Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dance of the Sugar Plum -isms

A Lexicon of All the -isms Flung Around in the Contentious Comments Section

With the Sacrifice of the Union Address due up tonight, and with misconceptions as to the philosophies that may or may not be espoused (read as bullshitted by) the President tonight, as well as ongoing discussions as to the nature of socioeconomic philosophies, I decided to tackle and give you a nice and shiny pocket lexicon of some of the more common -isms out there, along with the more entertaining obscure ones and a few that magically occur to me.  But first my philosophy on -isms, which of course came from an 80's movie:
I did have a test today. That wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European, I don't plan on being European, so who gives a crap if they're socialist? They could be fascist anarchists.  That still wouldn't change the fact that I don't own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any--ism for that matter. -Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me".  A good point there. Of course, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus.  I'd still have to bum rides off of people. - Ferris Bueller

(Source for many of the definitions below is Nod to Satyavati for that link.  I got the rest from Wikipedia.)

Individualism - Belief that individual interests and rights are paramount.  This is the primary tenet of libertarian political philosophy, because the heart of the Constitution (and specifically the Bill of Rights) is the securing of individual rights by limiting government (I think I posted about this).  It maximizes freedom, but also places risk and responsibility on the individual.  Relates to Social Darwinism, which is essentially a 'survival of the fittest' in socioeconomic relations.  The most extreme form is anarchy.

Capitalism - Doctrine that private ownership and free markets should govern economies.  It is the economic system of individualism, although when approached from a Darwinistic perspective can become threatening to the individual and affect the rights of the individual (through monopoly, for example).

Collectivism - Doctrine of communal control of means of production.  This is the antithesis of capitalism, because it seeks to tie property rights to the group or the state rather than the individual.  It relegates the individual to a part in the machine:  It is divided into many forms (*all documented below), all of which ave very similar definitions (yes,I looked them up).

*Socialism - Doctrine of centralized state control of wealth and property.  Socialism's goal is the creation of a classless society where people work for the "common good," ideally through  pure democracy.  The problem (one always present with democracy) is that the people can vote away what freedoms they have for the benefit of the "common good," as well as empower leaders who can do so.  Uses Classism, a system where social rank determines benefits at the expense of lower ranks, as its enemy.

*Marxism - The collectivist philosophy of Karl Marx, based on socialist principles.  This is defined primarily by the tenet 'From each according to his ability; to each according to his need."  It is a system where property is distributed, not earned.

*Communism - A descendant of Marxism, with a central tenet of the planned economy.  Similar shit, different flavor.  Favorite color is red.

*Fascism - A hybrid of pure collectivism and individual ownership.  In the political realm, control of industry and individuals is commanded by the state.  However, private ownership of the means of production is allowed.  Class and rank in society is not unwanted in this ideal.

Totalitarianism - Control of the economy and the individual by the State.  Here, freedom does not exist, and security is totally dependent on benevolent leadership (insert laugh and/or rude joke).  It is a system that is the result of either military takeover, or tacit approval by the populace, through either misplaced patriotism (fascism), an attempt at creating an "equal" society (socialism), or in response to a threat from outsiders (democracy).  It is a system designed to empower itself at all costs/lives.

So based on what you hear from Obama, and what you've observed, where does he, and the current political state of our country, fit based on these definitions?

But I'm not done yet.  There's more:

Accidentalism - The theory that events do not have causes.  Although I thought at first it applied to how I became a father.  As in oops.

Egoism - Doctrine that the pursuit of self-interest is the highest good.  Give me an O!  Give me a B!  Give me an A-M-A!  What's it spell?

Theism - Belief in the existence of God (in any form).
Atheism - Belief that there is no God.
Deism - Belief in God but rejection of religion.
Agnostisism - Doctrine that we can know nothing beyond material phenomena. The moderates of the religious debate, as, when asked whether there is a God, answer with a resounding "maybe."

Zoomorphism - Conception of a god or man in animal form.  Leads to photos of God like the one on the right.

