Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Hampton Institute: Opinion: Josh Hatala: The Socialist Party of America, A Historiographical View

The Hampton Institute: Opinion: Josh Hatala: The Socialist Party of America: A Historiographical View

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

Where I disagree with Josh Hatala on this where I could probably make this whole post about, is that there are still two somewhat viable democratic socialist parties in America. Democratic Socialists USA and the Green Party, as well as many leftist Democrats who are mainly in the Democratic Party for political reasons in order to get elected and be active in a major leftist party even a center-left party. Socialism has failed as far as producing a major social democratic party that can compete and beat Democrats and Republicans on a regular basis.

But you got to know that U.S. Senator Bernie of Vermont the only self-described Socialist in Congress is a Socialist, as well as several members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Both in the House and Senate that Senator Sanders is a member of. But most of the members of the CPC prefer to be viewed as Progressives because of the negative stereotypes that come with being viewed as a Socialist or even a Social Democrat.

Socialism hasn’t failed in the sense that their ideas have failed or are considered too extreme. At least what would be viewed as mainstream both in America and in Europe that is democratic socialism. That combines both capitalism, a vibrant private sector, but that is heavily taxed and regulated to fund a very large welfare state to provide a lot of the services that people need to live well. From education to healthcare that is common in Scandinavia. A long with a safety net for people who are unemployed and so-forth.

That is basically Scandinavian or Nordic capitalism, which is the mainstream form of socialism in Europe. But even in America where capitalism was basically invented, we have a socialist component to our economic system as well in the form of our safety net for people who can’t take care of themselves. Who are out of work or can’t afford services that they need in order to survive like health insurance and food, even if they are working. It is just that our national social insurance system is a lot smaller in America than it is in Scandinavia.

It is not that so much that socialism has failed in America, because the Democratic form of it that I just explained is alive and well. Just look at the popularity of Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. All of which could and have been labeled specially by their opponents and proponents as well as socialist programs. It is Marxism or Marxist socialism, where the state essentially is responsible for running the entire economy and to large extent the people’s lives, that has failed everywhere that it has been tried. Which is why most of the world has moved away from it.