In 1887, Woodrow Wilson wrote an essay titled "Socialism and Democracy". It's very short, I recorded the entire thing in 13 minutes. Here is what Wilson has to say:
Roundly described, socialism is a proposition that every community, by means of whatever forms of organization may be most effective for the purpose, see to it for itself that each one of its members finds the employment for which he is best suited and is rewarded according to his diligence and merit, all proper surroundings of moral influence being secured to him by the public authority. 'State socialism' is willing to act though state authority as it is at present organized. It proposes that all idea of a limitation of public authority by individual rights be put out of view, and that the State consider itself bound to stop only at what is unwise or futile in its universal superintendence alike of individual and of public interests. The thesis of the states socialist is, that no line can be drawn between private and public affairs which the State may not cross at will; that omnipotence of legislation is the first postulate of all just political theory.It gets worse:
Applied in a democratic state, such doctrine sounds radical, but not revolutionary. It is only an acceptance of the extremest logical conclusions deducible from democratic principles long ago received as respectable. For it is very clear that in fundamental theory socialism and democracy are almost if not quite one and the same. They both rest at bottom upon the absolute right of the community to determine its own destiny and that of its members. Men as communities are supreme over men as individuals.
Democracy is bound by no principle of its own nature to say itself nay as to the exercise of any power. Here, then, lies the point. The difference between democracy and socialism is not an essential difference, but only a practical difference — is a difference of organization and policy, not a difference of primary motive. Democracy has not undertaken the tasks which socialists clamour to have undertaken; but it refrains from them, not for lack of adequate principles or suitable motives, but for lack of adequate organization and suitable hardihood: because it cannot see its way clear to accomplishing them with credit.Seeing this, now it becomes so clear as to why so many modern progressives have as their rallying cry - "democracy". If they can just re-organize society so that it tells you what to do, how, when and so forth to do it, and it's all passed into law in a democratic way, then they can justify their beliefs because they've been enshrined into law.
As if anybody can truly argue that the rule of law has triumphed here.
Woodrow Wilson was a real piece of work. Obama, Wilson, and his alter ego Edward House directly compared, in audio:
Barack Obama in 1912
Barack Obama in 1912 part 2