Watering Down Socialism: "Is a 'Socialist' Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign"

02051601... What is more important? To broadcast to people what they already know—that Sanders’ conception of “socialism” is really Scandinavian-style capitalism (capitalism with a “human face”) and not socialism in the Marxian sense, which results from the overthrow of the capitalist class?

Or: to note and appreciate the historical significance of Sanders’ campaign in returning the very term “socialism” to public discourse and emboldening people to openly identify with a concept anathema to Wall Street, the 1%, and the entire (widely hated) political establishment?

Source: Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign

Look, there's a really simple and obvious way to defuse this issue a great deal. Bernie Sanders simply needs to say that he knows the difference between democratic socialism, social democracy, and a welfare state and that he's advocating the latter. He may be a Democratic Socialist in his heart, but he's been making a rather strange error by defining what is the welfare state as democratic socialism no less, when the welfare state isn't even social democracy.

Also, what do you mean, "broadcast to people what they already know"? The only reason many of them now know is because people (I'm included) broadcasted it. If we hadn't said a word, those people would have been left in the dark thinking socialism is just a greater welfare-state. Germany is a welfare state. The US is a welfare state, just weakly so.

To clarify further, "Sanders' conception of “socialism” is really Scandinavian-style capitalism" isn't a correct statement. Capitalism is no less particular than is socialism. Scandinavia has recently been social democratic, which means a mixed economy with some nationalized enterprises and not a capitalist economy, per se.

Medicaid isn't even socialist medicine. Socialist medicine is the people, via the state, owning the hospitals, employing the medical practitioners, etc. It is not merely a matter of who pays the private enterprises to provide the medical services.

Why does all of this matter? Is simply putting the term "socialism" out there, where many young people not only don't hate it but actually like it, a good thing on balance?

If "socialism" is the welfare state, which is what Bernie Sanders has so far really been advocating (no socialism yet, not even social democracy), then how in the world will we ever get to full-fledged democracy where how much money one has, gives that one no more say than the other person has via a vote?

Someone somewhere started a process of watering down these concepts. I hadn't known about it until I was overviewing the Wikipedia and then Sanders began running on the flawed definitions.

No, it is not simply better that the term "socialism" gets out there. It is important that people be taught correctly so that they won't simply accept an enhanced welfare-state in lieu of state enterprises where appropriate (which full-blown capitalists always and everywhere oppose because state enterprises represent "unfair" competition against the capitalists' desire to own everything privately regardless of the harm).

Please see my Monetary-and-Banking-Reform Platform for The United States.

Also see my "Unelectable": Self-Fulfilling Prophecy


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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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