WEFOUNDDemocratic Socialism in Britain: Classic Texts in Economic and Political Thought, 1825-1952


IT IS taboo for mainstream politicians in the U.S. to look beyond our borders to find inspiration about how to better run our own society. When comparisons between the U.S. and other countries are made, Democrats as well as Republicans recite the exceptionalist myth that "the United States is the greatest country on earth, period."

In the first debate of the Democratic primaries in October, Bernie Sanders broke with this stifling tradition. He argued that there is a great deal we can learn from countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark. As he put it:

[W]hen you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we're not going to separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have medical and family paid leave.

IT IS taboo for mainstream politicians in the U.S. to look beyond our borders to find inspiration about how to better run our own society. When comparisons between the U.S. and other countries are made, Democrats as well as Republicans recite the exceptionalist myth that "the United States is the greatest country on earth, period."

In the first debate of the Democratic primaries in October, Bernie Sanders broke with this stifling tradition. He argued that there is a great deal we can learn from countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark. As he put it:

[W]hen you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we're not going to separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have medical and family paid leave.

The Left loves to ridicule Republicans for standing on the “wrong side of history.” And let’s concede, for this piece at least, that conservatives hold hopelessly archaic views on social and cultural issues. But what if there were a party whose economic case rested on undermining the most successful, poverty-reducing, prosperity-creating idea ever known to mankind? What would history say about that?

No one seems too troubled that Democrats ratchet up the collectivist rhetoric every election. We  mock  conservatives for red-baiting and throwing around the word “socialism.” And let’s face it, the term is overused and misunderstood. But as we saw in the Las Vegas the other night, the Democratic Party is not a party of Great Society liberals anymore . We’re not talking about lifting the marginal tax rates a few points, at least not rhetorically. Bernie Sanders isn’t only pulling a quarter of Democrats to his cause, he’s pacing the field ideologically.

In a  New York Times  piece this April describing Hillary’s alleged progressive epiphany, we learned that the Democratic Party front-runner believes  a sound economy requires the “toppling” of the wealthy.  Where taxes were once conceived to fund safety nets, police, education, communal improvements through infrastructure, and the nation’s defense, nowadays Democrats talk about taxation as if it were a tool to take from the undeserving—whose ill-gotten gains are built on a foundation of skulls from the victims of a “rigged” system—and give to companies, people, and programs to create societal equality, justice, and harmony.

IT IS taboo for mainstream politicians in the U.S. to look beyond our borders to find inspiration about how to better run our own society. When comparisons between the U.S. and other countries are made, Democrats as well as Republicans recite the exceptionalist myth that "the United States is the greatest country on earth, period."

In the first debate of the Democratic primaries in October, Bernie Sanders broke with this stifling tradition. He argued that there is a great deal we can learn from countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark. As he put it:

[W]hen you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we're not going to separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have medical and family paid leave.

The Left loves to ridicule Republicans for standing on the “wrong side of history.” And let’s concede, for this piece at least, that conservatives hold hopelessly archaic views on social and cultural issues. But what if there were a party whose economic case rested on undermining the most successful, poverty-reducing, prosperity-creating idea ever known to mankind? What would history say about that?

No one seems too troubled that Democrats ratchet up the collectivist rhetoric every election. We  mock  conservatives for red-baiting and throwing around the word “socialism.” And let’s face it, the term is overused and misunderstood. But as we saw in the Las Vegas the other night, the Democratic Party is not a party of Great Society liberals anymore . We’re not talking about lifting the marginal tax rates a few points, at least not rhetorically. Bernie Sanders isn’t only pulling a quarter of Democrats to his cause, he’s pacing the field ideologically.

In a  New York Times  piece this April describing Hillary’s alleged progressive epiphany, we learned that the Democratic Party front-runner believes  a sound economy requires the “toppling” of the wealthy.  Where taxes were once conceived to fund safety nets, police, education, communal improvements through infrastructure, and the nation’s defense, nowadays Democrats talk about taxation as if it were a tool to take from the undeserving—whose ill-gotten gains are built on a foundation of skulls from the victims of a “rigged” system—and give to companies, people, and programs to create societal equality, justice, and harmony.

Utopian socialism was the US's first Socialist movement. Utopians attempted to develop model socialist societies to demonstrate the virtues of their brand of beliefs. Most Utopian socialist ideas originated in Europe, but the US was most often the site for the experiments themselves. Many Utopian experiments occurred in the 19th century as part of this movement, including Brook Farm , the New Harmony , the Shakers , the Amana Colonies , the Oneida Community , The Icarians , Bishop Hill Commune , Aurora, Oregon and Bethel, Missouri .

Bringing to light the resemblance of the American party's politics to those of Lassalle, Daniel De Leon emerged as an early leader of the Socialist Labor Party. He also adamantly supported unions , but criticized the collective bargaining movement within America at the time, favoring a slightly different approach. [a] The resulting disagreement between De Leon's supporters and detractors within the party led to an early schism. De Leon's opponents, led by Morris Hillquit , left the Socialist Labor Party in 1901: they fused with Eugene V. Debs 's Social Democratic Party and formed the Socialist Party of America.

As a leader within the Socialist movement, Eugene V. Debs movement quickly gained national recognition as a charismatic orator. He was often inflammatory and controversial, but also strikingly modest and inspiring. He once said: "I am not a Labor Leader; I do not want you to follow me or anyone else [...] You must use your heads as well as your hands, and get yourself out of your present condition." Debs lent a great and powerful air to the revolution with his speaking. "There was almost a religious fervor to the movement, as in the eloquence of Debs". [25]