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Democratic socialism is a political ideology that advocates political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, often with an emphasis on democratic management of enterprises within a socialist economic system.
Democratic socialists see capitalism as inherently incompatible with the democratic values of liberty, equality and solidarity; and believe that the issues inherent to capitalism can only be solved by superseding private ownership with some form of social ownership. Ultimately, democratic socialists believe that reforms aimed at addressing the economic inequalities of capitalism will only cause more problems to emerge elsewhere in the economy, that capitalism can never be sufficiently "humanized" and that it must therefore ultimately be replaced with socialism.
Democratic socialism is distinguished from both the Soviet model of centralized socialism and from social democracy, where "social democracy" refers to support for political democracy; the nationalization and public ownership of key industries but otherwise preserving and strongly regulating, private ownership of the means of production; regulated markets in a mixed economy; and a robust welfare state. The distinction with the former is made on the basis of the authoritarian form of government and centralized economic system that emerged in the Soviet Union during the 20th century, while the distinction with the latter is made on the basis that democratic socialism is committed to systemic transformation of the economy while social democracy is not.
The term "democratic socialism" is sometimes used synonymously with "socialism" and the adjective "democratic" is often added to distinguish it from the Leninist, Stalinist and Maoist types of socialism, which are widely viewed as being non-democratic in practice.
Democratic socialism is not specifically revolutionary or reformist, as many types of democratic socialism can fall into either category, with some forms overlapping with social democracy, supporting reforms within capitalism as a prelude to the establishment of socialism. Some forms of democratic socialism accept social democratic reformism to gradually convert the capitalist economy to a socialist one using pre-existing democratic institutions, while other forms are revolutionary in their political orientation and advocate for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the transformation of the capitalist economy to a socialist economy.
- 1 Definition
- 2 History
- 3 Relation to economics
- 4 Parliamentary democratic socialist parties
- 5 Notable self-described democratic socialists
- 6 Criticism
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External links
Democratic socialism is defined as having a socialist economy in which the means of production are socially and collectively owned or controlled alongside a politically democratic system of government.
Some tendencies of democratic socialism advocate for revolution in order to transition to socialism, distinguishing it from some forms of social democracy. For example, Peter Hain classifies democratic socialism, along with libertarian socialism, as a form of anti-authoritarian "socialism from below" (using the term popularised by Hal Draper), in contrast to Stalinism, a variant of authoritarian state socialism. For Hain, this democratic/authoritarian divide is more important than the revolutionary/reformist divide. In this type of democratic socialism, it is the active participation of the population as a whole and workers in particular in the management of economy that characterises democratic socialism, while nationalisation and economic planning (whether controlled by an elected government or not) are characteristic of state socialism. A similar, but more complex, argument is made by Nicos Poulantzas. Draper himself uses the term "revolutionary-democratic socialism" as a type of socialism from below in his The Two Souls of Socialism and writes: "[T]he leading spokesman in the Second International of a revolutionary-democratic Socialism-from-Below [was] Rosa Luxemburg, who so emphatically put her faith and hope in the spontaneous struggle of a free working class that the myth-makers invented for her a 'theory of spontaneity'". Similarly, about Eugene Debs he writes: "'Debsian socialism' evoked a tremendous response from the heart of the people, but Debs had no successor as a tribune of revolutionary-democratic socialism".
In contrast, other tendencies of democratic socialism advocate for eventual socialism that follow a gradual, reformist or evolutionary path to socialism, rather than a revolutionary one. Often this tendency is invoked in an attempt to distinguish democratic socialism from Marxist–Leninist socialism, as in Donald Busky's Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey, Jim Tomlinson's Democratic Socialism and Economic Policy: The Attlee Years, 1945-1951, Norman Thomas Democratic Socialism: a new appraisal or Roy Hattersley's Choose Freedom: The Future of Democratic Socialism. A variant of this set of definitions is Joseph Schumpeter's argument, set out in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1941), that liberal democracies were evolving from "liberal capitalism" into democratic socialism, with the growth of workers' self-management, industrial democracy and regulatory institutions.
The Democratic Socialists of America's purpose is defined as: "We are socialists because we reject an economic order based on private profit, alienated labor, gross inequalities of wealth and power, discrimination based on race and sex, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo. 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, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships. We are socialists because we are developing a concrete strategy for achieving that vision, for building a majority movement that will make democratic socialism a reality in America. We believe that such a strategy must acknowledge the class structure of American society and that this class structure means that there is a basic conflict of interest between those sectors with enormous economic power and the vast majority of the population".
The term is sometimes used to refer to policies that are compatible with and exist within capitalism, as opposed to an ideology that aims to transcend or replace capitalism, though this is not always the case. For example, Robert M. Page, a reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, writes about "transformative democratic socialism" to refer to the politics of the Clement Attlee government (a strong welfare state, fiscal redistribution, some government ownership) and "revisionist democratic socialism", as developed by Anthony Crosland and Harold Wilson:
The most influential revisionist Labour thinker, Anthony Crosland..., contended that a more "benevolent" form of capitalism had emerged since the [Second World War] ... According to Crosland, it was now possible to achieve greater equality in society without the need for "fundamental" economic transformation. For Crosland, a more meaningful form of equality could be achieved if the growth dividend derived from effective management of the economy was invested in "pro-poor" public services rather than through fiscal redistribution.
The term "democratic socialism" can be used even another way to refer to a version of the Soviet model that was reformed in a democratic way. For example, Mikhail Gorbachev described perestroika as building a "new, humane and democratic socialism". Consequently, some former Communist parties have rebranded themselves as democratic socialist, as with the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany.
Justification of democratic socialism can be found in the works of political philosophers like Charles Taylor and Axel Honneth, among others. Honneth has put forward the view that political and economic ideologies have a social basis, that is they originate from intersubjective communication between members of a society. Honneth criticises the liberal state because it assumes that principles of individual liberty and private property are ahistorical and abstract, when in fact they evolved from a specific social discourse on human activity. Contra liberal individualism, Honneth has emphasised the inter-subjective dependence between humans, that is our well-being depends on recognising others and being recognised by them. Democratic socialism, with its emphasis on social collectivism, could be seen as a way of safeguarding this dependency.
Forerunners and formative influences
Fenner Brockway, a leading democratic socialist of the Independent Labour Party, identified three early democratic socialist groups in his book Britain's First Socialists: 1) the Levellers, who were pioneers of political democracy and the sovereignty of the people; 2) the Agitators, who were the pioneers of participatory control by the ranks at their workplace; 3) and the Diggers, who were pioneers of communal ownership, cooperation and egalitarianism. The tradition of the Diggers and the Levellers was continued in the period described by EP Thompson in The Making of the English Working Class by Jacobin groups like the London Corresponding Society and by polemicists such as Thomas Paine. Their concern for both democracy and social justice marks them out as key precursors of democratic socialism.
The term "socialist" was first used in English in the British Cooperative Magazine in 1827 and came to be associated with the followers of the Welsh reformer Robert Owen, such as the Rochdale Pioneers who founded the co-operative movement. Owen's followers again stressed both participatory democracy and economic socialisation, in the form of consumer co-operatives, credit unions and mutual aid societies. The Chartists similarly combined a working class politics with a call for greater democracy. Many countries have this.
The British moral philosopher John Stuart Mill also came to advocate a form of economic socialism within a liberal context. In later editions of his Principles of Political Economy (1848), Mill would argue that "as far as economic theory was concerned, there is nothing in principle in economic theory that precludes an economic order based on socialist policies".
Democratic socialism became a prominent movement at the end of the 19th century. In Germany, the Eisenacher socialist group merged with the Lassallean socialist group in 1875 to form the German Social Democratic Party. In Australia, the Labour and Socialist movements were gaining traction and the Australian Labor Party (ALP) was formed in Barcaldine, Queensland in 1891 by striking pastoral workers. A minority government led by the party was formed in Queensland in 1899 with Anderson Dawson as the Premier of Queensland where it was founded and was in power for one week, the world's first democratic socialist party led government. The ALP has been the main driving force for workers' rights in Australia, backed by Australian Trade Unions, in particular the Australian Workers' Union. Since the Whitlam Government, the ALP has moved towards Social Democratic and Third Way ideals which are found among many of the ALP's Right Faction members. Democratic socialist, Christian socialist, libertarian Marxist and agrarian socialist ideologies lie within the ALP's Left Faction.
In the United States, Eugene V. Debs, one of the most famous[according to whom?] American socialists, led a movement centered on democratic socialism and made five bids for President, once in 1900 as candidate of the Social Democratic Party and then four more times on the ticket of the Socialist Party of America. The socialist industrial unionism of Daniel DeLeon in the United States represented another strain of early democratic socialism in this period. It favoured a form of government based on industrial unions, but which also sought to establish this government after winning at the ballot box. The tradition continued to flourish in the Socialist Party of America (especially under the leadership of Norman Thomas) and later the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Upon the DSA's founding in 1983, Michael Harrington and socialist-feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich were elected as co-chairs of the organization. Currently philosopher and activist Cornel West is one of several honorary chairs. The organization does not run its own candidates in elections but instead "fights for reforms... that will weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of working people". More recently, the U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont described himself as a democratic socialist.
In Britain, the democratic socialist tradition was represented in particular by William Morris's Socialist League and in the 1880s by the Fabian Society and later the Independent Labour Party (ILP) founded by Keir Hardie in the 1890s, of which George Orwell would later be a prominent member. In the early 1920s, the guild socialism of G. D. H. Cole attempted to envision a socialist alternative to Soviet-style authoritarianism, while council communism articulated democratic socialist positions in several respects, notably through renouncing the vanguard role of the revolutionary party and holding that the system of the Soviet Union was not authentically socialist. During the 1970s and 1980s, prominent democratic socialists within the Labour movement included Michael Foot and Tony Benn, considered by many to have redefined democratic socialism into an actionable manifesto, which was voted overwhelmingly against in the General Election of 1983 and referred to as "The longest suicide note in history". The modern Labour Party has often referred to itself as a democratic socialist party throughout the 20th century and explicitly identifies as such in Clause IV of its Rule Book.
In other parts of Europe, many democratic socialist parties were united in the International Working Union of Socialist Parties (the "Two and a Half International") in the early 1920s and in the London Bureau (the "Three and a Half International") in the 1930s, along with many other socialists of different tendencies and ideologies. The socialist Internationales sought to steer a course between the social democrats of the Second International, who were seen as insufficiently socialist (and had been compromised by their support for World War I) and the perceived anti-democratic Third International. The key movements within the Two and a Half International were the ILP and the Austromarxists and the main forces in the Three and a Half International were the ILP and the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) of Spain. In Italy, the Italian Democratic Socialist Party broke away from the Italian Socialist Party in 1947, when this latter joined the Soviet-funded Italian Communist Party to prepare the decisive general election of 1948. Despite remaining a minor party in Italian Parliament for fifty years, its leader Giuseppe Saragat became President of Italy in 1964.
