GLOSSARY – Definitions Matter
Capitalism: Capitalism is an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals and corporations. It is characterized by the following: private property ownership; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services. Such a system is based on the premise of separating the state and business activities. Capitalists believe that markets are efficient and should thus function without interference, and the role of the state is to minimally regulate and protect.
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Charity: Charity is the voluntary act of giving help, such as money or food, to those in need; alms; a kindly attitude towards people. Charity is also synonymous with an organization set up to provide/deliver help to those in need such as the Salvation Army, Operation Blessing, Feed the Children etc. The key to charity is that it is a voluntary act.
Coercion/Plunder: The act of compelling by force the handing over of your goods/money to someone else. It could be by physical force as in war or by force of law. When government enacts laws that take your hard-earned money to give to those who do not work hard that is an act of plunder by force of law. It may be framed as government charity but government on its own does not make money (except that which they print on paper) so they must plunder the citizens who own businesses and those who work hard in order to provide for other citizens who do not work.
Conservative: Conservatism is a way of understanding life, society and governance. Just like the definition of liberal, the definition of conservative can be divided into 6 key principles:
- Belief in natural law: Human beings do not make the laws of morality, nor are rights conferred upon us by governments but rather by a higher power. The majority believe they originate with God. Conservatives tend to believe that most political problems are spiritual/religious and moral problems. At the very root of the definition of conservative is a belief in the importance of virtue.
- Belief in established institutions: American conservatives, for example, believe passionately that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are works of profound genius, and that they provide the best system of law and government possible. More broadly, conservatives believe in the Anglo-Saxon tradition of rule of law and good government. A very important part of the definition of conservative is the deep respect conservatives hold for the cultural institutions of church and family maintaining that these institutions are vitally important for the spiritual well-being of humankind.
- Preference for liberty over equality: This concept is the most difficult part of the definition of conservative for most people to understand, particularly since liberty and equality are almost used as synonyms in our times. Put simply, all societies face a fundamental choice between emphasizing freedom or emphasizing equality. The reality is that we can be either equal or free, but we cannot be both. Though both the right and left wings claim to promote both freedom and equality, the right is most concerned with freedom and the left most concerned with equality. The upper most concern for conservatives is always: are we maximizing freedom?
- Suspicion of power—and of human nature: The fourth principle that defines conservatives is their suspicion of power and their hatred of big government. In his First Inaugural Address, President Ronald Reagan declared, that government was the problem not the solution to the problems facing America and that if we are not capable of self-governing ourselves then who of us can govern someone else. Yet, conservatives recognize that government is a necessary evil, as without it the good are often at the mercy of the evil. Men are not angels, and the Founders knew that we are imperfect beings and easily corrupted. For this reason, conservatives believe power must be spread out and decentralized, with adequate checks and balances to ensure that government does not devolve into tyranny.
- Belief in exceptionalism: This is based in conservative lack of belief in perfect equality. Conservatives realize that some people inevitably have superior abilities, intelligence, and talents, and they believe that those people have a fundamental right to use and profit from their natural gifts and that they in turn would benefit the growth in the economy by their spending, invention and creation of jobs. While it has become commonplace to regard the exceptional among us as “winners in the lottery of life” who are lifted up by the tired shoulders of average citizens, conservatives believe quite the opposite. Conservatives believe that exceptional people exist to lift us up, to improve our lives, and to give us hope. As such, they believed that genius could only breathe in an atmosphere of freedom.
- Belief in the individual: Conservatives such as Barry Goldwater believed that each man regardless of his individual good and the good of his society is ultimately responsible for his own development. Only he can make those choices. To the conservative civil society or ordered liberty is paramount and private property and liberty are inseparable. The civil society has as its highest purpose its preservation and continued improvement through the choices of each individual.
Critical Thinking: In short, critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and a mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our natural self-centeredness and society as the center of all things. It is using the logic and reasoning abilities that God gave us to come to logical and well thought out conclusions. Because critical thinking is not natural for us, we must work at developing this skill. Without it, our decisions will be based solely on our emotions, which do not always act in our best interest for the long-term.
Free market: Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy. Also, a foreign exchange market not controlled by the government. When supply is low with high demand – prices go up and when supply is up and demand is low – prices go down. It is fair and balanced for all and thus benefits all. Unlike government controlled economies it allows people to fail in their ventures but it also encourages them to try again. There are no bailouts.
Liberal/Statist: The definition of modern liberalism can be divided into 6 key principles:
- Belief in positive law: Rights are derived by written law, not a higher power. They do not believe that natural rights of life, liberty and property are important, as the conservatives believe they are. They believe government grants and guarantees rights. They believe that abstract rights are the most easily infringed upon. However, they have been known to read abstract rights into the Constitution that are not specifically mentioned. Separation of church and state is fundamental to the definition of modern liberalism.
- Faith in progress: They believe they should use the government to change the world. What conservatives seek to preserve and improve, the modern liberal wants to replace through economic and social experimentation.
- Preference for equality over liberty: While it is true that some forms of equality such as equality of rights and opportunity serve to enhance liberty, most modern liberals are willing to trade certain freedoms, such as greater personal choice, in favor of greater equality and social stability. The idea that all men are created equal is taken to its literal extreme as they attempt through government to equalize everything.
