Rand thought definitions and the use of precisely correct terms important:
"The purpose of a definition is to distinguish a concept from all other concepts and thus to keep its units differentiated from all other existents.
Since the definition of a concept is formulated in terms of other concepts, it enables man, not only to identify and retain a concept, but also to establish the relationships, the hierarchy, the integration of all his concepts and thus the integration of his knowledge. Definitions preserve, not the chronological order in which a given man may have learned concepts, but thelogical order of their hierarchical interdependence."
I agree with that of course, but what then of situations like this when the various new terms are used primarily to disguise an old idea with new trappings and blur the meaningful distinctions with less ominous sounding verbage?Pinko Commy Bastard
-"Oh no, he's not a communist...he's progressive...!"Capitalist Pig
- "...Oh right he 'favors or advocates progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, especially in political matters' sooo....he doesn't want government to control as much of the economy as they can get their hands on, right?"Pinko Commy bastard
-"I'm so tired of people calling Soviet Russia communist. They were totalitarian."Capitalist Pig
- "So they didn't attempt to institute 'a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state?' They weren't attempting to follow Marx's blueprint of instituting a dictatorship of the proletariat until such time as human nature sufficiently changed to allow us to all get along voluntarily and have our needs met without property rights? Kumbafuckinya?Pinko Commy bastard
-"No, this cant be fascism in the US. Government here only controls 40% of the economy directly. The other 60% is only controlled indirectly through regulation and specially allocated tax breaks and legal exemptions paired with government buying policies for the politically connected with some left leaning social restrictions. Fascists were right leaning and spoke Italian." Capitalist pig
- "You're right. Must not be Fascism. Let's instead call it a European Styled Social Democracy with a loosely tied safety net that catches only enough people to justify its existence to the masses,so drunk on the bread and circuses they learned to love in our public schools that they don't need us to censor them, while obfuscating its primary purpose of allocating the majority of resources and power into the hands of a few politically connected elites."
In identifying true, useful definitions it is necessary to identify the essential differences and similarities. If an earlier Socialist State owned the steel mills and textile factories and a modern Socialist state only owns and/or controls all of the schools and the banks(who force financial terms and ownership loss on the steel mills and textile factories through a debt-based currency paired with cost magnifying regulation) it hasn't changed in any way substantial enough to warrant a new term. The real purpose of a word like Social Democracy is not
to clarify substantially different concepts but rather to put distance between the practitioner and the now discredited term "socialist." To use your example, it would be as if we called Snake poison, "poison," but then, because people don't like "poison," we call scorpion poison "Scorpion oral excretion," so that we do not fear it as we rightfully should.
Obviously, all historical concretes are going to vary significantly, but I don't accept that as a carte blanche to make up a new word for each specific instance. Their particular methodologies, the scapegoats they choose whether Jews or gays or entrepreneurs, the amount they take, how they take it, are all irrelevant. Taking 40% of my income rather than 60%, while beneficial to me personally, is a meaningless distinction in identifying what they actually are. Spending it on free healthcare rather than a army worthy of building an empire is still nothing more than a distraction. The culture and historical circumstances change only what they can get away with and not what they desire. What doesn't ever change is their fundemental driving goal. They look around and see a world that's not ideal enough or efficient enough, or not kind enough and set out to change it. They inevitably fail because upset and inefficiency is an inseparable aspect of the trial and error that life is and that leads them to try and own me, and own you too. They're scared, hurt, petty little arrogant minds that believe that if only they could turn us into well behaved pets we'd thank them for it and heap wealth and adulation on their shoulders like they believe they deserve for the great benifits we gain by giving up our own wills for theirs. They are opposed to rights. That is the only meaningful difference in political constructs. The differences that can be pointed to are no more than high level variations on their levels of success in separating our actions from our wills and, ultimately our minds from our bodies.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
...or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause,
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.-Teddy