Democratic Socialism is a political ideology that combines democracy, civil liberties, and socialism. It is an ideology that is in opposition to most mainstream American political discourse, which considers socialism synonymous with dictatorship and capitalism synonymous with democracy. However, this is not how democratic socialists view the world. Democratic socialists are not as ideologically rigid as Marxists and other Communists and will usually allow private enterprise to exist but will strictly regulate it. Some Democratic Socialist countries in the First World include the Scandinavian countries and France. Emerging socialist democracies in the Third World include Venezuela and Bolivia (although the former and sometimes the latter are considered dictatorships by many in the American mainstream, it is not known whether this is because of human rights abuses or just an ideological disagreement).
Despite the fact that Democratic Socialism does not advocate outright dictatorship, its policies of expansive government involvement in peoples lives, massive regulations, and a strong association with secularism and social liberalism, make it a highly questionable ideology.
It has been claimed that democratic socialist countries—particularly the wealthy European countries—are happier than conservative, capitalist countries, but the polls tell only part of the story. The European socialist countries are in turmoil over issues such as unrestricted immigration, and right-wing parties, such as the Sweden Democrats, Danish People's Party, Austrian Freedom Party, Swiss People's Party, French National Front, among others, are growing dramatically. In areas formerly dominated by the left and socialism, right-wing parties are growing dramatically. In addition, the United States of America, which is much more Christian, conservative, and capitalist overall, is still ranked at number 13, despite the existence of inner city slums across the nation.
Democratic socialism is closely related to the nanny state.
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