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Democratic Socialist Countries 2020
Democratic socialism describes a socialist economy where production and wealth are collectively owned, but the country has a democratic system of government. The goal of democratic socialism is to achieve socialist goals of equality while opposing socialist ideologies. Democratic socialism is opposed to the Soviet economic model, command economies and authoritarian governance.
Under Democratic socialism, the ownership of private property is limited. The government regulates the economy. There are also different programs that offer assistance and pensions.
What is a Democratic Socialist?
A democratic socialist is someone who believes that the government should provide a range of basic services to the public for free or at a significant discount, such as health care and education. Unlike socialists, democratic socialists do not believe the government should control all aspects of the aspects, only help provide basic needs and help all of its citizens have an equal chance of success.
Socialism vs. Communism
Socialism and Communism are both built on the premise that individuals contribute to society based on their own ability to do so. Both concepts have the government playing a larger role in economic planning and investment and government also controls institutions. Both also remove private business as a producer of goods and services. There is a big key difference between Socialism and Communism. Individuals under a true Communist system would not have money and would be simply given what the government thinks you need in terms of food, clothing, housing, etc. The people would not need to work harder to receive the same amount as anyone else. Under socialism, individuals are compensated based on their individual contribution; therefore, those who work harder would receive more. Furthermore, Communism views all property as public property, while Socialism allows individuals to have their own private property still. Communism is an economic and political philosophy and socialism is an economic philosophy. Lastly, Communism abolishes class distinctions as everyone is effectively treated equally, while socialism allows class distinctions to exist, as there is the opportunity for some to achieve more wealth than others.
Democratic Socialism vs. Socialism
Both democratic socialism and socialism advocate for a redistribution of wealth and power to meet public needs, not make profits for a few. Both aim to weaken the power of corporations and increase the power of the working people.
Democratic socialists, however, do not think the government should immediately take control of all aspects of the economy. Democratic socialism focuses more on providing basic needs to all people, such as health care and education. Democratic socialism, unlike socialism, would achieve this through democratic means and not an authoritarian rule.
There are democratic socialist parties located all around the world. The nations that have socialist parties include:
Of these nations, the countries that have a socialist party that serves as a governing party are:
Failed Socialist Countries
The largest of the failed socialist countries is the Soviet Union, which fell in 1991. Following WorldWar II, the United States helped to rebuild Western European countries, all of whom were free marketing economies that rebuilt rapidly by establishing the European Union and trading with one another. On the other hand, the Soviet Union seized government control of Eastern European nations, all of which became socialist states. These included: Bulgaria, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Belarus, and Ukraine. While East Germany reunified with West Germany and joined the thriving EU economy, the rest of the Eastern European countries faced economic hardship after the Soviet Union fell. Many of these countries remain the poorest European countries today.
Additionally, both Cuba and Venezuela are currently socialist states facing their own economic crises deemed to be a result of socialism.
Successful Socialist Countries
Some argue that there has been no completely socialist country that has been successful, only countries that have seen success in adopting socialist policies.
Bolivia is an example of a successful socialist country. Bolivia has drastically cut extreme poverty and has the highest GDP growth rate in South America.
Other countries that have adopted and enacted socialist ideas and policies, and have seen success in improving their societies by doing so, are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.