People will lie about being democratic to gain power with no intention of implementing democracy. People will lie about being socialist to gain power with no intention of implementing socialism. People lie. Yes, it’s that simple.
Marx was very clear that socialism requires worker ownership over the means of production via democracy. Workers did not own or control the means of production in the USSR. There was no democracy in the USSR. Therefore, the USSR was not socialist.
It was also definitely not communist either. Communism is classless, stateless, democratic and worker-controlled. The Fujian tulou of China are an example of true communism: True Anarcho-Communism
Imagine a scenario where an authoritarian regime holds an election and unsurprisingly wins with 99% of the vote.  Does anybody refer to this as democracy or even Democracy?
Of course not.
Does anybody use Democratic Kampuchea or The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as examples of democracy?
Of course not.
Every single human being is intelligent enough to figure out that authoritarian regimes lie about being democratic. Everybody is smart enough to know that dictators will stage phoney elections to create the illusion of democracy while having absolutely no intent of implementing true democracy.
Now imagine a scenario where an authoritarian regime says they will implement socialism and says that they will redistribute wealth equally. Does that instantly mean they are telling the truth?
Of course not.
It’s very clear that there was no wealth equality in the USSR. Some people were 300 pounds while others starved to death. It’s also very clear that workers did not own the means of production. Thus, there was no socialism in the USSR.
The same is true for Democratic Kampuchea where the elites were fed, but many common people died of starvation. People were forced to move from urban centres to the countryside where they were forced to work on farms they did not own and where the output of their labour was controlled by an authoritarian regime rather than the workers themselves.
Just because an authoritarian regime forces people to work on farms does not mean there is socialism or collectivism the same way an authoritarian regime holding an election does not mean there is democracy. People were forced to work on those farms to create the illusion of socialism the way phoney-elections are used to create the illusion of democracy.
Thus, new terminology must be introduced. Referring to Democratic Kampuchea as socialist is as ridiculous as referring to it as democratic. However, one could use the terms inverse-socialism and inverse-democracy to describe it.
Inverse-democracy describes a situation where an authoritarian regime poses as democratic and tries to create the illusion of being democratic (by holding phoney elections or putting the word Democracy in the official title) but is actually the exact opposite of democracy.
(Note: The term inverse-democracy would not apply to authoritarian regimes that outright declare that they are authoritarian and not democratic. The term inverse-democracy applies to authoritarian regimes that go out of their way to create the appearance of democracy while maintaining authoritarian rule.)
Likewise, inverse-socialism describes a scenario where the exact opposite of socialism actually exists, but people in power work to create the illusion of socialism (by forcing people to work on farms, for example.)
The prefix inverse- is better than the prefix anti- because the prefix anti- sets up an ambiguity.
Anti-democracy could refer to inverse-democracy (a dictator pretending to be democratic) or it could refer to open opposition against democracy.
Anti-socialism could refer to inverse-socialism (non-socialist regimes pretending to be socialist) or it could refer to opposition to true socialist principles.
Thus, inverse- is the best prefix, in my opinion.
Additionally, many people refer to a parliamentary democracy with high taxation and welfare as democratic socialism. However, this is not true socialism either. It’s merely capitalism with high taxation and welfare. Welfare-capitalism would be more accurate.
Socialism does not necessarily mean there is perfect wealth equality either. It just means that the workers own the means of production.
Ideally, there would be direct democracy for urban centres existing side-by-side with self-directed spiritual communes in the countryside (with roughly ten thousand people per commune.)
The urban centres would utilize high-efficiency capitalism where VERY limited inequality maintains competition rather than any poverty. In order to maintain this inequality, extra output could just be given to the communes rather than destroyed through war.
In school, students learn about New Lanark as an experiment in utopianism. But that’s stupid because it implies that the only utopianism that can possibly exist must be under the hand of a “benevolent dictator” who chooses to be kind to his subjects.
I don’t consider socialism to be a mere redistribution of wealth. For me, that’s just welfare. I think socialism goes deeper than that to the point where the workers of a mill collectively decide how it operates or something along those lines.
True communism is probably similar to the Hakka communes where people engage in collective decision-making within a common self-sustained environment.
In a previous post, I discussed the phenomena of consensus which I felt was more common within the Eastern tradition. However, I don’t think it’s a good thing for people to sacrifice their actual opinion and thoughts and go along with the group because it destroys important dissenting and minority views that often are the greater truth.
It would be great if all people had good intentions and their natural stances were generally accurate, for the welfare of the group, and in agreement with everybody else, but that’s not always the case. The fairest thing is democracy where people vote in what they think. If by chance there is a consensus, then great, but if not, majority rule should prevail until people with a minority position make a compelling case to the general public long enough that it becomes the new majority stance.
Democracy is exhausting, but still the best way, in my opinion. I still disagree with the elitist set-up of the West which I barely even regard as democratic. Western states have destroyed true fledgling democracies in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America etc. I support direct democracy (because it’s a natural right and) since technology makes it particularly feasible now. Those who think the public are dumb need to work hard to explain things in a way people can comprehend. Often if it can’t be explained to the average person, one may not understand it well enough themselves.