Is Sanders’ Democratic Socialism … Socialism?

Is Sanders’ Democratic Socialism … Socialism?

Welcome to The Real News Network, I’m Paul
Jay. Well, Donald Trump has framed the 2020 elections
as a fight between socialism and capitalism. Here’s what he had to say at the State of
the Union. Here in the United States, we are alarmed
by the new calls to adopt Socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and
independence, and not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free
and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist
country. Now, I suppose a lot of people like me, when
I watch the State of the Union, it’s not so much about what the president says, it’s
more the applause-o-meter. Who is getting up to applaud when? And you try to read the
politics of the room. And as he was saying “America will never be a socialist country,”
there’s Nancy Pelosi behind him, applauding. At any rate, a town hall held by Bernie Sanders,
or with Bernie Sanders, on CNN just a few days ago, Bernie Sanders was asked about socialism,
and here’s what he had to say. Senator Sanders, can you make a simple, persuasive
case as to why socialism is preferable to capitalism?
Democratic socialism, right? Yes.
OK. Let me tell you what I mean by that so we’re clear. Right now, we have a nation
which prides itself on a lot of political rights. In other words, under the Constitution,
thank God, you have freedom of speech, media can do its thing, even though Trump calls
you an enemy of the people. How does it feel to be an enemy? That’s another story. All
right. You don’t think we are.
No, I don’t. I certainly do not. So we have freedom of religion, and all of that is enormously
important. But you know what we don’t have? We don’t have guarantees regarding economic
rights. And way back in 1944, in a little known, a little publicized State of the Union
speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said something. And I’m paraphrasing him, but he said when
we talk about human freedom and rights, we’ve got to understand that everybody needs a decent
paying job, that people need healthcare, that people need education. And all over the world,
these ideas are taking place. You go to countries in Scandinavia, of course healthcare is a
right, higher education is free. They have strong preschool programs. They make sure
that their elderly folks can retire in dignity. These are not radical ideas. So what democratic
socialism means to me is having, in a civilized society, the understanding that we can make
sure that all of our people live in security and in dignity. Healthcare is a human right.
All people should have healthcare. You can’t get ahead in this country, in this world,
unless you have a decent education. We have got to, as a right, end the kinds of discrimination,
the racism and the sexism and the homophobia that exist. So to me, when I talk about Democratic
socialism, what I talk about are human rights and economic rights.
Eugene, what do you think? Well, I have to say, this is one of the areas
I’m most critical of Bernie. I mean, I think that he’s defining as socialism is really
just a New Deal, Great Society liberalism, which certainly is good as far as it goes,
it’s certainly much better than the unrealized dreams of those eras. It’s certainly a much
better state of affairs than what we have now. But I think he was unable to really hit
the core of the difference between capitalism and socialism and the idea that capitalism
is a system where everything is produced for profit to be a commodity, and socialism is
a system where the basic goods that people need to live, survive, and thrive are also
not commodities. And certainly, he mentions healthcare, education, and things of that
nature, but what about clothing, what about food, what about shelter?
And I think above and beyond anything else, I think also it’s to me a little bit of
a naive presentation from the point of view of sort of the U.S. political structure which
enshrines, in and of itself, and this is certainly the contravention of what Trump was saying,
of course, property above all other interests. Certainly, that was rooted in the slave system,
and the control of land that resulted in slavery and the genocide of Native Americans, that
ultimately, what do you do in this kind of context in the United States when say the
Fifth Amendment, for instance, comes up against the desire to be able to decarbonize the economy?
I mean, it says that you can’t take property without paying people for it. Well, if the
health of the planet is at stake and the cost is too high, well what are you going to do?
Are you going to take over and shut down all the oil companies and save the planet or are
you going to go with the U.S. Constitution? So I think the reality is is perhaps what
Bernie is portraying is as much as you can do within the U.S. system, but I think it’s
not actually socialism. And I think that that is in and of itself an important distinction
that I think has to be made here, that socialism is a system where profit is never going to
be able to succeed over the needs of people. And I think that goes beyond what he was willing
to say, despite the fact that certainly, all the things he’s saying I think, would be
good and should be instituted right away. And there’s actually really almost no reason
why all of them couldn’t be instituted tomorrow except for a lack of political will.
Jacqueline, how do you balance this, what’s possible within the current American political
system and politics versus perhaps what actual socialism is?
Well, when you have a current political system in which Citizens United has declared that
that corporations are people so now corporations and the heads of corporations have more say
in the political system than the people the political system is supposed to represent,
there’s no balancing that. I mean, that system needs to be changed.
So there is no way to really reconcile this idea that America is never going to be a socialist
nation in a chamber in which so many of the politicians are standing up and cheering because
they’re cheering for the fact that they were going to fight to maintain the benefits
they get from private interests, from the interests of private corporations that make
and keep them rich. And if that means the rest of us who they are supposed to represent
in that chamber get nothing and that we have to give every dime we make, if we can even
get a job, to maintain this unjust predatory capitalistic system, they will do it even
if they are standing there lying about this threat of socialism that really is not even
a threat in this country and never really has been, but the threat of socialism taking
over the United States government is as old as what 1927, 28. So this isn’t even a new
argument we’re having here in our government. Norm?
We can argue, and we need to keep talking about what socialism is, what it should be.
When Francois Mitterrand became president of France, he became president as the standard
bearer of the Socialist Party back in the early 80s. I mean, they call themselves socialist,
that wasn’t socialism. And we’ve seen the result of that kind of bogus claim to
socialism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. We were told that was socialism. When
you throw people in jail for expressing themselves, that’s not socialism, economic rights are
part of it and political rights are part of it, human rights, as Bernie said, has to be
central to socialism. I think from the very first words of his response to what in our
political context in the U.S. is a loaded context, he asked by the questioner, “Do
you support socialism?” And he said, “democratic socialism.” Unlike what is sometimes done
in print media, that’s lowercase d democratic socialism. And I think, given the history
of the last hundred years, it’s absolutely excellent to emphasize democracy as being
essential component of socialism. So I really believe that Bernie’s few minutes
there, given the question and that he had two or three minutes, I think it’s a terrific
answer. And we can be as theoretical as we want, we can argue about history, we can argue
about the future, we can say we want to get from here to there in the next week. I would
love that we would have socialism yesterday. We’re in the real world. We’ve got our
feet on the ground, our eyes on the horizon, which should be, I believe, democratic socialism.
And one of the best retorts, I think, to the baiting that mass media are already engaged
in, not only the right wing but much of the mass media towards Bernie about being a democratic
socialist, is to refer to the fact that in the 1930s, the trade union movement that helped
bring us Social Security, that program was denounced as socialist. In the 1960s, the
fight for Medicare, that was denounced as socialist. So as time goes on, I’m less
and less interested in the theoretical arguments and more and more fascinated with the real,
on the ground potential to transform this country in the way that Bernie Sanders is
describing. Yeah, I don’t think we should underestimate
how powerful those cold war years were. The House of Unamerican Activities Committee,
McCarthyism, how it transformed what was taught in the schools. You’d go at kindergarten,
you’d put your hand on your heart and you’d pledge allegiance to the flag, essentially
the flag of the Cold War and the rise of imperialist interventions. I think Bernie, and to some
extent to give some credit to Occupy too, but the extent to which Bernie has allowed
