Democratic socialism is a political philosophy which advocates political democracy alongside a socially owned economy, with an emphasis on workers' self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can be achieved only through the realisation of a socialist society. Although most democratic socialists are seeking a gradual transition to socialism, democratic socialism can support either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism.

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  • Democratic socialism is a political philosophy which advocates political democracy alongside a socially owned economy, with an emphasis on workers' self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can be achieved only through the realisation of a socialist society. Although most democratic socialists are seeking a gradual transition to socialism, democratic socialism can support either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism. Democratic socialism is distinguished from Marxist–Leninist-inspired socialism which to many is viewed as being undemocratic or authoritarian in practice. Democratic socialists oppose the Stalinist political system and the Soviet-type economic system, rejecting the perceived authoritarian form of governance and highly centralised command economy that took form in the Soviet Union and other Marxist–Leninist states in the early 20th century. Democratic socialism is also distinguished from meliorist and Third Way social democracy on the basis that democratic socialists are committed to systemic transformation of the economy from capitalism to socialism whereas Third Way social democrats are opposed to ultimately ending capitalism and are instead supportive of progressive reforms to capitalism. In contrast to modern social democrats, democratic socialists believe that policy reforms and state interventions aimed at addressing social inequalities and suppressing the economic contradictions of capitalism will ultimately exacerbate the contradictions, seeing them emerge elsewhere in the economy under a different guise. Democratic socialists believe the fundamental issues with capitalism are systemic in nature and can only be resolved by replacing the capitalist economic system with socialism, i.e. by replacing private ownership with collective ownership of the means of production and extending democracy to the economic sphere. The origins of democratic socialism can be traced to 19th-century utopian socialist thinkers and the British Chartist movement that differed in detail yet all shared the essence of democratic decision making and public ownership of the means of production as positive characteristics of the society they advocated. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, democratic socialism was also influenced by social democracy. For instance, the gradualist, reformist socialism promoted by the British Fabian Society and Eduard Bernstein's evolutionary socialism in Germany influenced the development of democratic socialism. (en)
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  • Democratic socialism is a political philosophy which advocates political democracy alongside a socially owned economy, with an emphasis on workers' self-management and democratic control of economic institutions within a market or some form of a decentralised planned socialist economy. Democratic socialists argue that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity and that these ideals can be achieved only through the realisation of a socialist society. Although most democratic socialists are seeking a gradual transition to socialism, democratic socialism can support either revolutionary or reformist politics as a means to establish socialism. (en)
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  • Democratic socialism (en)
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