Of course, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders calls himself a DEMOCRATIC socialist. In America, you can call yourself anything you want. But to properly describe a person’s political philosophy, you need to look at not just what they say, but what they do – what they propose.
Sanders is mislabeling himself.
The Vermont Senator says he is a socialist in the tradition of Norway or Sweden so as to appear not so scary to American values. The problem with that is that neither of those nations is socialist. They are capitalist countries. In fact, leaders of those nations have strongly disagreed with Sanders’ description.
Sanders is also wrong to even connect “democratic” and “socialism” in the same sentence. Socialism is an authoritarian concept – whether it is called socialism, fascism or communism. Among the most socialistic nations in today’s world are China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea and most recently Venezuela. They are the living proof of the failure of socialism. But where are the success stories?
While we commonly refer to Hitler’s political party as Nazis – the full name of the party was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Since it used authoritarian methods to control the private sector – as opposed to fully nationalizing it — the Nazi model of socialism was more like what we call fascist socialism.
In short, socialism – like the fascism and communism variants — operates with maximum government control of the means of production and economic regulation. It is nothing less than a stage in an evolution to a fully authoritarian state.
For political reasons, Sanders attempts to distinguish his political philosophy from the historic failure of socialism in all its forms. It is, however, a distinction without a difference. Sanders would nationalize healthcare and the insurance industry by making them a function of government. He would further nationalize education. He would further regulate all aspects of society – a hallmark of authoritarian socialism (with apologies for the tautology).
Though Sanders campaigns behind a façade of a beneficent socialism as a matter of political expediency, his philosophic soul has long been planted in communist dogma. In his more honest days, Sanders often quoted from the words of Eugene Debs – who, like Sanders, proffered communist policies paraded as socialism.
Sanders’ allegiance to the rise of communism in the early Twentieth Century is compelling evidence of his radical political views. Not only did he spend his honeymoon in Russia at the height of the Cold War, he used his visit to sing the praises of the despotic Soviet regime – praising their literacy (propaganda) program and their beautiful subway system. He described the people of Russia as “content” – ignoring the millions who were murdered by Stalin in the name of socialism.
Sanders lavished local Russian officials with gifts – including a “Bernie of Burlington” campaign button – and said that the mayor of Yaroslavl was nicer than any American mayor he had met. When presenting a small American flag, Sanders said, “If you’re wondering what’s wrong with capitalism, it’s made in Hong Kong. Sorry about that.”
In solidarity with America’s number one world adversary, Sanders said, “I’m not very happy about this, but there are not many people in the state of Vermont who speak Russian. In fact, one of the things that we want to do is to see if we can develop a Russian studies program in our high school.”
Sanders was happy to note that the healthcare system in Russia was free, but conceded that it was far behind the United States in the quality of care. Somehow, Sanders did not see that as a cause-and-result situation.
Sanders’ embrace of communism was much more than Russia. He sided with the corrupt and deadly Sandinista regime of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua a time when official U.S. policy opposed the authoritarian dictator.
Much has already been reported regarding Sanders praising words about the Castro Regime in Cuba. He specifically praised Fidel Castro for establishing a literacy program. Sander ignored the brutality of the murderous regime and even the fact that the literacy program was limited to providing propaganda. There was none of the all-important free flow of information. It was not about education, but indoctrination.
Sanders’ penchant for creating an equivalency between some dubious positive development in communist nations with the overall criminal conduct of the regimes is breathtaking. Had he gone to pre-World War II Germany and Italy, would Sanders have praised Adolph Hitler for the development of the Volkswagen and Benito Mussolini for getting the Italian railroads to run on time? It is a rhetorical question – but it makes the point.
Whatever you wish to call it, Sanders has a radical authoritarian nature. He makes the same enticing – but impossible – promises that have crossed the lips of every dangerous despot in modern history – free education, free healthcare, less work for more money and anything else that can offer up some sort of imaginary Utopian existence.
Looking at the facts and his history, it would be fair to say that Sanders is not some non-existent mythical political unicorn – a democratic socialist – but rather a socialist communist.
So, there ‘tis.