Political Definitions



Bulbajer’s Encyclopedia – POLITICAL DEFINITIONS

*note: currently incomplete – will be added to in future*

These are the definitions of non-self-explanatory and current (!!!) (historical terms are explained with their mention in Political Parties) political terms used on this website and relating to politics in general. Terms that you may not be familiar with that are not bolded to show that they have entries are likely defined in Political Spectrum.

For a list of Marxian and other socialist schools of thought, see Marxian Schools of Thought.

Anarchism- the term that describes a state without government. It is an extreme version of libertarianism. There are numerous varieties, such as anarcho-communism and anarcha-feminism. See Government Anarchist

Anti-Revisionism – the term used to describe branches of communism that are specifically opposed to “revisionists“, usually social democrats or Trotskyists. For example, branches oppose allowing any capitalism into communism. They see the USSR under Stalin as a true communist state and hold that his successors became revisionist. Some also see other worldwide rulers having achieved communism; those that believe that Mao in China was a true communist are Maoists; those that believe that Hoxha in Albania was a true communist are Hoxhaists. Other anti-revisionists that do not explicitly adhere to Maoism or Hoxhaism fall under the category of Stalinism

Anti-Statism - against giving much power to the government in general. Anti-statists can be government moderate decentralists or libertarians

Capitalism – an economic system where free enterprise, or business unhampered by the government, rules. See neoliberalism, economic liberalism

Castroism – the form of Communism developed by Fidel Castro. It is a descendent of Leninism that adds Cuban and Latin American nationalism, as well as the promise of social justice and democracy, though whether these actually exist in Cuba is highly questionable. Castroism is fiscal far left, social far left, and government true dictator

Civil Libertarianism – the idea of having more personal freedoms and/or protecting civil liberties promised to citizens in a country’s constitution. This is closely related to libertarianism

Classical Liberalismthe old United States definition of “liberalism”: favoring a freer economy and freer social rights. It is closely related to libertarianism and generally covers the fiscal center-right and right, social center-left, and government moderate decentralist and libertarian

Communism - (for philosophical sense, see Marxism) in the political sense, the branches of Marxian practices that view the Russian Revolution favorably. The different branches of communism differ greatly, but generally it can be said that they are more radical than other Marxian schools of thought and sometimes do not wish to use electoral processes to gain power. After gaining power, most communists end electoral and democratic processes (although Lenin’s democratic centralism guaranteed fair debate until the party decides on an action, in reality, ruling parties often eliminated this) and begin brutal dictatorships. In some branches, many of the original goals of Marx’s communism, like redistribution of the wealth and anti-capitalism, disappear in part or completely. The only communists that have gained control of a national government have been Stalinists, Leninists, Castroists, Titoists, Maoists, Hoxhaists, and Trotksyists. In all these occurences except the Trotskyist one, disappearances of original or purported goals took place.

Conservatism – see Fiscal Center-Right, Fiscal Right, Social Center-Right, and Social Right

Constitutional Monarchy – a “monarchy”  in which citizens are protected by a constitution; monarchies today often have parliaments, and so the monarchs don’t really control the government anymore

Christian Democracy – an ideology that combines a left-leaning, pro-social justice economic stance with a conservative social stance

De Leonism - the form of Marxism derived from Daniel De Leon, an early American socialist. It combines Orthodox Marxism with Syndicalism. De Leonism is fiscal far left, stands on the line dividing social far left and left, and is government authoritarian

Democracy - literally “rule by the people”, a form of government in which citizens are directly represented in the government and decisions are made through majority

Democratic Socialism - a mix of socialism and capitalism. More accurately, it strives to achieve complete socialism by implementing socialist (usually moderate) measures through democratic process. It is more moderate than other Marxian schools of thought, though it is usually less moderate than social democracy. Democratic socialists are on the fiscal and social left and government authoritarian

Dominionism- usually in American politics, the ideology of influencing the government and laws to reflect a conservative Judeo-Christian and Biblical understanding, rather than having a secular government and law system. Dominionism is mostly a pejorative word and is associated with some conservative Christians (especially paleoconservatives) who are politically active. Dominionists are social right or, in a few cases, far right

Economic Liberalism – policy of not intervening in the economy; see Fiscal Center-Right and Fiscal Right

Economic Nationalism – focusing a country’s economy on becoming dependent on its own country rather than foreign trade

