Does Social Democracy vs Socialism Make Sense?

Does Social Democracy vs Socialism Make Sense?

Last question today, we sort of alluded to
it in the first, uh, in the second question is the battle between social democracy and
democratic socialism. One worth having. So the, there are two answers to this. Ideologically, there is a major difference
between a social Democrat who believes in a capitalist system that is well-regulated. The coroners are sort of sanded off to make
the system work better for more people. It sets a floor, it sets a ceiling. We’ve talked about social democracy, that
versus socializing the means of production as an actual socialist. There is a world of difference between those
two ideas. So the debate between social democracy and
democratic socialism is not just worth having. It’s an incredibly important debate that separates
drastically different world views. That’s the theoretical answer. Now, in modern American politics, we are not
at risk or we don’t have the possibility of going to democratic socialism anytime soon. I’ve said this before, when Donald Trump gets
up in front of a, you know, the state of the union and during the state of the union address
and says, we will never be a socialist country. First of all, he doesn’t know that things
can happen over 50 years. You know, over 30 years, over a hundred years,
that Donald Trump simply can’t predict. So it’s a dumb thing to say, but there’s also
no risk that we’re about to become a socialist country. The serious reforms that are being discussed
right now around healthcare, around inequality, around education, public transit, housing,
all of these things, the risk is that we go slightly more in the direction of social democracy. And so I believe that in in an academic sense,
in a theoretical sense, we should be discussing social democracy versus democratic socialism
in the immediate, the goals for both are probably the same. If you are a social Democrat, you want to
get to universal healthcare coverage maybe through something like Medicare for all or
other types of plans that I’ve mentioned. If you are a democratic socialist, that still
is the next step for healthcare, which gets you closer to what you ultimately want. It’s an academic debate right now. It may become a practical debate at some point
in the future in the United States, but we’re not becoming a democratic socialist country
anytime soon. There, uh, effectively, no, almost no democratic
socialists in positions of power. Even some of them who call themselves democratic
socialists are advocating policies of social democracy. So have the debate, but the next steps are
very similar, whether you’re a social Democrat or a democratic socialist. And I hope that we can unite among making
those accomplishments a reality. We’ve got a great bonus show for you today. Become a member or a patron to get instant access. Join at

85 thoughts on “Does Social Democracy vs Socialism Make Sense?

  1. It's always funny when David Pakman talks about Socialism, because he never talks to an actual Socialist.

  2. The question sucks. Socialism isn't even the same as Dem socialism. But being a social democrat is by far the best solution for the United States.

  3. The biggest problem is, you say "Social Democracy", and people hear "Social" and shut down. If you look at Social Democracy without the prejudice it makes a lot more sense

  4. Do DSA and high-profile members, like AOC, just further confuse people, must notably right-/nut-wingers, who use s-word as weapon with the christofascist base? (:-(

  5. America is socialist [for the rich]. And America’s largest source of merchadise imports has been China – run by the communist party and its SOEs making cars, computers, planes, phones, apparel, etc. all state owned and/or state controlled.

  6. 😂🤣😂 too many videos of Left Wing NPC’s hoping baghdadi is still alive so they can throw more of their own feces at trump

  7. I don’t think taking over the means of production is the best way. Certain things like Healthcare, Unions , education, EPA and other policies that affect the people is good. Having a strong Glass Stegal in place for Banks is a must to stop the illegal and corrupt behavior of Too big to fail banks. #BERNIE2020.❤️✌️

  8. Socialism= helping people. Democratic socialism= helping people get thier pride back after a lard ass destoyed everything with capitalism

  9. Most socialists (specifically Marxists) believe that social democracy is a necessary step on the way to achieving socialism (and then communism down the line). When people organize and struggle for their economic and labor rights, it does two things: 1) it improves their material conditions, which is a good thing, and 2) it emboldens and inspires them to demand more, since they've learned that they actually do have power.

    I would consider myself a Libertarian Socialist/Communist, but social democracy would undoubtedly be so much better than what we have now and would make the transition towards a more just society much easier.

  10. It's a good summation of the differences between both ideas. We have many examples in the world of how Social Democracy really works to create a prosperous and at the same time productive economy; in fact the modern German constitution defines their economic system as a "Socially responsible market economy" which is clearly down social democratic territory. What doesn't exist anywhere in the world, to my knowledge, is an example of a prosperous and free socialist society.

  11. I know im ignorant when it comes to economics especially when it comes to socialism. But from all the ideas I've heard I don't understand how it's the right move to make. It seems incredibly risky considering our economy is really good right now. Not trying to be rude, not trolling, I just don't get it

  12. Socialism democratism is socialism that isn't authoritarian but democratic. This would make this less sustainable to authoritarian socialist. Bernie's idea are on the same level as police, military and firefighters. would have to kick capitalism out…have fun convincing the country.

