You are here

The Meanings of Words

Send him mail.

“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original bi-weekly column appearing every other Monday at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.

There are words that have one meaning, and then there are words that have many meanings. When it comes to ideas, the latter seems to be the rule. Two people could use the same word and mean two totally different things. I’d like to examine some of those words as a voluntaryist. We’ll sort them as “good” and “bad,” or pro- and anti-voluntaryist meanings.

Bad, anti-Voluntaryist, Meanings

Liberal: a “leftist,” “progressive,” or Democrat, somebody who promotes the use of violence (law) and monopoly (the state) to ensure social justice, meaning, equality in the distribution of wealth.

Conservative: a “right-winger” or Republican, somebody who promotes the use of violence (law) and monopoly (the state) to protect “family values” and corporations from experiencing “unbridled competition.”

Socialist: an extreme liberal that promotes the use of violence (law) and monopoly (the state) in protecting the public (state) ownership of the means of all production, in order to combat the abuses of corporate hierarchy toward workers.

Capitalist: an extreme conservative that promotes the use of violence (law) and monopoly (the state) in protecting the private ownership of the means of production.

Libertarian: somebody who believes in the Non-Aggression and Self-Ownership principles, but not as they concern the production of security and dispute resolution.

Anarchist: somebody who believes that they are ethically justified in using non-state violence to destroy state-owned property and the property of capitalists (see above definition).

Parent: somebody who believes that children should be punished when they do wrong and rewarded when they do right, in order to teach discipline, and to raise children to become healthy and well-adjusted members of society through fear.

Good, pro-Voluntaryist, Meanings

Liberal: somebody who promotes individual liberty and economic freedom to ensure social justice, meaning, equality in the distribution of wealth.

Conservative: somebody who lives and promotes time-tested and proven values, consistent with the growth and development of a free society.

Socialist: somebody who promotes the complete absence of monopoly as the most conducive economic system for the protection against abuses by corporate hierarchy toward workers.

Capitalist: somebody who promotes voluntary trade and the ownership of homesteaded (first appropriation) or legitimately-earned (not stolen) capital.

Libertarian: somebody who believes in the Non-Aggression and Self-Ownership principles consistently and completely, including as they concern the production of security and dispute resolution.

Anarchist: somebody who believes that nobody has the right to “rule,” or to exercise authority over others and their property, without their permission.

Parent: somebody who believes that children should be treated with respect and a close emotional bond, in order to teach discipline, and to raise children to become healthy and well-adjusted members of society through love.

Final Thoughts

I can accurately say that I am a liberal, conservative, socialist, capitalist, libertarian, anarchist, and proper parent. Of course, my audience will interpret that with their own assumptions, so in the interest of clear communication, I must qualify every one of those words. Even some of the words I used within the above definitions have different meanings to different people. “Property,” “justice,” “violence” are a few examples. That’s too bad, but such is the nature of language and ideas.

Liked it? Support this author on Patreon!

Written by 

Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series "One Voluntaryist's Perspective" and "One Improved Unit", and blog series "Two Cents" and "Items of Note". Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads.

check out these other posts:

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz