Communism Versus Democratic Socialism: A Contrast

photo from Brookings.edu

photo from Brookings.edu

Abigail Sawyer, Co-Editor in Chief/Online Manager

    As of late, the American political sphere has been mainly focusing on the presidential primaries. A hot topic that tends to be misunderstood is the differences between communism and democratic socialism. Both systems implement the collection of taxes to benefit the economic security rather than personal responsibility, but the similarities end there.

     According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, communism is more than just an economic system. While communism equalizes wages, causing a decrease in product quality and production, narrowing the product market and crippling the economy, a communist state also inserts itself into the citizens’ social lives. Through the limitation of media outlets, and products open for public consumption, a communist state dictates what citizens eat, wear, buy, and even think. Communism transcends the boundaries of an economic system and establishes itself as an authoritarian government regime.

     Democratic socialism is just an economic system. According to Brookings.edu, “the average income growth for the richest Americans has been pulling away from all the rest over the past decades,” leaving the middle and lower class wages to stagnate. The economic safety net that democratic socialism offers would benefit people in the lower and middle classes. Under this economic system, policies such as universal healthcare and reduced college admissions would be possible without the drawbacks of an entire authoritarian regime and economic collapse. Unlike communism, this system has proven to work in multiple European democracies such as the UK and France. Democratic socialism functions because of federal taxes, so many people in the higher tax brackets may see a slight change in their annual tax deductions. 

     Do your research when voting for any candidate, and make sure you are aware of the nuances in policies they support. Otherwise, a voter relies on public opinion rather than fact, which has proven detrimental to society as a whole throughout history.