Jonathan Rabb: When “Socialism” Meant Something

The Spanish saw socialism in simple economic terms, as a belief that governments had to oversee large programs of social improvement – such as land reform and the wresting of education from the hands of the church to secular institutions – while leaving small business to the entrepreneurs. Socialists argued that a small minority shouldn’t own the majority of the wealth, and social welfare should be the aim of government. The anarchists were modern ascetics: no booze, no tobacco, no infidelity. Their rallying cry was that no official should be paid or have his power enhanced due to his position. And the fascists – unlike their German and Italian counterparts – were the army of the right fueled by strict loyalty to the church. They defined themselves by their traditional values and strong religious commitments.

From Jonathan Rabb: When “Socialism” Meant Something

Back when political terms meant something.