Words Mean Something

Once upon a time, children, words had these things called “definitions”. These “definitions” told us what the words meant, so that we could be sure we were using them correctly and avoid sounding like idiots. Sadly, that time is no more.  Now, any politician or pundit can use words to mean anything they like… or nothing at all. In memory of the lost practice of actually defining the things that come out of our mouths, lets take a look at a few words that used to mean something. I’ll be using the Oxford English Dictionary for definitions, seeing as they invented the damned language.

Socialism

noun a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

This man is a douchebag:

More relevantly, he doesn’t know what the word “socialist” means. Redistributing wealth is not socialism, it’s economic egalitarianism. For the record, socialism is not Communism. Notice how “Communism” has a big “C” at the beginning? That’s because it’s a frickin’ proper noun. Socialism is an economic and political philosophy, not a system of government.

Socialism, defined simply,  is public ownership of industry. Your local fire department is an example of a socialist organization: government owned fire protection. So are public schools, the post office, road maintenance, police patrols, Medicare, savings bonds, municipal parks, the Armed Forces, and every other government service that could otherwise be provided by the private sector.  Most of these are examples of  mixed socialism, ie. public services that compete with, but do not forbid, private services. America is a socialist country, at least in part. This is not a bad thing. Get over it.

Fascism

noun 1 an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government. 2 extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

Can you read that definition, Michael Savage? You see where it says “right-wing”? Twice?  I know the Oxford University Press is neo-hippie revisionist liberal Jew propaganda, but come on.

American Democrats are not fascists. Neither are Republicans. You know who was a fascist?

This guy.

This guy.

Benito “The Body” Mussolini was a motherfucking fascist. As a matter of fact, he was the fascist. He and his cronies invented the damned word. Fascism is an entire system of government based around corporatism, authoritarianism, militarism, and extreme nationalism. There was nothing “liberal” about these guys, except for the amount of ass-kickery they might unleash on you for associating them with modern-day Phish fans.

If you happen to think that today’s liberals are invasive or totalitarian, fine. I won’t argue the point. I might even give you “draconian”, if you can use it in a sentence on the best out of three tries. The thing is, we already have words that mean “invasive” and “totalitarian”. (Here’s a hint: Look between the quotes to find them.) Equating fascism with totalitarianism would make Stalin a fascist, a claim that would earn you some fine Italian leather up your ass in 1930’s Italy.

Nazi

noun (pl. Nazis) 1 historical a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. 2 derogatory a person with extreme racist or authoritarian views.

Do I even need to explain this one? Seriously, “Nazi” is not an adjective, and you have to be a complete jackass to refer to any aspect of the current healthcare debate as “Nazi policy”. Unless you’re talking about German vaccination programs circa 1940. In which case, I apologize. Otherwise, you’re a dumbass.

On a broader note, associating anything and everything you don’t like with Nazis or Hitler isn’t just logical fallacy, and it isn’t just insulting to the person you’re talking about. It’s also insulting to Hitler.

Not pictured: tolerance for your bullshit.

Not pictured: tolerance for your bullshit.

Hitler and his Nazi pals were arguably the vilest people in the history of the world, and they worked hard to get there. They systematically murdered 17 million people. Seventeen-fucking-million. I can’t even count that high. And they didn’t just do it all willy-nilly either. They took censuses and counted and categorized their victims. Can you imagine the logistics involved? I can’t get around to organizing my porn folders, and these guys orchestrated epic-scale murder with IBM punch-cards.

Status code 6 is gas chamber. Seriously.

Status code "6" is "gas chamber". Seriously.

Comparing these utterly accomplished assholes to anyone currently employed in American government is like comparing Satan to Snidely Whiplash. It diminishes the evil that they perpetrated to comic proportions.

More later…

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