There are those wordsmiths in our great society who, when they don’t like the connotative meaning of a word, simply change the meaning of the word to suit their purposes. This has been done incrementally and successfully for the last several decades. The political radicals of the 1960’s continue to convulse our society as the baby boomers age in place. What I will endeavor to do is to explain in basic terms the meanings of several political terms that we hear thrown around in the media with a seemingly careless concern for their actual meanings. I will discuss the meanings and practicalities of Socialism, Capitalism, Liberalism, Conservatism, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, and Libertarianism. It is important to note that the meanings of these words have been steadily changing since the 1960’s, so my words may sound out of date to those who have not read a book or newspaper published before 1968. I will start with the oldest, and most successful economic model ever evolved. Capitalism has been around since one hominid (of course, this assumes you believe in evolution) traded an animal skin for a newer, sharper flint knife. This economic model has literally been around for more than a million years. Remember, capitalism is an economic model and not a political philosophy. Those were evolved to modify capitalism to suit people. Politics comes from the Greek root word Polis, or people. Politics and political models evolved to distribute the wealth generated by the free market capitalistic system. Liberalism and Conservatism have been particularly warped over the last several decades. At the turn of the last century, Theodore Roosevelt was called a liberal. The U.S. President that launched the United States onto the world stage was labeled a Liberal because he was “progressive”. The Democrats of the time were the conservatives, because they felt the U.S. had no business involving itself with the outside world. Since the G…
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