I agree with Dan Mitchell about one thing in his piece on his blog. That the point that I believe as well that John Judis argued in his column at The New Republic (now The Socialist Republic) is that what Judis called “liberal socialism” is really liberalism, in his view. And that is what he and his political allies want. That Marxism and having complete national government control over everything in society, is at least a bridge too far. So instead of Marxism and complete socialist control over society that we should instead have a liberal society “in their view” where personal freedom is still maintained (at least to some extent) and even have a private sector with private enterprise, but where the central government would gain control over basic personal and human services that people have to have to live well in life.
Things like education, health care, health insurance, pensions, child care, employment insurance, paid leave, etc. But leave in the private sector in charge of things that people need less and in charge of luxury items things that people need to enjoy life and to get around. Transportation, travel, hotels, entertainment, restaurants, basic products that we buy at stores. Where you would want some private competition at least to see that these products are made as well as possible and to keep prices down.
One problem with the Judis argument about both liberalism and socialism and then trying to combine them both into ideology, is that one reason they fit together, they don’t go together. Sort of like trying to fit a horse into a Ford Escort, or pairing a country girl up with a gangsta rapper and expecting them to hit it off. When they probably can barely understand what they other one is saying because they use such different slang and speak in very different dialects. Socialism democratic or not, is still a very collectivist ideology. Where the people are expected to trust the central government (in this case Uncle Sam) to manage their lives for them and to even see they are seeing the right doctors and going to the right hospitals and deciding where their kids go to school.
American liberalism is based off of liberal democracy. Where you have a federal republic with three layers of government and sometimes four if you live inside of a city that is part of a county. For example, people in Chicago live in Cook County as well, because Chicago is also part of Cook County, as well as the State of Illinois and of course the United States. But then you also have the individual themselves with the freedom to regulate themselves and be able to decide where they live, where their kids go to school, where they get their health care and who they pay to provide their health care for them. A more complicated way of saying health insurance.
You also get a good deal of personal freedom in a liberal democracy. Like how we spend our money, who we live with, who we’re romantically involved with, what we eat, drink, and smoke. How we communicate with each other and how we express ourselves individually. A complicated way of saying free speech and expression. With a government at each level not to make our decisions for us, but to regulate how we interact with each other. Stopping and punishing predators when they attempt or abuse the innocent.
Liberal democracy unlike democratic socialism,is so decentralized, because America was created through a revolutionary war. Where soon to be American citizens who were living under a dictatorial monarchy from Britain wanted to break away from that and be able to live in freedom and make their own decisions for themselves. Which is something that so-called Progressives today (Socialists in actuality) simply don’t understand about America and Americans when they argue that America should be like a centralized social democracy like Europe. Plus that facts that they hate individualism and tend to view Americans as stupid and needing a big centralized government to babysit them. So their kids aren’t sent to the wrong school in their view, to use as one example.
The last and perhaps not least reason and problem, with the John Judis argument of what he calls liberal socialism, is that everywhere else in the world what they call liberalism in America, is called socialism everywhere else in the Democratic world at least. The democratic world views socialism as democratic socialism, the less democratic or authoritarian world views socialism as socialism. Whether it’s practiced through democratic means like in Brazil. Or through centralized authoritarian means like in Cuba and Venezuela. Again so-called Progressives today (Socialists in actuality) are always arguing that America should be more like Europe. Well they could start with words and calling their view or form of liberalism for what is actually is in the real world which is socialism. Democratic socialism is you prefer.
Socialists argue that if government-run health care works in Britain, then it would also work in America. Well if the words socialist and socialism are okay in Britain, then they shouldn’t they be okay in America as well? If you practice socialist ideology in Britain and believe in it and aren’t just called a Socialist but damn proud of that, then why wouldn’t Americans who believe in the same politics and policies, have a problem with the Socialist label in America? Own up to your own politics and what they actually are and then make the case for them and why not only you support them, but why others should support them as well and you’ll gain credibility and power in America. When you try to hide your politics behind other labels is where you lose credibility and respect in American politics.