Is it possible to be a socialist and a capitalist?

  • I don't know how to label my economic belief system, and it's frustrating when getting into discussions with other people.

    I believe in Capital. I believe that people have a right to earn more than their neighbor. I believe in incentivizing people, and using capitalism in the workforce to do that. I believe in private property, but that rules/regulations should surround how people are able to use that property.

    However I also believe in democratizing the production of certain industries (food, water, shelter) - In other words, every basic human need should have a public option, or provided by the state.

    Now that doesn't mean that someone can't create a restaurant and be profitable. It just means that if a consumer wants to spend his expendable money on something nice (good food) they can, or they can go down to the state store and get some vegetables for free (paid for by taxes).

    Is there a name for this kind of ideology? Because if I say that I'm a socialist capitalist to people - they all seem to tilt their head like a dog responding to a whistle.

    Just to clarify - do you insist that public option be **produced** by state, or merely paid for by state (but could be produced by private companies, as is the case with for example food stamps today)?

    honestly haven't thought too much about that. Without doing much research i would probably insist that state do it though. Mainly because for private to get a guaranteed paycheck, even if there are bids, tends to lead to crony-capitalism. (private prison industry is a great example) While there can be corruption by state officials as well, i feel better when public services are non-profit. But it mainly just depends on the quality of gov. officials. Our current US officials i wouldn't trust with either public/private - and vice/versa (the right officials i would trust with either)

    Note that "socialist" means something different in the US. In the US, it's almost synonymous to "communist". In Western Europe (I can't speak for other regions), "socialist" generally means "having some form of welfare system". As a European, "I'm a socialist capitalist" makes perfect sense. As a Belgian, it's almost the definition of our financial system. Most people I know here could be considered socialist capitalists.

    Are you conflating capitalism and free market? Capitalism is getting income from capital as opposed to income from labour. For example, landlords get income from rent; they can use some of that income to employ people to maintain the property, and still make massive profits with minimal work. The abolition of capitalism does not need to imply you can't earn more than your neighbour, or have different restaurants competing and/or serving different market segments.

    Be careful of accepting an answer too soon. You may have accepted the currently highest voted answer, but it doesn't actually answer your question, whereas one of your lowest voted answers provides a direct answer along with an excellent explanation of why.

    @JustinBeagley *"I don't know how to label..."*. Why label anything? A label does not tell the story, as the very existence of your question shows.

    @MichaelKarnerfors - i would love not to have to label myself. But we live in the real world, humans organize things/people into labels/categories. I'd like a better way of describing myself quickly than 'socialist capitalist'

    _" I believe in private property."_ I'm a year late, but do notice that Marxism differs between private property and personal property.

  • NotMe

    NotMe Correct answer

    4 years ago

    What you are describing is a Mixed Economy. Essentially the state takes over certain markets either through direct control or regulation while letting others be more free-market.

    Numerous economies ranging from the United States to Cuba fit into that model to varying degrees.

    Going further, the concept of a Universal Basic Income combined with state control of food and housing costs also fits.

    You forgot China. One should never forget about China :) Good asnwer.

    Pretty much every real life governments are Mixed Economy in one way or the other. You really only see purely capitalist or purely socialist economies in text books.

    This describes an economic system, not what the OP could call himself. Unless maybe he's going to call himself a "mixed economist"?

    "Social democrat"?

    @JonathanvanClute: It's hard to figure out what political pigeon hole the OP should be placed in based on his question. Certainly a number of different group labels could apply - most of which are based on his location. What I tried to do was give him the names of the economic concepts so that he could dive further.

    Yeah and I can see how that would be useful in him actually coming up with an answer to his actual question. Then again maybe what he meant to ask, was the question to which you gave an answer! =)

    @user4012 You are thinking of Poland.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM