The Political Dictionary

Posted by: TheLCster

Alright, let’s start at the beginning. As many of us know we have a two party system in the U.S. This implies that while an individual may hold any personal political leaning he or she, when voting, tend to belong to one of two sides. This differs from other countries that hold a multi-party system such as India, Norway, and the U.K. Most people have this part down. I begin to laugh, however when it comes to the personal political leanings of individuals.

If you possess the intellectual fortitude to earn a driver’s license, then you should be more than capable of choosing your words more wisely when discussing politics. In short, watching some political demonstrations has become like watching Cops: I just grab the popcorn, put my feet up, and watch people make fools of themselves.


Liberal

“Liberalism is the belief in the importance of equality and individual liberty. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, although most liberals support fundamental ideas such as liberal democracy, written constitutions, free and fair elections, human rights, free markets, free trade, and secular society. These ideas and policies are often accepted even among political groups that do not openly profess a liberal ideological orientation. Liberalism encompasses several intellectual trends and traditions, but the dominant variants are social liberalism, which became popular in the 20th century, and classical liberalism, the original incarnation of liberal philosophy.”

Conservative
“Conservatism is a political attitude that advocates institutions and traditional practices that have developed organically, thus emphasizing stability and continuity.”

Libertarian
(no this is not someone who enjoys the deuy decimal system…) “Libertarianism is a term for political theories that advocate the maximization of individual liberty in thought and action and the minimization or abolition of the state. People referring to themselves as libertarians hold viewpoints across the political spectrum, ranging from pro-property to anti-property (also known as “right” and “left”, respectively) and from minimal state (or minarchist) to anarchist. These views can be incompatible with each other, resulting in disagreement over who is a libertarian. All schools of libertarianism declare a strong advocacy for the rights to life and liberty, but they have divergent definitions of liberty.”

Socialist
“Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization advocating either public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.[1][2][3] A more comprehensive definition of socialism is an economic system that has transcended commodity production and wage labor, where economic activity is carried out to maximize use-value as opposed to exchange-value and thus a corresponding change in social and economic relations, including the organization of economic institutions and resource allocation; often implying advocacy for a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended. Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximize their potential, and does not utilize technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public.”

Fascist
“Fascism is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives; values; and systems such as the political system and the economy. Scholars generally consider it to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum, although some scholars claim that fascism has been influenced by both the left and the right. Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Fascists identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality. Fascists claim that culture is created by collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus rejects individualism. In viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, fascists claim that pluralism is a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.”

Nationalist
“Nationalism generally involves the identification of an ethnic identity with a state.[1] The subject can include the belief that one’s nation is of primary importance.[2] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a homeland (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a homogeneous national culture is combined with a negative view of other races of cultures.”

Feminist
“The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political, cultural and sociological theories, as well as philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference. It is also a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women’s rights and interests.”

Anarchist
“Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which consider the state to be unnecessary, harmful, or otherwise undesirable, and favor instead a stateless society or anarchy. Individual anarchists may have additional criteria for what they conceive to be anarchism, and there is often broad disagreement concerning these broader conceptions. According to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, “there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance.” There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics; however, anarchism has always included an individualist strain, with that strain supporting a market economy and private property, or unrestrained egoism that bases right on might.”

Nazi Party
“The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, commonly known in English as the Nazi Party was a political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945. The party’s last leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by president Paul von Hindenburg in 1933. Nazi ideology stressed the failures of communism, liberalism, and democracy. It also stressed the “racial purity of the German people”, as well as Northwestern Europeans and persecuted those it perceived either as race enemies or Lebensunwertes Leben, that is “life unworthy of living.”

Green Party
“A Green party or ecologist party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of Green politics. These principles include Social justice, reliance on grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and support for environmentalism causes. “Greens” believe that the exercise of these principles leads to world health.”

Tea Party
“The Tea Party movement is a fiscally conservative and populist protest movement in the United States. It emerged in early 2009 partially in response to the federal government’s stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The movement originated in anti-tax protests, and arose in response to the increase in the national debt as a result of the stimulus package, as well as the revelations about bonuses paid to AIG executives in March 2009 and has been most visible through the Tea Party protests of 2009. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, whose principal aim was to protest taxation without representation in the British Parliament rather than protesting taxes in general. Tea Party protests have nevertheless sought to evoke similar images, slogans, and themes to this period in American history.”

In short, I think that we should all take a second out of our day to remember no matter how absurd the opposing party or point-of-view may seem, they may be aligned with yours and don’t even know it. Similar to religion, many of our political parties or philosophies have historical roots in others. Some parties even advocate ideals that are similar to an opposing party’s (such as the Green Party’s reliance on grass roots democracy and the Tea Party’s reliance on the same). It is absurd to call President Obama a Fascist or Socialist when his ideals plainly do not align with that party’s. It is furthermore absurd to hold a Tea Party or Anarchist Convention and proudly declare that you taught yourself all of this information either via postal mail or your local public library. Although I do not think we all believe in the same ideals, I only ask that you take a second to look at that the other person is supporting. However, if they don’t even know, please feel free to give them a history lesson!

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