The key difference between Socialism and Democratic Socialism is that Socialism emphasizes equality in the society while Democratic Socialism emphasizes equality in a democratic state. Moreover, Democratic Socialism is a branch of Socialism.
Both these theories focus on equality and equity among individuals in common ownership of production. Overall, the main aim of these concepts is to create economic equality.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Socialism
3. What is Democratic Socialism
4. Similarities Between Socialism and Democratic Socialism
5. Side by Side Comparison – Socialism vs Democratic Socialism in Tabular Form
What is Socialism?
Socialism is an economic system that focuses on the common ownership of production and consumption of goods. This means that the resources and the goods produced in the world should be owned in common by the entire global population. In other words, everyone is entitled to get a chance to decide how these global resources should be used in the world.
Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. It came into being in the late 18th century in France, following the Industrial revolution that happened in Europe. Henri de Saint Simon was the first to coin this term.
There are four main factors of production: labor, entrepreneurship, capital goods, and natural resources. Production under socialism would be directly and solely for use. With the natural and technical resources of the world held in common and controlled democratically, the sole object of production would be to meet human needs.
The common slogan of socialism is, ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution.’. Therefore, everyone in the society has a right to receive a share of the product as per their contribution.
Socialism opposes capitalism. As a consequence, in socialism, everybody would have free access to the goods and services designed to directly meet their needs. Eventually, it will have an impact on reducing and avoiding poverty.
What is Democratic Socialism?
Democratic Socialism is the blend of socialist and democratic principles to construct a suitable political and an economy which favors equality in both aspects. This concept was prominent during the late 19th century after the end of WW1. Democratic Socialism is the main branch of the philosophy of Socialism.
Therefore, democratic socialism firmly positions on the conception that democratic methods namely, parliamentary, legal and constitutional etc. should be the only methods for setting up a society based on the principles of socialism. In brief, democratic socialism based on the concept of reaching socialist goals through democratic means.
Some argue that democratic Socialism have close ties with Marxian Socialism. However, it attempts to compromise between Marxian socialism and the ideas and principles of democracy. Similarly to socialism, democratic socialism opposes capitalism and totalitarianism.
The aim of both socialism and democratic socialism is to reach political democracy and economic equality among people. Therefore the reforms in the administrative structure become the decisive fact.
What is the Similarity Between Socialism and Democratic Socialism?
- Socialism and Democratic Socialism focus mainly on the equal distribution of products among people, thus economic equality.
- Both these theories oppose totalitarianism and capitalism
What is the Difference Between Socialism and Democratic Socialism?
Socialism vs Democratic Socialism
|A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole
|A political theory that has a socialist economy in which the means of production are socially and collectively owned or controlled alongside a politically democratic system of government
|Came into being during the late 18th century
|Came into being during the late 19th century
|Committed to the principle of public ownership for the means of production and all forms of private property
|Does not advocate complete nationalization of all properties
Summary – Socialism vs Democratic Socialism
In brief, the difference between socialism and democratic socialism is that socialism emphasizes equality in the society while democratic socialism emphasizes equality in a democratic state.
1. “NO KNOWN RESTRICTIONS: Socialists in Union Square, N.Y.C. (Bain/LOC)” by pingnews.com (Public Domain) via Flickr
2. “Democratic Socialists Occupy Wall Street 2011 Shankbone” By David Shankbone – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia