What Bernie Sanders Means When He Says the US Is Already a Socialist Society

Comments

1

We play these games because the mass manipulation works. Americans are ripe for being convinced that “freedom” trumps the security of knowing our elderly are cared for and our children have health insurance. Try and keep up!

2

I've always heard of it referred to as a "mixed economy". For example: "By entering into World War 2, the U. S. ended the Great Depression by becoming a mixed economy. The same is true for most of the developed world."

Semantics, to be sure, but one that makes it easier for pinheads like Nikki Haley to accept Sanders' proposals.

3

Other "socialist" US policies include workers' compensation, home mortgage interest deduction, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_welfare_state

4

This is another in a series of columns - here and elsewhere - that seeks to redefine socialism. Traditional socialism failed spectacularly in country after country in the last half of the last century. That's why older voters flee from the word. They saw all that shit go down. Use a different fucking word, people. Make a meme and pass it around.

Of course all modern economies are a mix of free market and "socialistic" elements. Our country generates more than enough wealth per capita, we just need to allocate that wealth more evenly. Progressive taxation of income does that job nicely.

We need a new word or phrase to describe what Progressives and the environment want and need economically. How about Steady-State Capitalism? Manage the economy so that GDP per capita remains roughly constant. As the population declines, and it will, the damage to the environment from consumption is gradually reduced.

5

I see your intended meaning and I agree in all but name. As a marxist it's hard to not bridle at this conflation of Socialism and Social Democracy. Socialism is where workers, as a class, control the means of production. What you describe is a social democracy and Bernie is better viewed or framed as a Social Democrat.

Bernie may well believe as I do in the just equality of the working class collectively controlling the product of their own labor instead of bunch of capitalists and rentier leaches but if he's like me then he knows that the government is not capable of bringing about that revolution.

6

@5: But there is no innovation and startups (like Microsoft and all the tech companies once were) when working class controls the labor because there is no capital for trail and error which is the essence of innovation.

7

@6 What, you’d rather drive a BMW than a Trabant?

8

If this misguided movement to redefine the word "socialism" is successful, it will be an impressive feat, albeit potentially disastrous (or at least highly disappointing to those of us for whom semantics means something).

9

Charles, do you think that corporate welfare, which you are attempting to re-define as "socialism for the rich", is better categorized as the product of "crony capitalism"? Have you read Michael Munger's article "The Road to Crony Capitalism"? What do you think of the notion that all states always degrade, for the worst, to some sort of cronyism, whether socialism or capitalism? And what do you think of the idea that a government system is best (or ideal), when the system itself makes it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, such that the system and populace can weather times when the wrong people are in power?

10

Clinton’s only real accomplishment—“don’t ask, don’t tell”—is superbly American. We’re perfectly okay with pretense and really afraid of reality.

Truly we are a shining city on a hill. Right?

11

We all know that Bernie is a Democratic Socialist, and that Trump is a card-carrying Communist.

Duh.