Political terminology thread

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Political terminology thread

Postby Darth Wong » 2003-03-30 07:38pm

Since political terms abound on this forum, I think it would be useful for us to start posting definitions of those terms. I'll start:
  • Capitalism: economic system based on the use and investment and relatively unrestricted flow of capital, ie- financial and physical assets.
  • Socialism: modified form of capitalism in which a significant proportion of the aforementioned economic activity is regulated and actively owned by the government, usually for the purpose of flattening out wealth disparities and providing a social "safety net".
  • Communism: socio-economic system based on Karl Marx's idea of eliminating the free flow of capital, so that wealth-building becomes impossible. Monetary systems in a communist state exist, but only as a means of quantifying work and purchase of goods, with no possibility of investment.
  • Patriot: a person who loves his/her country and upholds its founding principles. The term is often reserved for people who are willing to actively fight or sacrifice for those principles.
  • Jingoist: a person who says "My country is the greatest country in the world" at every opportunity. The more rabid jingoists will tack on rhetoric about every other country in the world being useless, inferior, etc.
  • Realpolitik: another term for political Machiavellianism, ie- "the end justifies the means." Essentially a nice name for the notion that states need not observe any principles apart from self-interest.
  • Peacenik: someone who opposes war in all its forms, usually irrespective of any moral/practical justifications.
  • Warmonger: polar opposite of peacenik, ie- someone who applauds war in all its forms, usually irrespective of any moral/practical justifications (in truth, both "peacenik" and "warmonger" are usually exaggerations of someone's actual position).
  • PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. An activist group which assigns animals virtually the same rights that humans have, and then declares that any use of animals for food or clothing is immoral.
  • Fascism: an authoritarian system of government that developed in certain European countries after WW1 as a reaction to the spread of socialism and communism. Today, the term is broadened to include any form of authoritarian government where individual rights are severely restricted.

Additions or corrections are welcome, although these are definitions, not treatises. We don't need a 20,000 word essay on the definition of Marxism.
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Postby David » 2003-03-30 08:02pm

I think everyone needs a refresher course in debate and fallacy terminology also, please feel free to add any I missed.

Evidence Fallacies:

Slippery Slope- Arguing that one bad thing will result in many others.

Confusing fact with opinion- Asserting opinions as though they were facts, or discrediting facts as opinions.

Red Herring- Distracting readers with sensational, irrelevant material.

Myth of the Mean- Using an average to hide a problem.

Flawed statistical comparisons- Using percentage increases or decreases to distort reality.

Defective testimony- Quoting out of context or omitting a speakers credentials

Inappropriate Evidence- Using facts when examples are needed, or examples when facts are needed, or a intimidating list of authorities as a substitute for information.

Flawed Proofs:

Ad hominem- Attacking the person rather than the point.

Begging the question- Assuming as decided what has not actually been proven

Defective arguments:

Shaky principle- Basing a line of argument on an unsound assumption.

Omitted qualifiers- Confusing probability with certainty by asserting a conclusion without qualification.

Post Hoc- Assuming that because on event follows another, it was caused by it.

Non sequitur- Reasoning in which principles and observations are unrelated to each other or to the conclusion drawn~ just thinking of this one makes me want to go out and hunt a giraffe, lets see how many of you get that one :wink:

Hasty generalization- Drawing a conclusion basedon insufficient or nonrepresentative observations.

Faulty analogy- Comparing things that are dissimilar in some important way.

Persuasive Design Fallacies:

Either-or thinking- Framing choices so that readers think they have only two options.

Strawman- Belittling or trivializing arguments to defeat them easily.

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Postby Hamel » 2003-03-30 09:07pm

"Right now we can tell you a report was filed by the family of a 12 year old boy yesterday afternoon alleging Mr. Michael Jackson of criminal activity. A search warrant has been filed and that search is currently taking place. Mr. Jackson has not been charged with any crime. We cannot specifically address the content of the police report as it is confidential information at the present time, however, we can confirm that Mr. Jackson forced the boy to listen to the Howard Stern show and watch the movie Private Parts over and over again."

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Postby Joe » 2003-03-30 09:16pm

Jingoist: a person who says "My country is the greatest country in the world" at every opportunity. The more rabid jingoists will tack on rhetoric about every other country in the world being useless, inferior, etc.


