On Monday, Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig penned her latest ode to socialism — a column in which she pointed out the vagary of the “socialist” label, then utterly failed to define it while simultaneously touting the term. Now, Bruenig is right that people have applied the label in spotty fashion; I’ve been guilty of that myself, without a doubt. But Bruenig is similarly guilty of vaguely applying socialism to stuff she likes, while disowning stuff she doesn’t. She’s guilty of the “no true socialists” fallacy — thus, Venezuela, Cuba, and the Soviet Union aren’t truly socialist, but Norway and Sweden are.
Bruenig begins by pointing out the rising popularity of socialism once more among Democrats. And she rightly discusses the problem of defining socialism:
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