|Source: Portside.Org- Marxists?|
If you want to know what Social Democrats or Democratic Socialists should be about at least in America, look no further than Senator Bernie Sanders. The only self-described Democratic Socialist in the United States Congress. But you could also look at former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich who was essentially redistricted out of office, or look at Ralph Nader. And why do I say this, because these men aren’t great fans of capitalism, or private business and certainly not corporations. But understand economics well enough that you must have a certain level of private enterprise, to have a strong functioning economy.
Democratic Socialists in America understand economics well enough to know to have a functioning economy you must have at least a certain level of private enterprise. That there is indeed a limit to what government, even a Federal government can do for their people. Who need the freedom to succeed and be able to make a living for themselves and run business’s and so-fouth. Central-planning, when it comes to economics, tends not to work. And you need at least a certain level of competition to have the strongest economy possible. Where as many people as possible can succeed in it.
Now where democratic socialism comes in, is to make sure that the private sector is regulated by the public sector, is taxed by the public sector to fund all sorts of things that Socialists believe that government should be doing for the people. But also so you have a strong enough economy to fund the centralized superstate that Socialists, tend to be in favor of to provide the human services that people have to have in order to live well anywhere. Like healthcare, health insurance, education, public transportation, childcare and the regulators that the central state in the social democracy needs to make sure that private business are behaving and not abusing their workers and their consumers.
Europe, is full of social democracies like this. Especially in Scandinavia, but Britain is another good example. And these countries are functioning developed countries. But a big reason for that is because of their economies all have capitalist economic systems with strong private sectors to provide the central state with the revenue it needs to do the things for the people that Socialists want done.This is what democratic socialism is about in Europe and what it should be about in America. Which is a socialist form of capitalism. Which I know sounds strange, but it is true.
Because socialism, is a broader political philosophy, not just an economic system. But once you go past this and say capitalism is too risky and too many people get hurt while a few do very well and start talking about nationalizing industries if not all industries and having state take over the economic system, you don’t produce a socialist utopia. But you get an inefficient North Korea, or China from the 1970s. Or the old Soviet Union. A failed gigantic superstate trying to do too much for it's people.
The School of Life: Political Theory- Karl Marx