Democratic socialism

  • democratic socialism is a political philosophy supporting political democracy within a socially owned economy,[1][2] with a particular emphasis on workers' self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market socialist economy or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy.[3] democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realisation of a socialist society.[4] although most democratic socialists seek a gradual transition to socialism,[5] democratic socialism can support either revolutionary or reformist politics as means to establish socialism.[4][6] as a term, it was popularised by social democrats who were opposed to the authoritarian socialist development in russia and elsewhere during the 20th century.[7][8][9][10]

    the origins of democratic socialism can be traced to 19th-century utopian socialist thinkers and the british chartist movement that somewhat differed in their goals yet all shared the essence of democratic decision making and public ownership of the means of production as positive characteristics of the society they advocated for.[11] in the late 19th century and early 20th century, democratic socialism was also influenced by social democracy. the gradualist form of socialism promoted by the british fabian society and eduard bernstein's evolutionary socialism in germany influenced the development of democratic socialism.[12][13][14][15] democratic socialism is what most socialists understand by the concept of socialism.[10] it may be a very broad or more limited concept,[16][17][18] referring to all forms of socialism that are democratic and reject an authoritarian marxist–leninist state,[10][19] including libertarian socialism,[20] market socialism,[3] reformist socialism[4] and revolutionary socialism[4][6][21][22] as well as ethical socialism,[23][24][25] liberal socialism,[24][26] social democracy[7][8][9][10][27] and some forms of democratic state socialism[28] and utopian socialism.[11]

    democratic socialism is contrasted to marxism–leninism which is viewed as being authoritarian or undemocratic in practice.[10][19][29] democratic socialists oppose the stalinist political system and the soviet-type economic system, rejecting the perceived authoritarian form of governance and the centralised administrative command economy that took form in the soviet union and other marxist–leninist states during the 20th century.[19] democratic socialism is also distinguished from third way social democracy[30] on the basis that democratic socialists are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas social democratic supporters of the third way were more concerned about challenging the new right and win social democracy back to power.[31] this has resulted in analysts and critics alike arguing that in effect it endorsed capitalism, even if it was due to recognising that outspoken opposition to capitalism in these circumstances was politically nonviable; and that it was not only anti-socialist and neoliberal, but anti-social democratic in practice.[32][33][34][35][36][37] others have maintained this was the result of their type of reformism that caused them to administer the system according to capitalist, not socialist, logic[38] while some saw it as a modern form of socialism theoretically fitting with democratic, liberal market socialism, distinguishing it from classical socialism, especially within the united kingdom.[39]

    while having socialism as a long-term goal,[40][41][42][43][44] modern social democrats are more concerned to curb capitalism's excesses and are supportive of progressive reforms to humanise it in the present day.[4][29] in contrast, democratic socialists believe that economic interventionism and other policy reforms aimed at addressing social inequalities and suppressing the economic contradictions of capitalism would only exacerbate the contradictions, causing them to emerge elsewhere under a different guise.[35][45][46][47][48][49][50] democratic socialists believe the fundamental issues with capitalism are systemic in nature and can only be resolved by replacing the capitalist mode of production with that of socialism, i.e. by replacing private ownership with collective ownership of the means of production and extending democracy to the economic sphere.[4][29][51]

  • overview
  • history
  • parliamentary democratic socialist parties
  • notable democratic socialists
  • views on compatibility of socialism and democracy
  • see also
  • references
  • bibliography
  • external links

Democratic socialism is a political philosophy supporting political democracy within a socially owned economy,[1][2] with a particular emphasis on workers' self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market socialist economy or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy.[3] Democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can only be achieved through the realisation of a socialist society.[4] Although most democratic socialists seek a gradual transition to socialism,[5] democratic socialism can support either revolutionary or reformist politics as means to establish socialism.[4][6] As a term, it was popularised by social democrats who were opposed to the authoritarian socialist development in Russia and elsewhere during the 20th century.[7][8][9][10]

The origins of democratic socialism can be traced to 19th-century utopian socialist thinkers and the British Chartist movement that somewhat differed in their goals yet all shared the essence of democratic decision making and public ownership of the means of production as positive characteristics of the society they advocated for.[11] In the late 19th century and early 20th century, democratic socialism was also influenced by social democracy. The gradualist form of socialism promoted by the British Fabian Society and Eduard Bernstein's evolutionary socialism in Germany influenced the development of democratic socialism.[12][13][14][15] Democratic socialism is what most socialists understand by the concept of socialism.[10] It may be a very broad or more limited concept,[16][17][18] referring to all forms of socialism that are democratic and reject an authoritarian Marxist–Leninist state,[10][19] including libertarian socialism,[20] market socialism,[3] reformist socialism[4] and revolutionary socialism[4][6][21][22] as well as ethical socialism,[23][24][25] liberal socialism,[24][26] social democracy[7][8][9][10][27] and some forms of democratic state socialism[28] and utopian socialism.[11]

Democratic socialism is contrasted to Marxism–Leninism which is viewed as being authoritarian or undemocratic in practice.[10][19][29] Democratic socialists oppose the Stalinist political system and the Soviet-type economic system, rejecting the perceived authoritarian form of governance and the centralised administrative command economy that took form in the Soviet Union and other Marxist–Leninist states during the 20th century.[19] Democratic socialism is also distinguished from Third Way social democracy[30] on the basis that democratic socialists are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas social democratic supporters of the Third Way were more concerned about challenging the New Right and win social democracy back to power.[31] This has resulted in analysts and critics alike arguing that in effect it endorsed capitalism, even if it was due to recognising that outspoken opposition to capitalism in these circumstances was politically nonviable; and that it was not only anti-socialist and neoliberal, but anti-social democratic in practice.[32][33][34][35][36][37] Others have maintained this was the result of their type of reformism that caused them to administer the system according to capitalist, not socialist, logic[38] while some saw it as a modern form of socialism theoretically fitting with democratic, liberal market socialism, distinguishing it from classical socialism, especially within the United Kingdom.[39]

While having socialism as a long-term goal,[40][41][42][43][44] modern social democrats are more concerned to curb capitalism's excesses and are supportive of progressive reforms to humanise it in the present day.[4][29] In contrast, democratic socialists believe that economic interventionism and other policy reforms aimed at addressing social inequalities and suppressing the economic contradictions of capitalism would only exacerbate the contradictions, causing them to emerge elsewhere under a different guise.[35][45][46][47][48][49][50] Democratic socialists believe the fundamental issues with capitalism are systemic in nature and can only be resolved by replacing the capitalist mode of production with that of socialism, i.e. by replacing private ownership with collective ownership of the means of production and extending democracy to the economic sphere.[4][29][51]