manipulative.... but not yet. I've seen an awful lot of 'correcting errors among ourselves' in the past decade. An awful, tiresome, discouraging lot of reprimanding one another on phraseology while ignoring the content of the other's message. Deliberately misunderstanding or incidentally not understanding what the hell we're talking about.

Meanwhile, the right just keeps on marching - and driving tank, ferchrissake! - over us.  (Reg? It's already happened.)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Care to tell us, Snert, why you think it's an exaggeration to call Harper a fascist?

You'd have to admit that, at bare minimum, he's authoritarian and deeply antidemocratic.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Care to tell us, Snert, why you think it's an exaggeration to call Harper a fascist?

You'd have to admit that, at bare minimum, he's authoritarian and deeply antidemocratic.

ygtbk

Uncle John wrote:

Libertarians should realize they have more in common with Marxists than Ayn Randoids.

Looking at the political theory, it seems they actually do.

Making Libertarians believe they are conservative is an evil capitalist plot.

As far as Rand goes, anyone who thinks she was anything but a bad romance novellist really needs their head examined....

Some libertarians know for a fact that they are not conservative. Others don't.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

In Europe "libertarian" is synonymous with anarchist or anarcho-syndicalist.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Care to tell us, Snert, why you think it's an exaggeration to call Harper a fascist?

 

Not at all. Fantastic claims call for fantastic evidence. So any burden of proof falls on the exaggerators, not on me.

 

That said, I KNEW someone, in the midst of this discussion on hyperbole and nonesense, would nonetheless drop by to try to justify it. :)

Slumberjack

Seems most if not all of our PMs could fall into one category or another as Orwell alluded to.  As for Harper, he appears to personify the italicized segment of the extract below.

George Orwell:  What is Fascism

Quote:
It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism' is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.

Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the régimes called Fascist and those called democratic. Secondly, if ‘Fascist' means ‘in sympathy with Hitler', some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others. Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist' in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism' they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully' as a synonym for ‘Fascist'. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.

Snert Snert's picture

Orwell seems to be giving in to the lazy folk who want to shreik "FASCIST" instead of just saying "bully".  I wonder if he would agree that anyone with a stick up their ass about something is a "Nazi", or that any President who would even consider public health care is, indeed, a "Socialist" or even a "Communist".

6079_Smith_W

I think we devoted an entire thread or two not that long ago to that specific word. 

Want to call him authoritarian? amti-democratic? There is evidence of that. 

I think you could even call him a proto-fascist and be able to make a case for it. 

But if you look at the book definition "fascism" is a pretty specific brand of authoritarian government - a single party state without free elections, enforcing its will through widespread violence and terror, and promoting a policy of total devotion to the state through indoctrination.

The way "fascist" is tossed around, not only does it no longer have its original meaning (like "third world") it no longer has any meaning at all.

Of course, artists have poked fun at the misuse of these words for years (watch for it around the 3:30 mark):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY-eqnw_DXE

(edit)

and @ Slumberjack, I don't think Orwell was offering a definition as much as pointing out the fact the word is commonly used without any understanding of its real meaning. As he said, it is nothing more tnan a synonym for "bully".

Not only does it render the word meaningless, when I hear it tossed off the first impression I have is that the person using it does not really know what he or she is talking about.

 

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 @ Slumberjack, I don't think Orwell was offering a definition as much as pointing out the fact the word is commonly used without any understanding of its real meaning. As he said, it is nothing more tnan a synonym for "bully". 

I believe an attempt was made, and a fair one at that, to define the word given all the ambiguity and carelessness of its use as he suggested.

Snert Snert's picture

The word is already defined.  The only problem is that people don't like that definition.

Nazi is also defined.  The fact that people want to use it to describe a guy who makes you line up a special way or you get no soup doesn't really (and shouldn't really) change that.

6079_Smith_W

@ SJ

That's not the impression I get, given his reference to it as a "much-abused" word for which there is not a clear definition. Given that Orwell probably had a dictionary and could look up the meaning of the word as well as you or I , I think his point was that its common usage had reduced it to nothing more than a synonym for "bad".

