By Alex Markovsky
Where do we drive the line between Liberalism and Socialism?
Liberalism is an idealistic political philosophy born after the defeat of Napoleon, a philosophy of freedom, which epitomized individual liberty, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and free elections.
Socialism, on the other hand, is a political philosophy and economic system that promotes egalitarianism -- a theory of economic equality. Modern socialism originated in the eighteenth century as a working-class economic and political movement that opposed private property and criticized the effects of industrialization on society. It is usually defined as “common ownership of the means of production.”
With the passage of time, liberalism evolved into a broader vision of an ideal society, a brilliant future that also included economic equality. After the American liberals crossed the threshold of economic equality, which is incompatible with individual liberty, there was no longer a principal difference between the two ideological vistas.
Indeed, it was the point of no return; and like a fall that cannot be stopped halfway, it signified the evolution of the fruitful coexistence of liberalism and socialism in this country into an inevitable merger of the two ideologies.
Winston Churchill insightfully described the divergence: “Socialism seeks to pull down the wealth; liberalism seeks to rise up poverty.”
Therefore we shall not be confused by the ideological taxonomy.
The implications of the de facto conversion of liberalism into socialism were profound; socialism acquired a pragmatic political cover that preserves its enduring appeal, found acceptance by the American Left, and was gradually incorporated into the policies of the Democratic Party. Henceforth, socialist principles, built on concepts originally advanced by liberals, became the guiding factors of the party’s economic and social programs.