That's just extreme nationalism; you need to tack on aggressive foreign policy, which characterizes jingoism.
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Postby weemadando » 2003-03-30 11:35pm

Durran Korr wrote:
Jingoist: a person who says "My country is the greatest country in the world" at every opportunity. The more rabid jingoists will tack on rhetoric about every other country in the world being useless, inferior, etc.


That's just extreme nationalism; you need to tack on aggressive foreign policy, which characterizes jingoism.


No.

Jingoism is a form of extreme nationalism borne from propaganda, where ones nation is better than all others "just because".

See WW1 Britain for a prime example of Jingoism.

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Postby Stuart Mackey » 2003-03-31 05:11am

weemadando wrote:
Durran Korr wrote:
Jingoist: a person who says "My country is the greatest country in the world" at every opportunity. The more rabid jingoists will tack on rhetoric about every other country in the world being useless, inferior, etc.


That's just extreme nationalism; you need to tack on aggressive foreign policy, which characterizes jingoism.


No.

Jingoism is a form of extreme nationalism borne from propaganda, where ones nation is better than all others "just because".

See WW1 Britain for a prime example of Jingoism.


Actually Jingoism sprang out of old British music halls in the late 19th century when the Empire was a serious source of national pride, and the word itself is part of the words to a song..
"....We dont want to go to war, but by jingo if we do, we've got the ships, we've got the men, we've got the money to."
Very popular round the time of the Boer war.
The word itself has not more meaning than, say, 'by god!', or 'by gum!' hence 'by jingo!'
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Postby RedImperator » 2003-03-31 08:58am

Liberal: In American politics, someone who is left of center, typically in favor of increased government control over the economy and increased personal freedom for individuals. Believes government can be an active force for social good.

Conservative: In American politics, someone who is right of center, typically in favor of decreased government control over the economy but government intervention in matters of personal morality. Believes government can be an active force for moral good.

Libertarian: Also known as a Classical Liberal. Believes the government has neither the right nor the competence to regulate either the economy or personal morality.

Moderate: In American politics, the majority of the electorate. In favor of a safety net for the poorest members of society and some income redistribution in the form of a progressive tax rate, but not outright socialism. In favor of government regulation of some moral issues, such as obscenity or drugs, but not Christian fundamentalism. The definition of "moderate" shifts with changing political climates. A moderate in 1950 would be seen as a hidebound reactionary today, while a moderate in 1970 would probably look like a screaming radical. An American moderate would most likely be to the right of a European conservative.

Democratic National Committee: Official name for the Democratic Party in the United States, founded by the supporters of Thomas Jefferson. It represents a broad coalition of left-of-center interests, from Social Democrats like Jesse Jackson to socially conservative labor unions. In the 19th century, it was the party of the south and slavery, and in the early 20th century, state's rights and segregation, but after Woodrow Wilson and especially Franklin Roosevelt, it became the party for progressives and eventually took up the mantle of civil rights.

Republican National Committee: Official name for the Republican Party in the United States, founded by a loose coaltion of Northern business interests, abolitionists, and anti-Catholic anti-immigrant Know Nothings in the mid 19th century. It represents a broad coalition of right-of-center interests, from probusiness technocrats to libertarians to Christian fundamentalists. In the 19th century, it was the party opposed to slavery and the South (Lincoln was elected despite not even appearing on the ballot in southern states), but during the post-Civil War era, it became dominated by Northern business interests who took advantage of the south's weakness to pass protective tariffs and favorable tax laws for industry. It became socially conservative as a reaction to the radical movements in the late 60s.
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Postby IRG CommandoJoe » 2003-04-01 12:30am

Perhaps this should be stickied...
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Postby IRG CommandoJoe » 2003-04-01 12:30am

(Notices sticky.)
D'OH! :oops:
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Postby Joe » 2003-04-02 12:49pm

OK, I'll add a little blurb here on pork barrel spending. This is more of a rant than anything else.

