Socialist democracy includes not only the provision of economic and social goods, but also the ability of the governed to actively and democratically intervene and shape their lives in every social setting. The socialist states provided a full basket of public goods, albeit not quite as full to the brim as the communist movement suggested, but largely foreclosed the substantive involvement of ordinary citizens in matters of governance. At first glance this may not seem to be the case, but comes into sharper focus when account for the contradiction between the formal structures and mechanisms of socialist democracy and the actual practice and content of that democracy.