Economics Magazine

Founding Fathers, Socialist?

Posted on the 07 June 2013 by Lachmannian @TheLachmannian

@moiracathleen @d_kuehn well i just want “socialism” to have some sort of meaning. if public works=socialism, then the word is meaningless

— Isaac Marmolejo (@TheLachmannian) June 6, 2013

In a twitter exchange, we were discussing this article, which tried to make the case that the Founding Fathers were socialists. Basically, what the author is saying is that the Founding Fathers thought that public works were necessary, thus they were socialists.

To me, the use of the term “socialism” in this article is just way too broadly defined. It basically has no meaning if one is going to define it that way. Just because socialists think public works are needed, doesn’t mean it is a solely socialistic idea, and those that think public works as necessary are thus socialists.

This is almost like calling Keynes a fascist because the Nazis and Keynes because there are some similarities between them. No, as with “socialism”, to define fascism this way to think that Keynes was an advocate of such philosophy is too broadly defined, and thus with no meaning to make any sense of the word.

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