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Has Democratic Socialism Ever Actually Worked?

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Has Democratic Socialism Ever Actually Worked?

Postby Novosoviet » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:48 am

Not Sure Why I was thinking of this, But has Democratic Socialism Every Truly Worked? There Have Many Cases where it has Been Tried and Failed. So I Googled this and the Top Result is an article on Heritage.org, where at the Top of the Article it Lists Three Things.

1. Israel, India, and the United Kingdom all adopted socialism as an economic model following World War II.
2. Socialism is guilty of a fatal conceit: It believes its system can make better decisions for the people than they can for themselves
3. Socialism has failed in every country in which it has been tried.

Now, I Feel Like these People are a Bit Biased. One, Socialism in My Opinion Hasn't Always Failed But, It hasn't Always Succeeded. Two, Sometimes the System can make Better Decisions than the People, Like the Democratic Socialist Government In Portugal Introducing the Westernized Businesses into the Country. And Finally Three, Remember, this is Just My Opinion. I Believe Socialism Would have Succeeded Much More if there were less Types of Socialism, Cause not all Socialist Countries are the Exact Nation, They all Operate on a Different System.

Remember this is Just My Opinion, and the Reason I posted this here was so I could get your opinions.

Thanks!
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Last edited by Novosoviet on Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Catalonia 2070 RP » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:50 am

It has never worked because its never been tried. But very close implementations in multiple countries, such as social democracy, have worked, and it isn't that far a stretch to assume it could work should it properly be implemented.

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Postby Myrensis » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:57 am

You're going to need some kind of coherent definition first.

Because there are plenty of countries that have implemented universal healthcare and strong labor rights and political protections and other stuff that right-wingers will decry as "RADICAL EXTREME SOCIETY DESTROYING COMMUNIST SOCIALISM!11!", but then when you point out that it's...most of the developed world, including countries that those same conservatives admire, they'll then turn around and burble about how "tHeyRe nOt rEaLly SociAliSt."

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Postby The Democratic Republic of Nytoa » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:57 am

How do you define “worked” the USSR “worked” not for the well-being of the people but it kept the rich in power and everyone else from revolting. It took the serious weakening of the government for the USSR to collapse.
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Postby Novosoviet » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:58 am

Catalonia 2070 RP wrote:It has never worked because its never been tried. But very close implementations in multiple countries, such as social democracy, have worked, and it isn't that far a stretch to assume it could work should it properly be implemented.


That is Certainly Not True, Democratic Socialist Parties have Ruled In Such Countries as:
- Brazilian Democratic Labour Party 2007-2016
- Social Democratic Party of Finland 2020-Present
- Belgian Parti Socialiste from 2011-2014

Also, I'm Referring to the Fact he said it had never been tried
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Postby Novosoviet » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:59 am

I Defined Succeeding as Being a Decent Country with a Decent Economy and With Decent Political Stability for atleast 10 Years
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Postby Catalonia 2070 RP » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:59 am

Novosoviet wrote:
Catalonia 2070 RP wrote:It has never worked because its never been tried. But very close implementations in multiple countries, such as social democracy, have worked, and it isn't that far a stretch to assume it could work should it properly be implemented.


That is Certainly Not True, Democratic Socialist Parties have Ruled In Such Countries as:
- Brazilian Democratic Labour Party 2007-2016
- Social Democratic Party of Finland 2020-Present
- Belgian Parti Socialiste from 2011-2014

Also, I'm Referring to the Fact he said it had never been tried

Social Democracy isn't the same as Democratic Socialism. Therefore, Finland is ruled off the list.

Now, I haven't researched the others, but I doubt that they are actually Democratic socialism.

