Bernie Sanders has come out with a new book: It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism. As its unsubtle title makes clear, the book is about the evils of capitalism, and the need for democratic socialism—which basically means top-down government redistribution brought about by vote, rather than by violent revolution.
I will probably get around to reading Sanders’s book, though I don’t expect to find much within its pages that I haven’t already read or heard from its author. Bernie Sanders, after all, has been a public figure since the 1980s, and a central figure in our national politics for roughly the last decade.
The chapters of It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism include such gems as “This is a Class War—It’s Time to Fight Back” and “Capitalism is the Problem”.
Bernie Sanders, at age 81, is an adherent of early twentieth-century leftism. His ideology is based on a time when American leftists looked to the former USSR for inspiration. Sanders traveled to the USSR in 1988, where he extolled its system (which would collapse three years later). Sanders has also praised the repressive Marxist regime in Cuba.
There is no shortage of room for reasonable people to disagree about what capitalism should be, and what it should provision. For example, plenty of people on the right and in the center—including Lou Dobbs and Ross Perot—have raised concerns about the astronomical heights of CEO pay in recent decades. (Ross Perot raised this issue as an independent candidate in the 1992 US presidential election.)
Most of us can also agree on the need for decent public schools and affordable health care. We can agree that there is a legitimate role for government, and that one of these roles is to address instances of market failure. There are some things the private market can’t do—or won’t do. That’s where we need an activist government.
I’m not here to argue for the abolition of the EPA, in other words; and I’m not here to shove Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman down your throat.
That said, “Capitalism is the problem” is the kind of foolish non sequitur that no thinking person takes seriously nowadays. Not even the Chinese Communist Party believes that anymore. After all, many of the CCP’s older comrades suffered through real socialism during 1950s and 1960s. Continue reading “Bernie Sanders wants you to be mad about capitalism”