Socialism

Are Democrats Really Socialists?

They've always had significant differences in some policies.

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Credit: Gage Skidmore

Socialism has had a rough few decades, but it's enjoying a rare success. Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a socialist, is running for president, drawing big crowds and leading Hillary Clinton in one poll in New Hampshire. All this leads some people to a damning conclusion: Democrats love Sanders because Democrats are socialists. 

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has encouraged this claim by declining to spell out the differences between a Democrat and a socialist. "These days, it's largely a distinction without a difference," Jason Riley, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, wrote in The Wall Street Journal. Ted Cruz asserts that Clinton "is just as much of a socialist as Bernie Sanders." 

Norman Thomas, the perennial presidential candidate of the Socialist Party back when socialism was considered a serious alternative, got only 2.2 percent of the vote in 1932, his best showing in six tries. So how can someone sporting the label today muster a serious bid for the Democratic nomination? 

There are several factors at work. To start with, Democrats and socialists have always had some overlap on matters like collective bargaining, anti-poverty programs and civil rights. Back in the 1930s, socialists and liberal Democrats agreed on the need for anti-lynching laws, which President Franklin Roosevelt refused to endorse. Both Democrats and socialists favored unemployment insurance, guaranteed pensions and the end of child labor. 

But they have always had major differences as well. Socialists have long endorsed nationalization of important industries, steeply graduated income taxes, a 30-hour workweek, drastic cuts in military spending and the abolition of the CIA. Democrats, as a rule, have not. 

One big reason for the Sanders surge has escaped conservatives. Many of them think all their opponents are captives of the same dangerous statist mentality. In that view, a moderate is a liberal is a socialist is a communist. But the truth is that Sanders isn't really much of a socialist. 

Ask one. Plenty of leftists think he is not really one of them. Last month, David Fahrenthold reported in The Washington Post that "Vermont is strewn with dissatisfied socialists, denouncing Sanders for perceived sins that go back to the '70s." 

In Politico, socialist academic Fredrik deBoer writes that Sanders "might just be the first SINO in American politics, the first Socialist In Name Only." At the recent Socialism 2015 convention in Chicago, he found some attendees fear this candidacy "is a trick to bring socialists back into the Democratic fold."

Cruz sees no difference between Sanders and many Senate Democrats. Though he has a point, he overlooks the possibility that the reason is that Sanders is not as far left as he pretends to be. He can call himself a socialist, just as Mitt Romney could call himself "severely conservative." But self-portrayals are not always reliable. 

Riley is struck that calling yourself a socialist is not fatal with voters. That premise has yet to be tested at the polls. And if the stigma the term once carried has diminished, Riley should blame his friends on the right. 

They used to think it was enough to accuse Democrats of being liberals. In 1988, George H.W. Bush made voters think "liberal" was Michael Dukakis' first name. But ever since the 2008 campaign, conservatives have been depicting Barack Obama as a fanatical Marxist bent on dismantling our economic system. 

Early in his presidency, John Boehner said he was undertaking "a new American socialist experiment." Investor's Business Daily published an overheated series of 21 editorials—yes, 21—called "The Audacity of Socialism." 

In office, though, Obama repeatedly pursued policies that were within the mainstream of public opinion. His tax increases paralleled those of Bill Clinton. Domestic oil production climbed. The federal budget deficit has dropped by two-thirds. 

His health care overhaul preserved the dominant role of private insurance companies—disappointing those on the left, including Sanders, who wanted "Medicare for all." The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell by 25 percent under George W. Bush, has more than doubled. Corporate profits have soared. If Obama is out to destroy capitalism, he's got a funny way of going about it. 

At this stage of his presidency, with this economic record, the charge that Obama is a kindred spirit of Karl Marx has lost its sting. Sanders' success is actually a reflection of what conservatives have accomplished over the past seven years: They have made socialism respectable. 

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

NEXT: Hillary Clinton Continues to Change Her Story

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  1. Socialists have long endorsed nationalization of important industries, steeply graduated income taxes, a 30-hour workweek, drastic cuts in military spending and the abolition of the CIA. Democrats, as a rule, have not.

    *nationalization of important industries
    – GM and Chrysler (although not anymore) were essentially nationalized
    – Aiport security is nationalized

    * steeply graduated income taxes
    – More progressive income tax than France (though with a lower top rate, it kicks in at a lower income)

    * drastic cuts in military spending
    – How will you spread the socialist revolution to the rest of the world without military spending?

    * abolition of the CIA
    – Even the people’s republic or the dictatorship of the proletariat will need a secret police.

    The aspect of socialism that matters is public ownership of the means of production. Nothing else matters.

    1. The rest is all peripheral. Obama and most of the Democrats absolutely qualify as socialists on all the metrics that matter to the concept.

    2. The aspect of socialism that matters is public ownership of the means of production.

      Socialists by the end of the 20th century got smart. They learned to get rid of the pure schoolboy definition of “ownership of the means of production”, and instead turned it into “control of the means of production”.

      All they need to really do is have total control and domination over the means of production through government regulations and oversight and they can achieve their centrally planned society goals.

      They also achieve this by promoting policy’s that keep only a few of the largest corporations in control of each segment of the economy, because it is much easier to control a few large corporations and archive their central planning of the economy, than trying to control many independent entities.

      1. public ownership

        A dubious and ill-defined term to predicate your distinction upon.

        1. Yes, yes it is.

      2. “Socialists by the end of the 20th century got smart …”

        It happened long before, in the 1920s and 30s. Classical “schoolboy” socialism died around the end of WWI, when socialist revolutions failed or resulted in civil war. The older socialists”sold out” to liberal democracy and younger socialists started developing alternative ways to reach socialism, including corporatism, fascism, plan socialism, national socialism, building on the welfare state, public institutions, the bureaucracies, control of education and media, etc.

      3. Fellas, they’re all fascists. That’s what you’re describing.

        They’re all fascists; the dems and repubs have sex with all of them.

    3. We have the GOP and their Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs to thank for the advancement of socialism in the last 40+ years.

      We’ll never see another republican president in our lifetime. IT’S ALL OVER! And the socialists have won comrades.

      1. “We have the GOP and their Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs to thank for the advancement of socialism in the last 40+ years.”

        How do you explain that the Dems also pursued a war on gays until just 2 years ago, when they wisely changed course. And to this day, most democrat candidates are also for the War on Drugs, which does so much to erode liberty and militarize police. Other than some loosening of pot laws, I don’t see either of the major parties talking about decriminalizing drugs in general.

        As for the War on Women, I don’t believe it exists other than as a PR lie started by Sandra Fluke and her backers. The way I understand it, being opposed to free contraception means you are against contraception and therefore don’t like women. But that is an obvious and total logical fail. For example, I LOVE science fiction books, movies and TV shows. Yet I would be opposed to taxpayer funding to produce and distribute sci fi. Does that mean I must secretly hate sci fi after all? Sorry, but that argument is simply retarded.

        1. How about the war on the un-important pepples??!?!

          At its base, all the machinations of the power pigs (be they corporate, political, or corporate-political “cronies”) are about, “Let’s us all important folks git together, and fence out the peons”. THAT is what advances Government Almighty!

