One of the great sins of Western civilisation today is the fundamental, systematic falsehood that pervades political and social discourse at all levels. Mendacity is the mark of our times. This civilisational prevarication goes far beyond the day to day lies told by individuals, and even exceeds the institutional untruthfulness of the lugenpresse. It extends to the very vocabulary in which our discourse is conducted. The very words which we are required to use if we wish to even be understood by our fellows in society require us to implicitly affirm that which is not actually true. To refer to “social justice” is to describe something which is neither. To use the American political terms “liberal” and “conservative” is to ascribe traits to those who don’t believe in freedom and to those who aren’t conserving anything, respectively. Likewise, we are required to refrain from using certain absolutely and exquisitely descriptive terms because of the false connotations which progressives have succeeded in attaching to them.
Western, and especially American, society is in sore need of the application of a principle articulated by Confucius called the “rectification of names.” Confucius recognised that words can be systematically used to portray falsehood, and therefore to distort our perceptions of reality. When such a thing happens, when we fail to call things by what they really are, social disorder and even chaos can erupt. He observed in his Analects,
“A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”
Confucius’ insight here is that discord of language indicates discord of soul and in turn leads to discord of society. The superior man seeks to “rectify the names” by ensuring that what a word means and how it is used are in accord, not simply at the level of vocabulary, but even more so at the higher level of its connotations within social discourse. To intentionally obfuscate the meaning of words meant for social use is to become an enemy of civilisation itself.
This is why any thinking individual ought to take exception to the term “socialism.” This term is entirely undescriptive while also being intended to suggest a meaning for the hearer which is not in accord with reality. Simply put, there is nothing “social” about “socialism.” Yet, both progressives and conservatives consistently present this term as accurate.
Progressives use the term to describe a set of policy proposals – and the ideological assumptions underlying them – which they intend to present to their audiences as being “for the people,” hence the term “socialism,” as if to give the appearance of broad based concern for and support from “the people,” from “society.” However, progressives confound “society” with “government.” The two are very definitely not the same thing. Even in supposedly democratic systems, when the government does something, it is not to be confused with “society” pursuing a path of action. Indeed, many of the things we see in our nation which the government does routinely find little actual support in society itself. It is telling that practically all of the “victories” that the homosexualists have “won” in America have come through the courts – even in bright blue California they were unable to win at the ballot box. Progressives use the term “socialism” as a catch-all to lend imagined support to their unpopular policies, implicitly warning dissenters that they’d better keep quiet since “society” – all those other people around you – want this “for the little guy” and you’re in the minority.
Yet, this assumption that “socialism” is social is false. Instead, progressives are the great destroyers of age-old traditional social institutions, and have been since the execrable French Revolution. There is not a single organic social institution – not church, not männerbund, not family, not local community, not private club or business – that the progressives have not sought to destroy, to grind into atoms and feed into their culturally marxist power grid. Progressives will not tolerate armed citizen militias patrolling their own communities to ward off Black Lives Matter rioters. Progressives will not countenance churches or businesses refusing to bow before the Almighty Fag as he demands their cakes and their doctrinal loyalties. They seek to break up all these regressive old institutions and replace them with themselves, and only themselves.
Progressivism does not grow organically. It can only be imposed from the top down, hence the progressive desire to usurp the positive indicator “social” for their non-social ideology. Progressivism requires a police state, the power of government to impose what a natural society will not naturally do. Jacques Ellul noted this as the case for any system which must be imposed from above,
“But such organizations could be maintained only by police power, whereas the exact opposite is true of genuine social organization. By the very fact of its existence, coercion demonstrates the absence of political, administrative, and juridical technique…” (The Technological Society, pp. 29-30)
In organic societies, the means of organisation – how the government is constituted and operated – grow and evolve through centuries of traditional usage combined with the necessarily slow process of experimentation with emergent forms that arise through the society’s internal operations of self-assembly. This is a mechanism that is completely absent in progressive regimes, which instead seek to replace genuine society with total subservience to government, eliminating all intervening and competing sources of authority and loyalty. Genuine social society does not need to have change forced upon it from the top down. Change will come in measured doses as society moves in directions appropriate to its current state.
In the progressive process, the individual member of society is completely unmoored from all traditional communal institutions and is thrown at the mercy of uncaring, deep state bureaucracy. The cult of perpetual revolution tears down all alternatives of community and subjects the individual to the atomisation of total government where he becomes simply a number, a resource to be utilised, with no life or thoughts of his own. While I generally don’t have much use for her writings, the depiction of the planet Camazotz in Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time is most a propos. On this planet, every individual was under the psychic control of an entity known as IT. Each person on the planet was subjected to the same regimen to the point where children at play would bounce their rubber balls in perfect accord with the each other in time with the throbbing psychic pulsations of IT. One child who broke the pattern and who bounced his ball counter to that tempo was quickly hustle inside by his fearful mother – an indication that the child would probably be punished by IT’s police forces should he be observed breaking the pattern.
In such a situation – which is not conceptually far from that found in progressive regimes from Cuba to the Soviet Union to North Korea – the progressives use the appearance of conformity to usurp the label “social.” However, conformity is not community. An aggregation of atomised individuals all acting and speaking the same way because they are forced to by their government is not at all the same thing as an organic community of interconnected individuals who share the same traditions and culture and mores. Applying the terms “social” and “socialism” to the progressive scenario is a gross corruption of those terms.
It has been consistently observed that once progressives establish control, they will eventually begin to eat their own. After the French Revolution, the increasingly splintered factions of the Jacobins started to behead each other once they ran out of aristocrats to murder. After the Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks started filling their new gulags with Social Democrats and Anarchists and Mensheviks and Revolutionary Socialists and all the rest of their other former allies. This is because, ultimately, progressives completely lack a genuine community or social spirit, and are instead seeking each one his own individual advancement within the police state’s apparatus, forming ephemeral alliances with other individuals before betraying or being betrayed in turn.
Hence, the great irony of socialism – of the abhorrent revolutionary spirit unleashed upon the world by the Jacobins and given direction and a philosophical basis by Marx and Engels – is that it completely destroys genuine social collaboration and replaces it with a pulverised mass of individuals who either die as atoms or else kill as atoms, depending on whether they stand outside or inside the police state’s artificially-imposed contrivance.
If we wish to successfully “rectify the name” with respect to that thing called “socialism,” then we must understand that it’s not merely a matter of outward terminology. It’s not only about the verbal word used to denote the progressive ideology and intentions. Rather, we must acknowledge that the connotation is completely wrong as well. Socialism contains nothing social about it, but is instead social, institutional, and personal nihilism. The implied falsehoods that are inherent in the progressive use of this term, especially when they use it in a “positive” fashion to present an outward appearance of being “for the people” and “for our communities,” must be identified and exposed. Until we grasp this truth, we can never truly deal with socialism, or the progressives who promote it, in a way that will effectively combat its corrosive effects on our social health and cohesion.