During India's freedom movement, many figures on the left of the Indian National Congress organised themselves as the Congress Socialist Party. Their politics and those of the early and intermediate periods of Jayaprakash Narayan's career combined a commitment to the socialist transformation of society with a principled opposition to the one-party authoritarianism they perceived in the Stalinist revolutionary model. This political current continued in the Praja Socialist Party, the later Janata Party and the current Samajwadi Party. In Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto introduced the concept of democratic socialism and the Pakistan Peoples Party remained one of the prominent supporters for the socialist democratic policies in the country. In Nepal, B.P Koirala introduced the concept of democratic socialism.
In the Middle East, the largest democratic socialist party is the Organization of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority).
The Folkesocialisme (translated into "popular socialism" or "people's socialism") that emerged as a vital current of the left in Nordic countries beginning in the 1950s could be characterised as a democratic socialism in the same vein. Former Swedish prime minister Olof Palme is an important proponent of democratic socialism.
Relation to economics
Democratic socialists have espoused a variety of different socialist economic models. Some democratic socialists advocate forms of market socialism where socially-owned enterprises operate in competitive markets and in some cases are self-managed by their workforce. On the other hand, other democratic socialists advocate for a non-market participatory economy based on decentralized economic planning.
Democratic socialism has historically been committed to a decentralized form of economic planning opposed to Stalinist-style command planning, where productive units are integrated into a single organization and organized on the basis of self-management.
Contemporary proponents of market socialism have argued that the major reasons for the failure (economic shortcomings) of Soviet-type planned economies was the totalitarian nature of the political systems they were combined with, lack of democracy and their failure to create rules for the efficient operation of state enterprises.
Eugene V. Debs and Norman Thomas, both of whom were United States presidential candidates for the Socialist Party of America, understood socialism to be an economic system structured upon "production for use" and social ownership in place of private ownership and the profit system.
The following is a list of socialist parties and democratic socialist parties around the world.
- a governing party (including as junior coalition partner)
|Party||Country||Date established||% of popular vote
in the latest election
|Seats in the lower house
|Sandinista National Liberation Front||Nicaragua||
71 / 92 (77%)
|Movement for Socialism||Bolivia||
88 / 130 (68%)
74 / 137 (54%)
262 / 650 (40%)
|New Zealand Labour Party||New Zealand||
46 / 120 (38%)
11 / 31 (35%)
|United Socialist Party||Venezuela||
52 / 165 (32%)
|Sinn Féin||Northern Ireland||
29 / 108 (27%)
|Party of Socialists||Moldova||
25 / 101 (25%)
11 / 63 (17%)
20 / 130 (15%)
68 / 513 (13%)
23 / 166 (14%)
|Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)||Turkey||
59 / 550 (11%)
25 / 250 (10%)
14 / 150 (9%)
|The Left (Die Linke)||Germany||
64 / 631 (10%)
14 / 179 (8%)
19 / 230 (8%)
86 / 230 (37%)
|Armenian Revolutionary Federation||Armenia||
7 / 105 (7%)
|United Left ||Slovenia||
6 / 90 (7%)
12 / 200 (6%)
21 / 349 (6%)
|Left Ecology Freedom/Italian Left||Italy||
37 / 630 (6%)
|Labourists – Labour Party||Croatia||
6 / 151 (4%)
7 / 169 (4%)
2 / 60 (3%)
10 / 577 (2%)
|Movement of Socialist Democrats||Tunisia||
1 / 217 (0.5%)
|Parti Sosialis Malaysia||Malaysia||
1 / 222 (0.5%)
- Heads of state/heads of government
- Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand (2017–present)
- António Costa, Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal (2015–present)
- Salvador Allende, President of Chile (1970–1973)
- Jacobo Árbenz, President of Guatemala (1951–1954)
- Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1945–1951)
- Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile (2006–2010, 2014–present)
- David Ben-Gurion, Prime Minister of Israel (1948–1954, 1955–1963)
- Rómulo Betancourt, President of Venezuela (1945–1948, 1959–1964)
- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan (1973–1977)
- Léon Blum, Prime Minister of France (1936–1937, 1938)
- Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany (1969–1974)
- Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela (1999–2013) – disputed
- Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1999–2008)
- Álvaro Colom, President of Guatemala (2008–2012)
- Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador (2007–2017) – disputed
- Alexander Dubček, leader of communist Czechoslovakia (1968–1969)
- Peter Fraser, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1940–1949)
- Mauricio Funes, President of El Salvador (2009–2014)
- Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet leader (1985–1991)
- Norman Kirk, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1972–1974)
- Fernando Lugo, President of Paraguay (2008–2012)
- Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa (1994–1999)
- Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica (1972–1980)
- François Mitterrand, President of France (1981–1995)
- Evo Morales, President of Bolivia (2006–present)
- José Mujica, President of Uruguay (2010–2015)
- Walter Nash, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1957–1960)
- Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India (1947–1964)
- Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua (1985–1990, 2007–present)
- José Ramos-Horta, President of East Timor (2007–2012)
- Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden (1969–1976, 1982–1986)
- Basdeo Panday, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago (1995-2001)
- Salvador Sánchez Cerén, President of El Salvador (2014–present)
- Michael Joseph Savage, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1935–1940)
- Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil (2003–2011)
- Sutan Sjahrir, Prime Minister of Indonesia (1945–1947)
- Kalevi Sorsa, Prime Minister of Finland (1972–1975, 1977–1979, 1982–1987)
- Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece (2015)
- Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay (2005–2010, 2015–present)
- Gough Whitlam, Prime Minister of (Australia 1972–1975)
- Niki Ashton, Canadian Member of Parliament for Churchill—Keewatinook Aski in Manitoba and leadership candidate in the New Democratic Party leadership election, 2017
- Tony Benn, leading British Labour politician
- Aneurin Bevan, father of the National Health Service
- Lee Carter, elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017
- Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party and leader of the Opposition (2015–present)
- James Connolly, Irish revolutionary
- Eugene V. Debs, American union leader, five-times presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of America
- Tommy Douglas, Canadian politician, father of medicare
- Michael Harrington, founder of Democratic Socialists of America
- Obafemi Awolowo, founder of Action Group and First Premier of Western Regional Government, Nigeria
- Denis Healey, British Labour politician
- Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London 2000–2008
- Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator from Vermont, self-described democratic socialist
- Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council member
- Dennis Skinner, British Labour politician
- Norman Thomas, six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America
- Neil Kinnock (self-described, in opposition to SDP defectors)
- Andrés Manuel López Obrador, two time Mexican left-wing presidential candidate and ex head of Government of Mexico City
Intellectuals and activists
- Billy Bragg
- Bertrand Russell, British philosopher
- John Dewey
- Barbara Ehrenreich
- Albert Einstein, German-born physicist who wrote about his political views in a 1949 article titled Why Socialism?
