Tom,

Thanks for your response. I will try to respond to the points below.

  1. According to Wikipedia on the same topic, “Democratic socialism is contrasted to Marxism–Leninism which is viewed as being authoritarian or undemocratic in practice.” So I doubt that the kind of socialism we saw in Russia their satellite countries is what Sanders has in mind. I think he has made an effort to distinguish himself from the abusive socialist countries we have seen in the past.
  2. As to what Sanders thinks and knows, you are probably engaged in mind reading here. Especially when you qualify your statement with the word, “seem”. The recent developments in the Nordic countries, raising the pension age, cutting social safety net benefits and allowing private for-profit firms to compete in the education sector — that is very similar to what has been happening here for the last 40 years: a swing to the right. Whether or not that swing in government is a result of popular support (I doubt it) or big money influencing government (I think so), I’d have to research it. But one thing that makes me suspicious of all of that is what is happening in the UK with their national health service. The conservatives are finding power and using that power to reduce the appeal of public options and services by cutting funding and starving the respective government agencies of the resources they need to do their jobs. That could certainly change public opinion. And lately, I’m thinking of the human struggle more and more like one of creditor vs debtor. Anything that creditors can do to get people to borrow more, they will advance as a public policy choice.
  3. Whatever words Sanders would prefer to use in his rhetoric is beside the point. His constant denunciations of corporations and billionaires have some truth to them. And as far as I can tell, Marx wasn’t completely wrong. He got some things right about late-stage capitalism. What Sanders is talking about, though he hasn’t articulated it just this way, is that the creditors would really like to see more and more people borrow money rather than rely upon the government for help.
  4. I’m not sure that Millennials need to apply any discernment between Marxian social welfare or the welfare state. They only need to know that the rules are jacked up against them and that we boomers left them with an environment very hostile to them. That is what Sanders is counting on for his reelection. If Sanders supporters shouldn’t object to calling Sanders a socialist, then Trump supporters shouldn’t object to us calling him the Creditor In Chief.

Thanks for your reply, Tom. you’ve given me much food for thought.

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Husband, father, worker, philosopher, and observer. Plumbing the depths of consciousness to find the spring of happiness. Write on.

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