Wikipedia defines it as “a political ideology advocating a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system, involving a combination of political democracy with social ownership of the means of production.” The Democratic Socialists of America explain that “democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically.” That doesn’t sound so bad — running things “democratically.” But what it means is that the government would run the entire economy and society, and all decisions would be made by the political process.
Now, Sanders dances around just how far his own socialism goes. At a recent speech he said,“I don’t believe government should own the grocery store down the street or control the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.” But he has spoken at numerous DSA events, and in the past he has written about putting television under “democratic control.”
I doubt that the 26 percent of young people who tell pollsters that they have a favorable view of socialism actually want television put under the direct control of politicians. But be careful what you wish for.
Robert Heilbroner, perhaps the best‐selling socialist writer of the 20th century, was more honest than many socialists. He wrote in Dissent magazine: