Episode 8

Defining Socialism and Democratic Socialism

In this episode, we review the meaning of socialism and describe its historical definition and compare it with the message that is being pushed by the contemporary trend of so-called democratic socialism.

 

Episode 8

Defining Socialism and Democratic Socialism

In this episode, we review the meaning of socialism and describe its historical definition and compare it with the message that is being pushed by the contemporary trend of so-called democratic socialism.

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March 13, 2019

Episode Notes

Socialism itself has a very specific definition and although there is historical variance to its real-life application and cultural implementation, there is nevertheless a underlying theme; namely, that the government ought to central plan and allocate the means of production in accordance with its vision of a fair and justice economy.

Interventionism was brought about in the west by those central planners that were critical of orthodox socialism and attempted to create a third way between capitalism and socialism; they wanted to, in the words of Mises, “plan for freedom.” They wanted to maintain the private ownership of the means of production but intervene in areas where they saw as weaknesses of laissez-faire.

Contrary to both of these, the New Democratic socialist movement has its own flavor and sounds much like a system that Mises once identified as being neither “socialist, capitalist, or interventionist.” Instead, he described this syndicalist system as a unique, and far less sound ad hoc arrangement that was never to be taken seriously. But if democratic socialism is the trend of the future, and it offers a similar interpretation of the economy as the syndicalists once did, then perhaps it is time to start taking it seriously.

Links and Details

Surprised you're still on this page tbh.

The Role of the Intellectuals,” by Hans Hoppe

A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism by Hans Hoppe

Mises’ overview of syndicalism from his Socialism book

Mises overview of syndicalism from Human Action (page 808)

Rothbard on Syndicalist Syndrome

You will often hear democratic socialists praising the social thought of Chomsky. Here is Rothbard’s reflection on Chomsky’s economics, with reference to syndicalist themes.

DSA FAQ page (direct to the question read in the episode)