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Bernie Sanders Explains ‘Democratic Socialism’

Bernie Sanders Explains ‘Democratic Socialism’

Socialism by any other classification is still, well, Socialism

Does calling it ‘Democratic Socialism’ make it less socialisty?

Nah. Not really. But that doesn’t stop Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders from pretending there’s a difference.

“What Democratic Socialism is about, is having a government which reflects the interests of the ordinary people, rather than is currently the case, the billionaire class,” explained Sanders.

Bernie Sanders Explains Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared Of The Ter…Bernie Sanders explains why you shouldn’t be scared of the term ‘socialism’

Posted by NowThis on Monday, August 31, 2015

“If you look at countries throughout Europe, especially in Scandinavia, you find that health care is a right of all their people. And, in fact, they do it in a lot more cost effective way. There is no great debate about the cost of college education in those countries, because by and large a college education is free,” said Sanders.

“Free.”

He continued, “You have in all of those countries, workers having significant benefits in terms of pay, vacation time, and medical leave. You have very strong childcare systems in all of those countries. And by the way, in most of those countries, voter turnout is a lot higher than it is in the United States.”

Maybe Sanders should run for President in Denmark?

“Our political system is dominated by large campaign donors, who are working for the very wealthy,” concluded Sanders.

The New Republic is also a little bit sensitive about the alleged distinction between plain ol’ Socialism and ‘Democratic Socialism.’ In a piece called, Stop Calling Bernie Sanders a Socialist, TNR attempted to explain the difference, though to what end I’m not sure.

But the Vermont senator himself is loose with his terminology, as he has praised the “long social-democratic tradition” of Nordic countries as examples of how the United States should operate as a nation. For instance, points to Finland’s universal healthcare, free childcare, parental leave benefits, free higher education, low income inequality, and overwhelming unionization of workers. And sometimes he does indeed refer to himself, simply, as “a socialist.”

So perhaps it’s better to consider his policies themselves. Sanders wants a level playing field, where everyone born in America actually has the same opportunity for success, instead of “a government of the billionaires, by the billionaires and for the billionaires,” as he puts it. He rails against the influence of the Koch brothers and other wealthy political donors and corporations on both Republicans on Democrats, ensuring that the rich stay rich and making sure the working class remain exactly that. While many Democrats claim to be in favor of leveling the playing field, few use the rhetoric Sanders does. He has suggested things like breaking up the largest banks and frequently refers to the United States as an oligarchy.

I just have one question: Where are all of these billionaires and how do I find one? I’d like to pick their brains, maybe learn a few tricks of the trade so that I too can join this nefarious, monocle-wearing, billionaire club. Sounds like a good time.

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

A Socialist by another name is just that, a Socialist, and Bernie is quite Red, as in a Socialist of the Lenin variety, perhaps also of the Stalinist variety too!

(Idiot-Vt.)

Didn’t the failure of the USSR teach these idiots that socialism is a disaster for society? That it will murder and enslave hundreds of millions? That it will create an economic basket case.

    Ragspierre in reply to ConradCA. | September 2, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    It DOESN’T work, any time it’s tried.

    Even in the vaunted Scandinavian countries, it has only given the illusion of working because of the American defense umbrella and the unique nature of Scandinavians as people.

    All that is ending now.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Ragspierre. | September 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      Yeah! What Rags said.

      Sweden would have been speaking Russian as their official language for the last 65 years if they had to defend themselves.

      Communism/Socialism do not work with human nature. They believe in fairly tales and rainbow farting unicorns….

“Our political system is dominated by large campaign donors, who are working for the very wealthy,” concluded Sanders.

You don’t say. How much did Gwyneth Paltrow’s charge per ticket for Obama’s 2014 fundraiser?

It doesn’t matter what sort of new label they what to attach to themselves, a collectivist is a collectivist, the enemy of liberty. The individual is always subordinate to the group. The individual has no rights except those afforded him by the status of his “class” – the class to which the collectivist “leadership” assigns him.

Eastwood Ravine | September 2, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Bernie is at least an honest socialist. I don’t agree with him, but his belief is what 99% of elected Democrats and other Leftists want to turn America into (if they already haven’t already). Got to give him points for honesty.

I’m giving the other 1% the benefit of the doubt that they are old school patriotic liberals, not peddle-to-the-floor Leftists.

    “Bernie is at least an honest socialist.”

    No, he’s not. He knows socialism doesn’t work. It’s failed every-single-time. He continues to peddle it because it benefits him. He could care less about the rest of us.

All these naive people yammering about “free college [university, actually] education in Europe” very conveniently either omit or forget that students in Europe are tracked by the time they go to high school, and consequently relatively few actually earn degrees. “Free” postsecondary education, like “free” healthcare, gets rationed, with the powers that be deciding who gets what and when they get it.

Regarding European healthcare: people, especially the elderly, wait ridiculously long to get even basic treatment; forget about surgery, even if the condition is life threatening – the lives of the elderly and other peons simply don’t matter, so just shut up and put up….

Let’s admit, for the sake of argument, that Bernie is right – socialism is the cat’s meow and it works just dandy in many European nations.

In his admiration for these foreign states, Bernie forgets that America was specifically created be unlike any other place. The Founders understood that the freedom they were establishing would result in an accumulation of wealth in the hands of a relative few. They didn’t regard this as a “bug,” but as a “feature” that would demonstrate the value of freedom.

