Letter to the editor

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On Responsible use of Political Rhetoric

Dear Editor,

It has come to my attention that as of late, american  political culture has grown further and further a murky gap between precise and accurate use of political term, and the loaded yes hollow simulacra which has arisen in our cultures political rhetoric. The effect is this: a reinforced  alienation from useful dialect, and political reality. Terms like: Capitalism, Communism, Democracy and Socialism, have become abated by redundancy and entropy. These terms are regularly used to describe various legal entities and policies. In the spirit of “old speak” I would like to inspire a little bit of interrogation between the civic meaning and scholarly meaning of some of these words.

First, America, whilst a democratic society -more so than it was ever mean to be- is not a democracy, Electoral College aside even. We are a Republic. The two are in essentially different, even some of the datums may be shared in each respective nexus, particularly our version of republic, Representative Republic. But a Republic could hold as much family resemblance with an Oligarchy as any Democracy. For example, America was meant to be a fairly democratic society by its legal architects. For white, testicle bearing, protestant, landowners, all else in the population (the majority of the people) were to be excluded for participation. By design. Yes, America now adopts a less sexist, racist, ect… mask than it has previously, but it remains, empirically, what it was meant to be, a Republic. Not a patron of that old mythology, the Democracy, least of all, the only true, the pure, the Direct Democracy.

Next I would like to state simply that Capitalism as well, does not exist in America. Much like Communism, history has only yielded evanescent caricatures of the ideas, shadows of the ghosts, fluxing in and out of one another in unity with the flicker of the candle that is human history. But dread not, history has selected a superior model to either archetype in the dichotomy: a Mixed Market Economy. Not the more otherworldly and romanticized cousin, who holds no loyalties, that is an in totality: Free Market.

As a quick digression, purely to divulge one of my favorite hidden secrets: Communism is a form of anarchy (stateless, classless), so it is entirely senseless to refer to any country or state throughout the entirety of human history as Communist, regardless of whether or not they attempted a Command Economy. That would just make them a semblance to socialism.

Socialism is not Stalinism. It could in theory, and has in practice, be an aspect of Stalinism. It is not necessarily a means of production by the command of the state (which would irreparably render it incompatible with Communism, which already cannot occur in a society that has not truly been Democratic and Capitalistic); it is a form of means of production, controlled by a collective which could be the State, or the general public, or the simply the ones who produce or subject goods and services.  It is underlyingly, out of the hands of an economic business elite. Maybe some goods or services should be produced in some form of a socialist fashion. Say: Governance.

-Evan Payne

Student

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