You can always count on people talking about politics to screw up the terms, and the most obvious example is in the right-wing use of the term “socialism”. That’s what they think is being built by the political left in this country.
Well, it’s not socialism, believe me.
Whatever this thing is turning into, calling it socialism is an insult to socialism. I’ve actually looked into socialism. Socialism implies that EVERYONE works. This is more like, “let’s see if we can con some people into continuing to do real work, while everyone else does either nothing or some occasional pointless bullshit to boost their self-esteem, and everyone gets paid.” Whatever that is, it isn’t socialism. It’s some kind of mutant consumerism with no sense of honesty. A friend of mine called it “welfarism”, and that’s close, although that term still holds certain incorrect associations. Consumerism is better, if people understand that consumerism opposes capitalism.
In a consumerist society, those who consume hold power, which requires an overriding authority redistributing economic power – money – down to them, taking it from those who produce. Capitalism, in the raw, would be more like “producer-ism” than what we have now.
If you talk to a leftist about this, the usual line is that the people, who are invariably virtuous, always want to work and they’re being denied the prerogative to do so by the structural defects and inequalities of capitalism. Now, according to my way of thinking, that indicates something deeply wrong in people’s attitude towards work. The opportunity to work is not owed to anyone. People become valuable by doing something others value, and that value is expressed in exchange, not by manipulating a democratic system. I’m not saying it always works that way, but that’s what is consistent with an individualist philosophy.
Talking about work like an entitlement leads to the situation we all know today: shortages of people in valued fields, like engineering and skilled trades, and kids wasting billions getting degrees in useless shit, usually something in the liberal arts category.
Someone forgot to tell these kids what work actually is.