Pork Barrel Spending

Generally speaking, a pork barrel project/appropriation is one from the government (usually the federal government, in the case of the U.S.) that benefits a certain locale with and is sponsored by the representative of that locale. When you hear about a Committee Chair securing millions (or possibly billions) of dollars of federal money to be spent in his home state/district, that's pork barrel spending. Most pork barrel appropriations can be found within the budgets of the various federal departments (the Transportation Department's budget is particularly ridiculous), and also within the defense budget.

One of the problems often pointed out with the American federalist system is that sometimes national interests are sacrificed for local/regional ones. This is truer nowhere else than with pork barrel spending. Federal taxpayers in California do not need to pay for fancy museums in Trent Lott's Mississippi, for example, and federal taxpayers in Mississippi do not need to pay for obesity studies in Robert Byrd's West Virginia, and so on, and so on.

It can even be a problem at lower levels of government; in Georgia, for example, Tom Murphy, who has been Speaker of the (state) House for god knows how long, is well-known for securing hefty spending projects for his home district, while the rest of the state gets the shaft.

Pork barrel spending is extremely wasteful, and there can be little doubt that it does greater harm than good to the nation as a whole. It's just an inevitable consequence of 20th-century American big government; if you want the government to be spending a lot of money, than you're going to have to accept the fact that selfish politicians are going to use some of that money to "bring home the bacon," as they say, and get themselves re-elected through pork. The only way it's going to go away is if the people of this country as a whole get tired of it and stop electing politicians who do exactly what they were elected to do; benefit their home state/district as much as possible.
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Postby Ted » 2003-04-02 04:10pm

Actually, fascism started in the late 19th Century, as a response to Communism, and also from the development of Social Darwinism.

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Postby Queeb Salaron » 2003-04-02 11:45pm

Ted wrote:Actually, fascism started in the late 19th Century, as a response to Communism, and also from the development of Social Darwinism.

Social Darwin should be flogged.




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Postby irishmick79 » 2003-04-10 12:18pm

Diplomispeak = "We had a full and frank exchange of viewpoints that should be helpful in moving negotiations forward"

Translation = "We didn't agree on what color the sky was."

Diplomispeak = "The issue is under consideration of our parliment, and your viewpoint will be given prompt and thorough attention when discussing the matter."

Translation = "Don't call us, we'll call you."

Diplomispeak = "We will strive to resolve this dispute in a peaceful manner that is satisfactory to all parties concerned."

Translation = "After we get done fucking up your military and tearing you a new asshole, we'll make deals with the people we like and get what we wanted out of your sorry carcass. Unfortunately that means you will not be getting a piece of the pie"
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Postby Tom_Aurum » 2003-04-14 12:03pm

Bother. I just thought I'd point out (again) that:

Communism and Marxism are not the same thing. I could get into the whole lengthy discussion of french communism but... <sighs>. Already did that. Anyways, Marxism is a very unsuccessful spin on communism, but, isn't the whole of communism.
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Postby Publius » 2003-04-21 02:16pm

Jingoism is a specific subset of chauvinism. Whereas the chauvinist firmly believes in the superiority of his nation-state, the jingoist takes that a step further, and is aggressive and truculent in his foreign policy. A chauvinist says "My country is best!" A jingoist says "My country is best!", and will enthusiastically rattle his sabre to prove it.

Also, Fascism is a specific socio-econo-political movement, viz., that of il Fascio di Combattimento (lit., the Band of Combat), the political party of Benito Juarez Mussolini. In modern times, it is often used as a smear word for any Rightist authoritarian regime, such as Lieutenant-General Francisco Franco Bahamonde's Spain, Dr Engelbert Dollfuss's Austria, or Dr António de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal.

The flaw in this usage is made obvious by the fact that both Dr Dollfuss and Corporal Adolf Hitler are often described as "fascists", but Dr Dollfuss found National-Socialism a repugnant movement, and banned it from Austria a month after banning the Communist Party. He despised Hitler and declared "Catholic Austria is no place for godless Reds or pagan Nazis!" Hitler's agents assassinated Dr Dollfuss.