- Belief in the benevolence of government and individuals: Modern liberals believe that human nature is essentially good; and that if an individual is corrupted, it is usually the fault of some social or economic injustice. Therefore, the government can and should play a positive role in the lives of its citizens, particularly the disadvantaged. The Founders disagreed and did not believe this was a function of government. They knew that human nature is not essentially good and only a Savior would return us to a perfect relationship with our Creator, God.
- Belief in the perfectibility of human beings: Modern liberals believe that with the proper education, everyone can become virtuous and live a happy, meaningful life. Modern liberals define education quite broadly to refer to an individual’s entire upbringing, as opposed to merely schooling. They want to mold society according to their philosophy by having government involved in all aspects of every life.
- Belief in the community: a feeling that “we’re all in this together.” Modern liberals believe that individuals are stronger working together than they are working alone. At the root of modern liberalism is not merely the desire for equality, but for the social progress that the progressive believes only an egalitarian society can achieve. They have a need to control every aspect of society creating a culture of conformity and dependency. This nation was founded on individual liberty – initiative, self-reliance, and independence. The principles made America
The modern liberal believes in the supremacy of the state, therefore they can be more accurately called statist than liberal. The modern liberal/statist is far more authoritarian which causes discord with the principles of the Declaration and the order of the civil society in part. The Founders understood the greatest threat to liberty is an all-powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many. They also recognized the rule of mob would lead to anarchy and, in the end, despotism.
Libertarian: Libertarianism is, as the name implies, the belief in liberty. Libertarians strive for the best of all worlds – a free, peaceful, abundant world where each individual has the maximum opportunity to pursue his or her dreams to realize their full potential.
The core idea is simply stated but profound and far-reaching in its implications. Libertarians believe you should be free to do as you choose with your own life and property, as long as you do not harm the person and property of others. Libertarianism is thus the combination of liberty (the freedom to live your life in any peaceful way you choose), responsibility (the prohibition against the use of force against others, except in defense), and tolerance (honoring and respecting the peaceful choices of others). Thus, Libertarians advocate for decriminalization of illegal drugs feeling drug use does not harm others. Conservatives believe drug usage does harm society as a whole. Libertarians favor bringing the military home to secure our borders and protect us at our borders only. They take more of an isolationist view on foreign and trade policies.
Liberty: Freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control; freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, etc. regarding governmental regulations and controls. Also, liberty is freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint. The more liberty the people have, the smaller the government.
Marxism: The system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, especially the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be superseded by a socialist order and a classless society. The political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society. Marxism says there is no God.
Non-partisan: Refers to there being no political party affiliation needed or required to run for a particular office such as city council or school board.
Partisan: Simply put, partisan refers to political party affiliation.
Platform: The document proposed by each political party that outlines that party’s core values and political philosophy. It lays out what types of policies are on their agenda.
Political Correctness: The means by which the Liberal elite prevent the competing side’s point of view from every being discussed. If it is brought up they instantly claim it is racist, backwards, or selfish and offensive. The effectively prevents an honest discussion about race, women’s issues, abortion, welfare issues, immigration etc. It is not even allowed to talk about the effects of moral decay on society because the facts (truth) would demonstrate the utter failure of liberalism. Weekly as problems grow there are more and more topics deemed off limits and protected. Language and definitions matter and the Liberals have been redefining our words for decades with language that disguises’ rather than defines. As society has become more and more decadent this has even invaded science. We are told to not question that, it is settled. Truth is then made to be an insult. When conversation is limited it not only limits ideas and solutions but it also escalates conflict. Thus protecting us from truth rewards us with lies. Liberalism is a failure on all fronts and we need to stop apologizing for the truth.
Politician: A person who has a career in politics and either seeks or holds elective office. Politicians use public office to advance personal and partisan interests. Politicians are more concerned with personal gain rather than the good of the country.
Socialism: Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy. Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, creates an unequal society, and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone in society. Therefore socialists advocate the creation of a society in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly based on the amount of work expended in production, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how and to what extent this could be achieved. Socialism says that government is god and provides for its citizens from birth to grave where as Marxism says there is no god.
Statesman: An experienced politician who usually holds public office at the national level. A seasoned public servant devoted to country, a patriot, who is highly respected and influential in the affairs of state. A statesman promotes the welfare of the nation not his own personal agenda.
Treason: Violation of allegiance toward one’s country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies. It carries the death penalty if convicted. Sedition is disloyalty or treachery (any act, writing, speech, etc. directed unlawfully against state authority, the government, or the constitution, or calculated to bring it into contempt or to incite others to hostility or disaffection) to one’s own country or its government.
Tyranny: A government in which absolute power is vested in the government as a whole or in a single ruler. It results in a totalitarian and authoritarian approach to governing that limits individual freedom and economic growth. Tyranny can be defined in degrees as either soft or hard. Soft tyranny is what the European socialist countries have and hard tyrannies are seen in North Korea, Cuba, China, and the old USSR. Tyranny of any kind is dangerous because it doesn’t take much for a soft oppressive tyranny to become a hard cruel tyranny.