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as someone who is new to this site and its ideas...can you help me with basic definitions?

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saveyourself1 Posted: Thu, May 31 2012 7:31 PM

I want to know all the titles people class themselves with politically and examples of what they are. I'm just researching these things ATM.

conservatism = someone/thing who doesn't change

socialism = stealing someone's stuff and giving it to someone else.

capitalism = I can do what I want with my money

republic = I vote for someone along with others to represent me (isn't that a democracy though?)

democracy = majority rule

libertarianism = freedom

anarchy = without rulers

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, May 31 2012 7:36 PM

Are you asking us to identify ourselves or how we define concepts?

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define the concepts you use in your own words, and yes, it would be nice if you guys identify yourselves and very generous...thanks.

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Welcome to the Mises Forum!

Definitely check out The Ultimate Beginner meta-thread for a comprehensive collection of relevant links and threads.  I think you'll find it really useful.  (Also be sure to check out the welcome link there for forum tips and how-to's)

 

You pose an interesting task.  I suppose such a list would have been quite useful for me at some early point...although the problem with such lists is that they generally get a few things inaccurate.  At the very least there are people who subscribe to one or more of the terms and yet don't identify with the common understanding of the word.

"conservatism" and "liberalism" are two of the hardest, because they are so widely used today, and yet have meant so many different things through history.

I haven't read through this whole thing, but at a preliminary glance, it seems a lot more accurate than most...and definitely more than one would expect it to be.  I think it's a decent starting point. 

Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs

Socialism generally refers to a level of State control of an economy.  Where exactly that level is, (i.e. when exactly you have "socialism") is a matter of pretty contentious debate.

I describe capitalism here.

republic I tend to think of as "rule of law"...Mises describes speaks on this here.

democracy I would say is majority rule as well.  The Founding Fathers had a few things to say on that.

libertarianism...that's a big one.  Especially within the community of people who consider themselves libertarians, there is a really wide range of definitions...at least in the details.  The general principles are that of non-aggression and private property.  See the section "libertarianism" in the beginner meta-thread.

anarchy is pretty well defined by the dictionary the way you put it.  But others believe it to inherently mean many other things...the most common of which is "chaos".

 

Again, welcome!

 

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hashem replied on Thu, May 31 2012 8:03 PM

I like Ron Paul's choice: voluntaryist.

Also, thanks OP for noting anarchism is "without rulers". I was pushing that definition back in 2008 on the C4L forums when I didn't think ANYONE in the world agreed with it, and recently I've heard Stefan Molyneux and you agreeing with it.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect. —Mark Twain
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does that mean I can voluntarily not participate in the tax system if i like, and form my own community?

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Wheylous replied on Thu, May 31 2012 8:13 PM

Your definitions are pretty charged at the moment. Saying that socialism is "stealing someone's stuff and giving it to someone else" assumes an already existing property structure, and is hence biased towards capitalism.

I'm not saying that the definition is ultimately wrong, but I would take a more academic and neutral-toned definition such as the one JJ gave.

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hashem:
Also, thanks OP for noting anarchism is "without rulers". I was pushing that definition back in 2008 on the C4L forums when I didn't think ANYONE in the world agreed with it, and recently I've heard Stefan Molyneux and you agreeing with it.

...and the dictionary. (even if it does seem a little politcally charged)

Here's another.  The do tend to lump "lawlessness" and "chaos" in with it, and I think that's really more due to common modern usage than actual etymology or traditional meaning.

 

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if you don't have someone's property....how can you distribute it...?

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Neodoxy replied on Thu, May 31 2012 9:36 PM

Conservatism:

  1. An ideology that supports maintenance of what is generally considered the status quo. Classically opposed to liberalism and socialism. 
  2. (In America) An ideology supporting nationalism, a strong military states, generally free markets with slight government regulation and support of large businesses, and in favor of more traditional values. The term can denote anything from moderate libertarianism to moderate fascism. 

Socialism

  1. (Common definition) A totalitarian system which takes an entire nation or area and everything and everyone in it as its property. This encompasses most classical "communist" governments like those in the Soviet Union and Communist China, although this has become increasingly less true of the latter.
  2. (A definition usually used by modern socialists) A democratic and generally decentralized system of governance which organizes economic and social affairs according to the will of the community, promoting human happiness, equality, provision for all, and a happy work environment. This encompasses everything from moderate socialists, Marxists, and socialist anarchists.
  3. (Most general and all encompassing definition) A system of extensive economic and societal control or minor societal and economic influence based upon something other than  a monetary mechanism. This can range from any of the above, to democratically organized firms. 

Capitalism: 

  1. (Strict definition) A system where property is owned privately and where property rights are relatively strictly enforced.
  2. (Loose definition) A system where monetary profit is directly sought.

Republic: 

  1. (In modern systems) A governmental system of representative democracy with some presupposed limits upon the scope of government and its operational procedures, this includes most western governments like the United States, Germany, and Greece.
  2. (Strict definition) A governmental system of outlined law.

Democracy:

  1. (Broad definition) Any system in which a majority voting decision results in action. This can include anything from a socialist state to an improv club which votes on issues.
  2. (Modern definition) A governmental system where majority vote is put into action by the state.
  3. (Exceedingly broad, out of date, and unhelpful definition) Rule by the people.

Libertarianism: 

  1. (Broad definition) A system in which individual freedom and autonomy from tyranny is greatly valued.
  2. (In America) A system where property rights are strictly valued and government involvement is kept to a minimum
  3. (Generally in Europe and previously in the United States) Socialist anarchism or a very decentralized, socially limited, and economically benevolent form of socialism.

Anarchism:

  1. (Common definition) A state of chaos, usually associated with the absence of a kind of government.
  2. (Generally accepted definition by anarchists) A system of societal organization in which there is no government.
  3. (Socialist definition) A system in which society is run democratically, socially, and in an egalitarian manner by stateless collectives. Civil War Spain is cited as a common example of this.
  4. (Non-socialist definition) A stateless system of societal organization in which individuals act autonomously according to a general and societally agreed norm. Medieval Ireland is the best example of this.
  5. (Radical libertarian definition) A stateless system of societal organization in which society is organized in a decentral manner according to strictly designated property rights. The best example of this occurred in some of the "western" American states the period between decolonization and assimilation with the United States. 

EDIT

These are very strict and acedemic definitions, FYI

Also, I'd define myself as a centerist anarchist, that is to say favoring an anarcho-capitalist society in which socialist, non-profit, and untraditional forms of organization are available to all those who wish to participate.

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I think Neodoxy stated those definitions better than I ever could, and  I pretty much agree with them

I'm essentially apolitical - but when crap starts hitting the fan in real life and I'm forced into political situations and thought I tend to be semi-Burkean... I have no major issue with Ron Paul given the current situations and climate

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Neodoxy:

 

These are very strict and acedemic definitions, FYI

Also, I'd define myself as a centerist anarchist, that is to say favoring an anarcho-capitalist society in which socialist, non-profit, and untraditional forms of organization are available to all those who wish to participate.

 

Excellent post friend!  You win the Unbiased Post of the Sometime award cool

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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Neodoxy replied on Fri, Jun 1 2012 1:35 PM

"Excellent post friend!  You win the Unbiased Post of the Sometime award cool"

:D! 

Finally! After all these years! I'm so happy!

 

 

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