With Bernie seemingly unstoppable, a reminder that his socialism is dangerous

One of Mike Bloomberg's few good moments during his first debate in Nevada was when he called Bernie's ideas communist.  Bernie called this a cheap shot and said his ideas were, instead, "democratic socialism, not communism."  It's time, therefore, for a short primer about Bernie's politics.

The realm of available politics can be seen as a line from left to right.  On the far left side are totalitarian regimes in which the government has full control and people have none.  On the far right side is anarchy, a world without government.  All political systems fall somewhere along that line.   The farther Left they are, the more they have centralized power; the farther to the Right, the more there is individual liberty:

Socialism, by definition, is a Leftist system that vests power in the government, although the amount of power can differ.  Over the last 100 years, socialism has taken on many guises, from hard to soft.  In hard socialist states, because the government has to use force to make citizens produce goods or services without direct profit to themselves, governments fear their citizens and routinely terrorize them.  Bernie has been forced to admit that this is as true for Cuba as for any other socialist state.

North Korea is a hard socialist state that enslaves its citizens and kills or imprisons them in its vast concentration camps when it perceives that they're a threat.  From the 1950s through the 1980s, China was also a hard socialist state with all property vested in the government.  During Mao's Great Leap Forward, between 40 and 100 million people died because of starvation, torture, slave labor, and execution.

China's modern communist government, which has a semi-market system, still arrests and jails journalists; imprisons millions of Muslims, using them as slave labor and raping the womenharvests organs from prisoners for profit; and uses slave labor to help drive the Chinese economy.  Its socialized medicine system released the coronavirus on the world.

The Nazis were also socialists — that is, people from the Left side of that political spectrum you see above.  The party's full name was the "National Socialist German Workers' Party."  Where Nazi Germany differed from a hardcore communist country was that the government didn't end private ownership.  Instead, under a socialist system called "fascism," it allowed businesses and homes to stay in private hands — as long as the government made all economic decisions and controlled all aspects of people's lives.  To the extent that Bernie still envisions private ownership, provided it's under his control, he is talking about a form of fascism.

Hitler hated communism, not because it was the complete opposite of his fascist socialism, but because it was too similar.  The fight between communism and fascism, both of which were children of socialism, was like a sibling rivalry.  Where Hitler went off the rails was in creating a toxic soup of unhealthy, race-based nationalism; fascism; anti-Semitism; and the Nietzschean idea of a "master race" to justify world war and genocide.

Modern Europe has been the softest side of socialism — it's like Nazism without the toxic master race idea and the quest for world domination.  European countries have let people have their own businesses and homes but have kept tight control over services such as health care, railways, and heavy industry (coal-mining, steel production).  They also bury their citizens under regulations.  Every single aspect of life in a modern European socialist country is regulated.

Europe's socialism worked for as long as it did because America paid for it.  We provided Europe's defense in the Cold War, so Europe could use that money for its "soft socialism."  Bernie is too much of an ideologue, and possibly too stupid, to understand this.  Today, without American funds, without patriotism, and without having children (something typical for socialist countries), Europe is dying, socially, culturally, and economically.

Socialism is by definition authoritarian.  Adding the word "democratic" in front, which simply means that people are forced to go to the polls to vote for a roster of preapproved socialist leaders, changes nothing.  All socialist systems are bad for their citizens.

When Bernie goes on about literacy, beautiful train stations, and cultural programs for children, he is either lying to himself or lying to you about what he really wants for America.  He dreams of an America in which he is in charge.  He imagines that he'll be humane and only do good things.  He's wrong.

History shows that when it comes to socialism, Lord Acton was correct when he said power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Because socialism vests absolute power in the state, and the state, in turn, is invariably led by a small cadre of people, the corruption becomes absolute.  There is no such thing as a beneficent socialist dictator.

One of Mike Bloomberg's few good moments during his first debate in Nevada was when he called Bernie's ideas communist.  Bernie called this a cheap shot and said his ideas were, instead, "democratic socialism, not communism."  It's time, therefore, for a short primer about Bernie's politics.

The realm of available politics can be seen as a line from left to right.  On the far left side are totalitarian regimes in which the government has full control and people have none.  On the far right side is anarchy, a world without government.  All political systems fall somewhere along that line.   The farther Left they are, the more they have centralized power; the farther to the Right, the more there is individual liberty:

Socialism, by definition, is a Leftist system that vests power in the government, although the amount of power can differ.  Over the last 100 years, socialism has taken on many guises, from hard to soft.  In hard socialist states, because the government has to use force to make citizens produce goods or services without direct profit to themselves, governments fear their citizens and routinely terrorize them.  Bernie has been forced to admit that this is as true for Cuba as for any other socialist state.

North Korea is a hard socialist state that enslaves its citizens and kills or imprisons them in its vast concentration camps when it perceives that they're a threat.  From the 1950s through the 1980s, China was also a hard socialist state with all property vested in the government.  During Mao's Great Leap Forward, between 40 and 100 million people died because of starvation, torture, slave labor, and execution.

China's modern communist government, which has a semi-market system, still arrests and jails journalists; imprisons millions of Muslims, using them as slave labor and raping the womenharvests organs from prisoners for profit; and uses slave labor to help drive the Chinese economy.  Its socialized medicine system released the coronavirus on the world.

The Nazis were also socialists — that is, people from the Left side of that political spectrum you see above.  The party's full name was the "National Socialist German Workers' Party."  Where Nazi Germany differed from a hardcore communist country was that the government didn't end private ownership.  Instead, under a socialist system called "fascism," it allowed businesses and homes to stay in private hands — as long as the government made all economic decisions and controlled all aspects of people's lives.  To the extent that Bernie still envisions private ownership, provided it's under his control, he is talking about a form of fascism.

Hitler hated communism, not because it was the complete opposite of his fascist socialism, but because it was too similar.  The fight between communism and fascism, both of which were children of socialism, was like a sibling rivalry.  Where Hitler went off the rails was in creating a toxic soup of unhealthy, race-based nationalism; fascism; anti-Semitism; and the Nietzschean idea of a "master race" to justify world war and genocide.

Modern Europe has been the softest side of socialism — it's like Nazism without the toxic master race idea and the quest for world domination.  European countries have let people have their own businesses and homes but have kept tight control over services such as health care, railways, and heavy industry (coal-mining, steel production).  They also bury their citizens under regulations.  Every single aspect of life in a modern European socialist country is regulated.

Europe's socialism worked for as long as it did because America paid for it.  We provided Europe's defense in the Cold War, so Europe could use that money for its "soft socialism."  Bernie is too much of an ideologue, and possibly too stupid, to understand this.  Today, without American funds, without patriotism, and without having children (something typical for socialist countries), Europe is dying, socially, culturally, and economically.

Socialism is by definition authoritarian.  Adding the word "democratic" in front, which simply means that people are forced to go to the polls to vote for a roster of preapproved socialist leaders, changes nothing.  All socialist systems are bad for their citizens.

When Bernie goes on about literacy, beautiful train stations, and cultural programs for children, he is either lying to himself or lying to you about what he really wants for America.  He dreams of an America in which he is in charge.  He imagines that he'll be humane and only do good things.  He's wrong.

History shows that when it comes to socialism, Lord Acton was correct when he said power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Because socialism vests absolute power in the state, and the state, in turn, is invariably led by a small cadre of people, the corruption becomes absolute.  There is no such thing as a beneficent socialist dictator.