There is a difference, you know

Communism Socialism
Command Economy
Organized anarchy, collectivism; relies on total societal cooperation Transitional tool that organizes and stabilizes government to be handed over to public control; very delicate, requires trust and honor of the goal Total centralization of economy, agriculture, industry, welfare, and employment; Soviet Union style economics glorified by the Red Scare

Since the above terms are so often confused and essentially synonymous in the political distortion of this election, these basic definitions are necessary to make my point.

First I want to point out that several economic policies advocated by many Democrats is in fact socialist in nature. However, the idea of socialism has been so vilified by the U.S. government (thanks to Cold War era scare tactics) that even a mention of it sets off alarms. Basically, if one of the feuding families of Democrats and Republicans finds an issue that one doesn’t like about the other, in this case it’s generally a “Republican” (false term in its current sense, but that’s another story), it uses the “S” word.

O evil socialists! They want to take everything for themselves and make the government tell us what we are paid, where to work, what to eat for Christmas dinner (oh wait, these evil socialist Democrats are secular too, apparently, so, “winter solstice meal” is more appropriate here). Now they want to tell us, who earn our salary to support our families, that we have to give it all away to those low-lives on welfare. Oh the tragedy, if only these people on welfare, every one of them welfare queens, were destroyed by Reagan when he had the chance. How cute that so many are calling this socialism, the form of government that only intends to organize, not control. Like those commies, geez they just want to put a dictator up there and tell us every single thing about our lives. What? Wrong again? You mean Communism is just where a bunch of people want to work together and not have anyone tell them what to do? Weird, it seems like Reagan, Bush, and others have always related Communism and Socialism with evil and radicalism that would destroy any hope of freedom.

The idea here is that we need to learn about what we are saying. Don’t just throw around words that you’ve just heard someone use, understand them. Understand that Socialist goals are those that intend to organize a failed/failing system and then relinquish control once it begins to perform its intended function (welfare programs), though this requires the public to understand that there is a problem, despite politicians’ whining. Understand that Communism and command economies are polar opposites; whereas Communism is a community (see the striking similarity?) operation, command economies are like the former Soviet Union and what the Red Scare was screaming about.

If you want to use these words, please use them correctly.