The meaning of the word “socialism” is not in dispute. The Oxford dictionary describes it as,
“A political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the community as a whole should own and control the means of production, capital and property. Also, a transitionary social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realisation of communism”.
Now it’s indisputable that that is very clear. Given that why do so many female Labour candidates brag that they’re socialists?
Obvious explanations are stupidity and ignorance as I don’t for a second believe they really seek a communist society.
After the exposure of both communism and western big government in the 1980s and 90s and the substitution of market economies, the left’s women found it hard to abandon the word and tried to mute it by idiotically describing themselves as “democratic socialists,” as if that made any difference.
Yet the brighter Labour types knew as far back as the late 1970s that socialism was redundant and tried to shy from it.
In New Zealand cities in the late 1970s urban female trendies, driven by a loathing of Muldoon, flocked to Labour and preached what they had no wish to practise.
This reached a climax when one such, who being a relative shall remain unnamed, rose at the 1977 Labour annual conference, a huge event in those highly politicised days, and proposed the Party change its name to the New Zealand Socialist Labour Party.
Labour leader Bill Rowling was furious and I suspect blamed me as he’d done explaining his defeat in his opening words television concession speech in 1975.
Anyway, this put the Party on the spot. They did the sensible thing, namely voting to change the Party name then totally ignoring it.
In 1990 after Cath Tizard was announced as our first female Governor General she was interviewed a few days later on National Radio.
“I’m still a socialist,” she proudly proclaimed to which the interviewer asked what she meant by that.
For five or six minutes she waxed on, beginning every explanatory sentence with, “When I say socialist I don’t mean…”
We never did find out what she did mean.
I’ll excuse that madness through her then delirious state given a couple of days earlier at a function in Auckland I’d reminded her that as Governor General she’d also be Chief Scoutmaster.
She was horror-struck and went absolutely white, then declared “I won’t do it. I won’t do it”. And I suspect, if so to her great credit, it was she who put an end to this farcical linkage.
The latest female Labour politician to declare herself, not once but repeatedly as a socialist, was List Labour MP Ginny Andersen, in an interview a few days ago. She’s contesting the traditional Labour Hutt South seat, forfeited by Trevor Mallard who with Speaker ambitions, went on the list last time. Andersen then lost to the Nat’s Chris Bishop. I suspect Bishop will get up again while Labour will gain the majority of Party votes.
But regardless, I’d love to grill Ginny on her avowed state ownership of everything advocacy. I suspect the result would be another Tizard, “When I say socialism I don’t mean…” performance.
As written at the beginning the word has a clear meaning and she can’t shy from that.
I don’t for a second, albeit not knowing her, believe she wants to nationalise our farms and businesses and if I’m right she should stop unthinkingly calling herself a socialist.