Say That Dirty Word! Socialism!


Writing in The Nation, author and professor Ronald Aronson calls for progressives to grow a pair and proudly proclaim their commitment to "socialism," a word that many on the left seem to regard as an annoying strip of toilet paper stuck to their collective shoe. Don't do it Ronald! Don't throw me into the briar patch!

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  1. Do it, I dare them.

    I triple dog dare them, even.

  2. Is it safe to break out my list of France jokes again?

    “The ironing is delicious”

  3. That way, after they lose every single American election from now until a glorious future when Michael Moore comes back from the dead and smites the world’s neocons, they can at least feel that they didn’t compromise their principles.

  4. Don’t ‘cha have to have principles to be able to compromise them?

  5. Do it, I dare them. I triple dog dare them, even.

    Aahhh don’t dare me, because I will f**king do it.

  6. That way, after they lose every single American election from now until a glorious future when Michael Moore comes back from the dead and smites the world’s neocons, they can at least feel that they didn’t compromise their principles.

    Hmmm….that last part sounds familiar.

  7. Aw, the numerous Monty Python quotes here tell me that it’s mainly a bunch of lately reformed hippies posting here trying to be hip and different. You can’t be very right wing if you have time for this kind of nose picking.

  8. Hey, what is the death of few hundred million people in the name of progress and revitalizing the left and giving society options?

    Correcting for scale, and replacing “theocrats” for “left,”that’s pretty much the plan you support in Iraq, asshead.

  9. I suppose that the author would say that people who enjoy eating buffalo wings should commit fully and become neck-chomping sideshow geeks.

  10. Cleese: (talking very fast, as do all the commentators): Hello, good evening and welcome to Election Night Special. There’s tremendous excitement here at the moment and we should be getting the first results through any moment now. We’re not sure where it will be from, it might be Leicester or from West Byfleet, the polling’s been quite heavy in both areas. Ah, I’m just getting… I’m just getting… a buzzing noise in my left ear. Urgh, argh! (removes insect and stamps on it). And now let’s go straight over to Leicester.

    Palin: And it’s a straight fight here at Leicester and we’re expecting the result any moment now. There with the Returning Officer is Arthur Smith the sensible candidate and next to him is Jethro Q. Walrustitty the silly candidate with his agent and his silly wife.

    Idle: (clears throat) Here is the result for Leicester. Arthur J. Smith…

    Cleese: Sensible Party

    Idle: …30,612. (applause) Jethro Q. Bunn Whackett Buzzard Stubble and Boot Walrustitty…

    Cleese: Silly Party

    Idle: …33,108. (applause)

    Cleese: Well there we have the first result of the election and the Silly party has held Leicester. Norman.

    Palin: Well pretty much as I predicted, except that the Silly party won. Er, I think this is largely due to the number of votes cast. Gerald.

    Chapman: Well there’s a big swing here to the Silly Party, but how big a swing I’m not going to tell you.

    Palin: I think one should point out that in this constituency since the last election a lot of very silly people have moved into new housing estates with the result that a lot of sensible voters have moved further down the road the other side of number er, 29.

    Cleese: Well I can’t add anything to that. Colin?

    Idle: Can I just say that this is the first time I’ve been on television?

    Cleese: No I’m sorry, there isn’t time, we’re just going straight over to Luton.

    Chapman: Well here at Luton it’s a three-cornered contest between, from left to right, Alan Jones (Sensible Party), Tarquin Fin-tim-lim-bim-lim-bin- bim-bin-bim bus stop F’tang F’tang Ol? Biscuitbarrel (Silly Party), and Kevin Phillips Bong, who is running on the Slightly Silly ticket. And here’s the result.

    Woman: Alan Jones…

    Cleese: Sensible

    Woman: …9,112. Kevin Phillips Bong…

    Cleese: Slightly Silly

    Woman: Nought. Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim bus stop F’tang F’tang Ol? Biscuitbarrel…

    Cleese: Silly

    Woman: 12,441. (applause)

    Cleese: Well there you have it, the first result of the election as the Silly Party take Luton. Norman.

    Palin: Well this is a very significant result. Luton, normally a very sensible constituency with a high proportion of people who aren’t a bit silly, has gone completely ga-ga.

    Cleese: And we’ve just heard that James Gilbert has with him the winning Silly candidate at Luton.

    Idle: Tarquin, are you pleased with this result?

    Palin: Ho yus, me old beauty, I should say so. (Silly noises including a goat bleating).

    Cleese: And do we have the swing at Luton?

    Chapman: Er… no.

    Cleese: (pause) Right, well I can’t add anything to that. Colin?

    Idle: Can I just say that this is the second time I’ve been on television?

    Cleese: No, I’m sorry there isn’t time, we’re just about to get another result.

    Palin: And this one is from Harpenden Southeast. A very interesting constituency this: in addition to the official Silly candidate there is an unofficial Very Silly candidate, in the slab of concrete, and he could well split the silly vote here at Harpenden Southeast.

