Socialism and communism are different cantilevers of the governing system. Socialism attributes respect to democracy and liberty while communism creates an ‘equal society’ through an authoritarian state, which denies basic liberties.
Public sector intervention and private enterprise are intertwined in the Democratic Socialism of the west. Communism, a political and economic ideology is closely associated with the state communism of China where the economy of the country is state controlled for greater equality at the expense of individual liberty.
One of the economy-related facets of Democratic Socialism is that prices are determined by the free market with some exceptions such as rent controls. In sharp contrast to this is communism wherein the prices and output are set by the government. This can either lead to shortages or surpluses. Furthermore, Democratic Socialism supports trade unions and the right to strike. It has labour market policies. On the other hand, communism does not permit trade unions and does not give the right to strike. While Democratic Socialism makes use of the existing financial system giving room for reforms, communism involves state-control of banks and finance. The existing communist states in the world are China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam.
History has proved that suppression of public unrest and protests by force may ‘contain the storm’ but certainly not ‘retain the calm’.