The closest to Democratic socialism is probably Cuba, if I'm correct.
Last edited by Catalonia 2070 RP on Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Rakhalia » Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:16 pm

Don't mention the actual insane (by liberal democratic standards) amount of political participation in the USSR and Mao's China. People forget that there was a democratic basis for self-governance there as well.
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Postby Old Tyrannia » Fri Aug 05, 2022 1:47 pm

None of the countries cited as examples of socialism in the OP were actually socialist or ever claimed to be socialist, which immediately suggests that the article the OP references was written by a twit and is not worth wasting serious discussion over.
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Pan-Pacific Unity » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:42 pm

Firstly, the inclusion of Israel, India and the UK suggests to me that this definition of socialism has nothing to do with actual socialism, and instead refers to social democracy. You don't actually see any examples of socialism arising democratically because democratic systems are designed as vehicles for bourgeois politics and aren't going to allow for the overthrow of the bourgeois class. The only way socialism can be reached is via revolution, not referendum.
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Postby Aumbura » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:44 pm

Heritage is a really bias right-leaning source, heads up.
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Postby Iskanistan » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:47 pm

Many times.

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Postby Vistulange » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:52 pm

The definition of socialism, and democratic socialism moreso, is a debate all unto its own. Before the far-left would-be-informants show up, let's establish that that is a very serious, ongoing, and multilayered debate; among trade unions, academia, and activists. It takes a different form in the United States and possibly Canada, and certainly a different form in Europe and the United Kingdom. It gets messier when the non-Marxist forms of left-wing politics (again, before the inquisition shows up and throws us all in the GULAG for dissenting from the party's line) are incorporated, which inherently have to be incorporated when we talk about "democratic socialism".

All that to say, it's a difficult question to answer because the terms are so nebulous. One might argue that Sweden, prior to Olof Palme's assassination, was really getting close to "achieving democratic socialism" (I don't like this phrasing, as a footnote, but it's the best I can come up with), what with reforms and changes that today would be considered unthinkable.

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Postby Sordhau » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:59 pm

First, I want to stress the confusion between Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism: these are the not the same things, nor should they be confused for one another.

Democratic Socialism is the belief that Socialism can be achieved through the democratic process as opposed to revolution; Social Democracy is a form of liberalism that promotes the expansion of welfare programs for the needy and regulations on corporate bodies.

Social Democracy is a form of Capitalism that seeks to address the intrinsic issues of Capitalism while still maintaining the Capitalist social framework centered around private ownership of capital and the means of production. It was conceived as an alternative to Socialism because the Capitalists, aware of the appeal of Socialist values to working class people, were worried that Socialism's popularity could not be stemmed through McCarthyism and sought instead to water down Capitalism to seem less obviously exploitative and predatory.

Democratic Socialism meanwhile is an attempt at optics by Socialists who found the brutal realities of the October Revolution and the Chinese Civil War to be too uncomfortable to cope with. Thus to alleviate both their own moral concerns and to appease McCarthyist sensibilities they promote the election of Socialist candidates through active participation in the liberal democratic process in stark contrast to their revolutionary cousins who seek to subvert the system rather than participate in it.

Democratic Socialism has notably never resulted in the creation of a Socialist State. So no, I would say it has not ever actually worked at all. The reason for this is simple: it is no possible to transfer ownership of the means of production from the elite to the workers by participating within a system that exists to defend and uphold the Capitalist system. It is not possible to reform a capitalist liberal democracy into a socialist people's republic because the two are very much incompatible concepts. Any attempt to use democracy to install Socialism has resulted in obstruction by legalists/constitutionalists, coup d'etats, or a failure of momentum to oust the bourgeois/aristocracy from their positions of power. While Revolutionary Socialism may not be pretty it remains the only successful means by which the ruling elite can be overthrown and the exploitative system they enforce be crushed under heel. History has proven time and again that when the workers put down their guns to pick up ballots nothing changes.
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Postby Aumbura » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:06 pm

Sordhau wrote:First, I want to stress the confusion between Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism: these are the not the same things, nor should they be confused for one another.

