You've heard of such interesting words as magnetism, tourism, and individualism. Recently, I asked myself, "What precisely is an ism?" had the answer: an –ism is a suffix added to the end of a word to indicate that the word represents a specific practice, system, or philosophy. Using -ism at the end of a word also suggests the word is related to a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as an authority by a group or school of thought.

Then I noticed that there are good, bad, and neutral isms.
Here are some good isms: Activism, patriotism, voluntarism, altruism, heroism, etc. Who wouldn't want to be involved with one of those kinds of isms? Some isms are neutral, just another word in our vocabulary; words such as rheumatism, tourism, or metabolism. None of those words have a bad connotation unless you suffer from rheumatism.

But some bad isms, dangerous belief systems are not good for you, isms that lead people astray, are false or foolish or just plain fanciful.

In the next few essays, I will discuss various destructive isms, ideas, and systems that keep people down, enslave people, or ruin societies. My list is not exhaustive for two reasons: 1. I picked the isms most in need of exposing, ones that may be popular yet destructive to those who live by them or suffer under them. 2. I've invented a few popular isms that are not yet in the dictionary.

Let's get started on -isms that are destructive to you personally and to your community.

The first and most dangerous for many naïve Americans is Socialism.

The Democratic Socialists of America boast they are socialists "because we reject an economic order based on private profit … We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution."

It sounds attractive, is taught in most universities as good, and is offered by many elected representatives to answer America's weaknesses and sins. Suddenly, an inexperienced, expensively educated, and privileged suburban woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is an influential leader in the Democrat Party. Her election, it appears, was not an aberration as she is now a leading spokesperson for socialism, possibly surpassing Senator Bernie Sanders as an influential leader. She is charming, articulate, and fearless, even though she represents a dangerous shift among young politicos, especially women.

So it's important you and I know what socialists believe because they are here, they are loud, and they are persuading many who are naïve about this dangerous ideology.

According to Marxist doctrine, socialism is a stage of society between capitalism and communism, where private ownership and control over property are eliminated. In other words, socialism is the ideological gateway to communism.

And you don't want communism. Most young socialists either don't know or don't care about the horrors that have come against ordinary people at socialists' hands. They don't want to talk about the Soviet Union's purges and the inhumanity and brutality of a whole variety of statist regimes of the last Millennium, including the Nazis in Germany and the Castros in Cuba.

Wikipedia quotes a 2005 report that between 1900 and 1999, about 148 million people died from democide. What's democide? I asked the same question. Here's the definition: democide, the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. Every one of those murders, starvations, and assassinations happened in socialist and communist countries.

More recently, the once free and prosperous South American country of Venezuela is now a socialist/communist state. According to a United Nations investigation, the Venezuelan Special Action Forces (described by witnesses as "death squads") killed 5,287 people in 2018 and another 1,569 by mid-May of 2019. The Venezuelan government referred to the actions as "Operations for the Liberation of the People."

Yeah. Right.

The underlying political philosophy where all despotic regimes start is socialism— a government system where private ownership of property is eliminated. At first blush, socialism's intentions sound good, but the impact of socialism, the reality of the ism – the belief system, is always bad.

So don't be deceived by college professors or politicians who try to sneak in the alleged good-sounding intentions of socialism. At the same time, they ignore the long and oft-proven track record of evil perpetrated by the practitioners of this very bad ism.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ross is an author, speaker, seminar leader, and co-founder of He lives in Loveland Colo.