In some ways, it is mystifying how a professed socialist like Bernie Sanders can get any traction in a culture that we are conditioned to believe is a free market, freedom based society. One would expect that the dissonance with a Socialist philosophy, which uses the force of government to make participation in its agenda mandatory, being advanced in the “land of the free and home of the brave” would encounter strong resistance.
Au contraire, Mon ami. Instead, this old leftist has become a bit of a pop star particularly with the young who have even engendered him with his own pop culture slogan: “Feel the Bern”. Kind of reminds me of the current deceiver in chief with his “Change We Can Believe In” motto. The left are exceptional at contriving misleading propaganda. It is a key component of the game of deception.
First, let’s flesh Bernie out a bit and see what we have here character and philosophy wise- something the public failed to do with Obama. To save space, I will let that can of worms unopened for the time being. Read The Manchurian President by Aaron Klein for important details on Obama missed by our media during the campaigns.
A Progressive or Democratic Socialist?
Sanders does not describe himself as simply a socialist. No, instead…….he is a “Progressive Socialist” or “Democratic Socialist“. Apparently, that is a big whoop. The difference? Semantics really? As socialism grows it all leads to the same place, the tyranny of the State over the citizens. The labels Sanders pushes are simply sales pitches designed to engender support and buy votes with idyllic promises to get those greedy people who are causing your problems- the capitalists.
In fact, I really wonder if these young people actually know what, a “Progressive” or “Democractic” socialist actually is. Could it be that they are simply parroting Bernie because it makes him sound somehow more authentic and unique.
Democracy is Not Found in Any of Our Framing Documents
The word Democracy is never used in any of America’s founding documents. That is, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence or Articles of Confederation. It is, however, used in The Communist Manifesto as follows:
In other words, the first step towards Communism is to first create a Democracy. Then agitate towards an overthrow of the existing disorder that the majority rule of Democracy leads to as Madison noted in The Federalist Papers #10, and install Communism in its place.
That is, the supposed triumph of the worker proletariat to replace the bourgeoisie middle class. It has never worked that way because the ruling class becomes very rich while the workers struggle to survive, but that’s the Communist fairy tale nevertheless. Bernie’s connection of that word with socialism betrays his connection to that legacy as does his background as we shall see.
Connecting Democracy to Socialism is really not all that good of an idea since according to the Communist Manifesto the triumph of Democracy is an important stepping stone to Communism. Hmmm….don’t think that’s really that good of an idea myself.
What About Progressive Socialism?
Let’s take a look at the word progressive which both Hillary and Bernie connect with. Where did this word arise and how is it used in the context of socialism? What does it embrace in its meaning?
David Horowitz, author, was a dyed in the wool leftist who looked upon himself “as a soldier in an international class-struggle that would one day liberate all humanity from poverty, oppression, racism and war.” The loss of a female friend, Betty Van Patter, by murder which he attributed to the Black Panthers (never fully investigated) caused him to review his connections and eventually discard his identity as a Marxist oriented leftist to become a conservative.
Horowitz with his up close and personal connection to the internal workings of the Marxist inspired left in this nation beginning with his parents, has written a series of books he titled- The Black Book of the American Left. Volume II of this series (nine in all) is simply titled: Progressives. He begins this volume by defining the term “progressive” as applied by the left.
What are Progressives?
First of all, the label was chosen as a means of replacing the word Marxist or Communist which obviously wouldn’t fly too well in the U.S. It was also chosen because it identifies those selecting this label as forward-looking, apostles of hope and change, social redeemers who are enlightened and modern.
The basic premise of the label is that forward is necessarily a good direction. They, as progressives, are on the right side of history as though history was steadily moving towards beneficent ends.
However, the unstated fact is that these so-called progressives, while not openly acknowledged, owe their intellectual traditions to the likes of Marx, Hegel, and Antonio Gramsci (19th century leader of the Communist Party) whose philosophies have produced totalitarian results.
