Two libertarians walk into a bar. Bartender says, “Get your own drink.”

When I worked in the service industry, I used to hear from a lot of people that the number one faux-pas of the job was to openly discuss politics.  The implicit reason, of course, was that you never know who you’re talking to, and you might make somebody angry.  Well, I don’t work in the service industry anymore, so I can say things like “Fuck the police!” and assume that people will recognize that I’m quoting NWA.  Still, I find that when people talk about politics, problems tend to arise not as the result of actual differences of opinion, but because of simple misunderstandings.  That’s why I’m going to clarify a few terms here, once and for all, so next time I mention one of them in an article or in conversation I can point to this and say, “See, when I said that people from Idaho are shitbags, what I meant was that they value personal liberty.”  America!

When I say ___ I mean ___ :

  • Populism

The belief that if you get enough stupid people together, they’ll be smart.

  • Libertarianism

For those upset with social checks on being a shitbag.

  • Liberalism

For those who don’t believe in choice, except in the case of abortion.

  • Conservatism

For those who don’t believe in equality, except in the case of the flat tax.

  • Anarchism

The belief that matters pertaining to government are best addressed by random explosions.

  • Communism

Like liberalism, but with more vodka and less weed.

  • Fascism

Like conservatism, but with more saluting and less Jesus.

  • Socialism

Like communism, but in Norway.

  • Oligarchy

Like libertarianism, but fewer shitbags.