From Democratic Socialists to Socialist Democrats

Image result for venezuela shopkeeper meme

There really is a level of communal ignorance shown by the advances made by Bernie Sanders on just how savage socialism is. The problem is not just an inability to learn from history – even from the recent history of the Venezuelan economy. It is also due to the difficulty in understanding why socialism, however nice it sounds in theory, cannot work in practice, which is why it never has. Does anyone actually think Bernie Sanders is the soul of kindness and benevolence? It is hatred and anger all the way down.

The issue is much more than pure politics.

There are lots and lots of longtime Democratic political professionals who believe that nominating a self-proclaimed democratic socialist is a recipe for disaster for their side.

What these “political professionals” are worried about is that Sanders may end up losing in a landslide and then lose the House and the Senate at the same time because there is still a toxic phobic reaction among most Americans to socialism. The reality is that on the non-zero chance that Sanders might win, it would be an economic disaster for everyone, not just for Democrats. Unfortunately, why that is remains very difficult to explain. Understanding what happens under socialism requires a deeper understanding of the processes of a market economy than most people have.

It really is incredible how lacking in any understanding among those voting for Bernie are about what they are buying into, why it would be an economic disaster. There is only a shallow understanding of why socialism will almost immediately stop the economy in its tracks and impoverish almost everyone. It is almost impossible to understand why this is, in the same way it is so difficult to understand why a market economy does work. I wrote a brief pamphlet on the fatal consequences of socialism at the start of last year with the subtitle: “Why a socialist economy can never work”. The actual title may sound odd – I, Mechanical Pencil [link fixed] – but was chosen because it is an extension of a famous anti-socialist publication written in the 1950s titled, “I, Pencil”. This is from the intro:

Political oppression is easy to see, but economic oppression is much more difficult to identify and understand. Anybody can see without difficulty that socialist economies are inevitably poor, but many people need instruction to understand why that is. That is the reason I have written this … to explain the causes behind the economic nightmare of socialism that accompanies the political oppression that is its twin.

You can download the article at the link.

The question asked here is Will Bernie Sanders’ long-ago praise of Socialist regimes hurt Democrats in November? If he is still there in November, one can only hope, but if he is still there in November, win or lose, it will be a very bad sign of things to come, not just in America but across the world.

This entry was posted in American politics, Politics of the Left, Socialism. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to From Democratic Socialists to Socialist Democrats

  1. Roger

    Link not working, Steve.

    Here’s another one.

  2. C.L.

    Holy Dooley.
    That poor shopkeeper. Socialism is good for weight-loss, that’s for sure.

    If he is still there in November, one can only hope, but if he is still there in November, win or lose, it will be a very bad sign of things to come …

    True – but when you think about it Roosevelt getting a third term and Johnson’s Great Society were also signs of bad things to come. Obama was a sign of bad things to come. Etc. Let’s not pretend that Sanders would introduce socialism to America.

  3. Well CL the US does have an obesity problem

  4. min

    Steve, as a retired psychologist who now observes human behaviour around me rather than from the many face to face interviews what I am observing is the propagandising of the community.
    I am in a blue ribbon seat and attend group discussions on Current Affairs with other retirees ,many of whom are graduates . This electorate has become very Woke over the last few years and quote opinions from the ABC , Age and rarely do research . Socialists in the making . elitist greens who waffle on about how we have to do our bit but don’t buy solar panels .
    Younger people are just too busy to think about the issues ,I have daily contact with uni students and am amazed at the lack of general knowledge mainly because of teaching in schools and now at uni and have jobs
    I am at presebt in our coffee shop and a group of oldies talking about energy and do not know why we need baseload .

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    the recent history of the Venezuelan economy

    The recentest history is that the oil industry is such a basket case that Maduro is sending the Army in to fix it. Which is so totally sure to work.

    Venezuela: Maduro Declares State of Emergency at State-Run Oil Company (23 Feb)

    Last week, the petroleum economist and professor at Central University of Venezuela Rafael Quiroz published the results of a study that found that the country’s six largest PDSVA oil refineries were producing just 8.5 percent of their total capacity of 3.1 million barrels of oil a day (BPD).

    Oh and Maduro is blaming Trump666. Of course. Socialism is so awesome that any banana republic which adopts it will run out of bananas within 5 years.

  6. mh

    Anyone have the list of names of prominent Australians who put their name to the invite to Hugo Chavez to come and show Australians the secret of his economic success?

  7. Some History

    Remember last year’s Democratic Socialist Convention (USA)? Comrades.

  8. stackja

    Socialism works as long as OPM lasts.

  9. What happens when the government thinks it is charge of running the economy

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/02/21/brianwesbury/

  10. Sabena

    Can someone explain to me why Sanders is allowed to participate in the Democratic primaries when he is not a member of the party and sits as an independent senator for Vermont.
    No political party in Australia would permit this.

