Ideological Face-Off Seen as War of Words: Terminology Said to Promote Socialism

Article excerpt

Conservatism and capitalism are out and socialism is in, the Hungarian-born director of the Center for the American Founding said yesterday.

Words like "conservative," "capitalism," "right" and "left" are "inventions of socialists to confuse people in order to promote the socialist agenda," said Balint Vazsonyi at a Heritage Foundation event yesterday.

"Liberal" and "liberalism" should be called what, in his view, they really are: "socialist" and "socialism."

Mr. Vazsonyi first laid out his ideas about the American founding in a Heritage Foundation speech four years ago. He refined them last year to what he calls the "four points of the compass": the rule of law, individual rights, the guarantee of private property and a common American identity.

Mr. Vazsonyi's latest twist is that socialism has its opposites to these points: social justice, group rights, the redistribution of wealth and multiculturalism. He said social justice is the North Star on the compass of the political left.

Group rights include special rights for the physically or mentally crippled, and for those of a particular national origin or race, he said.

Groups' rights cannot coexist with America's founding principle of individual rights, any more than can the redistribution of wealth. It is replacing the founding principle of private property, he said.

Multiculturalism is replacing Americans' recognition of their own unique national identity and that they are all Americans, he said.

Mr. Vazsonyi sparked an argument among conservatives in the audience and at a luncheon session afterward over his recommendation for using "socialism" as a word weapon and using "the American way" instead of "conservative. …