My opinion is that no matter which word you choose, if it becomes well-used it will eventually become negative to opponents. ‘Anti-fascist’ is considered negative to a lot of people. Anti-fascist. Someone else hinted at this, that statists will consider anti-state movements as negative. It doesn’t matter how simple or lovely the word is.

At the same time, I do agree that people should keep the reputation of labels in mind when talking to individuals in the day to day. I can have a productive pro-socialist conversation with most USA Republicans, often we’re both (in intent!!) pro-worker, pro-democracy, and distrust the established government for evident reasons. I can describe socialism and have them nodding, while if I called it socialism they would become combatative and think I’m against them. So I agree for sure, its useful to have these ‘synonyms’. My advice, describe the parts of anarchism. Democratic. Community-centered. Mutual.

This. You can have more meaningful conversations by avoiding words that are not fully understood or appreciated by all parties. Plain and simple language connects folks quickly

. I can have a productive pro-socialist conversation with most USA Republicans, often we’re both (in intent!!) pro-worker, pro-democracy,

This has worked for me too.

It might be time to reclaim the word “libertarian.”

I was gonna say “ libertarian socialist” but Idek


That’s a label that some people used (I think even the Libertarian Party of USA’s socialist caucus is called that…?) but I think the point of that comment is to make ‘socialist libertarian’ redundant! Socialists were called ‘libertarians’ before capitalists were. So why not use ‘libertarians’ vs ‘capitalist liberarians’, so long as you don’t mind clarifying the inevitable ‘what?’ every time ;)

I like this line of thinking, walk up to libertarians and tell them I’m also a libertarian lmao!

For context, my oldest friend has been trying to unionize his largely conservative coworkers at a gun factory. Even the people that are more receptive to leftist ideas are very suspicious of “liberals.” It’s a complicated problem. Many of them would identify as independents, but are strongly attracted to libertarian aesthetic and bywords.


It’s impressive how much labels can impact people’s perceptions, when they identify as ‘against liberals’ (when they value freedoms!) or as ‘left’ or as ‘right’. So I can see why the thread poster wants these more neutral synonyms.

i got it. We need to liberate the libertarians!

this might be a challenge not even i would accept lol


“Progressive” is commonly used as a synonym for “leftist” ideas.

As for “anarchy”, well “democracy” used to be very negatively connotated as well. At least the circled A is a well recognized brand 😅

The word Anarchy comes from the Greek and its literal meaning is without government: the condition of a people who live without a constituted authority, without government. Before such an organisation had begun to be considered both possible and desirable by a whole school of thinkers and accepted as the objective of a party, which has now become one of the most important factors in the social struggles of our time, the word anarchy was universally used in the sense of disorder and confusion; and it is to this day used in that sense by the uninformed as well as by political opponents with an interest in distorting the truth.

We will not enter into a philological discussion, since the question is historical and not philological. The common interpretation of the word recognises its true and etymological meaning; but it is a derivative of that meaning due to the prejudiced view that government was a necessary organ of social life, and that consequently a society without government would be at the mercy of disorder, and fluctuate between the unbridled arrogance of some, and the blind vengeance of others.

The existence of this prejudice and its influence on the public’s definition of the word anarchy, is easily explained. Man, like all living beings, adapts and accustoms himself to the conditions under which he lives, and passes on acquired habits. Thus, having being born and bred in bondage, when the descendants of a long line of slaves started to think, they believed that slavery was an essential condition of life, and freedom seemed impossible to them. Similarly, workers who for centuries were obliged, and therefore accustomed, to depend for work, that is bread, on the goodwill of the master, and to see their lives always at the mercy of the owners of the land and of capital, ended by believing that it is the master who feeds them, and ingenuously ask one how would it be possible to live if there were no masters. In the same way, someone whose legs had been bound from birth but had managed nevertheless to walk as best he could, might attribute his ability to move to those very bonds which in fact serve only to weaken and paralyse the muscular energy of his legs.

