At its core, Socialism calls for social ownership and control of the economy. That means that either the State or the workers or in some instances, both, own major sectors of the economy. Socialists believe that this model allows for basic services to be provided more cheaply and fairly. It is NOT to be confused with communism – a political ideology where there is a total absence of government which, ironically, many of the detractors on the political right seem to favor.
Democratic Socialism is the combination of a political democracy and a socialist or mixed economy. Although Bernie Sanders is advocating for economic reform, he doesn’t want to do away with Capitalism entirely. He believes that the government should pay for health care and higher education, but those services should be provided by a combination of the public and private sector.
Historically, Socialism has been a polarizing term in American politics, but as more people are turning a deaf ear to all of the fear mongering coming from the corporate media, they are also becoming more educated on the facts – especially the reality that we already have wonderful, rather quotidian, socialist aspects to our American way of life: our highway system, public libraries, police and fire departments, the postal service, garbage collection, and dozens of more positive ways that our lives are impacted by a functional Socialism – ways that we take for granted each and every day.
According to recent Gallup survey, 47% of Americans would consider voting for a Socialist as President and according to the PEW Research Center, younger people are also more likely to favor Socialism with nearly half of Americans, 29 years old and younger, having a positive view of Socialism.