Hedonism - Belief that pleasure is the highest good.  Combine that with atheism and the Seven Deadly Sins become a to-do list.  Woo hoo!  Drunken orgies with pork chops!

Voyeurism - Spying on people for sexual interest.  Likes to watch hedonism.  An apt description of my sex life.

Adamitism - Nakedness for religious reasons.  Gives the voyeurs reasons to praise God, uh, during....

- The taking of other's words, and original ideas without acknowledgement of the source.  It's the reason I use links and blockquote tag a lot.  It's where Obama gets his best material and trolls try to sound cogent.

Jismism - A political philosophy that has no core beliefs to speak of.  You just take it as it comes.  I think Clinton practiced this.

Panspermatism - Belief in origin of life from extraterrestrial germs. When I spotted this one, I thought it related to the previous -ism, except with a frying pan added.  Not the kind of protein I like to cook.

Absurdism -  Doctrine that we live in an irrational universe.  No shit.  Believers of this doctrine have watched network TV, and know about American Idol.

- There is no such thing.  Moderation is a fine thing in may cases, but politically, it's the position of a pussy.  Grow a philosophical pair.

Headupassism - Philosophy practiced by the majority of Americans in relation to politics.  Marked by the inability to name anyone in politics who wasn't on Dancing with the Stars. Practices include rectal insertion of the cranium and voting for Obama.

Well that should be a little food for thought as we gear up for some SOTU sleep excitement.  Besides, I'm out of time if I want to get this posted before the speech.

Did I miss your favorite -isms?  Care to share, and make it out there.


Name: Soapboxgod said...

Thanks for the Bueller reference. I always loved that part (hair in a shampoo mohawk and then he proceeds to croon:

"I recall...Central Park in you tore your dress; what a mess I confess..."


Name: Soapboxgod said...

Objectivism: - n.
Philosophy. One of several doctrines holding that all reality is objective and external to the mind and that knowledge is reliably based on observed objects and events.

BB-Idaho said...

Fundamentalism; antithesis of Darwinism. See Scopes Trial (the origin of "I'll be a monkey's uncle) and a source of 'emotionalism'...

Z-man said...

I didn't see priapism up there OR solipsism for that matter which George Will hates. Voyeurism if that's as far as it goes but I've long held that when a man finally forks over the dough for a lifesize blowup doll of Jenna Jameson at the Romantic Depot that it's pretty much time to jump off the Tappan Zee Bridge (ditto for a little farmer-in-the-dell action). I've heard the term masculinism tossed around a few but never really caught on. Radical asshole-ism, a term I use alot like when some 23-year old Muslim guy with the rest of his life ahead of him blows himself up real good so that 72 virgins can feed him honey cakes but his leader never does shit.

dmarks said...

It all gives me a tummy ache. Pass the peptobism.

Pamela D. Hart said...

Troll-ism: A cerebral-challenged disorder in which you think you have the right to peruse blogs under a bogus name and post idiotic comments using incorrect spelling and grammar.

Anonymous said...

So, where exactly is the "sane political discourse" in this blog? I accidentally stumbled upon it trying to find a site, any site, where people could discuss political issues in a civil way. I'm signing anonymously because I don't have a Google account or open ID. (I guess I will have to find out what all that means.) So, I don't expect to see this posted anywhere. However, I do think you should know that at least one person -- possible your next-door neighbor or a work colleague for all you know -- is embarrassed for you. This is NOT "sane political discourse."

Patrick M said...

Good additions, all of you. I had to stop, because otherwise I'd have gotten too ridiculous.

Anon: So, where exactly is the "sane political discourse" in this blog?

In between the lines most of the time. Actually, there's lots of nice serious posts. This just happens to not quite be one of them. Levity is the key to sanity.

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Toad734 said...

You forgot DMarksis:
The belief that you cure deficits with tax cuts, that the liberals are really the racists ones and that Saddam had WMDs and Clinton bankrupted the US but Reagan balanced the budget and didn't facilitate one of the largest redistributions of wealth in history.