Socialism’s growing appeal is often difficult to understand, particularly given capitalism’s demonstrated social, economic, and political superiority. However, the resistance to capitalism may have its roots in something far deeper than a failure to recognize its virtues and benefits.
Sad to say, most people have no clear idea of what capitalism and socialism actually are. Bathed in the contradictions of living in a mixed economy, many attribute the successes of capitalism to socialism, and socialism’s failures to capitalism. In the absence of an objective understanding of each ‘ism,’ this suggests a psychological or emotional association that is the source of their bias.
As always, the first rule in the art of political persuasion is ‘define or be defined.’ By allowing the ‘socialist’ Left to define the terms of the discussion, the ‘capitalist’ Right has been placed in an almost insurmountable disadvantage.
Consider that with their simple positioning of the words ‘socialism’ against ‘capitalism,’ socialists have already won a critical part of the debate. After all, the two ‘isms’ have little to do with each other, since ‘social’ and ‘capital’ are incompatible concepts.
This alone has consequences that cannot be understated, consequences that work to the advantage of the Left and to the detriment of the Right.
To correct the epistemological advantage unfairly enjoyed by socialism, it is necessary to realign the terms of reference in a way that is Just Right and actually makes sense.