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  International General Discussion (Moderators: Gustaf, afleitch, Hash, Kalwejt)
  Zimbabwe to nationalise all land (search mode)
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Author Topic: Zimbabwe to nationalise all land  (Read 9319 times)
cwelsch
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Posts: 678


« on: July 17, 2004, 06:05:48 am »

Socialists think capitalist means greedy robber barons using the state to limit competition and destroy individual effort, maximizing welath into the hands of the few.

Laissez-faire capitalists (especially libertarians and anarcho-capitalists) think socialist means state intervention into the economy for any reason, whether nationalistic, selfish or idealistic, and anything stomping on the free market principles.

So instead of socialist I just say anti-market.  Most aristocrats and uber-rich people are moderate interventionists on the economy.  Why not?  They can actually afford taxes and usually think it's their obligation to throw a few dollars at poor people.  It's usually the middle class that really buys into laissez-faire, although in America I notice a lot of lower-middle class people that are intensely offended by welfare and socialism, like it's calling them stupid or weak.

Anyway, say interventionist, authoritarian, anti-market, something like that.  Just avoids having to define socialist when clearly there are plenty of Europeans who buy into it.  It's a lot easier to argue the point with Americans, most of whom consider "socialist" just this side of "Nazi" even if they advocate the exact same thing as classical or contemporary European socialists.
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cwelsch
Jr. Member
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Posts: 678


« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2004, 06:08:34 am »

I suppose socialism, in the strictest definition of the word, means state ownership of industry, but throughout the decades it has been warped and realigned so many times that by now it means many different things to many different people.

The original European socialists were anarchist-leaning, same as the original European liberals.  Nationalization and regulation are the manifestation more of policies like the German SDP, then the UK Labor, and similar state socialist parties.  The fact that academics and observers feel the need to add the modifier "state" in front of socialist should suggest that it might have a very different meaning alone.
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