Horowitz also warns: “Conservatives should not contribute to their efforts by referring to them as “liberals,” or regarding their own differences as merely policy matters that can be compromised and adjusted, rather than as the result of a philosophical divide that leads to consequences both predictable and tragic.”
So with these ideas in mind, let’s take a look at Bernie Sanders background to see if he has any connections to some of these idyllic leftist groups and philosophies which may support the implications laid out by former progressive Horowitz and Bernie’s use of the term.
Is Sanders really just a nice old man who has the interests of “We the People” in mind? You won’t find out from Bernie. His site skips over wide swaths of his background white washing his background through omission of facts.
Perhaps is there a bit more to the story than meets the media eye? He’s never been too open about his background with the media despite his activist beginnings and involvement in political campaigns. Nevertheless, there are a few facts about Sanders that are known.
We know he admits to being a socialist. Whether it be the Democratic or the Progressive variety which are loaded words as we have just seen, he is still at his core an admitted socialist.
Unfortunately, many of his followers don’t seem to understand what this actually means. It seems they have adopted an inaccurate and twisted version and has conflated socialism (a political modal) with social services (a municipal service) which is quite naive and embarrassingly uninformed. I guess math and science scores are not the only ones dropping these days. Apparently, plain common sense and study is dropping off as well.
Now, one claiming to be a socialist should normally raise a red flag in a nation that is called “the land of the free and home of the brave” which was framed as a Constitutional Republic. An informed citizenry would quickly dismiss such a candidate.
However, as pointed out above, most of his followers really don’t know what socialism is. Many of them naively believe its about helping the poor and getting all those nasty rich capitalist people who made them that way. In reality, it seems millennial youth are generally more in tune with Kim Kardashian than real politics missing the implications of real life socialism and its history of failure ending in tyranny.
Sanders is also a long term politician. He first gained traction in 1981 when he was elected Mayor of Burlington, Vermont which also lead to his first real paycheck. He then won a seat to the House of Representatives in 1991 which he held until 2007. In 2008, he was elected to the U.S. Senate for Vermont a position which he holds today.
Sanders, like Cuba, Russia, China and North Korea, favors a single-payer, government-run healthcare system and other socialist ideas like taxing the rich to the hilt so they can ostensibly “pay their fair share”. Of course, he never mentions that 84% of all taxes are already paid by the top 20% and the 1%’rs pay 24% of all taxes and the top 10% pay 53.3% of all taxes. They still need to pay more. We’ll take a look at some of these proposals a bit later on.
So What Else?
He was born in Brooklyn to Polish immigrants of Jewish descent in 1941. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago (UC) in 1964. While at UC he joined the Young Peoples Socialist League (youth wing of the Socialist Party USA) as well as the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Peace Union. He also worked briefly (as an organizer) for the United Packinghouse Workers Union, which, like all the CIO unions, had a number of influential Communists among its ranks.
In 1963, Sanders lived and worked for a number of months in an Israeli kibbutz known as Kibbutz Sha’ar Ha’amakim (KSH), which was co-founded by Aharon Cohen. Cohen was an Arabist who was a harsh critic of Israeli policy. He was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The founders of KSH referred to Joseph Stalin as the “Sun of the Nations”. A red flag was flown at outdoor events held at the kibbutz. I assume Bernie felt comfortable with that.
Sanders stayed at KSH as a guest of the Zionist-Marxist youth movement Hashomer Hatzair (HH), which pledged its allegiance to the Soviet Union. Some left-wing groups described HH as Leninist and even Stalinist.
So we see there is a bit of pink there in Bernie’s background. The “progressive” part of the socialist label I suppose.
Sanders on Government
In 1971 Sanders joined the anti-war Liberty Union Party (LUP), on whose ticket he made unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate in 1972 and 1974, and for Governor of Vermont in 1976.
Sanders’s LUP platform called for the nationalization of all U.S. banks, public ownership of all utilities, and the establishment of a worker-controlled federal government.
