• Doug Most

    Assistant VP, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English.

There are 10 comments on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (CAS’11) Talks Democratic Socialism with Stephen Colbert

  1. If you’re interested in these topics, read the Nobel prize-wining “The Gulag Archipelago”’!!! Hardly do we get to learn about that kind of stuff elsewhere these days.

  2. Please, don’t worry. It is all glossy shape w/o substance. Real change will never go beyond your computer/phone screen. AOC will vote same way as corporate bound democrat. She is already vote in favor of fat cats in military industrial complex by supporting bill H.R.676.

  3. There’s a few misconceptions in this article, which I’m afraid could cause even more confusion about socialism.

    For one, socialism is a very, very broad term that includes a lot of different approaches. Anarchism is actually one kind of socialism that tries to achieve its goals without the state. For a long time, this approach to socialism was synonymous with the term Libertarian Socialism, or simply Libertarianism (before the term was appropriated by a very different ideology in the mid-20th century). Some forms of socialism advocate a brisk transition to a new society, while others seek a more gradual approach (and no, I’m not talking about social democracies). There are forms of socialism that look to co-operatives and worker-self management, and even forms that advocate using the market! So, what then is the thread that ties all these approaches together? I would say a better way of understanding socialism is to see it as a movement towards a society where the engines of the economy (all the places where people put in work to produce “stuff”) are controlled primarily by the people who work them. It’s a very old idea, much older than Marx himself, which seeks to give people their fair share for the work they’ve put in, without being short-changed.

    As far as AOC, the author is correct that she has been vague about what she means when she calls herself a democratic socialist. However, the article strongly hints at the notion that she doesn’t really know what she means. I disagree with that. It would be disingenuous to say that we can deduce that simply based her current policies on taxes. Like I mentioned before, there are a vast amount of ways that AOC can still properly call herself a socialist, even if she currently advocates for policies that are social democratic. Frankly, given how badly we have been misinformed about the long history of socialism in the U.S. because of the Cold War, I absolutely don’t blame people like AOC or Bernie for taking small steps towards a dialogue with the public, rather than launching headfirst into the farthest corners of ideas we have been taught to fear.

  4. European Social Democrats have been practicing socialism for decades or even hundreds of year, if you look at their coops and unions.

    Once again, an American is looking only at US history.

    Many of the European immigrants brought social structures with them and transplanted coops and unions to American towns and cities.

    I also don’t like the style of the author attributing ideas to AOC. Don’t speak in her voice.

  5. To clarify: 1) social democrats prior to WW1 were mainly socialists (in fact the Bolsheviks were a wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party). So the hard division between social democrats and socialists is mainly an illusion created by European social democratic parties that abandoned their own traditions. 2) There is a long American tradition of radical social democratic socialism (Eugene Deb’s and the old SPA). The term is hardly new, nor is socialist opposition to Stalinism. (George Orwell refered to himself as a “democratic socialist” in the 1940s.) 3) Markets are not the same thing as capitalism. Markets have existed in most human societies, but capitalism only came into existence around the 1600s. This means that one can have markets (though not class divisions) within a socialist society. 4) No socialist thinks that capitalism is purely a zero sum game. Marx thought capitalism was in many senses quite positive. 5) Socialists are not necessarily protectionists. They are internationalists (“workers of the world unite…”). 6) Only insanely stupid socialists think the abolition of capitalism is imminent. If it’s not, the immediate task for the socialist movement is fighting for social democratic reforms.

  6. What happened during the French Revolution ended up being a slaughter. Thousands of innocent people were killed in the name of justice. Even though capitalism has a bad side to it, socialism takes away your freedom in the name of safety. If you are a self-reliant person, you don’t need the government to take care of you. No one in the US starves unless they have abusive parents or don’t know how to use programs in place.

  7. Don’t worry the Democrats are already trying to eat one of their own. Nancy will be throwing up roadblocks during AOCs next election cycle. She is an embarrassment to BU. If you can get a degree in economics and still believe socialism is a viable policy route then there are some major issues there. She’s the scapegoat that most people blame for Amazon abandoning NYC and taking their 25,000 tech jobs so it’s going to be hard to get past that next election.

  8. The ‘dirty word’ view seems strangely biased, although I understand his point about it being great fodder for right wingers. I have preferred to take the view that the ‘bill of rights’ and democratic socialism are not mutually exclusive; and a Christian caring-for-the-poor and promoting the common good represent the true essences of socialism. Totalitarian governments that have been historically labeled socialist represent corruptions of socialism, not examples. And Mr. Zatlin seems bent towards capitalism and socialism being mutually exclusive; and I see the modifier ‘democratic’ as the reason why they do not have to be. The USA practices socialism in many ways. I found one person’s list on the internet, and I agree with it, cut-and-pasted as follows: Guaranteed public education, Public transportation, Fire departments, Police departments, Public libraries, Every branch of the US military, Roads & highways, Social Security, Medicare/medicaid, Public, not private prisons & jails, Public hospitals, The Veterans Affairs Administration, Public universities, Public parks, Public toilets, Public drinking fountains, Public parking, Public everything.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *