By Mark Naccarato, NASHVILLE
Here come conservatives with their screaming cries of “socialism” directed at any new approach to government that is different from their failed ones. To hear them tell it, “socialism” is an existential threat to the American way of life.
Let’s take a moment to examine what socialism actually is. As defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”
By that definition, and by most other standard definitions, things like 401(k) plans, public ownership of stock, police and fire departments, the highway interstate system and even the United States military fall under the correct definition of the term “socialism.”
So, either conservatives don’t actually know what socialism is or they are against all these things. Which is it? And while we’re at it, perhaps our conservative friends can take a look at the real definition of another word they like to throw around a lot these days: fascism.
From Merriam-Webster, fascism is “a political philosophy, movement, or regime … that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation and forcible suppression of opposition.”
Hmm. That sounds like a political philosophy that sounds familiar (and comforting?) to conservatives.