Why Democratic Socialists aren't afraid to call themselves "Socialist" anymore


It depends on how you ask the question. If you couch it in antiquated, marxist-inflected language, of course nobody agrees with that.

But if you ask “Who should get to decide how a factory is run: the guy who holds the deed, or everyone who works there?” you might be surprised at how socialist the responses are.


I mean, capitalism worked so well in Sudan, the Congo, Ethiopia, and India, let’s totally implement an ideology that mostly brings misery and death (‘b-b-but, Amerikkka’) to the nations that practice it.


Socialism without anarchism, if at all thinkable, would lead mankind into a slavery probably worse than the present: into a rule of bureaucracy by the grace of god. Anarchism without socialism is not even thinkable, for that would be equivalent to a struggle of all against all […] and which would soon annihilate mankind. There is only one road to the development of mankind: free communism that unites in itself both socialism and anarchism.


Where’s the infrastructure plan? Where’s better and cheaper healthcare for all? where are the tax cuts that exclusively benefit the working and middle class? All progressives need to win is run on Donald’s populist proposals. We call infrastructure public investment and public services that the majority supports and ignore right wing labeling. Classic socialism of government ownership and control of primary industries is out of date. It’s now more of the “administrative state” that Steve Bannon wants to destroy.
The problem in American is that the ultra rich have now moved into another dimension leaving the rest of us with the falling standard of living they hardly care about. In real terms we get only the government handouts, paid for by deficit spending to be paid by those who will have less ability to do so. We get only what we’re begrudgingly given. Think of most of us as ants at the picnic of the rich.

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You pegged it. What they are selling is a nicely wrapped present with appealing catchwords like “equality”. “fairness”, and “prosperity”. But when you open the box, the only thing in there is a ratty old copy of “We Shall go to Moscow Not With Ten Banners, But With Only One, With the Banner of Marxism-Leninism!”.

If they don’t intend for the workers to control the means of production, they should not put it in their constitution as article 2.

I mean… getting the answer you want by weighting the question isn’t exactly a win. The question is whether a well-informed populace would want it.

Sure, we can trick people into a position, but that just makes a farce out of democracy - something we have far too much of already.


A few points regarding the DSA:

  1. The DSA is, first and foremost, a democratic organisation. DSA policy is decided on via the votes of the membership.

  2. Although there is a diversity of opinion amongst the membership, they are overall a socialist organisation. That is, they seek to achieve worker control of the means of production.

  3. The primary focus of the DSA is in hands-on community building. Brake light repairs, food aid, hurricane relief, tenant support, protest action, etc.

  4. Secondary to that is the other thing they do: endorse electoral candidates. DSA endorsement does imply a general alignment with the goals of the organisation, but it does not necessarily imply that the endorsee is themselves a socialist. The DSA routinely endorses social democratic candidates.


That would be the job of the central committee.

“Another great challenge faced by socialism is the fact that for some time, a large part of the population still has to spend most of the time working to produce the requirements of society. This limits their ability to participate fully in all the different spheres in society. Other sections of society will be in a better position and more trained to engage in political discourse. For both these reasons, simply throwing every question in society “up for grabs” in an election would throw the door wide open to the restoration of the old society based on exploitation”. -Revolution #68, 2006.

This is hardly a situation unique to socialist societies. There is no large scale government on earth that puts every possible question of policy or spending up to popular vote. Nor is there any private profit-driven system that leaves every possible question of product development up to the consumer.


heh heh heh heh…you said butt flowers!




He should be able to be innovative yes, but not by exploiting his workers, the environment or government benefits. I’m not saying he does all that now but he doesn’t exactly come across as someone who is for wealth equality and workers’ rights if it will make it slightly harder for him to do his thing.


I too have noticed this phenomenon: every question which produces an answer I agree with is neutral and reasonable, and every question which doesn’t is a shamelessly manipulative trick.

The answer is increasingly “yes”. That’s what the article is explaining.


Mikhail Bakunin?

Tell that to McDonalds. Mediocrity is their selling point, much as they deny it. Your problem is equating reliability with mediocrity. :face_with_monocle:


How about you people get a multi-party system instead of a system where the social democrats have to join the center-right party.


I think it’s from one of Kropotkin’s essays, since it felt to me like I’d read that verbatim before. It’d be either him, Goldman, or something I just picked up on the side.


Back when Karl Marx was a lad, if someone got a break and made their own company, then they would be set up for life, and well done them. But they could also leave their empire to their children, who may have no talents of their own, but because they have money they can employ talented managers, and continue to collect money. This meant the rich got richer when there was no opposing force to redistribute wealth. The idea behind “Das Kapital” was that this tendency for money to concentrate itself in the hands of a non-productive bourgeoisie, and this should be opposed, somehow.

In the last century it took two world wars to break up these concentrations of money. The common person was seen as necessary for defending the country, and the bourgeoisie was not. The same thing happened when the Black Death reduced the population so there were less agricultural workers and too many properties. We haven’t had either for 70 years, and we are back to the extremes of Marx’s day.

What tools might Socialism employ? A basic minimum wage. A basic right to healthcare, and education, and housing. Nothing as terrible as Two World Wars and the Black Death.

But are people who extrapolate from that to say Socialism requires the confiscation of all private property, and the destruction of all free enterprise. This is ludicrous. This is way beyond the early days of Leninism. This is practically the Baader-Meinhof mindset.

The same extrapolation applied to the free market might say that people who are not able to pay for their food or healthcare under the current social conditions are unfit to live in the current social conditions; and a benevolent society might kill them mercifully rather than leaving them to suffer.

I think it is high time we reclaimed the word “Socialism”.


as opposed to those people, or just “you”? Are you not part of “us”?

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