It’s tough to use Democratic Socalist in a sentence. Mostly because there are these super-specific terms for certain mixes of conservative beliefs and liberal beliefs. Democratic Socalists aren’t really socialists, they’re a mix of beliefs that are slightly right of center and left of center. It’s a mix.

But most people wouldn’t think so because socialist is a powerful word that brings an instant reaction from anyone who knows what the word means.

Democratic Socailism was first introduced – as far as I know – by Condorcet. I highly recommend reading him, because when you look at Marx and Malthus you start to get a hold of some really different economic and philosophical opinions and see where the intersections are, too.

I like a lot of what Condorcet believes. Here are a couple examples that sound kind of awesome:

  1. Free trade is good…unless it isn’t.
  2. Young people should have access to venture capital for good ideas.

The biggest problem with Condorcet is it doesn’t take into account that there are always people who will try to game the system instead of following the rules. Then there’s always someone who takes it too far and it becomes news. Then the whole thing falls apart.

Actually, let me backtrack for a moment. It’s bigger than the few people who believe taking advantage is the only way to get a piece of the pie. It’s about the gray area.

Free trade is great except when it isn’t is a totally fair philosophy. It makes sense and I think we can all look at the system and point out instances where free trade works beautifully and other areas where it could really benefit to have government regulation in place.

The problem? Your examples will probably be different than mine. Even if we have some examples in common, I bet we could find people – pretty easily – who have lists totally different than ours. When you implement a theory that has gray areas like that it becomes clear pretty quickly that the person who gets to make that choice is suddenly a target.

A target for bribes, favors, help, information…they suddenly gain too much power. Even if it was a committee, how big would the committee have to be in order to fairly represent the views of the people of the country? Once it gets big enough decisions don’t get made on what’s best, but on the concept of what is least worst.

The gray areas are where all of us live, because we all have different lives that brought us to different decisions and those decisions and life choices and experiences are what shape our beliefs. We see things that work for us and we think it will work for others. The problem is a country full of people who think that what works for them will work for others…doesn’t work.

If you’re interested, here’s a link to the Tenth Epoch of Condorcet’s Future Progress of Man. It’s the last chapter and has a lot of good stuff in there. Enjoy!