Disambiguation of Socialism

Just now I came across a video by Thomas diLorenzo, whom I admire about his expose of Abraham Lincoln. In this video he talks about his new book , The Problem with Socialism (2016), which criticizes socialism.  I think his criticisms are worth considering — and I am going to get a copy of his book.  Jokingly,  he says that his talk could be about how to argue with your Bernie Sanders roommate in college.  He defines “socialism”, roughly,  as “state managed means of production.”  This includes both state controlled industries, as in the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Venezuela; and what is called Social Democracy, which we have in the United States and Europe.  These kinds of Socialisms are to be contrasted with, what in the United States is called, Libertarianism.

Watch this video, but make sure you also watch the next video by Cameron Watt, who contrasts these kinds of state or authoritarian socialisms with “libertarian socialism” or “anarchism.”  ‘”Socialism” here does not mean state owned or managed industries, but worker-owned and managed industries; and “libertarian” does not mean private ownership of industries, but refers to a political structure rooted in direct democracy in small scale communities, federated into larger units.

Finally, watch Noam Chomsky’s explanation of how the word “socialism” traditionally has been used to refer to worker-controlled work-places, which is the view of “libertarian socialism.”


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