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Bernie Sanders Supporters Can’t Describe Socialism

Bernie Sanders Supporters Can’t Describe Socialism

A failure of our education system?

Bernie Sanders supporters are very enthusiastic, but seem a little short on political philosophy. A reporter from CNN recently asked attendees at a Sanders town hall event to describe socialism.

Josh Feldman reported at Mediaite:

CNN’s Baldwin Asks Sanders Supporters to Define the Word ‘Socialist’

At a recent Bernie Sanders rally, CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin asked some of his supporters to define the word socialism. And, well, some of them didn’t exactly know…

Baldwin showed her video of the very enthusiastic Sanders supporters she spoke with on CNN earlier today. A few of them contrasted Sanders with Hillary Clinton.

Here’s the video via Town Hall: defines the word this way:


1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

2.procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.

3.(in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

It shouldn’t be surprising that there’s so little correct information out there when you’ve got people like Michael Moore, saying things like this:

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Define socialism…

An economic system that has never, ever worked as promised, BUT has managed to kill LOTS of people, while depriving MANY more of basic human rights, made hundreds of millions…even billions…sick, hungry, and impoverished, and a few rich beyond avarice.

    Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | February 2, 2016 at 11:15 am

    An economic system that purports to “take from each according to his ability, and give to each according to his need.”

    Those who are experienced in life will note that there is an unnamed entity presupposed in this formulation, and for the formulation to work, this unnamed entity must be imbued with wisdom in order to properly exercise the enormous power to decide who gets what.

    Karl Marx made no secret that this system runs on slavery.

    In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life’s prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly—only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs! (Critique of the Gotha Program)

    Socialism is a system where bureaucrats, guided by a proliferation of rules, decide what each individual needs, and what each individual can produce.

      Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to Valerie. | February 2, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      there is an unnamed entity presupposed in this formulation, and for the formulation to work, this unnamed entity must be imbued with wisdom

      The Great Leaders (they’re the unnamed entity) would like you proles to think they’re endowed with great wisdom (‘Obama’s gonna lead us’). But they’re not. They’re imbued with unlimited power and force to suppress dissenting ideas and alternate policies, and remain in office at will.

      Socialism lite, the Bernie fantasy, is ‘democratic’ – the leaders can be de-elected once they’ve made a complete mess of governance, as in Chavez/Maduro Venezuela, or more currently as in Denmark/Sweden. In the latter, only government suppression of truth in media keeps opposing political parties from sweeping the current leaders off the stage.

casualobserver | February 2, 2016 at 9:05 am

Most perhaps don’t want to be bothered with getting the ideology right. They just want free stuff and especially free college. I’ve seen plenty of interviews where the college age interviewee asks why college shouldn’t be free.

Ask them if they know what a Ponzi scheme is.

Socialism: Communism’s little sister.

What is surprisingly sad is the prolific propaganda pushing socialism in the education combines

“The Communist Manifesto is ranked among the top three most popular assigned readings in American college and university classes, according to the Open Syllabus Project (OSP). Karl Marx himself is the most assigned economist in higher education courses.”

Ignorance Bliss: Karl Marx and Paul Krugman, are #1 and 3 in Big Brother propaganda

In spite of the prolific propaganda, it has been my experience in debating commenters that young people just know names like Marx and Krugman from school and that is the extent of their knowledge.

They equate those names with free stuff and free stuff with liberty and choice and being included. They never, ever think about the inherent cost to their liberty or to the economy as a whole.

Marx’s Communist Manifesto, an utterly boring read if there ever was one, is pure Shaming-micro-economics touted as Macro-common good economics. Redistributive Socialism is Marx’s folly, a strawhope, touted as humanist egalitarianism.

What is the redistributed is the Lie that good will come of socialism and the coercion to make the Lie work.

If Michael Moore had ever benefited from capitalism, I bet he’d change his tune. *sarc*

Socialism is the story of the Golden Goose (with its golden eggs) writ large. It works only until it runs out of other people’s money.

Lefties can’t define weather, how can they be expected to weight in on politics, economics, and history?

Iowa Democratic Party Says Results From 90 Precincts Have Gone Missing. UPDATE: Sanders Campaign Says As Much As 5% Of Iowa Vote Is Missing …

Is it a failure of the educational system, or a success? Kinda depends on your real goal does it not?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to rorschach256. | February 2, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Exactly. Given what socialism is and given its atrocious record, I’d say it’s a major victory for an education system chock full of socialists to keep students wholly ignorant of what socialism actually is. In the above tweet, Michael Moore sums up the education system’s indoctrinal propaganda nicely: capitalism is selfishness (boo), while socialism is fair (yay!).

Socialism is “control”. Period. As in, the antithesis of “freedom”.

That’s all they needed for the soundbite answer.

Of course there’s more to it. The different flavors of socialism diverge about exactly what is to be controlled, and exactly how this control is to be implemented. But they all agree that control (by “The People”, which in practice means some sort of central committee, which in turn means the government) is both possible (which has never been successfully demonstrated) and desirable (which has never been convincingly argued).

Normal Mailer: “Socialism’s function is to raise suffering to a higher level”

Now ask Hillary supporters to define integrity.

