Understanding is the ability to differentiate. You know that you understand when you are able to tell the difference between two given objects or ideas that have surface similarities. Now, in the “age of indefinition”, it is imperative for us to understand the following three terms for they are indeed different.
Definitions follow the Random House Dictionary, College Edition
Socialize–“1. to make social; make fit for life in companionship with others. 2. to make socialistic; establish or regulate according to the theories of socialism. 3. Educ. to treat as a group activity. . . . 4. to associate or mingle sociably with others.”
Socialism–“1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of industry, capital, land, etc., by the community as a whole. 2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory. 3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism.”
Notice that “socialization” by definition can bring both positive (definition number 1) and negative results (definition 2). Secondly, notice that “sociable” has no negative connotations at all–Being friendly and developing the skills of communication and thoughtfulness for others is a virtue, acknowledged by all civilized peoples. I hope that all of us are growing in that area. “Socialism” is a subtle danger to beware of. In theory it is perfectly idealistic because it is based on the lie that man is without sin. But in reality, if you think about it, socialism should actually need no single leader or any government control. What then is the motive of those who are so eager to introduce it to our country? We would logically conclude that it is for control, not service. They will speak of serving the people as long as it helps them to achieve their end and expand their control. Then once they gain enough power they use that power to take control and socialism becomes communism. Notice now that the second aspect of “socialization” in it’s very definition, definition 2, serves as the lead-in for socialism.
The next time you hear someone mention socialization, see if you can differentiate whether it is being used honestly to describe the virtue of sociability or as a cloak for socialism.