Democratic Socialism

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"But to deny this [that the majority of workers are capable of understanding and of organizing themselves, without leaders] is to in effect deny that socialism can be established. For socialism, as a fully democratic society based on the common ownership of the means of production, demands, in order to function, the voluntary cooperation of the immense majority of the population. It is a society which simply cannot be established by a minority, however enlightened, determined or benevolent. Leaders, whether reformist parliamentarians or insurrectionist vanguards, cannot establish socialism; all they can and have established is some form of state capitalism”

Democratic Socialism (DemSoc), not to be confused with Social Democracy, is a left-wing ideology inhabiting around the top center of the libertarian left quadrant. It is one of the more moderate socialists.

Democratic Socialism seeks to combine Democracy and Socialism, viewing dominant socialist currents as undemocratic (and usually as not truly socialist, due to this). This is done typically by means of advocating for transition to socialism by Reformist and electoralist means, using Liberal democracy to acheive a socialist society, rather than using revolutionary, or otherwise violent or non-reformist means. Despite the former, sometimes dubbed "Evolutionary Democratic Socialism", or just "Evolutionary Socialism", being by far the most popular Democratic Socialist current, there also exists a form of Democratic Socialism that does support (violent) revolution. Revolutionary Democratic Socialism does not view electoralism as a legitimate or practical way of achieving socialism, but rather supports a revolution to establish a socialist society with democratic governance. In this way, this form of Democratic Socialism is democratic not in its means, like Evolutionary Socialism, but only in its ends. Centrist Democratic Socialism takes a position between reformist and revolutionary views combining elements from both to reach a democratic socialist society.



Socialism with a Human Face (SwHF) was a term coined by liberal socialist Radovan Richta to describe the beliefs of Alexander Dubček and the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia under his rule. It sought to bring about moderate democratic reforms, which put it at odds with the ideologies of the other Eastern Bloc countries. It sought to transition Czechoslovakia into a multiparty, democratic socialist state, and guarantee citizens the freedom of speech, press and movement. Socialism with a Human Face also had a distinct foreign policy, which was to seek good relations with both the Eastern Bloc, and western nations.

Socialism with a Human Face believed that highly authoritative and centralized policies were no longer needed in Czechoslovakia, as the bourgeois class had already been defeated and done away with. It also sought to modernize Czechoslovakia, and have it join the rest of the world in terms of scientific and technological advancements. Moreover, SwHF believed that the proletariat must not only be liberated from the exploitation of the bourgeoisie, but also that socialism "must make more provisions for a fuller life of the personality than any bourgeois democracy."

In response to Dubček's reforms, the Soviet Union and supporting members of the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia. This caused a rift in Communist movements around the world, and the legacy of the invasion led to the actualization of Eurocommunism.

United Kingdom

The UK Labour Party was first formed on the 27th of February 1900 by the Labour Representation Committee (a pressure group that focused on workers' rights) and was initially socialist and the abolition of private property was included in the party's platform but by the 1940s, in accordance with many other socialist political parties in Europe, the abolishment of private property was dropped from their party platform and they swiftly won elections after this. Clement Atlee was elected prime minister in 1945, just three years later his party created the NHS and oversaw mass nationalizations and the formation of a comprehensive welfare state.

United States

Democratic Socialism first emerged in the US with Eugene Debs. Debs was a socialist from Indiana and ran for president a total of five times, he first came into national attention when he organised a strike against a big railroad company when that company cut employees pay it would become known as Debs' rebellion. Grover Cleveland intervened and sent in the army to break the strike killing 14 and sending Debs to prison. Debs would then go on to found the socialist party and denounce protective tariffs as causing wage cuts and being tools of the elite. Debs would then go to prison again under Woodrow Wilson because he was strongly opposed to US entry into WW1 and urged resistance to the draft, Wilson called him a traitor and charged him with sedition. President Harding commuted his sentence but he did not grant a pardon, Eugene Debs would then die in prison.

Eugene Debs' party, Socialist Party of America, would stay around long after him though they never came close to winning even a single state in nationwide or statewide elections however they did manage to entrench themselves in the city of Milwaukee and controlled the mayorship of the city for decades, until the party collapsed in the 1970s. They were often called Sewer Socialists because of their tendency to brag about Milwaukee's excellent sewer system which they had created.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are a pressure group and political organisation dedicated to advancing socialism in America. They saw a massive boost in membership after senator Sander's failed run for the democratic nomination in 2016 and by 2018 several card carrying members of the organisation (such as Rashida Tlaib and AOC) were elected to congress and have since made headlines and gained fame.


At the beginning of the 20th century in Russia, two parties stood on the positions of democratic socialism: the Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries.

During the years of Soviet power, democratic socialism was popular among the opposition.In his “Draft Constitution of the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia”, Academician A. D. Sakharov reflected the principles of a state with broad democratic rights and a mixed planned market economy, in which entrepreneurs are financially responsible for the social consequences of their activities.

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power and tried (and failed) to reform the Soviet Union.

Today, many provisions of democratic socialism have broad support in Russia. According to the All-Russian Poll of VCIOM in February 2006, 46.7% of the population spoke in favor of recreating a strong and socially oriented, but at the same time democratic, state. However, this ideology is almost not associated with the existing socialist or social democratic parties, which were supported by only 4% of the respondents.


As a result of the elections in Chile in 1970, the Popular Unity party, led by Salvador Allende, came to power. Economic reforms were carried out, as a result of which the US share in the Chilean economy decreased, and workers' self-government was also introduced.

However, in 1973 this government was overthrown by a military junta led by Augusto Pinochet.


Jawaharlal Nehru was an Indian statesman, political and public figure. Under the mentorship of Mahatma Gandhi, he became Chairman of the Indian National Congress, and later, after the country gained independence on August 15, 1947, the first Prime Minister of India. He remained in this post until May 27, 1964, when he died of a heart attack. Nehru took a neutral position in foreign policy, implying India's independence from both the Western and Eastern blocs. In view of this, he, along with Gamal Abdel Nasser and Josip Broz Tito, took part in the tripartite consultations that preceded the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement, which unites countries with economies that differ significantly from capitalism and soviet central planning. However, he later admitted that the neutral position towards communism, which pursued an aggressive expansionist policy, was ineffective. China's attack on India forced it to move closer to the NATO countries and abandon its neutrality.

In domestic politics, Nehru was an active supporter of Georgism, while recognizing private initiative as the main functional engine of harmonious economic and social development.


Mao criticised Democratic Socialism as early as in 1921. Throughout the history of CPC, DemSoc has been officially criticised. However, as the liberlefts in China never formed a real political party, there has always been some Democratic Socialism sympathisers (like Xie Tao) within the CPC, especially when Dengism produced an ideological chaos in China.

Chen Duxiu Thought

Chen Duxiu Thought is an ideology based on the ideas of Chen Duxiu, the first general secretary and the main founder of the Chinese Communist Party. He believed that China should not follow the ideas of Stalin, but should follow the path of Trotskyism and Democratic Socialism.

However, in 1927, he left the post of General Secretary of the CCP, and founded his own faction in 1929. In 1932 he was arrested by the Nationalist government. Though there had been a time when Chen was considered the leader of Chinese Trotskists, it turned out that his ideas were much different from the Trots', which left him hardly any supporters when he died in 1942.

Xie Tao and the arguments around Democratic Socialism (2007-2008)

In 2007, Democratic Socialism writer Xie Tao (谢韬,1921-2010)'s article Democratic Socialism and the Future of Workers led to a strong debate in China. Xie claimed that "the Swedish Model of Democratic Socialism is orthodox Marxism", and later further claimed that "only Democratic Socialism can save China" and called for political reform.

At that time, this article caused a strong debate in China, and even influenced CPC's 17th National Congress. Supporters believe that the high welfare social system mentioned in the article is progressiveness and referential. Opponents believe that the author did not have a deep understanding of the thoughts of Marx, Engels and Bernstein. In January 2008, Hu Jintao, Chinese presednt at that time, ended the debate by stating that "The Reform and Opening up Policy does not mean abolishing socialism".[6]


Jonas Sjöstedt is a Swedish politician who was Chairman of the Left Party from 2012 to 2020, and is a former metal worker. He has also been a member of the Swedish Parliament since 2010.

Sjöstedt became politically active in the trade union movement at Volvo's Umeå plant in the early 1990s. Despite the fact that he was elected MEP in 1995 from the Left Party in the united left - the Northern Green Left. He held this position until his retirement in September 2006. In 2010 he was elected a member of the Swedish Parliament for Västerbotten. In the election, he came first on the ticket of the Left Party (which usually receives one representative in that district) and was elected by a personal majority in one part of all the elected electoral votes (for a sufficient sample of more than 8%).

In January 2020, Sjöstedt announced his intention to step down as leader of the Left Party at the May convention, stating that he wanted to spend more time with his family, who currently lives in Vietnam. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention was postponed and Sjöstedt was the group's headquarters until the convention took place on October 31, 2020, when Nushi Dadgostar was elected as his successor.

Based in New York from 2006 to 2010, Sjöstedt is also a member of the US Socialist Party. He writes for Swedish publications, articles for radio and newspapers, as well as history and fiction. Married to a Swedish diplomat. Ann Mawe, who was a member of the Swedish delegation to the UN.


Lëvizja Bashkë or Organizata Politike, a democratic socialist organization in Albania, was founded during the 2011 Albanian opposition demonstrations. They opposed both Democratic Party of Albania and Socialist Party of Albania.

In addition to having close views on some issues with Marxism-Leninism, Lëvizja Bashkë criticized the authoritarian policies of Stalinism and defended direct democracy against the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Lëvizja Bashkë's views are based on ideologies such as social democracy, democratic socialism, progressivism and left-wing populism. They carry out activities like solidarity with proletarians and making ideological publications.




Left Together (Lewica Razem) is a Polish political party that was founded in 2015 and ran in the parliamentary elections in the same year. Before the elections, the party's founder, Adrian Zandberg, appeared in an election debate on TVP (polish tv) and was announced the winner. The party criticized the left-wing parties SLD and Spring. in the elections, the party gained over 3% support, thanks to which it obtained money from the state budget, but it did not enter parliament. in the European Parliament elections, Razem joined DiEM15 (from which it left in 2022), but it did not manage to cross the electoral threshold. In 2019, Together ran for parliament together with SLD and Wiosna. 7 parliamentarians of the party got into the Sejm. in 2023, Zandberg's party also ran with SLD and Wiosna, and 9 of the party's parliamentarians got elected.

Razem views are left-wing, democratic and pro-European. The party believes in ecological and feminist values. Together opposes Russia's aggression against Ukraine and opposes Israel's genocide in Gaza. Party is pro-union, progressive

Beliefs and Views

Democratic socialism is a left-wing democratic and usually reformist ideology. Its fundamental principles are nearly the same as those of Social Democracy - freedom, justice, and solidarity.


Economies of democratic socialism typically are formed of mass nationalizations of industries, while socdems simply want the commanding heights or essential public services to be controlled by the state, Democratic Socialists want the entire economy to be controlled by the state which can incur large costs and ultimately caused one of the first big divides of the UK labour party between those who wanted to save money by only nationalizing essential services and those who wanted to establish a socialist state. However in the modern day several Demsocs have come up with new versions of democratic socialism such as fiscal localism, where local communities are put first with tariffs and subsidizes given to keep full employment and avoid the deindustrialization that destroyed unions' political power across the west.

Another form of democratic socialism is with the implementation of Market Socialism where the state implements plans such as Employee funds which would've seen unions control every company in Sweden approximately 20 years after implementation.


Democratic socialism usually behaves like a softer version of Socialism or like a harder version of Social Democracy. He also doesn't like being confused with socdem.

