Bolshevik Bernie Makes a Boo-boo: talking Coo-ba blues…
I know I know I know: Bernie’s not really a ‘Communist’, so to speak, not really, much less a Bolshevik, even if he DID say that we could learn a lot from Cuba and Nicaragua. He’s right. We could. BUT: that’s not Scandinavia, and their system of social welfare, which is what his electoral narrative is all about. Narrative does not equal truth. This is the definition of socialism, like it or not, as defined historically, as defined by Merriam-Webster:
“A social system or theory in which the government owns and controls the means of production (as factories) and distribution of goods”. Ouch.
Now certainly there is a tendency to redefine ‘socialism’ these days as something between democracy and communism (or was that ‘capitalism’ and communism?) and there lies the problem: definitions get muddled, as one word cannot always define a political AND an economic system.
In fact Scandinavia has no political parties that call themselves ‘socialist’, as Bernie Sanders does. They call themselves ‘Social Democrats’, not ‘Democratic Socialists’, as Bernie does. There’s a difference. ‘Social’ is an adjective, ‘socialist’ is a noun. I could’ve told Bernie that in advance–and for cheap.
Unfortunately that label is the one he chose, and the one that will forever define him. Most Americans–nor Europeans–have ever visited a Communist country, much less ever lived in one (though if you hurry hurry hurry you might still get a glimpse of it in Cuba or Venezuela). It ain’t pretty, standing in line an hour for bread.
And that’s the reason that Bernie Sanders will never be President, even if by some cosmic fluke he should get the Democratic nomination. He will be battered and fried and served up on a platter as sacrificial KFC to the gods of capitalism, no matter how soft of a socialist he really is. America is a nation of brands, including political ones.
And, to be frank, Bernie is working with an outmoded union-industrial model that is largely superfluous now, and has nothing to do with ‘sticking it to the bankers’. He is as guilty as Trump with that sloganeering language. Most of our modern developed world economies are dealing with paradigm shifts that need new language, new ideas and–well–new paradigms.
There are vast segments of the American populace that recoil stubbornly to any ‘cradle-to-grave’ welfare state, and I get it. Even I the mostly-liberal don’t want to be so burdened with paperwork and restrictions that I can’t function as a free-lance entrepreneur. I just want cheap health care and protection from gun-freaks. Ironically many of my Deep South conservative compatriots are exactly the ones who want those corporate (or government) jobs-for-life that I categorically reject.
I personally prefer an environmental sociali-. I mean ‘social environmentalism’… but no candidate of any party is talking like that. I persevere. Bernie’s Believers have better parties, though–I get it. That’s the party scene this year. So Gloria Steinem got it right–sorta’. That’s where the girls are. I’d rather be in Cuba–sounds like fun…