Recent studies show that a significant number of young Americans view socialism as a positive and desirable choice. Socialism may look great with promises of free college, forgiveness of loans, government paid healthcare, etc.
Yet , let’s look at the economic conditions that have historically led to the evolution and development of democracy. A strong case can be made that most modern democracies evolved where people were given economic choices as to where they live, seek employment, and/or start their own businesses with less restrictions.
(The writings and findings of Milton Friedman are noteworthy here.)
Second, we usually categorize economics and political science as ‘sciences’ (disciplines where we can theorize, test and measure). Unlike chemistry and physics, we cannot put nations in test tubes to test properties, but the World War II victors did something similar by dividing two ‘nations’ (people with a common ethnicity, language and history). West Germany was set up as a market economy , while the East Germany as a centrally government controlled socialist economy. The East Germans eventually had to put up a wall to keep their people from crossing to the West. Also the Korean people were divided in to two systems, which are a worthy of comparison. South Korea is a flourishing economic democracy with a market economy that produces automobiles and electronics sold around the world, while the people in the North live under a socialist monarchy that cannot feed its people. I believe there is an obvious link. When people are given economic choices they then want to have a democratic system where they can have and maintain political choices, as well as greater economic opportunities.
In closing, it is important to note and remember that : Prosperous market economies are the best way to fund social programs, but there is obviously a ‘tipping point’ (when too much ‘free stuff’ cannot be supported). Thus, we should not get on the ‘socialism bandwagon’ and remember why we need viable capitalist market economies to promote democracy as well as economic development.