          I am against free food for all the pepples, so I am against food for the poor, I guess… If I am against Guvmint Almighty providing XYZ, I am against XZY, I can see that…

          (GOP, git yerselves a DEE_VORCE frum the bastard power pigs, and THEN maybe we peons can bring ourselves to vote fer ye agin).

        2. My dear indigo, surely you are not this uninformed. Please tell me you jest.

          OK, one free lesson for you: Perception is everything! Got that? The gays have been voting for democrats FOREVER! Why do you think that is? Duh.

          Free lesson number two (OK, I admit. I’m a generous guy): The republicans haven’t won the female vote in a presidential election since 1988! Why do you think that is? Duh! Obviously women perceive that the GOP is waging a War on Women and their uterus’! Got that?

          Alright, alright, I’m going to give you yet another FREE lesson: Where do you think the youth vote has been going for the last 50 years? Duh! That’s right, to the democrats. Why? Because a lot of young voters like to use drugs.

          Sorry, but your argument shows what an ignorant ass you are!

          Now go back to school. Read more of ME ? and try to comprehend some of this knowledge. Got it?

          1. Your bullshit “perceptions” and straw grasping rationalizations don’t negate the facts he brought up.

            1. For a guy who believes that perception is everything, you’d think he’d try harder not to be perceived as an ignorant jackass. Does he really think anybody here digs his paternal condescension?

              1. Governor — Does anybody here think I give a shit about either of your ignorant comments?

                Can you show where I was wrong? I didn’t think so. Fuck off squid dick.

            2. ThatGuy — Let’s look at those so-called facts he brought up:

              “How do you explain that the Dems also pursued a war on gays until just 2 years ago, when they wisely changed course.”

              No fact there. Only his asinine opinion.

              “As for the War on Women, I don’t believe it exists other than as a PR lie started by Sandra Fluke and her backers.”

              Is this what you consider a fact?

              Obviously you’re just as fucked up in the head as your buddy, Inigo.

              Don’tBeThat Guy

    4. “*nationalization of important industries”

      Don’t forget the virtual nationalization of the mortgage loan industry.

      1. Last week the WSJ called the recent EPA regulations “the nationalization of the coal industry”.

  2. “Domestic oil production climbed. The federal budget deficit has dropped by two-thirds.”

    … neither of those were results of Obama (or Democrat) policies.

    Are you, with a straight face, saying that the economic record of thus administration is a positive one?

    Aside from cherry-picking statistics to attempt to prove your point (DJIA, lol), tell us how GDP growth has been the last few years?

    1. Calm down. The article is not intended as a defense of Obama. The article is, accurately, presenting Obama as a moderate progressive rather than a red flag waving soviet.

      1. But why is Obama moderated? Is it because he wanted to moderate himself? Or was it because a Republican Congress forced him to?

        Obama would have made many more changes if he could have gotten away with doing so. He is, after all, making several statist/communist changes with his infamous pen and phone.

        1. Is it a red pen?

        2. Every time I see the word ‘statist’ in a comment my brain fills in a (derp) after it.

          1. You should get that looked at.

      2. Imperator Barack the Mendacious is an effing Fascist.

      3. Dubya – You say:

        “The article is, accurately, presenting Obama as a moderate progressive rather than a red flag waving soviet.”

        Surely you jest. Obama took over one sixth of the economy with his Obama care. Who knows how many millions of illegal immigrants he has allowed in? We have yet to find out how much damage around the world will be caused by his surrender to terrorist nations and groups. His expansion of the various welfare groups is record breaking.

        When the socialists/communists are literally tearing down every monument in Washington, one of the first monuments they will replace them with is to Obama for his contributions to the One World Society.

      4. “The article is, accurately, presenting Obama as a moderate progressive”

        Moderate progressive?
        Jumbo shrimp?

        1. “Progressive is what communists call themselves, when they don’t want to admit they are communists.”

    2. “In office, though, Obama repeatedly pursued policies that were within the mainstream of public opinion. His tax increases paralleled those of Bill Clinton. Domestic oil production climbed. The federal budget deficit has dropped by two-thirds.”

      Whattttt? Federal deficit –
      2006 $248 Billion Deficit $291.42 Billion Deficit

      2007 $161 Billion Deficit
      2008 $459 Billion Deficit
      2009 $1413 Billion Deficit
      2010 $1294 Billion Deficit
      2011 $1299 Billion Deficit
      2012 $1100 Billion Deficit
      2013 $680 Billion Deficit
      2014 $483 Billion Deficit

      Fun fact – 2009 was when it shot up…wonder why.
      Fun fact two – taxes revenues are at the highest ever! Yet, the deficit still larger than 2008 and before…hummm…

      Domestic oil production climbed – missing on private lands. Federal it has dropped.
      Obamacare is a tax right? Isn’t that what the Supreme’s ruled? Did Slick have a tax like that?

  3. Obama has pursued fascist policies in the ACA, auto bailouts, green energy, etc. Chapman is too dim to understand the difference between socialism and fascism.

    1. The article wasnt about Obama you monomaniac. The article was trying to explain why a self labeled Socialist is polling so high.

      1. The article is even dumber than that, it is blaming conservatives for epic rise and triumph of socialism……or something.

        1. “it is blaming conservatives for epic rise and triumph of socialism……or something.”

          No kidding, as if the re-education camps of public schools and universities had nothing to do with the change in people’s ideas.

      2. Yes, but you’d think that pointing out that Sanders isn’t actually a socialist would be relevant to that.

        Like some politically successful historical predecessors, Sanders is a progressive who labels himself a “socialist” but is actually advocating something like Strasserism.

        1. Sanders is a progressive who labels himself a “socialist” but is actually advocating something like Strasserism.

          Positions which will be quickly upgraded to full blown totalitarian communism the second that the masses do not choose them freely. Sanders knows that you don’t go full gulag until after you have fooled the masses of your benevolence.

          Sanders is a totalitarian collectivist. Everything follows this. He would literally make it illegal to sell more than one kind of deodorant.

          1. Positions which will be quickly upgraded to full blown totalitarian communism the second that the masses do not choose them freely

            Strasserism is usually “upgraded” to Nazism, not communism.

            Sanders is a totalitarian collectivist.

            True, but those come in many stripes.

            1. “Strasserism is usually “upgraded” to Nazism, not communism.”

              Well, of by upgraded, you mean driven out of power by the even more ruthless, yes that’s correct. It’s probably fairly analogous to the more widely known Leninism being replaced by Stalinism.

              1. I was merely echoing the GP with “upgraded”. Look there.

                The point is that Strasserism historically doesn’t lead to communism, and Sanders isn’t a socialist or a communist, he is a proto-fascist.

          2. Sanders has been a senator forever. Has he ever pursued a policy regarding one type of deodorant? No? Funny that.

            1. Yet he seemed quite transfixed on making it one of the forefront platforms of his Presidential run. Funny that.

    2. Fascism: Christian Socialism based on Revealed Faith
      Communism: non-Christian Socialism based on Revealed Faith.
      Both rely on mystical superstition and deadly force from loaded guns.

      1. The essential difference between fascism and communism is who owns the means of production

        Christian churches just work with whatever form of government gives them special privileges and lets them keep their property.

        1. It’s a distinction without a practical difference, as the state still controls the means of production, whether through ownership or intimidation. Since every government controls the means of production indirectly through tax codes, regulations, etc, they are all socialist, and the only thing left is to quibble over how much.

