Another underlying assumption was that people are, by natural rights, equals. Socialists have always been recognized for upholding the principle of the equality of peoples as a highest value.
This label is used to distinguish democratic socialists from people who improperly call themselves socialist and do not support the values of both equality and democracy.
Democratic socialism implies certain other values in human conduct:
- No person should exploit any other person. This principle of opposition to exploitation is especially important in
- Natural resources should not be exploited or wasted.
- Changes in society and its governments should be made by free and open elections. Thus, democratic socialism ought to be achieved through the
Public Enterprise in some economic activities is necessary to help people attain economic and social equality. The government should undertake to do for them what people cannot do well for themselves.
Public enterprise leads to the common definition of socialism found in dictionaries: "the public or collective ownership of the means of production and
Democratic socialists support the principles of democratic collective ownership of the basic means of production and the priniciple of democratic management. Therefore, democratic socialists support not only public ownership, but cooperative ownership of economic functions.
The United States is considered by many political and economic leaders to be a capitalist society with a
Further, to keep the faltering American capitalism functioning, the various governments step in to provide public funds and support for functions performed by a private enterprise. The United States underwrites the risks for banks and other financial institutions. Local and state governments provide assistance for real estate developers through construction and maintenance of roads and public infrastructure. Local governments provide tax incentives for local developers.
In contrast democratic socialists favor government programs to help provide all citizens with their basic needs. Socialists have implemented improved parklands, unemployment compensation, social security, more equitable taxation, public radio and television, and improved educational opportunities.
Democratic socialists have always favored PEACE and opposed war as a means of settling differences between nations and groups, thus, look to duly constituted courts to settle differences.
Democratic Socialists knowing the world societies are interdependent, hope to establish a world of "cooperative commonwealths"-- a world of nations which will cooperate with each other for the common good.
The spirit of cooperation acknowledges that we must live in a peaceful, environmentally sustainable world.