In short, anyone who uses that word thinking they are making a powerful statement might want to look around for a new epithet.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But if you look at the book definition "fascism" is a pretty specific brand of authoritarian government - a single party state without free elections, enforcing its will through widespread violence and terror, and promoting a policy of total devotion to the state through indoctrination.

Free elections.  Are elections free if they are bought and paid for by the richest people in society.  Are elections free when the outcome is rigged using FPTP?

Widespread violence and terror.  Does the violence and terror have to be only directed at political actors?  Does having the highest incarceration rates in the world rank as state violence and terror?  Does disproportionally incarcerating the people who still claim the state stole their birth right count as violence and terror. By allowing the ongoing rape and murder of FN's women without the same resources available for trying to solve the rape and murder of upperclass white women.  Is that a type of state violence?

And of course we already know you believe in what I think is a fallacy in NOrth America and that is the myth of a free media.  The state ideology we live under is called capitalism.  Last time I looked there seemed to be a over arching devotion to indoctrinating our citizens into that political and economic ideology.  

I agree we need better names and words because the old ones are tired. I do not believe that calling the USA a fascist state is inaccurate.  I think that in Canada we are still a couple of baby steps away from fitting the definition.  But if we see a repeat or two of the G8 police riots I and Harper does start building prisons and fighter jets I think we will have crossed the line.

You see an election every four years as washing away all the sins of our government.  I merely see a rigged election where the rich elite either own or intimidate any party that gets close to power. I've seen the capital strike in BC to defeat the will of the "democratically" elected government.  Its hard to see democracy when if people strike and protest they are arrested and if capital strikes the government cowers. 

 

6079_Smith_W

@ NS

I think I'll side-step the accusations of all the things you seem to think I believe and get back to the point, which is the meaning of words.

While it's not too easy with a word like "fascist" because it is so abused, I would think most definitions of a fascist state (as opposed to an authoritarian one) refer to a single-party state where opposition parties are not allowed. 

That is just one of the points that set fascism apart as a specific form of authoritarianism.

As for the slippery slope of whether elections are free, or if we can really speak our minds, or if we are actually being terrorized, that is the sort of rationalization that leads to my neighbour calling his dog a fascist when he shits in his garden.

 

Slumberjack

Judging from what NS has outlined here, there are so many elements of our capitalist society continuously applying in earnest to one definition or another, that narrowing any attempt at similarity down to what the world witnessed of Fascism during the earlier half of the last century does seem to make sense, lest its original reference points and meaning completely escape us.  Which is all the more reason why we needn't shrink from applying the more widely understood definitions of the past to circumstances which warrant such descriptions.  The erasing of lines between state and corporate power with its inherent and systemic unaccountability.  For convenience sake, we have the use of, and complicity with, extrajudicial methods such as torture, (Arar) ignoring international treaties that one has signed on with (Khadr), the taking of any inch of legitimacy conferred by international arrangements to extract a mile as with the case of the Libyan regime change affair, the destruction of collective bargaining rights, an inordinate priority extended toward the funding of military adventures, brutality and destruction whereever it suits the purpose of power and profit.  There was a time when people of conscience needed to travel all the way to Spain in order to confront the disease of Fascism.  Nowadays its right outside the door.  No amount of wishing it away or ignoring the apt descriptions hereabouts can obscure what it actually is.  I'm afraid you can't help but to come off as sounding strident given what we're attempting to narrow down.  The phrase, 'it isn't all that bad' is just a matter of ones perspective.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079 wrote:

As for the slippery slope of whether elections are free, or if we can really speak our minds, or if we are actually being terrorized, that is the sort of rationalization that leads to my neighbour calling his dog a fascist when he shits in his garden.

 

So your neighbour is an idiot. Thanks for the comparison to him.

FOOD

Kiss

Here is what happens in Canada when the people try to speak to the rulers of the world.  No intimidation and violence in Canada that is absurd we live in a democracy.

