Matt Wilson has a great post on “democratic socialism” and how it’s no different than just plain ol’ socialism. You know, kind of like how “fascism” is no different than “democratic fascism.”
He really nailed it in this part when discussing “positive rights.” There’s always a catch. In this case, the catch is that “positive rights” come with an explicit Faustian social contract (emphasis added):
In chapter X of the Soviet Constitution, not only did they outline workers’ rights, but also the duties they were expected to perform. This is crucial to socialism. Everyone likes the rights because they benefit, but in the end the state has to have a way to provide all those benefits and e has to require that the citizens do their part. In the case of 1936 Soviet Union people were required to work, unemployment was illegal. If you did not have a job, a job would be designated to you. If you don’t work, you are an enemy of the state. Military service is mandatory, if you do not serve you are an enemy of the state. If you break any rules, you are an enemy of the state. You have freedom of speech, but if you speak out against the state, you are an enemy of the state. There is freedom of the press, but the state controls the press. There is freedom of assembly, which is state controlled. This is the ugly part of socialism, the part Bernie Sanders won’t tell you about.
I would add that it requires that some citizens do their part for the sake of those who benefit from the system because they are net gainers. When everyone gets paid the same, those who do the least amount of work benefit, and those who do the most amount of work suffer. But it is those who are predisposed to work hard who are targeted for quotas.
Socialism boils down to two distinct and different roles. The consumer and the producer. The producers always have to produce enough for themselves and for the consumers. In a “socialist” setup theoretically everyone plays their part, but in reality a handful are the overachievers who keep the system going while the moochers and consumers take advantage of the situation.
I honestly think most people who support socialism, at least subconsciously, realize that this arrangement is necessary if it’s going to work. Their assumption is that someone else will get placed in the producer category by the state while they reap the rewards.
But what happens when the producers either refuse to pay or the producers disappear? Better yet, what happens when you’re the one forced into the producer category?
In a free market/free society, everyone has to produce as much as they consume or rely on the voluntary assistance of others to make up for it. Socialism tries to make the assistance mandatory, which is why some are attracted to it.
The gnat-straining over “socialism” versus “democratic socialism” just shows how sad things have gotten. It’s not about whether the system is good, but whether it is imposed upon us by a small group of people, like in the Soviet Union, or whether we vote it in ourselves via the democratic process.
Apparently when we decide by majority to enslaves ourselves into a system of government that has been an abysmal failure everywhere it’s tried, it’s somehow more “legitimate.”