Democratic Socialism is the belief that Socialism can be achieved through the democratic process as opposed to revolution; Social Democracy is a form of liberalism that promotes the expansion of welfare programs for the needy and regulations on corporate bodies.

Social Democracy is a form of Capitalism that seeks to address the intrinsic issues of Capitalism while still maintaining the Capitalist social framework centered around private ownership of capital and the means of production. It was conceived as an alternative to Socialism because the Capitalists, aware of the appeal of Socialist values to working class people, were worried that Socialism's popularity could not be stemmed through McCarthyism and sought instead to water down Capitalism to seem less obviously exploitative and predatory.

Democratic Socialism meanwhile is an attempt at optics by Socialists who found the brutal realities of the October Revolution and the Chinese Civil War to be too uncomfortable to cope with. Thus to alleviate both their own moral concerns and to appease McCarthyist sensibilities they promote the election of Socialist candidates through active participation in the liberal democratic process in stark contrast to their revolutionary cousins who seek to subvert the system rather than participate in it.

Democratic Socialism has notably never resulted in the creation of a Socialist State. So no, I would say it has not ever actually worked at all. The reason for this is simple: it is no possible to transfer ownership of the means of production from the elite to the workers by participating within a system that exists to defend and uphold the Capitalist system. It is not possible to reform a capitalist liberal democracy into a socialist people's republic because the two are very much incompatible concepts. Any attempt to use democracy to install Socialism has resulted in obstruction by legalists/constitutionalists, coup d'etats, or a failure of momentum to oust the bourgeois/aristocracy from their positions of power. While Revolutionary Socialism may not be pretty it remains the only successful means by which the ruling elite can be overthrown and the exploitative system they enforce be crushed under heel. History has proven time and again that when the workers put down their guns to pick up ballots nothing changes.


I've always viewed Democratic Socialism as simply being a system of socialism in which free elections are held. It can be achieved through forceful revolutionary means, but once a new system is firmly established, the citizens are free to vote for various socialist candidates. That's my way of defining it anyhow.
Last edited by Aumbura on Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Pan-Pacific Unity » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:09 pm

Vistulange wrote:The definition of socialism, and democratic socialism moreso, is a debate all unto its own. Before the far-left would-be-informants show up, let's establish that that is a very serious, ongoing, and multilayered debate; among trade unions, academia, and activists. It takes a different form in the United States and possibly Canada, and certainly a different form in Europe and the United Kingdom. It gets messier when the non-Marxist forms of left-wing politics (again, before the inquisition shows up and throws us all in the GULAG for dissenting from the party's line) are incorporated, which inherently have to be incorporated when we talk about "democratic socialism".

All that to say, it's a difficult question to answer because the terms are so nebulous. One might argue that Sweden, prior to Olof Palme's assassination, was really getting close to "achieving democratic socialism" (I don't like this phrasing, as a footnote, but it's the best I can come up with), what with reforms and changes that today would be considered unthinkable.

They don't joke about two left-wingers forming four political factions when left alone for nothing.

Sorry to be a far-left would-be-informant, but I must protest against the idea that there is no clear definition of socialism. This is an issue that was discussed in the 19th century, and clear conclusions were reached regarding what socialism is in comparison to capitalism. The current confusion is largely the result of the falsifications and distortions associated with stalinism, its successors and its opponents. Regarding democratic socialism, no one has ever come remotely close to establishing a socialist society through democratic participation, and thus it is fair to say that democratic socialism has never worked and seems highly unlikely to ever work in the future.
Last edited by Pan-Pacific Unity on Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sordhau » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:10 pm

Aumbura wrote:
Sordhau wrote:First, I want to stress the confusion between Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism: these are the not the same things, nor should they be confused for one another.

Democratic Socialism is the belief that Socialism can be achieved through the democratic process as opposed to revolution; Social Democracy is a form of liberalism that promotes the expansion of welfare programs for the needy and regulations on corporate bodies.

