Don't freak out, but you might be a democratic socialist.

“America has a rich socialist history many people are unaware of, but still fear the “S” word and picture evil dictators and red flags.” Here’s what it really means.

DS generally believe in a decentralized economy controlled by workers’ cooperatives with input from consumers, as opposed to an economy that is controlled by corporate monopolies or the government. This includes unions which provides workers with more power to control their own lives and their work environments, and guarantees company accountability to their workers.

DS do believe that government regulations are helpful to “mitigate the harms of capitalism and push companies to act in the best interests of workers and society as a whole.”

DS believe in “the equal moral worth of each citizen,” and that no one should be denied a certain standard of living or lack basic necessities because of the randomness of where or to whom they were born.

This would include a socialized healthcare system, like in Britain where the government covers the cost of care and doctors and other medical personnel are public employees. However, they see that “Medicare for all” could work for now. In this case, the government would cover the cost of care but personnel would remain privately employed, and medical facilities privately operated.

DS believe that grass-roots organizing to achieve major social and/or political change is a more fair process for the majority of the population rather than electoral and legislative processes which allow people in traditional positions of authority to make decisions for us.

So what do you think? Are you a DS? I’m not fully on board yet, but I’m watching and listening.

I distilled this information from two websites: nytimes.com and huffpost.com. You can also check out the Democratic Socialists of America which is the largest socialist organization in the United States. Forty D.S.A.-affiliated candidates won primaries in 2018, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And of course Bernie Sanders is a DS.

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