According to the Guardian, a press release from his 1974 campaign stated that as a means of addressing the problem of rising energy prices, Sanders advocated “the public takeover of all privately owned electric companies in Vermont.”
Obviously, big brother government is something Bernie is comfortable with as well.
Sanders- Nicaragua and Cuba
While Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1985 Sanders traveled to Managua, Nicaragua to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the rise to power of Daniel Ortega and his Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government.
In a letter which he addressed to the people of Nicaragua, Sanders denounced the anti-Communist activities of the Reagan administration, which he said was under the control of corporate interests. Assuring the Nicaraguans that Americans were “fair minded people” who had more to offer “than the bombs and economic sabotage” promoted by Reagan. He declared:
“In the long run, I am certain that you will win, and that your heroic revolution against the Somoza dictatorship will be maintained and strengthened.”
Sanders’s trip to Nicaragua was not his only foray to a Communist country. He also visited Fidel Castro’s Cuba in the 1980s to have a friendly meeting with the mayor of Havana.
The clip below is from a 1985 interview after his return from Cuba fawning over Fidel. Of course, he fails to mention that the reason for the uprising never coming in Cuba was due to the execution of the opposition by Fidel and Che Guevara and the continued oppressive police state imprisoning or executing any opposition.
The healthcare and education Bernie refers to in this brief clip are totally controlled by the Communist State as in Russia, North Korea and Red China. The people are not “given” anything. It is forced on them whether they want it or like it or not. In Communist States there is no choice of provider. It is the State or nothing. Winner (the State) take all.
Later on television interviews he lauded praise on Daniel Ortega calling him an “impressive guy”. Ortega, who received training in Cuba from Castro, is a Marxist-Leninist whose controversial program of nationalization included land reform and wealth distribution of course. He like Castro was never very cordial to the U.S. because of their support for his rival Somoza prior to the Nicaraguan revolution.
Sanders founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) in 1991 along with other “progressives”. The caucus of course endorses wealth redistribution. The CPC was endorsed by the Communist Party USA who stated that the Progressive Caucus “provides an important lever that can be used to advance workers’ issues and move the debate to the left in every Congressional District in the country.”
Birds of a feather…….as the saying goes.
In a 2010 CPUSA report, Party member David Bell identified Progressive Caucus members as his organization’s “allies in Congress.”
When Sanders ran for the Senate in 2006, then Senator, Barack Obama, whom Sanders described as “one of the great leaders” of that legislative body, campaigned enthusiastically on Sanders’s behalf.
I guess he’s made progress since then and earned his wings. He now labels himself a full-fledged “progressive” socialist. Remember what that term is a buzzword for.
Occupy Wall Street et al
In September 2011, Sanders was the first U.S. Senator to support the anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement, lauding its activists for focusing a “spotlight” on the need for “real Wall Street reform.” Sanders would probably like to occupy Wall Street himself I would guess.
In 2013 Sanders introduced a bill to tax Wall Street speculators blaming the greed, recklessness and illegal activities on Wall Street for the economic and deficit crisis in the U.S.
Somehow Bernie forgot to mention the enormous impact that government deficit entitlement spending has had in creating our national debt that is currently sitting at $19.2 Trillion or over $159,000 per man, woman and child. Our two largest expenses are Social Security and Medicare making up nearly 50% of the deficit and going up steadily as boomers retire.
That, of course, is all legal and therefore acceptable and excluded from consideration. In fact, Sanders wants to increase spending in both areas.
Sanders is a strong supporter of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists and big labor that wants the federal government to take over America’s energy industry. Of course, the AFL-CIO strongly supports him along with the Democratic Socialists of America.
For more on Sanders background with links to all of the aforementioned information and much more background information click here.
All in all, I think Mr. Sanders quite adequately meets the standards David Horowitz laid out in his Black Book of the American Left- Vol. II- Progressives. Don’t you?
Next, I’d like to take a look at the reality of the socialist concept and some of Bernie’s proposals. Meanwhile- Starting to get a feel of the Bern are we?
Go on to Part Two of the Bernie Sanders Deception.