Social Democracy is a form of Capitalism that seeks to address the intrinsic issues of Capitalism while still maintaining the Capitalist social framework centered around private ownership of capital and the means of production. It was conceived as an alternative to Socialism because the Capitalists, aware of the appeal of Socialist values to working class people, were worried that Socialism's popularity could not be stemmed through McCarthyism and sought instead to water down Capitalism to seem less obviously exploitative and predatory.

Democratic Socialism meanwhile is an attempt at optics by Socialists who found the brutal realities of the October Revolution and the Chinese Civil War to be too uncomfortable to cope with. Thus to alleviate both their own moral concerns and to appease McCarthyist sensibilities they promote the election of Socialist candidates through active participation in the liberal democratic process in stark contrast to their revolutionary cousins who seek to subvert the system rather than participate in it.

Democratic Socialism has notably never resulted in the creation of a Socialist State. So no, I would say it has not ever actually worked at all. The reason for this is simple: it is no possible to transfer ownership of the means of production from the elite to the workers by participating within a system that exists to defend and uphold the Capitalist system. It is not possible to reform a capitalist liberal democracy into a socialist people's republic because the two are very much incompatible concepts. Any attempt to use democracy to install Socialism has resulted in obstruction by legalists/constitutionalists, coup d'etats, or a failure of momentum to oust the bourgeois/aristocracy from their positions of power. While Revolutionary Socialism may not be pretty it remains the only successful means by which the ruling elite can be overthrown and the exploitative system they enforce be crushed under heel. History has proven time and again that when the workers put down their guns to pick up ballots nothing changes.


I've always viewed Democratic Socialism as simply being a system of socialism in which free elections are held. It can be achieved through forceful revolutionary means, but once established, the citizens are free to vote for various socialist candidates. That's my way of defining it anyhow.


Free elections are already held in a Socialist system, as the USSR demonstrated. In spite of what liberals may believe the people did have power in the Soviet system; and they had a lot more say over policy than in any liberal democracy. There was voting, there was elections, and more importantly average joe working people were the ones entering office; not businessmen and entertainers like in the West.
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Postby Iskanistan » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:11 pm

Sordhau wrote:Free elections are already held in a Socialist system, as the USSR demonstrated. In spite of what liberals may believe the people did have power in the Soviet system; and they had a lot more say over policy than in any liberal democracy. There was voting, there was elections, and more importantly average joe working people were the ones entering office; not businessmen and entertainers like in the West.


(X) for doubt.

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Postby Sordhau » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:17 pm

Iskanistan wrote:
Sordhau wrote:Free elections are already held in a Socialist system, as the USSR demonstrated. In spite of what liberals may believe the people did have power in the Soviet system; and they had a lot more say over policy than in any liberal democracy. There was voting, there was elections, and more importantly average joe working people were the ones entering office; not businessmen and entertainers like in the West.


(X) for doubt.


The Soviet Union's government was structured through tiered worker councils--soviets, from whence the name came from--who elected representatives from among their own.

Village soviets elected reps to send to the city soviets, who elected reps to send to the provincial soviets, who elected reps to send to the national soviets, who elected reps to send to the Supreme Soviet - the USSR's legislature. In this way working people were not only the ones directly choosing future leadership, but they were that future leadership. A vote in Soviet democracy mattered much more than in US democracy.
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Pan-Pacific Unity
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Postby Pan-Pacific Unity » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:19 pm

Sordhau wrote:
Aumbura wrote:
I've always viewed Democratic Socialism as simply being a system of socialism in which free elections are held. It can be achieved through forceful revolutionary means, but once established, the citizens are free to vote for various socialist candidates. That's my way of defining it anyhow.


Free elections are already held in a Socialist system, as the USSR demonstrated. In spite of what liberals may believe the people did have power in the Soviet system; and they had a lot more say over policy than in any liberal democracy. There was voting, there was elections, and more importantly average joe working people were the ones entering office; not businessmen and entertainers like in the West.

