What is Democratic Socialism?
How is it different from regular socialism? How is it different from regular democracy? It seems to me like it's just a re-branding of what we already have. It doesn't help that these two most basic questions are conspicuously unaddressed in every explanation I've seen so far. Supporters are very keen to point out that it's different, but without saying how, almost like they're avoiding it.
Does anybody support "undemocratic capitalism"? If not, then "democratic socialism" is just a rhetorical phrase anyway. Let's compare voting, in the market and in government. In the market we vote with dollars. I eat at Chickafila, you eat at McDonalds. We both get what we want. The Wendy's fan doesn't have any dollars and starves to death. In government, we vote with ballots. I vote for Trump, you vote for Hillary. Only one of us can get what we want. Let's say it's you. Hillary wins and bans Chickafila because Chickafila is homophobic. McDonnalds replaces beef with tofu because we don't have any other option. Your friend dies from soy allergies. The government steps in to prop up Burger King, which nobody wanted because it tastes terrible, but it's better than tofu. Did anybody get what they wanted? Frequently nobody does.
The market seems to be much more democratic than government, albeit a bit cruel like Mother Nature. But think again. Why did someone starve? Maybe they didn't have dollars because they didn't earn them, maybe they weren't able to earn them, maybe everybody else cheated to get them, etc... If it was a good reason, why didn't you help them out? It's not the system that's cruel, it's you. But of course we don't expect you to take care of everyone. You do what you can, and society allows people fall behind precisely in accordance with how cruel we are as a species. It's perfect harmony with natural selection. Government on the other hand is a very artificial system. It picks winners, which means it creates losers who might not be otherwise. How's their track record? When you spend your money, you buy food, a house, a car, entertainment, etc... When government spends your money, it spends it on war, bank bailouts, prisons, pharmaceutical research, etc... That seems infinitely more cruel, but also unjust. The recipients didn't really earn it. They undermined the market. Democracy schmocracy.
Now how about libertarian socialism, with emphasis on rugged collectivism?