MENLO PARK: Bernie Sanders’ popular rise in the national political spotlight during the 2016 presidential race gave new focus on the term “socialism,” creating debate among academic circles on what the word currently means. According to a new poll, as many as 76% of respondents believe anyone with more than 500 friends or followers on a social media platform could be classified as a socialist.
“We felt it necessary to update our thinking on socialism in light of modern day technology and societal norms,” says one of the academics involved in the research. “It seems there is a massive difference in the way various generations internalize the term socialism. Baby Boomers tend to immediately think of Soviet Union, Generation Y’ers think of the Scandinavian countries, and Millennials think of their social media profiles. We’re simply trying to find a new definition that matches the pace of this change.”
When asked how she felt about this changing perception, one prolific blogger had this to say: “I run a conservative blog dedicated to shrinking the size of government. To suggest that I’m a socialist simply because of the number of followers I have is puzzling. That said, true to my nature as an intellect, I will give the concept some thought before making a final judgment.”
It appears the debate remains about what it means to be a socialist in today’s world. Until the issue is resolved, our best advice to readers is to routinely check Wikipedia to stay current.