socialism to be in the discourse in a very positive way, even if it isn’t what some
of us might consider actual socialism, that being said, and I give Bernie tons of credit
for that, and not just Bernie, but the whole movement that gave rise to Bernie has arisen.
And it’s not just Bernie anymore, there’s lots of such candidates. That being said,
I think again, there’s a way he could be going further than he is without stepping
so outside the bounds of what’s possible within this kind of mainstream politics.
I don’t think he talks enough about the public sector. When you talk about the oligarchy,
which he does, and the power of concentrated ownership, which he does, how do you counter
that? Well, you don’t counter that just because you have Medicare for all. Canada
has Medicare for all, and we still have concentrated ownership of media, of most everything else
in the country. We still have right wing governments and so on. So these policies, while they’re
constructive and positive, they don’t counter the power of the oligarchy. Now, Medicare
for All is actually something that in my mind, goes towards that direction, because you’re
going to actually get rid of the private insurance companies. But if you built out, for example,
public sector banking, and next time the banks say we’re too big for you to control us,
and next time we go down the toilet because of our speculation you’re going to come
save us. And we can say no, we now have public sector banking.
Building out the public sector and link that to democratization, because the stronger the
public sector is, and the more you democratize, the more you weaken this power of the oligarchy.
I think he could talk more about that. And when I’ve interviewed him and talked to
him kind of about that, he agrees with that. Like I asked him once, when it comes to an
infrastructure program and a jobs program, would you go like the model of direct federal
government jobs or does it have to be private-public sector, which is certainly what Obama was
talking about? And he said he’d support a direct hiring program, which starts to go
toward strengthening the public sector. The problem is, I don’t ever hear him talking
about it except when I asked him that. So I think he could go further than that. I don’t
know, what do you guys think? Eugene? Yeah, I mean, I think a few things. I definitely
tend to agree with you that I think in some ways, the biggest issue is, regardless of
the definitions, is the fact that Bernie just raising these issues has created what I think
very clearly is a nationwide conversation from top to bottom about should we be in capitalism,
should we be in socialism and what does that mean? And I think that’s a fertile moment
and a very good moment, at least potentially, for organizers. I think certainly, he could
go further. And I think it’s also a question from the point of view a presentation, of
if you’re saying, well look, I’m a socialist but I believe that you don’t have to be
a socialist to be for universal health care, which is true, that would be a different way
of presenting it which I think would be more commensurate with sort of not only what he’s
actually presenting, but the type of political coalition he’s trying to build, which is
one that could contain socialists, people who don’t consider themselves socialist
but who want to see more of the sort of crucial elements of what people need to survive be
socialized and not be parceled out or rationed, if you will based, on how much your paycheck
is each and every week or each and every month or whatever it may be.
And so, I think there’s that element. But I do think that it is crucial and important
to have the conversation, because so many of the issues, we were having so much conversation
about climate change and the Green New Deal and the original Green New Deal draft saying
decarbonize the economy in 10 years. I mean, it’s difficult to see how that really happens
with some of the constraints that exist in our society. Or what it really means to say
let’s have universal healthcare. What happens to this massive, bloated insurance industry
and everyone that works within it? I mean, I think there’s so many answers to these
questions for sure, but I think almost all of them start to come up with what I view
as one of the basic challenges we have in America, is that we are pretty much the only
“industrialized” nation that has not revisited its constitution, which is basically the shared
agreement among citizens about how we’re going to live as a society and what our most
rooted values are. And that’s a conversation we have to start
in to America, to really take these things I think many people believe should be rights
and enshrine them at a bedrock principles level, and also think more about what really
needs to be enshrined that way if we’re going to move forward around some of these
broad principles that Bernie laid out in his answer. Full racial justice and equality,
reparations and so on, the decarbonization of the economy, socializing large sectors
of the economy and society. And also truly, I agree, human rights. But I mean, look at
some of the things that are legal, the shooting of Black people and others by the police wantonly
and being covered by the courts. So I think there’s so much more things that we need
to do to deepen the democratic content of our society that I think we have to have a
conversation about how we go beyond just the slave owners and slave holders conception
of what rights and responsibilities should be of a government or between or with us between
each other. Yeah, I think that’s an important point.
Living in Baltimore has given me an entire different framing of what political rights
mean. Even the Department of Justice, when they did an assessment of the Baltimore Police
Department, said in their report that the constitutional rights of the people of Baltimore
are violated by the police department here every single day. For much of the population
of the country, there actually aren’t political rights, and that needs to be constantly repeated.
And here, Jacqueline, one last word from you on this. Bernie and socialism.
I think part of what Eugene said about reframing this discussion of human rights and what rights
are, I always think about the way Americans think about liberty and freedom and how the
very same people who are so focused on liberty and freedom also have a problem with the concepts
of healthcare, housing, and a decent paying job as human rights. So I don’t think we
are ever going to resolve this issue of what is socialism, should this society be socialist,
or what kind of economy we should have if we can’t even have the discussion and agree
on what human rights are. Because as long as we live in this society where our ethos,
where our mythology is based on the idea of rugged individualism and that the government
is not responsible to providing anything in the way of basic sustenance for its citizens,
then I think all the other discussions are almost nonstarters. We’ve gotten farther
than we have in a while, and I think Sanders has done a good job bringing on Medicare for
all and some of these other issues to the fore, but I really don’t think we’re going
to get much farther unless we address this issue of what do we really believe human rights
are in this country. Norm?
In this context, I think Eugene used a very important phrase, political coalition. At
this historic moment, we have emphatically two huge imperative responsibilities. One
is to fight the right, the xenophobes, the racists, the misogynists, this entire panoply
of power that has fallen heavier than ever on people in the United States and consequently
in much of the world, and that includes the militarization, not only further militarization
of U.S. foreign policy, but also domestic militarization against people of color by
the police forces, as Paul, you were just referring to. And the second imperative is
to move forward a progressive agenda. And given, you might say, the objective conditions
right now, a political coalition that is powered by a Democratic Socialist Movement and is
open to an embracing of other progressive forces, I think that is absolutely essential.
Yeah. I think that’s a good note to end on. We have to find a way to balance what
is a vision for the future, in other words, what does actual socialism, what might it
look like in an American context, and it’s going to be something we’ve never seen before,
with the most immediate question, a rise of fascism in the United States, a fascisization
of the United States. It’s not something new, but it’s reaching a very degenerate,
more advanced form right now, and we’re having serious conversations about are we
even going to have a transfer of power in 22? Are we going to have some crazy event
that creates a national emergency? Where would the military be? I mean, even the fact these
are things that one can actually see as possible, probable, I don’t know, that’s a matter
of debate. But we’re in a very specific moment here, and the need for the broadest
front of unity against this fascisization is absolutely critical. It doesn’t mean
we shut up in our criticism of things we think need to be criticized, but I think it has
to be done in a way where broad front politics really are are what’s called for in the
day. Anyway, we’re going to continue our conversations,
but for now, thanks for joining us. And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