I’ve read the transcripts of Bernie Sanders speeches (listening to either Democratic front runner is like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard) on a variety of subjects. Mostly economics but also foreign policy and the judiciary.

Sanders doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. Why the hell should his addle-brained supporters? Indeed, being too figure out a damned thing is a prerequisite to becoming a socialist in the first place.

To paraphrase Churchill, socialism is the creed of failure, greed, and envy. Sanders himself was a failure in the private sector. At one point he tried carpentry and according to his friends he was a “shitty carpenter.” He couldn’t drive a nail. Apparently as a hippie in the early ’70s he scraped by writing rape fantasies and such for leftist rags. Like all socialists he finally threw a tantrum against the capitalist wizards who through their evil sorcery prevented him from acquiring the material wealth he deserved, and were the cause of his failure because it couldn’t possibly be him, and demanded government should just take things away from those “selfish” capitalists and give it to “generous” Bernie Sanders. Generous because Sanders wants to spread the filthy capitalist lucre to anyone willing to vote for him.

Apparently this was a winning message, he got elected to a local government office, and for the first time in his life collected a steady paycheck. Why would he keep thinking about what works and what doesn’t.

“Kids are poor because we have too many brands of deoderant!”

There’s a message that resonates with the youngsters that don’t know what socialism is. All they know is their communist professors were right. They were preparing for the future by learning the important things. Not math, reading, writing, or history, but to fight racism, sexism, imperialism, colonialism, militarism, and consumerism. After gaining a solid foundation in these academic basics, they capped their journey through the American educational system by earning valuable degrees in social justice warriorship or perhas “SIN-E-MAH,” which their communist professors raking in six figure salaries told them were in high demand among the noble non-profit corporations they should all aspire to.

But despite these valuable credentials, they got out of school and capitalism let them down. Just like their tenured communist professors who encouraged them to go a quarter of a million dollars in debt to get credentialed warned them it would.

All they know about socialism is it means despite the invisible, magical forces of white privilege, micoraggressions, and the Koch brothers working against them they get their apartments and iPads anyway.

How is that supposed to work? Who cares. It never dawned on them to think about where all those noble non-profit corporations they all aspired to work for got their money.

Like their hero Bernie Sanders, why should they start thinking now.

    murkyv in reply to Arminius. | February 2, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    “kids are poor because we have too many brands of deodorant”

    It’s not like personal hygiene ranks very high among Bernie supporter.

Q: “What is Socialism?”
A: “The thing that killed Venezuela.”

JIm Geraghty in his Morning Jolt reports that a Sanders precinct captain was rallying the troops last night with the battle cry, “Vote your hearts, not your minds.”

He’s in luck. After nearly two decades of exposure to the American education racket, the average Sanders supporter has no mind left to vote with anyway.

    Evil Otto in reply to Arminius. | February 3, 2016 at 6:57 am

    “JIm Geraghty in his Morning Jolt reports that a Sanders precinct captain was rallying the troops last night with the battle cry, “Vote your hearts, not your minds.””

    If America had an epitaph, that would be it.

People ALWAYS claim they know more than they do. Especially about unsettled subject matter, and so much more especially about subject matters that defy by their intrinsic nature being settled. Say for example: the existence of G-d, or of global warming, or of non-intelligently directed natural evolution, or of socialism, communism, Marxism, Fascism, capitalism, etc.

I say boldy to the subject of socialism: the mocking interviewer probably would not be to give the biography of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. And without that man, who cares what “socialism” means. It is like people who would claim any certain definition of Fascism without any reference to Mussolini! Mussolini invented the term , defined it and put it into practice! No more clear definition of an economic philosophy exists than that! Yet it is nearly always gotten wrong, and almost always used in ways that defy the author and implementor of it.

Since it was coined, the term has been debated, there simply is NO FIXED DEFINITION. It is a whimsy.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to bvw. | February 2, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    “People ALWAYS claim they know more than they do.”

    Except you, may we presume?

    Radegunda in reply to bvw. | February 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Quite a lot of people and groups in many different countries have been calling themselves “socialist” and trying to apply their concept of socialism in real life. That gives us the basis for a better operating definition than relying on Proudhon.

    In every case, actually existing socialism centers on the assumption that the rulers have the right to seize everyone else’s earnings and possessions in order to distribute it all as they see fit.

    That’s why our own so-called Democrats think it’s perfectly rational to use the word “handout” to denote a decision by the rulers to take less of a citizen’s wealth this year than they did last year.

The goal of socialism is communism. — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

It has never been about labels. It has never been about his title, be it Liberty Union party member, progressive, democrat, independent, democratic socialist, or communist. It has never been about what other people want to label or mislabel him as (such ridiculous things as Nazi-like or Stalin-like). How you, or right wingers, or democrats, or supporters, or academia define or mis-define socialism is moot. Because, it has always been, and will continue to be, totally about his SPECIFIC stances and proposals and how consistently he has held them. Everything else is just noise.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Aroyley. | February 3, 2016 at 9:07 am

    “Because, it has always been, and will continue to be, totally about his SPECIFIC stances and proposals and how consistently he has held them.”

    A consistent ignorance of basic economics is no virtue.