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Postby Howedar » 2003-06-27 11:43pm

Tom_Aurum wrote:Bother. I just thought I'd point out (again) that:

Communism and Marxism are not the same thing. I could get into the whole lengthy discussion of french communism but... <sighs>. Already did that. Anyways, Marxism is a very unsuccessful spin on communism, but, isn't the whole of communism.
From my standpoint, you have it the wrong way around.
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Postby Bob McDob » 2003-08-01 11:43am

Didn't the Pilgrims and Mormons initially use communism in some of their small towns as a way of pooling their limited resources?
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Postby RedImperator » 2003-08-01 01:50pm

Bob McDob wrote:Didn't the Pilgrims and Mormons initially use communism in some of their small towns as a way of pooling their limited resources?


Communism works in very small social units (most notably, the family, where there's a genetic impulse to sacrifice one's self-interest for those of other family members). Exceptionally strong religious faith can sustain a commune as well--monastary life is entirely communal, and I'm sure somewhere small secular communes based on breaking with material society have survived. When pooling the fruits of one's labor with that of the entire community gives one a better chance of surviving than keeping what one makes, such as in an extremely isolated settlement on the brink of starvation (such as the Pilgrims and early Mormons), small-C communism is an almost natural response.

Otherwise, it doesn't work, and never will work, because freeloading is more profitable than contributing in a system that provides for one's material needs and does not reward exceptional performances ("They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work"), and all life is genetically predisposed to take the most profitable path. Nation states are just too big for an individual to link his self-interest to that of the entire tribe, and too big for him to see the detrimental effects of his own individual parasitic behavior.
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Postby Lord MJ » 2003-11-10 04:28am

Realism – assumptions derived from human nature
1) nation-states are the most important actors
2) sharp distinction between domestic and intern politics
3) states strive to maximize power
historical approach to analysis, group focused, still normative
and inclusive of ideational factors, inductive/reductionist

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Postby Axis Kast » 2003-11-18 03:19am

Godwin's Law: (n.) The probability whereby the longer an Internet discussion on any topic, the greater the liklihood of a reference to Adolf Hitler, Nazism, or Third Reich Germany.

Source: http://jamesthornton.com/theory/theory?theory_id=13

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Postby Symmetry » 2003-12-10 12:46pm

RedImperator wrote:Libertarian: Also known as a Classical Liberal. Believes the government has neither the right nor the competence to regulate either the economy or personal morality.


I think its important to distinguish between libertarians and Libertarians. "libertarians" can be described as you have above, generally prefering less regulation, less taxes, drug legalization or decriminalization, ect and can generally be described as socially liberal and fiscally conservative in todays parlance. "Libertarians," on the other hand refers to members of the Libertarian movement or Libertarian political party. These would be the people that believe the government should consist of the military, the courts, and the police. Period. Complicating the picture is the fact that some Republicans and Democrats have recently switched to the Libertarian party in hopes of making it more libertarian and less Libertarian (and making it more serious contender, at least in some regions).
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Postby The Cleric » 2003-12-17 11:13pm

Also, Nationalsim should be defined and seperated from Jingoism. I'm not that good at politics to define it correctly, so I'll leave it to the big boys :wink:.
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Postby Symmetry » 2003-12-26 11:54am

StormTrooperTR889 wrote:Also, Nationalsim should be defined and seperated from Jingoism. I'm not that good at politics to define it correctly, so I'll leave it to the big boys :wink:.


The word Jingoism has implications of militarism that aren't neccesarily there in nationalism. For instance, Japan in its quest to be "ichi-ban," has generaly expressed its nationalism in economic competition, sometimes trying to get other countries to buy its products even at an economic cost.
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Postby Tom_Aurum » 2004-03-24 04:07am

Blowback: because I didn't see it here, first from dictionary.com:

n.
-The backpressure in an internal-combustion engine or a boiler.
-Powder residue that is released upon automatic ejection of a spent cartridge or shell from a firearm.
-The effect caused by recirculation into the source country of disinformation previously planted abroad by that country's intelligence service in an effort to mislead the government of another country.


Albeit the current meaning of the term usually is some group causing a country harm that, in the past, had been supported by the country to accomplish the country's goals. E.g. the whole Al-Qaeda situation.
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Postby Bugsby » 2004-05-11 06:51pm

Populism: The fourth of the political ideologies (besides liberalism, constervativism, and libertarianism), populists believe that the government should regulate both social and economic aspects of society. It is the polar opposite of libertairanism. Populists are usually found in regions with many poor, morally vocal people (e.g. American South).
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