The Oxford English dictionary defines the term oxymoron (plural: oxymora)
“A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction”
Mid 17th century: from Greek oxumōron, neuter (used as a noun) of oxumōros ‘pointedly foolish’, from oxus ‘sharp’ + mōros ‘foolish’.
Today we will logically dismember one of the nation’s socialist left’s favourite oxymora: State Capitalism
To begin we will take a look at the preferred phrases free market and economic freedom before examining the Leftist pejorative Capitalism.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term free market
“An economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.”
Economic freedom – the combination of the words economic and freedom
[We’re including that definition so that maybe some leftists will begin to understand the concept]
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term freedom:
“1 The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants”
“1.1 Absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.”
Finally the part of the Oxymora in question: The Oxford English dictionary defines the term capitalism
“An economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.”
The common theme of all of those definitions being that trade and industry is owned and controlled by private individuals. And in the case of part of the phrase under examination explicitly excludes control by the state.
Next, we examine the definitions of the oxymoron undergoing analysis:
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term state capitalism
“A political system in which the state has control of production and the use of capital.”
Even the more reasonable and less politically biased Merriam Webster dictionary veers left in this case:
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines the term state capitalism
“an economic system in which private capitalism is modified by a varying degree of government ownership and control.”
In Review: The common theme of the definitions for free market, economic freedom and Capitalism, is that trade and industry are owned and controlled by private individuals. And in the case of part of the phrase under examination it explicitly excludes control by the state.
One does get the distinct impression that Leftists use the term state capitalism since it contains their pejorative for the free-market as a form of deception. It turns the meaning of the word 180° to having government control and ownership of trade and industry instead of private individuals – something explicitly excluded from the definition of the word capitalism.
In essence, the entity being described would be government control and ownership of the ‘means of production’.
In other words: Socialism
Can there be any better example of an oxymoronic phrase?