What it meant to be a “Republican” or a “Democrat” in the US has changed several times over the last 150 years. So why should “Socialist” remain unchanged despite the deep changes in virtually every “Socialist” Party?

Because there’s a difference between defining an economic system and choosing a label for a political party. The former needs to mean something, or lose the ability to communicate. The latter is simply marketing.

Um, the dictionary definition is: “dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people”.

That’s the definition if you just use the “google dictionary”. If you use a real dictionary:

It doesn’t matter that the latin roots are “homo”+“phobia”, nobody uses the word in the ‘fear’ sense, and everybody uses the other definition.

Well, “everybody” doesn’t, or else we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Language does not simply come from a book; it comes from how people use it in real life.

To an extent that is true. To your point, the word “gay” means an entirely different thing today than it did in my youth. And, besides screwing up a very nice christmas carol which uses that word, I have no issue with that migration of meaning.

“Phobia” is a bit different, because it’s a diagnostic term used in the evaluation and treatment of certain mental illnesses. If you start messing with medical definitions for the sake of social justice, you lose the ability to communicate over time.

This is not a blurring of that definition. This is having multiple definitions.

No thank you. The egregious part of this particular line-blurring to me is that a “social democracy” is not even remotely related to “socialism”. It’s simply a rather weak term for describing a nation with a more developed welfare infrastructure in comparison to others.

Um, the state does own part of the means of production. For example, the Hoover Dam — owned by the US gov’t, operated by the US Bureau of Reclamation (which also owns much of the water supply, etc.)

How is the Hoover Dam a “means of production?” Would it have been built by private funds with a profit motive had not the government built it?

I think not. Thus, the Hoover Dam is “infrastructure”, which both socialists and democrats agree is the responsibility of the government.

Finally, the problem with your viewpoint is that you ignore the differences between different “Socialist” states. I’d guess this is somewhat due to the Outgroup Homogeneity Effect.

Bad guess. I’ve never said that Leninism and Naziism were the SAME; I’ve said that they both employed socialist theory in order to organize their economies. Big difference.

But, let’s cut to the chase. Regardless of the labels, there are two competing ideas at work here:

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We can argue until we’re blue in the fact as to exactly WHERE the US is on this scale. The POINT is that when you move from right to left on the scale, you get negative consequences along with the positive. You can argue, if you like, that the positives outweigh the negatives, but you cannot reasonably argue that the negatives are not there.

Health care is an excellent example. The UK has a socialized single payer system. You cannot reasonably argue that the Brit has as much freedom as the American to make choices with regard to his or her medical care. You may argue, if you like, that they are BETTER OFF not having those choices and freedoms, but you cannot sanely argue that they are as free as we are in that regard.

This is the essential debate between the two “sides” as we push and pull to what we want our nation to look like. One side is arguing, essentially, that an increase in collectivism is worth the loss of choice and freedoms that the American, on average, has; the other side is arguing that once those freedoms are lost, the lesson of history is that they do not come back without blood.

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