>> Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I am some what fascinated by the right wings ability to kill words. The cottage industry they built up to manipulate the electorate through dog whistle and fear is as impressive at is scary. The relentless message discipline combined with an utter carelessness for the actual meaning of words has allowed them to turn what used to be words of art, words with actual definitions, into meaningless terms. The quintessential term that the right has flogged to death is liberal but i have a feeling that socialism is right behind it.
I chalk it all up to a combination of laziness, greed/entitlement, and an utter conviction that the are never wrong and no one else has good points. Laziness prevents the right from creating legitimate policy points open for debate. Greed/Entitlement tells them that they deserve to be on top, that they deserve to be rewarded regardless of merit. The utter conviction lets them rationalize everything they do to achieve their entitlement. The end result is a use of words like "socialism" as a scare tactic devoid of any real meaning.
Lets take the case of Rep. Steve King (r IA).
So in the end this is something that has to come with a, if there’s a push for a socialist society, a society where the foundations of individual rights and liberties are undermined and everybody is thrown together, living collectively off of one pot of resources earned by everyone. That is, this is one of the goals they have to go to is same-sex marriage because it has to plow through marriage in order to get to their goal. They want public affirmation. They want access to public funds and resources. Eventually all those resources will be pooled because that’s the direction we’re going. And not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.
the first thing that pops to mind is that what he is describing sounds an awful lot like, communism and not socialism. Or maybe the first question is what does marriage have to do with owning the means of production? what does gay marriage have to do with economic theory? You might also ask whether or not we currently live in a closed interconnected system where everyone relies on the work of others. Finally you could ask yourself if representative king is in need of psychiatric help.
The result of rants like king's that just throw in the term socialism for no reason other to say BOO! is that the word becomes devoid of all meaning and is useless in actual debates. Think about how judicial activism is utterly useless in a debate about the role of the judiciary in our society. It has no meaning either proscriptive or descriptive. I feel like thats the point we are at with socialism. Sure it still has a general technical definition but the plain meaning of the word is totally worthless and vague. try and talk to a right winger about the details of what is and is not socailism and in all likelihood you will probably just hear about how crappy liberals and democrats are and how conservative women are hotter than liberal women.
The right thrives on shutting down intelligent conversation, thought and debate. Killing the meaning of words that are useful as part of debate fits perfectly with their mo. Reckless disregard for the truth or for any accuracy in what they are describing kills political discourse. Socialism has come to mean everything short of libertarian paradise of private firefighting and road making. why? why must they kill words?