What does it all mean?

Written by admin on June 23rd, 2019

Many people throw out names and words that they don’t know the meaning of.  You have heard them, “Communist” “Commie” “Nazi” “Fascist” “Socialist” “Capitalist” but what does it really all mean?  That sad truth is that most who throw out the names don’t know what they mean.  Let us see if we can come to an understanding of what these names mean with a little history.

The oldest form of government is ruled by the elite or Elitism.  From before time, there were the chiefs or Chiefdoms, the kings and queens, Monarchies.  A monarchy is a form of government in which a single person holds supreme authority in ruling a country.  Usually, this form of government is inherited, passed from one generation to the next.  A small minority of people still would rather be lead by such an authoritarian government.  For some, it is frightening to have to think for themselves about the affairs of the world.  If the ruler is benevolent and prosperous, the people are happy even if there isn’t that much freedom.  The problem is that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” British Lord John Acton.

This was the situation in the 1770s when the American Colonies became disenchanted by being treated like second class citizens.  These brave men and women wanted something new, by the very definition they were Liberals.

Liberal is from the Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man)’. The original sense was ‘suitable for a free man.’  Liberal is defined as favoring reform, open to new ideas, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; not bound by traditional thinking; broad-minded.

  1. Liberal is defined as something that is not restricted.
  2. Liberal means something that is generous or large.
  3. A liberal is someone who is open-minded and progressive in their views.

A Liberal is someone open to change, not locked into traditionalism.  A Liberal is tolerant of others and even welcomes change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition.  A Liberal is characterized by broad-mindedness having political or social views favoring reform and progress.  A Liberal is a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties.  A Liberal tends to give freely, is generous, and cares about others and how they are affected.

Conservative from Latin conservatus, past participle of conservare “to keep, preserve, keep intact, guard.”

A Conservative is someone who wishes to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions; is a traditionalist.  A Conservative favors traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.  Often a Conservative is old fashioned, has an old school mentality, is orthodox, loves traditionalism and some times is rigid, strict and even stingy.

 

  1. The definition of conservative is favoring older, known traditions, and resisting any changes.
  2. Conservative is defined as a type of statement that is safe or moderate.

A Conservative is often comfortable with authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditionalism and thinks that one should not question rather just obey.  There is a definite chain of command and hierarchy in the society that must be followed.  A Conservative often sees him/herself at a higher place in that hierarchy or believes that somehow they will rise up from their current position, making it rich.

At this point, you may be saying, “wait a minute, I am Conservative, but I am generous.”  The truth is that people can be Liberal in their politics, Conservative in their morals, Liberal in their religious practices not having to say the same prayers and rituals each time, be Conservative in Theology that is believing that God doesn’t change and accepts the whole Bible as His word, is Liberal in character and personality thus generous to others, and Conservative culturally which happens to all of us as we get older wishing for the good old days.  Rarely is someone Liberal or Conservative in all of these areas.

We see by definition that the Revolutionaries were Liberals and the Conservatives wanted to keep themselves under the rule of the King.  After the Revolution was one, most of these Conservatives either moved to Canada or went back to England.  So where did the American Conservatives come from you ask?  They actually were the Liberals who had fought for the liberty of themselves and those like them, they had moved to the Left throwing off the rule of the King, but they weren’t willing to move any further to the Left and grant liberty to all.  Many were slave owners and had become reliant on the slaves for their prosperity.  So, they became resistant to the change, which would have freed the slaves and considered all humans as equals.  That war was yet to come.

Under Monarchies most or all is owned by the royals and their nobility.  The Founding Fathers wanted this to be the land of the free, so they determined that what had been the province of the wealthy should belong to all.  They form a government of, for, and by the people creating a Democratic Republic which is the form of democracy that we practice here in the United States.  They wanted the public to be able to own their own homes and business but realized that there were some things that private individuals and companies could not do.  So, the Founding Fathers made these the province of our government, part of “We the People” we own and operate these things.  Such were the military, the roads, libraries, postal service, police, and fire departments.  This form of government was so successful that it inspired the thinking of great men to come.  What they had created was Socialism; the name had just not yet been coined.

There are many varieties of socialism, and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.  The key for American Socialism is that it becomes necessary when there is a need that private individuals or companies either cannot do or have done with so much corruption that the public has to take responsibility for the means of production and distribution of goods.  Some countries go much further than we do, the question is whether we aren’t going far enough or whether they have gone too far?  That is a question that can be debated until the end of time without an answer for the answer is based on one’s belief system.

The scare tactic that some use is to scream out, “COMMUNISM” but what is Communism anyway?  In short, Communism is where everything is own in common by all in a particular group.  Many early tribal people practiced a form of Communism with communal ownership of everything.  In the 60s we saw many Communes popping up.  This is a fine form of government but has some big flaws.  In a Democratic Republic, we can be ruled by the will of the majority, which means that some times we win and some times we lose.  This is not the case in Communism, for it must be unanimous consent of the governed.  That is more than possible in a small family like group, but as a group grows, there is more likely to be discontent, and it no longer is unanimous.  The USSR and China solved this problem with a worse solution, dictatorships.  They put on the facade of elections, but all candidates had to be approved by the Communist party and to do that they had to be Communists in good standing.  They began by trying to move away from the authoritarian governance of their Royal rulers only to end up with another form of authoritarian Communist rulers.   When some people hear Socialism or Democratic Socialism, they hear this form of Communism, but that is far from what anyone who advocates for these Socialistic changes wants.  All of us would lay our lives down to stop this country being taken over by Authoritarians whether they are on the Right or the Left!

