The definition is from the dictionary.
Todd Hannula 🤓
263

You‘re making political choices about what to emphasise. Nothing new there. But it reveals the shallowness of your intentions.

If you wanted a substantive definition of socialism you would go to the dictionaries of several academic disciplines (sociology, political science, political geography, anthroplogy, economics, philosophy…), read them, read their sources, and start following debates about what socialism is. You’d then find that while each working definition is committed to paper, every editor of every dictionary will tell you that the definition is only as good as the current discussion of it, and that the debate is far from over.

The same applies to defintions of democracy, capitalism, feminism, anarchism and you name it. Nobody has succesfully pinned any of them, so it’s naive, or pretentious, or just blinkered to think that the OED’s definition is good enough, and final enough, to override anybody else’s thoughts about the topic.

Saying anything other than that would be an attempt to pull the wool over someone’s eyes. No respectable academic would go along with it. But you write as though those conventions don’t apply to you. Feel free to ignore them, but in that case your argument can’t be taken seriously.

That said, thanks for giving me 5 minutes worth of something to react to while waiting for my tea to brew.

PS, your OED definition wasn’t even the only defintion, and it wasn’t the first one. Here they are:

1. The theory of social organization under the social contract (social contract n. 2). Cf. socialist n. 1. Obs.
 (Social Contract n. 2: Philos. A tacit and implicit agreement between members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, usually by sacrificing some individual freedom in return for state protection.This term was popularized by J.-J. Rousseau in Du contrat social (1762).)
 
2. Freq. with capital initial. A theory or system of social organization based on state or collective ownership and regulation of the means of production, distribution, and exchange for the common benefit of all members of society; advocacy or practice of such a system, esp. as a political movement. Now also: any of various systems of liberal social democracy which retain a commitment to social justice and social reform, or feature some degree of state intervention in the running of the economy.
3. A pre-capitalist state of society in which things are held or used in common.