What the Left Gets Wrong About Democratic Socialism

In Bernie Sanders’ run last year, we heard a lot about democratic socialism. To anyone who has even a basic understanding of 20th century history, this causes intense dread. Socialism is a scary word.

Progressives, though, embraced the term and tried to tell us how democratic socialism isn’t the same as the socialism that failed across the globe for a hundred years. They’ll tell you that it is a harmless and friendly way to promote equality and the welfare of all. It’s working great throughout Europe, especially in Sweden, after all. What won’t surprise you is that everything they are saying is patently false.

What is It?

Ask a hundred Democrats and you’ll get two or three hundred answers, none of which will be coherent. In its real definition, democratic socialism is a socialist economy run by a democratic government. This means the economy and rules of law do not recognize private ownership, especially in terms of business and “means of production,” but the government is still democratically elected.

It is in no way a version of modern America or anything we have seen in our history. Private ownership and capitalism have always been at the core of the country. Perhaps the best way to describe democratic socialism is this: it is a move to a fully socialist society that relies on gradual reform rather than outright revolution. That sentence should chill your bones.

How Popular is it?

The left will tell you that democratic socialism reigns supreme throughout Europe and it’s why those countries are a modern day utopia. This couldn’t be more wrong. For starters, no country in the history of the world has ever been truly democratic socialist. Currently, only one country in the world still maintains an economic status of socialism, and that’s North Korea. A handful of countries still exist somewhere in the limbo of transition from socialism back to capitalism, most notably China, but none of them were ever democratic socialist.

The closest we can come to saying a country has fit this model is to look at parties. There are two countries right now where a representative majority is a member of democratic socialist parties: Nicaragua and Bolivia. Those are hardly the champions the left wants to claim.

Using that same measure, there are only a few more countries that are over 30-percent democratic socialist. They include Venezuela, Ecuador, New Zealand, Greenland, Portugal and the UK.

The UK is the outlier here. The representative government is not democratic socialist, but the most recent election had almost 40 percent vote for the social democratic candidate who lost. Most would call that a vote against Theresa May as opposed to a systemic shift in the voting masses.

The countries that the left most fervently claims are good examples of democratic socialism are the farthest from it. Germany votes 8.6 percent that way. Only 6.9 percent of French voters align that way, and Sweden brings up the bottom at 5.7 percent. In truth, democratic socialism is only growing in one country on the planet: ours. It peaked when we elected Obama, and the results of his efforts have not been economically promising.

Benefits vs Risks

Ok. We can definitively show that democratic socialism is nothing that the American left is claiming. Now let’s address the so-called benefits and weigh them against the risks. The left says a welfare state improves equality, health, happiness and everything else. Realistically, the only examples of socialism we have to study were formed by revolution, and the result in every single case was widespread starvation. It’s why the last 20 to 30 years have seen so many countries abandoned the bad economic principles that failed them.

On the other hand, there are risks with democratic socialism. A gradual, reformist trend towards socialism is just as dangerous and deadly as the revolutions throughout the 20th century. Over regulated economies become self-fulfilling prophecies. When enough socialist provisions are in place, capitalism is crippled and cannot function. That creates the justification for the full transition to socialism, and starvation follows.

The left is either lying or clueless (and probably both). They either want a communist America, or they want a robust welfare state. These are equally horrific goals, as they both result in the destruction of the American economy. Despite the obvious harm this brings to our own people, losing the American GDP would cripple the global economy, and we could actually see a modern Great Depression.

It seems a losing battle, but the only way to prevent this outcome is to continue to stand against all forms of socialism. Keep educating the ignorant, and never let the left get away with claims of innocent moves toward socialism.

~ American Liberty Report