          1. Your analysis is simplistic and wrong, and in a dangerous way.

            Socialism and communism want to take away private property from both the middle class and all owners of corporations. You know, their nice homes, cars, and other stuff gets taken away. That’s why the middle class and wealthy, powerful interests generally hate socialism and communism.

            Fascism blames “unproductive classes” (bankers, “speculators”, etc.) for the ills of society. As long as you do what the government tells them, the middle class and owners of corporations can continue to enjoy their private luxuries and don’t get disowned. As a result, much of the middle class and a lot of wealthy folks support or at least tolerate fascism. That’s also why fascism has a reputation of being a “right wing” ideology.

            Sanders calls himself a “socialist”, but he is much more of a fascist, because he is trying to appeal to the middle class and selected wealthy corporate owners, provided they obey him.

      2. No. Marxism = Christian Socialism – God.

        Everything else about Fascism flowed from that essence.

    3. There is no difference between socialism and fascism. If you want “to bring the economy under democratic control”, centrally plan the economy, a merger between business and government is inevitable. It is irrelevant who controls who; they will be the same people.

      Fascism is what socialism ends up looking like in reality. Fascism is the terminal phase of bankrupt welfare states, when the money and free goodies run out and citizens owe The State and the blame-shifting and scapegoating starts.

      1. There is no difference between socialism and fascism. It is irrelevant who controls who; they will be the same people

        Quite incorrect. When a socialist or communist state arises, it will disown the middle class and the wealthy owners of corporations; control is passed over to a new generation of technocrats selected by the state. When a fascist state arises, however, it lets the middle class and the wealthy owners of corporations keep control of their existing property, provided they bow to state power.

        Economically, both forms of government are equally destructive. But they differ in who supports them: a socialist or communist state is usually supported by poor intellectuals and the working classes, because they will gain power and wealth from it; a fascist state is usually supported by the middle class and the wealthy, because they get to retain power.

  4. His health care overhaul preserved the dominant role of private insurance companies?disappointing those on the left, including Sanders, who wanted “Medicare for all.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell by 25 percent under George W. Bush, has more than doubled. Corporate profits have soared. If Obama is out to destroy capitalism, he’s got a funny way of going about it.

    WHIF! If this country goes full socialist, it will be through the exact crony bullshit this all points to.

    1. you may be right. It certainly is quite a shortcut through the Road to Serfdom. However, it does illustrate a significant distinction in policy between actual socialists and Team Blue. Card carrying socialists want single payer now while the Democratic Party elite preferred to subsidize tbe largest private insurance corporations. For libertarians, this is a distinction without a difference – either approach perverts the free market. But the article is focused on internal leftist politics. For Socialists who want complete nationalization, no matter how far the State has its hand up the rear end of its insurance company puppets, they will still be companies who care more about profits than people.

      1. What the duck are you talking about? THE biggest increase in the insured came in the from of Medicaid. Just because they haven’t reached full single payer yet doesn’t mean they don’t prefer it. Minimum wage? Subsidized college? Distinctions without a difference. Desiring the same things but willing to be more patient does not a difference make.

      2. either approach perverts the free market robs people at gunpoint.

        1. Yea, but it is for your own good, so it’s okay.

      3. Except the White House’s original plan called for a “public option”. The reason it wasn’t part of the final product is because it couldn’t get passed. It’s a mistake to pretend that incrementalist Fabians somehow aren’t socialists.

        1. Isn’t that supposed to be the main distinction of Socialism Vs. Communism? Timeline and methods?

  5. The people who blindly VOTE democrat are anything their leaders tell them to be.

    1. People vote Dem because the teevee tells there there is only one other alternative. They vote Dem because they fear maniacal antiabortionists kidnapping their pot-smoking children into homosexual prisons to be drugged with mind-destroying medications and brainwashed into Accepting Jesus and enforcing whatever laws the GOP says Jesus surely would have written if only Jesus knew how to write.

      For all we actually know, LP candidates have been elected and the teevee and political machines simply made up the ballot counts. I have personally seen LP vote counts as high as 20% completely left out of teevee election “coverage”.

      1. Why are you spelling TV like that?

        1. Was I supposed to capitalize It as “the” deity? I was referring to the telescreen, not the televangelist behind the telescreen. I meant no disrespect, Sir. Am I free to leave?

          1. No. Off to the homosexual prisons with you for your drugging and brainwashing.

        2. Hank Phillips is actually this guy.

  6. Doesn’t matter. They are buttinskis. They feel qualified to tell alll us “little people” how we should live. What we should believe. What we should eat. They believe in Planning, in spite of its myriad failures. They are, so very many of them, in the thrall of Public Transprtation via Rail. They have seldom met a regulation they didn’t love. They view themselves as the Adults in a world full of needy Children.

    My Parents are dead, and I’m not looking for third rate replacements.

    1. ^This. Me mum is a dear lady almost 99 years old. I love her to pieces – but she doesn’t control a single aspect of my life.

      Why should we live under a patriarchal (authoritarian) or matriarchal (socialist/welfare-statist) system when we can live as adults?

  7. look, if catcalling is “sexual assault”, bernie sanders can for sure be a “socialist”. we’re defining words down to meaninglessness. personally, ive read 1984, but it seems like the vast majority of the country has not

    1. look at hillary’s email hubub. words mean whatever she wants them to mean.

  8. Hey guys/gals. I’m trying to decide which has greater value on the black market. Toilet paper, or laundry detergent ? I just want to make a few bucks, because I know whats coming after GenPop elects one of these clowns as Lead Jailer. Any opinions would be welcome. =)

    1. Detergent, definitely, and bleach.

    2. All of the above if the socialist utopia of Venezuela is any indication……oh and food, lots of food…….and booze !

    3. In some countries Tide Laundry detergent is being used as an alternate currency.

    4. Buy two ply . You can than make it one ply and sell if for great profile. Also underwear. That’s what the gnomes tell me.

  9. The only difference between the two major parties in the US is that one of them walks leftward, while the other runs leftward.

    When voting, you are voting for the speed at which things will move leftward.

    The DNA of the US has changed. Never think some character like a Sanders can’t get elected.

    1. ^^^^THIS

      1,000 times more truth in this statement than the whole article.

    2. It can’t happen here? Unfortunately, Richard Milhous Nixon of Operation Intercept, Bomb Cambodia and Government-Subsidized-and-Controlled Elections fame passed laws so that only looter parties could be subsidized. If the LP stands on principle, media whores ignore it as having committed financial suicide like a gasoline-soaked monk with a match. But if the LP caves and accepts the stolen cash, it is a whore like all the rest and no longer the Party of Principle. Republicans like Nixon have deep understanding of break-ins, selling out and Catch-22.

    3. “Left” and “right” are widely used, but really meaningless, labels for political ideologies; people have different views along various dimensions.

      Sanders, for example, isn’t “left” at all. Being a “socialist” would mean that he would advocate public ownership of the means of production. What Sanders and many others supposedly on “the left” are advocating is more like “productive capitalism”, a right wing ideology.

      And free market, laissez-faire capitalism isn’t a “right wing” ideology at all; right wing economic ideologies generally advocate a combination of private property with strong regulation to achieve national and social goals.