- Erich Fromm
- Michael HarringtonMahatma Gandhi
- Christopher Hitchens
- Mary Harris Jones
- Mario Bunge
- Owen Jones
- Helen Keller
- Martin Luther King, Jr., African-American civil rights leader
- Naomi Klein
- Rosa Luxemburg
- Lawrence O'Donnell, American political analyst
- George Orwell, English novelist
- Andrei Sakharov, Soviet physicist, dissident and human rights activist
- Roger Waters
- Harry S. Weeks IV, notable political activist and founder of the Wheeling, West-Virginia, Democratic-Socialist Union
- Cornel West
- Richard D. Wolff
- Howard Zinn (self-described)
- Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek finance minister
Some politicians, economists and theorists have argued that "socialism" and "democracy" are incompatible. For instance, economist Milton Friedman stated that "a society which is socialist cannot also be democratic, in the sense of guaranteeing individual freedom". Sociologist Robert Nisbet argued in 1978 that there is "not a single free socialism to be found anywhere in the world".
Irving Kristol argued: "Democratic socialism turns out to be an inherently unstable compound, a contradiction in terms. Every social-democratic party, once in power, soon finds itself choosing, at one point after another, between the socialist society it aspires to and the liberal society that lathered [sic – fathered?] it". He added: "[S]ocialist movements end up [in] a society where liberty is the property of the state, and is (or is not) doled out to its citizens along with other contingent 'benefits'".
The merger of political and economic power implicit in socialism greatly strengthens the ability of the state and its bureaucracy to control the population. Theoretically, this capacity need not be exercised and need not lead to growing domination of the population by the state. In practice, such a tendency is virtually inevitable. For one thing, the socialization of the economy must lead to a numerical growth of the bureaucracy required to administer it, and this process cannot fail to augment the power of the state. For another, socialism leads to a tug of war between the state, bent on enforcing its economic monopoly, and the ordinary citizen, equally determined to evade it; the result is repression and the creation of specialized repressive organs.
According to Michael Makovi: "An economic analysis of the political institutions of democratic socialism shows that democratic socialism must necessarily fail for political (not economic) reasons even if nobody in authority has ill-intentions or abuses their power".
One of the major scholars who have argued that socialism and democracy are compatible is the Austrian-born American economist Joseph Schumpeter, who was hostile to socialism. In his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (first published in 1942), he "emphasize[s] that political democracy was thoroughly compatible with socialism in its fullest sense".
In a 1963 address to the All India Congress Committee, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru stated: "Political Democracy has no meaning if it does not embrace economic democracy. And economic democracy is nothing but socialism".
Robert Heilbroner: "There is, of course, no conflict between such a socialism and freedom as we have described it; indeed, this conception of socialism is the very epitome of these freedoms", referring to open association of individuals in political and social life; the democratization and humanization of work; and the cultivation of personal talents and creativities.
For me, socialism has meaning only if it is democratic. Of the many claimants to socialism only one has a valid title—that socialism which views democracy as valuable per se, which stands for democracy unequivocally, and which continually modifies socialist ideas and programs in the light of democratic experience. This is the socialism of the labor, social-democratic, and socialist parties of Western Europe.
Kenneth Arrow argued: "We cannot be sure that the principles of democracy and socialism are compatible until we can observe a viable society following both principles. But there is no convincing evidence or reasoning which would argue that a democratic-socialist movement is inherently self-contradictory. Nor need we fear that gradual moves in the direction of increasing government intervention will lead to an irreversible move to "serfdom" [referring to The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek]".
William Pfaff wrote: "It might be argued that socialism ineluctably breeds state bureaucracy, which then imposes its own kinds of restrictions upon individual liberties. This is what the Scandinavians complain about. But Italy’s champion bureaucracy owes nothing to socialism. American bureaucracy grows as luxuriantly and behaves as officiously as any other".
- Curian, Alt, Chambers, Garrett, Levi, McClain, George Thomas, James E., Simone, Geoffrey, Margaret, Paula D. (October 12, 2010). The Encyclopedia of Political Science Set. CQ Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-1933116440.
Though some democratic socialists reject the revolutionary model and advocate a peaceful transformation to socialism carried out by democratic means, they also reject the social democratic view that capitalist societies can be successfully reformed through extensive state intervention within capitalism. In the view of democratic socialists, capitalism, based on the primacy of private property, generates inherent inequalities of wealth and power and a dominant egoism that are incompatible with the democratic values of freedom, equality, and solidarity. Only a socialist society can fully realize democratic practices. The internal conflicts within capitalism require a transition to socialism. Private property must be superseded by a form of collective ownership.
