Socialization: Sociability or Socialism?

 Look again: these fruits are completely fake.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

Do you know what it means to "socialize"? 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.”

Sociability is first learned at home.Sociable–“1. inclined to associate with or be in the company of others.  2. friendly or agreeable in company; companionable.  3. characterized by or pertaining to companionship with others.”

The Kremlin, Russia 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. Settlers of Catan teaches capitalism, right?“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.


  1. Jonathan November 20, 2009 at 2:09 am #

    Nice article Donald.

  2. Daniel Staddon November 21, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    Great pictures to illustrate the point!! I couldn’t think of a better example to exemplify the opportunity, competition, and principles of capitalism (like supply and demand!). Go Settlers! 🙂

    Isn’t it amazing though how similar all the words are, and yet how different in their meanings? And sometimes even in the different definitions for the exact same word! You have to watch not only people’s words, but the slants and hints implied by the context. Knowing the slight differences in meaning between words that sound similar will avoid much misunderstanding and confusion in the future!

  3. Michael November 25, 2009 at 11:24 pm #

    Since it’s Thanksgiving, it would be appropriate to point out the wisdom of the Plymouth colony settlers in 1623. They gave up the idea of socialism and divided the land between the families, allowing the families to keep the corn they raised. This provided the motivation necessary to raise the needed crops. Their harvest that year was so good that they were even able to provide corn to the Indians that had experienced a poor harvest! The Plymouth colony became self-sufficient in far less time than the Jamestown colony; it is amazing what results can be achieved based on an accurate understanding of human nature. The same wisdom resulted in a government with checks and balances…

  4. James November 27, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    I’ll remember your exhortation at the end. Very applicable and very understandable!

  5. Donald Staddon November 28, 2009 at 6:18 am #

    That’s good. Thank you James. Those who educate their children at home in particular need to have a ready answer when exposing the false presumptions behind the over-used socialization question.

  6. Denise November 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm #

    I know you all do not watch TV, but there is an excellent video, Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower, that is available for purchase from the History Channel. It is an historically accurate re enactment of the Pilgrims’ ocean journey, and their first year in a new country. The video explains how the Pilgrims forged positive relations with the Indians, and how their trust in God kept them from despair as they endured numerous trials during their journey, and after their arrival. I think your family might enjoy watching it. The story is quite uplifiting and shows the importance of trusting in the Lord.

  7. Crystal December 3, 2009 at 5:30 pm #

    Thanks for defining the differences betwixt those three words.

  8. Nicole May 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Ok so normally I would just let this go… but all that you have are positive comments and I think your a little confused. Sociability and Socialism have nothing to do with each other and no one is saying they do. They sound the same because they are about people but thats were their similarities end.

    Sociability is how well you can interact with people. Its a word almost no one uses. Socialism on the other hand is a political practice which everyone needs to stop connecting with evil. The only reason people fear it is because of the red scare. The world was almost destroyed because of this fear and God does not want us to fear. He wants us to love (not a hippie I promise).

    Now onward to take apart your fear… hopefully. The definition of socialism can not be positive if the practice of it is negative. That would be like the idea of addition is great but 1+1= evil. Also socialism is the complete understanding of the sin of greed. Marx was a man with a lot of love for the people. He saw the greedy basically stealing from the workers.

    Consider the times, back during that time it wasn’t uncommon for a worker to loose his hand in a meat grinder and just be out of work for the rest of his life with no chance of supporting himself or his family. That is greed. We should help our fellow man and Marx tried to find a way to do that. He kinda failed but he tried.

    Also no one has seen Marx’s version of socialism. Not a single country has been able to attempt it. Lennon died early after controlling the country for only a few years. He did not want Stalin to take over. Stalin was a cruel ruthless man and Lennon even wrote in his will he didn’t want him. Mao was more of a fighter rather then a ruler and while i truly believe he wanted the best for his country he was a simple peasant who didn’t know how to rule a country.

    I suggest you read the communist manifesto. I see no reason to fear something because one crazy man decided to launch a witch hunt back in the forties… you should also look up the McCarthy trials.

    Signed Not A Socialist.

  9. Michael May 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Thank you for your comment, Nicole. I’m pleased you said what you did and didn’t just pretend to agree with everything. I noticed you didn’t mention the word “socialization” in your comment. Did you understand what Donald was saying about that word being used two ways? One is “to make sociable”, the other is “to make socialistic”. I don’t think Donald was saying that socialization or sociability were wrong, but since socialism as a political system is wrong, it’s a good idea to be careful of people using those terms as a subtle promotion of socialism.

    To warn about the consequences of something is not necessarily to fear them.

    “Socialism” of some form could work in a community comprised entirely of born again believers who are experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit to free them from the greed of the lower nature. In such a case everyone could still be productive for the sake of meeting everyone’s needs entirely out of love for them as they look after the needs of others. This actually happened in Acts 4:33-35. Notice that it simply says no one considered anything his own; they apparently esteemed the needs of others more than their own. But it does NOT say that they disrespected the right of someone else to own or control the use of his own goods. I know of no other way for this to happen than through spiritual rebirth by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The government should not attempt to prevent this kind of thing from happening, but this is never given in Scripture as a model for any political system. It just happens in a body of believers as they love one another. I see it all the time. Notice that nothing in this passage was forced in any way and no one was compelled to do anything apart from their own genuine desire. (The punishment of Ananias and Sapphira was not for failing to comply but for outright lying to God. Notice that their right to ownership was recognized in Acts 5:4) As a political system, socialism would essentially have to be forced on everyone because of human nature. Even if it is enforced it collapses on itself as people lose their incentive to work for a reward. The Holy Bible overwhelmingly supports private ownership of private property.

    When I look at Scripture I see the principle repeated all over the place that people should own production and resources and reap the rewards of their own work and be generous to those who are in difficulty. This is the Christian way: a mixture of capitalism and compassion. When someone becomes rich, be happy for them; don’t covet their goods. Be happy that success is possible and be motivated to be productive yourself while also being content with what you already have. Let the teachings of the Bible dictate the way people use their money and treat other people and you can’t go wrong. It is the failure of Christian love in society that causes capitalism to become cold and heartless as you described, creating a vacuum that socialism tries in vain to fulfill.

    The communist way of “From everyone according to his ability to everyone according to his need” is a disaster when it is forced by government and the government decides what our needs are, and people do not reap the rewards of their own work. “Ability” would quickly dwindle down to what has to be done just to get by. When my brother was in Russia, he saw a lot of drunkards who should have been working. Socialism leads to lifestyles that are very difficult to come out of. The abundance we have in America is here partly because people can get more than their basic needs if they work for it, and partly because of the Christian ethic that restrains theft and deceit. Marx hated God. Strange that those who support socialism also tend to support its greatest enemy: humanism. We must face it that George Washington was right when he said that whoever is an enemy to religion and morality is an enemy to his country.

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