MovieChat Forums > Bernie Sanders Discussion > What is Democratic Socialism?

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?

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It's regular socialism in a cheap tuxedo.

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It's a contradiction in terms.

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It's a step halfway between a free-market economic system with limited government and the socialists' real goal - total communist tyranny.

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You're an absolute moron for thinking something like free health care on par with the rest of the developed world or taxing billionaires all amounts to a dictatorship. Divest yourself from Fox News and get yourself an education.

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You're the moron if you think that healthcare is "free" anywhere. What you see as "free" is more accurately described as "prepaid through government taxation and rationed". You want to see what totally government-controlled healthcare would be like? Go to a VA hospital.

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"I'm not the puppet you're the puppet!"

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Fine, universal access regardless of your status and income. Happy now? Oh wow an underfunded VA hospital...great comparision. You seriously wanna lecture someone from a country where universal access that covers all life threatning conditions has successfully existed for generations?😂

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Nothing is "rationed" either under a well funded, progressive tax system. Anyway, enjoy Tucker Carlson.

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Demand is infinite, supply isn't. It has to be rationed, either by a price system or government fiat. The price system reflects what people choose to buy. Government fiat reflects lobbying pressure. If you have a knee injury, they give you pain killers. If you have AIDS, you get a whole hospital to yourself.

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You're naive if you think (assuming you work and are reasonably middle class) that you're going to get the same quality care as the wealthy or the political elites. They will always be able to pay for higher quality private care, just as they can with private education to avoid the poor-quality public schools that most are forced to use because they're already paying through the nose for them through property taxes and, so, can't afford to pay twice.

What you (and I) would end up with is worse care, with rationing and fewer choices. And it will continue to get worse and worse, while costing more and more. Because that's what happens with all unaccountable government-run systems run by faceless bureaucrats who have no incentive to perform. You just won't realize it because you think if you don't have to write a check for a copay, it's all somehow "free".

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Only in your beloved system of billionaire tax cuts and trickle down funding to health services does public health suffer.

I don't realise what exactly? Our public health system has been second to none for decades. Anyone can afford to see doctors, no one is dying because they can't afford treatment and medicine. And this is under public health care. Your opposition is mystifying and fruitless.

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The numbers in the u.s . Are just impossible.

There are more people in the u.s. that will never contribute 1 penny towards healthcare or care one second about their own health, then there are those who do contribute.

Obama care took all those who pay for healthcare and made them pay more...even with all that extra money, it was still not even close to supporting those who will never contribute.

Anyone who even tries universal healthcare in the u.s. will find they will be throwing money at a bottomless barrel.

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Socialism ain't Communism and Capitalism ain't innocent either.

Our education systems and public-use projects are socialist, or perhaps even communist in ways.

They're all just artificial filters over the natural Anarchism anyway.

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What a dumb arse thread.

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Who are YOU to say this and why do you say it?

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Isn't it obvious that all the Trumpsters here are clueless about socialism and that the OP is incoherent babble?

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Democratic socialism is the Freedom that makes Europe so free and so wealthy.

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False.

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"Now how about libertarian socialism, with emphasis on rugged collectivism?"

American Libertarianism is anarcho-capitalism rebranded.

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It's a pure contradiction.

By definition socialism is not democratic. If it would be democratic it would lose all the elections.

By definition socialism is authoritarian, denies freedom and individual will and rights.

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No, you're thinking of communism. When absolutely everything is socialized and the central government controls it all. The other extreme, when everything is privatized and you have unregulated capitalism, is called a plutocracy (where the rich dictate the government's agenda and own just about everything). You have to mentally put away the Cold War rhetoric many of us grew up with, where socialism and capitalism are polar opposites and you have to pick one or the other.

Real life countries are a mixture of both. Ours included. The interstate highway system is a socialist project for example; there's nothing inherently bad about socialism or government programs - no matter what staunch conservatives would have you believe. Some things are done better by the public sector, others by the private sector. Democratic Socialism is a hybrid socialist-capitalist system that aims to strike that balance in an optimal way. That's all. Nothing scary. No Peoples' Republic of America with a hammer and sickle replacing the fifty stars.

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Isn't Communism a stateless society?

If everything is privatized, is there a government?

Socialism and government programs subsidize all kinds of things.

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● Isn't Communism a stateless society?

In theory communism should be stateless. In practice you get the nanny state from hell trying to impose the principles of the Marxist system, which is an impossible ideal (i.e. it becomes a centrally controlled authoritarian regime).

● If everything is privatized, is there a government?

A country in which the economy was completely privatized would have a government that handled defense and international relations, matters of law, and not much else.

● Socialism and government programs subsidize all kinds of things.

My point exactly. Which is why Trump and others like him saying "America will not become a socialist country" is a meaningless utterance. It's a question of how much, not whether or not. And who the beneficiaries are. Right now (as Senator Sanders points out) it's largely the folks who need it the least.

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Socialism is the nanny state from hell?

Then everything wouldn't be privatized.

Socialist and government subsidies are the inherently bad things about socialism and government programs.

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Subsidized programs are NOT socialism.

Socialism is defined by ownership and control of the means of productions, of the economy as a whole, not just of few SOCIAL services.

What the democratic socialism wants? Quoted from DSA page: "We believe that working people should run both the economy and society". That IS socialism. Pure socialism. Adding "democratic" doesn't change a thing.

You know who else are "democratic"? NK, Cuba. URSS and the whole Eastern Block WAS DEMOCRATIC. We had elections every few years, and we could elect that socialist or the same socialist. If you tried to elect something different - reeducation camps. But it was "democratic".

Really, get a book, Read, understand.

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No, you don't know your definitions. Read a book.

Those socialist services you list are not socialist. They are socialized services.

Social Democracy is the "hybrid" that you talk about. Democratic socialism is just pure socialism. With a small disguise.

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