- Anderson and Herr, Gary L. and Kathryn G. (2007). Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. SAGE Publications, inc. p. 447. ISBN 978-1412918121.
...the division between social democrats and democratic socialists. The former had made peace with capitalism and concentrated on humanizing the system. Social democrats supported and tried to strengthen the basic institutions of the welfare state--pensions for all, public health care, public education, unemployment insurance. They supported and tried to strengthen the labor movement. The latter, as socialists, argued that capitalism could never be sufficiently humanized, and that trying to suppress the economic contradictions in one area would only see them emerge in a different guise elsewhere. (E.g., if you push unemployment too low, you'll get inflation; if job security is too strong, labor discipline breaks down.)
- Badie, Berg-Schlosser, Morlino, Bertrand, Dirk, Leonardo (September 7, 2011). International Encyclopedia of Political Science, Volume 1. SAGE. p. 2423. ISBN 978-1412959636.
Social democracy (sometimes used synonymously with democratic socialism) refers to a political tendency resting on three fundamental features: (1) democracy (e.g., equal rights to vote and form parties), (2) an economy fully regulated by the state (e.g., through Keynesianism), and (3) a welfare state offering social support to those in need or refuse to work (e.g., equal rights to education, health service, employment and pensions)
- Curian, Alt, Chambers, Garrett, Levi, McClain, George Thomas, James E., Simone, Geoffrey, Margaret, Paula D. (October 12, 2010). The Encyclopedia of Political Science Set. CQ Press. p. 401. ISBN 978-1933116440.
Democratic socialism is a term meant to distinguish a form of socialism that falls somewhere between authoritarian and centralized forms of socialism on the one hand and social democracy on the other. The rise of authoritarian socialism in the twentieth century in the Soviet Union and its sphere of influence generated this new distinction.
- Eatwell & Wright, Roger & Anthony (March 1, 1999). Contemporary Political Ideologies: Second Edition. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 80. ISBN 978-0826451736.
So too with ‘democratic socialism’, a term coined by its adherents as an act of disassociation from the twentieth-century realities of undemocratic socialism…but also, at least in some modes, intended to reaffirm a commitment to system transformation rather than a merely meliorist social democracy.
- Busky, Donald F. (July 20, 2000). Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey. Praeger. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-0275968861.
Democratic socialism is the wing of the socialist movement that combines a belief in a socially owned economy with that of political democracy. Sometimes simply called socialism, more often than not, the adjective democratic is added by democratic socialists to attempt to distinguish themselves from Communists who also call themselves socialists. All but communists, or more accurately, Marxist-Leninists, believe that modern-day communism is highly undemocratic and totalitarian in practice, and democratic socialists wish to emphasize by their name that they disagree strongly with the Marxist-Leninist brand of socialism.
- Kendall, Diana (January 2011). Sociology in Our Time: The Essentials. Cengage Learning. pp. 125–127. ISBN 978-1111305505.
Sweden, Great Britain, and France have mixed economies, sometimes referred to as democratic socialism—an economic and political system that combines private ownership of some of the means of production, governmental distribution of some essential goods and services, and free elections. For example, government ownership in Sweden is limited primarily to railroads, mineral resources, a public bank, and liquor and tobacco operations.
- Draper 1966, Chapter 7: The “Revisionist” Facade.
- What is Democratic Socialism? Questions and Answers from the Democratic Socialists of America.
- Peter Hain Ayes to the Left Lawrence and Wishart.
- "Towards a Democratic Socialism," New Left Review I/109, May–June 1978.
- Draper 1966, Chapter 8: The 100% American Scene.
- This tendency is captured in this statement: Anthony Crosland "argued that the socialisms of the pre-war world (not just that of the Marxists, but of the democratic socialists too) were now increasingly irrelevant." Pierson, Chris (2005). "Lost property: What the Third Way lacks". Journal of Political Ideologies. 10 (2): 145–163. doi:10.1080/13569310500097265.. Other texts which use the terms "democratic socialism" in this way include Malcolm Hamilton Democratic Socialism in Britain and Sweden (St Martin's Press 1989).
- See pp.7-8.
- See John Medearis, "Schumpeter, the New Deal, and Democracy," The American Political Science Review, 1997.
- "DSA Constitution". Democratic Socialists of America. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
- Robert M Page, "Without a Song in their Heart: New Labour, the Welfare State and the Retreat from Democratic Socialism," Jnl Soc. Pol., 36, 1, 19–37. 2007.
- For example, David Miller, Market, State, and Community: Theoretical Foundations of Market Socialism (Oxford University Press, 1990).
- Paul T. Christensen "Perestroika and the Problem of Socialist Renewal" Social Text 1990.
- Honneth, Axel (1995). "The Limits of Liberalism: On the Political-Ethical Discussion Concerning Communitarianism". In Honneth, Axel. The Fragmented World of the Social. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 231–247. ISBN 0-7914-2300-X.
- Quoted in Peter Hain Ayes to the Left Lawrence and Wishart, p.12.
- Isabel Taylor "A Potted History of English Radicalism" Albion Magazine Summer 2007; M. Thrale (ed.) Selections from the Papers of the London Corresponding Society 1792-1799 (Cambridge University Press, 1983); E. P. Thompson The Making of the English Working Class. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1963.
- Hain, op cit, p.13.
