In the end, however, Sweden is not which democratic socialists such as Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of the magazine Jacobin, a quarterly socialist journal, is looking for. "We come from the same tradition," he said of democratic socialists and social democrats. But in general, he added that Social Democrats see a role for private capital in their ideal system, and democratic socialists do not.
… but the Americans use it to mean a lot
In countries that have multiple left parties, these differences are widely known. In the United States they are not.
"Here in the US, we are concerned about new talks to adopt socialism in our country," President Trump said in his EU address this year. "Tonight we decide that America will never be a socialist country."
Mr. Sanders identifies himself as a democratic socialist, but when he asked on Tuesday how he defined it, he described something closer to social democracy.
"What democratic socialism essentially means to me to complete the vision that Franklin Delano Roosevelt began 85 years ago, and that is to move forward in the richest country in the history of the world and guarantee a decent financial standard of living for all our people" , he said. "And to do so, we must, of course, fight the oligarchy and the incredibly unfair and unequal distribution of wealth and income and take the incredible political power that 1 percent has."
The strategies that Sanders supports – such as single payer health care, free public college, and higher taxes on the wealthy to fund security net programs – are also common in social democracies.