  13. … too complex thinkers, OF COURSE
    US politics isn’t ‘governed’ by thinking, as much as feeling… now more than ever. So, I wish us all good luck

  14. David, I am 50 years old. I called myself a socialist long before it became "trendy" or "cool." Interchangibly, I also refer to myself as a social democrat too. To me, they are one of the same. I want to reform capitalism, not abolish it.

  15. Democratic Socialism does not advocate the means of production be government owned where as old school socialism does. We still keep capitalism but we get to have more basic fundamental services that everybody needs, not just for those that can afford them.

  16. ” It is time to begin thinking about public ownership of major utilities “ Bernie Sanders 08:44 PM • Oct 27, 2019 • Twitter for iPhone

    In reference to Californian wildfires.

  17. A broadly united attempt across eight or twelve years to implement the stated platforms of Warren, Bernie, or any of the wider "Squad", would bring the US to a condition of social democracy approaching something like Canada, France, Australia, Japan, Korea or Taiwan. At a guess I'd suggest a President Warren would bring the US closest to Japan, and a President Sanders to Canada or France. (That's on top of the underlying transformations in the market economy that will emerge from the energy transition.)

  18. European social democracy has a different history than, say, American left liberalism (in the New Deal and Great Society tradition): the former was basically an incremental (as opposed to revolutionary) and aspirational movement towards socialism, whereas the latter was a response to economic crises intended to save capitalism from itself. While it’s true that social democrats in Europe did eventually largely abandon the goal of a post-capitalist society – in a sense meeting American left liberals in the middle – it nonetheless sounds weird to me to pit social democrats and democratic socialists against each other, knowing this history. One might even fairly describe democratic socialists as old-school or paleo-social democrats, except they have more examples (some positive, some negative) to learn from previous attempts to go beyond capitalism.

  19. Instead of Identity Politics, why don't we focus on how we are to use the tools that we have. First, we understand what a "Republic" is. Then, we focus on how 'this' Republic uses the tools known as Democracy, Socialism, Liberalism, Anarchism, Capitalism and Science. Then we can focus on how those tools are used in combination to form accountability, sustainability, innovation, progress and balance. If we can get our heads out of our asses and come to terms that we are in this together, in the same boat, with the drive to live and progress, maybe we will come to understand that we don't have to make it this hard. Accountability is the largest measure to Democratic stability in the Republic. When Democracy is broken, Capitalism and Anarchism become a problem.

  20. It’s weird, the stronger our economy gets after implementing trickle down economics based policies, dropping unemployment rates lower than ever before, and having everybody on average earn more…. Why is the left fighting so hard to try and prove socialism is the best way to go when “true socialist” nations economies around the world are growing at a much slower rate? Many are even declining, and some that the left used to love to point to (Venezuela) are in utter chaos. The government sucks at its job, and like your employee that sucks at their job, you give them the least amount of responsibility possible, otherwise they’ll most likely screw it up.

  21. Crazy, Trumps trickle down economics have greatly strengthened the economy, dropped unemployment lower than ever before, and the value of our dollar has risen drastically…. and all the left can say is “socialism is the only thing that can save us!” Save us from what? Overwhelming success?

  22. Stop using those fucking terms — it’s just Capitalism vs Socialism. “Social Democracy” will always be co-opted by the Fascio-Capitalists.

  23. You better hope there’s a chance for real Socialism, because the only alternative is fascism — and we already have that.

  24. Worker coops as the norm is rarely mentioned in the mainsteam. Same with police and prison abolition. It's slowly getting steam though.

  25. Please come up with a more effective name for this belief! There are two common definitions for this word, the most common is socialism achieved through democratic means, the SECOND definition is capitalism with large social programs. It's going to be a political disaster if you don't even have a name for your belief. Can we call it "Social Capitalism" or "Social Markets"? Even better drop the word social, it makes you sound like socialist to uneducated right-wingers. The best would be something like "Humanitarian Capitalism" and the short version can be something like "HuCap".

    As an independent it is just so frustrating watching progressives be so bad a politics. The right wing just constantly has a field day with all of you. The right wing comes up with awesome political terms like classical liberal, pro-life, and libertarian.

    Edit: I guess I should also come up with a more appealing name for social programs too. How about "Life security programs", or "Well-being insurance." Safety net is an good term too, it has that extra power of being a physical object that conjures imagery of children falling from a burning building and being caught by a bunch of brave men and women holding up safety nets. Safety net is also shorter so more catchy, that's better than any I could come up with in the moment. For the love of everything stop calling them "social programs." Politics is wordplay. Welfare has already been tainted too.

  26. Oh, yes, I definitely agree that the distinction should be discussed, especially since Socialism tends to be defined among some simply as regulated Capitalism.
    Also, it should be noted that one of the reasons as to why Socialism and Social Democracy never became mainstream political forces in the U.S. was because of infighting and purity testing; and the fact that we're seeing many of these same errors being reenacted in our own day is troubling. I've suggested this before, but it's worth reiterating that I recommend “Americanism and Social Democracy” by John Spargo for a bit more historical background on the subject.
    Plus, for anyone interested in a wider understanding of the development of Social Democracy in Germany, I'd suggest reading “German Socialism and Ferdinand Lassalle”, by William Harbutt Dawson

  27. David, reasonable and prudent people already know TRUMP is an IDIOT. I agree a Social Democracy is a more feasible solution for our country and as a challenge to large income inequailty companies. But as a COUNTRY we do need capitalism, as well as controls to stop monopolization of certain businesses. Such as: only one cable provider allowed to service one blocked section of an areas. Then the only other choice is satellite receivers, that do not work when you live in between 2 mountain ranges. Heavy rain, ice snow and clouded sky's also impede your ability to receive reception. Or one electric company: that provides services for 1/3 or more of a state. With no competition, prices rise as high as they want. Competition is necessary to keep prices affordable.

  28. Social democracy can never truly today's capitalism as the problem with today's capitalism is the involvement of government. Increasing that will not help fix the system.

    Remove government from the market almost entirely. Allow it to set monopoly law and employee safety standards and that's pretty much it.

    Capitalism has (to this day) risen more people out of poverty then any other force of human civilization

  29. As long as someone believes that capitalism/free market is generally the best way to move forward there’s a convo to be had. Many ppl dismiss social democrats outright because they think it is a step towards socialism. Just acknowledging that capitalism has many positive aspects does a lot to open peoples minds up

  30. It seems like you're just trying to avoid the term "socialism" and/or the term "centrism". You can have partial socialism, just like you can have partial capitalism. Seriously, what do people think centrism is in the centre of? What do people think a mixed economy is a mix of?

    If you socialize a sector of the economy, say the health insurance industry, making it publicly owned and operated, then that sector is then run in a socialist fashion. Privately owned and operated schools are run in a capitalist fashion. Publicly owned and operated schools are run in a socialist fashion. Privately owned and operated electric companies are run in a capitalist fashion. Publicly owned and operated electric companies are run in a socialist fashion. Etc. If you went 100% with either, you'd have full blown capitalism or full blown socialism. Centrism is a mix of the two.

    "Social democracy", to me, doesn't seem to really describe an economic position, at all. The economic position you described is centrism (the real centre, not the centre of the US's almost completely right of centre political spectrum).

    You want to get to central station. The democratic socialist train is heading in that direction. You can take it as far as maybe 50/50 capitalism/socialism, but then you can jump off the train at Central station. And that's fine. It's democratic. If the majority of people aren't ready to move further, then that's fine. That's what a democracy is about. That's the current destination Bernie is headed for, and hasn't suggested going any further, at least not for now.

    The Republican train, on the other hand, just keeps chugging further and further right, currently taking the country with it. While the corporate Dem train wants to take you to a fake central station, that's actually between the real central station and the extreme right station, and not truly central, at all.

  31. I’m not against socialism. I’m against state planning, I prefer markets because they are way more responsive to people’s needs. Market socialist reforms are what I hope we Americans can move toward. The state is illegitimate.

  32. The one most Americans don’t know is that we have all kinds of socialist programs that’s making our government run the way it does, only a dumbass president would say it’s bad for business 🤔🤔💯

  33. So in other words, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Focus on common ground that everyone can agree ought to be done. At least for now.

  34. Why is the word SOCIALISM such a bad word there, when it’s light years from being a communist. How can Americans not know the difference?

  35. David, what do you make of Kirchner's puppet winning the election? Do u think this is very bad for the country , what's next?

  36. And therein lies the problem: The entire topic of social-democracy, democratic-socialism, and state socialism is so esoteric that it all melds into the minds of the majority of Americans to create a deeply pejorative sense. Democrats, unfortunately, are unable to simplify anything that can be easily digested by the average American. It reminds me of the phrase “the private option” that was laughable and sad all at the same time. Bernie Sanders may be full of grandiosity but every-day Joe American has neither the time nor will to make the effort to clarify the issue. And, of course, the Republican Party will annihilate the profoundly obtuse Democrats in 2020. Sad but true.

  37. In Australia our two major parties are self-described as Liberal Conservatives and Social Democrats…. the country hasn't collapsed, our economy isn't in the toilet… wake up Americans, you're being LIED to when you're told socialism is ALL bad.

  38. Stupid debate in my opinion. Social democrats and democratic socialists share the same immediate goals. Within the context of a single Presidential term, the policy goals of both are practically identical.

  39. When listening to Sanders, the way he describes himself as a Socialist Democrat, sounds like a politician who wants to make his country into a social democracy. The Scandinavian countries that Sanders uses as his model, are all social democracies. We all have conservative governments every now and again, but our FOUNDATION is built on social democracy. Conservatives don't want to take that away, because a) it's fiscally sound, and b) nobody would vote for a conservative party that messed with our foundation.

  40. The RIGHT hates everything that associates with word SOCIAL. They want 'MERICA to be a DOG-EAT-DOG society like TRUMP's W.H.

  41. The irony is that a country like Sweden like most countries in Europe are social democracies, that some people here (read Republicans) are calling "communists" – Yet they have far more options for public utilities than what we have here in the U.S. In Sweden they have much better competition for Broadband Internet and most people even have Fiber with FAR faster speeds & much cheaper Internet than what we have. They also have more competition and far cheaper mobile phone services. They have a free market for choosing Electricity unlike most of us who only have literally ONE option. Don't get tricked by the American right-wingers trying to spread Misinformation & FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

  42. Socialism is evil, therefore the following non-exhaustive list of things is also evil because they shares a distant etymological origin, they have nothing to do with socialism, but that’s not the point.

    Social workers.
    Social sciences.
    Social democracy.
    Social reform.
    Social justice.
    Social class.
    Social welfare (unemployment, disability, etc)
    Social security.
    Social networks.
    Social media.

  43. David. This is a total waste of time. You need to discuss the difference between socialist health care (Sanders) and liberal health care (Yang, Buttigieg). The difference between these is important right now in this election campaign.

    Socialist health care is classless. Where everyone has equal access to the same quality healthcare system.

    Liberal health care is a class system where quality is determined by how much money people have.
    So there is a clear difference. It is important for Americans to understand the difference before they vote.

  44. When I hear Bernie/socialist talk, I instantly think FDR. Not Mussolini. Am I wrong? Are there people out there that actually believe he wants power and control for himself? If that's true, he has been one hell of an actor for the last 30 years.

  45. I am amused by the relentless effort of US progressives to define themselves as democratic socialists, rather than social democrats like it is known in the rest of the world. A pointless distinction for the rest of the world, but fundamental, and looking like a desperate attempt to not be labeled as evil boogeymen socialists in the eyes of the US society.

  46. Israel & bernie…wants to increase welfare for themselves from $3B to the tune of $6B.
    bernie wants the black vote yet has ZERO to give to our agenda.
    He only supports reparations for his own kind and yet wants our vote.
    bernie said he walked with MLK as if to say he supported MLK.
    MLK said we're coming for our check!!!
    bernie says NO CHECK NO MLK DREAM!!!
    Hypocritical bernie o.k. for jewish reparations….not o.k. for black reparations.
    Warren 2020 $200B ADOS reparations.
    $50,000 to each of us ADOS.

  47. I don't think David understands what modern democratic socialism advocates. It's not about the abolition of capitalism and free enterprise – but rather, using direct democratic control to ensure that these activities are equitable, sustainable, fair and just. Allocating a portion of shares to workers and requiring stakeholder representation on company boards isn't communism: it's democratic capitalism. And it's well worth advocating these policies right now!

  48. Thank you, David. Americans constantly confuse the two terms, and call Europe, for example, socialist, although it is not. Social welfare programmes, in a traditional democracy, do not constitute a socialist system of government.

  49. I'm pretty sure that when automation takes 99% of the job market the socialism has to hit in.

    Otherwise you're basically living in future where 99.9999% of people are living day to day by basically having their own little shrinking economy where they make their own food and trade among themselves with worthless trash, while rich have sex slaves and 10 000 robot military force to guard the gates of the castle and butlers and massages every day and 10 mile long water slides.

    I mean you would have to be idiot to accept to give tax cuts to those people in order to mayyyyybe get a job one day. But knowing America, 50% of you would vote for tax cuts and then blame the poor Mexicans from taking the jobs.

  50. Policies and programs are what can be “socialism”, not people or countries. That scary shit “socialism” thrown around by right-wingers is propaganda language adopted by Russia eons ago.
    Humans are social beings. We live in a civilized society. This one-word labeling of anyone or anything is bullshit lazy crap for the illiterate.

