[LMB] OT: People Changing Political Words

Matija Grabnar lmb at matija.com
Mon Sep 27 09:46:37 BST 2021

On 26/09/2021 23:50, Eric Oppen wrote:
> FWIW,  the Scandinavians themselves say they aren't socialist.

Which Scandinavians? And how was the question phrased?

I mean, obviously they aren't all socialist. Breivik certainly wasn't a 
socialist, he set out to kill socialists.

But let's look at something more concrete than "they say". How about 
list of the biggest political parties, per country?


Swedish Social Democratic party (social democracy) 100/349 MPs

Moderate party (liberal conservatism) 70/349 MPs

Sweden Democrats (social conservatism, nationalism) 62/349 MPs


Labour party (social democracy) 24.8 % share of the vote

Conservative party (liberal conservatism) 20.1% share of the vote

Progress party (national conservatism) 8.2% share of the vote


Social Democrats (social democracy) 49/179 MPs

Left (liberal party) 39/179 MPs

Danish People's party (Danish nationalism) 16/179 MPs

And just for laughs, let's add Germany, which is not part of 
Scandinavia, but implements a lot of similar policies, and just had an 

Social Democratic party of Germany 206/735

Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union 196/735

Green party 118/735

And note that many of the policies implicitly supported by the social 
conservative parties listed there would get them labeled as pinko commie 
scum in the US.

But of course your assertion is simply a step in the dance of 
Schroedinger's socialism:

A: It would be a good thing to implement policy X

B: NO! That is SOCIALISM! And socialism NEVER works!

A: It works, for instance, in these countries

B: Those countries don't count, they're poor, and their people are brown

A: It works in Scandinavia

B: Scandinavia is not socialist

A: But they implement policy X, and it works, we should implement X

B: NO! That would be SOCIALISM! And socialism NEVER works!

> On Sun, Sep 26, 2021, 3:58 PM Matija Grabnar via Lois-Bujold <
> lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
>> On 26/09/2021 05:58, Damien Sullivan wrote:
>>> On Sat, Sep 18, 2021 at 05:32:49PM +0100, Bujold list wrote:
>>>> On 18/09/2021 16:36, Pat Mathews wrote:
>>>>> Eric and all - oddly enough, the workers the various Marxist parties
>> tried to represent, had little or no taste for revolution as long as they
>> could get a decent job at a decent wage.
>>>> Decent job at a decent wage is pretty much the definition of socialism.
>> Some
>>> Strong disagree.  I'd say core definitions of socialism are "social
>> control of
>>> the means of production" or "worker control of the means of production",
>>> and a general hostility to wage labor for private employers (and
>>> hostility to landlords).
>> Funny, that's what I would call communism. What would you call
>> communism, then?
>> Uh, unless under "worker control of the means of production" you mean
>> something like giving the workers into stock options and making them
>> shareholders?
>> Because that's something that could be argued either way.
>>>     The least radical form of such sociaism would
>>> be a market society of the self-employed and worker-owned cooperatives,
>>> and laws strongly favoring renting turning into ownership.
>> Surely the least radical form of socialism would be democratic
>> socialism? Like they practice in Germany, and in the Nordic countries?
>> Which means support for workers' rights, unions and collective
>> bargaining? (Unions that work, not like in the US).
>> The only form of socialism that survived the last 70+ years? Which is
>> why I think of it when I speak of socialism?
>>> OTOH words pick up different meanings, and decades of the right labeling
>>> anything government as "socialism" has diluted the meaning in many uses.
>> BTW, since you mention hostility to landlords: Do you know how Adam
>> Smith (the patron saint of capitalism) felt about landlords?
>> I understand he took a rather dim view of them.
>> --
>> Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to ravenclaweric at gmail.com
>> Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
>> http://lists.herald.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lois-bujold

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