Democracy and socialism
A major difference between democracy and socialism is the free market principle which allows buyers and sellers to agree on price without government interference. Democracy, a political system which promotes individual initiative, generally supports free markets. Socialism in most of its forms interferes with individual initiative. Despite this, however, several adherents to Socialism see Democracy, specifically pure democracy, as being at the very least a tool to implementing socialism if not outright being one and the same with it. Karl Marx, for example, once declared that "Democracy is the road to Socialism", and Vladimir Lenin likewise declared that "Democracy and Socialism are inseparable." Indeed, in both "The State and Revolution" and "What Is to Be Done?", Vladimir Lenin specifically referred to the methods of turning a country socialist as "democratic" and used the terms "democratic" and "socialist" interchangeably, and even referred to the Communists as "Social-Democrats". Similarly, Karl Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto that the first step to elevate the "proletariat" into the ruling class is to win the battle of democracy, and Engels also indicated in the Principals of Communism that creating a Democratic Constitution was the course resolution to ensure the direct or indirect control by the "proletariat", and also inferred that democracy was meaningless unless they put to action acts against private property. Even Woodrow Wilson has inferred that democracy and socialism is, if not quite one and the same, then certainly close to it, and inferred that in both instances, men as communities were superior to men as individuals.
Democracy and socialism are both political systems, although much of socialism is more concerned with the economy. Marxist countries have created socialism which transcends mere economics by combining a political despotism which enforces atheism.
- The State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin
"...at a certain stage in the development of democracy, it first welds together the class that wages a revolutionary struggle against capitalism -- the proletariat -- and enables it to crush, smash to smithereens, wipe off the face of the earth the bourgeois, even the republican-bourgeois, state machine -- the standing army, the police and the bureaucracy -- and to substitute for it a more democratic state machine, but a state machine nevertheless, in the shape of the armed masses of workers who develop into a militia in which the entire population takes part."
- What Is To Be Done? by Vladimir Lenin
"...the Social-Democrat’s [Communist's] ideal should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalise all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat."
- Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
"[T]he first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy."
- The Principles of Communism by Frederick Engels
"What will be the course of this resolution? Above all, it will establish a democratic constitution, and through this, the direct or indirect dominance of the proletariat. […] Democracy would be totally valueless to the proletariat if it were not immediately used as a means for putting through measures directed against private property and ensuring the livelihood of the proletariat."
- Socialism and Democracy by Woodrow Wilson
"[I]t 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."