100 thoughts on “Is Sanders’ Democratic Socialism … Socialism?

  1. Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Abraham Lincoln

  2. Bernie can't articulate pure socialism as much of the US has been for the best part of a century instilled with hatred and fear of this '-ism' by the establishment. Much like us in the UK the media and 'talking heads' on tv equate socialism with communism which conjures up horrific visions of Stalinism (oppression and economic backwardness) which is understandable with those who are not politically 'savvy'. A better approach might be to use another '-ism' such as humanitarianism, whose raison d'etre is the development and welfare of all citizens on the planet. Not just those who are lucky to be born into a privileged class. Highlighting that within the classes outside of privilege there are gifted individuals who cannot fulfil their potential because the Capitalist system places barriers to their development via the market mechanisms, which ultimately retards the prosperity of the nation within which they reside. But truth be told Capitalism is not about the accumulation of wealth for wealth's sake its about the consolidation and the exercise of power. The term used by Chomsky 'masters of mankind' is pretty apt here.

  3. It is wrong to call countries like Finland, Norway, Sweden,
    Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, et cetera, 'socialist' or 'social
    democrat' countries because they have a social welfare system in place that
    provides for the basic needs of their peoples. In fact these countries are
    democracies in which, this is true, social democrat parties have once pushed
    for social policies, that are now in place and now are seldom considered
    leftist, but are just policies supported by the majority of all parties, either
    left or right. Nobody in the UK, how far to the right they may be, ever
    proposes to abolish the National Health Service because it is 'a socialist
    policy'. That said, it is true the welfare state programs were designed and
    installed by social democrat majorities, with sometimes parties from the right
    hitting the brake at the same time. But the one thing to remember is this, all
    this welfare policies were realized within capitalist democracies in which both
    the progressive and conservative forces played their role. If something, then
    the countries mentioned above, have 'a mixed system' in which capitalism is
    tempered by social policy and a regulated market. To speak of Finland, Norway,
    Sweden, Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK, et cetera, as social
    democracies is a very American point of view, but misses the point and creates
    a difference between the European countries and America that is not there. Both
    have 'mixed systems'. But America has not furthered its social system in the
    last 50 years, but started dismantling it, and in the course of doing so
    America created a distorting view of capitalism and socialism fundamentally
    opposing each other. One of the few politicians resistent to these falsehood is
    Bernie Sanders.

