The question “Why is there no socialism in the United States?” may be old, but it appears to be significant for each generation. This question implies an inquiry into the nature of the United States social economic and political arrangements, as well as into the area of consciousness, which includes allegiance, self-definition, values, and goals of individuals and groups (Foner 61). Over the years, people have been providing different answers to Sombart’s question. There is no socialism in the United States because of three main reasons, including Americans prefer a new society free from feudalism; electoral rules favor two parties; and too many languages, as most workers were immigrants.
Americans prefer a new society free from feudalism. The nature of the American life is hostile to socialism, radicalism, and class-consciousness of any kind. Americans were born equal, and they do not have to launch a revolution to acquire social equality or political democracy (Foner 61). Americans lacked a dispossessed working class and hereditary aristocracy and, thus, had no need for class politics and ideologies. Socialism evolves from a vision, originating from the feudal past (Foner 62).
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A number of dedicated American radicals who attempted to create a socialist movement since the nineteenth century did not succeed. The United States is a Western democracy that has only two parties dominating its party system (Lipset and Gary 261). Neither of the two parties has inherited a social or socialist, democratic vision of society, and they are sympathetic to liberal capitalism. The socialist party failed to challenge the supremacy of the two major parties and, therefore, did not endure as a third party (Lipset and Gary 261). Socialism has been able to win the support of many people, but the Americans constituted a small minority. Therefore, because of the republican and democratic parties, which are dominant, socialism can hardly survive in the United States.
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