- Wilson, Fred. "Stuart Mill." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 10 July 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
- "Mill, in contrast, advances a form of liberal democratic socialism for the enlargement of freedom as well as to realize social and distributive justice. He offers a powerful account of economic injustice and justice that is centered on his understanding of freedom and its conditions." Bruce Baum, "[J. S. Mill and Liberal Socialism]," Nadia Urbanati and Alex Zacharas, eds., J. S. Mill's Political Thought: A Bicentennial Reassessment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
- Eduard Bernstein, (1961). Evolutionary Socialism (from Die Voraussetzungen des Sozialismus und die Aufgaben der Sozialdemokratie). Schocken Books. p. xi. ISBN 978-0805200119. "Six years before that he (Eduard Bernstein) had had joined the Eisenacher socialist group which merged with the Lassallean socialist group in 1875 to form the German Social Democratic Party."
- Donald Busky, "Democratic Socialism in North America," Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey especially pp.153-177.
- Donald Busky "Democratic Socialism in North America" Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey especially pp.150-154.
- Robert John Fitrakis, "The idea of democratic socialism in America and the decline of the Socialist Party: Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington. (Volumes I and II)" (January 1, 1990). ETD Collection for Wayne State University. Paper AAI9029621. See also "What is Democratic Socialism? Questions and Answers from the Democratic Socialists of America."
- "About DSA". Democratic Socialists of America. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
- Donald Busky, "Democratic Socialism in Great Britain and Ireland," Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey, pp.83-5 on Morris, pp.91-109 on Hardie and the ILP. On Morris as democratic socialist, see also volume 3 of David Reisman, ed., Democratic Socialism in Britain: Classic Texts in Economic and Political Thought, 1825–1952 and E P Thompson, William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary (London: Merlin, 1977). On the ILP as democratic socialist, see also The ILP: A Very Brief History; James, David, Jowitt, Tony, and Laybourn, Keith, eds. The Centennial History of the Independent Labour Party. Halifax: Ryburn, 1992.
- On Cole as democratic socialist, see also volume 7 of David Reisman, ed, Democratic Socialism in Britain: Classic Texts in Economic and Political Thought, 1825–1952.
- F. Peter Wagner, Rudolf Hilferding: Theory and Politics of Democratic Socialism (Atlantic Highlands 1996).
- Janet Polasky, The Democratic Socialism of Emile Vandervelde: Between Reform and Revolution (Oxford 1995).
- "Vikas Kamat Democratic Socialism in India."
- A. Appadorai, "Recent Socialist Thought in India," The Review of Politics Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul., 1968), pp. 349-362.
- "Därför är jag demokratisk socialist," speech by Olof Palme at the 1982 congress of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.
- Anderson and Herr, Gary L. and Kathryn G. (2007). Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. SAGE Publications, inc. p. 448. ISBN 978-1412918121.
Some have endorsed the concept of market socialism, a postcapitalist economy that retains market competition but socializes the means of production, and in some versions, extends democracy to the workplace. Some holdout for a nonmarket, participatory economy. All democratic socialists agree on the need for a democratic alternative to capitalism, however all also struggle with the negative impacts on economic development which has plagued every form of socialism.
- Prychito, David L. (July 31, 2002). Markets, Planning, and Democracy: Essays After the Collapse of Communism. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 72. ISBN 978-1840645194.
It is perhaps less clearly understood that advocates of democratic socialism (who are committed to socialism in the above sense but opposed to Stalinist-style command planning) advocate a decentralized socialism, whereby the planning process itself (the integration of all productive units into one huge organization) would follow the workers’ self-management principle.
- Gregory and Stuart, Paul and Robert (2003). Comparing Economic Systems in the Twenty-First. South-Western College Pub. p. 152. ISBN 0-618-26181-8.
..market socialism's contemporary supporters argue that planned socialism failed because it was based on totalitarianism rather than democracy and that it failed to create rules for the efficient operation of state enterprises.
- The Socialist Party’s Appeal, by Debs, Eugene. 1912. The Independent.
- Thomas, Norman (2 February 1936). Is the New Deal Socialism? (Speech). Chicago Democratic Socialists of America. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram. "Parties and Elections in Europe". www.parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
- "What Sinn Féin stands for". sinnfein.ie. Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin is a 32-County party striving for an end to partition on the island of Ireland and the establishment of a democratic socialist republic.
- Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved on 30 December 2015.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram. "Parties and Elections in Europe". www.parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved on 30 December 2015.
- Ozcelik, Burcu (11 June 2015). "What the HDP Success Means for Turkey". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
The pro-Kurdish democratic socialist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP)...
- Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved on 30 December 2015.
- Evans, Alex (16 September 2013). "Your Guide - The Left Party (Die Linke)". The Local.
Die Linke describe themselves as the party of democratic socialism...
- Armenian Revolutionary Federation Program (PDF).
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation in its world outlook and traditions is essentially a socialist, democratic, and revolutionary party.
- "Դաշնակցության սոցիալիզմի մոդելը [The Socialist Model of Dashnaktsutyun]". parliamentarf.am (in Armenian). Armenian Revolutionary Federation faction in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. 9 July 2011.
- Dann, Liam (6 August 2017). "Liam Dann: Not another Jacinda Ardern column". NZ Herald. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
- Patsouras, Louis (2005). Marx in Context. iUniverse. p. 265.
In Chile, where a large democratic socialist movement was in place for decades, a democratic socialist, Salvadore Allende, led a popular front electoral coalition, including Communists, to victory in 1970.
- Medina, Eden (2014). Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende's Chile. MIT Press. p. 39.