Authoritarianism is a form of government in which the governing body has absolute, or almost absolute, control. Typically this control is maintained by force, and little heed is paid to public opinion or the judicial system. Such governments control what the public can know and say. There usually is not the Freedom of the press; all news is controlled by the state or those serving the state. This form of government favors a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not constitutionally responsible to the people and enforces strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom. Authoritarianism is the state of being authoritarian or the belief that people with power, especially the State, have the right to control other people’s actions. There is a total lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others, as seen in a dictatorship.

This brings us to the question of what is Fascism?  It is fitting that the name of an authoritarian political movement like Fascism, founded in 1919 by Benito Mussolini, should come from the name of a symbol of authority. The Italian name of the movement, fascismo, is derived from fascio, “bundle, (political) group,” but also refers to the movement’s emblem, the fasces, a bundle of rods bound around a projecting axe-head that was carried before an ancient Roman magistrate by an attendant as a symbol of authority and power. The name of Mussolini’s group of revolutionaries was soon used for similar nationalistic movements in other countries that sought to gain power through violence and ruthlessness, such as the Nazis. Fascism is a very right-wing political system in which the government is very powerful and controls the society and the economy completely, not allowing any opposition. Fascism was practiced in Italy and Germany in the 1930s and 40s.

  1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism
  2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as excessively prescriptive or authoritarian
  3. prejudice in relation to the subject specified

Benito Mussolini said that “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” in most corporations, the CEO is close to being a dictator.  It was the wealthy corporations and Conservatives that supported the rise to power of both Mussolini and Hitler.  Where the Communist government in the USSR took over the corporations and ran them, in the Fascist countries, the Corporations took over the government and ran it through Mussolini in Italy, Franco in Spain, and Hitler in Germany.  Often people equate Fascism with Nazism, where the two are much alike there are some differences.

What was the difference between Mussolini’s Fascism and Hitler’s Nazi party? The ethos of fascism can be described as a right-wing dictatorship with an emphasis on Nationalism. Where all Fascists are not necessarily Nazis, all Nazis are Fascists. The fundamental doctrine of Fascism is the state. The state is supreme, and everything revolves around the state. The fundamental doctrine of Nazism is the race. Nationalism is the most important aspect of Fascism, and in Nazism, it also is the first name for the ‘N’ in Nazi. However, racism is even stronger in the Nazi circles wishing to put the Aryan race as the “Master race” superior to all others. In Nazism, there is also a cult-like deification of the leader, the Fuhrer.

Where Mussolini began as a Socialist who quickly turned on the Socialists, Hitler took over a small Socialist party ignoring its Socialist ideals and promoting his national dream for Germany.  Many will force on the word Socialist in the actual name for the Nazi Party ignoring the National which precedes it.  Nazi Party stands for The National Socialist German Workers’ Party.  After the end of the First World War, many countries like Germany switched to the America model of a Democratic Republic, but there was just one problem with the name, dictators had taken to using the name Republic which gave it a negative feel.  So, these countries substituted Socialism for Republic.  At the time, Socialism was very popular for the public liked having a part in their government.
Hitler took advantage of that popularity keeping the name but ignoring its true meaning.  This is a quote from “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.”

And though the very name of the Nazi Party proclaimed it as “Socialist,” Hitler was even more vague on the kind of “Socialism” he envisaged for the New Germany.  This is not surprising in view of the definition of a “Socialist” which he gave in a speech on July 28, 1922:

Whoever is prepared to make the national cause his own to such an extent that he knows no higher ideal than the welfare of his nation; whoever has understood our great national anthem, “Deutschland ueber Alles,” to mean that nothing in the wide world surpasses in his eyes this Germany, people, and land–that man is a Socialist.

So, in other words, Hitler defined Socialism as Nationalism.  From that, we can conclude that Hitler was no Socialists, rather a Nationalist.  Where there is nothing wrong with having pride in one’s nation, or ethnicity, there is something horribly evil about looking down at others as being inferior!

In both Italy and Germany, the wealthy elite saw their grip on power slipping and worried about how far to the Left their countries would move.  They could see all too well what had happened in Russia and feared that they could lose everything as well.  They saw the horrors of the extreme Left, but never imagined that the extreme Right could be just as bad or worse.  So, these Capitalists threw their support to Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy.  Have you heard people proclaiming themselves as Capitalists?

What exactly, is a Capitalist?  The easiest answer is that Capitalism or a Capitalist is someone who derides his/her income from Capital.  Such as living off of the interest of your money in the bank or money markets.  Just investing your capital isn’t enough to make you a Capitalist; if you have to do any form of labor associated with your investment, you are not really a Capitalist.  Do not take this wrong; there is nothing wrong with Capitalism in its self.  The problem comes in with what that capital is invested in.  For example, someone could invest a good sum of money in the trafficking of cocaine and make a good return on his/her money, but we as a society would frown on that.  Same can be said of slavery; somethings should always be illegal to invest one’s money in.  Controlled, regulated Capitalism is fine, but the reverse can be the source of much suffering and misery.

I hope that this will help explain many of the terms that we use and help us have more civil, polite discussions of the issues.  This article to some time to research and type out, so I hope that it will benefit some of you.

 

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Author: Marty Martorella

 

 

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