  4. I see socialism as a blanket term for the rejection of private ownership and/or capital. Constricting socialism to strictly nationalization of industry neglects all libertarian socialist movements. Would Northern Syria not be socialist, even though they have decentralized direct democratic councils that direct economic activity without a central government? Was the Paris Commune not socialist, although it being the very first proletarian revolution in history? Syndicalist Catalonia, Anarchist Ukraine and Korea, and the massive trade unions that directly impacted the ways that governments responded to economic disparity can all be described as socialist.
    Bernie Sanders is a social democrat. He doesn't see capitalism as an evil, he sees it as a system that can be corrected, and with limiting our economic field to the state and private owners, he cannot be described as socialist. State-run healthcare is no less a band-aid idea as state-run water.

  5. I think Bernie and his detractors miss the main point, that the society decides what they want. When the economy gets out of balance, policies need to restore the balance. Where that happens in Scandinavia etc., the society is happier, has better health outcomes at far less cost, better education and still promotes Capitalism. Let's avoid these isms. Ideology are for the weak minded.

  6. They're ALL nationalist….either way it's America First….Trump just says it and that's why he's an easy target. Look at their foreign policy to see that they are closet imperialists….. yeah…that includes Sanders.

  7. Bernie's "democratic socialism" is actually social democracy close to the European model but it's not technically Socialism unless he calls for the destruction of the Capitalist system and condemnation of imperialism. I'm still waiting. His Venezuela "humanitarian aid" tweet was a major setback imho

  8. All of those bi-partisan politicians in Congress applauding Trump are applauding the crises of mass homelessness, families going bankrupt to save a sick child, our extremely high rate of poverty, murderous police, the industry of private prisons, student debt, etc. They are applauding the status quo for they are the very scumbags who are reaping millions from these unprecedented social crimes. They do not want things to change at all.

  9. Bernies socialism = Keynesian capitalist economics. You redistribute via regulation. Whilst Bernie offers a better shake than any other my dear Americans, you all should know it still is not enough.

    This, is democratic socialism, and if you want it, you have to strike in your millions to make him do it. Which he will if you demand it.

    Regulation and higher taxes is not enough, it leaves the top 10% in dominant positions from which they will go to work every day to water down then undo any regulations in worker favour, over time and today will repeat further down the road as it always has, and we have no time left for that.

  10. "We are alarmed" Ya, if by "we" you mean pantshitting cowards on the right who STUDIES HAVE SHOWN are more fearful and anxious in general, have worse nuance skills, and larger amydgalas, which make them more reactionary and tribalistic. We have always had that group with us. The pantshitting tribalists. Maybe there was a use for them at one point way back when we were stomping from cave to cave. But now, they can kindly shut the fuck up. Who cares what these idiots think. The VAST majority of the first-world–including the USA–population is on board with all these "socialist" things. Don't let them bully us! Don't let them smear the term as a bad thing!

  11. Hell Sanders doesn't know if he is a Socialist , Independent or Democrat
    depends on which way the wind is blowing on any particular policy !
    It would be a mistake to support anyone but Tulsi she the only
    candidate that takes a stance on Venezuela , Reparation and other
    issues and the rest of them just like Sanders sits on the fence until
    they know which way the wind is blowing and that's the political crap
    they play ; Tulsi the guts and Integrity something the other
    candidates don't have ! Please support & donate to Tulsi campaign

  12. What the guest said is not true. You can have market socailism. Mondragon is an example. The workers own the factories and companies. They help set wages and policies. Producing everything without a market is fairytale stuff, imo. That's the least realistic form of socialism. Also, when will we on the left finally take the deal right in front of us. We are like that idiot going into the Pawn Star office and getting a pity deal where the shop is basically going to lose money, but they don't care because they're on TV, who turns the deal down and then walks out and declaring that it's worth 10x that much and the expert was just wrong because we read something on the internet once.

    Bernie is real! He can win NOW! His ideas work IN REALITY! Take your meds and go to therapy if you're on the left and not voting for him!!!

  13. I'll take Bernie's FDR style economic democratic socialism for the 99%, over Trump's Neofascism for the 1%, any day! #Bernie2020

  14. Bernie is a sell-out – a sheeple-herder that never intended to win. He was a gatekeeper for Hillary because she is AIPAC-beloved and he is an Israel-firster. He threw his supporters under the bus as they told him in real time that the nomination was being stolen. The con was set up even before the race started as alluded to in a Podesta email. Bernie pushes Russiagate and admits he’s a Zionist.  He supported the same candidate as Dick Cheney endorsed.
    Vote Third Party (REAL third parties, not the Bernie Sanders' kind).

  15. There is a notion of the 'common good' in philosophy and religion that has permeated Catholic criticism of capitalism since the Middle Ages, and guided politics joined with morality for millenia, at least since Plato. To my knowledge, the US (religion) of capitalism is unique in history. Whether you call an expression of the common good the 'body politic' or 'justice' or 'socialism', seems to matter little as long as the common good is in the forefront of our political thinking, and our definition of 'civilization.'

  16. Republicans have no idea what ‘democratic socialism’ is. They won’t even look it up in a dictionary or wiki. They are so afraid of the 1 word. They should read their bible less and their dictionary more.

  17. When I go to the store and can look at all the different food. It makes me glad that we live on a capital basis instead of a socialist state like Venezuela.

