Just a few quick and simple reminders here, folks. Feel free to refer to this whenever you see anybody from the United States using any of these terms on TV or the Internet, today, and laugh your ass off, every time!
“Socialism” means total state or collective ownership of the means of production, as opposed to private ownership.
“The means of production” means: farm to floor, the whole shebang, the resources, the factories, the distribution, the infrastructural backbone (roads, rails, air, and every single thing involved), the stores, etc.
So…if you live in a country where you bought the computer or tablet or smart phone you’re reading this on from the government, and the government made that device out of materials the government gathered, and the sales person and the Geek Squad guy who spied on your pron at the store all work for the government, and you drove home from the store in the car you bought from the government, to look at your neat new phone that isn’t exactly “yours” in your government-owned house, you live in a socialist country.
Otherwise, you don’t.
“NAZI” is an acronym that stands for “National Socialist German Workers’ Party.” (Only, you know, in German.) However, you may have noticed in the odd World War II movie you may have seen that the Nazis didn’t have any particular issues with private ownership of the means of production, nor were those means owned in any sense collectively or by the state in any Nazi or occupied country.
The “Socialism” in “National Socialist German Workers’ Party?” Is marketing, it’s classic deceptive branding. The Nazis helped invent that shit. Socialist parties and politicians were – go figure – kinda popular with workless and breadless workers in sorely hurting Weimar Germany. So when Hitler joined the German Workers’ Party and they needed a new name that would attract lots of starving people to their uber-nationalist, racist, undemocratic, totally fascist and certainly not socialist cause, they borrowed some branding from other groups to look more socialist. (FWIW, Hitler wanted an even bigger change to the name, to the more honest “Social Revolutionary Party.” Wiser heads prevailed that time, but don’t worry, he had them all liquidated a few years later.)
Oh, and if somebody calls you a “fascist,” they’re not necessarily calling you a “Nazi,” either. “Fascism” is: hyper-nationalistic and schizoid isolationist/expansionist, authoritarian, militaristic, traditional/conservative to the point of loathing anything modern or new, in fact considering anything new or unusual (to you) in society that bothers you “decadent” and destructive of society at large, hateful and suspicious of immigrants especially, all about Peace Through Strength and The Kids Just Aren’t Good Enough At Beating On Other People, These Days, That’s the Kids’ Problem, pathologically focused on an entirely mythological version of “the family,” and undemocratic – the majority rules, always, anybody else can like it or lump it, and anybody who doesn’t think just like me is a “socialist.”
In other words, they’re probably just referring to your Tea Party membership. Which is pretty fucking fascist, sorry, you fascist. Stop being one and nobody will call you that. If you believe English should be the official language of the United States, you’re more fascist than not, at least. (Or you’re in the wrong country, you meant to be born in England. They got fascists there, too, who also think Jesus invented their country. You’ll love it.)
And you’re not even remotely “libertarian” if you believe that, either. “Libertarian” means you believe the individual is the supreme element of society, and…anyway, “libertarian” already doesn’t make any sense, right there, it’s like believing that the universe exists for the sole purpose of single atoms or stars or planets. Either you’re an anarchist or not, shit or get off the pot, buddy. (“Anarchist” means: you don’t believe any states should exist, period, or at the very least that states exist primarily to thwart shining, heroic individual efforts. If you’re a Ron Paul supporter, you may actually be an anarchist. But he isn’t, really, nor is he a libertarian. He’s a fascist.) Suffice to say: you can’t possibly believe in a single official language for your country and be libertarian.
Anyway, when Glenn Beck or somebody tries to sell you “The Nazis were socialist” on the TV? They’re doing the exact same thing the Nazis did putting that in their name in the first place, only reversed: you aren’t currently starving on your feet in a breadline in the twenties, you’re not attracted to the term “socialist,” you’re terrified by it, and now everybody except Mel Gibson knows the Nazis were evil, that story already ended a long time ago. So the false branding message is the same: “The Nazis were socialist.” Add that to something like the equally bullshit “Unemployment insurance is socialist” or “Obama is a socialist,” and you’ve got a recipe for a bunch of totally freaked out ignorant folks who honestly think health care reform is going to lead to Jews in death camps, again. Because some evil fuckwad like Glenn Beck did that to them on purpose.
