There’s an ongoing debate over whether Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is really a socialist or not. The independent Senator from Vermont, who caucuses with the Democrats, has long called himself a “democratic socialist”–and has often simplified it to “socialist.” He recently gave a speech defending socialism by invoking welfare policies like Social Security and the FDR agenda.
Forbes contributor Tim Worstall wrote that, while those policies may be liberal ideas, they aren’t socialism. He said that socialism is only about who gets to own the means of production, not the assets, which Sanders wants to be redistributed.
But socialism, like communism, and like many other ideologies, including conservatism and liberalism, it should be said (look at the vast differences between neo-cons, paleo-cons, social cons, and libertarian cons just within the U.S.), is a slippery concept.
Sanders often cites Denmark as an example of a “democratic socialist” country he would want the U.S. to emulate. Is Denmark socialist? Their right-leaning PM Lars Rasmussen says no.
But according to Liberalapedia, Denmark is socialist. Specifically, it is a social democracy, which Liberalapedia says can mean socialism:
Democratic socialism can mean Social democracy as in Sweden, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries and that works, Denmark is the happiest country in the world while Sweden, Norway and Finland are among the happiest. Democratic socialism can also mean Command economies which don’t work.