Democratic Socialism is not Social Democracy

By Naomi Allen
17 Feb 2019

“Democratic” Socialists have long used countries like Norway as evidence that socialism works. And it’s really nice to see that people are starting to point out that the Nordic Model is actually social democracy, not socialism. But now… in an attempt to save their narrative, the DemSocs are pretending that social democracy is all they want.

The point that we, Liberals, are trying to make, when we remind people that the Nordic Model isn’t socialism… is that Democratic Socialists need to stop comparing what they’re trying to do with the Nordic Model… because what they are pushing for, isn’t anything like the Nordic Model at all.

I am all for us giving the Nordic Model a try. Tax funded education, healthcare, and pensions? Unionizing everything and allowing collective bargaining on a national level? Let’s do it. But that’s not what democratic socialism is about.

Social democracy doesn’t aim to abolish capitalism or replace private industry with public ownership like democratic socialism does. Those who claim that these political ideologies are the same thing are either naïve or being dishonest.

Why is it, that socialists can only defend socialism by making it look like social democracy? If socialism is so great, why aren’t they defending it for what it is, instead of by pretending it’s something different?

Here’s a bright idea: Instead of pretending that democratic socialism is social democracy, how about people ditch democratic socialism and start promoting social democracy for real?