“Ignorant,” BTW, does not mean “stupid.” No, stupidity is actually an excuse for ignorance you just aren’t entitled to, if you’ve read this far in this post. You are as smart as this sign, you are allowed to ride the ride, and ignorance, luckily, is not that hard to fix. You are looking at a magic science machine right now that…“KILLS FASCISTS”…as a man with a guitar once put it. Or you can take your ignorance being exposed as somebody or the whole world telling you you’re not good enough and get all bent, pretend you don’t know how to Google, and…that’s kind of a “come to Jesus” moment. After that, you’re “willfully ignorant.” Which is way, way worse than “stupid.” It means something closer to “damned.”
“Welfare” or “entitlements” for the poor and sick and needy? Not socialist. Fire departments, cops, EMTs, public roads? Not socialist. Voter education efforts, public research funding, public television and radio? Not socialist. Subsidizing agriculture or industry, “bailouts” in times of trouble, even? Nope, not socialist. Emergency disaster funding and management? Not socialist. Public schools? Not socialist. State protection of banks and financial infrastructure? Not socialist. State prisons? Not socialist.
You are one hundred percent free to argue that any of these functions are not the proper role of government, that private industry might do them all better, etc. But if you put those arguments in “capitalist” vs. “socialist” terms, you just sound like you don’t know what any of the words you just said means. Because you clearly don’t.*
Health care’s kinda iffy – the main “industry” doesn’t actually produce anything and thus isn’t really an industry, any more than, say, gambling is. And the aspects of health care that are production business? Heavily subsidized, already and everywhere, by governments, and totally reliant on the “pure research” and generally not trademarked or patented discoveries of state and donation-paid-for science done all the time. Even in America.** Because, uh, paying for advances in health care and life enhancing and saving measures is kind of a big win-win, all around, for a state.
So when – as is the case in pretty much every country except us that actually has an economy of any sort – the government asserts some measure of control over the totally non-production aspects of health care business, you call that “socialized.”
It’s kinda socialist, but not really. Governments do it because it makes their citizenry happier and healthier, health care companies still make lots of money and employ lots of people and still provide a great public benefit so…again, big win for everybody.
And if you’re grinding your teeth at those last two paragraphs? You’re not a socialist, either, nor are you a capitalist. You’re a twisted little ape who deserves to die of treatable cancer alone in a gutter, and lucky you, you may get the chance someday, if all your sweetest dreams come true for everybody else!
Finally, a few other things that aren’t socialist, not even a little tiny bit.
- Barack Obama
- Hillary Clinton
- George Soros
- Ariana Huffington
- The New York Times
- Sexual harassment laws
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- Electric cars
- The Environmental Protection Agency
- The FCC
- Not shitting where you or others eat
- Turning off your fucking lights when you’re not using them sometimes, Jesus
- The Post Office
- The DMV
- Building codes
- Animal welfare laws
- Business laws (See the “Nazi” rebranding above – assholes selling you a pile of shit like to deceptively rebrand this as “regulations,” like it’s something different. Nope: laws. The person who’s “anti-regulation,” what they really want is for businesses to be under no laws. And you to be under lots of them, mostly to protect businesses from you in the event that a business kills your child or won’t serve you because you’re black. Boy, that doesn’t sound so great when you put it like that – honestly, I mean – does it?***)
- Making somebody who makes a billion dollars a year pay more taxes than somebody who makes zero dollars a year
- The National Endowment for the Arts
- The Evergreen State College
- The Internet
- The fact that black people don’t appreciate your repertoire of jokes about black people, in no small part because you are not black, yourself
- Having a government, period
Here’s something that is kinda socialist, though, just for fun: Alaskan state ownership of all oil and mineral deposits. That, and soaking the Lower 48 for more federal dollars than pretty much any other state is where the state of Alaska gets all its funds, they don’t collect any local or state taxes at all. And every citizen of that state gets a check from the oil and gas companies, every year, for leasing them the resource exploitation rights. That is socialist.