  18. You have got to laugh! how many Democrats have put their hand and up now 50? Is communism alive and well? and the rich get richer under the disguise of empathy and Bernie's view that you are all sheep with his paternal self-righteous baloney. Isn't his wife a thief? Wow, a thief as 1st lady. bring it on, ol Bernie.

  19. Socialism is like ice cream: it comes in a lot of different flavors. Something a lot of people and msm is unwilling to recognize. For them it is anything they want it to be from the christian religion to the devil in disguise.

  20. That's the stupidest thing Trump has ever said in a long line of stupid things, Americans are the least free people on the planet, of course that doesn't mean the other people are free either that much, we're free to starve in the street if we want right? But this idiocy the Trump and all the rest of these moron politicians and all the rest of these idiotic corporate people talk about, is the freedom to rob you! Elections are a scam, anyone who doesn't know it is a complete moron. The Constitution is a bunch of bulshit, or else we would be able to be using it right now to effect some change. I'm looking for other people who want to join with me and exploring other avenues for civic Administration and putting these lying criminals, and I'm talking every single one of them, every single professional piece of garbage out there who thinks that their money is more important than people's lives, I want to talk with people who want to put these people in jail or on a guillotine block.

  21. ?? How about rename it ‘democratic humanism’ ?? Wikipedia says “ Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. “

  22. both systems suck because they take the control of labor away from the people.
    in capitalism the control of labor belongs to the capitalist.
    in socialism takes control over labor and gives it to the state.

    those who work for the enterprise ought to own the enterprise

  23. democratic socialism is still capitalism….

    the correct form of government is Anarcho Syndicalism as seen in. Barcelona Spain in 1936

  24. Pragmatism is the political philosophy of opportunism. Jay and the panel are mealy mouthing is "American exceptionalism". The same as Trump. "Reparations is demanding money) for themselves to be its bureaucracy distributors. This opportunistic ideology is a red herring and has no place in discussion of revolutionary seizure of productive forces and ending capitalist commodity production, wages, markets and money. Rather, it. presupposes capitalist market economy, and money as medium of exchange. There is no such thing as human rights. The clash of sword against sword and gun against gun this antinomy can be resolved only by force. the struggle for political and civil rights is an antinomy of body and body in the war of class against class. When there's an opposition of equal rights of one class vis-a-vis its rival class interest only force decide winner and loser. The American Civil War/ War Between the States Party against Party, government against government, Army against Army.The Republican Union Army defeated the Confederate state and army Lincoln, Grant, Sherman and Frederick Douglass established a revolutionary dictatorship of the capitalist industrialists and beat the antebellum south into abject surrender and occupation. One mode of capitalist production (by wage labour) destroyed its rival, the other – agricultural capitalist commodity production by chattel labour.

  25. Democratic Socialism is NOT Socialism! Bernie wants the Democratic Party to be more like it was before neo-liberalism came into existence.

    Bernie is NOT against capitalism. He Is against UNBRIDLED capitalism, a.k.a. crony capitalism.

    If the U.S. doesn't join the rest of the developed nations and start taking care of our own like the Scandinavian countries do, we will be left behind. If our people don't prosper, our economy can't prosper. If our kids aren't allowed an education, our country doesn't prosper. If we don't close the chasm between rich and poor by building the middle class, a top-heavy economy will collapse, which would ruin us, from which we might never recover. And, if we continue to go down the road of growing income inequality, we will cause much more social unrest, not to mention much more suffering.

    That is NOT the country I want to live in.

    What do you think?

  26. Bernie is another Obama with fake hope and change promises.. look at his statements on Venezuela. he jumped in the race to ensure fundings dont all go to Tulsi.
    he goes with the flow, calls Hillary the most qualified candidate while Hillary called him unqualified. he is weak and unreliable.

  27. Capitalism is good at creating wealth but really bad at distributing it, that is why socialism exists. The difference between Soviet style socialism and democratic socialism is very simple and it's all in the word democratic.

  28. adding the "word" Democratic after or before the word socialism doesn't change the garbage that socialism=communism is

  29. It IS socialism; it's LIBERAL socialism, NOT democratic socialism. DemSoc is what Norway has, and Corbyn advocates. The Scandinavian model Bernie praises is LibSoc.


  31. The more I hear Bernie the more he is a lunatic. They government takes your money and decides on how it is spent, and who gets it.
    Where does it say free health care and college.
    Freedom to express yourself.
    Freedom to worship as you wish.
    Right to a prompt, fair trial by jury.
    Right to vote in elections for public officials.
    Right to apply for federal employment requiring U.S. citizenship.
    Right to run for elected office.
    Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

  32. Bern the turn is a social democrat, despite calling himself a socialist. There's a difference. Socialism by definition is democratic. One must talk about Empire and militarism as well as use the word capitalism. Only Marianne Williamson has the intelligence and passion to do those.

  33. What all of you are missing is that there is more than one socialism. And socialism is not communism (which our educative system has taught us to conflate.) People have been taught to fear socialism because it does not focus on keeping the wealthy rich and so the capitalists did to Marx what they do to anyone who is not in concert with their self-serving policies, they smeared him. It is important to know that Karl Marx was a philosopher, not a politician. And Marxism is a theoretical economic model (just like other economic models such as Trickle-down nothing,) not a political ideology. At the very least, we should be studying socialism in all of its many manifestations as an economic alternative to our disastrous predatory/vulture capitalism which is a devastating boom-and-bust model that is driven upon brutal exploitation; just have a look at how the Amazon Fulfillment Centers treats its workers where they are urinating in bottles because they aren't allowed bathroom breaks, and they are followed around by individual monitoring equipment that counts every second of their time. Can we all say "Nazi concentration camp"?