If it’s really so terrible here, we are one of those countries that don’t care if you leave. Go where you think the form of government suits you. At this point in time, there are socialist states in existence that would be glad to have you. If a socialist Utopia is established here, this creates a singular problem – if you don’t like it and desire more freedom, where do you go? This country was established to be that place freedom-loving people escaped to. If it ceases to be free, where will freedom-loving people go? That’s why it’s important to remain different, even if less perfect – this is the place in all the world reserved for special people, people who don’t need or want a nanny state. That’s why it’s essential we not let it be turned into one. Let’s keep it special, even if imperfect compared to Bernie’s favorite places.

    “Let’s admit, for the sake of argument, that Bernie is right – socialism is the cat’s meow and it works just dandy in many European nations.”

    Thanks, but no. That lets the Marxist off the hook. He’s wrong (and knows it, but doesn’t care) and it doesn’t work “just dandy”. That it works at all, for the short period it does so, depends upon two things, wealth built up under capitalism (being spent) and other peoples money (mainly ours). Those countries have run out of their built up wealth and we will quit supporting them. They will end up on the trash heap of history like all the others.

Where does Mr. Sanders imagine all the money to pay for all of those countries “free” perks comes from? One of the big banks he wants to bust up?

Um, what (if anything) is the difference between “Democratic Socialism”, on the one hand; and Marx’s totalitarian, murderous “Vanguard of the Proletariat”, or Rousseau’s totalitarian, murderous “General Will”?

Um … Nothing!

What Democratic Socialism is about, is having a government which reflects the interests of the ordinary people

No. That’s what a democracy or a republic is about. Socialism doesn’t have anything to do with it.

What socialism—all forms of it— is about is control. Free markets of any sort are eliminated; their functions are replaced by control via a Central Committee which determines both supply and demand. But there’s no need to limit the concept to economic matters; in the more extreme Socialist visions (those culmination in fascism or communism) all aspects of society are, in principle, subordinated to the same sort of control. All in the name of “efficiency”, of course; without supernatural efficiency, how can a country’s economy manage to pay for all that “free” stuff?

The word for this system is “totalitarian”.

As we know, failure is built-in, for many reasons. Among those, a very serious one is just who ends up running all of society; if one is very unlucky, it will be someone like Pol Pot, and if not quite so unlucky, it will be someone like Lois Lerner.

What is truly remarkable is that the so-called ordinary Democrat voter believes that the end result he wants is a society whereby he gets to live off the leavings of the rich and well off class; not really understanding that will include taking from him too when the government haul does not meet its quotas. Additionally, just like those good old days of the 1930s, a time of reckoning will come and what that will look like will not be much different from the Fall of France and its Vichy Government; not so bad today, maybe, tomorrow might be ….

Recall that good old Russia under Stalin was not a heaven on Earth, it was hell. Those in that Russian party elite did well until they fell astray of the top rung; a model for the Democrats today. Our Democrats even now remove old faded stars from their official portraits, just like Russia of those long ago days. Democrats set a line that few dare not follow. The Democrat’s top rung act like they are above it all, some even use a phone and pen as their wish. Still, we humans like to believe that we can achieve Nirvana if we only do it the correct way; hasn’t happened yet after many different tries by others; they believe that they’re different and more capable. Besides, even if it’s not perfect, the top Democrats will be in charge, so what’s the issue?

Israel seems to be saying: “Never again.” Jews elsewhere don’t seem to understand why the concern. Us Gentiles, and others like us, seem to be concerned about purity of conservatism more then anything else rather than pushing towards ways to rectify this sinking USA Ship of State. Our GOP elected elites very obviously are more concerned about their perks and not what’s good for the USA, and we’re using this blog to argue over how many angels will fit on a dime! We’re not paying attention to history and we’re looking for something that isn’t tangible or even definable in a candidate.

Sanders clearly is a Socialist of the first order. As is Hillary, as is Biden, as is Princess Fauxahontas Warren, and as is most likely O’Malley. JEB is a GOP squish, Huckabee is kind of GOP malleable, Walker is a good guy, Trump, Carson, and Fiorina are new to the political theater, at the presidential level, and we have to select one of the 16-current GOP candidates to run against the Democrat Socialist. The GOP stands a chance as long as it doesn’t get its tiddy whities in a wad and select the next in line to run; 2008 and 2012 cannot be repeated or the USA is gone. If we so-called Constitutional conservatives do not clearly keep our eyes on the prize, it shall sink US!

“Democratic socialism” is the term that was used to describe Walter Ulbricht’s Stalinist regime in East Germany.

ugottabekiddinme | September 3, 2015 at 12:11 pm

As I recall from grad school studies of the Commies, “democratic socialism” had a particular meaning . . . the democratic part was that everybody, not just the leader, on the central committee (but no one else) got to discuss an idea or policy (the “line” as the commies say) to be followed. But once a decision was made, then all debate stopped and in lockstep they proceeded to force the line on everyone.

Anyone who resisted or departed from the now approved line was condemned for following a “politically incorrect” line. Hence that usage and socialist tyranny go hand in hand.

As far as I know, the difference between democratic socialism and plain old socialism is that that democratic socialists actually believe in the democratic process, so the election they win is not the last one held. They hold another election when it falls due, and if they lose it they leave office peacefully. That distinguishes them from most socialists, who regard democracy as a train; when it get them where they want to go they get off.

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