Barack Obama is not a socialist, but Sarah Palin totally is one, or she was as Alaska’s head of state for ten minutes, anyway. Ha-ha, you let a commie tell you other people were commies because you’re so insanely scared of commies, dope. Then again, you also let Palin convince you she’s “anti-pork” and Alaska’s far and away the biggest and most corrupt “pork” state in the…what the fuck, it’s not even “in the union.” It may as well be a whole other scary nation. It’s ten hundred thousand miles away from here, in Eskimolandia, someplace. AND IT’S RIGHT NEXT TO RUSSIA. AND CANADA.
You stay away from me, you Tea Party Nazi Stalinists. I see your game, now…
*It’s like saying “Evolution is just a theory.” You should really look up the word “theory” in any old dictionary, if you’re fond of saying that, it has different meanings in colloquial, academic, scientific, and artistic contexts. Words are complex, that way. And if you don’t know what the words in any of the definitions mean, look those up, too. If you are not deeply ashamed of years of saying “Evolution is just a theory” when you’re done, you missed looking up some words and/or you really shouldn’t ever argue about anything in public that isn’t “NO, IT’S NOT C-A-T, IT’S K-A-T.” Just…stop. Please. Take up macrame or smoking cigarettes or something, instead.
**That’s right, when you see the spokesman for BigDrugCo on Fox News explaining that the reason this cancer medication costs ten grand a month in the US and ten dollars a month in Canada is IT’S MY PATENT AND OMG SOCIALISM, he is fucking lying to you. The US government flat-out paid his company to make that drug, and they never would have made it even with that government money, not without a whole pile of discoveries made at universities and etc. all over the world, previous.
Only the United States does this for companies and then lets them sell the resulting products for whatever they like to sick people. Every other nation that produces medical products requires that giant medical corporations that live on the public dime at least do them the courtesy of not gouging their sick and dying citizens, in return. And that’s why the same drugs cost so much less in Canada.
Oh, and also unlike other countries, we let those companies patent other people’s and other companies’ work, all the damn time. Just take somebody’s discovery, make it into a pill, and file a piece of paper saying MY COMPANY INVENTED THIS AND IT’S MINE BECAUSE I WAS THE FIRST ASSHOLE WITH ENOUGH LAWYERS AND FEW ENOUGH MORALS TO GET A PIECE OF PAPER INTO THIS DRAWER. Which…isn’t very capitalist of us, is it, really? Not socialist, either. It’s something else entirely. Robbery works for me.
***See also “tort reform.” If you’re bright enough to read all the way down here, you also have no excuse if you’ve never noticed that every single effort to restrict lawsuits is entirely about restricting the ability of individuals to sue businesses. And, uh, you can be forgiven if you don’t know this, but: the lion’s share of civil court action in the United States involves businesses suing each other and individuals. The bank that told you you were a good risk for a home loan when they knew that wasn’t true six years ago? They don’t want you to ever be able to sue them for anything, and they got forty billion of your tax dollars to tide them over until they rebounded from all the bad loans they made on purpose and knowing they were bad, which they used to lobby the government to give them more and more ways to sue you for defaulting on that loan.
That’s who wants “tort reform.” Banks. And Taco Bell. And Monsanto. And Wal Mart. And AT&T. And BP. So they can all fuck you over six ways to Sunday and then sue you when you get hurt and sue each other all the time just to piss each other off and gain leverage that has nothing to do with the actual cases (the very definition of “frivolous lawsuit,” BTW), and you cannot ever do anything about any of it except maybe kill yourself.
And then they’ll spend your kids’ taxes that the government gives them ten years from now them for fucking over your kids and getting a boo boo themselves in the process, just trying to figure out some way to reanimate your corpse and wring a few more dollars out of it. All on behalf of the great cause of individual liberty, natch.