  34. Is social security socialism? Are the police socialism? Is the fire department socialism? Are public schools socialism? Are interstate highways socialism? Is medicare socialism? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Is the United States of America a Social Democratic country? YES! UNION YES! BERNIE 2020 because hindsight is 20/20! Bernie is the counterweight to Trump's attempted destruction of the United States of America.
    US for USA US for USA US for USA BERNIE is US we are US we are BERNIE for US USA for US US for USA. Corporate welfare will end.

  35. Over the course of my working life, I have seen EVERYTHING become FOR-PROFIT! Greed is our core value and money is our god. I have no problem with corporations making tons of money because I can choose buy/not buy their products. But when insurance, education, banking (basic human needs) also become for-profit, that is where I draw the line. What a pathetic world we live in.

  36. Is Sanders a Democratic Socialist – Hell no, he is a circumcised invalid collecting disability benefits

  37. i'm going to agree that a federal bank is a prerequisite for serious carbon transition. but, the congress can already print as much money as it wants, and set the interest rate as low as it wants. the point i want to makes is that i'm not sure that the differences between what is called public and private banking are really that great, for the reason that the united states (and, canada, too) already has a public banking sector. it's a more question of whether you actually use it or not; this is more about legislative policy than it is about the structure of the economy.

  38. SOCIAL DEMOCRACY is actually the kind Bernie has supported. He is a strong social safety-net capitalist, with mixed economy and regulations that ensure we produce with our future well being in mind — called being smart.

    It bothers me he calls himself Socialist or Democratic Socialist – none of his bills or advocations have been to eliminate the private market.

  39. As though adding the word “democratic” in front of a word changes what it means.

    Just because we toss something into a vote doesn’t change what that something is, nor does it alter wether that something is inherently good or bad. Adding Democratic in front of social doesn’t make it inherently more moral or less violent

    Bernie sanders fails to explain a world view, he simply tells you things that have been around since the beginning of time, that you should be angry, and hands you a Christmas list.

    Anything provided by government ISNT socialism….have you ever asked yourself the fundamental question of what the legitimate role of government is? Particularly in the USA.

    The constitution is the how and Declaration of Independence is why I suggest you read them.

    The role of government is similar to that of a hockey referee, to ensure the safety of the citizens and people following the laws like don’t steal don’t kill etc.

    Police, military, fire of course are legit Roles of government.

    Anything other than that is incidental and the referee keeps the whistle in his pocket.

    The job of the referee is not to pick winners, losers , provide medical assistance, to be a water boy or a cheerleader or drafts teams.

    It’s hilarious ppl don’t mention the post office as socialist…mainly cuz it’s don’t fit the narrative, post office sucked before fedex provided competition…tracking numbers didn’t exist, over night shipping, two day shipping didn’t exist. It got there when it got there…you hope! That was ur post office you wanna see government run health care take that and add cancer.

    Schools are another example, your parents were raised without a federal department of education, they still had public schools they were funded by municipalities in their states and guess what? Results are prettt clear..most of your parents are smarter than you.

    I’ll leave you with this off the OFFICIAL democratic socialism website

    “Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them.”

    Now think how’s the only way they can achieve that. Ding ding! If you guessed all-powerful government bureaucracy… you are correct!

    In the famous words of a evil dictator “The Goal of Socialism is Communism.”

    – Vladimir Lenin

    “democracy is indispensable with socialism”


  40. America will never be a socialist country? Except that GDP is almost entirely supplied by military contractors. We bail out the banking system, the automotive industry as well as the airlines many, many, many times. Hell, the coalition of The Police was pretty much a merger between The US Government and The Pinkertons– as classic carpet baggers!

  41. The liberty League that threatened to depose FDR in the 30's is alive and well today. Where is Smedley Butler when we need him?

  42. The Chicago DSA Executive Committee just voted, unanimously, NOT to form a permanent Anti-War & Intervention sub-committee.

    I proposed to form a sub-committee now, starting with the Venezuela, March 16 D.C. action.

    This shows that without anti-war and anti-imperialism, all you have left over is the New Deal – a Christmas list with Bernie as Santa Claus…

    You are no longer Democratic Socialists, you are Rooseveltians.

  43. The most advanced and seductive form of fascism is Digital Post-modernist Fascism, from the likes of Facebook, Google, etc.

  44. Black lady is begging the question to conclude Congress is applauding to keep themselves wealthy. This video promotes the "give me stuff" mentality but does not talk (in the first half I watched) about socialism vs capitalism.

  45. Bernie is Justin Trudeau with bells and whistles. He's not a socialist.

    In fact, you wonder why Bernie calls himself a socialist when what he's presenting is
    a standard Social Democratic program

    My guess is, he's attempting to appear more radical than he actually is, as to off-set real socialism.

    He may be controlled opposition. As in the smart people behind the throne, probably understand that Neo Liberalism is coming to an end, so they've started prepping the
    faux 'revolution'.

    From the elites position, better Bernie than some wildcard left-wing version of Trump, threatening nationalization of the banks and the end to US imperialism.

  46. Thank you so much for your excellent discussion of socialism and it's importance in addressing human rights and our climate catastrophe!

