Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Take back the meaing of socialism

Continuing from this post, I was listening to Norman Goldman yesterday. He noted that Senator Sanders lost the nomination by admitting he was a democratic socialist because the regressives have successfully framed that word to mean something evil. It's true that they have, but we are responsible for taking back the real meaning of those terms.

This Lakoff's article discusses how progressives must take back the meaning of the word freedom. So it is with the word socialism.  Sanders did so in this recent interview when he is questioned about the term. He said it means better participatory democracy, publicly funded education (beyond grade school) and healthcare, better retirement benefits, a better minimum wage and environmental protections, and actual democracy instead of oligarchy. Interestingly, it's pretty much the same meaning Lakoff frames for freedom.

These are descriptors most people can understand and sympathize with, and it is an accurate description of democratic socialism, not merely a false and regressive re-framing of it. One's frames also have to be based on reality, not just ideological spin. To just accept that the latter has won the battle is to lose the entire war by accepting their framing.

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