...in Allende's democratic socialism.
- Winn, Peter (2004). Victims of the Chilean Miracle: Workers and Neoliberalism in the Pinochet Era, 1973–2002. Duke University Press. p. 16.
The Allende government that Pinochet overthrew in 1973 had been elected in 1970 on a platform of pioneering a democratic road to a democratic socialism.
- Stephen Schlesinger (June 3, 2011). Ghosts of Guatemala’s Past. The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
- Morgan, Kenneth O. (2001). Britain Since 1945: The People's Peace. Oxford University Press. p. 111.
The last years of Attlee's democratic socialist regime...
- Beech, Matt (2012). "The British Welfare State and its Discontents". In Connelly, James; Hayward, Jack. The Withering of the Welfare State: Regression. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 90.
Attlee's goal was a democratic socialist society...
- Livingston Hall, Anthony (2007). The Ipinions Journal: Commentaries on Current Events, Volume 2. iUniverse. p. 18.
Chileans elected Michelle Bachelet as their new president ... Because her advocacy of democratic socialism.
- Gal, Allon (1991). David Ben-Gurion and the American Alignment for a Jewish State. Indiana University Press. p. 216.
Ben-Gurion, Zionist and socialist-democrat...
- Jones, Clive A. (2013). Soviet Jewish Aliyah, 1989-92: Impact and Implications for Israel and the Middle East. Routledge. p. 61.
...Mapai, the democratic socialist party of David Ben Gurion.
- Cohen, Mitchell (12 June 2015). "'Léon Blum: Prime Minister, Socialist, Zionist,' by Pierre Birnbaum". New York Times.
Blum declared that he was what Nazis “hated most, . . . a democratic socialist and a Jew.”
- Gress, David (1 July 1983). "Whatever Happened to Willy Brandt?". Commentary.
- Sargent, Lyman (2008). Contemporary Political Ideologies: A Comparative Analysis. Cengage Learning. p. 118.
- "Hugo Chavez". Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs.
Campaigning as a democratic socialist, Chávez...
- Munck, Ronaldo (2012). Contemporary Latin America. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 119.
In a broad historical sense Chávez has undoubtedly played a progressive role but he is clearly not a democratic socialist...
- Patrick Iber "[https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/path-democratic-socialism-lessons-latin-america The Path to Democratic Socialism: Lessons from Latin America" Dissent Spring 2016: "Most of the world’s democratic socialist intellectuals have been skeptical of Latin America’s examples [including Chavez and Correa), citing their authoritarian qualities and occasional cults of personality. To critics, the appropriate label for these governments is not socialism but populism."
- Edwards, Brian (2001). Helen: Portrait of A Prime Minister. Auckland: Exisle Publishing. ISBN 0-908988-20-6.
- Hanhimäki, Jussi M.; Westad, Odd Arne (2004). The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts. Oxford University Press. p. 441.
Palme: Why I am a Democratic Socialist, 1982.
- Beaglehole, Tim. "Fraser, Peter - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
- Sachs, Jeffrey (26 December 2011). "Gorbachev and the Struggle for Democracy". The Huffington Post.
During his six years of rule, Gorbachev was intent on renovating Soviet socialism through peaceful and democratic means.
- "Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World by Mikhail S. Gorbachev". stetson.edu. 1987.
The more socialist democracy there is, the more socialism we will have.[permanent dead link]
- Bassett, Michael. "Kirk, Norman Eric". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- Benson, Mary (1986). Nelson Mandela. Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp. 231–232. ISBN 9780140089417.
- Smith, David James (2010). Young Mandela. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-297-85524-8.
- Taylor, Bruce M. (15 March 1989). "In Jamaica, Manley's Success Will Be U.S. Gain". New York Times. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Riemer, Neal; Simon, Douglas (1997). The New World of Politics: An Introduction to Political Science. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 147.
- Borsody, Stephen (29 May 1981). "In the wake of Francois Mitterrand's victory". The New York Times.
...a democratic Socialist success, such as President Mitterrand's...
- Gustafson, Barry. "Nash, Walter". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Moraes, Frank (2007). Jawaharlal Nehru. Jaico Publishing House. p. 187.
- Powers, Roger S.; Vogele, William B.; Bond, Douglas; Kruegler, Christopher (1997). Protest, Power, and Change: An Encyclopedia of Nonviolent Action from Act-Up to Women's Suffrage. Taylor & Francis. p. 347. ISBN 9781136764820.
- Hoadley, J. Stephen (1975). The Future of Portuguese Timor. Institute of Southeast Asian. p. 25.
Ramos Horta during his December 1974 trip to Australia was careful to distinguish between Fretilin and Frelimo, arguing that his own party was a democratic socialist party....
- Gustafson, Barry. "Savage, Michael Joseph - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- Anwar, Rosihan (2010). Sutan Sjahrir: True Democrat, Fighter for Humanity, 1909-1966. Penerbit Buku Kompas. p. 115.
Sjahrir...called the ideology he had thought up and that he followed 'democratic socialism'...(sosialisme kerakyatan).
- Astikainen, Arto (20 January 2004). "Kalevi Sorsa (21.12.1930 - 16.1.2004)". Helsingin Sanomat.
"We already are in democratic socialism. It will never be much different from this", Sorsa had said ten years earlier.
- Stone, Jon (26 January 2015). "Syriza: Everything you need to know about Greece's new Marxist governing party". The Independent.
...a democratic socialist group Synaspismós, which current Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras led.
- Adams, Ian (1993). Political Ideology Today. Manchester University Press. p. 139.
Tony Benn's socialism is distinctive in the importance he places in combining socialism with radical democracy.
