One of the things if not issues with socialism is the ideological diversity of socialism. There are still Marxist or Statist Socialists who believe in the state owning the means of production for society. In simple English that means the state meaning the central government owns the economy. With the central government managing and operating the entire economy. No private sector, no capitalism, probably no property rights other than maybe one’s home or automobile.
Then there people who I could call Social Democrats or Democratic Socialists. Like U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders the only self-described Socialist in Congress who believe in a certain level of capitalism. But that it is heavily taxed and regulated to benefit the people and to finance a very large welfare state. If not superstate designed to provide people with the services that they need to live well. Social services like education, health care, health insurance, pension to use as examples. As well as a safety net to help people who fall through the cracks of the capitalist economic system.
Outside of maybe New York City, New England, the Northwest and the San Francisco Bay Area, for Socialists to succeed at all in America as well as the places I’ve mentioned, the more progressive social democratic route has to be the way they go politically. Because Americans like the idea of the safety net and basic regulations to protect workers and consumers. And don’t mind generally paying the taxes to support those programs, but there is a limit even in the more socialist areas of the country of what we want government at any level trying to do for us. And we like our freedom including economic freedom as well.
Thom Hartmann: What Does Socialism Mean to You?