Bernie Sanders's Politics
Self-identified "Socialists" like Bernie Sanders are a dime a dozen in modern history, which makes Sanders hard to classify more specifically. Mussolini and Mao were both "socialists," and all the various factions within the Soviet Union who were exterminated in purges were "socialist." Russia on the verge of the Bolshevik junta of the government that overthrew the tsars had half a dozen versions of socialism.
Within democracies in the last century, it was common to have many different "socialist" parties competing for power. The French Chamber of Deputies, for example, had no fewer than three different "Socialist" parties, not counting the "Communist Party" or the "Radical Left" or "Independent Left" or "Democratic Left," each of which also had parties in the Chamber of Deputies.
So which particular manifestation of that broad group of self-identified "socialists" does Bernie Sanders most resemble? What does Sanders call for? What does he champion?
He is not calling for the outright expropriation of the means of production, but rather the control of the means of production for the common good and the taxation of the means of production so that it pays its "fair share," meaning a higher percentage of its income than the ordinary working man is compelled to pay of his income.
Senator Sanders also supports "social justice," particularly with regard to race. This means treating a white person and a black person differently, on an individual level, in order to redress past wrongs to racial groups. America is full of victim races and, by necessity, then, victimizing races – a point Sanders made at Liberty University.
Bernie Sanders views socialism as something that ought to protect American workers, so he is a passionate opponent of trade deals that cost industrial jobs to American workers by corporations producing goods in other nations.
Finally, Senator Sanders's socialism is heavily marinated in the whole "Green" agenda. There is not a single issue the radical environmentalists embrace where Sanders has even a micron of separation. The Green aspect of socialism has historically been rejected by most socialists, which is why the Soviet Union and Maoist China were the most polluted places on Earth.
What sort of socialist is Bernie Sanders? His positions fit almost perfectly with one particular manifestation of the sort of "socialism" that nearly everyone embraced in the last century. Which type of socialism might that be? It is the National Socialism of Hitler's Germany.
Consider first the Nazi attitude toward business and property – complete control, hyper-taxation, and collectivization. Taxes were made much more "progressive." New taxes were levied on big corporations, and what profits were earned Hitler compelled be invested in state bonds. Businesses were ordered to hire workers even when there was no sound reason and forbidden to reduce wages.
The Nazis also wailed endlessly about the need for social justice – they championed "social justice" more than Soviets or Maoists – and particularly, the Nazis demanded an end to the "exploitation" of German Aryans by German and "international" Jews. Hitler, like Sanders, would see any statistical difference in income or wealth as "proof" of racial exploitation. Reparations for past wrongs done by one race to another were very dear to the black Nazi heart.
Nazis policy rejected free trade as a system for naturally producing a greater and better distribution of wealth and more efficient production of goods and services. Keeping inefficient German workers employed was much more important than obtaining the cheapest and best goods through trade. Here, too, Sanders believes much of what the National Socialists believed.
Finally, the Nazis – and this distinction made the Nazis unique among other varieties of socialists – passionately supported the Green Agenda. Although German Nazis were only ten percent of the German population, these party members constituted a whopping seventy percent of all German environmentalists. Hitler created national parks and wildlife preserves, and he complained about "over-industrialization."
The Nazis enacted the toughest laws in the world to protect wildlife and animals (even as they euthanized "life unworthy of life.") Nazis pushed whole grain bread, banned tobacco, encouraged natural childbirth and breastfeeding, grew organic foods, and wrote dreamily of respect for "Mother Earth."
Bernie Sanders is certainly no Nazi, and he is emphatically no Hitler, but Sanders's political beliefs are much closer to National Socialism than to Communism. It was the more seductive and sophisticated rhetoric of National Socialism that appealed to a spectrum of people that was able to seduce into diabolical evil a civilized and educated German nation – and Sanders, of course, is simply the honest face of the American left today.