      And the two major parties are uneasy alliances between numerous different political groups: http://tinyurl.com/nj9faqr [Wikipedia]

      1. WinBear, with regards to modern American thought, you are completely wrong. And to talk about American politics, you need to be using the same definitions everyone else is using.

        To classify Bernie Sanders as a right wing ideologue is just silly. And to say that free market capitalism isn’t right wing is just as ridiculous.

        Bringing in definitions from a hundred years ago or from a different continent doesn’t enhance debate and understanding. It’s just pedantry.

        1. Considering the republican party has happily rejected free market capitalism, I’m going with win beat on this one.

        2. WinBear, with regards to modern American thought, you are completely wrong.

          Modern American Thought has no consistent or useful definitions of “left” or “right”.

          Bringing in definitions from a hundred years ago or from a different continent doesn’t enhance debate and understanding. It’s just pedantry.

          You haven’t brought in any definitions at all, that’s the problem. Try coming up with actual definitions that aren’t circular, and then we can see who meets those definitions.

      2. right wing economic ideologies generally advocate a combination of private property with strong regulation to achieve national and social goals.

        AKA Obamacare and Sarbanes-Oxley, you stupid jackass.

        1. Yet, Obamacare and Sarbanes-Oxley are generally considered “left wing”.

          Apparently, you are such a “stupid jackass” that you can’t see the contradiction there.

    4. Exactly. And it’s far more accurate to refer to Sanders or even HRC as a socialist than it is to refer to the younger Bush as a free market fundamentalist – as the press did continually.

  10. In office, though, Obama repeatedly pursued policies that were within the mainstream of public opinion. … The federal budget deficit has dropped by two-thirds.

    So the deficit dropped because Obama pursued a budget reduction policy? Not true. Obama’s pursued policies have always been to increase spending. The reason the deficit has dropped is because he’s had to compromise with Congress.

    Stop giving Obama credit for something caused by legislative gridlock!

    1. It worked for Clinton and his so called surplus, why not for Obama?

    2. This is baffling. How does a Reason article’s author not realize that? I learned in grade school about Congress’s control of the purse strings.

      1. Too true.
        Demoncraps in control of the House – deficits rise.
        Republicans in control – deficits drop.
        Last deficit when Repubs controlled House and presidency – $161B and moving down.

  11. Look at health care. What Sanders advocates is a system in which tax payers are forced to pay into something like Medicare, which then hands out vast sums of money to private health care providers. That isn’t “socialism” or “nationalized health care”. Under either socialism or nationalized health care, health care providers are employees of the state and hospitals are owned by the state.

    Furthermore, nationalized health care systems, like those in the UK and France, are already spending less per capita in public funds than the US does (half of US health care costs are public spending). But while the US only manages to cover 1/3 of the population with its spending, those systems cover everybody. That shows you that the problem with health care spending in the US isn’t with the private system, it’s with government inefficiencies.

    (As a side point, Sanders’ claim that “we [are] the only major country on Earth without a national health-care program guaranteeing health care for all people” is also a bald faced lie.)

    Sanders isn’t a “socialist”, he is a progressive advocating something tending towards Strasserism, with “Jews” replaced by “old white males”.

    1. “What Sanders advocates is a system in which tax payers are forced to pay into something like Medicare, which then hands out vast sums of money to private health care providers. That isn’t “socialism” or “nationalized health care”.

      Technically true, but I wouldn’t put it out of range for future policy efforts to move to single-payer.

      1. Oh, I would very much put it out of range: doctors and hospitals are far too powerful for Sanders to do that. And why would he bother?

    2. This is nothing but a pedantic smoke screen. The government controls licensing, sets fee schedules, CON laws, EMTALA. They control the system. Debating whether this is Fabian, Straussian, fascist or whatever academic etymology you wish is irrelevant. They all fall under the same general philosphy.

      When those national health care systems start paying market rates for their drugs, then we can talk. Or when Canadians stop coming across the border for their urgent care. This isn’t just a case of getting bad value for our money. Even with the rise of HDHPs the U.S. is at all time lows of out of pocket healthcare spending as a percentage of the total. France has significantly more cost sharing than we do.

      1. The government controls licensing, sets fee schedules, CON laws, EMTALA. They control the system.

        Correct: economically, both socialism and fascism mean government control of the economy. But they are still very different political ideologies, because they promise to put different people into power and because they redistribute wealth from and to different groups of people. In particular, the middle class generally assumes that it is going to remain untouched under fascist-style ideologies, which is why they tend to vote for proponents of such ideologies.

  12. “But they have always had major differences as well. Socialists have long endorsed nationalization of important industries, steeply graduated income taxes, a 30-hour workweek, drastic cuts in military spending and the abolition of the CIA. Democrats, as a rule, have not. ”

    When the hell was that, Sir?

    1. When didn’t they not support those things you mean?

  13. More to the point is whether the DemoGOP is socialist in both its Inner and Outer party manifestation. Democrats swear Germany’s National Socialism “wasn’t really” socialism and all platform and legislative evidence to the contrary is The Big Lie. Republicans do “Not See” that the NSDAP was deeply Christian and altruist in the exact same self-induced blindness to fact. Just as God’s Own Party wants Jesus to control your thoughts, so the Deutch-arbeiter Dems want Engels and Hitler to handle your finances. The compromise in Amerika, as in Germany, is total control over your thoughts, spending, earning, eating, drinking and smoking. Fascism simply means Christian Socialism and Communism is code for Socialists who do not accept the Baby Jesus as their personal savior. The concept of a non-totalitarian state is completely unimaginable to either faction.

    1. Democrats swear Germany’s National Socialism “wasn’t really” socialism and all platform and legislative evidence to the contrary is The Big Lie.

      Actually, they are correct. The difference between “socialism” and “national socialism” is who owns the means of production. Under socialism, they are owned by the state. Under national socialism, they are in private hands but heavily regulated (“productive capitalism”, “Strasserism”, etc.).

      Sanders is not a socialist, he effectively advocates something closer to Strasserism.

      1. State Deodorant!

      2. The difference between “socialism” and “national socialism” is who owns the means of production.

        That’s a meaningless bit of sophistry. If someone holds title to an asset, but can only use it in a manner proscribed by a third party and can only benefit from it to the extent that the third party allows him to, there’s no meaningful ownership ot the asset.

        1. Sounds like a fourth amendment issue. Government, particularly state and local government, issue regs, rulings and ordinances all the time that restrict the use of one’s personal property to such an extent, that they may as well have taken the asset. But, government insists that since they did not “take” the property, the rightful owner has suffered no harm.

          1. Er… “private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” is in the
            FIFTH amendment.

        2. That’s a meaningless bit of sophistry. If someone holds title to an asset, but can only use it in a manner proscribed by a third party and can only benefit from it to the extent that the third party allows him to, there’s no meaningful ownership ot the asset.

          No, it’s not “meaningless sophistry” at all. Under fascism, much of the middle and upper class can continue to enjoy their private wealth, while under socialism and communism, they would have been stripped of their private wealth. That is, under fascism, the state may tell you how much steel or raisins you may produce, but you still get to buy and drive your Mercedes as you like.

          And when it comes to production, under fascism, while companies can’t decide for themselves what to produce or how to produce it, they can still make profits that benefit their owners and investors privately, and because they are protected from competition by the state, those profits can easily be larger than in a free market. That combination makes fascism much more attractive than socialism to the middle class and the wealthy.

