For the sake of clarity, listed below are the definitions of various terms used often in this blog.

Political Terms

Communism: While the word “Communism” was originally used to describe a  community using shared property instead of private property, currently the term refers to a community characterized by not only shared property but also a democratic, single-class system. Unless otherwise stated, “Communism” will be used denote the later of these two definitions.

Marxism: The word “Marxism”, while often used in place of Communism, is the more accurate description of the combination of the original definitions of “Communism” (see above) and “Socialism” (see below). In short, the word “Marxism” was the original term for what we now call “Communism”. In this blog- since the two words have evolved into having the same meaning- the words will be treated as interchangeable.

Socialism: “Socialism”, like the word “Communism”, has changed dramatically in definition since the time of Marx. While the word “Socialism” originally meant a classless, democratic government system, the word is now used to describe any government system where large amounts of the property, business, or utilities is owned and controlled by the government. Because of this, this blog will use the contemporary definition of Socialism, rather than the original one.

Fascism: A form of government where traditionalism, Capitalism, conservatism, and the status quo is enforced and maintained by the government.

Authoritarianism: “Authoritarianism” simply refers to any government where the vast majority of control lies in the hands of a single, unelected official.

Economic Terms

Capitalism: “Capitalism”, a word coined by Karl Marx, essentially refers to an economic system where the purpose of all buying, selling, investing, loaning, hiring, firing, and exchange of private property (or employees) is the gain of capital (money).

Private Property: An economic system where the vast majority of property is owned by individuals.

State Property: An economic system where the vast majority of property is owned by the state.

Public Property: An economic system where the vast majority of property is owned collectively by the general populace.

Capital: In short, money- any set of objects representing value and used as a currency (in short, anything from dollar bills, baht, and euros to shiny beads, cowry shells, and bits of stone).

Social Terms

Class System: Any system where society is stratified according to the quality and standards of living.

Elite: The upper class(es) of society- the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in society consuming (individual) the most resources and producing the least.

Bourgeoisie: The middle class of society- neither wealthy nor poor, still consuming more than they produce, though to a lesser extent than the elite class.

Proletariat: The working class- the poorest and least powerful members of society who consume little and produce the most.

Global Stratification: The social stratification of the world due to globalization, with wealthy and powerful countries as the “Global Elite” (most often consuming much and producing little), the “Global Bourgeoisie” (countries neither wealthy nor impoverished, though still consuming more products and resources than produced), and the “Global Proletariat” (Also known as the “Global South” and “Third World”, these countries consume little but produce much of the world’s resources and products).

Exploitation: The practice of paying a person or persons an inequitable wage in exchange for their services.

Revolution: Used in this blog to denote any attempt by the proletariat to overthrow the class/Capitalist system and instate a Communist system.

Class Warfare: Strife between classes or unrest caused by the class system.

3 Responses to “Terms and Definitions”

  1. 1 Jake
    October 23, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Actually capitalism as a term existed far longer than Marx, in fact Ricardo used the word frequently before Marx was active.

  2. 2 Kevin Dunham
    March 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    The definition of Fascism that you provide is way off, it’s incomplete and largely incorrect. Also, the above commenter is correct- Marx did not coin the term Capitalism.

  3. 3 Rek Leven
    October 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    isn’t capital dead labour?? at least when it’s constant capital; and isn’t living labour variable capital? and what about the fetish of commodities and workers who produce harmfull things in that commodity system? if they produce more and consume less…what??? i work in an oilfeild, we exploit wealth so those who own the oilwell site get rich while i suffer long hours just to get by….but is that good production…commodity market says so,and it’s the best job opportunity around…but these definition ..well…they do not work for me. as for commies opposed to the idea of god..did not Lenin say “matter thinks”? and isn’t there a unity of thinking and being?? didn’t Marx say Spinoza was a great atheist, and Spinoza believed in God…so…isn’t his book a work of logic and he proved that there is a god??? we certainly do not need red fascists telling people what to believe but to use logic and the law of the negation of the negation to come to correct ideas. just a thought just a thought

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