If to the normal effects of habit is then added the kind of education offered by the master, the priest, the teacher, etc., who have a vested interest in preaching that the masters and the government are necessary; if one were to add the judge and the policeman who are at pains to reduce to silence those who might think differently and be tempted to propagate their ideas, then it will not be difficult to understand how the prejudiced view of the usefulness of, and the necessity for, the master and the government took root in the unsophisticated minds of the labouring masses.

Just imagine if the doctor were to expound to our fictional man with the bound legs a theory, cleverly illustrated with a thousand invented cases to prove that if his legs were freed he would be unable to walk and would not live, then that man would ferociously defend his bonds and consider as his enemy anyone who tried to remove them.

So, since it was thought that government was necessary and that without government there could only be disorder and confusion, it was natural and logical that anarchy, which means absence of government, should sound like absence of order.

Nor is the phenomenon without parallel in the history of words. In times and in countries where the people believed in the need for government by one man (monarchy), the word republic, which is government by many, was in fact used in the sense of disorder and confusion — and this meaning is still to be found in the popular language of almost all countries.

Change opinion, convince the public that government is not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful, and then the word anarchy, just because it means absence of government, will come to mean for everybody: natural order, unity of human needs and the interests of all, complete freedom within complete solidarity.

Those who say therefore that the anarchists have badly chosen their name because it is wrongly interpreted by the masses and lends itself to wrong interpretations, are mistaken. The error does not come from the word but from the thing; and the difficulties anarchists face in their propaganda do not depend on the name they have taken, but on the fact that their concept clashes with all the public’s long established prejudices on the function of government, or the State as it is also called.

TL;DR: “Anarchy” is a fitting word, as it literally means “no government.” Statists will interpret it negatively no matter what word is used because they believe that an absence of government would necessarily lead to disorder.

nice, but if facebook can rebrand itself to meta, a move with net benefit apparently, we could rebrand too. Or do what cocacola does and have multiple brands under the coke umbrella

Being overconcerned with aesthetics rather than praxis is the same pitfall patsocs fall into. A lasting institution does not fear itself or try to falsely impersonate something it isn’t to trick the average person into agreement. Lying in this way not only discredits you but makes you no better than the monsters you fight.

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this. :)

But i want to know your take on how; the small f fascist rebranding to altright did serve trump well. It’s in part how abortion rights in usa are sliding back

Fascists always lie. Certain prominent philosophers in Germany around the time the Nazi party was formed (and who were supported by the party when it rose to power) had this belief that the truth must necessarily be revealed over time. This concept of “revealing” was very important to them (what is a corporate brand but a revealing of a mass-manufactured item behind a thin veneer of cheap art? Coke’s branding makes it appear more exciting than a fruit tisane, when it lacks the same depth of the homemade item).

We equate Naziism with obvious fascistic tendencies today, because we have the clarity of hindsight. But in order to understand how these tendencies came into public consciousness, we have to understand the historical background of the period. Most of Western Europe had undergone some form of Social Democratic reform around or after WWI. These reforms opened European countries up to socialist thought and made attempts to appease the growing workers’ movements that had reached critical mass sometime in the 1880s-1890s and had only grown further for decades.

So these liberal governments made some milquetoast reforms, but nothing to the degree that it would keep their post-war economies from collapsing in the Great Depression. People were, understandably, upset, and the workers’ movements and talk of socialism chugged along, with the USSR’s ComIntern occasionally adding money or advice to the growing local parties. It was a generally very chaotic time and most people were a lot more politically active (and less tied-down by political ideology) than they are now, at times even risking their own lives because the police used live bullets back then.

So in 1922 Mussolini comes in to March on Rome with his Fascist party. The word “fascism” comes from the “fasces” which was a symbol of magisterial power in ancient Roman Italy. Italians saw this symbol as a recognition of their local history and they saw Mussolini (a former socialist) as someone capable of speaking for common Italian people. He borrowed the Prussian concept of the Corporate State which was very new, and sounded very scientific at the time. Proponents of the corporate state believed that Marx was a hack and that to truly empower the workers, rather than build a workers’ state, you needed to empower local corporate bodies by absorbing them into the state apparatus. Thus, corporations and the state would become one in the same.