Fair Trade – trade that is manipulated in hope of benefiting poorer countries

Fascism - a political system or ideology that is not communist and in which the government has ultimate control over the state and there is no opposition, organized or in the form of communication. It is opposed to communism, capitalism, classical liberalism, democracy, andconservatism. Fascists are also hyper-nationalist and oppose class conflict, which they blame on capitalist liberal democracies and communist states. Fascist rulers have complete control over the economy, but unlike communists, they do not actively regulate it unless they want something specific. Fascists are somewhere around fiscal center-left, social right and far right, and government true dictator

Fiscal Conservatism – the policy of reducing deficit (spending) and being careful with what you spend money on

Free Trade – trade that is generally unhampered by restrictions, economic sanctions, etc.

Hoxhaism – the branch of communism derived from Albanian communist leader Enver Hoxha. Like Maoism, Hoxhaism is ardently anti-revisionist. However, it grew critical of Maoism because of Mao’s Three Worlds Theory (which classified the US and the USSR as the First World, the wealthy allies of those superpowers like Japan, Italy, and France as the Second World, and the rest of the world, non-aligned and poor, as the Third World). Today, Hoxhaism tends to say that socialism in the philosophical sense never existed in China. They also stress stricter adherence to Stalin. Hoxhaists are fiscal far left, social far left, and government true dictator

Internationalism – supporting more economic and political cooperation between nations

Laissez Faire - “let us do” in French. In politics and economics, it means absence of government intervention in the economy

Left Communism – a wide branch of communism that places emphasis on less authoritarianism than Lenin, indeed, in some cases anti-authoritarian, thus pitting it against Marxism-Leninism and its descendents (see Leninism)

Leftist – a particularly left-leaning liberal (or sometimes, a socialist), coming close to being on the far left

Leninism -  the dominant branch of communism, derived directly from Vladimir Lenin. Today, Leninists can be identified by their criticism of both Trotsky and Stalin, not seeing them as true communists and opposing both of their respective ideologies (see Trotskyism and Stalinism). On a few occasions, Leninists will view some Maoist (see Maoism) ideas positively while not identifying themselves as Maoist and criticizing Stalinism and Maoism on the whole. An invention of Leninism was the soviets, or workers’ councils, that governed (or were supposed to govern) the USSR. Examples of Leninist people and present-day Leninist countries include: Che Guevara, Laos, and Vietnam (and Cuba if you include Castroism, see entry). Leninists in the United States (more so than around the world) stick to the message of non-violence and peace. Leninism is on the fiscal and social far left and is government true dictator

Liberal Democracy – a form of democracy which has a constitution defending citizens’ rights. “Liberal” here refers to political liberalism

Liberalism – see Fiscal Left, Fiscal Center-Left, Social Left, and Social Center-Left in Political Spectrum

Libertarianisman ideology supporting more individual freedom, through freer economic and/or social rights

Libertarian Socialism – a group of different forms of socialism that are socialist economically but are strongly anti-authoritarian (see libertarianism). Libertarian socialism is fiscal far left, social far left, and government libertarian

Luxemburgism - a form of libertarian socialism and left communism developed by Rosa Luxemburg that views the Russian Revolution favorably but disagreed with Lenin , Stalin, and Trotsky (see Leninism, Stalinism, and Trotskyism) about democratic centralism (see Communism), which she did not think was democratic. Luxemburgism is fiscal far left, social far left, and government libertarian

Maoism – the branch of communism (see entry) derived from Mao Zedong and descended from Stalinism (see entry). Idealistically, Maoism distinguishes itself from other communist ideologies in that it states that the revolution will start with the peasants. Realistically, it is similar to Stalinism, one difference being that it takes Stalin’s dictatorial policies down an inch, though still higher than Lenin’s. Contrary to popular belief, Maoism is not the ruling ideology of present-day China; after 1978, the Deng Xiaoping Theory, which claims to uphold Maoism while making minor changes, has ruled China. The major difference between Maoism and the Deng Xiaoping Theory is that the latter involves letting capitalism and free trade occur. The truth is, economically, China is capitalist. Maoists, since they view the Deng Xiaoping Theory as revisionist (see entry), are staunch anti-revisionists (see entry). Maoism, like Stalinism, is fiscal far left, social far left, and government true dictator

