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Difference Between Socialism and Democratic Socialism

NDP Socialist Caucus BannerSocialism vs Democratic Socialism

Socialism means equality in the society and democratic socialism means equality in a democratic state.

Socialism can be defined as a system of collective ownership and management of the means of production and the distribution of goods. Socialism also views that in a capitalist state, the wealth and power is concentrated among a small section of the society. Socialism can also be stated to be a society where all people work as equals in cooperation for the common good of all.

Democratic socialism gives more importance to a democratic character. While having almost the same principles as that of socialism, democratic socialism believes in a socialism through the ballot box. It states that any change in government and society should be through fair elections.

Socialism was a term that originated in the late 18th century and early 19th century as a result of the economic and social changes linked with the Industrial revolution. It was Henri de Saint Simon who coined the term socialisme. Noel Babeuf, Charles Fourier, Robert Owen, Karl Marx and Engels are some of the great thinkers of this theory who believed in the application of modern technology for rationalising economic activity through the elimination of capitalism. They were also critics of private ownership.

Democratic socialism became prominent in the late 19th century. It was after World War 1 that Democratic socialism had its footing in Europe. In the US also, Democratic socialism became a great movement after socialist Eugene V Debs. Democratic socialism has now spread to Latin America, Asia and many other regions.

Summary

1. Socialism can be defined as a system of collective ownership and management of the means of production and the distribution of goods. Democratic socialism gives more importance to a democratic character.

2. Socialism can also be stated to be a society where all people work as equals cooperating for the common good of all.

3. While having almost the same principles as that of socialism, democratic socialism believes in a socialism through the ballot box. It states that any change in government and society should be through fair elections.

4. Socialism was a term that originated in the late 18th century and early 19th century as a result of the economic and social changes linked with the Industrial revolution.

5. Democratic socialism became prominent in the late 19th century.


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11 Comments

  1. I’m korean.at first, i’d like to say your article was awsome.
    would you mind if i traslate your article to korean and post it on my blog?

  2. Umm socialism isn’t collectivism. What you are describing as socialism sounds like communism.

  3. The statement here that “There is not much difference between the two terms as socialism is some how related to democracy” is very misleading since in practical terms there is a world of difference when citizens are able to vote on changes to government. If the US were to begin implmenting a democratic-republic socialistic government this would mean that citizens would influence policies related to the economony via their representatives (Congress’s constituents).
    To have a true socialistic state means that there isn’t a democratic process, and thus no real representatives of the people, as with a republic. Thus, logically, this other statement in the article: “It states that any change in government and society should be through fair elections” defines a true demoncracy, and not the democratic-republic of the US.
    So, US citizens need to keep this in mind when they see that a candidate supports or considers himself a democratic socialist, such as with Bernie Sanders, since this could not happen in the US unless our Constitution were written. No thanks! Of course it is my opinion that we simply need to add a little bit of socialistic ideals into our governmental mix, and less the Fascist, Marxist, Communist and NAZI inevitabilities which occur with pure socialism.
    Many misunderstand our current system and believe the US is an example of Capitalism when really it is a Corporatism, at best bescribed as an Oligarchy and at worst a Plutoracy. For all practical purposes the US is actually more of a pure socialistic state than what it’s citizens would like to admit or prefer; since instead of the government itself having control of the nation’s resources and means of production (true socialism) massive corporations have this control indirectly through having enormous governmental influence.
    This describes US well:
    “Right now, there is a lot of talk about the evils of “capitalism”. But it is not really accurate to say that we live in a capitalist system. Rather, what we have in the United States today, and what most of the world is living under, is much more accurately described as “corporatism”. Under corporatism, most wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of giant corporations and big government is used as a tool by these corporations to consolidate wealth and power even further. In a corporatist system, the wealth and power of individuals and small businesses is dwarfed by the overwhelming dominance of the corporations. Eventually, the corporations end up owning almost everything and they end up dominating nearly every aspect of society. As you will see below, this very accurately describes the United States of America today.”
    By Michael Snyder, on October 21st, 2011. found at -http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/corporatism-is-not-capitalism-7-things-about-the-monolithic-predator-corporations-that-dominate-our-economy-that-every-american-should-know

    • The difference is Socialism names its despot while Democratic Socialism votes for one.

      • Spot on!

        Anything with “socialism” attached to it is on its way to communism and government intervention at every level of life’s journey!

        • Wrong! Lighten up! Socialized medicine (i.e. Govt. sponsored health care) is commonplace now in every first world country on earth, except the U.S., where it is limited to benefits for veterans and the elderly and disabled. But nobody would claim Canada, or the U.K., for 2 examples, are “on the way to Communism”, yet they’ve been practicing socialized medicine for over 50 years. Also, a Socialist Democracy does not yield ownership of everything to the govt., only those programs that benefit and protect all citizens equally: like health care and education to name just two. And we already have public education paid for by govt. K-12, so we are already practicing it to some degree.

          • And how’s that socialistic education working out? I’m surprised you would want to even bring up that mess.

    • I totally agree with your opinion. By the way, did you write “as socialism somehow related to democracy is very misleading”?

  4. All of the worlds top rated countries are ” Social Democracies ” ,in other words,capitalism with social responsibility enforced by law. Americans need to learn the difference and Sanders needs to refer to himself as a Social Democrat as to not confuse the nations severely brainwashed conservatives. This form of government has been able to provide a very high standard of living to the most people in the most countries..Americans would be shocked at how much better people have it living out their daily lives in these wealthy northern EU countries.

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