Friday, August 14, 2020

Defining Identity Socialism

To understand identity socialism, we must begin with socialism itself, socialism in its original or classic sense. Here the most helpful definition does not come from Marx but from economist Joseph Schumpeter.

In his classic work Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, Schumpeter defined socialism as a system in which, “as a matter of principle, the economic affairs of society belong to the public and not to the private sphere.”

This strikes me as an excellent definition because it creates a spectrum.

At one end is the free market society, which generates wealth and earnings in the private sphere, requiring little more to function than laws protecting property rights and enforcing contracts.

At the other end is the socialist society, in which the wealth and earnings of the citizens are considered a common pool to be harnessed by the state or the public sphere and dispersed according to the government’s objectives and priorities.

Schumpeter’s definition allows us to locate every type of socialism along this spectrum.
Source: United States of Socialism: Who's Behind It. Why It's Evil. How to Stop It. by Dinesh D'Souza

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