Marxism - the theory of the future developed by German theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the working class (proletariat) overthrows the wealthy elite (bourgeoisie) and works toward communism (an idyllic, classless society where everyone is equal and there is no need for government) by establishing socialism (the transition phase from capitalism to communism). In the political sense, it usually refers to firm socialists who take their lead from Marx rather than other less famous early socialists; as opposed to others (e.g., democratic socialists, Leninists; see entries) who significantly added to or changed Marx’s original ideas. However, the term can also refer to all the different branches that developed, indirectly or not, from Marx’s teachings, from social democracy to Stalinism (see entries). In the economic sense, socialism represents government (and/or public) ownership of land, major business, and the economy and redistribution of wealth (see socialism). Orthodox Marxism, the firmly Marxian socialist definition, is fiscal far left, stands on the line between the social far left and left, and is government authoritarian

Monarchy - rule by one monarch, such as a king or queen, although this one usually has advisors. Some suggest that monarchies are oligarchies (see entry) because of this

Nationalism – fervent support for one’s own country, race, ethnicity, culture (thanks to B for race, ethnicity, etc.)

National Socialism – see Nazism

Nazism – the ideology of Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers’ Party, which mainly consisted of economic fascism (see entries), hyper-nationalism (see entry), racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate, militarism, ethnic German supremacy, anti-communism, anti-capitalism and totalitarianism (see entry). Nazism is considered a type of fascism (see entry). It is fiscal center-left (a rough estimate by Bulbajer), social far right, and government true dictator

Neoconservativism - a branch of conservatism putting less emphasis on tradition and religion, focuses on setting up peaceful, human rights-abiding liberal democracies (liberal in the sense of protecting rights in a constitution; see entry), and favors a free economy but is willing to interfere important enough reasons. Neoconservatives stand on the fiscal center-right and the social center-right and right, and vary from government moderate centralist to government center

Neointernationalism - Bulbajer’s definition: a view that states that you can be proud of your country and support it (see nationalism) while still favoring internationalism (see entry) and criticizing your country on matters

Neoliberalism - an ideology supporting much economic freedom and laissez faire capitalism (see separate entries). Neoliberals are on the fiscal right

Neolibertarianism“pragmatic libertarianism”, or libertarianism (see entry) that sees realistic causes and effects as vital to truth. Translation: libertarianism with a neoconservative attitude on foreign policy. Neolibertarians are therefore usually on the fiscal right, government libertarian, and vary from social center-left to center

Neo-Nazism – modern incarnations of Nazism (see entry); some, like the kind Klansmen espouse, focus on particular elements of Nazism, in the Klan’s case, racism. Technically, the KKK is not purely a neo-Nazi group, but they associated with neo-Nazis after WWII and probably admire some of the things Hitler did (thanks to B for this point). The Klan does not though support Hitler’s economic program; instead, they either drop the issue completely or favor economic liberalism. All pretty much hate socialism in any form. The ideology of Klansmen (white Christian supremacy) is anywhere (or nowhere) from fiscal center to far right, social far right, and government true dictator.

Non-Interventionism – the policy of not concerning one’s own country nor intervening in foreign disputes or issues

Objectivism- Ayn Rand’s multi-topic philosophy; politically, it tends to be similar to libertarianism (see entry), socially and economically

Oligarchy – ruler by the few. For example, the Medici family ruled Florence in Renaissance times. If you look at it at certain angles, almost all monarchies (see entry) and dictatorships can be considered oligarchies, since there is almost never just one person making the decisions (for more, try this great video: Types of Government, Explained). However, this type of oligarchy is quite different from, say, an oligarchy where the upper class rules all, so it really depends on how you define the few

Paleoconservatism - a branch of conservatism (see entry) which places emphasis on tradition, a free economy, and anti-statism (see entry), along with strong Western, religious, national, and cultural identity. Paleoconservatives stand on the fiscal and social right and are government libertarian

Paleoliberalism - this term can refer to either an extreme liberal (see entry), a liberal who is against neoliberalism (see entry), an anti-Soviet liberal, or a liberal in favor of a freer economy (in other words, an alternate term for a neoliberal)

Paleolibertarianism – a radical economic libertarian (see entry) branch which also leans conservative (see entry) on social issues. Paleolibertarians cover the fiscal right and far right, social center-right and right, and government libertarian and anarchist

Populism - an ideology that supports the rule of the people over the elites; it presents a picture of democracy (see entry). Populists can vary across all spectrums, but in the United States, they tend to be government moderate centralist and social center-left

