Center Socialism is a term I coined myself to name my particular way of being Socialist. Of course that has never been the only name possible. I could also call myself a Socialist Centrist or even a Conservative Socialist. I have some respect for the old European conservatisms of men such as Otto Von Bismark and Edmond Burke, however, given the barbarism and moral decadence of the modern conservative movement that would be highly misleading.
Of course historically socialists have almost always described themselves of being on the political Left either on the liberal left in this nation or in the Marxist Leninist totalitarian left. There is also of a very small libertarian / anarchist left as well.
Why a Center Socialist? Well I am a socialist. My vision of a just society is that of a cooperative socialist society in which the dominate means of production is in the hands of the majority population of worker / owners of cooperative property. The very large modern Mondragon Cooperative Corporation is, I believe, the best successful model of what a future socialist economy might look like. Carl Davidson a Co-Chair of the “Committees of Correspondence for Democrasy and Socialism” has written a very good article “Eleven Talking Points on a 21st Century Socialism” which is close to how I would envision a socialist future. This is the case even as I suspect my politics deviate significantly from Carl Davidson’s more Marxist orientation.
So much for the socialist vision. However socialism to be a real ideology must include more than a plausible vision. A socialist world view must also have a concept of long term strategy and tactics . It must answer such questions as “how do we get from an unjust capitalist society to a just socialist society and which social forces might carry us forward. It also includes many practical questions such as what attitudes should socialists take toward cultural forces such as religious institutions, the family, concepts of gender, morality and general cultural production.
In most of these areas as my life continues I find myself increasingly on the side of what can be called the cultural center. In facing the realm of practical national politics I generally find my self supporting the pragmatic “left of center positions” of the pragmatic Hilliary Clintons and the Barack Obamas of this nation. Of course there is a place for the advocacy of the best positions such as that of a national single payer health insurance plan. However in the end I am with those who choose not to reject good but not perfect policies in the name of the ideal.
I am an officer in the Social Democrats USA, though few members of that organization would describe themselves as Center Socialists.