  47. "There is no difference between communism and Socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism-by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide." AYN RAND

  48. "If the stock-in-trade of ideas, theories, plans and aspirations of a reforming movement does not grow at least in step with its practical activities, a painful hiatus may occur. The very success of such a movement in carrying out the main parts of its traditional programme may, as in the case of the British Labour movement after the 1945-51 government, produce a sense of bankruptcy." (John Strachey, Contemporary Capitalism, 1956 p. 16) You have to have a more fundamental and class conscious analysis and wider ranging transformative goals, because otherwise you don't just lose steam, but you surrender the initiative to the class enemy. There's no safe stopping point, he it comes to social reforms and public service creation, because the class struggle doesn't end just because you feel like only social democracy is required. To get to keep a New Deal mark 2, you have to do what the New Deal didn't do, which is dismantle the class power of the financial, landed and corporate oligarchies, deriving from their control over private wealth and corporations, so they can't fund think tanks and university economics departments and control media to be able to roll back a New Deal mark 2 the way they've proven they can by rolling back the original New Deal. And as a political strategy, New Deal rather than socialism is a horrible historical failure, because we only got the full New Deal for about 20 years, and we're now beginning the 5th decade of neoliberalism. So New Deal as a politics is weak and inadequate, just tactically over time, let alone as a sufficient answer to what we're up against in terms of the destruction of democracy, human rights and the planet.

  49. Socialism was first introduced as the driving force of the Declaration of independence by our founding fathers. Point one; We the People. Point two; inalienable right. Basically they were announcing that our government must serve the masses of our nation as a first principle. The main instrument that's been used to achieve this has historically been accomplished by the several types of commons that have been created over the years

    This document is our central core and intended as a balance of Capital D (Democracy) and small case c (Capitalism) or D/c. The current policy of, C/d, is rendered illegitimate by our founding document and the intended balance must be be re-established and codified as the central Role of our nations government. A good first goal to reach is to reinvigorate our monopoly laws and to include two upper limits on business as well. 1. Not too big to fail but to big to exist. 2. No more Billionaires by establishing a maximum dollar amount that doesn't allow folks or businesses to be bullies of any kind over public discourse and setting national and local policies.

    This along with campaign finance laws meant to accomplish the same goal in the election arena must be accomplished with some haste.  Laissez faire economics must be abolished in the US of A. No more Dollar Dictators and the mechanisms by which they are created; and there are many.

  50. you are never getting socialism, democracy or anything similar in the usa. the country is an oligarchy and these people will not give up their power easily. you can not just say to the oligarchs that all of their refineries, oil wells, pipelines, power and influence are gone because you want decarbonization. it would take years of revolution to get democracy or socialism implemented and it would be a very messy and bloody business. it will also take a much more radical and violent man than sanders to lead the revolution. these people will not go down quietly and there plenty of common people that will willingly die to fight any kind of challenge to the power of the oligarchs.

  51. That's what white American says, those who have benefited from slavery, most, but white churches has always hijacked democracy, they have been pushing what racism. They use socialism to divide the people, just watch them, how they play sides.

  52. Bernie needs to have concrete policies that helps black Americans more than others, how he do this is his biggest issue.

  53. The government owes this, with demonizing whites and other minorities. This will be the balance, black Americans have supported all , but gotten less.

  54. Very good points here! YouTube offered me this video and I clicked it thinking: "here we go to one more video misinforming people about what socialism actually is". Au contraire, the video is very precise and informative about socialism!

  55. pretty pathetic politicians and civilians buy into the fear mongering crap of misinformation. Republicans are against socialism unless it has to do with women and minorities rights. Democrats are too afraid to take a stand either way for fear of which way the political winds will blow. All bullshit!!

  56. Socialism: When the workers run the economy for our need as workers.
    Communism: When the state withers away, particularly as the military and police become unnecessary.
    Before socialism can occur, capitalism – private profit must be overthrown. Bernie isn't a revolutionary but is quite capable of coalescing Americans around the idea of getting something useful from our current government and putting the question of socialism and its definition, in the American context, on the table.

  57. Full scale socialism is not realistic. Don't get me wrong I have my qualms with capitalism but socialism has NEVER WORKED.

  58. Both parties are owned by the ruling class. That's what capitalism means. The people who control the means of production also control the political system. And the vast majority have no effective representation.

    Socialism starts from the realization that capitalism is fundamentally undemocratic. For reasons that even the president acknowledges when he dog whistles the alt-right with the term "fake news". All of our mass media are owned by a handful of large companies and we can't trust anything they say.
    That's capitalism.

    If you want true democracy then there's no getting around the fact that certain things have to change. That the role of the state is to make policies that are in the public interest and not just the "special interests".

    Bernie does the exact opposite and starts from the liberal democrat position that we have individual rights and freedom of speech and "the media can do its thing even though Trump calls you an enemy of the people".

    That's Wolf Blitzer's cue to say that Bernie doesn't agree with Trump's statement that the media are bad. So by using Trump as a bogeyman Bernie defuses the most serious criticism of capitalism. That in a society where citizens supposedly have the power to elect their representatives we don't even have access to honest information.

    He then proceeds sabotages socialism by saying it's really about getting enough free stuff.

  59. Bernie is right about most things, but corporate-owned media is the enemy of the people. Our government is the enemy of the people. Nancy Pelosi is the enemy of the people. All of the corporations are enemies of the people. All of the assholes who stole our wealth are the enemies of the people.

