This might seem frivolous to my more radical followers, but the fact is a lot of people in the world who identify as “liberal” or “progressive” even, but in fact they are socialists.
Now, those of us who are already radicalized, we understand the key difference is whether or not someone believes in the labor theory of value. If you think labor generates wealth and therefore the workers should be in control of the wealth they generate, then congratulations you are a socialist.
But there are many who have other socialist values, (a hatred of sexism, war, racism, imperialism etc) but still call themselves liberal. This often caused by a cold war era disdain for socialism left in the mouths of older generations, and is perpetuated by the establishment class’ control over the dialogue.
The real difference can be summed up in the divide we see between Warren and Sanders and the supporters of what some might call the “Third Way.”
Third way democrats, Warren supporters, and most liberals will
This is what I think sums up the key difference between Liberals and Socialists, aside from belief in the labor theory of value. Liberals will intellecutalize why there will always be some kind of poverty, while socialists will always intellectualize how to eradicate poverty.
So, if you are not sure if you are a liberal or a socialist, ask yourself, do you think poverty has to exist?
If you believe poverty does not have to exist and can be eradicated, especially through collective action, then congratulations, you are probably a socialist.