The Difference In Meaning Between Fascism and Socialism

The Difference In Meaning Between Fascism and Socialism

In a world of connotations, one needs a return to defining words based on context.
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Language is a beautiful thing. Some people might suggest it is what makes humans different from one another. Though other animals have found ways to communicate with each other, it has manifested through media and art and literature.

Yet as much as it’s a way of getting thoughts and conveying images, it can also be a weapon in many ways. Journalism finds stories and reports them to the world, sometimes with an ideological tint. Insults carry their weight in spears which can pierce even the strongest of defenses. And of course, literature reflects the societal issues of the day while suggesting ideas of their own.

To do so, one must utilize words, each with their own meaning.

***

In English class, I’ve learned two different definitions on words: the “dictionary” definition, and the “connotation” associated with the word. When a word is defined in the dictionary, it diverges in what contexts people use them in.

Two notable words I’ve observed used, overused, and even misused in the last two years are “fascism” and “socialism”. While they’ve had their uses in history, their meanings have become muddled to the point.

Recently, I’ve read some comments on the internet on how liberals are equated to fascism, partially because the latter have objected to certain views. It does make up one part of the ideology—restrictions on a free print media, if not propaganda. However, to use it to criticize one’s positions, it’s more than that.

In one of my International Studies classes, fascism is defined as a popular movement led by a charismatic leader and attached to a political party. It is based on persistent nationalism, corporatism, militarism, anti-democratic ideals, an ethnic or religious minority which is scapegoated, the total submission of the individual to the state’s ambitions, and anti-socialism. The professor would also take the case-study in Japan during World War II as an example, and ultimately concluded it was not fascism due to the lack of a charismatic leader or scapegoating.

Naturally, this definition will shift today due to the lack of expansionist ambitions in what we consider to be modern “fascism”.

However, what’s clear is that fascism stands in direct opposition to socialism. The latter advocates for public sharing of the means of production within the economy. This falls into the belief that for everybody to benefit, the people have to take control of their resources. On the other hand, “The economic programs of the great majority of fascist movements were extremely conservative, favouring the wealthy far more than the middle class and the working class”, according to Britannica.

Therefore, while some right-wing populist movements today incorporate social safety nets to protect their working classes, fascism ≠ socialism.

***

Based on how I defined certain terms, how could you recognize the legitimacy of an insult? Or an article? Or even someone you agree with?

First, I would suggest pulling up a dictionary and finding out what they mean in its strictest form. If it is ambiguous, then I would find how this idea was used in a historical context, and how it emerged over time. While history cannot fully predict everything, it can provide evidence for or against your case for using it in a comment.

Words are a fantastic way to express thoughts and trends, but to maximize the effectiveness of such, one must go into the depths of its history to find if its useful today. Otherwise, it loses its meaning to what the internet commenters say, and won’t allow us to fully fight any form of “ism” if it appears again.

More on fascism:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/fascism/Common-ch...

Cover Image Credit: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/02/why-the-speech-centre-of-your-brain-shuts-down-when-you-talk/

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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