Proper Terminology: Inverse-Socialism and Inverse-Democracy

Standard

Imagine a scenario where an authoritarian regime holds an election and unsurprisingly wins with 99% of the vote. [1]  Does anybody refer to this as democracy or even Democracy?

Of course not.

Does anybody use Democratic Kampuchea or The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as examples of democracy?

Of course not.

Every single human being is intelligent enough to figure out that authoritarian regimes lie about being democratic.  Everybody is smart enough to know that dictators will stage phoney elections to create the illusion of democracy while having absolutely no intent of implementing true democracy.


Now imagine a scenario where an authoritarian regime says they will implement socialism and says that they will redistribute wealth equally.  Does that instantly mean they are telling the truth?

Of course not.

It’s very clear that there was no wealth equality in the USSR.  Some people were 300 pounds while others starved to death.  It’s also very clear that workers did not own the means of production.  Thus, there was no socialism in the USSR.

The same is true for Democratic Kampuchea where the elites were fed, but many common people died of starvation.  People were forced to move from urban centres to the countryside where they were forced to work on farms they did not own and where the output of their labour was controlled by an authoritarian regime rather than the workers themselves.

Just because an authoritarian regime forces people to work on farms does not mean there is socialism or collectivism the same way an authoritarian regime holding an election does not mean there is democracy.  People were forced to work on those farms to create the illusion of socialism the way phoney-elections are used to create the illusion of democracy.


Thus, new terminology must be introduced.  Referring to Democratic Kampuchea as socialist is as ridiculous as referring to it as democratic.  However, one could use the terms inverse-socialism and inverse-democracy to describe it.

Inverse-democracy describes a situation where an authoritarian regime poses as democratic and tries to create the illusion of being democratic (by holding phoney elections or putting the word Democracy in the official title) but is actually the exact opposite of democracy.

(Note: The term inverse-democracy would not apply to authoritarian regimes that outright declare that they are authoritarian and not democratic.  The term inverse-democracy applies to authoritarian regimes that go out of their way to create the appearance of democracy while maintaining authoritarian rule.)

Likewise, inverse-socialism describes a scenario where the exact opposite of socialism actually exists, but people in power work to create the illusion of socialism (by forcing people to work on farms, for example.)


The prefix inverse- is better than the prefix anti- because the prefix anti- sets up an ambiguity.

Anti-democracy could refer to inverse-democracy (a dictator pretending to be democratic) or it could refer to open opposition against democracy.

Anti-socialism could refer to inverse-socialism (non-socialist regimes pretending to be socialist) or it could refer to opposition to true socialist principles.

Thus, inverse- is the best prefix, in my opinion.


Additionally, many people refer to a parliamentary democracy with high taxation and welfare as democratic socialism.  However, this is not true socialism either.  It’s merely capitalism with high taxation and welfare.  Welfare-capitalism would be more accurate.

Socialism does not necessarily mean there is perfect wealth equality either.  It just means that the workers own the means of production.


[1] The dictator’s dilemma: To win with 95 percent or 99?

Advertisements

One thought on “Proper Terminology: Inverse-Socialism and Inverse-Democracy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s