How to Draw

Star style

Flag of Democratic Socialism (Star design)

Drawing Democratic Socialism in this design takes a few steps:

  1. Draw a ball
  2. Fill it with red
  3. Draw a white circle in the center
  4. Draw a smaller blue circle inside the white circle.
  5. Draw a white star over the circle, being careful to leave the points of the star outside of the white circle but the indentations well inside the blue one so this one is still visible
  6. Draw a smaller red star inside the white star
  7. Add the eyes and you're done!
Color Name HEX RGB
Red #D60F18 214, 15, 24
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
Blue #1E3F7A 30, 63, 122
Flag of Democratic Socialism (DSA design)

USA style

Drawing Democratic Socialism in the DSA design also takes a few steps:

  1. Draw a ball
  2. Fill it with red
  3. Draw a white hand outline coming from the left
  4. Draw a black hand outline coming from the right, that holds onto the white hand
  5. Draw a white rose with 2 white leaves
  6. Draw the eyes and you're done!
Color Name HEX RGB
Red #FF1D10 255, 29, 16
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255
Black #211C1C 33, 28, 28




  • Georgism - I like his policies on land, despite being a cappie. Still a capitalist, though
  • Conservative Socialism - I like your economic takes, but not your social takes.
  • Social Democracy - Too moderate and also, we're not the same! ( These variants are pretty based though)
  • Liberal Socialism - We may seem very similar on the surface, but worker-owned means of production doesn’t seem to be a goal of yours. My more moderate varieties still like your methods, however.
  • Eurocommunism - Despite being generally similar I don't like the EU for being too neoliberal and also we used to compete for votes in Italy.
  • Democratic Confederalism - You’re basically me! Also Kurdistan is based. (Ignore the fact that Olof Palme labeled you as a terrorist organization).
  • Reformism - Reforms are great, but a revolution can also be a good thing.
  • Titoism - Authoritarian tankie, but still better than the others. Pulling away from Stalin was mega based and killing fascists in pits was even more based.
  • Tridemism - Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People are based but you went down the drain quickly by Chiang Kai-shek's oppressive right-wing dictatorship and Maoist totalitarian communist tyranny, now I don't know what you are anymore.
  • World Federalism - We have quite a bit of history together. Some of my most famous proponents also supported you, but I hate how you can often be imperialistic.
  • Social Libertarianism - I like your decentralization but when are you going to let the workers seize the means of production?
  • Marxism - What do you mean I can't use electoral means to create socialism?!
  • Chavismo - A little too authoritarian but I still oppose any actions against you since that would be neocon imperialism. America should lift the sanctions on Venezuela even though Maduro is kinda cringe and much worse than his predecessor Chavez.
  • Nordic Model - Not exactly what I want, but not bad at all.
  • Civic Nationalism - I mean I don't hate you but you are too economically liberal quite often.
  • Social Liberalism - You are way too moderate! But we often have to work together in coalition governments.
  • Trotskyism - You were part of us in the past, Then you betrayed us by joining him, But Chen Duxiu is based.
  • Ba'athism - As much as I despise both Saddam and Assad (the latter isn't even a socialist), the Iraq War and foreign intervention in the Syrian civil war made things much worse and led to the rise of ISIS.
  • Ho Chi Minh Thought - Same as above. The US had no place in the Vietnam War but Vietnam is a repressive and now authoritarian capitalist-communist one-party dictatorship like China.
  • Nation Alliance - We sometimes work together to oppose him and I might support your presidential candidate against Erdogan's dictatorship and his Islamofascist allies, but why do you also think that I am a PKK supporter?.
  • European Federalism - Most of my followers are sceptical of you, but some of my followers support you.
  • Pacifists - (Sigh) Look...... I prefer peace too, but if you won't even fight fascists or other tyrants then you are de facto helping them, this should be elementary level common sense.
  • Leninism - MY OLD EX! You derailed the Russian Revolution, as we should've worked with him, even though he was a weird lib, but we needed more allies in the revolution! You invaded me in Georgia! But we used to work together, ah... the good old days....


Further Information



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Alternative Designs

Comics and Artwork


  3. The group was formed by past members of the Socialist Party, actors, judges, and many leftist Catholics who did not become full members of the Communist Party because it was seen as an atheist organization.
  6. This may seem weird to many, as DemSoc is undoutedly classified to "socialism". But the fact is that The Party Central Committee has the power to define what socialism is. Presently, ideologies different from Marxism-Lennism, Maoism and Dengism are not regarded as "socialism" in China. Hu was actually meaning that the CPC would take no interest in Democratic Socialism and continue practicing Dengism.