    Jones: Mrs Elsie Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

    Cleese: Silly

    Jones: 26,317 (applause). Jeanette Walker…

    Cleese: Sensible Jones: 26,318…

    Cleese: Very close!

    Jones: Malcolm Peter Brian Telescope Adrian Blackpool Rock Stoatgobbler John Raw Vegetable Brrroooo Norman Michael (rings bell) (blows whistle) Edward (sounds car horn) (does train impersonation) (sounds buzzer) Thomas Moo… (sings) “We’ll keep a welcome in the…” (fires gun) William (makes silly noise) “Raindrops keep falling on my” (weird noise) “Don’t sleep in the subway” (cuckoo cuckoo) Naaoooo… Smith.

    Cleese: Very Silly

    Jones: …two.

    Cleese: Well there you have it, a Sensible gain at Harpenden with the Silly vote being split.

    Palin: And we’ve just heard from Luton that Tony Stratton-Smith has with him there the unsuccessful Slightly Silly candidate, Kevin Phillips Bong.

    Idle: Kevin Phillips Bong. You polled no votes at all. Not a sausage. Bugger all. Are you at all disappointed with this performance?

    Neil Innes: Not at all. As I always say: Climb every mountain
    Ford every stream,
    Follow every by-way,
    Till you find your dream.
    (Sings) A dream that will last
    All the love you can give
    Every day of your life
    For as long as you live.
    All together now!
    Climb every mountain
    Ford every stream…
    Cleese: A very brave Kevin Phillips Bong there. Norman.

    Palin: And I’ve just heard from Luton that my aunt is ill. Possibly gastro-enteritis, possibly just catarrh. Gerald.

    Cleese: Right. Er, Colin?

    Idle: Can I just say that I’ll never appear on television again?

    Cleese: No I’m sorry, there isn’t time, we have to pick up a few results you may have missed. A little pink pussy-cat has taken Barrow-in-Furness — that’s a gain from the Liberals there. Rastus Odinga Odinga has taken Wolverhampton Southwest, that’s Enoch Powell’s old constituency — an important gain there for Darkie Power. Arthur Negus has held Bristols — that’s not a result, that’s just a piece of gossip. Sir Alec Douglas Home has taken Oldham for the Stone Dead party. A small piece of putty about that big, a cheese mechanic from Dunbar and two frogs — one called Kipper the other not — have all gone “Ni ni ni ni ni ni!” in Blackpool Central. And so it’s beginning to look like a Silly landslide, and with the prospect of five more years’ Silly government facing us we… Oh I don’t want to do this any more, I’m bored!

    Palin: He’s right you know, it is a bloody waste of time.

    Chapman: Absolute waste of time.

    Palin: I wanted to be a gynaecologist…

  11. O yeah, Phil. Let’s forget that Saddam killed millions and was continuing to kill by the thousands. “Correcting for scale?” I guess that means you are sentient enough to realize that a small fraction of deaths have occurred in Iraq than under Communism. That is a surprising bit of intelligence for you. I am proud that you are making such progress. Perhaps some day in the future you will be bright enough to move beyond the 12 year old mentality of “nothing justifies the death of any innocent person.” I don’t hold out much hope for you considering how big jackass you are, but we can always dream.

  12. Mixed economy! You left-wing deviationist libertarian heretic!

  13. their founding document, dammit!

  14. it encouraged thinking and acting toward alternatives that would be neither capitalist nor Communist

    This would seem to cover the kleptocracies that so many proto-Marxist “liberation” movements generally turn into once they seize power.

    So yeah, he’s got a point. Although he artfully avoids ever addressing the question of whether any of the alternatives to Western liberal (in the old sense) capitalist society are actually, you know, preferable to it.

    You know that on one level he thinks the alternatives are better, but on another he knows that you’d have to be fucking insane to prefer living in a full-on Communist or post-Marxist kleptocratic state.

  15. Scandinavia in the 80’s was in reality 10 times closer to Communism that Russia if for once we look at Communism as an idea rather than an excuse to control and kill people. Communism as an idea aims at minimizing social injustice. It found fertile ground in a world where there was a lot of blood sucking going on, child labor etc.

    Global blood sucking in the 80’s

    China – hell of a lot
    Russia – a lot
    US – quite a lot
    UK – not much
    Scandinavia – hardly at all
    Communistic Utopia – none

  16. The trolls are taking over…

  17. The trolls are taking over…

    Eh, happens whenever they link to someone with really touchy fans. They’ll wander off.

  18. Well, if we took all the money the Defense Department gets and spent it on me and my fellow Americans here in the heart of the cities and towns, not only would there be a chicken in every pot forever, but there would be beautiful peace on Earth forever.
    Sho’ ’nuff.
    Heh heh.

  19. Well this is completely and utterly unexpected from The Nation.

  20. Begone Marge in Lake Woebegone! You’re dumber than a red brick.

  21. I think many items in this article can be called out for questioning. One of them I found most egregious was …

    Social movements for environmental protection, women’s rights and racial equality sooner or later run up against the institutional constraints imposed by capitalism.

    How do free-markets/capitalism run counter to women’s rights and racial equality?

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