Rebranding "Socialism" With A New Word

The word "socialism" carries so much negative baggage in both left wing and right wing circles that I've been thinking lately that maybe we should simply abandon the word and pursue a different one. Perhaps "cooperativism," or "co-opism" or something like that. What do you think?

Official response from submitted

This issue keeps returning to discussion. I suspect it reflects a basic and still unresolved tension. On the one hand, socialism carries negative baggage but also the positive heroic history of now centuries of criticism and struggle against capitalism. On the other hand, a new term risks losing the positive and not only the negative dimensions of "socialism." So here is a thought. Bernie Sanders got millions of Americans to accept "socialism" after half a century of endless demonization of the term. He did this by stressing a qualifying adjective "democratic" and placing it always in front of "socialism." Might we then similarly start using "cooperative socialism"?

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  • Sam Levey
    commented 2017-02-06 16:49:58 -0500
    Fantastic, thank you!
  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-02-06 09:42:50 -0500
  • Sam Levey
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-02-06 03:10:57 -0500