Weekend Opinionator: A Different Sort of Red Americathe full story here at NYTimes.com
By By Tobin Harshaw - New York Times April 10, 2009
'Socialism' rises in the polls - but do Americans even know what it means?
Perhaps the most telling line in the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “socialism” is this one: “The range of application of the term is broad.” That’s something to bear in mind as we consider a much-discussed poll, released by Rasmussen on Thursday, that found that “Only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.” For the record, here is the primary O.E.D. definition:A theory or system of social organization based on state or collective ownership and regulation of the means of production, distribution, and exchange for the common benefit of all members of society; advocacy or practice of such a system, esp. as a political movement. Now also: any of various systems of liberal social democracy which retain a commitment to social justice and social reform, or feature some degree of state intervention in the running of the economy.But the pollsters did point out an anomaly: “It is interesting to compare the new results to an earlier survey in which 70% of Americans prefer a free-market economy. The fact that a ‘free-market economy’ attracts substantially more support than ‘capitalism’ may suggest some skepticism about whether capitalism in the United States today relies on free markets.”
As for Rasmussen’s definition, well, there isn’t one: “The question posed by Rasmussen Reports did not define either capitalism or socialism.”
So, has the nation really drifted that far to the left, or are we simply struggling with our semantics? Plenty of folks in the blogosphere were happy to answer that question.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Found this a bit earlier, pretty cool, but interesting that even the NY Times must conclude that if so many Americans believe socialism is better than capitalism they must not know what they are talking about... fucking ridiculous comment, but an interesting piece with comments from all around the internet.