The term socialist party can be associated with a number of political parties around the world that espouse socialism as a fundamental philosophy. In the United States, the Socialist Party USA is a small political party that supports democratic socialism, personal equality and pacifism. It does not support capitalism, communistic government or totalitarianism. The party's headquarters are in New York City with regional office in many states.
Socialist parties in individual nations worldwide are largely independent of one another and support a variety of political and social views regarding each nation's internal affairs and international relations. In almost every case, the parties support socialism as the preferred manner of organizing a nation’s economy. Socialism refers to the common ownership of the means of production and common control of resources. Many socialist parties also support centralized planning and control of the national economy.
In the U.S., the Socialist Party supports the tenants of common ownership but does not support centralized control. The party, according to its website, “strives to establish a radical democracy that places people’s lives under their own control.” Radical democratic socialism in this context means government by majority at the community level whenever possible.
Dealing with the economy, this party supports production of goods and provision of services based on needs and uses, as opposed to making a profit. Employment is a right for those who wish to be employed in the party's view. Business decisions regarding production and productivity are to be made at the community level by those affected by the decisions.
Socially, this party supports full equality of all people regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. The party recognizes the value of artistic endeavors and supports them. Personal privacy is recognized as right as well.
International relations under the Socialist Party are founded on non-alignment and non-militarism. Both war and preparation for war are condemned as part of the party’s platform. The party views militarism and the military-industrial complex as a drain on a nation's resources.
The party adopted the name Socialist Party USA in 1973 at the end of a decade-long process of the larger Socialist Party of America breaking into factions, largely disagreeing over U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In recent presidential elections, the party has won only a fraction of a percent of the popular vote for its candidates. The organization publishes a magazine called The Socialist.