          Economically, both systems fail because government central planning doesn’t work. But politically, they are different in who supports them.

  14. “…the charge that Obama is a kindred spirit of Karl Marx has lost its sting…”

    If Obama has a kindred spirit it’s more Otto von Bismarck or Benito Mussolini than Karl Marx.

  15. “Socialism has had a rough few decades….??????????????

    Are you kidding me? the millions dead because of a failed ideology that permenenty entrenches an elite/oligarcy that usually uses the power of the state against the people.

    Maybe no one has noticed what have happend in the Socialist-Light countries of Europe?

    They are turning the contenent in to one of Haves and Have-Nots…

    DPB

    1. Can’t make an omelette…….something, something…..

    2. Steve Chapman isn’t kidding, he really is just that stupid.

    3. I fail to see how our current situation with regards to “permenenty entrenches an elite/oligarcy that usually uses the power of the state against the people” is much different.

  16. His health care overhaul preserved the dominant role of private insurance companies?disappointing those on the left, including Sanders, who wanted “Medicare for all.” The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell by 25 percent under George W. Bush, has more than doubled. Corporate profits have soared. If Obama is out to destroy capitalism, he’s got a funny way of going about it.

    You really live in your own bubble. If Obamacare is capitalism enshrined in law, and steering vast amount of money into the stock market and cronyism qualifies as adherence to capitalism. Then maybe you don’t know what capitalism is, Oh right it’s Steve Chapman.

  17. Socialism, communism, sexism, conservatism, libertarianism . . .
    How can you have an intelligent discussion when the terms are not defined and people each have a different nuance of what they mean?
    Racism! Racism is defined as the belief in the inherent inferiority of a group, ‘race’, or ethnicity of people. And yet, it is rarely used in that context because it’s easier to be jingoistic with politically useful definitions.
    Socialism is any policy that imposes/infringes on individual liberty. If you define it that way, the answer to why it’s popular or not becomes a lot clearer.

    1. That’s easy. It’s because Christian National Socialists “aren’t really” socialists. Q.E.D.
      Also, it helps to clearly observe “the only” alternative:
      Do you watch teevee? Search for John Oliver, Televangelists

    2. Two relevant categories here are collectivist and individualist.
      Libertarians are individualists who sign their names to a declaration or pledge not to “advocate the initiation of force for political or social goals.” Simple, no? But ask any two collectivists: conservatives, socialists, closet socialists, mixed-economy statists, white supremacists, altruist supremacists, black supremacists, econazis, whatever, what they believe in in a dozen words or so and there is no overlap in the resulting Venn diagrams. Conservative collectivists come closest to consistency when they admit their goal is to “hurl a hand grenade into a Planned Parenthood clinic.”

  18. The dems,and many repubs want to control what you make,how you run you business,what to eat,buy and what you do in the the saftey of your home that harms no one.All thru laws,taxes and regulations.They will shower money on the favored ( green energy,GM,farmers ect. ) and punish the disfavored such as oil ,coal,sweets smokers and on and on. I have a book,written in 1937 about the governments of europe.The writer said that socialism,if it came to the United Statews ,would come in the form of Germany at that time.I believe he was correct.

    1. That should be most repubs,what was I thinking? NSA,CIA,DOD,TSA,corn and ethonol {and not the good kind) and trade and brown people.Is it to early to have a stout?

    2. Why not? Germans in 1939 were devout Christian altruists. Few NSDAP members understood that the nation’s chemical and pharma industries relied heavily on sales of patented Aspirin and Heroin to inhabitants of primitive societies. HL Mencken had predicted ten years earlier* that they would rekindle genocidal pogroms against all things Jewish and nobody took him seriously. Why should anyone take Sinclair Lewis seriously? There is an “It Can’t Happen Here” video on Youtube so that the literarily challenged may access the ideas.
      Remember ideas? Not things, not people… more conceptual…?
      * 1919

      1. And continuing his one-man crusade to convince everyone that Nazism is a sect of Christianity…

        1. Should we mention that a ‘filthy jew’ stands at the head of this ‘sect’?

  19. This story completely misses the point, as usual. I’d expect that from conservatives and naive liberals/progressives, but libertarians should know better.

    Yes, of course the current Democrats are socialists, at least as socialist as socialists in Europe, who don’t all call for full nationalizations either.

    It is depressing that this is still controversial, but, yes, Barack Obama is an old-fashioned marxist-leninist. His parents met in Russian-language class. The granddad who raised him sent him to a (fellow) Communist Party member to be mentored. He entered mainstream politics via “The New Party”, a post-Soviet group dedicated to getting their members elected as Democrats. In a 2001 radio interview he explained how we had to “break free” from the Constitution to give government more powers to achieve “redistributive justice”. Etc.

    In the 1990s the Democratic Party was split between the DLC southern Democrats and the 1968 Chicago New Left wings – I saw it up close volunteering for the 1996 Clinton/Gore campaign in New York, run by Bill De Blasio, also a New Party member. Bill Clinton said ‘the era of big government is over’. The New Left, progressives and old communists on the fringes of the Democratic party hated it.

    They got their revenge with Barack Obama …

    1. Continued

      … Obama, who has done everything in his power to move America closer to a Soviet-style top-down centrally planned economy with total population control. He did not do that through nationalizations, but through corporatism – “public-private partnerships” – expansion of bureaucracies into all corners of society and by rigging markets to force consolidation and create “natural monopolies” that will eventually become government organs – see ObamaCare and Net Neutrality, but also Dodd-Frank and what the Federal Reserve is doing. Obama is also applying lessons from the Chinese central planners, following their example.

      1. Obama, who has done everything in his power to move America closer to a Soviet-style top-down centrally planned economy with total population control.

        No, he has moved America closer to a German-style top-down centrally regulated economy, in which private owners of banks and corporations trade favors with politicians. It’s actually even more dysfunctional and corrupt than a Soviet-style entirely state-run system.

        1. I kimda doubt it’s MORE corrupt. Differently corrupt, perhaps. In the USSR the entire economy depended on a black market in raw materials, among other illegalities.

        2. It’s definitely not more dysfunctional than the soviet system. The incentive structure and moral hazards of the soviet economy were corrupt and dysfunctional on a level unparalleled in recorded history. The fascist economic model, though by no means ethical or efficient, still had prices, profit and loss, and nominal ownership of capital goods and the concept of property, as distorted as they were by government policy.

          The soviets had to kill 14,000 people per day for a period of several years just to get the population to produce very low quality goods.

          1. Germany provided a pretty good natural experiment.

            Socialist Germany (the GDR) didn’t do economically so well because central planning doesn’t work, but the level of corruption was relatively low. Even powerful party leaders and functionaries lived pretty modestly.

            In fascist Germany, on the other hand, rent seeking and political corruption were an integral part of the economic system, and people could and did become enormously wealthy through political corruption.

        3. Or more dysfunctional for that matter.

          I work in government after a lengthy, private sector career. And my government job brings me into contact with many other governmental agencies – aka “stakeholders”.

          I describe my own and the other agencies I work with as operating like dysfunctional families. This isn’t some conspiracy mind you. It’s not by design. It’s just the result when you bring human nature together with ultimate power and mix in elitism.

