Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 12 months ago

What are the ideological differences between Progressivism and Socialism?

Given that both ideologies believe in both redistribution of wealth, progressive taxation, workers' rights, environmental protection/regulation, and are both inherently anti-capitalist in nature, where do they depart philosophically?

Not trying to sound provocative, just wondering?


2 Thessalonians 3:10, I think that Bible verse can be used to justify any political ideology. Seems fairly neutral to me.

2 Answers

  • 12 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Progressives" in the US are mostly social democrats. Social democracy is what you have in Denmark and Norway and Finland. It is a form of capitalism (not socialism) with large social safety nets. Capitalism provides the wealth, then that wealth is redistributed through a system of taxation. 

    You people who keep saying socialists want to "redistribute the wealth" clearly have never actually talked to a socialist in your life. That is the very point progressives and socialists disagree on!

    Socialists argue that redistribution is not a good solution to the problem, but that the system should be fundamentally changed so that wealth is distributed fairly from the get-go. Socialism has its roots from economists studying and carefully researching capitalism in order to understand WHY capitalist economic systems produce such vast wealth inequalities in the first place in order to change the system from its roots. 

    A socialist economic system would not need much wealth redistribution because wealth would not be distributed on such drastically unequal scales in the first place. 

    Capitalism is an economic system based on what socialists refer to as "commodity production", a mode of production by which the majority of society is distributed into two major groups: the "owners" of the means of production, and the "workers" who use those means of production to produce commodities for exchange on the market. 

    The means of production are anything that can be used to create goods and services and requires large numbers of people to operate. A factory, farmland, office buildings, etc. Under capitalism, people work as collectives, an enormous collective workforce of hundreds of thousands of employees can work for a single corporation. Yet, despite those employees being the people who actually do all the work, none of them hold any ownership over that corporation.

    Ownership over the means of production is monopolized by a tiny handful of individuals. People work as huge collectives but the actual ownership of the workplaces they work on is private. This group of people, the "owners", make up an insanely tiny portion of the population. Yet, they own nearly all the means of production. This forces workers to have to sell their labor power to these owners, and the worker gets a small wage, but gets no say in how the business in run. Of course, the people who own the business get all the say, so they make sure to take the largest cut possible for themselves.

    Wealth inequality inherently falls out of this dynamic. You don't get rich under capitalism from "hard work". You get rich by getting thousands of people to work for you. Given you do not pay them fully the fruits of their own labor (you could not make a profit if you did), you would be getting rich off of the free labor of thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of people.

    You see my username? Google it. Maybe you'll understand why I chose that as my username. 

    The solution for socialists to immense wealth inequality is to move to a new economic system entirely. The separation of "owners" and "workers" would be abolished by giving workers ownership over the means of production themselves. If something requires a collective workforce to run, then it must also be controlled collectively, i.e., it must be controlled democratically. Under capitalism, CEOs are elected by shareholders and must report back to them. In a socialist system, CEOs would be elected by the working masses and those CEOs would have to report back to the workers.

    Progressives and social democrats want to maintain capitalism. They want to maintain the system of exploitation that forces working people to have to give up the fruits of their labor to a class of oligarchs that never worked a day in their lives. Progressives instead argue for redistribution of wealth, to tax those oligarchs to fund a social safety net, to cut the sharp corners off of capitalism, to create a "happy" capitalism. 

    Socialists do not want a "happy" capitalism.

  • Anonymous
    12 months ago

    Socialists want to force you to work in government owned factories or abolish you.  Progressives want to take all your money.

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