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  1. “Socialism” is an economic system. “Capitalism” is an economic system. Democracy is a political system. Republic is a is a political system. Socialism + Capitalism is called a “Mixed Economy,” which is what we (nominally) have in the United States, which had a political system called a Democratic Republic. Marx’s critique of Capitalism known as “Das Kapital” is found in Volume I: “Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1.” Your and your guest’s confusion with these terms, and expressed in popular, contemporary parlance, is (unfortunately) common, especially as the term “socialism” is being wielded as a cudgel, especially by the political (and economic) right. As lefties, I wish you both could better understand and express these basic ideas, because when you cannot, you are unable to argue against the propaganda expressed by rightists who scare the ill-informed and uninformed with communist (authoritarian or totalitarian) statism. In other words, you risk perpetuating the fear with your ignorance.

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