  60. The argument is stupid. Eugene Debbs died a long time ago, and so has Henry Wallace, so the only thing we can do is support the person who most closely represents what we want, and that is either Bernie or Tulsi. You idiots what to kick Bernie because he isn't perfect? That's retarded, you dumb fucks. Eugene Puryear is a moron, and I can't stand listening to his voice. Norman Solomon makes more sense.

  61. Trump says, at 0:16, " Here in the United States we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence, and not government coersion, domination and control. We are born free and we will stay free ". He's a complete quack, hypocrite, psychotic, etc. He speaks the very opposite of what the US has now been for a LONG time, very long, and continues to be, so not only does he stupidly try to fool the population of the USA, he seems to also be fooling himself, which means that he's seriously idiot. It wasn't better with prior US presidents, but more sicko presidents isn't going to help the USA or the rest of this world.

  62. None of the candidates are proposing Communism or Socialism (NOT the same thing) Some (Bernie) are proposing the Scandinavian Model which was based on Social Democracy which is basically Capitalism with Humanitarian and Social Programs for the benefit of all the Citizens, not just the few and the mantra that a Healthy and Educated populace are an ASSET to Society. When it comes to Democracy, the Scandinavian countries are #1 Norway, #2 Iceland, #3 Sweden, #5 Denmark and the USA #25! There is a mind numbing ignorance and enormous indoctrination in the US about this fact.

  63. Foreign policy and national security are a huge part of any president's job, and they shouldn't be left out of any discussion of democratic socialism. Some of Bernie's statements on foreign policy are quite unprogressive, and he demonizes Russia by, incredibly, believing the evidence-free Russiagate hoax. If he genuflects to the MIC and surveillance state, his domestic programs will surely be severely impaired. Please discuss Bernie's contradictory foreign policy positions and his probable ability or lack of ability to actually stand up to the neocons and the security-intel state.

  64. Bernie does not tell the TRUTH. The End Game of Democratic Socialism is the destruction of private property. End of story, it's on their website. Bernie is not a Democrat, they believe in property rites, like the Founding Fathers. Bernie is a liar. Why is that so difficult to for people see? it is because the political literacy of this country is so dismal…………..most people don't even know the definition of Socialism. Democratic socialism is still socialism.

  65. What a travesty Trump is as he talks about being "born free'' while he wants to do exactly what he claimed socialism is–government coercion, domination and control.

  66. Capitalism is about making winners and losers.
    Freedom is for handful of winners(liberalism they call it) and no freedom to million of losers.
    As capitalism advances, the number of winners get smaller and smaller, prize for the winners get bigger and bigger.
    At the end, everybody becomes the loser.(When the economy collapses, everybody loses)

    Socialism is about winning for the masses, what works for everyone.

  67. The only thing more frustrating than Trump’s braindead base(who can’t tell the difference between socialism and democratic socialism, which has proven itself to be the most logical economic model for a country to not eventually implode on itself) is the corporate media shilling their asses off for the preservation of the status quo. I hope that we see these major news networks lose their influence over the next decade. We as a country need to be more proactive in finding out the truth and not play party politics.

  68. Trump and the Fox News right wing confuses communism with socialism. Medicare, social security, welfare, disability, food stamps are all a brand of socialism. What's wrong with helping people and being kind? Nothing. All this crap trying to slander and misrepresent Sanders is the Oligarch Establishment shaking in their boots because they are scared Sanders is going to end their gravy train of screwing over the working class.

  69. It is SO NAIVE to believe that an economy will work without the profit motivation – that was tried for almost the entire 20th century in a HUGE SAMPLE of the World (USSR-Eastern Bloc-Maoist China-Cuba-North Korea) and the results were mediocre at best and disastrous at worst in terms of consumption and scientific / tech development. All of that happened in a context of repression of all forms of liberties – aka totalitarianism.

  70. I agree with Norm. Bernie's answer was fire, given the context and hostility, etc. Just not sure how it plays with the voter. Sticking to the hey, we're just trynna be a little more like Canada is working really well.

  71. There is no clear understanding of what capitalism is among these demsocs and berniebros. Real News host lacks real understanding of capitalist production and how capitalist economy functions. He says public sector should overpower oligarchy or private sector but in capitalist economy private investment drives economic growth. How bloated public sector gonna produce growth? If you do this – public ownership of banking (not nationalization) then why would you leave out private sector? If you move to public ownership of banking then you move away from profit making system. And that means violent protestations from private sector and oligarchy. Does he think such radical move go smoothly? There is no social base for such radicalism in US. Socialism must be defined and understood via clear definition and analysis of capitalist mode of production (which Marx has done successfully, but not many of those demsocs have tried to read anything from Marx). If you defined and understood capitalist mode of production properly, then you can define your steps towards socialist production and organization of society.

  72. If you measure prosperity by GDP you are telling the truth. However if you measure prosperity by measures of % of people meeting basic needs, #'s now out of poverty, good health indicators statistics, you are likely wrong. That said, neither socialist or capitalist economies can be trusted to protect our basic ecological systems in most countries. They cannot be trusted not to make compromises jeopardizing future generations.

  73. Bernie is basically just a social Democrat who is more forceful in pushing the policies he believes in and taking on corporate power. He's like FDR but better. I'm actually a real Democratic Socialist. I'm to the Left of Bernie and would go farther to ensure a strong safety net, environmental protections, and a responsible anti-war, diplomatic foreign policy.

  74. America was not built on the back of freedom democracy and America is not free…no matter what economic system we employ, socialism or capitalism. It was built on the backs of slaves. Trump has no idea of what he is talking about. He simply sprouts rhetoric.

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