 

6079_Smith_W

What makes you think democratic governments are incapable of intimidation, violence, authoritarian acts, and even atrocities? There are enough cases when they do just that, with the backing of the majority or a plurality of the people. Or where they do it in someone else's country, so people don't pay attention as much.

Even if I accepted part of your argument - which seems to be that Canada is a plutocracy - that still doesn't meet the definition of fascism. 

And the whole point of this thread is not whether something is good or bad, but rather the words used to describe it.

We don't need new words; there are enough perfectly good old ones to describe our political situation. But it would help to look them up and learn what they mean.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

We don't need new words; there are enough perfectly good old ones to describe our political situation. But it would help to look them up and learn what they mean.

Sorry I will instead rely on what I learnt while getting my BA in Political Studies. You can rely on Wikipedia and MSM newspapers for your knowledge base if you want to.  It is a bit cartoonish for me. I prefer the more subtle analysis that one gets from reading academic works

Your view of the world is your view.  Just because you hold it doesn't mean it fits with the theories held by all the people in the field you are pontificating on. 

Uncle John

Oh this guy Adrien Arcand... (from Wikipedia)


Arcand was always a staunch federalist and an anglophile. He received secret funds from Lord Sydenham of Combe, former governor of Bombay and a prominent fascist sympathizer in the British Conservative Party. He also maintained correspondence with Arnold Spencer Leese, chief of The Imperial Fascist League. Arcand's party statutes called for the following oath to be taken at the beginning of every party meeting:

"Moved by the unshakable faith in God, a profound love for Canada, ardent sentiments of patriotism and nationalism, a complete loyalty and devotion toward our Gracious Sovereign who forms the recognized principle of active authority, a complete respect for the British North America Act, for the maintenance of order, for national prosperity, for national unity, for national honour, for the progress and the happiness of a greater Canada, I pledge solemnly and explicitly to serve my party. I pledge myself to propagate the principles of its program. I pledge myself to follow its regulation. I pledge myself to obey my leaders. Hail the party! Hail our Leader!"

Arcand always was steadfastly opposed to Quebec nationalism. He wanted to build a powerful centralized Canadian Fascist state within the British Commonwealth.

"... Arcand insists that his organisation has no sympathy with the extreme French nationalist movement represented by the group which split from Premier Duplessis after he was returned to power because he would not go all the way they wished. "We were the first in Quebec to fight Separatism," Arcand declared, "and we are carrying on that fight very satisfactorily, swallowing many ex-members of that failing movement." Frankly, the National Social Christian Party was aiming for Dominion power, Arcand admitted, describing Dominion power as the real key to the vital problems of this country."

On May 30, 1940, he was arrested in Montreal for "plotting to overthrow the state" and interned for the duration of the war as a security threat. His party, then called the National Unity Party, was banned.

Sounds pretty Liberal to me!

 

6079_Smith_W

Hmm....

I guess me and my dictionary do have a lot to learn.

I wouldn't mind reading some of the academic opinions by "all the people in the field (of political science)" who think that Canada is a fascist state.

Interestingly enough, when I googled "canada fascist" only one of the listings that came up on the first page had to do with the G20. 

There was however:

one from a Catholic Church editor complaining about Canada's fascist "divination of the state" taking the place of religion,

Canada's "fascist" health care system

Canada declaring itself "fascist" by signing the Security and Prosperity Partnership.

Canada's "fascist" laws which penalized anti-gay activist BIll Whatcott for postering in Saskatoon.

And believe it or not, an article about an actual Canadian fascist - Adrien Arcand.

(edit)

But wait.... the best part is on page two where one blogger cals Harper a "green fascist" 

And this article by the National Post (and I guess they should know, eh?):

http://arts.nationalpost.com/2011/02/16/marvel-comics-casts-canadian-gov...

 

 

al-Qa'bong

Snert wrote:

Orwell seems to be giving in to the lazy folk who want to shreik "FASCIST" instead of just saying "bully".

Try again.

Quote:
The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable."

"Politics and the English Language"

 

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