  11. duncanm

    Socialism always works… for a while.

    Usually just long enough to enslave the electorate.

  12. Bruce of Newcastle

    Can someone explain to me why Sanders is allowed to participate in the Democratic primaries when he is not a member of the party

    Sabena – The evidence is the DNC is terrified of Bernie’s organization, especially since Hispanics went for him in big numbers in Nevada. If they invalidate him for not being a Democrat the large left wing of the party will either not vote or, in some cases, actually vote for Trump. And if 30% of their party stay home the effect on the November understory elections for everything from local DAs to state house MPs will be devastating. So they pretty much have to let him run.

  13. mh

    The Mexicans and others from south of the border that have have flooded America love Bernie’s message – free stuff.

    The DNC are finding it hard to kill off Bernie now as there are simply too many Spicks.

  14. Bazinga

    @min
    These particular oldies don’t need baseload because they’re already priced out.

  15. Roger

    Can someone explain to me why Sanders is allowed to participate in the Democratic primaries when he is not a member of the party and sits as an independent senator for Vermont.

    He filed with the US electoral commission to run for president as a Democrat, even though he actually sits as an Independent in the senate. Because he gets enough signatures in each state – due to his immense but inexplicable popularity – his petition to run is accepted and his name appears on the ballot at each Democratic primary.

    Short of changing their consitition and rules (which they did after 2016 mostly to counter Sanders’ popularity) there’s not much the Dems can do about it for now.

    However, the DNC will expect a loyalty pledge from him should he win the nomination.

  16. Duncanm:

    Socialism always works… for a while.
    Usually just long enough to enslave the electorate.

    Because slavery and poverty are what they vote for – they just think they are getting something for free.
    Socialist Wannabees never read the fine print.

  17. mh

    Take away the people’s guns and implement socialism.

    That’s Bernie! Worked so well in Venezuela.

  18. duncanm

    mh
    #3333385, posted on February 24, 2020 at 12:46 pm
    ..
    The DNC are finding it hard to kill off Bernie now as there are simply too many Spicks.

    “spics” – please.

  19. Things are looking up ………. The corner stores shipment of special sauce has arrived fantastic news …. Shame I already ate the cat and kittens !

  20. Iampeter

    There really is a level of communal ignorance shown by the advances made by Bernie Sanders on just how savage socialism is.

    Yea because Trump supporters aren’t socialists, right? You guys just want the state to centrally plan everything. Totally different.

  21. Chris M

    C’mon Steve, they are just kids that want to try something new. Haha can’t they have a turn with their little socialist thing?

    As Instapundit likes to say – you can vote for socialism but the reverse is not the case, you end up having to shoot your way out.

  22. I_am_not_a_robot

    There is a factor that follows on from those listed in I, Mechanical Pencil viz. consumer free choice.

    … However, what governments do that is essential is make the rules in which entrepreneurs and the businesses they run must operate …

    Some argue that an emissions trading scheme (ETS) is a market mechanism working and therefore in no way (soft) socialism, but it doesn’t give consumers a free choice i.e. leaving it to the consumers whether they want to pay the price of ‘saving the world’ or not.

  23. rickw

    Great result! 20 years later and the guy is way skinnier, his carbon footprint must by tiny!

  24. Anonandon

    mh at 11:33 am,
    Here is a link to the contents and signatories of that open letter.

    Phillip Adams. Lol.

  25. Squirrel

    The fiscal scope and scale of Sanders’ policy agenda is monumental, but that may not bother a lot of Americans who will simply focus on one or two of his promises, and forget about the total cost – and tell themselves that it will all be paid for by a wealth tax on billionaires, anyway.

    If he gets the Democrat nomination, it could be a very close run thing, particularly if there are any wobbles in the US economy before November.

  26. mh

    Natasha Stott-Despoja – SA Australian Democrats Senator another signatory.

    One of the first appointees of Prime Minister Tony Abbott was the perennial undergraduate Natasha. Can’t remember the job title.

  27. Wozzup

    I keep repeating an old joke from Poland told during the communist era.
    Which goes “In the old days we used to have Butchers shops and inside you found only meat. Now under the communists we have meat shops. And inside you only find Butchers.”
    A funny joke (though not so funny if you happened to be living in Poland in those times). Seems though that Venezuela has stepped up to the plate and proven, once again, the truth hiding within the joke.
    As an aside it is noticeable how much weight the shopkeeper in the photo has lost. I suppose that’s one thing that can be said for socialism – it makes you skinny and perhaps means you will live a long life. Unless you starve first of course.

  28. Robber Baron

    The guy looks happier. He’s got a lot less to worry about when he’s got nothing left.

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