America: Socialist or Capitalist? Trump Helped Make Socialism Cool Again

Apr 20, 2021
Jerry Nelson
Economies

Photo by Sophie Keen on Unsplash

America: Socialist or Capitalist? Trump Helped Make Socialism Cool Again

Just as the Obama era ushered in a boomlet of libertarianism on the right, the Democrat Socialists of America began banking on Trump to make socialism great again. DSA’s goal was not just to stop Trump’s worst policies, but to push the political conversation on the left even further to the left through a mix of political action and cultural engagement. There are signs the plan worked.

Fueled by disenchantment with the typical institutions of the Democratic Party, and the phantasm of Trumpism, DSA membership has more than doubled since the election, and Congress has more Democratic Socialists in office than ever according to InTheseTimes.com. The DSA now boasts more than 20,000 members and more than 120 local chapters. Sure, you could fit just about everyone comfortably inside Madison Square Garden, but being a socialist hasn’t been this cool in years.

Thank you Herr Trump!

Trump left his followers confused and badly shaken. Many still aren’t sure what to believe anymore and don’t understand even the basic, fundamental differences between socialism and capitalism.

Is the United States a socialist or capitalist country?

The U.S. is a mixed economy, exhibiting characteristics of both capitalism and socialism. Such a mixed economy embraces economic freedom when it comes to capital use, but it also allows for government intervention for the public good.

When did socialism start in America?

It began with utopian communities in the early 19th century such as the Shakers, the activist visionary Josiah Warren and intentional communities inspired by Charles Fourier. Labor activists, usually British, German, or Jewish immigrants, founded the Socialist Labor Party of America in 1877.

What does socialism mean in US history?

As one of a growing number of supporters of democratic socialism in America, one of the chief arguments I hear from the conservative right is the evils of socialism historically. Anyone can point to Mao, or Stalin, or even Hitler (all of whom self-identified as socialists and proceeded to exterminate massive numbers of people while acting as dictators), and say, “Is that what you want? More of that? Are you really that ignorant of history?”

The problem many people have is simply misunderstanding what socialism fundamentally is, and when you do understand, it becomes obvious that they weren’t in fact socialists.

Socialism is a political, social, and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production. Socialist systems are divided into non-market and market forms.

Putting aside the fact that capitalism has still killed far more people than these supposedly socialist movements ever did, this is a valid point, if you don’t actually understand what socialism is.

“Our times are filled with danger and promise. As part of a broader progressive coalition, a revitalized socialist movement, committed to defending and expanding the democratic promise to all Americans, can play a vital role in the years to come.”

To learn more about socialism in America, read this:

https://journeyamerica.wordpress.com/2020/06/10/75-ways-socialism-has-improved-shaped-and-built-america/

What are the 3 types of socialism?

Depending on your reading and with whom you talk, there are endless categories of ‘socialism’. Here are some of the types of socialistic systems:

  • Democratic socialism. In democratic socialism, factors of production are under the management of an elected administration.
  • Revolutionary socialism.
  • Libertarian socialism.
  • Market socialism.
  • Green socialism.

What is socialism in simple terms?

Socialism is an economic and political system. It is an economacic theory of social organization. It states that the means of making, moving, and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the workers. This means the money made belongs to the workers who make the products, instead of groups of private owners.

What is the difference between a socialist and a communist?

Both socialism and communism place great value on creating a more equal society and removal of class privilege. The main difference is that socialism is compatible with democracy and liberty, whereas Communism involves creating an 'equal society' through an authoritarian state, which denies basic liberties.

Putting aside the fact that capitalism has killed far more people than Hitler, Stalin, or Mao, who all led supposedly socialist movements, this is a valid point, if you don’t actually understand what socialism is.

First of all, socialism is not communism. It is an extremely broad set of political ideas which has had many manifestations throughout history, and which pre-dates Karl Marx and communism by decades. European intellectuals were discussing socialism when Marx was still soiling his little German diapers.

The Takeaway

Maurice Isserman, a charter member of Democratic Socialists of America, professor with Hamilton College and the author of The Other American: The Life of Michael Harrington (2000) writes: “Our times are filled with danger and promise. As part of a broader progressive coalition, a revitalized socialist movement, committed to defending and expanding the democratic promise to all Americans, can play a vital role in the years to come.”

By Contributor:

Jerry Nelson

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jerry Nelson is an American writer living the expat life in Argentina. You can find him at any of their hundreds of sidewalk cafes and hire him through Fiverr. Join the quarter-million who follow him on Twitter.

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