Hitler’s first attempt to pull a Mussolini (his Beerhall putsch) failed, as the German state was a little more savvy. In the years following his prison sentence, he worked out a way to disguise his nationalist/fascist project as a run-of-the-mill worker’s party (which conspicuously managed to gain financial backing from big corporations in both Germany and America). As most of us know, the word Nazi is short for Nationalsozialismus or “National Socialism”. His party took on the idea of right-socialism, which was extremely nationalist and labor aristocratic and flat-out rejected Marxism. But Marxists (particularly competing workers parties) were not purged from the country until a few nights after the Nazis were voted into majority power. Some of the Nazi party’s reforms also didn’t seem that much out of the ordinary at first. For example, arrests of lgbt people were already occurring in the social democratic Weimar Republic a couple years before Hitler’s purges of queer people.

The thing is, the class character of these political units can’t just be considered as the thing in itself, you also have to look at the surrounding culture. The alt-right was able to follow the fascistic pattern of “revealing” its true intentions over several years because modern liberal culture is just generally tolerant of bigotry, so long as the bigots are correctly categorized. Conservatives get a free pass to be bigots, and no more is that illuminated than in the US Democratic party’s kid-glove-handling of Republican policy. This permissiveness is slowly filtering down into rank-and-file liberals from the top down. They’re starting to believe conservative groomer narratives, and they’re starting to openly fear racial minorities again.

Appealing to the reactionary aesthetics of the existing culture will always be labor aristocratic and nationalistic in the global north. Appealing to these self-serving biases will always work in favor of conservatism and the degrading of liberalism into fascism. You cannot push this left with aesthetics because the fascism is built-in. The death drive is always lurking around in the background of liberal forms of being and appearing.

In order to adopt a revolutionary attitude, one must reject the reaction. In the global north, it just will not be popular until material conditions sufficiently decay and liberalism truly begins to break down. When the time is ripe for socialism will simultaneously be when the dominant culture is most vulnerable to fascism. If we adopt the strategies of fascists, of this slow revealing, we will ourselves be caught up in the fascist current of liberal ideology. Just before Marxists in Germany were executed, imprisoned, and scattered through Europe, their ideology had shifted in a labor aristocratic direction in a similar manner to the Nazi party. They didn’t espouse the corporate state, but they prioritized nationalism over internationalism. They prioritized the German over the human. They allowed themselves to be liberalized to appeal to local workers.

When they failed, socialism died in the west and the USSR turned its eyes toward Asia, where wars against colonialism were beginning to come to a head.

Thus, corporations and the state would become one in the same.

I was beginning to wonder about the connection between ancap and fascism, and this is definitely some of it.


I thought marx or lenin said something like socialism is a stepping stone to Communism? Is that not the same revealing process?

global north, it just will not be popular until material conditions sufficiently decay and liberalism truly begins to break down

This is basically Bernie or bust philosophy. Or left wing accelerationism.

I thought marx or lenin said something like socialism is a stepping stone to Communism? Is that not the same revealing process?

No, because your goals are stated outright from the outset. Communists tell reactionary elements of society to get with the program, and then drag them along anyway when they become a threat to proletarian dominance over the bourgeoise. If you allow the bourgeoisie to accumulate wealth, they will abuse it and try to recreate liberalism.

Xi Xinping, for example, has released several books recently about China’s 100 Year Plan and his programs to bring the country closer to true Marxism. Their bourgeoisie class has been forewarned that the country will be less tolerant of them going foreward. Meanwhile their poverty alleviation programs have singlehandedly altered global poverty statistics and have raised their homeownership rate to 90%.

Compare with the Nazis or Alt-Right leaders who meet with their corporate sponsers in secret, tie it up in dark money, and hide the details from their on-the-ground members. Many Germans and Americans still don’t know that American corporations helped fund the rise of the Nazi party.

This is basically Bernie or bust philosophy. Or left wing accelerationism.

It’s not my fault white people suck at solidarity. Read Settlers.

Ic ! Thanks!

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