Oct 21, 2007

Use Your Words, With Your Outside Voice

In your next discussion regarding the state of affairs in today's world, what might be helpful is that all involved agree to some definitions. I often find that most discussions involve a moment where someone says "Well, let's define what do you mean when you say X." Maybe if we can all agree to some starting point, discussions can end up being useful and enlightening.

Plebiscite: A vote by which the people of an entire country or district express an opinion for or against a proposal especially on a choice of government or ruler

Fascism: A political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Dictatorship: A form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique b : a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated c : a despotic state

Quagmire: A difficult, precarious, or entrapping position

Predatory: Intended to injure or exploit others for personal gain or profit

Red Herring: Something that distracts attention from the real issue

Feudalism: The system of political organization prevailing in Europe from the 9th to about the 15th centuries having as its basis the relation of lord to vassal with all land held in fee and as chief characteristics homage, the service of tenants under arms and in court, wardship, and forfeiture

Combat Fatigue: A traumatic psychoneurotic reaction or an acute psychotic reaction occurring under conditions (as wartime combat) that cause intense stress -- called also battle fatigue

Elite: A group of persons who by virtue of position or education exercise much power or influence

De-ja Vu: 1 a : the illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time b : a feeling that one has seen or heard something before
2 : something overly or unpleasantly familiar

Liberal: Of or constituting a political party associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives

Conservative: Disposition in politics to preserve what is established b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change

Fucked-up: Thoroughly confused or disordered

FYI - These definitons are from the online version of Merraim-Webster.

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