Who owns socialism?
As Confucius said, “If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.”
One of the insidious tactics of the left over the decades has been to debase the currency of the language, calling themselves “liberals” and “progressives,” and accusing those who disagree with them as “racists,” and “haters.” I refuse to bow to their politically corrosive sophistry. What we are seeing in Washington today is socialism, and fascism, and the two are not opposites, but are in fact closely related.
[Update a few minutes later]
Jonah Goldberg has similar thoughts today at USA Today:
The whole spectacle was just too funny for liberal observers. Robert Schlesinger, U.S. News & World Report’s opinion editor, was a typical giggler. He chortled, “What’s really both funny and scary about all of this is how seriously the fringe-nuts in the GOP take it.”
Putting aside the funny and scary notion that it’s “funny and scary” for political professionals to take weighty political issues seriously, there are some fundamental problems with all of this disdain. For starters, why do liberals routinely suggest, even hope, that Obama and the Democrats are leading us into an age of socialism, or social democracy or democratic socialism? (One source of confusion is that these terms are routinely used interchangeably.)
For instance, in (another) fawning interview with President Obama, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham mocks Obama’s critics for considering Obama to be a “crypto-socialist.” This, of course, would be the same Jon Meacham who last February co-authored a cover story with Newsweek’s editor at large (and grandson of the six-time presidential candidate for the American Socialist Part) Evan Thomas titled — wait for it — “We Are All Socialists Now,” in which they argued that the growth of government was making us like a “European,” i.e. socialist, country.
Washington Post columnists Jim Hoagland (a centrist), E.J. Dionne (a liberal) and Harold Meyerson (very, very liberal) have all suggested that Obama intentionally or otherwise is putting us on the path to “social democracy.” Left-wing blogger and Democratic activist Matthew Yglesias last fall hoped that the financial crisis offered a “real opportunity” for “massive socialism.” Polling done by Rasmussen — and touted by Meyerson — shows that while Republicans favor “capitalism” over “socialism” by 11 to 1, Democrats favor capitalism by a mere 39% to 30%. So, again: Is it really crazy to think that there is a constituency for some flavor of socialism in the Democratic Party?
No, it’s not crazy talk. Except when “right wingers” talk about it, of course.
But as he notes, “corporatism” (the economic philosophy of fascism) is the best term for it.