- "Tony Benn: Committed Democratic Socialist". Transnational Institute. 22 April 2014.
- Duncan Hall (2011). A2 Government and Politics: Ideologies and Ideologies in Action. Lulu.com. p. 46. ISBN 978-1-4477-3399-7.
- "How a Socialist Beat One of Virginia's Most Powerful Republicans". Retrieved 9 November 2017.
- Calamur, Krishnadev (18 August 2015). "How Jeremy Corbyn Would Govern Britain". theatlantic.com. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Lovick, L.D. (September 30, 2013). "Tommy Douglas". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
- Ryan, Craig (17 August 2015). "I'm no Bennite. But I'm increasingly tempted by Jeremy Corbyn". New Statesman. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- Dabby, George (29 April 2014). "Interview: Denis Healey". York Vision. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "HEALEY, Denis Winston (b.1917)". History of Parliament. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Hill, Dave (2002). Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory. Lexington Books. p. 188.
Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone can be depicted as two of the leaders of the democratic socialist (or 'hard') left...
- Bierman, Noah (12 April 2014). "Bernie Sanders seeks to pull Democrats left in 2016 primary". The Boston Globe.
The lawmaker, who is possibly the most liberal of all members of Congress — and the only one to call himself a democratic socialist...
- Jamieson, Dave (6 May 2015). "Meet The Fist-Shaking Socialist Behind America's Highest Minimum Wage". The Huffington Post.
...identifies as a member of Socialist Alternative, an anti-capitalist, democratic-socialist party.
- Richard Heffernan; Mike Marqusee (1992). Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Kinnock's Labour Party. Verso. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-86091-561-4.
- Alan Ryan (1981). Bertrand Russell: A Political Life. Macmillan. p. 87. ISBN 9780374528201.
None the less Russell joined the ILP [Independent Labour Party] and declared himself a democratic socialist, then and thereafter.
- Isaacson, Walter (2007). Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743264747.
For the rest of his life Einstein would expound a democratic socialism that had a liberal, anti—authoritarian underpinning.
- Calaprice, Alice; Lipscombe, Trevor (2005). Albert Einstein: A Biography. Greenwood. p. 61. ISBN 9780313330803.
He committed himself to the democratic- socialist goals that became popular among intellectuals in Europe at the time.
- Jones, Owen (OwenJones84). "Modern capitalism is a sham, and why democratic socialism is our only hope" 30 October 2015, 3:41 AM
- Sturm, Douglas (1990). "Martin Luther King, Jr., as Democratic Socialist". The Journal of Religious Ethics. 18 (2): 79–105. JSTOR 40015109.
The essay argues that King was in fact a democratic socialist...
- Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou (20 January 2014). "The radical gospel of Martin Luther King". Al Jazeera.
King’s democratic socialism...
- Hendricks, Obery M. (20 January 2014). "The Uncompromising Anti-Capitalism of Martin Luther King Jr". The Huffington Post.
For King the answer was democratic socialism.
- Chris Nineham (2007). The Shock Doctrine Book Review. Socialist Review. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- Orwell, George (1968) . Bott, George, ed. Selected Writings. London: Heinemann. p. 103. ISBN 0-435-13675-5.
Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. [italics from printed source]
- "Andrei Sakharov". Spartacus Educational.
He also advocated the integration of the communist and capitalist systems to form what he called democratic socialism.
- Greene, Andy. "Roger Waters on 'The Wall,' Socialism and His Next Concept Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- "Young Democratic Socialists: Interview With Professor Richard Wolff". rdwolff.com. Retrieved on 30 December 2015.
- "Howard Zinn's Personal Philosophy". youtube.com. Retrieved on 9 December 2016.
- Barrett, William, ed. (1 April 1978). "Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy: A Symposium". Commentary. (archived PDF)
- Makovi, Michael (2015). "George Orwell and the Incoherence of Democratic Socialism". MPRA Paper 62527. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
- Horwitz, Morton J. (1994). The Transformation of American Law, 1870-1960 : The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy: The Crisis of Legal Orthodoxy. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 255. ISBN 9780195092592.
- S. Jafar Raza Bilgrami (1965). "Problems of Democratic Socialism". Indian Journal of Political Science. 26 (4): 26–31. JSTOR 41854084.
- Logie Barrow and Ian Bullock, 'Democratic Ideas and the British Labour Movement, 1880-1914'Cambridge University Press, 1996,ISBN 9780521560429
- Donald F. Busky, Democratic Socialism: A Global Survey Greenwood Publishing, 2000 ISBN 0-275-96886-3
- Draper, Hal (1966). "The Two Souls of Socialism". New Politics. 5 (1): 57–84.
- Michael Harrington, Socialism: Past and Future, Arcade Publishing /Little, Brown, 1989.
- Roy Hattersley Choose Freedom: The Future of Democratic Socialism, Penguin, 1987 ISBN 0-14-010494-1
- Ralph Miliband Socialism for a Sceptical Age, Polity Press, London, 1994
- David Reisman, ed, Democratic Socialism in Britain: Classic Texts in Economic and Political Thought, 1825–1952 Chatto and Pickering, 1996 ISBN 978-1-85196-285-3. (Includes texts by William Morris, George Bernard Shaw, GDH Cole, Richard Crossman and Aneurin Bevan.)
- Norman Thomas Democratic Socialism: a new appraisal, League for Industrial Democracy, 1953
- Jim Tomlinson Democratic Socialism and Economic Policy: The Attlee Years, 1945-1951 Cambridge University Press, 1997 ISBN 0-521-55095-5
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