Presidentialism - wanting to give more power to the president than the legislature. Presidentialists are government authoritarian

Progressivism – the ideology of moving forward with new social, fiscal, or other changes. Progressivism is opposed to conservatism (see entry) in the literal sense of the words. In the modern United States, use of the word often identifies with American liberalism (see entry)

Republic - a form of government in which citizens are indirectly represented in the government and everyone has the right to a fair trial

Revisionism – a term, usually pejorative, that is used by anti-revisionist (see entry) groups to describe those who are thought by the anti-revisionist groups to have made “revisions” of communism or Marxism (see entries)

Rightist – a particularly right-leaning conservative (see conservatism) or nationalist (see nationalism), coming close to being on the far right

Social Democracy - an idea of society and economy where moderate forms of socialism are introduced, such as some wealth redistribution. It is opposed to both capitalism and pure socialism. It is generally the most moderate form of socialism (although it is sometimes classified as a form of capitalism) and is a step down from Democratic Socialism (see entry). Social democracy is on the fiscal left, social left and center-left, and government authoritarian

Socialism - see Marxism; socialists include all Marxian schools of thought that are not communist (see entry) and a few non-Marxian groups like Christian socialism (see entry). Economically, it refers to government-owned property/business and usually includes various welfare programs for the people like wealth redistribution. Non-Marxian socialism is generally fiscal far left, social left, and government authoritarian

Stalinism – the branch of communism (see entry) derived from Josef Stalin. Stalinism takes Lenin’s dictatorial policies up a notch, while quietly dropping many goals of the original Marxian theory. Stalinism allows imperialism, extreme nationalism, and non-egalitarian distribution of wealth. Real-life examples of Stalinism include the USSR under Stalin himself; when Kruschev took over, he got rid of Stalin’s totalitarian policy but retained a brutal dictatorship. North Korea’s Juche policy is very similar to Stalinism in structure, except that it abandons all concepts of class and class struggle, which is basically abandoning Marxism all together. The most famous fictional Stalinist governments (indeed, famous on their own) are the pigs’ regime in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Ingsoc (English Socialist Party), led by Big Brother, in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Stalinism is on the social far left, fiscal far left, and more deserving of the classification government true dictator than any other communist ideology

Statism – favoring giving a lot of power to the government. Statists can be government authoritarians or true dictators

Strasserism – the form of Nazism (see entry) associated with the ideas of Otto and Gregor Strasser, members of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) along with Hitler until 1933. Both Strasser brothers grew to disagree with Hitler on economics; while Hitler cared little for the working class and industry and despised communism (see entry), the Strassers remained firmly socialist (see entry), arguing that Hitler had betrayed the alleged socialist origins of the NSDAP. However, they agreed with Hitler on social issues and nationalism, racism and anti-Semitism was an important part of their ideology. When Hitler took power, Gregor was killed and Otto fled Germany. Strasserism is fiscal left and far left, social far right, and government dictator

Syndicalism – an economic system that utilizes federations of trade unions. Syndicalism is fiscal far left

Titoism – the form of communism practiced by Josep Broz Tito, once leader of Yugoslavia. It is characterized mainly by the belief that the pursuit for true communism  in each country depends on the particular conditions of that country. Tito opposed Stalinism (see entry); the two ideologies also differed in Tito’s belief that workers should manage themselves and share their profits with each other. Nevertheless, Titoism is dictatorial and oppressive in nature. Titoism is fiscal far left, social far left, and government true dictator

Totalitarianism – a form of dictatorship in which the dictator has complete control over both the state and the people – including their lifestyles, actions, and attitudes

Trotskyism – the form of communism (see entry) derived from Leon Trotsky, close follower of Lenin and later ousted rival of Stalin. Although the historical path of development of Trotsky’s theories can be called Marxism-Leninism-Trotskyism, it stands apart from other communists, even Leninists (see entry); for this reason, Marxism-Leninism does not usually refer to Trotskyism. Trotskyism differs from other forms of communism in its tendency not to stray from Marx’s teachings as much as other Leninist descendents did; specifically, it is violently opposed to Stalinism (see entry) and its descendants, including Trotskyism’s support for socialist revolution throughout the world, “democratic” government in the form of a dictatorship of the proletariat, and permanent revolution. Trotskyists also advocate peace and egalitarianism more than Leninists and other Leninist descendents. If the reader will allow a little opinion from the author, Bulbajer’s short, flat picture of Trotskyism is the nicer, more utopian version of authoritarian communism. This, as well as Trotsky’s and his followers’ lack of funds and Trotsky’s personality problems, has contributed to its lack of success; Trotskyists are fringe elements in politics and only gained power once: in Sri Lanka from 1964 – 1975 (source – Conservapedia article on Trotskyism). Trotskyists are on the fiscal and social far left and are government true dictators


