'Selfie' might be Oxford Dictionaries word of the year, but will it still be around in another century?

You may have read  that Oxford Dictionaries have decided that 'selfie' is the word of 2013 . It means and, I quote, "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website"  Apparently the  use of the word has  increased 17,000 percent in 2013. I've never used the word myself and don't expect to in the future.

But it did get me thinking about some other words. Socialist words.  Words that the media either omit or attempt to empty of their real meaning.

After some reflection I have decided that 'comrade' is my favourite socialist word, although I do have a lot of affection for 'dialectical'.  During my university days I had a  'DIALECTICAL' door sign made up and I still have it somewhere.

And, of course, who can go past 'revolution'? 

It is largely  assumed that  'comrade' its just another word for 'companion' or friend but it is a word that was actually cultivated  within the socialist movement. It emerged in the late nineteenth century  and was used by socialists to avoid using the bourgeois 'mister' . It came to prominence  during the French Revolution  and, according to Wikipedia , it was first recorded in English in 1884.

 I think 'comrade'  is a reminder for socialists of who we are. It is  a word that reminds of all those comrades that have gone before us and who sacrificed and struggled to break the world from its chains. It reminds us of the great figures like Marx, Luxemburg, Lenin, Trotsky, Gramsci and Engels.  It reminds us of our history. The word reminds us of where are loyalties truly lie.

It is a word not to be played fast and loose with.  In these days when the media  pounds out the language of neoliberalism  we need to assert the language of socialism, without obfuscation and without timidity.

In his short story 'Comrade '(1906)  Maxim Gorky writes:

In the streets of the dead city, created by slaves, in the streets of the city where cruelty reigned, faith in humanity and in victory over self and over the evil of the world, grew and ripened. And in the vague chaos of a dull and troubled existence, a simple word, profound as the heart, shone like a star, like a light guiding toward the future: Comrade!


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