Socialism vs Capitalism, Free Enterprise vs Planning

I wanted to post the following comment because it clarifies a basic confusion that most political debate suffers from. It’s a simple and yet very important distinction.

“It is a part of right-wing dogma that anyone who supports a welfare state and government intervention in the economy is a socialist. Unfortunately for the right-wingers such a statement shows thier lack of understanding of what socialism actually means. Socialism vs. Capitalism is about who in a society controls the means of production. Free Enerprise vs. Planning is about how goods and services are distributed. Socialism does not necessarily mean Planning and Capitalism does not necessarily mean Free Enterprise. Capitalism Market Socialism (co-op based market economy) and State Capitalism (what fascists generally trend towards, and also what the USSR and it’s satellite states were de facto) are both very much possible. Partly this misconception is because the welfare states of Europe have come to be called “socialist” even though they are just highly regulated capitalist economies; no, Sweden is not socialist.”


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