Philosophical Glossary

Here is a succinct glossary of the key terms referred to on Rocking Philosophy posts:

Individualism: A philosophy that defines freedom as an intrinsic part of the individual, which cannot be taken or given away.

Collectivism: An ideology that defines rights as that which can only be granted via authority.

Natural Law: Laws derived from the natural world. In philosophy this is the adherence to rules based around cause and effect in the natural world. For example, property is based on the mixing of human labour with the environment, to create objects of value that would not exist without this effort and ingenuity. This leads to unalienable natural rights, and corresponding responsibilities that merely require empirical observation, rather than the control and creation of freedom by authority.

Relativism: The belief that all values are subjective. This can be further broken down into moral relativism (the belief that all morals are subjective), and epistemological relativism (the belief that nothing can truly be proven in the natural world). There are numerous ideologies that make relativist claims, but all can be broken down in this manner.

Nihilism: The rejection of all objective values, replacing this with an adherence to arbitrary rules defined by individuals and/or groups.

Existentialism: A belief that without the existence of god there are no objective values. Thus it is best to live a life of personal gratification.

Objectivism: A rational egoist philosophy set out by Ayn Rand. Based on rational and objective standards for values and evidence, where individual happiness is the greatest virtue.

Postmodernism: A school of thought that attacks Western society through Marxist critique. The ultimate aim is to consume society with endless identity politics and group conformity, thus pushing the masses towards communism.

Solipsism: The belief that reality is either impossible to objectively understand, or that reality does not exist outside of the mind of the observer. 

Antinatalism: A value system that deems life as either too pointless or too miserable to make its continuation worthwhile.

Leftist: A leftist is always a collectivist. Collectivists themselves only accept that the far left of the political spectrum is communism, with the far right of the collectivist spectrum being fascism. The middle of the spectrum is one form of socialism or another. However, this is only true in a collectivist political spectrum. When individualism is considered, a move to the left becomes more collectivist, and a move to the right leads to more individualism.

Non-Aggression Principle: A principle that deems the initiation of force to be illegitimate.

Libertarianism: An individualist philosophy focussed predominantly on property rights and free will.

Voluntaryism: A form of libertarianism focussed on voluntary interaction for every aspect of life. It is a stateless philosophy sometimes called anarcho-capitalism, since it ultimately argues that all state power is the initiation of force.

Left-Libertarianism: A leftist attempt to subvert libertarianism. It is sometimes called 'social-libertarianism', and is an identical tactic to the co-option of the term 'liberal'.

Socialism: A collectivist ideology that centrally controls society through regulation and wealth redistribution.

Democracy:  The belief that an outcome is legitimate if a vote is cast.

Theism: The belief in god (monotheism) or gods (polytheism).

Atheism: The rejection of the belief in god.

Agnosticism: The refusal to accept that god(s) exist without proof, while simultaneously refusing to commit to a non-belief in god(s).

Marxism: A communist ideology created primarily by Karl Marx, who described a collectivist system where all property and outcomes are planned and distributed by a central authority, in the name of class struggle. This ideology had a far-reaching effect in the 20th century, leading to many variations on Marx's beliefs, such as Maoism and Marxist-Leninism.

Fascism: A collectivist ideology where everything is centrally controlled and planned via a dictatorship. The aim is to create a monolithic and authoritarian culture based around racial homogeneity.

Nazism: The German form of fascism that emerged after World War One. Also known as National Socialism.

Positive Liberty: The belief that all choices are positive if they lead to more liberty and freedom for some people (sometimes called positive freedom/rights).

Negative Liberty: A refusal to accept any outcome that harms the rights of the individual (sometimes called negative freedom/rights).

Statism: The term describing all forms of state power, whatever form they take.

Minarchism: A state limited to security and courts, thus restricted to preventing the initiation of force, fraud, theft, and breach of contract.

Theocracy: a collectivist system that controls the life of the individual through religious dogma.

Consequentialism: The belief that the end justifies the means.

Deontology: An ethical position where moral principles are universally applicable at all times, regardless of intentions, i.e. lying can never be moral, even if you lie to protect a victim from harm.

Feminism: A consequentialist gender ideology that once had some legitimate concerns, but has now become what it once fought against.

Men’s Rights Advocate (Acronym: MRA): Sometimes called Men’s Rights Activist. Someone that supports the men’s rights movement, which is a movement with legitimate concerns, but has sadly become just as flawed as feminism.

Identity Politics: A view of politics that deems group identity as the primary or sole focus.

Totalitarianism: Any system where all rights are defined and controlled by authority.

Authoritarianism: Similar to totalitarianism, though not necessarily a system where all freedoms are controlled by authority.

Men Going Their Own Way (Acronym: MGTOW): Originally a philosophy that taught men values based on self-respect and masculinity. It has now become an ideology rejecting the reform of feminist governance, by succumbing to a combination of nihilism, antinatalism, and collectivism. In particular this comes by treating the nuclear family with the same contempt as feminism.

Cultural Marxism: A type of Marxism that expands Karl Marx’s historical materialism to include sex, sexuality and race, as opposed to merely class. This is known as cultural materialism, and is derived from a form of critique called critical theory. This school of thought was originally conceived by the Frankfurt School.

Political Correctness: The attempt to make people conform to left-wing dogma by punishing and ostracising those that don't adhere to a set of social and cultural standards. Some argue that this is simply good manners, but this tactic goes much further than this by intimidating anyone that has a difference of opinion, even if truth is on their side. Some also argue that this tactic is imposed by a variety of religious and political ideologies, although in modern times no one relies on this tactic more than the far-left, with the exception of Islam.

