Moving from the word Socialism

I understand a lot of your ideas stem from Marxian theory or, Socialism, but due to the red scare it is very difficult to talk about. Do you think it would be beneficial to change the word which we use to describe your economic goals instead of fighting tooth and nail over the meaning of the word? Reason I bring this up is because often I fight over the definition of Socialism without hardly touching on the substantive discussion (I don't normally use the world socialism because of this).

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  • Wassim Khlif
    commented 2017-04-18 10:12:11 -0400
    I wanted to add to this comment mainly due to what the general public thinks when they hear the word socialism. So far in the general public I’ve seen socialism associated with either massive government intervention and corruption, or totalitarian and brutal police states (USSR being the prime example). Case in point would be a conversation I just overheard between two people with whom I share cubicle walls with at work. They were talking about the recent United Airlines debacle, and how the Airline offered up to $800 for a person to surrender their seat. When this $800 limit was reached and no takers stepped forward as we know, the subsequent actions of the security personnel was described as “socialist intervention”. I heard so much about how socialism has been demonized in the US, but this conversation really provided a first hand encounter with what people associated with the word “socialism”, and frankly it is sad. I wanted to ask the person who made this statement why he associated the actions taken by United Airlines with socialism, but I had to stop myself because I didn’t want to start such a conversation in an office environment.
  • Andrew Smith
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-04-16 21:45:18 -0400