          My other favorite saying, usually when attending the myriad of multi-agency planning meetings I do is, “If the public only knew”. We’ll have 50 government people all sitting around a table for two hours, each making well over six figure salaries, arguing like selfish and self centered children over some funding scheme. And her I thought meetings were unproductive in my private sector days.

    2. Yes, of course the current Democrats are socialists, at least as socialist as socialists in Europe, who don’t all call for full nationalizations either.

      And who are those mythical “socialists in Europe” supposed to be? Europe is largely governed by social democrats and Christian democrats. Both kinds of parties represent basically German-style paternalistic big-government schemes with regulated markets, high taxes, a welfare state, and private property. They are not socialist. Even Europe’s nominally “socialist” parties are not really socialist. In fact, the European welfare state was created by people like Bismarck in order to keep socialism and communism at bay.

      It is depressing that this is still controversial, but, yes, Barack Obama is an old-fashioned marxist-leninist. His parents met in Russian-language class.

      Obama is the typical confused middle-class pseudo-leftist who couldn’t tell communism from fascism if his life depended on it but thinks “Marxism” and “socialism” sound cool.

      1. “And who are those mythical “socialists in Europe” supposed to be?”

        Like the Socialistische Partij in the Netherlands, that has replaced the Labour Party (PvdA) and Greens in the last decade?

        But the difference between social-democrat and socialist and communist is ultimately meaningless. They all lead to the same place.

        1. Everything leads to the same place: the grave. The differences in how you get there are meaningful.

          The Eurosocialist parties & social democrats for the past 25 yrs. or so have not been distinct tendencies overall. But before that, there were significant differences between them, & between each of them & the communists. So it matters that the socialist parties have given up on socialism.

          1. Actually the difference is in whether it is a mass grave or one’s own private little hole in the ground.

        2. Like the Socialistische Partij in the Netherlands, that has replaced the Labour Party (PvdA) and Greens in the last decade?

          They have about 10% of the vote, so, as I was pointing out, they aren’t governing. And they are really socialist in name only.

          But the difference between social-democrat and socialist and communist is ultimately meaningless. They all lead to the same place.

          Where they “lead” matters less than who votes for them and how many people vote for them. The middle class would never vote for a true socialist because it is not in their interest.

      2. “Obama is the typical confused middle-class pseudo-leftist …”

        What does that even mean? How would you explain away the fact that his parents met in Russian language class etc.? What do you think an actual communist looks like? Or do you believe they do not exist?

        Obama is a typical red diaper baby, an old-fashioned marxist-leninist pretending to be a moderate liberal. Now followed by an old 1960s socialist pretending to be a “social-democrat” or whatever label the mainstream will accept in 2016.

        1. You’re giving him too much credit, as most people do. Obama isn’t particularly bright, he was never a dedicated student, and he’s spent his entire adult life gladhanding and mugging for the camera (very effectively, to his credit) in exchange for positions of political prominence.

          At heart, he’s a community college professor with typical bien pensant professorial views about everything. Unlike actual socialists, he’s never spent a single moment of his life reflecting on the human condition or economics, and his political views are plug-and-play center-left professorial views that would generate zero controversy at any public university. He has all the moral courage of Philippe Petain.

          The same is broadly true of Sanders. Actual socialists are the economic equivalent of young-earth creationists and would do immensely more damage to the economy if they achieved positions of power, but they have convictions beyond sitting in the pew and saying amen while collecting a paycheque from the taxpayer.

      3. Obama is a would-be aristocrat. He wants and intends to be part of the Ruling Elite. Said elite currently disguises itself with Socialist claptrap, so Obama does too. If they were open advocates of raising the children of the poor for the roasting pan, he would be presenting recipes at White House press conferences.

        1. “If they were open advocates of raising the children of the poor for the roasting pan, he would be presenting recipes at White House press conferences.”

          As far as I know, they aren’t yet making stew out of the harvested fetal tissue at Planned Parenthood.

      4. It’s more useful to think of socialism and private ownership as extremes on the same continuum. Few “socialists” are for the complete nationalization/socialization of everything, as they have to recognize the reality of economic scarcity at some level. Try to socialize the rights to a potato chip and see how far you get.

        Europe and the US (and Asian, and Africa, and Antarctica, were humanity to colonize it at some point) are characterized by hugely impeded markets of privately owned goods, which is what we mean when we call them socialist. States, by their nature, tend toward collectivism and seizing property rights from others who are powerless to stop them.

        1. It’s more useful to think of socialism and private ownership as extremes on the same continuum.

          But it’s not one-dimensional. There is private ownership of the means of production, private ownership of investments and capital, and private ownership of personal property and luxury. Different political ideologies take different views of these different forms of ownership. And that has implications for which social groups support them and which ones oppose them.

    3. The morning after Obama beat my party’s “candidate,” Bob Barr, I noticed the clerk at the bookstore was in really high spirits. It occurred to me that the outcome had demonstrated to brown people that ku-kluxers had left Woodrow Wilson’s Dem party and infiltrated Lincoln’s Red Republicans. Naturally brown collectivists correctly identify Republicans as the enemy just as communists realized the same thing in 1952. Only the Prohibitionists can rest assured that God’s Own Party has not rejected them, and still copies prohibitionist platform planks. In gratitude they infiltrate the competing godless Ayn Rand atheist libertarian party to destroy it by all possible means. Anarchist “former” communists tried the same thing in 1980 to save their larger host. The initiation of force and dishonesty are entirely consistent with one another.

  20. But not significant enough. Also, they change their tune about many of those differences when the “wrong” people aren’t around to overhear them.

  21. Bernie is a democratic socialist, not a socialist socialist, even though he believes in gov’t control of the market and has claimed to be a socialist.

    Sorry, I just wanted to see if that sounded as stupid as it does when someone says it to me.

    1. Lol. I see this all over the internet comments as if they are somehow different.

    2. Democrat Socialist is kind of like White Hispanic.

      1. “Hispanic” is a term the U.S. government made up.

  22. Yesterday someone posted a link to Bastiat’s “Government” definition. That short essay of his really hits it on the head. Government always promises to give us everything (insert various nuances depending on which party is talking) and take little (Dems) or nothing (Repubes). Obviously this is an impossibility that will never be fulfilled yet the sheeple keep voting the cronie fucks in.

    Just think back to the bullshit leading up to the 2008 campaign and how obummer was going to be this great candidate of change and end the DC corruption and have the most transparent administration ever. Shit make me sick to hear then and it makes me sick to remember it now.

    Is Chapman just in complete denial of what has happened the last 7 years?

    1. Max Weber accepted Bastiat’s challenge and defined government as a local monopoly on the use of force. Bastiat came up with a Jeffersonian-sounding purpose for government–also a good thing and better than Weber’s. Most arguments with the brainwashees of religious or looter collectivism can be avoided by comparing definitions of government, rights, and freedom. When it comes down to stating what they mean, whack jobs and brainwashees stumble over definitions and reveal their true colors.

  23. I couldn’t give a shot what Sanders says he supports now. He labeled himself a socialist. Does anyone thing he will be reading libertarian books, and hiring libertarian advisors to advance socialism? Or will he read books on how to be a better socialist, and surround himself with other socialists to advance that agenda. The latter is most likely.

    The messed up part is that a self described socialist could even garner the support he has at the moment.

