I guess I look at socialism like I look at conservatism. Not that they are similar, but that both have two competing factions in them. With conservatism, you have Conservatives, or Conservative Libertarians and you have Libertarians. And lets leave the Religious Conservatives and Neoconservatives out of this for the purpose of this piece. And with socialism, you have the Marxists, who are way out in left field. And is an ideology that has almost no power in the world now. And then you have the Democratic Socialists, or Social Democrats. People who not just believe in socialism and a democratic form of it, but believe that for socialism to be as effective as possible, you must have a sufficient private sector and private enterprise. To generate the revenue needed for the socialist state to thrive.
And Bernie Sanders and a lot of his supporters and before him lets say George McGovern in the 1970s, Norman Thomas in the 1960s, Henry Wallace in the 1950s and 1940s, all of these men are Democratic Socialists, or Social Democrats. People who are very democratic in nature and even believe in a level of both personal and economic freedom, but who believed that you needed a welfare state-run by government to see to it that no one was left behind. That everyone was taken care, that there was a social insurance system for people who go through tough times in the private enterprise economy. And to take care of people who are disabled and who simply can’t work at all.
In a democratic socialist system, you would have some industries that are nationalized as well. In the areas that Socialists believe everyone needs to have and be able to use at an affordable rate. Things like health care, education, health insurance, pension, energy, banking to use as examples. But by in the large the economy would be in private hands. People would not just own their own personal property, but could start their own business and run their business. You would even see large private business’s. Including automakers, telecommunications, media, manufacturing, all small and local business’s. But they would all be subjected to high taxes and regulations to see that no one has to go without. These being the differences between socialism and statism.