Firstly, the USSR was not socialist, and indeed never was. The Russian revolution inevitably began collapsing into counter-revolution the moment the revolutions in Europe and elsewhere failed. Secondly, democratic participation is not a hallmark of socialist society, and very well may not be a component at all, at least in the sense of majority voting and the election of representatives. Representative democracy is historically a hallmark of capitalist societies, which while explaining its existence and emphasis in the USSR, also serves to indicate that it is not necessarily a feature of socialist societies.
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Postby Kahekordne Union of Spib » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:22 pm

Iskanistan wrote:
Sordhau wrote:Free elections are already held in a Socialist system, as the USSR demonstrated. In spite of what liberals may believe the people did have power in the Soviet system; and they had a lot more say over policy than in any liberal democracy. There was voting, there was elections, and more importantly average joe working people were the ones entering office; not businessmen and entertainers like in the West.


(X) for doubt.


The USSR only held a free and fair election in its final years under Gorbachev before collapsing, which was when the nation was constitutionally changed to a semi presidential republic as opposed to a socialist one party state. Additionally the voting system before had the candidates pre picked with the options of yes or no.
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Postby Sordhau » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:27 pm

Pan-Pacific Unity wrote:Firstly, the USSR was not socialist, and indeed never was.


Not in practice, no. But it was Socialist in spirit and, given time, I think it inevitably would have been a proper Socialist country had Khrushchev and his successors not ran into the ground.

The Russian revolution inevitably began collapsing into counter-revolution the moment the revolutions in Europe and elsewhere failed.


I disagree with this notion. While Stalin had some peculiar ideas and a whole lot of morality issues both he and Lenin were still firmly on the Left throughout their lifetimes. Khrushchev was the one who oversaw the slight turn right-ward, which then turned into a sharp turn by the time of Gorbachev.

Secondly, democratic participation is not a hallmark of socialist society, and very well may not be a component at all, at least in the sense of majority voting and the election of representatives.


It is, actually. Socialism logically means power to the people; in the workplace and in the government. One begets the other.

Representative democracy is historically a hallmark of capitalist societies, which while explaining its existence and emphasis in the USSR, also serves to indicate that it is not necessarily a feature of socialist societies.


I can understand that argument but I don't necessarily agree. Direct democracy, though preferable where applicable, cannot work effectively on a large scale like the USSR. Representative democracy thus becomes a necessary evil; and if it must exist then it is better to follow the Soviet model and elect our representatives from among the people rather than among the elite as we do in the West.
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Postby Sordhau » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:30 pm

Kahekordne Union of Spib wrote:The USSR only held a free and fair election in its final years under Gorbachev before collapsing, which was when the nation was constitutionally changed to a semi presidential republic as opposed to a socialist one party state.


A "free and fair election" is not defined by a nationwide popular vote but by the ability to vote for candidates of one's choosing without coercion and with a reliance that the vote shall be fairly counted. The USSR had this from the very beginning.

Additionally the voting system before had the candidates pre picked with the options of yes or no.


Which does not make it any less free or any less fair.
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Postby Vistulange » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:39 pm

Sordhau wrote:
Kahekordne Union of Spib wrote:The USSR only held a free and fair election in its final years under Gorbachev before collapsing, which was when the nation was constitutionally changed to a semi presidential republic as opposed to a socialist one party state.

the ability to vote for candidates of one's choosing without coercion and with a reliance that the vote shall be fairly counted. The USSR had this from the very beginning.

You're taking the piss, right? Surely you can't be serious?
Last edited by Vistulange on Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Iskanistan
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Postby Iskanistan » Fri Aug 05, 2022 4:51 pm

Vistulange wrote:
Sordhau wrote:the ability to vote for candidates of one's choosing without coercion and with a reliance that the vote shall be fairly counted. The USSR had this from the very beginning.

You're taking the piss, right? Surely you can't be serious?


I am wondering the same. Nobody even in the USSR itself believed that.

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