One of the blessings of being politically and socially aware is the immediate recognition of the language involved in day-to-day discourse. The curse is knowing that the differences in various definitions often mean next-to-nothing.
I’ve seen several debates eat up untold amounts of bandwidth, pondering the differences between Socialism, Communism and Fascism. These have taken on added urgency in the past couple of weeks with the newly-formed “Resistance” raising hell about fighting fascism. They do so, curiously, by employing tactics that bear an eerie resemblance to those done by famous fascists of the past.
There are people who will argue with a religious-like fervor over whether the Nazis were *actually* socialist; as opposed to some minor permutation thereof. OK. Others will tell you that Communism hasn’t *really* been fully explored—that the Soviet Union and Cuba were just quasi-Socialist experiments.
On an intellectual level, there is merit to pointing out some of the subtle differences in these social belief systems. Certainly we should be able to distinguish these philosophies. But as a practical matter, it makes no difference.
To me, it boils down to one question. Who do you trust? In a nation of 350 million people there is no way to avoid having to turn over some authority to someone other than you. That’s when we get to the troublesome “trust” question.
Socialism, Communism and Fascism each require a large amount of trust be placed in central government. The differences between the means each philosophy utilities to achieve those ends is irrelevant. It’s sort of like asking if it’s better to be shot to death, stabbed to death, electrocuted or drowned. All of the options suck.
One of Thomas Sowell’s greatest quotes ponders the stupidity of putting important decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. That is a natural requirement of political philosophies that de-emphasize the individual at the expense of the collective.
Since government is, by and large, an unaccountable entity; I think it reflects a higher degree of intelligence to give them absolutely no more power than they require…and to have that level constantly adjusted downward where possible.
In short—If I’m going to be damned, I want it to be for something *I* did, not something that someone else decided.