  51. The difference is there but only become if society have progressed to a certain point. No developed country is there, not even the Nordic countries. Our societies may be social democratic but our governments parties switches between being led by social democrats and centre-right parties. Here in Denmark, the one time our democratic socialists (Socialistisk Folkeparti) were in government with the Social Democrats, they did get any sort of issues of theirs implemented. It was an utter disaster and led to a change of leadership.

  52. Good one David ! live in Sweden and this is very good explaination. We used to be social democratic now we have lost a bit of that …so would say somewhere social liberal with social democratic values but the safety nets are still a lot better than the US. So for example I’m highly educated I got disabled from what in reality was a work injury and then got sick afterwards and further disabled ( the employer argued that it could be something else that caused my disability not that one thing led to another and in the end I lost the insurance claim since the doctors could only say that it was 90% sure as they are educated to never say something with 100% certainty, unfortunately didn’t help with the insurance claim) The good things were that because I couldn’t work anymore the state forgave my students loans ( education in Sweden is free but you need money for food and rent) andI eventually got a state sick pension. I’m on the lowest there is as I didn’t get any supplement from the employer insurance and that’s roughly 900 dollars a month plus if you are not married with someone with a higher income then you also get a large portion of your rent paid. All Medical costs are 350 dollars a year spread out over the year. And the travel card costs 60 dollars a month for the whole region unlimited travel .So it’s def not luxury but it’s enough to get by, have two cats and eat out once a week and perhaps with a bit of saving go to a consert every 4-6 weeks. It’s also possible to go on vacation for say 2 weeks and also visit family halfway across the country 2-3 times a year by rail but it requires a lot of oatmeal 😉 ( culture and travel is subsidized by the state and if you have a pension or sick pension it’s even lower, also majority of state museums are for free or only charge a low cost for certain exhibitions) if you are sick and have a doctors note any gym training or swimming is also substantially subsidized by the local county. If you need new furniture,electronics and travel card and you are under a certain level left you can money to get those things from social services. As well as the gym money, health and basic dentistry costs . It’s def not fancy. But you will eat, have a roof over your head, have your medical costs and have a life. It’s not as good as it used to be but that’s because we have reduced taxes a LOT and have an aging population ( a lot more elderly coming) so immigration has actually benefited us a lot and made the difference less though housing is still a problem but mainly because the conservative government which we had for about 10 years changed the rules for write- offs for costs for new buildings from 30 years to ten and then the building companies went oh… in that case we will need to make a profit in 10 years on all the building costs and also locally in many places our local government owned housing now need to make profit because of massive tax cuts so we basically had a screeching halt to building which has resulted in housing shortages since very few can afford the new prices . So they artificially created a housing problem and caused massive price increases in rent and in buying costs. We are not amused! Oh and that has also meant that we have lost businesses from abroad as well as locally because they can’t afford rent and hard to find housing for employees not already living in the area. Building companies are happy though, less building for a lot more money. ( did I mention I did international affairs topped by an mba so I’m really, really annoyed by the former conservative government idiotic initiatives and unfortunately right now we have a larger coalition government which involves 2 parties which are left and green and 2 parties which are between the republicans and the Democrats which try to stop anything not conservative policy so means basically hanging on to what we got with everything we’ve got but still a lot better than the alternative) And before you ask we’ve had election interference by Russia and also the US under Trump with Steve Bannon aiding our alt-right party. Including Russian TV crews trying to bribe youths to “ riot” so right now old fashioned social democracy with a touch of real social liberalism sounds LOVELY!

  53. Daily Caller has a video and article featuring a Venezuelan expat warning about socialism in the US. It’s amusing how the deplorables think that policies to provide healthcare for everyone is equivalent to Venezuela’s socialism and corruption

  54. It really pissed me off when Sanders condemned Warren as a capitalist, when he himself is a capitalist in practice.

    Absolute posturing.

  55. Of course, the right-wing knuckleheads that say Bernie would turn us into a another failed Socialist/Communist state are idiots. Bernie wants Scandinavian style Democratic Socialist or Social Democrats, whatever… the point is… that it's still very much Capitalism. It's just a Capitalism that puts substantially more emphasis on society, and the planet, by more intelligently regulating/taxing the corporations and wealthy, so that their society overall, is healthier and there's less inequality, etc. There are still very rich people, they just aren't as rich. These countries, routinely poll as having the happiest citizens anywhere.

  56. I wished the two terms were not so similarly named… just so I can tell wtf it is that I'm supposed to label and introduce myself by..

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