Bernie Sanders explains democratic socialism

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gave his much-anticipated speech in which he explained his ideology of “democratic socialism.”  He said that he doesn’t want the state to own the means of production (the classic definition of socialism).  Rather, he wants to emulate Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Sanders said that virtually all of the New Deal programs we take for granted today–Social Security, the minimum wage, banking regulations, and job programs–were condemned as “socialist.”  Surveying today’s problems, Sanders wants to bring back Roosevelt’s “Second Bill of Rights,” focusing on economic rights.

At the time, when critics accused FDR’s programs and later Democratic initiatives as socialist, the Democratic answer was, “no, they are not!”  Sanders agrees with the conservatives in saying, “yes, they are.”  But at least Sanders embraces the term.

After the jump, read his explanation of democratic socialism.  What do you think of what he says?  If you disagree with his ideology, how would you answer him? [Read more…]

Why the left doesn’t believe in free speech

Michael Barone has a fascinating column, excerpted after the jump, about how leftists, on campuses and elsewhere, are trying to silence anyone who disagrees with them.  But this should not be surprising.

The hard left, whether of the Marxist variety or the post-Marxist variety (which substitutes oppression of women, races, or other groups for the Marxist focus on economic oppression and class struggle) nearly always rejects free speech, as well as other civil liberties, whenever they get into power, as we have seen in communist regimes  If you reject individualism in favor of collectivism, believe that liberty is a bourgeois value designed to promote capitalism, and think that those in power always almost by definition suppress those who oppose them, then, yes, you will reject free speech.

The left certainly holds the power at most college campuses and in some other political and cultural circles, so of course they will impose speech codes and punish dissenters. [Read more…]

Is Bernie Sanders creating a true leftist movement?

Left-leaning columnist Harold Meyerson is excited at the prospect of Bernie Sanders, the socialist presidential candidate, creating in his growing cadre of followers, a genuinely leftist, revolutionary movement.  Do you think America is ready for that? [Read more…]

Sexual freedom for state control

In a discussion of Playboy Magazine’s new policy of not publishing nude pictures, Mollie Hemingway and colleague Rich Cromwell talk about the magazine’s political liberalism.  She refers to a book that argues that the seemingly opposite ideologies have libertarianism and socialism have come together in a trade-off of sexual freedom in exchange for state control of everything else. [Read more…]

Vengeance, competition, and Christianity

Some time ago, I stumbled upon a discussion of Christian anthropologist Rene Girard and Pay Pal founder Peter Thiel.  It had to do with vengeance, competition, new technology start ups, and why both Girard and Thiel came to embrace Christianity. [Read more…]

The “right of the environment”

We are mostly familiar with the concept of human rights.  In his address to the United Nations, Pope Francis affirmed that and arguably took it a little further, referring to “the right to existence of human nature itself,” which includes not only the right to life but also the right to “lodging, labor, and land.”  But he went on to assert  not just the rights of human beings but “the right of the environment.”

Can non-humans, such as animals have rights?  Can inanimate objects have rights?  In what sense can the environment have a right? [Read more…]


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