    Socialism is antithetical to freedom and liberty. If individuals can knowingly vote for such a thing, and support such a person, then individuals should have the right to vote for no gov’t at all on the ballot, and to revoke any consent the state thought it had to govern them.

    Then individuals can reward good economic actors for whatever service they wish, from defense and security, on to schooling. All paid for voluntarily by consenting individuals, through transactions free of force, theft and coercion.

    1. They just want their free shit. And, Bernie is sure to deliver.

    2. Socialism is antithetical to freedom and liberty. If individuals can knowingly vote for such a thing, and support such a person, then individuals should have the right to vote for no gov’t at all on the ballot, and to revoke any consent the state thought it had to govern them.

      Individuals can do that, anywhere they are armed.

  24. One of the critical differences between Sander’s socialism-lite (a.k.a. crony-capitalism) and doctrinaire socialism is that crony-capitalism retains and fortifies the bourgeoisie, rejecting the notion of a classless society. The proletariat is kept well-fed (ostensibly), tightly-controlled, and at arm’s length from the levers of state power and the elite that own them.

  25. Fact: Every current announced presidential candidate, Republican or Dem, is socialist to a greater or [maybe slightly ] lesser degree.

    Anyone who cannot see that is a fool , to “the max”, or perhaps just extremely naive.

    Socialism is a vital component of the core nature of _all_ governments, past, present and future. Always has been, always will be.

    To believe otherwise is to ignore history and to be totally lost inside “the matrix” .

    If you have government in the first place, you have socialism in action – it is entirely unavoidable.

    If you [dear reader] cannot see the inherent socialism of the proposals of absolutely every one of these scumbags, Dem or Repube, every time they open their mouths, then you are well and truly fucked!

    But please do carry on, I’m getting a lot of laughs out of the “is he/she a real socialist or not?” , er… “argument”.

    Regards, onebornfree
    The Freedom Network:
    http://www.freedominunfreeworld.blogspot.com

    1. I was going to ask if you had a newsletter, but you beat me to it.

  26. I quizzed many socialists and communists on this and all agreed that socialism is government ownership of the means of production AND government control over trade and production. The DemoGOP has no more use for definitions than televangelists, card cheats, pickpockets or dice hustlers. Each soft machine seeks to have its organizers’ hands in the til–nothing more and nothing less. Salvation with Jesus once safely dead is the mystical conservative carrot, and torture by Satan its stick. Enslaving the able to support parasites is the looter carrot, and genuine torture in this life at the hands of tax agents and secret police is their stick.
    Because both positions are dishonest, anti-life, anti-rights and collectivist, I support the libertarian party instead.

  27. I strongly disagree with this article. You don’t have to be totalitarian to be a socialist. You just have to favor government control of the means of production. Anyone who would ever believe that something could be “too important to be left to the free market” inherently assumes that government control of the means of production is better than the free market, and is thus a socialist.

    1. If you think that by proving the existence of a problem you have thereby justified government intervention you are at the very least a socialist, if not necessarily a confirmed totalitarian.

  28. Socialists have long endorsed nationalization of important industries, steeply graduated income taxes, a 30-hour workweek, drastic cuts in military spending and the abolition of the CIA.

    The Socialist party may have. They don’t speak for socialists any more than the Libertarian party speaks for libertarians.

    In office, though, Obama repeatedly pursued policies that were within the mainstream of public opinion.

    “Socialism” isn’t defined as “outside the mainstream of public opinion”.

    Socialism means something; these 2 assertions do little to define it. Perhaps this author should have spent more time looking up what the term means and then compared it to how Democrats talk and act.

    1. The author is Chapman – all he knows, from first hand experience, is how democrats talk and act.

  29. I think the point of Sanders polling so well isn’t whether he is a dyed in the wool socialist, but the fact that most people can’t describe socialism, fascism, capitalsim, communism, etc. yet still support him. People who don’t know what socialism is are supporting a candidate who may or may not be socialist, but who claims that he is. In effect, many democrats can be labeled via their chosen support for Sanders as socialists by their own limited understanding (whether or not they actually are, based on policy preferences, is something else), which makes it hilarious how they whined about how they WEREN’T socialists during the rise of Obama. I haven’t heard a democrat say, ‘I like Sanders, but he isn’t a socialist and neither am I’.

    1. They like Sanders for the same reason they like Trump – somebody who isn’t afraid to speak their mind. In both cases, their minds might be crazy, but they are both populists sticking it to their respective parties and giving the establishment the vapors.

      1. This is exactly right. And it says something about the political atmosphere of the county that they’re both speaking populist nonsense and getting so much support.

    2. Sanders is polling so well because the Dems love drama. They want to see a fight. Hillary strolling into the nomination won’t do (remember, she was a sure thing to be nominated the year when Obama appeared on the scene out of nowhere). The Dems want a soap opera. That’s what government is to them, an episode of The Edge of Night.

  30. A much better reason for the rehabilitation of the socialists is that many young people have never experienced or seen socialism.

    Look at how the socialists always talk about Sweden, but Sweden is no longer as socialist as American believe it is and made major, major reforms.

    BTW, Kevin Williamson made a very telling point: why do socialists always look to white countries as their examples. Venezuela is socialist. Why not bring up Venezuela?

    In terms of American political culture, do you think we have a better chance of mimicking Sweden or mimicking Venezuela?

    1. Seriously? Better chance of mimicking Venezuela. Sweden’s culturally homogeneous & rather dissimilar from the USA. Venezuela was recently much more like the USA.

      1. Yes, that is what I think, too.

        I think America also has a history of poor governance. We just don’t do it well.

      2. All true. People of Swedish descent in the US on average earn 35% more money per year than people of Swedish descent in Sweden. The population of Sweden is relatively well off in spite of their gov not because of it.

  31. “Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.”

    Co-operative management of the economy: Obamacare fits right in here.

    Keep in mind the private companies sell on a public exchange marketplace.

    Keep in mind the feds lent healthcare coops billions of dollars, and we have already lost 147 million as one of them went bankrupt.

    Redistribution and control via regulation are essentially back-door or Fabian socialism.

    May I coin a phrase? Electorally-viable backdoor socialism.

  32. A distinction without a difference is not entirely accurate. Rather than nationalize industry the Democrats want government control over every aspect of the economy. That isn’t socialism, it is fascism.

    It’s still ice-cream, just a different flavor.

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  34. To paraphrase : “We are all socialists now.”

    The question is : which type of socialism are “we” all in favor of?

    The entire political debate , as I see it, boils down to an argument/”choice” [so called] over “the peoples” preference for either the thinly veiled German type national socialism of the Republicans, versus the the thinly veiled Marx-based socialism [i.e. communism] of the left [Democrats] .

    Obama is merely a Marxist who, once “in power”, has been forced by the elites to change his tune to appear a little more “right wing” national socialist/fascist.

    If Sanders became president, I believe that he might start out with superficially “purer” Marx based policies that all of the idiots who voted for him expected, but that he would subsequently be reigned in at some point by the corporate elites that really hold the reins, to produce, in the end a continuation of the present German/Italian fascist based , top down, systemic control- just like Obama has been.

    The irony of all this is that Hitler’s national socialist “fascist” system was in fact modeled on Marx’s ideas, as he himself readily admitted.

