Given the recent misuse of terminology and blatant disregard for facts and reality, I felt compelled to produce an article that would provide more clarity and understanding about these terms we been hearing so much of. We’ll go into each term starting with a standard definition, and then go into how it has been used/misused.
We’ll start with an easy one, birthers. This one doesn’t have a set definition but is characterized by someone who doesn’t believe President Obama was born in this country; And as someone who completely ignores facts and changes the burden of what they consider proof when confronted with physical evidence that is counter to their belief. Also known as a conspiracy theorist.
Next, Marxist or Communist. Marxism is the belief that capitalism will eventually cause a class war and the lower class will revolt and overthrow the government and implement socialist policies with the intention of eventually becoming communist. Communism is a sociopolitical movement that aims for a classless and stateless society structured upon common ownership of the means of production, free access to articles of consumption, and the end of wage labor and private property in the means of production and real estate. Taken from wikipedia. So when one calls another a “Marxist”, they are saying they want to end capitalism and are in favor of communism and that they want the government to take over the economy. Let’s examine how it has been used the media. In an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Rep. Allen West, (FL) had called President Obama a ‘socialist agitator’. He also made comments about the President’s response to the Paul Ryan Budget plan saying it was ‘Marxist rhetoric’ and inappropriate. He is using Obama’s support for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, as ‘evidence’ that he is a socialist and therefore a Marxist, though the two terms have completely different meanings as you’ll see later. Well guess what, an overwhelming majority of Americans support those three programs as well. By attaching terms like socialist and Marxist, terms we’ve been told for decades are bad, he is trying to turn supporters of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, against them. Clever, but not that clever. President Obama did, however, essentially take control over GM and Chrysler but there was never the intent to maintain control. It was basically collateral the for bailout until it’s completely paid back. Since we touched on it in the previous paragraph, let’s go deeper into Socialism. Socialism is an economic system in which the means of production are publicly or commonly owned and controlled co-operatively, or a political philosophy advocating such a system. A primary goal of socialism is social equality and a distribution of wealth based on one’s contribution to society, and an economic arrangement that would serve the interests of society as a whole. As a form of social organization, socialism is based on relatively equal-power relations, self-management and a reduction or elimination of hierarchical forms of management in the economic structure of society. All communists are socialists but not all socialists are communists. Taken from wikipedia. Now that we have the definition fresh in our minds, let’s examine the accusation that Obama is a socialist. This again is based on the fact that he doesn’t want to take away even more money from social programs that many depend on and support. It is also based on the fact that Obama has called out Republicans in a public forum regarding their continued support for redistribution to the rich. How else could it “trickle down” to the rest of us if it isn’t overflowing? Obama is finally standing up for the middle class, call it what you will.
Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit. Income in a Capitalist system takes at least two forms, profit on the one hand and wages on the other. There is also a tradition that treats rent, income from the control of natural resources, as a third phenomenon distinct from either of those. In any case, profit is what is received by virtue of control of the tools of production, by the capitalists – those who provide the capital. Wages are received by those who sell their labor with those tools, i.e. the workers. There is no consensus on the precise definition of capitalism, nor how the term should be used as an historical category. There is, however, little controversy that private ownership of the means of production, creation of goods or services for profit in a market, and prices and wages are elements of capitalism. There are a variety of historical cases to which the designation is applied, varying in time, geography, politics and culture. Some define capitalism as where all the means of production are privately owned, and some define it more loosely where merely “most” are in private hands — while others refer to the latter as a mixed economy biased toward capitalism. More fundamentally, others define capitalism as a system where production is carried out to generate profit and governed subject to the laws of capital accumulation, regardless of legal ownership titles. Private ownership in capitalism implies the right to control property, including determining how it is used, who uses it, whether to sell or rent it, and the right to the revenue generated by the property. Taken from wikipedia. Another aspect of capitalism, and one we’ve heard allot from Ron Paul, is free market. A free market is a market in which there is no economic intervention and regulation by the state, except to enforce taxes, private contracts, and the ownership of property. So you could say good-bye to the FDA, EPA, USDA, and any other government agency that serves consumer/public interest. They interfere with free market so they’d have to go. Capitalists argue that companies would deliver safe products because the market would demand it, but in a free market there are no anti-trust laws. If a company has a monopoly on a certain commodity, what motivation is there to keep things safe if the public has no choice but to buy their product?
Lastly we have Fascism. Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists advocate the creation of a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through indoctrination, physical education, and family policy including eugenics. Fascists seek to purge forces and ideas deemed to be the cause of decadence and degeneration and produce their nation’s rebirth based on commitment to the national community based on organic unity where individuals are bound together by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and “blood”. Fascists believe that a nation requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the state. Taken from wikipedia. Repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a sign of fascism. Encouraging environmental awareness and adopting policies conducive to such views is not a sign of fascism. The idea that America should be a Judeo-Christian nation, IS fascist. Going to war with Libya to because Africa was becoming independent of U.S. and U.K. banks is again fascist. Fascism is alive and well in our government and it has nothing to do with political parties, follow the money.