*the image of the Bulbasaur found in a Google search on 6/6/09, copied from bebo.com – Profile from Takato Matsuki

Document work © 2009 Bulbajer’s Encyclopedia. I had some great help from Wikipedia, Politics1, and Conservapedia, and also from commenter B. I based most of my information on the theirs. The Bulbasaur image is not mine. Pokémon is a registered trademark of Nintendo.

4 Responses to “Political Definitions”

  1. B Says:

    I found that your definition of the neo-nazis somewhat flawed, mainly in the inclusion of the KKK, and the statement that both parties hate socialism.
    By definition, the neo-nazis are socialist, as the word “nazi” is essentially a contraction of the National Socialist Worker’s Party. However, realistically, the neo-nazis have no real involvement in the economic sector, as they are more of a rabblerousing group focused on preaching racial hatred above preaching socialism. The primary difference between the KKK and the neo-nazis is that the KKK is not actually a political party; rather it is more of a club. It has no specific economic or political views other than prejudice and hatred. The KKK is also far less militaristic than the neo-nazis and, as you said, does not believe in Hitler’s economic policies because it really has no stance on the economy. The neo-nazis idolize Hitler to a similar extent that the hardcore Soviets idolized Lenin, while the KKK does not. Like Hitler, the neo-nazis hate communism, not socialism, while the KKK has no stance on economic issues.
    Further, I believe that your definition of nationalism should be expanded. Ardent loyalty to one’s country is not necessarily nationalism, and nationalism does not always constitiute loyalty to one’s country; rather, it refers to one’s nation, which may or may not be one’s country. For example, the Black Hand was a Serbian nationalist group, even though the country they operated in was the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And we all know what those pesky Serbs started back in 1914…
    You still know much more about politics (specifically communism) than me, I just thought I might try to contribute to your encyclopedia.

    • Bulbajer Says:

      B, thank you. First of all, I say that neo-Nazis hate socialism and communism because the original Nazis hated socialism and communism (for a variety of reasons, social and economical, but mainly because of rivalry). But you may indeed be right about neo-Nazis and Klansmen today not focusing on the economy. Secondly, the Klansmen are not a political party, you’re right (although one branch has claimed to have started one), but they do have rough political beliefs. Historically, the Klansmen and neo-Nazis acted as one and the same, equally militaristic (and the Klan in its prime was the definition of militaristic activism), but as the segregationist power decreased after the Civil Rights Movement, KKK and neo-Nazis worked with eachother less. Today they are equally insignificant in American politics. Neo-Nazis have never attempted to moderate their views, but a certain branch of the KKK today puts on a mask of toleration and love, peace and concern (they claim that segregation is “preserving God’s rainbow”, that the average white American youth is barraged with homosexuality and “black pride”, and that Klansmen who have committed violent actions in the past never belonged to the “true”, non-violent organization). Their public opposition to Catholicism has virtually disappeared; the only thing that remains unchanged is their view of Judaism as “filth.”
      You are also right about the KKK not idolizing Hitler, though in the past they did bear swastikas. The neo-Nazis do hate socialism as well as communism because they stand in the way of Nazism and fascism, just like most communists hate everyone who doesn’t conform to their particular (usually some form of Stalinism) branch of communist ideology and call those non-conformists fascists. As to nationalism, you are absoultely right.
      Could I add your good points to my page? I will cite your user name (and blog if you have one) in-text and at the bottom.

  2. B Says:

    You can use my comments if you would like to, I’m happy that I could be of help to you and I will be sure to check your page for new updates. If I could be of help to you with any information (I know a little about a lot of things) just give me a ping at my email addres (which I don’t know if you have, it asks for it when you comment) and I’d be more than happy to help you

  3. Law Says:

    I realy liked all your distinctions between Leninism, Marxism, and Tortskyism, as I’ve been alittle confused at times in some of their parties “gray areas”. Just thought I’d throw that in.

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