Defining Socialism

There seems to be some confusion among certain segments of the population on the meaning of socialism.

Socialism is: believing that all individuals are due a certain level of living; that things such as health care, education, adequate nutrition, clean and unpolluted environments, and shelter are universal rights; and that adequate safe guards should be in place to prevent the exploitation of markets and peoples.

Socialism is not propping up failed financial institutions that made their money via speculative and predatory behavior; allowing corporations to profiteer off of federal bail-outs; nor is socialism enriching an oligarchical elite while the economic world they created crumbles. Socialism is not Bizarro Robin Hood, where the government steals from the poor to give to the rich.

So please, if you are an angry white-male who reads too much libertarian literature, do not confuse present circumstances with your interpretation of ‘socialism’. Trust me, real socialists are more outraged by this situation than you are.

See Also: Why Does Healthcare Cost So Much, Ctd., Reducing inequality: how to pay for it, The Bail-Out as Class Warfare, Let Them Drink Tea, Bailout Nation Update, Self-Regulation Doesn’t Work, What are the tea parties really about?, Capitalism versus Socialism – Poll confirms massive anti-capitalist shift in US public opinion, Obama Haters As Viewed By The Economist, and Of Course You’re Not a Socialist, Mr. Rattner.

[tags]socialism, what is socialism, obama administration, financial industry, nationalization, socialism in america, bank bailouts, federal bailouts, bizarro robin hood[/tags]

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  1. snarkyspice says:

    Actually, socialism means that the workers seize the means of production.

  2. alec says:

    I think that would be more accurately described as communism. In its current incarnations in France, Scandinavia, Germany, etc., would you say that the workers control the means of production?

  3. JTravisRolko says:

    Socialism is workers’ control of the means of production, at a minimum. If you really imbibe that concept, its logical conclusion is peoples’ control of the means of everything, which is communism.

    • alec says:

      So what you’re saying that what is practiced before mentioned Western European countries isn’t a form of socialism, or at least, a mix of capitalist and socialist principles?

  4. terranova says:

    Socialism is a form of organizing an economy; communism is a political system. The Western European countries you think of consider themselves social democracies, that is, while their economies are undoubtedly capitalistic, they try to implement some political control over the market, like protecting the weak elements of the population from exploitation by market forces (to a certain degree at least), for example by guaranteeing employees the right to organize themselves (unions) etc.

    To call those countries “socialist” is a distortion, as their economies are in fact not socialist, but capitalist. They are “social democracies” in so far as they acknowledge the fundamental social nature of humans. Man is arguably the most social animal on this planet, after all 😉

  5. Tim says:

    See, posting does not make you relevant. Everyone has the power to post now. If you want to remain relevant you must remain accurate.

    You should listen to your commentators. You have no idea of the definition.

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