Social Democracy: The belief that socialism is compatible with democracy and a market economy.

Democratic Socialism: In practice there is very little difference between this ideology and social democracy. In theory, however, democratic socialism is the means to achieve communism through democratic means.

Communism: A collectivist dictatorship, where all property and production is controlled by a central authority that redistributes resources in a moneyless system, Marxism being the most well known form of this ideology. In theory this is a classless society, though even Marx believed that an intelligentsia should run society. This led to the oppression of the working class wherever it was tried, rather than their liberation.

Anarchism: An ideology that aims to abolish the state, controlling all property and production through collectivism. In practice this is merely a collectivist dictatorship where state power is called something else, such as 'anarcho-communism'.

Neo-Conservatism: An American form of right-wing collectivism, where its adherents call themselves conservatives, and advocate using state power to achieve their objectives.

Liberalism: A philosophy that once elevated the individual over the collective. This has, however, been gradually co-opted by leftists. Thus it is now primarily associated with collectivist ideologies such as socialism.

Classical Liberalism: How liberalism was originally set out before leftists co-opted it. It stands for limited government interference in the socioeconomic life of the individual.

Neo-Liberalism: A philosophy that espouses the return to classical liberalism, by deregulating the economy and selling off national industries.

Conservatism: A philosophy that deems change to society to be too risky, or something that should occur slowly, thus minimising upheaval. Despite popular opinion conservatism is not defined as anything other than this, and is compatible with any belief that seeks to elevate tradition over change. Conservatism is therefore not synonymous with any political ideology, and can even be found in China, where hardline Maoists are the conservatives.

Traditionalism: Upholding values that have existed for a long time, often due to their success and stability. Sometimes used as a pejorative by those that don't know the difference between nature and tradition.

Austrian Economics: A subjective economic system for all goods and services driven by the desire of the individual, as opposed to any preconceived value of goods and services. This is called the subjective theory of value.

Keynesianism: An economic approach that controls economic activity through monetary policy and regulation.

Classical Economics: An outlook that deems self-interest, supply and demand, and competition to be the best way to reach economic balance. Some also call this form of economics laissez-faire.

Neo-Classical Economics: An expansion on classical economics that attempts to measure perceived rational behaviour that occurs within a free market framework.

Social Engineering: The attempt to regulate and control human interaction so that a desired outcome can be fostered.

Male Disposability: A term that defines the suffering of men caused by the perception that their sacrifice is necessary, which is a legitimate concern in many respects. Like MGTOW however this has become a mantra justifying professional victimhood and social engineering.

Realism: Acceptance that reality exists in its own right and that there are certain truths that must be faced within this system of existence.

Progressivism: An ideology that deems a perpetual push towards collectivism as preferable. This is often used as a weasel word for communism.

Monarchism: The authority of individuals like kings and queens to rule over the masses, sometimes justified through divine right.

Rationalism: The act of drawing conclusions from reason.

Empiricism: The act of drawing conclusions from experiences.

Inductive Reasoning: Reasoning that does not rely on conclusions that are absolutely proven to be true, i.e. logical conclusions drawn purely from logic, but have not been thoroughly tested in the natural world.

Deductive Reasoning: Reasoning that depends on multiple premises that are assumed to be true, i.e. the scientific method.

Neo-Marxism: The adaptation and development of Marxism into new ideologies, one example being cultural Marxism.

Capitalism: A term attempting to define free trade and voluntary interaction as an 'ism'.

Alinskyite: A leftist influenced by the work of Saul Alinsky, who believed that deceit, dishonesty, and intimidation were acceptable when working towards goals.

Utilitarianism: To advocate that each outcome should benefit the greatest number of people.

Corporatism: The merging of state and corporate power through regulation and corporate welfare. Corporatism is traditionally a component of fascism, and is sometimes called 'corporate fascism'.

Queer Theory: Postulation regarding the fluidity of gender, gender being a term that attempts to distinguish between sex and sexuality.

LGBT Movement: Identity politics building on the theories and ideals of feminism, through a combination of positive liberty for those that do not identify as 'heterosexual', and advocacy of gender fluidity.

Egoism: The philosophical belief that ego is the basis for morality, often described as egotism in psychology. This can be further broken down into rational egoism, where individuals use reason to justify their desires, and ethical egoism, where only individual happiness matters when making moral choices.

Transhumanism: A movement opposing restrictions when using technology to enhance the natural limits of human potential, even if this means ceasing to be human in an objectively biological sense.

Fabianism: A form of socialism that gradually implements objectives by eroding culture and rights, as well as destroying economic freedom. Defined by the Fabian Society.

Bolshevism: Russian Marxists that split apart from the Mensheviks due to ideological differences. Led by Vladimir Lenin they later went on to control Russia after the October revolution of 1917.

Sophism: Using fallacious and deceptive arguments to mislead people into believing that falsehoods are true. The term originates in Ancient Greece, where Socrates was faced with this form of intellectual dishonesty.

Syndicalism: A form of socialism wherein industries are controlled by syndicates or cooperatives representing workers, usually labour unions. Historically syndicalism has taken two forms; national syndicalism and anarcho-syndicalism.

Social justice Warrior: Cultural Marxist activists that often make cheap emotional gestures online, to appear virtuous. They are equally as superficial when protesting on the streets.