Sunday, February 10, 2019

Brett Samuels — Buttigieg: The word 'socialism' has lost its meaning

Trump showing his age in denouncing progressive proposals as "socialist"?
Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg (D) on Sunday dismissed President Trump's efforts to portray Democratic policy pitches as "socialism," arguing that the term no longer carries negative connotations.
“I think he's clinging to a rhetorical strategy that was very powerful when he was coming of age 50 years ago, but it's just a little bit different right now," Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor who has launched an exploratory committee to run for president, said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"Today, I think a word like that is the beginning of a debate, not the end of the debate," he added.…
Many on the right agree that socialism equates with collectivism as opposed to liberalism grounded in individualism. Hayek popularized this view in The Road to Sefdom.

But that was then, not now.

For many people now, "socialism" chiefly implies "not-capitalism," with capitalism being equated with neo-feudalism. "Socialism" is no longer characterized as state ownership in many people's minds but rather as public policy that is rights-oriented rather than market-determined.

Socialism is increasingly being viewed as real democracy — government of the people, for the people, and by the people, rather than an elite privileged with power through ownership of real and financial assets and the influence it involves.

As Pete Buttigieg observes, now it's the beginning of debate and no longer the summary end of it. The frame is shifting.

The Hill
Buttigieg: The word 'socialism' has lost its meaning
Brett Samuels

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