Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 year ago

Why are most democratic countries capitalist while most socialist countries are dictatorships? Why can't we have democratic socialism?

I hate capitalism and I hate dictatorships, but why do all the democratic countries (US, UK, Europe, Japan) have to be Capitalist why all the Socialist countries like Cuba have to be dictatorships (or in the case of Venezuela, corrupt dictatorships)

Why can't we disassociate Capitalism and Democracy. I want democratic socialism

3 Answers

  • 1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    The US has many socialized systems, as well as capitalist structures- our education system, police protection, fire protection, garbage collection, etc. are all socialized. We have slightly fewer socialized features than most other developed countries in the world- they all have single-payer health care, greater investment in education, and a stronger safety net for the poor. None of them are dictatorships. Cuba and Venezuela are, technically, democratic- their leaders are elected. You can argue corruption in the election in Venezuela, but in Cuba, the Castros are wildly popular among the people, and the elections are valid. 

  • 1 year ago

    There was an article written by a so-called Democratic-Socialist in the late 80s that I read.  Sorry I don't have a link or remember the guy's name, but basically he came to the conclusion that as much as he WISHED it weren't true, that socialism and democracy are inherently incompatible.  

    This is because democracy is fundamentally about choice and individualism.  Socialism is fundamentally about groups and egalitarian uniformity.  These basic natures are in conflict, and this conflict cannot be resolved except by the country either becoming undemocratic or unsocialist.  One or the other must give.

    I would go a step further and say that because socialism requires an omnipotent state, it inherently attracts ambitious and power hungry people to the top of that state.  Not many people know this, but after the Russian revolution, the Bolsheviks actually established a democracy.  Political scientists say it was one of the most democratic ever put in place in a large country.  But it didn't take long for the power hungry Lenin to take over and turn himself into an autocrat.

    The only democratic socialist countries the DS advocates can point to are those that were small and didn't last long enough to encounter this problem.  That, or like Bernie Sanders, they incorrectly point to democratic-capitalist countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark as examples of socialism.

    Capitalism and Democracy fit together like hand in glove because both are fundamentally the same.  They're about individualism and choice.  No one's saying they're perfect, but look around the world as you seem to be doing, but also look throughout history.  The rise of western style democratic capitalism a couple hundred years ago has created the greatest flowering of wealth, prosperity, freedom, technological advancement, and YES, progressive change that has brought women and minorities equality under the law.  

    Capitalism does this because capitalism embraces change.  Indeed, it NEEDS change as markets constantly seek the most efficient use of capital and resources.  A static economy (or culture) is the very antithesis of capitalism.  

    Socialism on the other hand inherently REVILES change.  Political powers that be are always threatened by change and resist it unless they think they can control it.  In socialism, those political powers are nearly omnipotent.  But capitalism and democracy empower individuals, allowing them to demand progress in ways that don't happen under socialism, and which limited power politicians cannot resist.

  • John
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    Most nations in Europe have democratic socialist political and economic systems.  You are confusing socialism with communism.  

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