    So what’s it gonna be boys and girls- the fascism i.e.[socialism] of the right, or the slightly watered down fascism [socialism] of the left?

    Either way- you all get royally screwed- which is probably what you deserve 🙂

    Regards, onebornfree
    The Freedom Network:
    http://www.freedominunfreeworld.blogspot.com

    1. The lesser of two evils. It’s been that way my entire life.

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  36. Back in the 1930s, socialists and liberal Democrats agreed on the need for anti-lynching laws, which President Franklin Roosevelt refused to endorse.

    WTF? Sure, lets pretend it was the Democrats and socialists behind anti-lynching laws, when, in reality it was the Republicans that pushed anti-lynching laws, and the Democrats were the lynchers (no doubt with the enthusiastic support of many progressives/socialists who wanted to “improve the race”).

  37. But they have always had major differences as well. Socialists have long endorsed nationalization … a 30-hour workweek … Democrats, as a rule, have not.

    Chapman’s so full of shit, it’s ridiculous. Franklin Roosevelt supported a 30-hour work week bill back in 1933 (well, supported it before he was against it):

    http://www.alternet.org/labor/…..r-workweek

    There’s no functional difference between a socialist and a Democrat.

  38. But the truth is that Sanders isn’t really much of a socialist.

    Ah, the “no true Scotsman” defense. It just wouldn’t have been a fully craptastic column if he’d left that out!

  39. Steve Chapman:
    I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I think this was a terrible article.

    “Early in his presidency, John Boehner said ”

    When was Boehner elected president?

    “Domestic oil production climbed.”

    No mention that this was all on Private land, not federal, thanks to the reduction of permits.

    “The federal budget deficit has dropped by two-thirds. ”

    After adding nearly a TRILLION to the base line in year one. Come on… since when do you twist the truth to protect Obama?

    Health care law “allows” private companies a role and you think that’s good? The stock market is up because of easy FED money and you think that’s good?

    Is this “Reason”, or did I somehow click on a hidden “Salon” link?

    1. “Come on… since when do you twist the truth to protect Obama?”

      The more Proggy they turn at Reason, the more they take on the Proggy indifference to the truth.

  40. In office, though, Obama repeatedly pursued policies that were within the mainstream of public opinion. … Domestic oil production climbed.

    Can Chapman really stand to look at himself in the mirror when making glaring non sequiters like that? He’s clearly trying to imply that Obama is responsible for increased domestic oil production, which is utterly laughable.

  41. His health care overhaul preserved the dominant role of private insurance companies

    Bwahahahaha! “You can still run a private insurance company: if you sell what we tell you to sell, at the prices we tell you to sell at, to who we tell you to sell to.”

  42. This column by Chapman is really special. Just one fucking lie and misrepresentation after another. Does the Democratic Party pay him to write this crap?

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  44. The democrats are beholden to corporate interests as Republicans. That will ultimately stop being from being true socialists.

    That means they’ll never impose any French level super tax on corporations or pass racial quotas on tech and other industry that’s dominated by white men. Some democrats are already holding their breath on ACA and the min wage increases, which haven’t peaked to 15 dollars yet.

    I’ve met socialists who were proud of their history of fighting racial injustices. Several commie figures were sympathetic to blacks. But there are racial strife in socialist nations as we speak. Does any intellectually honest black person in America think he can go to China and get treated any better there?

    Socialism deprives people of choice by design. It and racial equality couldn’t get a room together if it was free.

  45. “or pass racial quotas on tech and other industry that’s dominated by white men.”

    Uh, living adjacent to the SV and seeing this up close and personal, I would have to disagree on several points.

    First is the effect of mob rule. The breaking news for a while has been how there are few women or blacks or browns in tech in general and they are almost non-existent in top level positions. And, people are beginning to “trigger” on this. The major firms are already acquiescing. That opens the door to let the wolf in.

    I predict this is the beginning of the demise of superiority in tech industry in the SV. It’s going to get dumbed down by government edict or at least, political correctness.

    The one wild card is all of the Indians and Asians that have come to the party. Particularly in the last ten or twenty years. Enough to create and entire demographic shift. Hell, the Fremont BART station could be mistaken for a Mumbai transit center on any given work day.

    And, this cohort has been known to fight back. Consider they’re resistance at UC Berkeley when they found themselves identified as “overrepresented” in admissions to that bastion of fairness and racial equality.

    This makes it fun to be a white guy sometimes. I get to sit back and watch the non-whites start battling it out with each other. That’s true racial equality. 🙂

  46. “His health care overhaul preserved the dominant role of private insurance companies”

    You have got to be kidding me.

    They are simply outsourced tax collectors for the Progressive Theocracy.

  47. ” It and racial equality couldn’t get a room together if it was free.”

    Yes, strange bedfellows indeed. But nobody seems to notice that.

  48. Liberal, Democrat, Socialist, Communist, are simply variations of the same thing, Left wing forms of government who promote the idea of equality as being a function of government in providing for the people (voters) their needs/wants by redistribution from those who can/will to those who can’t/won’t actively take part in producing their needs/wants. The result should be obvious, large dense populations where little or no job opportunities exist requiring more and more government assistance to subsidize their remaining, which results in support for more extreme Left wing government. Most politicians who claim to be Right wing today are Left of center, but slightly Right of the Democrat party, truly providing the majority of voters with nothing more than a choice of the lesser of two evils. Politicians no longer represent their constituents honestly, but instead their own interests based on a myriad of issues relative to the effect their actions will have on prospective voting blocs, party support and campaign funding in the future. Centralized government reduces individual freedom with the result of dividing people rather than uniting them.

  49. No. Democrats are not socialists. To use Robert Higgs’ term, Democrats are “participatory fascists” – same as the Republicans.

    1. Fascists are socialists are communists. Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Kim, Hitler — all ultimately just different flavors of the same Marxist stew.

  50. onebornfree said : “…..”We are all socialists now. The question is : which type of socialism are “we” all in favor of?”

    Well, at least Butler Shaffer appears to agree with me 🙂 :

    “Why (gasp!), Bernie Sanders is a SOCIALIST! Yes, and so are all the other presidential candidates; and all the other politicians; and all political parties; and all political systems! Throughout human history, and regardless of the label under which any have operated, every political system has been premised on the arrogated authority to preempt decision making over the lives and property interests of individuals. This is the implicit meaning of “eminent domain”: the state is the ultimate owner of all within its boundaries.

    In this sense, King George III was a socialist, as were the colonials who became the “Founding Fathers” and expelled the British …”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/08/bu…..or-office/

    Regards, onebornfree
    personal freedom therapist.
    onebornfreeatyahoodotcom

  51. The ownership of our ” healthcare” and the overregulation or increases in regulation combine the best points of socialism and fascism. The ” you didn’t build it, ” POTUS may not be either of these ‘isms, but then he is at least an asshole. He is no Calvin Coolidge. Okay! Even a capitalist can be a thin skinned, narcissistic, arrogant little poop.

  52. Stevie! The stock market was up because there are few options for saving money. The economy sucks because there are few options to create capital under the boot heels of Obamaism. I am buying today. Love this dip.

  53. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

    http://www.homejobs90.com

  54. Where in the world is our justice system? America is turning communist and the Bill of Rights and Constitution was never intended to be optional. Legislating around these documents shouldn’t be tolerated no matter how “popular” it is.

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